Q: Challenging moments?
There are many! For example, when I would like to make a proposal for a non-standard event; when I need more breakout rooms than there are meeting rooms available under one roof; when I need more sq.m of exhibition space than there are in all the foyers of the hotel; when I need 3 different and appealing large venues for 3 evening social events outside the hotel; when I need more hotel rooms than are available at the time; when I need to find more parking spaces than the maximum capacity of the hotels and public parking areas; when I need to put myself in the shoes of a local CVB or a DMC; to create a great meeting scenario = an experience of a destination but with the main goal of selling as many hotel rooms, meeting area and F&B as possible.
And then there is also when I need to solve an overbooking problem… I will never forget how we once needed to tell a groom and his bride a few days before their wedding that they would not be able to have their wedding reception in their dream banquet hall, as we had a double booking with a large banquet of medical doctors that we were not able to move anywhere else due to the number of guests.
Lastly there is when I need to play so many roles: to be very practical when selling to a professor of physics, and very patient and creative when I am selling to a PR manager in one of the corporations.
Q: Dream event?
I have actually experienced a few of those and I would wish for more of that kind:
– IPCC Working Group II: 340 delegates from all around the world, staying for approximately 6 nights, using all three main hotels, one large plenary room, 30 breakout rooms, a welcome reception, a grand banquet dinner… so much publicity, receiving so much great feedback!
– The Presidency of the Republic of Slovenia of the EU in 2008: having high profile international events and hosting all kinds of delegations every week throughout the half-year period. I would be happy to experience that at least once more. J
There is also the ‘high revenue’ dream event: a corporate group of 80 people on some kind of training for a whole week in February (the lowest season!), using the meeting space for training, F&B services every day during the meetings, having at least two winter incentive trips into the mountains nearby, having at least two great evening events, and having no special budget restrictions – I would of course provide the Grand Hotel Toplice for them in the period when it is usually closed. J
And then there is the ‘high profile corporate client’ dream event: to have a client with few or no limits to the budget and who needs a really special evening social event within a few days conference for up to 500 people. I would propose an event at the Zaka beach area of the lake: with rented elegant white tents, appropriate furniture and decorations on the beach lawn, cocktail party style catering, a concert or DJ on a floating stage on the lake, with water curtains and light shows on the lake, with surprise entertainment acts from the Rowing tower and tribunes, and so much more…
Q: What’s your management style?
To be honest and fair, teamwork is important. I am not a dictator; conflicts need to be resolved immediately. I prefer to be a coach to my colleagues and share my knowledge, rather than do everything myself because I cannot trust anyone. Facts, details and accuracy are important with everything I am responsible for.
Q: What would your key management advice be?
Be fair and moral with the things you do and the decisions you make. Be confident about your opinions and explain them with good arguments. And if you have knowledge and professional attitude, authority and respect will be easy to gain from your colleagues and clients.