influencers_creative_agencies

WHO IS WHO IN NEW EUROPE’S MEETINGS INDUSTRY

On 14th December 2020, the annual voting for the most influential people of New Europe concluded. The list of influencers was viewed by a record number of 9.430 readers, while 2.606 of Kongres Magazine’s readers cast their votes.

Since 2014, Kongres Magazine has been giving centre stage to the most influential people of New Europe’s meetings industry. When we prepared our first-ever list of influencers, our guidance was the following mindset. Would you decide to build a house without an architect or professional construction workers? The price you would have to pay for the amateur approach would be significant. Likewise, this applies to event organisation, one of the fields of expertise, where everyone seems to be an expert.

Thus, we decided to set structured criteria and requirements for nomination. Our list of influencers differs from similar competitions, as nomination has to come from a third party and not candidates themselves. We want the influencer list to be of help when you start organising events again, serving as a trustworthy directory of MICE professionals. This project is not a competition, but a serious platform that you can rely on. All nominees that were part of the voting process are presented in alphabetical order below.

I would like to sincerely congratulate the winners and all of the nominees on their impressive achievement and pledge to further develop and evolve the project in the following years.

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2021,

Gorazd Čad
Editor in chief

TOP CREATIVE AND LIVE MARKETING AGENCIES 2020

TOP 5 (with the highest number of votes)

Yemi A.D., Jad Productions
Vesna BEGANOVIĆ, Via Media
Zsofia DOBOS, BO Live Branding Agency
Ivo J. FRANSCHITZ, Enited
Vesna VLAŠIĆ JUSUPOVIĆ, McCann Sarajevo

Yemi A.D., Jad Productions

Yemi founded and now leads creative agency JAD Productions, with which he works not only for clients such as Google, T-Mobile, or Coca-Cola but also produces his own projects. Teniskology (a multi-day European sneaker festival), Ynspirology (arts, music and inspiration festival focused on Generation Y) and Cycles (disruptive, highly artistic immersive theatre). JAD Productions was awarded as Best Event Agency in the Czech Republic in 2014, 2015 & 2016, and received the World Best Event Award (BEA) in 2015, 2016 & 2018. Yemi’s team also won international awards for social media campaigns for Adidas Originals and product launch for Mercedes-Benz.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yemia1/

yemi_ad

Vesna BEGANOVIĆ, Via Media

“Great things never come from comfort zones”

Vesna Beganović, founder of Via Media, Via Media Dubai, and media agency Reach – the contractual partner of OMD and PHD (Omnicom Media Group). Brand building expert. Founder of the Branding Conference, the official partner of Cannes Lions for BiH. Has 25 years of experience in marketing, media, and communications gained in RTV USK, POP TV Ljubljana, McCann Zagreb, PS RTVBiH. Has extensive experience in agency management, regional and global communication innovations. Creativity and innovation that encourage business development are her passion. UNICEF Supporter and a mother of 3 children.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vesna-beganovic-3388b316/

vesna_beganovic

Zsofia DOBOS, BO Live Branding Agency

“People will never forget how you made them feel”

Zsófia is an experienced creative event professional working in the industry for over 20 years. She is the co-owner and managing partner of Bo Live Branding Agency since 2006. The company is an active member of the international 27NAMES, Europe’s live communication association. She still strongly believes in the power of live events. Therefore she kept her company busy with some projects supporting different communities together with their corporate partners during these challenging times.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zs%C3%B3fia-dobos-07022232/

zsofia_dobos

Ivo J. FRANSCHITZ, Enited

“You have to break eggs to make an omelette!”

Since the early ‘90s, Ivo J. Franschitz has been involved in the Business Events industry, although called differently in those days. He has enjoyed those three decades of a “roller coaster” ride. As an entrepreneur for the last 22 years, he has the freedom to make his own decision (and mistakes), to be bold and to take risks, and to do what he really loves. And he has not yet lost his appetite. His inexhaustible curiosity for new ideas and different perspectives as well as his search for the global, the bigger picture keeps him hungry for more. His ongoing engagement in a number of international Business Events organizations (e.g., 27NAMES, EMBA, ICCA and the LiveCom Alliance) speaks for his passion for this industry.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ivofranschitz/

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Vesna VLAŠIĆ JUSUPOVIĆ, McCann Sarajevo

“Change is the only constant in life”

Vesna Vlašić Jusupović is Managing Director of McCann Sarajevo for six years. She is creative by nature and her efforts have essentially always led in the same direction – towards the development and fostering of creativity and expression of new ideas through different channels. She worked as a journalist, music editor, and PR professional, but ultimately settled in the advertising industry where she obtained various positions for over twenty years. She is the president of the Music Information Centre in Sarajevo and gladly accepted guest at expert lectures and panels.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vesna-vlasic-jusupovic-a42ba2a/

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Photo Credit: McCann Sarajevo

ALL NOMINEES

In alphabetical order

Photo Credit: NLP Studio
Photo Credit: NLP Studio

Blaž AHČAN, Go.Green

Boasting over twenty years of experience in performing every imaginable task at the various stages of providing services in the field of corporate tourism (M.I.C.E., DMC, chauffeured transport services, corporate services for top-ranking or VIP clientele, organising protocol and other official events, etc.), one would be hard-pressed to find anyone more competent to make the vision of the Company come to life each and every day. Professionalism, Perfectionism, Sustainability & Trendsetting are Blaž’s focuses when working at Go Green.

Miro ANTIĆ, M2Communications

Miro Antic is a Co-founder, Chief Experience Officer, and Creative Director at M2Communications agency. He is also the Co-founder of NEO – New Entertainment Office production company and Digital X. Miro has over 15 years of international experience in marketing and business development. Since 2008 he has established several marketing agencies and content creation companies. He is an expert in the launching of premium brands and their positioning in highly competitive environments at the global market as well as the creator of multimedia projects and spectacular events. Miro has been elected one of The 100 Most Influential People in the Event Industry by Eventex. Miro is a Member of the Advisory Board of Austrian HR company P & P Executive Search and eminent business associations, Serbian Association of Managers (SAM) and AmCham, as well as one of the co-founders of SAMPLE – Young Business Leaders section of SAM. He was the leader of SAMPLE and a member of the SAM Managing Board from 2012 to 2014. He supports talents in sport, arts, and design.

Maja BABIĆ, Bagi Communications

Ivana BORAS, Projektil

Ivana has been at Projektil for 9 years but has more than 18 years of experience in dynamic project management and event business. During her career, she has had the opportunity to initiate, participate and lead the organization of projects and events for marketing, media and communication in the entire Adriatic region.

Gorazd ČAD, Toleranca Marketing

Gorazd Čad is a seasoned meeting planner, who has dedicated 25 years of life to the meetings and events industry. He witnessed the fall of Yugoslavia, the establishment of independent Slovenia, adapted to the internet revolution of the ’90s, overcame the economic crisis of 2008, the 2010 eruption of an Icelandic volcano, and the 2019 meetings industry burnout.

Ivona DABETIĆ JOVOVIĆ, Vision Events

Vision Event is a five years old event management, marketing, and PR agency, doing business in Montenegro. Ivona Dabetić Jovović is besides being the owner and director of the Vision Event, also a co-founder of the regional Convention of women of Western Balkans with the main idea of empowering women in society. She is also the founder and president of NGO „Brini o sebi“ with the main goal of promotion of self-care and prevention of breast cancer. She is a moderator and speaker. She is a proud mother of an 8-year-old boy.

Halász DOMOKOS, XTRM Group

Krešimir DOMINIĆ, Komunikacijski laboratorij

Krešimir Dominić is an account director in Komunikacijski laboratorij. In the last 16 years, he was leading teams and communications projects in Adriatic region for clients like Tele2, Nokia, PlayStation, Visa, P&G, Nike, European Commission and European Parliament. He lectures at London School of Public Relations and presents at business conferences. He can really play guitar.

ilya_gorbachev

Ilya GORBACHEV, Market Emotion

Florian HALDER, Startgate Group

Matjaž JUG, ETC Adriatic

Matjaž is an entrepreneur, start-up lecturer, co-founder and member of the accelerator KIKštarter and the owner of ETC Adriatic, a corporate events agency. He founded his first start-up in 2011 when he and his team built a camping booking solution. Afterwards, he continued his career in tourism as the founder of ETC Adriatic and in the start-up world as the initiator and founder of coworking spaces KIKštarter. He is also a member of the KIKštarter accelerator committee, where he participates in the selection of start-up ideas.

Stefan KOZAK, Creative Pro

Stefan Kozak is an action man and visionary. He managed to build an internationally recognized event and live communication agency. This year Stefan recreated the whole model of agency for creating virtual, hybrid & online solutions. He follows the motto “passion for moments” and this is reflected in every live and onlive event. He believes in his people and grows every year on international markets (Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland). CREATIVE PRO Group has received already a lot of national and international awards (Zlatý Klinec, ČEA, World Best Event Awards, Eventex Awards, Conventa Best Event Award). In addition to active management CREATIVE PRO Group, he is in charge of developing foreign relations for the association of event & live comm agencies in Slovakia – BTLka. This year, Stefan was ranked among the 50 most important innovators of virtual events and the TOP 100 most influential people in the event industry.

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Marko KRIŽNIK, Promo Agency

At Promo, they love what they do. For 30 years, they have been designing business events with authentic stories, a pinch of humour and a touch of extravagance, from presentations, anniversaries, launching of products, fairs, symposiums, conferences, etc., to inspirational team buildings and incentive trips.

Dennis LANTOS, The Events Group

Mladen LULIĆ, Paideia

Elena MELNIKOVA, Maximice

Rok MIŠVELJ, MPG Plus

MPG Ljubljana Managing Director with 10+ years of experience in marketing. Being a quick thinker, he can work well in multi-tasking environments, transforming ideas into manageable projects. Always looking for new challenges and business opportunities, he is a leader who motivates professionals to go above and beyond their own limits. With a focus on delivering top results and achieving continuous business growth, he is responsible for day-to-day agency management, team guidance and maintenance of client satisfaction. He always strives to create and achieve inspired moments, whether in his business or private life.

Norbert PYCHA, EventArena

Norbert has been in the event business for over 20 years. He co-built one of the biggest Czech event agencies, Event Arena. Besides, he also runs the event portal www.firemniakce.cz and organizes Event Fest, a festival for event professionals.

Dani POLAJNAR, Teambuilding Academy

Dani Polajnar is an event manager, author, lecturer and trainer with years of experience in fields of leadership and teamwork. He’s working with global corporations in order to support them in shaping their corporate culture with one objective in mind: making their employees happy, engaged and productive. His mission is to connect people through a large portfolio of corporate events, keynote speeches and leadership training. Dani is a founder and CEO of Teambuilding Academy (TBA), an organization devoted to building teams through hi-end events. In the last 13 years, TBA has organized more than 2200 events in 13 different countries.

Boštjan PRIJANOVIČ, New Moment

Boštjan is the Managing Director at New Moment for more than 6 years. Working in marketing and advertising has been a part of his life for 18 years and he already has 24 years of experience in advertising in the Adria region, where he handles 80+ brands. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Slovenian Association of Advertising Agencies.

Antonia RADIĆ BRKAN, Ex-Alto

Antonia is the co-founder and CEO of EX-ALTO Agency. For almost two decades she is providing experiential marketing and tourism services for most of Croatia’s important touristic and corporative clients. She believes in the transformation of a hotel stay into an experience and strives to actively participate in this process on the Croatian touristic scene daily. Antonia never stops with her new projects in destination management, education, hotel branding and organization of events. She savors travelling, experiencing new places and meeting inspiring people.

Natalija RACKOVIĆ, V+O Serbia

Rafeala RICA, Iceberg Communications

She has founded her own company 18 years ago. Today, Rafaela Rica is a founder and manager of one of the biggest marketing and PR companies in Albania. The speciality of the company is that the team is literally the foundation stone of its success for most of the team members are part of the company since its creation. Iceberg Communications works in digital marketing, advertising, creative works, events, decoration, and PR & communication.

Anja REBEK, Fabulatorij

Anja Rebek is a Senior Event Manager and Consultant at Fabulatorij.

Melinda REBREK, Pirana

Melinda started as a casting manager in the late ’80s. She climbed the ranks in TV & film production as a production manager, executive producer, script supervisor, AD, etc. She mastered event management in all its variations while freelancing for marketing and event agencies and finally embraced independence with Pirana Productions, doing it all – from TV shows to events, from ideas to final results. She is also one of establishing members and Executive Producer of LJFW – Ljubljana Fashion Week.

Igor SAVIČ, PM Poslovni mediji

Igor Savič is an event and media creator and manager, communication strategist, trainer and consultant. He deals with the most complex communications projects based on expertise and extensive experience gained through education in Slovenia and around the world. He is the founder and general manager of the communication agency PM, which deals with strategic communication and marketing planning processes, communications consulting and PR, design and production of modern communication tools, new electronic media, web portals, corporate magazines in print or electronic form, events, advertising campaigns, branding and design. PM is the leading content marketing agency in the region and part of the C3 network.

Ula SPINDLER, Pristop

With over 15 years of experience consulting market leaders in marketing and corporate communications, Ula is a globally-acclaimed and award-winning expert in business communication. She is the Group level Client Service Director. She successfully introduced event management and marketing public relations as new disciplines in the Pristop toolbox. Currently, she manages both of these fields as well as Pristop’s entrance into the B2C market with entertainment.

Csilla TRINN, Ambiance Events

Ognena VASILJEVIĆ, Momentum Skopje

Ognena Vasiljević has founded her own events agency in Skopje, Macedonia. In its first year of existence, Momentum Inc. signed three innovative, large scale projects – the Health, Fitness & Wellness Expo, the Fashion & Lifestyle Expo as well as Showtime. The projects have by now grown into a tradition and are pivotal to the development of the events industry in the country. The agency is also realizing a number of events for clients from the corporate and NGO sectors in the country.

Dieter ZAND, brandmood

HOW SELECTION AND VOTING FUNCTIONS

Candidates were assessed on the following key criteria:

• Achievement of the best financial and other multiplier effects of the meetings industry in 2019/2020 that were significantly above the average;
• Implementation of the most demanding improvements and innovations in their field, including successfully implemented projects that marked the year 2019/2020 as a special one;
• Help in enhancing the reputation and visibility of the meetings industry in 2019/2020;
• Innovations that facilitate the work of meetings organisers, or have shown the direction for the future.

Based on the criteria, we prepare the list and invite readers of Kongres Magazine to vote. The voting lasts for a month (this year from 13th November to 14th December 2020). In each category, we highlight five influencers with the most votes, while the rest of the nominees are presented equally according to alphabetical order. Each year, colleagues that received less than 2% of all votes are excluded from the list. The 2% was set as the threshold for being placed on the list (52 votes in 2020).

The selection is prepared by the editorial board of Kongres Magazine, consisting of five members. The editorial board ensures a comprehensive overview of nominations and oversees voting results. Thereby, the editorial board assures voting credibility. On request, individuals have the possibility of examining the selection results.