A total of 92 participants joined the “Transforming Cultural and Integration Events amidst the Pandemic” Zoom webinar which had successfully concluded on 6th September 2020.

A “group photo” on Zoom prior to the webinar proper

SFCCA’s Social Affairs Committee Member and Integration Advocate, Dr Yun Jia, was the invited speaker. As an Internet professional, Dr Yun Jia shared with participants how to effectively use online tools such as Zoom for virtual meetings and events.

Online communication tools shared during the webinar

Dr Yun Jia highlighted that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, events have to be shifted online and can no longer be held the way they were – offline. For online/ virtual events, there are some abiding principles to follow; they must be dessiminable, participative, implementable and demonstrable.

Dr Yun Jia used SFCCA’s virtual Duanwu Carnival as an example

For illustration purposes, Dr Yun Jia used SFCCA’s virtual Duanwu Carnival as an example. For this event, the Social Affairs Committee specially designed a website, organised the “Duanwu Festival Youth Art Contest”, and developed the “Battle of Quyuan & Dumplings” online game. By analysing the web statistics after the conclusion of the virtual event, the organisers gained a better understanding of the event’s strengths and shortfalls.

Adding on to the above, Dr Yun Jia shared his sentiments on how post-pandemic events can be conducted. He mentioned that hybrid events (i.e. incorporating a mix of offline and online elements) can be organised to increase the impact of the event and to attract more participants. Lastly, he mentioned that event organisers can make effective use of an assortment of online tools/ platforms to better promote Chinese cultural and values, as well as national integration.

Online tools which are beneficial in promoting national integration

Dr Yun Jia suggested that event organisers ought to know the demographics of their target audiences and the content of the events can be modified accordingly to meet the needs of the target audiences. Event organisers ought to decide on the suitable platforms for the dissemination of information too. For example, many local new immigrants prefer using WeChat, and youth are more inclined towards using Instagram and TikTok short clips. Being able to aptly use the correct online tools/ platforms will allow event organisers to reach out to people of different races and backgrounds, and in turn, promoting social cohesion.

Before the webinar ended, there was a Q&A session where audience members had lively interactions with Dr Yun Jia.