Kongres Magazine talked to Maja Babic, Event and Production Manager at Bagi Communications, who was recently named among the Most Influential Representatives of Creative and Live Marketing Agencies 2021. Maja shared her greatest achievements in the meetings industry so far 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 a great pleasure to be among all the professionals and influential individuals in the industry. I see it as a chance to raise public awareness about the problems our industry faces and has faced in the last two Covid years. Accordingly, I have tried to give the title media and public presentation in my country as much as possible.
Q2: Can we say that you are a newcomer in the meetings industry? What inspires you?
No, I am not a newcomer at all as I have been in the event management industry for the last 23 years. I find achieving the objectives of the meetings industry very demanding, both in creative and professional terms. Combining a various range of event industry professionals with the highly demanding expectations of clients coming from various business, academic or cultural backgrounds, requires a high level of devotion and professionalism from an event organiser. That is not always easy to achieve, but it gives me a high level of adrenaline that always keeps me moving forward.
Q3: You have contributed a lot to the development of the meetings industry. What would you say was your greatest achievement so far?
As part of the oldest event management agency in Macedonia, Bagi Communications, I have contributed to the creation and realization of numerous important and successful events and projects. I see myself as a professional who helped in the process of improving the standards in the meetings industry in my country. I think that the creation of IVAP (The Association of creative industries in Macedonia) has played a crucial role in this process. I believe my role as the first President gave it a positive impact. For the first time through IVAP, the Government and State authorities recognised the event industry as a serious partner. As a result of this process, many companies of the creative industry received financial support, including grants in 2021.
Q4: What changes would you like to see in the meetings industry in 2022?
First, I would like to see the end of the Covid crisis and slowly relax the ambient for business in general. The meetings industry depends on the general economic and business situation in the society, so getting back to normal conditions generally means more possibilities for the event industry. I would also like to see closer cooperation between industry professionals from the region. That means exchange of knowledge and experience, but also a possible joint performance at regional and European markets.
Q5: What is your prediction for the future of meetings?
The meetings industry has great potential, not only in increasing the business in the region but also in the broader EU market. To achieve this goal, we must learn how to use the advantages we have over the competitors.
I think that use of new technologies will have a crucial role in the future development of the meetings industry. We must move towards new tendencies in technology faster than other parts of the event industry. We must create more inventive meeting events while decreasing the costs.
Q6: What is your advice for young colleagues making their way in the meetings industry?
You cannot learn the secrets of our industry overnight; it takes a lot of patience, learning and hard work. And most importantly, a lot of love for this job.
I would advise them to always be creative, in trend with new tendencies in the industry, and to learn to listen to the client’s wishes and needs in order to be able to extract the essence of the events.
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?
Yes, I was more exposed to the media and the public in general. I tried to use it both for my self-promotion, but also for the industry in general. The response was not only from colleagues but also from journalists, local and state representatives. I must admit that the public response was beyond my expectations, which is a very good sign of the importance of your action.
Q8: What are your thoughts on our selection of the influencers?
I think that you have made a great selection, gathering the industry influencers in one place, giving them the chance to know each other, but giving the public a chance to meet the real industry professionals. I think the selection of influencers will have a positive impact on the industry and give younger colleagues a chance to meet industry leaders.
Q9: In your opinion, who deserves the title of the TOP influencer if you had to choose from the finalists yourself?
As a Libra, I am glad that I am not the one who had to choose. I think that every esteemed nominee deserves to be a winner. At this point, all of us who has survived the last two uncertain and hard years for the business are winners. Congratulations to all professionals who were part of the Meetings Star Award. I hope it will be carried out as a live event next year. That way, we can meet in person and exchange experience and knowledge.