How do you assess the current situation in the event organising market?
Event organising is an area that is constantly evolving. We are in a period when there are more events than there were in the past. Rises and falls are, as with all activities, also characteristic in the area of event organising. It is true, however, that we often perceive events as some kind of luxury or reward, even though with a properly segmented target group and well-designed events, excellent results can be achieved.
What are the key challenges for the Slovenian ‘events’ industry?
If we are talking about local challenges and real opportunities, there is still a relatively large limit in investments in events, and an overall view of their execution. We are not the cheapest agency, because we value the work of our employees and their knowledge, and we also use the best quality technical equipment for implentation that our partners regularly supplement and update. For individual industries or business challenges, we have various teams that complement each other. Clients frequently don’t have clearly defined ideas regarding what kind of event would be the most effective and far-reaching, therefore we often help them to design the content as well as execution of the event.
How has event organising changed in recent times?
In recent times due to increasingly developed techniques and other advancements, the field of event organising has significantly expanded and professionalised. Digitalisation of processes has opened up new options for preparing and implementing events, and, although the same time components are still required, such advancements have certainly shortened some processes of communication after events. The overall impression that people take away from events still remains the most important measure of quality and implementation.
What do we need to do in Slovenia to be able to host the most demanding events, so-called ‘A-productions’?
If you are asking about ‘incoming’ events, then Slovenia’s connectivity with the world needs to be at the forefront. I am disappointed that Ljubljana airport has not taken advantage of opportunities, as has Zagreb airport, to establish direct links with the Middle East via Emirates and Qatar Airways, and with British Airways on the other side of the world. This is definitely a shortcoming.
Slovenia is a beautiful country with many natural attractions, however, it is often the case that infrastructure is a problem for larger events. For a seated reception there are only a few venues in Ljubljana, only one hotel has a capacity to seat up to 350 guests, as well as two or three other locations. We are also lacking in workforce in the catering industry and in customer care. I am constantly reiterating and emphasising that genuine hospitality is still a problem for employees in the tourism industry. We are simply people who ‘serve’ others with our services.
In your opinion what is the key competence of event organisers?
Respecting clients and their needs. However, of equal importance is informing clients that they are perhaps thinking in the wrong direction. Frequently we are hired by companies that only rarely hold events, perhaps just once per year, and at that event they want to show and communicate too much all at once. I think that in such cases the principle ‘less is more’ applies. The target of an event needs to be clearly defined, as only in that way can the expected results and effects be achieved.
I must also mention the excellent team that we have in our company. I always emphasise the importance of attitude to work, most people can learn the craft.
Can you name an example of a great event that impressed you in 2017?
In my company, which specialises in event organising and has been present on the market for over 10 years, we organise a wide range of events that vary by theme as well as by extent, both for domestic and foreign clients. For 2017 I would maybe highlight the Eurocities conference, for which our client, The Municipality of Ljubljana (MoL), received numerous compliments from many European cities, among them Brussels. Organisation of the conference was very challenging and it was executed at an exceptionally high level. Our reputation for organising successful events was the basis for MoL’s trust in us in organising such an important project.
Throughout the years POP PROMENADA, the largest business event of PRO PLUS, is an example of an excellently executed event. Our client allows us the greatest possible creativity and invests in the event, both through its own resources and our advice for creative ideas.
A challenge of which I am particularly proud was the execution of two festivals that we organise as partners for the Slovenian Advertising Chamber. These are the Slovenian Advertising Festival (SOF) and the Golden Drum (Zlati boben). Organisation and execution of these events is highly complex as it not only involves congress and social programmes, but also a competition for advertisers.
What has been your most successful event?
Definitely those that have satisfied clients and participants. That is also our primary aim.
What is your favourite book, type of music, and sporting activity?
Books define us at in certain periods of life. At the moment I tend to read business and professional literature rather than fiction. I always have music on in the background, as it gives me positive and creative energy. A few times a week I go to ‘reformer’ and ‘gyrotonics’, which are the types of exercise that currently suit me best. I also walk a lot, I relax by taking my dog for a walk by the Ljubljanica river, this way I ‘breathe’ with the city.