As everything is settling back into its pre-coronavirus tracks, the meetings industry is still waiting for the situation to normalize itself. Lifted regulations will not bring back business like nothing has happened, yet everyone is supposed to survive by their own means. We wanted to hear how meeting planners are coping with the situation, what COVID-19 means for their businesses and how they see the future of events.
SIMON ROŽNIK, Managing Director at Extrem
Q: How would you introduce yourself to someone who doesn’t know you?
I am the director of the Extrem agency, which is known for different, edgy events. We are about events where participants and spectators experience the unexperienced. We like to brag that we are experts in experiential marketing, and we especially like sports.
All these qualities of my company are reflected through me personally, as I really like playing sports, socializing, having sincere relationships with each other and I also enjoy new, unknown experiences.
Q: What is your love story with the world of events?
As a youngster, I organized local basketball and football tournaments. In general, I love sports and extreme ventures. Out of love, this turned into a business, so I enjoy my job every day.
Q: How has the coronavirus epidemic affected your business and survival?
At first, I didn’t want to believe this was happening. Then, unfortunately, we had to stop all activities. This was quite a shock for the whole team, but we stayed in touch and focused on designing new creative solutions in the field of events. So we have quite a few new ideas in the works with which we will try to diversify events in Slovenia.
Q: How long can you endure the quarantine as a company and as an individual?
As a company, we can withstand quarantine for some time, but the consequences of the break will be large. Above all, I would like to keep the team, which is really phenomenal! As an individual, however, I am now strong enough for the situation to not pose too much stress. Years ago, that would have been different. I can’t imagine the reaction if such a scenario hit me as a beginner in the business. It would probably be quite different and above all much more stressful. I’m not sure we could have picked ourselves up.
THEY OVERLOOKED THAT WE, AS EVENT PLANNERS, ARE THE MOST HANDICAPPED
Q: How satisfied are you with the country’s measures so far? What could be improved upon?
The actions of the government were aimed at making us all survive together. The only thing they overlooked is that we, as event planners, are the most handicapped. We must not and cannot carry out our activities; this fact should be taken into account by the government when looking after employees and the self-employed in our industry.
Q: How will the virus change the essence of organizing events – socializing?
I personally think next year will be the same as it was :) At least I hope so. It is human nature to socialize with each other. We also have a new idea on this topic that will see the light of day soon. In the future, we will need to be even more creative with our ideas.
Q: When do you think we will be able to move with full steam ahead?
Next year. Unfortunately, only when the vaccine is available.
Q: What comes after the pandemic?
Crazy good events! :)