TOP 2018

Have you ever wondered just who the top influencers in the New Europe Meetings Industry might be? As the industry rapidly evolves, it is clear some key influencers actually have the same reach and draw as big companies, so individuals matter in a way that has never been possible before.

This time the Editorial Board of Kongres Magazine has assessed more than 110 influencers in New Europe after reviewing highlights from the meetings industry in 2018 and has based its assessment on several key criteria, such as:

  • Achievement of the best financial and other multiplier effects of the meetings industry in 2018, significantly deviating from the average;
  • Implementation of the most demanding improvements and innovations in their field, which also includes successfully implemented projects that have defined 2018;
  • Help in enhancing the reputation and profile of the meetings industry in 2018;
  • Innovations that facilitate the work of meetings organisers, or have in their own way steered the future direction of the industry.

Based on the 730 individually completed surveys, Kongres Magazine has analysed and shortlisted the TOP 60 most influential people. They have all contributed to the development of the region and our readers have chosen the best of the best. We have also added 2 newcomers in each category, voted by our readers.

The candidates have been divided into 6 categories, here's the fourth one



Founder and Managing Director of Baltic for events (EE)

As a board member of Baltiski Aljans OU, Mary Kirillova worked with PracticePanther Law, Sberbank, Deloitte, Audi Motors, British Petroleum, Milan Fashion Week, Gazprom, Lukoil and others. She also launched the Baltic For Events Forum and in the same year she became general manager of the Baltic Event Industry Club. She is also a founder of the Baltic events news blog and of, a global job search for event agencies and customers around the world, as well as a producer at OCTOPUS newspaper.


Gorazd ČAD
CEO at Toleranca marketing (SI)

Founder and owner of the marketing and congress agency Toleranca marketing, Gorazd has numerous years of experience in the planning, preparation and execution of major international trade shows and fairs. Having started his career in Cankarjev dom, where he project-led on fairs such as Infos, Kapital, Bits & Fun, Slovenian Wine Festival and many others, work in his private capacity has given him a long and multi-faceted experience of developing B2B trade shows, the most noteworthy of these being Conventa, Space, Natour and Hot-Rest.

Creative Director and owner of Bruketa&Žinić&Grey (HR)

Davor Bruketa together with Nikola Žinić founded Bruketa&Žinić OM agency in 1995, and renamed it to Bruketa&Žinić&Grey after becoming part of Grey Group in 2017.  As Bruketa&Žinić OM the agency won over 450 awards for advertising and design. Advertising Age awarded B&Ž the International Small Agency of the Year 2014 award, and Campaign listed B&Ž among the world’s leading independent agencies. On the global Effie Effectiveness Index B&Ž was ranked second among independent agencies in 2012. Bruketa is also a jury member of many prestigious international competitions.

CEO and co-owner of at GoOpti International (SI)

GoOpti adapted business module of low cost airlines and developed inovative system, that recognizes demand and with help of yield management and probability models maximizes occupancy of shuttles and offers atractive prices. Marko Guček was the leader of GoOpti’s digital transformation from being a transport company to becoming an innovative transportation platform, which provides shared and private airport transfers at affordable prices. From being a manager of a successful start-up, he has grown to the role of a mentor and a coach within the fast-growing international company GoOpti.

Boštjan MATKO
Managing Director at Hiša Vizij (SI)

Owner of Masters in Moderation (NL)

Masters in Moderation offers moderators for any target group, topic, and meeting format. Jan-Jaap In der Maur’s dream is to raise the standard of meetings worldwide, by providing them with the best moderators. His mission is to upgrade the moderator profession by training both professional and unexperienced moderators, offering personal coaching, in-company trainings and the very successful workshop ‘Mastering Moderation’. As a moderator, he’s well respected worldwide for his engaging approach of ‘objective based moderation’. Jan-Jaap is believed to be one of the thought leaders on the subject.

Marketing Director and Chief Meeting Designer at Slido (US)

Juraj Holub received the Young Hero in Meeting Design Award and was selected as one of PCMA’s ‘20 In Their Twenties Class of 2016’ for his work as a professional, speaker and writer in many activities that drive meeting design. Juraj is the editor of the Slido blog and contributes to several events industry media outlets. As a public speaker, Juraj Holub applies the meeting design principles to deliver interactive sessions at events such as SXSWedu, WEC, Social Media Week and IMEX.

Founder, Partner and Managing Director at PM poslovni mediji (SI)

All of his life he has been in touch with the art of efficient communication for he started his career in public Radio-television Slovenia. Today he owns and manages the biggest specialized content marketing, PR and media agency in Slovenia, PM, poslovni mediji (Business media). He has designed and led an implementation of more than 30 new media, magazines, newspapers, web portals and other media. He also founded the international expert conference on content marketing POMP Forum, and the Slovenian Association of Corporate Media.

Managing director at Teambuilding Academy (SI)

Dani Polajnar has more than 15 years of experience in training, coaching and events moderation. Teambuilding Academy is dedicated to developing team work in organisations through interactive workshops, active teambuilding programmes, personalised solutions, and modern teambuilding events throughout Europe. He has created a strong team of internal and external trainers who develop innovative and high-quality projects. Dani is a frequent guest speaker and moderator at different conferences and seminars. In 2009, he was awarded among The Best 10 Lecturers within the Slovenian market.

Co-founder of Weemss software and Eventex Awards (ES)

Ovanes is an entrepreneur with affinity for events, innovation and technology. He has 10+ years’ experience in event management, event marketing, and event softwares.

He is the co-founder of Weemss – the event management software used by hundreds of customers from around the world. Ovanes is also co-founder of Eventex Awards – possibly the most coveted and recognizable awards in the world of events. The whole team works 100% remotely with no physical office.

Newcomers in 2018, voted by readers


Co-Owner of Pepermint and Executive Director of Weekend Media Festival (HR)

Pepermint agency is designing and implementing special projects including concept, strategies for promotion and sales on the market, and project production. Boris Kovaček is also an executive director and co-owner of the Weekend Media Festival as well as Project Manager at the World Handball Championship, the European Water Polo Championship, Terraneo Music Festival, Asian Beach Games 2010. His last major project was launch of the first amusement park in this part of Europe – fun Park Biograd was opened in 2017.

Founder of MetalDays (SI)

Boban Milunović is, next to owning the biggest festival in Slovenia, MetalDays, where he is in charge of the entire management and booking, running also 4 other festivals: Punk Rock Holiday, Winter Days of Metal, MotörCity and Overjam Reggae Festival. He spent his whole life in the music industry, from playing in various bands and being a tour manager, to owning a recording and mastering studio, where he handled mastering and production. Boban is also member of Slovenian blues rock band called Stray Train.

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