This year, two summer conferences have been combined to one. The entire conference is online due to the coronavirus pandemic. Over the next two weeks, a large technical crew will be ready to deliver virtual edification to all corners of the world.
By Johanne Reiersrud – Photo by Madelén Fjeld
Normally the large hall at the conference center in Vestfold would have been filled with close to 7000 participants by now. However, the summer of 2020 is different for almost the entire population of the world.
“There should have been people from all over the world here, and the hall should have been buzzing with many different languages”, says Berit Hustad Nilsen. Hustad Nilsen is Chairman of the Board and Communications Manager for BCC.
She is currently standing in the middle of an empty hall, on the outside of what looks like a large black box.
“Everything has been turned upside down this year, including the program for the conference as well as revenue from participants to cover the cost of renting the conference center and production of content. We have chosen instead to think creatively and share fellowship in new ways”.
When we go under the black curtain, a top-notch and modern interactive studio comes into sight. BCC is an international church, and we use many different tools to reach different target groups.
The possibilities with the new studio are by no means trivial. On the over 100m2 curved LED screen, hundreds of profile pictures are shown, representing members all over the world that have logged on. In the background, pricks of light glow on a world map showing where members have logged on from.
Over the next two weeks, there will be edification and activities online with involvement from members worldwide.
The virtual conference gathers 10 to 15000 members
Berit Hustad Nilsen says that the work done earlier this spring with developing a solution for an online alternative has been hugely beneficial.
“We have estimated that a virtual conference will gather 10-15000 viewers and have received excellent feedback after the online Easter program this spring”.
The organization has associated churches in over 50 different countries, and in many places, members have gathered locally to watch the transmissions together. Members can also send in pictures of the fellowship and activities they experience together, right from where they are, to share during TV transmissions.
Huge international participation at the online summer conference
BCC has «international diversity» as the theme for the summer and the TV production has received contributions from all the continents of the world.
“Volunteers have produced films presenting local churches. The films include glimpses of the different countries, cultures, and local church life. We believe that it will create a feeling of community and fellowship, even though we can’t meet physically this year”, says Hustad Nilsen.
WATCH THE VIDEO: Contribution from Holstebro, Denmark
The producers have hectic days ahead with program elements being broadcast morning, afternoon, and evening. The following program is being distributed from BCC in July:
- 4 faith-strengthening meetings for adults
- 2 meetings for youth
- 3 children’s broadcasts
- 3 informative broadcasts
In addition, there are suggestions for activities that can be downloaded at home, with tips for things to do, recipes for food, and competitions that can be done together with family and friends from where they are.
Participation from all the continents
In addition to edification from the elders of the church, involvement from members in many countries will be important for the online conference.
Every meeting includes elements from different continents, and this evening, preparations are underway for the first online meeting with edification and contributions from local churches in Europe. Introductory films, musical contributions and interviews are produced locally, and during the broadcasts, live speeches and testimonies from members worldwide are integrated. The media department has received films from approximately 30 local churches in addition to musical contributions.
WATCH THE VIDEO: Contributions from Hong Kong and Vanderbijlpark in South Africa