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Kongres Magazine talked to Olga Krzemińska-Zasadzka, Managing Director at Power Agency, who was recently named among the top representatives of the 10 Most Influential Meeting Agencies 2021. Olga shared her advice for newcomers in the meetings industry and expressed her opinion on the future of events.

Q1: What does the title of the industry’s most influential individual in the region mean to you?

It is an honour to be among the TOP 10 most influential people in the industry in New Europe. Especially to appear on the list next to Andrzej Hulewicz, the icon of the Polish tourism industry, the person who is considered a precursor of the meetings industry in Poland, excellent leader, and businessman, whom I have been personally admiring through all the years of my career.

The industry awards are something that gives us hope and strength to work together for a better tomorrow. In these difficult years of the pandemic, we face many challenges in our daily work, such as closed countries, changes in the market demand, and fast-changing regulations in every country. It feels good to stop for a moment and participate in such an event where we can inspire each other. Industry awards are something that gives ideas for a better tomorrow.

Q2: Can we say that you are a newcomer in the meetings industry? What inspires you?

I agree with what Andrzej Hulewicz said in his recent interview for Kongres Magazine. He says that the last two years of the pandemic made him a newcomer again, which is true for all industries. We are in a new market situation right now, and it feels like a new beginning.

I am a former athlete and an entrepreneur with 16 years in the event industry and 25 years of experience in the travel industry. I am inspired by people who can set goals and achieve them. But I am also tremendously inspired by people from our industry who can see past the interests of their companies and act for the common good and industry development.

In Poland, during the pandemic, we took up many initiatives that united our industry in the framework of industry associations and initiatives, such as SOIT or TUgether. From this place, I would like to acknowledge the enormous contribution of my colleagues from the industry who have been active in these initiatives and associations.

Q3: You have contributed a lot to the development of the meetings industry. What would you say was your greatest achievement so far?

The pandemic was the biggest challenge I have faced so far. This time, especially in Poland, in the currently very unfavourable political conditions, was a real struggle for the survival of our industry.

It was possible thanks to the unification of the industry. Together with my colleagues from the Federation of Industry Meetings and Events, we have entered into negotiations with the government to negotiate aid for closed industries. Consequently, we have the same number of members today in SOIT as at the beginning of the pandemic, and this is my greatest success as the President of this organisation.

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Photo Credit: Power Agency Poland

“In recent years, there have been many changes in the industry, and new companies emerged like mushrooms after rain.”

Q4: What changes would you like to see in the meetings industry in 2022?

In recent years, there have been many changes in the industry, and new companies emerged like mushrooms after the rain. This new market situation will give new opportunities. In the industry, I would like to see companies that are experienced, business-oriented, act ethically, and are run by people presenting top-level business skills.

I hope for a greater understanding from our clients. Clients who understand the value of our work do not send inquiries to more than three entities. These are clients who do not drastically cut budgets, knowing how hard times are for the industry.

Q5: What is your prediction for the future of meetings?

I am an optimist and a realist. I believe the market will recover. The sooner we start to rebuild it, the sooner we speak in one voice, the sooner we educate our clients, the better. We need a reconstruction plan and strong activity by associations. Now is the time to start rebuilding the industry, but we need to mobilize all our strength and the best in us.

Q6: What is your advice for young colleagues making their way in the meetings industry?

If you are a class leader, a person who organised school trips, liked vacation trips, outdoor games, loved adventures, go and study the event and incentive manager profession.

It will always make life colourful. There is no boredom in it. You meet wonderful people and get the best of life. This work is very demanding but at the same time brings a lot of satisfaction because customer satisfaction is very rewarding. No day is the same, and no trip is the same. It is a very creative job for creative and dynamic people.

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Photo Credit: Power Agency Poland

“Clients who understand the value of our work do not send inquiries to more than three entities.”

Q7: Were you more exposed in public after being placed on our list? Do you see this as an opportunity to reinforce the prominence of our industry in general?

I have been laughing for many years when I say that I have been „jumping out of the so-called fridge” from everywhere to everyone in our industry. I am a member of many associations and a very active person in the industry, so I often speak out and appear in Polish industry news.

Yearly, the international position is becoming more and more important in our business, especially since we carry out international cooperations. I am very glad that I was awarded. This is a great opportunity to get to know each other better on the international stage. My role in the international arena has certainly strengthened, and now thinking out of the box of my own country is more important than ever.

Q8: What are your thoughts on our selection of the influencers?

I think all the people on this list proudly represent their industries in their countries. Tanjia Bogdanov from Serbia, Sanja Vukov Colić from Croatia, and Vesna Pritchard, which operates on the Chowacki market, in Bosnia Chercegovina and Slovenia, are women who made a huge contribution to the development of the industry in their countries. And these are only the top three. I am glad that such occasions as this bring us closer together.

Q9: In your opinion, who deserves the title of the TOP influencer if you had to choose from the finalists yourself?

There are many people on this list who deserve this award, but if I had to choose just one, it would be Andrzej Hulewicz, an icon of Polish tourism. His whole life has been dedicated to keeping Poland a strong MICE-destination. He is also my personal hero and a person to follow.

About Olga Krzemińska-Zasadzka

Olga Krzemińska-Zasadzka is the CEO of one of the fastest-growing event agencies in Poland, which she started by herself in 1997 and developed into three successful brands: Power Agency, PowerSport, and DMC Poland. The group is gaining more and more share in the Polish event industry market each year.