Interview with Nina Erneker on her perspective on the future of the meetings industry, how she has adapted to the “new normal”, and why the scale favours digital events at the moment.

“The scale favours digital events at the moment”

Q: Is there anything that can still surprise you in the current situation? How have you reacted to the situation from a business and personal perspective?

Well, there will always be situations that can surprise us. Anyway, it is in the nature of an event professional to be prepared for these situations and react accordingly no matter the stress, lack of time and resources, high-risk potential and sometimes even no clue what to do. But we always find our way.

My reaction was a retreat, as I have granted myself a six months sabbatical. Highly recommended ?.

Q: What are the wishes of your clients – do they wish live events to return, or is the scale in favour of digital events?

From a couple of professional discussions I had in recent months, I would say the scale favours digital events at the moment, but live or “onlive” events are something that they long to come back to as soon as possible.

Q: We cannot overlook the question regarding the future of the industry. Is the future of the industry bright? Do you personally believe it will come back stronger after the crisis?

I am personally a strong believer that we might need to rethink some processes, especially sales processes, and the way the event guests were treated in the past. I would say we will come back to the essence – the physical interaction of the attendees, quality time for connections and creativity plus comfort, sustainability and “breathability” of the events.


“Who is more capable of delivering reasonable solutions just-in-time than event professionals?”

Q: Can you give us a good practice case of organising events during the corona crisis?


Q: What is the best-case scenario for events in the second half of 2021? How will you ensure that events will be executed safely?

If we have learned anything in the recent year, then it is that the only constant is omnipresent change. The measures were changed from one day to another, the attitude and behaviour as well. So, if I shall answer your question, I would have to admit that I simply don’t know. I wished we were all allowed to meet and travel again, but ensuring that depends on too many variables.

Q: How effective were measures put in place by the government in your country? From the viewpoint of an event organiser, what did you expect?

I expected more coherence and joint effort from the professional community towards the government in terms of subsidy schemes, but as far as I have read the news ongoingly, it is probably the problem of several different destinations as well.

Photo: Pixabay (Canva Pro)

In the series of Slice of Life interviews, we try to get a look behind the business side of our business partners and well-known industry names. We explore what makes them tick and what occupies their day and thoughts when they are not at work. Click here for a glimpse of Nina Erneker in her spare time.

“I would say we as meeting professionals deserved more attention”

Q: How has the public opinion regarding events and event organisers changed during the corona crisis?

I can speak only for myself, how I perceive it so far. I would say we as meeting professionals deserved more attention, involvement and trust. Who is more capable of delivering reasonable solutions just-in-time than event professionals? No matter if it concerns Covid 19-testing organisation, vaccination or managing the critical infrastructure processes.

Q: It seems that the crisis is creating a gap between the creative and logistic part of the meetings industry. How do you see this situation?

I believe this is a temporary situation and that the gap will be diminished as soon as live events come back on stage.

Q: During these times, what does your regional area represent to you? In this context, how does the slogan “think globally, act locally” apply?

Slovakia is re-establishing the national Tourism Board at the moment, so the expectations are quite high. One of the main narratives operates with sustainability, big data collection and measurability, so let’s hope this is the application of your slogan.

Q: What do you see as your greatest achievement? What are you particularly proud of, and how would you describe your exit strategy in a few words?

I am still too young for epitomizing my greatest achievements, I guess ?. I am definitely proud of all the small and invisible day-to-day steps we made in accordance with our MICE strategy in Bratislava.

Well, sometimes the best strategy is not to have a strategy for a while, so I literally planned an exit to rethink and reinvent myself. What comes out of it? Let’s keep it organic and wait for the “invitation”.

Q: One last question, which we ask all our colleagues – High Tech or High Touch?

High Touch, of course ?.

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