Q: This year was the third time for RSVP Event. Can you tell us a bit how the festival evolved during these years?
Few enthusiast involved in various aspects of event industry (design, PR, management, A/V, light equipment…) gathered around the idea to create a space for all individuals or organizations working in the event industry. We (talking about enthusiast) wanted to create an event for events. And when we talk events then we mean all events, form small parties or new boutique opening to big conferences, music festivals or sports events. As professionals in event industry we know how much effort, sweat, stress, time and resources you need to build an event so we wanted to create space where this would be recognized and where event professionals, and ones who want to become one, can share their ideas and knowledge. Recognition is an important part of our work, so at the second RSVP (2017) we introduced ATTEND award.
Also, we saw the need to create more intimate atmosphere and to enable more knowledge sharing so we made more tracks with fewer people on each session. It really sparked more connection and family atmosphere. Participants feedback showed us we have chosen the right path.
On the other side, we saw an opportunity, and it was our idea from the beginning, to connect the region. We started to make partnership last year and this year there was an increase in regional attendees. And they were extremely happy to be a part of it. It motivates and gives us the inspiration to continue with our mission.
Q: What was the focus of this year programme?
We wanted to share more experiences and open space for new ideas. We set up basic topics: Sales, Marketing, Technology, Execution. To show speakers how to set the tone for their presentation, we gave creative names for each track: ‘How to sell ice to Eskimos’, ‘We know you want it’, ‘So last year’, ‘Be kind rewind’. But we didn’t stop just at names, we designed the rooms accordingly. Each room was unique and it reflected the mentioned theme.
Q: Can you tell us a bit more about this year programme? Can you highlight some of the speakers?
We opened the call for speakers. We didn’t know what to expect but in the end, as a result, we had some great presentations. To be honest I don’t believe that we would come up with such interesting topics. It’s hard and not fair to highlight only a few, but I know we don’t have a lot of ‘space’ to talk about all of them. There were two great keynote speakers. Jack Morton Worldwide’s Caspar Mason showed how AI, as the next big thing, is to shape event industry by creating extraordinary experiences for clients and customers. And then there was Bo Kruger from Denmark who presented 3 event trends, that will change the way we meet. To show the diversity and ‘out of the box’ thinking, it is good to highlight topic ‘Sound is IN again!’, Goranka Jednak Maksimović from Radio televizija Vojvodine showed why radio is a good choice, when to use radio broadcasting on an event and where to set the studio. Or ‘How to make a creative event where all the senses are open?’ presented by Sanja Drakulić, actress and Founder of Duart European Actors Platform. Through her presentation, she showed how to make people think more creatively in the field of events without following the same frameworks every time.
Q: About the Attend Award…the unbias international jury will grade the submitted works based on creativity, innovation and event results…Can you please explain a bit more about the methodology behind the grading?
The concept of grading is based on two key criteria that all events have – Experience and Content. Best description of Experience criteria is to put yourself in attendee shoes and try to get a feeling of venue look & feel, graphic design of the event, video/audio segments etc.
Content criteria are based on the quality of event program overall, activities on the event, the reason behind it, value etc. All events are graded in these 2 criteria with scale point from 1 to 10 (10 being the best of course). Those 2 criteria are added together to form the total average score of the event.
Q: Who was on the jury?
Snežana Subotić, Prototip Events, Founder, and CEO
Vartan Surejman – Swiss Import Promotion Programme under Swisscontact, Export Promotion Manager
Marko Bolković – Udruga Sonitus, winners of Best Attend Event 2017
Representative of Udruga Događaj – ogranization of RSVP festival
Q: Which criteria were the most important for the organizers?
We don’t have favorite criteria or that we are focused on a specific category. What we would love to see is that every category has a similar number of registered events. Now it’s not a case. Cultural and Non Profit events are for now most popular categories agencies submits to the festival, while sport and online events are those who have more or less always least events submitted. This is the thing we would like to promote more and create same balance within all categories.
Q: What was the importance of the “added value” and “creating results” criteria?
Both are part of Content criteria and it is something that is definitely part of final event scoring. We are always talking at RSVP festival about the metrics and how to get more for clients with an event. If the event is just there to happen and doesn’t have aftermath value, then every client will ask you on what exactly did you spend their budget on. So yes, it’s very important.
Q: What were your presumptions about this year’s award results and did they come true?
Our goal every year is to have around 100 events submitted. This year we had 70 events that participated in the award competition. Nonetheless, we had the closest battle between events regarding points. It was very small differences in all of the categories. So we are happy we’ve got maybe less by numbers by higher regarding quality.
We are using this opportunity to call into all who want to register the event for next year festival. Submissions are now open and it will be open until next year. So you don’t have to wait for the last moment, just visit rsvp.hr and do it. There is no limit on how much events you can register and submission is free.
Q: Now about the region…how would you position the region in terms of events, comparing to the other regions?
Well, event industry is very vibrant. It has shown steady growth because I believe more and more organizations see events as a great way to stand out, make a difference, bring customer tougher or build a reputation, to name the few. Also, we have a growth in the number of music festivals and sports event because people like to have fun and they are ready to spend money on it. Our region is following the trends and we see more and more events throughout the year. It is hard for me to make a comparison with other regions because I don’t have the number (and I’m not talking about MICE industry). What I can see is that as some country economy is stronger more money is being spent to make events more experiential for participants.
Q: What do you miss in the region?
More cooperation, more knowledge sharing, and more regional events. Hopefully, RSVP will bring the region closer. So if you (readers) have a great idea, want to participate in our mission or just want to come and have fun, you know where to find us.