An important stimulus for the event industry

Three years of micelab:bodensee: With Interreg funding having ended, the successful training platform will continue independently.

Festspielhaus Bregenz Bühnenturm Ausschnitt mit Himmel © Dominic Kummer

Since it was established in summer 2016, micelab:bodensee has evolved into a pioneering network providing an impetus for the events sector in German-speaking countries. Now that EU funding for it has ceased, the platform will continue to exist independently as an association; Schloss Marbach (Germany) is becoming a member. The annual research module will remain a central pillar along with the book series. The learning modules will now be open to all who are interested, unlike what was formerly the case. The next research topic is Chaos & Order.

How can events really come alive? To explore this question, 13 partners from the Lake Constance area, among them Kongresskultur Bregenz, founded micelab:bodensee three years ago. It was the first research and training platform for event organisers in the German-speaking world. Since that time the network has conducted three research labs and five learning modules, published two sets of documentation, launched a new web site and won two awards for innovation. Following the end of the Interreg funding phase, the platform will now continue to exist as an association independently run by its members.

"We have evolved from a pure marketing network to a centre of know-how on a lively culture of encounter in the events industry," leading partner and Kongresskultur Bregenz director Gerhard Stübe said at the anniversary celebrations in Wasserburg. "Along with useful insights for the industry, the project has built up a great deal of trust and solidified our network," a delighted Stübe told the audience. And the network continues to grow: Schloss Marbach will become a member of the association at the beginning of 2020. "Micelab is a good example of successful cooperation between partners from the four countries bordering on Lake Constance," said Urs Treuthardt, managing director of Convention Partner Vorarlberg.

Research focus: being human

So far in the micelab:explorer research modules stimulating impetus has been offered by forty specialists from various disciplines on subjects like Fear & Trust, Eros & Resonance and Me & Us. "Hardly anybody in the events industry does research into topics concerning existence and being human, and relates it to how events can be made livelier and more effective," explains Michael Gleich, who curated micelab:bodensee in partnership with Tina Gadow.

The next micelab:explorer, in autumn 2019, is about Chaos & Order. Tina Gadow: "In chaos there's a lack of structure, in order a lack of creativity. What interests us is the transition zone, because that's where things get lively." Possible future topics include Alien & Familiar, she says, asking: "How does interaction work with people who tick completely differently to me?"

Expertise and job satisfaction

The learning module micelab:experts takes up the research topics. So far 250 members of partner institutions have profited from the results. In future any member of the association will be able to hold a learning module; it will also take over the organisation and financing, if need by with the association's assistance. "In terms of content we have a free hand, providing it's in line with the values and quality standards of micelab:bodensee," explains Anja Sachse from St. Gallen Lake Constance Convention.

The focus is on the following aims: further improving expertise and advisory skills, self-development, maintenance of exceptional hosting, and publicising the brand micelab:bodensee. "Ultimately we're also in it to get new satisfaction out of familiar tasks," Sachse added.

Findings published

The research findings and learner experiences are documented in the series micelab:extract. Publications on Fear & Trust and Eros & Resonance have already appeared; other volumes will follow. New micelab modules are in development, we are told by those in the know. Requests have already been received from businesses seeking corporate event advice and staff training.

Photo at top: Roswitha Schneider
The network micelab:bodensee has every reason to celebrate – with a miniature Lake Constance in the foreground. Following the end of the Interreg funding phase, the successful network will continue as an association.


Research & Education. Interactive education platform.
Festspielhaus Bregenz Bühnenturm Ausschnitt mit Himmel © Dominic Kummer
An important stimulus for the event industry