Call for submissions: Hands-On Digital 2023

The Center for Persuasive Communication at Ghent University, Artevelde University of Applied Sciences and the persuasive communication and Media Systems & Policy divisions of NefCa organize the ‘Hands-On Digital day 2023’. During this day, academic researchers and practitioners meet to discuss the latest trends in digital media and marketing. Academic researchers get the unique opportunity to present their research to practitioners and students.

This year’s theme will be ‘Branding in challenging times: A look at the future’. Brands are confronted with many challenges nowadays. The digital world offers numerous opportunities, but is also uncertain territory. The quick rise of platforms (e.g., TikTok, Metaverse, Twitch) and technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence and machine learning) have disrupted the media landscape significantly, facing brands with challenging decisions with regard to their online presence and the consequences this might have for their brand equity and imagery. At the same time, brands operate in challenging times, facing the crises that have arisen over the past years (from climate change to COVID-19, from the war in Ukraine to the resulting inflation,…). Hence, the question arises to what extent brand equity and brand connotations are crisis-resistant and how digital technologies may create opportunities in times of economic and environmental instability.

Researchers working on the topic of digital branding are invited to present their research to a wide audience of students and digital media and marketing experts. This will challenge researchers to valorise their research results and present them into a relevant and meaningful way for practice (no detailed statistics or technical hypothesis development).

The seminar will take place at Ghent University and the aim of the seminar is to unite researchers who are working on the topic in order to share research insights, work on issues and key challenges in this research field and create a future research agenda. In addition, this event will also provide a networking opportunity for researchers working on the digital marketing theme.

Preliminary Programme

  • 12:45 – 13:00: Kick Off (Liselot Hudders, Dieneke Van de Sompel & Marijke De Veirman)
  • 13:00 – 13:30: Brand experiences in challenging times (Jan Algoed)
  • 13:30 – 14:30: KeyNote Talk Lego
  • 14:30 – 15:30: Research Insights
  • 15:30 – 16:30: KeyNote Talk digital strategy
  • 16:30 – 17:00: Closing remarks


Ghent University, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
Campus Aula, Voldersstraat, 9000 Ghent (Belgium)


Researchers who want to participate in this seminar should submit an abstract of the research which they would like to present at the seminar in the sessions (max. 500 words). It is important to emphasize why the research would be relevant for the audience and how it fits the general theme ‘Branding in challenging times’.

It is also possible to participate without presenting your work. Please send an email to to confirm your presence that day.

Submissions should be emailed to no later than March 31st.

Suggested topics for these presentations are:

  • Digital branding and the challenges of targeting
  • The acceptance and ethics of Chatbots and voice assistants
  • The power of online video for digital branding
  • The challenges of social media for digital branding
  • The challenges of influencer marketing in digital branding
  • Diversity and inclusion in digital branding
  • Digital branding and vulnerable groups
  • Media branding

Organising Team

  • of Communication Sciences
    • Organising team: Liselot Hudders, Dieneke Van de Sompel, Tom Evens & Bram Uyttenhove
    • Ghent University, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Department of Communication Sciences, research group CEPEC (Center for Persuasive Communication) and research group imec-MICT (Media, Innovation  and Communication Technologies).
  • Artevelde Hogeschool
  • NefCa Persuasive Communication Division
    • Liselot Hudders (Ghent University), Sophie Boerman (University of Amsterdam), Sanne Opree (Erasmus University), Brahim Zarouali (KULeuven), Verolien Cauberghe (University of Ghent), Marloes de Brabandere (Ghent University)
  • NefCa Media Systems and Policy Division
    • Tom Evens (Ghent University), Erik Hitters (Erasmus University Rotterdam)