This post is part of the VET Gazette 4
Valentina Mecca
VENHANS External Communication Expert


The success of an event can be measured considering some qualitative parameters and some qualitative variables. The former is constituted by numbers, for instance, the number of participants or connections generated, and the latter is participants’ and team members’ satisfaction. Each variable defines how much a goal was accomplished and how efficacious is the strategy that led to the accomplishment of that goal.

As the VENHANS Final Events Communication Expert, if Iook back at what happened in Brussels on the 20th and 21st of September 2022, I can proudly affirm that all the variables considered indicate a positive outcome, and all goals were accomplished.

The strategy beyond the organisation of VENHANS Final Events and its communication campaign was meant to reflect VENHANS’ and VET4EU2’s goals, namely boosting cooperation among EU Associations of VET providers and increasing the image and importance of VET in Europe and beyond.

Boosting cooperation among EU Associations of VET providers and increasing the image and importance of VET in Europe and beyond

On the first day, the Final Conference “Striving for Excellence, Training for the Future” inaugurated VENHANS Final Events at the European Parliament. The event was opened with a welcome speech and brilliant introduction of the project by Giulia Meschino, VENHANS project coordinator. Joao Santos, senior expert at the European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, followed by giving some hints on how the VENHANS project can contribute to achieve the objectives established for VET in Europe. The debate was enriched by some of the representatives in the VET4EU2 platform, Theodor Grassos (EVBB), Matti Isokallio (EUproVET), Arja Flinkmann (EfVET), and Marta Rodrigues (EURASHE), who discussed the legacy of the VENHANS project and how the work carried out in the three year implementation can serve the purpose of strengthening the cooperation within VET4EU2. The European Commission has put in place tools to support VET associations in promoting and giving visibility to their achievements and this was the core message given by Anna Barbieri from the European Commission in her presentation of the EPALE platform and the online Community for VET Practitioners. Finally, the first day of our Events ended with the final greetings and conclusions by Giorgio Brissa, president of EVTA, remarking the importance of acting together to ensure sustainable growth in Europe through vocational training.

On the second day, four different sessions took place:

  • the Networking Breakfast, an illuminating opportunity to exchange ideas and set the basis for new paths and cooperation in VET;
  • the International Thematic Experts Groups, four discussion tables aiming to provide policy recommendations on how VET can contribute to the achievement of four of the priorities of the von der Leyen’s Commission (Environment and Fight Against Climate Chante, Digital Transition, Participation in Democratic Life, and Social Inclusion and Diversity). 
  • the Go&Learn – Partnership between companies and educational institutions and the finalisation of PLR on internationalisation with three Balkan countries (Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro)
  • the Silver Experts Group meeting, the second gathering of senior experts involved in the establishment of the VET4EU2 platform and now called back on track to establish a consultative body for VET4EU2 

Some final considerations about the events:

The pandemic has reminded us of the importance of meeting face-to-face with no screen between, of networking primarily and most authentically, and now that we can come back to our in-person activities, it is fundamental to make these moments relevant for everyone. 

There has been a great synergy within the VENHANS Team. There was a great hype around the organisation of the event, that was conceived as people-oriented. After 2 years of renouncing in-person gatherings, the partnership aimed for a formal yet friendly reunion where the values and principles of the VENHANS project – internationalisation, excellence, and networking – could easily stand out in a professional and convivial mood. The best part of the whole event was the people: enthusiastic participants and distinguished speakers.

From the European Parliament to La Bouche à Oreille (venue of our second day), the events were surrounded by the spirit of cooperation, professional and human socialization, inspiring activities, and being environmentally conscious, with eco-friendly choices, such as locations, activities, and gadgets.

As a professional in international communications, participating in the VENHANS final events has been a considerable experience: full of human values and professionalism. The VET world has so much to offer: it can be the engine of the new economy, a new mean for peace and prosperity, and, as a person, a European citizen, and a professional, I am very proud that our paths have crossed.