They say that the only thing constant is change and change indeed has come to e-Estonia Showroom.
It feels unreal, but we’ve been welcoming delegates from different corners of the world already for 10 years and we have formed some great relationships over this time. We have shared the ‘estonishing’ Estonian stories to over 52,000 guests from 130 countries and it continues to grow each year.
The Showroom has hosted heads of states, ministers, investors and founders, international media, and members of academia. It served as a venue to showcase Estonia’s digital transformation bannered by well-known companies like Skype and Transferwise and public sector innovations such as e-ID and X-road.
Over the year, however, the function of the Showroom has evolved into a dedicated executive briefing center that shows how Estonia can be a partner in other countries’ journey to becoming a digital society, and thus the rebrand — e-Estonia Briefing Centre.
So what has changed aside from the name? Managing Director Liina-Maria Lepik explains what’s new in the e-Estonia Briefing Centre.
Why did the e-Estonia Showroom become e-Estonia Briefing Centre? What else changed besides the name?
Changing the name is always risky, especially if you have been in action for 10 years and we took it very seriously. A lot has changed in our concept, our premises and the way we offer our services, therefore, it was inevitable. The e-Estonia Briefing Centre is more focused on the content, more into building good leads, quality relationships and there is less to show and more to speak about.
What is the Centre’s mission?
The main mission is still to preach the e-Estonia story, to promote the digital society that Estonia has built. This is something we value and we will keep on talking about. But also we are now more and more focused on helping Estonian companies to export. And not only IT, but a larger variety of companies who are doing something digitally, something awesome. We are helping them to build those international links.
So if the last center, the e-Estonia Showroom, was more into talking about how Estonia has built its digital society then our new center, the e-Estonia Briefing Centre, is now more focused on the “we can show you how” side. There are different options how other countries can implement our services.
So right now, all of our premises are more focused on how other countries can implement our solutions and make their environment as easy, adaptable, and efficient as ours.
What kind of projects does the Briefing Centre run?
For the last 10 years, we talked about how Estonia became a digital society. This is a story we will keep on telling as much as possible. But we also want to engage the companies and to bring delegations to the Estonian companies.
Everything we offer in here, our digital expo, our interactive games, our physical expo, is focused on bringing the companies together with the delegation. We make custom programs to cater to a deeper interest as well. This is one to three days program, specially made for their interest.
We also have e-Estonia branding activities to showcase what we want the world to know about e-Estonia and the digital society.
Who can visit e-Estonia Briefing Centre?
Well, of course, a lot of people want to come, for tourism and entertainment purposes. And this is one of the reasons why we changed the name because we have less to show and more content to share.
Over the past 10 years, 52,000 people have visited us, from 130 countries, most of them are from the public sector but the private sector part is growing. We see more delegations coming over who are very interested in implementing our services as well. So those are our main focuses. We also welcome a chance to speak with the media and the academy.
How can people that cannot come to Estonia become familiar with the Briefing Centre?
Yes, this is one problem we are facing as well. The interest is big and a lot of delegations want to come, so we are working on different materials to share with the interested parties. We have our social media channels, we have a monthly newsletter digEST, and several other tools like our webpage. There are different toolkits and materials and our presentations as well, so we are welcoming all the interested parties to start from there. And if they are interested then we are welcoming them here.
What are VR Estonia and the Digital Expo?
VR Estonia is a platform we launched at the end of last year. This is also visible online and can be experienced in our centre and in Tallinn airport as well. This is like a teaser experience, to get to know more about the digital society and also a bit more about Estonia.
There are 10 different clips, introducing 10 different solutions, and also the president of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid is welcoming the users. Our previous president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, is talking about the future ahead. So this is a very good insight, a little bit of teaser of what is going on in Estonia.
Our digital expo is already more focused on the solutions. We have built the structure, we have built the path to our companies, to the e-solutions, to make the connection part with them as easy as possible.
So our digital expo is a great way to know what kind of solutions have been built here, what kind of startup ecosystem we have, and what is the future ahead.
What are the Briefing Centre’s long-term goals?
The long-term goals are now focused on building connections, to give our companies quality leads for future business and help them boost their exports. We also want to be more proactive. We are already going to different conferences as keynote speakers and we want to collaborate more with conferences, companies, thought leaders etc. And regarding the branding and the information sharing, we want to be more visible. One example is the Dubai Expo 2020 where our tools, materials and video presentations will be available as well. To attract more people, to find out what is going on in Estonia.
There are a lot of great examples and solutions that Estonian companies have built and this is a very good testbed for different solutions. We have built a great digital society and we can show you how to do it. So come to visit us, we welcome you!