Meet the Flemish Department of Education and Training, a government organization using Hopin to inspire thousands of student teachers

Meet the Flemish Department of Education and Training, a government organization using Hopin to inspire thousands of student teachers
PLANNING A NEW KIND OF EVENT

Bringing cultural education training to life

The Flemish Department of Education and Training leads education policy in the Flanders region of Belgium, a Dutch-speaking area in the north of the country. The organization’s mission is to provide quality education to all by encouraging dialogue between those who learn and those who teach. The Department manages KlasCement, an online platform of teaching resources, as well as a magazine that covers topics such as life in the classroom, politics, and advice. 

Within the Department is the CANON Cultuurcel division that focuses on cultural education within schools. CANON Cultuurcel runs a free annual event called Culture Days, which shows student teachers how to incorporate cultural elements into subjects like math and science. After the success of their first virtual Culture Days event in 2020, the Department was eager to host the 2021 edition on Hopin.

Hopin provides the high engagement and flexibility the Department of Education needs. As a result, they run everything from small interdepartmental meetings to large-scale virtual conferences hosting thousands of attendees.

“When someone [from the Department] comes to us and says, ‘We want to organize an online event,’ we can say, ‘These are the different features in Hopin and you can choose which ones you want.’ We see that in a year with Hopin, there are many different uses." –Katrien Bernaerts, Event Coordinator Knowledge Center Digisprong, Flemish Department of Education and Training
Barefoot children onstage with arms crossed on chest and eyes closed
Barefoot children onstage with arms crossed on chest and eyes closed

"In Hopin, you have the stages, you can have sessions, you can have an expo, you can have a networking component. That made our decision easy. We said, 'Yeah, Hopin is the platform that we will choose because it's one platform and we can do it all.'"

Katrien Bernaerts
Event Coordinator Knowledge Center Digisprong, Flemish Department of Education and Training
IT’S SHOWTIME

Connecting thousands of aspiring teachers

Culture Days 2021 had an onsite element streamed virtually as a high-quality, branded livestream. Speakers combined educational talks with things like dance and storytelling. Attendees could choose from a broad range of interactive sessions including yoga and music lessons. All of the sessions aligned with CANON Cultuurcel’s mission of boosting culture in the classroom, and they were designed to encourage participation. For example, one session featured a scavenger hunt that prompted attendees to find specific objects in their homes to win prizes.

Attendees shared their thoughts and asked questions using Hopin’s chat, Q&A, and polling features, as well as the platform’s integration with Slido. The interactive nature of Culture Days truly engaged attendees, and helped spark communication among a wider group of student teachers.

Shifting first to virtual and then a hybrid format expanded Culture Days’ reach. When the event happened in person, many attendees faced long journeys from remote regions of Belgium. The audience size was also limited by the size of the venue, and attendees usually stayed with people they already knew. Hopin cleared a path for guests to connect from anywhere and network with fellow student teachers located hundreds of miles away. A popular ‘speed meeting’ session — using Hopin’s one-to-one video networking functionality — even gave attendees a fun way to initiate professional relationships. 

Staff at the Department of Education and Training used Hopin’s integration with Kahoot to host a quiz at the end of one session, and invited attendees to brainstorm using Miro. These integrations helped create a truly immersive experience for student teachers no matter where they were located. 

"We get feedback from our teachers and school leaders where they say, 'If you do an [in-person] event in Brussels, we have to take a train and we are leaving two hours before the event. We have a day or a half-day at the event and then we have to take the train back home again. [Now], I set up my computer at 9:20 a.m., and I'm on. I can follow much better, and I don't have to go [all the way to] to Brussels!'" –Katrien Bernaerts, Event Coordinator Knowledge Center Digisprong, Flemish Department of Education and Training
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How Hopin’s features helped the Department advance cultural education across Belgium

Hopin’s interactive features, integrations, and RTMP-powered broadcast sparked more conversation at Culture Days than ever before and delivered a professional, on-brand livestream. 

  • Expo: Cultural organizations and partners shared information in virtual expo booths. They offered helpful educational materials like lesson plans, presentations, and video tutorial links. Student teachers could also network directly with staff from the organizations.
  • Live Streaming: The Department used Hopin’s RTMP functionality to produce a professional, branded livestream with high-quality content, including music, keynote speeches, and dance performances
  • Networking: One of the highlights of Culture Days is bringing attendees from different parts of Flanders together. The Department set up a popular ‘speed meeting’ portion of the event that allowed attendees to participate in fun, three-minute video networking sessions. They also used it for a special session where attendees were connected randomly and then had to work together with their new partner on a project. 
  • Integrations: Shareable digital sticky notes on Miro and word clouds in Slido sparked deep engagement among attendees.
  • Customizability: The Department incorporated its colors and visual identity throughout the event to keep the experience on brand.
  • Replay: Student teachers could access a virtual goody bag of sessions after the conference, creating long-term impact for the Department.

"We use Hopin's integrations with Miro, Slido and Kahoot. And we see that if you use these tools that you have more engagement from attendees."

Katrien Bernaerts
Event Coordinator Knowledge Center Digisprong, Flemish Department of Education and Training
HOW IT TURNED OUT

A bright future for cultural education in Belgium

More than 1,600 student teachers joined the virtual portion of the two-day conference in 2021, along with another 600 in-person attendees. Department staff also reached the level of interactivity they were hoping for, with more than 4,400 chat engagements and an average attendance time of almost eight hours.

Culture Days’ potential audience grew by about 900 people, since many student teachers were previously unable to attend in person. Hopin’s in-depth analytics and reporting features also helped the Department prove the positive impact virtual and hybrid events can have on teacher training. 

"It's nice to have the analytics and reporting to show that our events work. Attendees come to these online events and engage." –Sofie Donders, Event Coordinator CANON Cultuurcel, Flemish Department of Education and Training 

The ability to drill down on attendee engagement has also been beneficial for teacher trainers, who can see how much time each student teacher spent on Hopin, and award attendance certificates accordingly. Chat transcripts and Slido results have also proven to be helpful tools in analyzing and improving training programs and event strategy — both internally and for partner organizations.

The Flemish Department of Education and Training take advantage of Hopin’s Replay feature, which allows them to record and distribute key sessions as part of a post-event communication strategy. This has helped their team extract long-term value from its content and build an ever-growing library of useful resources for trainee teachers.

The Department now plans to host a mix of in-person, hybrid, and virtual events to cater to different audience needs. Shorter events are likely to take place virtually, while multi-day conferences will typically adopt a hybrid format. 

1,600

Attendees

7+ Hours

average attendance duration

4,453

Chat engagements


8

Average NPS score

505

Networking connections

"The event went very smoothly [...] The reactions from the participants were very good. The evaluations gave a number, 8 out of 10, so that's excellent. And also, the speakers liked Hopin because it's easy to use."

Sofie Donders
Event Coordinator, Flemish Department of Education and Training 

Lots of virtual audience buzz

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