Ana First, Director of Sales at Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort, Croatia
Q: How would you describe your job?
My job (the best in the world) is to help in creating demand for people to enjoy travel experiences in destinations we operate and Falkensteiner hotel/s by achieving targeted revenue and other values.
Q: What advice would you offer to all soon to be working in marketing in the meetings industry?
To be relentless and persistent in pursuit of competitive advantage in one’s work. That is indeed demanding and requires lot of self-motivation, but it is possible.
In addition I would advise all young professionals to attend as many travel industry events as possible and to do cross exposures in big worldwide business hubs where the event industry flourishes – it is creative, diversified and inspirational.
Q: How to develop talent and how to help people grow to the next level?
This requires a broad and elaborate, as well to a certain extent scientific answer, as developing talents and people growth is a special field of human resources. However, and in short, it is important that a company nurtures and possesses a development culture as well as tools for motivation and rewards both of intrinsic and extrinsic values.
I am happy to be working for a company that nurtures the development of staff as one of the core values of its existence. That’s why we have the Falkensteiner academy, through which we develop and grow our people. People should be looked at as human capital, not only as a task completion work force.
Q: What are you most excited about at the moment?
Achieving a work-life balance excites me the most. Being productive and efficient but not overworked or burnt out.
Business-wise I am excited to see that destination Zadar is developing in the direction of attracting more and more millennials that bring an interesting and new outlook to what they seek and request from a destination. I am excited to be part of that change.
Q: Your advice/suggestion for turning a boring event into a memorable one?
I think with a bit of humour and improvisation you can do a lot. I remember when I was still a MICE coordinator that we managed to elevate events with some last minute creative solutions, good presentational skills and some self-observant humour.
Clients, in essence, do react well to it.
Q: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
It is hard to remain in bed sleeping when you have a dog. Every morning at 07.00am he is so happy to take me out for a walk J
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I am trying not to think and plan in five years periods. However, I see, or hope for, three things for myself: health, mindfulness and laughter.
Q: What kind of knowledge will participants of Conventa Crossover gain from listening to your lecture?
I hope that participants will get inspired about the trends in the upscale leisure industry and, provided the relevance of this information to their personal businesses, choose to apply some of them.
We will be discussing international trends of top end leisure travel that have changed dramatically under the influence of technology and with globalisation so many of these trends are applicable to the domestic surroundings. I would love to see participants take some of these trends home.
Q: What do you expect from Conventa Crossover?
I personally expect to learn a lot from key speakers and audience comments, to have fun and to share the positive vibe of the Conventa movement.
Ana First is the Director of Sales at the Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort near Zadar in Croatia. She is responsible for implementing sales strategies through different market segmentation and opening of new markets for the region of North Dalmatia. In addition to this she participates in the positioning of Falkensteiner Hotel & SPA Iadera and Punta Skala as a lifestyle property/destination.
Before joining the Falkensteiner team Ana worked as the Cluster Sales Manager MICE at Hilton Imperial and DoubleTree by Hilton Zagreb, Dubrovnik/Zagreb. For a long period she was the Head of Department MICE at Elite Travel of Croatia, a DMC actively participating in the development of Dubrovnik destination as a preferable MICE one.
She is passionate about lifestyle properties/hotels sales & positioning, the event industry and destination management.
Ana holds a BS in Hospitality Management from RIT and is currently enrolled on a Masters in Hospitality Management from the Free University of Bolzano, Bolzano (Italy).
Join meeting planners, meeting providers, congress destinations and professionals working in tourism and marketing at Conventa Crossover conference, international conference dedicated to the future of MICE and travel marketing.
When & where: 29 – 30 August 2016 in Hotel Lev, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
“We are absolutely delighted that so many speakers have announced their presence already at this stage, and we know that there are many more to come,” says Conventa Crossover founder Gorazd Čad