MEET THE ROCKSTARS OF CONVENTA CROSSOVER 2021
Every year, Conventa Crossover invites world-renowned meeting planners, marketers, entrepreneurs, and creatives to share their knowledge in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This year won’t be any different – inspiring individuals who have helped co-create and transform the meetings industry will come together from 26 to 27 August 2021. At the same time, we will be opening the stage to a new generation of young and talented meeting planners and marketers. You will learn from keynote speakers who have successfully transformed their events and are recognized as the pioneers of our new reality.
Joining the 6th Conventa Crossover conference is Inese Lukaševska, founder and leader of agency “Luka” – specialized in corporate, cultural, and art sectors. Before you meet her at Conventa Crossover 2021, we wanted to hear her thoughts on the future of the meetings industry and see what surprises she has in store for us.
Interview with Inese Lukaševska
Q: What do you think about the theme of this year’s Crossover – The Meetings Industry AC/BC (After Corona/Before Corona)?
The events have experienced and continue to experience a drastic hit. Even though many things can be done virtually, many people believe that there’s nothing quite like a face-to-face meeting.
The bad news is that the times have changed and unfortunately this online or hybrid event format is going to be our daily routine, and I would even say an integral part of every day in the future regardless of the situation around the world.
So, how to change, grow and acquire new knowledge and implement it in practice? How to be flexible, goal-oriented with a focus on sustainability? How to place the content and provide an attractive experience over the form? How to see things in a broader spectrum and to create projects with different industries combined, not only the event industry alone?
These are just some of the topics that will be on the agenda for a long time. It is great if we have an event where we can exchange experiences, views and work together to take a step towards industrial renewal.
Q: What is your forecast for the meetings industry in the coming year (2022) and beyond?
“PEOPLE HAVE DEVELOPED A THIRST FOR REAL, AUTHENTIC CONTENT”
Unfortunately, or fortunately for some, all things virtual are here to stay. A different question is how and why they will be used. Some will use it as a personal goal by believing that this is the trend of the moment or as a tool to save up on budget. But others will use it because it is the most appropriate form of designing an idea and achieving the strategic goal.
At the same time, the question of authenticity becomes more and more topical. The period of Covid proved that people are striving for authenticity more and more with each day. For real, not artificial environment. For real not artificial communication. Real feelings not emoji symbols. People have developed a thirst for real, authentic content, which causes a storm of emotions in them, which becomes an occasion in their lives, which makes them realise the importance of the moment and the value of the gained experience. Therefore, the viewer will be more demanding and will require a content, which makes them experience something authentic, real, genuine, where it can truly believe in every utterance, where it can feel in sync with nature, environment and itself, where it does not have to consume fake content and does not have to lie to itself. Where everyone can be themselves.
At the same time, this desire for authenticity will not mean striving for simplicity. Actually, it is the other way round. Unconventional, new solutions, convergence of industries, even scientific experiments all will play increasing role in creation of authenticity and relative simplicity. Representatives of different industries, even from relatively distant from the event industry, will have to collaborate in order to find new forms of addressing audience, an innovative way of content manifestation, which will not only let the event industry reveal itself from an unexpected viewpoint, but also provide opportunities for development and collaboration to people from different sectors.
My agency has been implementing such solutions in event realisation for several years already. This means thousands of experimentation hours. At the beginning, when we started this journey we were looked at as freaks, now many consider it as a must have trend, which is actually just at its starting stage.
Q: How do you envision agility and innovation in overcoming the corona crisis? Can you share some examples of best practices?
At the end of the last year we won BEA World contest in both nominations. What is more, those were not large calibre culture events but internal communication low budget events.
Although, the competition was fierce, an unconventional idea, very brave solutions and an innovative outlook on the event creation process as such helped us to win. For example, if we usually enjoy the end result of an organised event, no matter if that is a concert or a play, then this time I decided to reveal the event creation process from the moving in in an empty or untidy venue, the event structure, the development of the scenario up to the very realisation. We built the whole event in front of the audience!!! Even the stage, lighting, decorations and the viewers – we involved them in to the creation by turning them into the organizers of the event. A decision to build an event in front of audience in just 40 minutes was an absolute madness. Even more so because the viewers in definite roles had to take part in the making of the event, and this directly could affect the result.
Each episode was created like a movie scene, directed and filmed, and when the director felt satisfied with the scene, everybody heard the word – cut! The event venue was transformed three times each time when the mood, a particular filming episode and event scenario changed. The guests were led through levels of emotions – shock, chaos and euphoria.
I have also started to collaborate with Germany, USA and other countries. At the moment, we are working on a very interesting project where a virtual gallery and an art exhibition will be made with a view on a process of creation from a perspective of different culture personalities. The viewer will have the opportunity to compare the way a composer, director or painter sees the world. Taking into account that this project is still in the making, I do not want to reveal the details, but I can say that a project like this has never been created and to create a contemporary art exhibition like this a scientific research was carried out. In the result, a photo camera system was created to make the material necessary for the exhibition.
A creative and unconventional idea as well as experiments with shape is a fundament of all our projects. But these experiments carried out by the representatives of different sectors is not some sort of personal goal, but an absolute necessity so that we could divulge the idea and bring it to the viewer. But that is not all. The fact that we not only create but also realize these ideas is a proof of our courage. Courage to take risk. Courage to not be afraid to present them to the viewers. Courage to stay true to ourselves and our vision. Therefore, as much as I would like to talk about creativity, primarily, we have to talk about courage. Because there is no sense in sitting in dungeon believing that you are a Picasso, if you have no courage to exhibit your work for the assessment of audience.
Q: How would you comment on the following statement? “Coronacrisis has shown the need to organise events that are responsible to the environment, the participants and the community as a whole”
“IMPLEMENTATION OF SUSTAINABLE EVENTS TAKES HUMAN, FINANCIAL AND TIME RESOURCES”
The question of sustainability is not new anymore. A different question though is how this sustainability is understood and what is the aim of using it. Because unfortunately, people often do not have the depth and understanding of what and why they do it, who they do it for and what is it that they want to say.
When we create and implement any solutions in the architecture of our events, we make this question a priority – SO WHAT will change if we add or on the contrary take out any of solutions, what is it that we want to say, what impact will it leave and whether it is the right way to express the idea. And only then if we get the positive answer to all of our questions we include the particular solution in to the concept of the event or programme. If the answer is negative or just maybe, or we can also do without it – we search for new ideas.
Implementation of sustainable events, without doubt, is a continuous and thorough work, which takes human, financial and time resources. But primarily – understanding. What is the goal of it, because sustainability with the recognition of your responsibility as a foundation, is one of the self-evident company development preconditions, and not a tag to hang on corporate sites.
Q: What will you surprise us with at this year’s event?
My view on event creation, on what we want to express with our works, my personal experience and my life’s journey have let me achieve 9 victories in all world’s biggest contests. We have won in art and culture categories as well as in internal and unconventional, innovative idea sector.
During my speech, I will tell my personal, very emotional and at the same time harsh but also beautiful story about my journey to the top of the world, which I begun in the moment when I felt my professional life had been destroyed. I hope that this story will serve as an inspiration to everyone working in this industry and to never give up no matter what the other say or do. A person can do anything and only the sky is the limit. Of course, if only our desire to win is stronger than our fear to lose.
Inese is the founder and leader of agency “Luka” – specialized in corporate, cultural, and art sectors. She loves to integrate unconventional ideas and “out of the box” solutions in her events, turning the events into special occasions, where a special role is assigned to design communication. Her agency has won 9 awards in the biggest event industry competitions since 2019 in art and culture, as well as, internal communication categories. She is the winner of BEA World 2020, German Design Award 2020, Eventex 2019 and others.