Marek Farkas, Managing Director of ENJOY SLOVAKIA DMC, set the company up in May 2003 with the express intention of promoting Slovakia as a travel destination. A fan of Marketing and Sales, he enjoys his daily opportunities to show and to sell event possibilities in Slovakia to interested parties. His professional goal is to put Bratislava/Slovakia on the map as a successful MICE destination in Central Europe.
Q: Can you introduce Enjoy Slovakia DMC to us and give us a little background on your own history and experience with incentive activities and strategies?
ENJOY SLOVAKIA DMC was established in 2003 by me and my business partner, Maros Borsky. In those pre-Google days it was a completely different way of how to work and we started out by handling FITs and leisure groups. On coming into the Google age we’ve realised that we need to focus on different target groups if we want to stay in the market – we’ve learned from our own mistakes and have slowly grown into the MICE field.
We later became a member of Ovation Global DMC network and received lot of quality know-how and exchanged a lot of experience with other DMCs around the globe. We always try to come up with new ideas and experiences and our strategy is to offer only the services that we have personally tested and from the suppliers we trust. Our suppliers tend to be the best in their expertise on the market and this helps us to avoid any troubles with the realisation of projects.
Q: Which would you say is the most effective incentive programme at Enjoy Slovakia DMC?
The most time and cost effective incentive programme in Bratislava is our Rafting Experience at Cunovo Water Channel. If groups want to do rafting in other destinations people have to travel far from the main city and moreover the nature can sometimes be unpredictable, but here in Bratislava we can organise it right on the site and with the full infrastructure (dressing rooms, showers, all the equipment in the one place and a restaurant) and people feel very confident with this activity.
Q: You work with some big brands – have you found that there a particular industry or sector that uses corporate events/incentive activities the most, and is it perhaps private sector companies rather than public?
The public sector usually does just conferences and some social programmes, so we have never had the experience of incentive programmes for this sector. Our clients are from many sectors, however, with many of them from the automotive, medical, IT or construction businesses.
Q: Which activity proves to be the most popular when companies are at corporate events?
We have developed the Bratislava Digital Treasure Hunt and clients like it very much. It offers a difference from the standard sightseeing activities, as the younger generation prefers more interaction and does not like to stick only to the guides. The game offers an interactive way for discovering Bratislava through a number of tasks – from historical questions to tasks where the guests have to interact with local people in the city.
Q: Is there any advice you would like to give to companies planning a corporate incentive event?
I like it when company representatives come for a personal site inspection in the preparation phase of an event. This gives them the chance to experience all the suppliers and also to see how it fits into their plans. Local knowledge and contacts are important when doing business in Bratislava and there are many suppliers that might deliver a service perfectly, but have no proper language abilities. Many venues also are in public ownership, so the managers prefer to deal with us as DMC as they are not experienced or keen to speak directly to a client from abroad.
Q: What feedback do you get from groups at the end of their incentive events in Bratislava?
The guests depart from a Bratislava incentive event very positively surprised with what they got in a destination like Bratislava. They usually come to Bratislava with zero expectations, as the city is not very well known to people abroad, so they usually mention that they like the compactness, friendliness and safety of the city and they also admire that the transfer times to any activity or evening event are very short, very often just within walking distance, and that some places still offer an authenticity no longer seen in Western Europe. What is still a surprise for most of the event planners is the fact of the accessibility of Bratislava to the whole world. With the proximity of Vienna airport are all main destinations in Europe just within 2 hours flight and 35 minutes car transfer time from Bratislava.
Q: If you could return to the past or spring into the future, how old would you like to be, and why?
I am happy with my age and have no desire to be younger…and I am getting older every day without doing any extra work to achieve that :)
Q: If you could witness any event in history, which one would you choose?
I would like to go back in time to around 30AD, to the Sea of Galilee and have the chance to meet the locals there.
Q: What did you learn to do last week?
I am learning every moment and each meeting with somebody gives me a chance to improve myself. Last week I was at the workshop to learn how to make better relationships with people around me.
Q: What makes you smile?
To see miracles happen every day.