IHG Area General Manager
Živorad Vasić graduated from the college in Boston (USA). At the University of Boston he earned two degrees: one in the hotel management and the degree in finance. From October 2015 he has been responsible for the project InterContinental Ljubljana by InterContinental Hotels Group. In 2017 he was appointed as IHG Regional General Manager for InterContinental Ljubljana and Crowne Plaza Hotel Belgrade.
Q: What do you love about your job the most?
I can’t answer the question about what I love about my job most because I simply love my job. I have been working in hospitality industry for a long time. I graduated from the Boston University the hotel management in May 1999 and I started working in hotel industry on June 1st, 1999. It’s been 18 years and there hasn’t been a single day in my career that I wouldn’t wake up feeling happy. I can’t picture myself working in any other industry. Hotels are my passion, something that I love and something where I face new challenges every day. Each and every day I learn new things. One thing I could highlight is the fact that this industry never sleeps. The hotel works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Q: Where do you see the biggest opportunity in marketing and MICE industry?
I think no hotel can make a great profit and be a great hotel unless you have MICE segment covered and that MICE segment always depends on the sales team. The sales and marketing teams are the ones that really deliver and as a general manager you are there just to make sure that you support them and that they have everything they need. The opportunities in MICE industry are not just opportunities, they are something you must have in order to make a hotel successful.
Q: How do you deal with marketing jungle on daily basis?
I do not see marketing as a jungle. I am surrounded by the people who in the everyday world deal with different marketing opportunities. Our marketing manager in the hotel delivers what is needed. Of course hotels are moving more and more towards social media because it is not only the cheapest way of advertising but also the most effective way of advertising. That’s why I think that what creates a great hotel are the relationships in the marketing world so that you know where to advertise and that it doesn’t cost much and I think that our marketing team does it’s best in that respect.
Q: How did the best events you attended so far make you feel?
I attend many events but the ones that are always dearest to my heart are the ones in our hotels and every event is special itself. I think that for an event isn’t only important how much money a client spent but also what kind of energy is at an event. I like to attend happy events like parties and weddings but I also like to attend corporate events, fairs, I like to see students, I like to see interviews for airline companies, I like to see cocktails. At each event you learn something new. Recently I have been at a GM meeting of InterContinental Group in London and I learned how you serve a restaurant menu in a banquet environment. It felt special because I learned something new. What is important is that from each event you learn something better that you can do in your hotel to make it more special next time.
PERSONAL – BACKGROUND
Q: Looking at your bucket list, what is the one thing that you really wish to cross off until the end of 2017?
I always take pride in my team and the team takes pride in results. I would like to see the end of 2017 with 8/8 in our winning metrics, meaning that all KPOs have been achieved.
Q: If you could have dinner with anyone (alive or dead), who would you have dinner with and why?
There are so many people I would love to have dinner with. If there was one person right now that would be a quarterback for the New England Patriots Tom Brady. To win five championship rings and to come back last year on the toughest Super Bowl game with 27 points behind is something really special. It is special to see someone who believes in success and never gives up and is always ready to win. I think that during that dinner I wouldn’t eat anything, I would just ask many questions because for me Tom Brady is a really special person.
Q: What would you share with our participants if you would have only one minute?
One minute is a lot but in one sentence I would say to people to try to always be happy and to enjoy every moment of whatever they do because life is too short.
Q: What are you bringing to Conventa Crossover?
I bring experiences from the USA and Europe. I bring the personality that is always ready for new challenges and experiences in the hotel industry. I have done more than 15 hotel openings and this is something I really enjoy doing.