Kongres Magazine talked to Stefan Kozak, Founder and Managing Director at CREATIVE PRO group & and E.bot Technology, who was recently named among the top 10 Most Influential Meeting Innovators in 2021. Stefan shared his advice for newcomers in the meetings industry and expressed his 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 hopefully means that I can influence somebody with my opinions, right? So I #STANDWITHUKRAINE.
But honestly, in the current hard and challenging war times, I have pushed this meaning in the background. According to the Maslow pyramid, unfortunately, priorities change according to current needs. Nevertheless, I feel thankful and honoured, and I believe that EVENTS are NOT DEAD.
Q2: Can we say that you are a newcomer in the meetings industry? What inspires you?
Well, after this pandemic, every event & live communications agency that has survived is a newcomer:). Never-ending adaptation is possible, and every new day inspires me.
Q3: You have contributed a lot to the development of the meetings industry. What would you say was your greatest achievement so far?
First of all, I am glad that the meeting industry has survived the last two years and I hope that it will rise in the next decades. During current war times, the knowledge and influence of event professionals are needed in crisis logistics and event management situations in order to support people in Ukraine and refugees from Ukraine.
Q4: What changes would you like to see in the meetings industry in 2022?
I hope that this tragic EVENT (war) will end soon. The current situation has shown us that the power of humanity is really strong and that people need to meet with each other in order to express and share their opinions, views etc. I hope that these kinds of events will end soon along with the whole war, and as long as we keep our freedom, the whole world, including our meetings industry, will grow and rise.
Q5: What is your prediction for the future of meetings?
Live meetings will become more and more precious. Hybrid is the new normal. Not as a trend but as a daily tool and solution. Metaverse / unreal engine solutions are already a part of this new way of hybrid thinking. But I believe that in a normal world – a world without any potential health/nuclear threats – the metaverse itself will not survive alone without a live meeting touch.
Q6: What is your advice for young colleagues making their way in the meetings industry?
Maybe you can try to use my own special version of the PDCA model:
– Project and manage your/customer expectations
– Delegate the project and event tasks in a smart way (it is easy because the expectations are known)
– Cold affairs (if you are managing the expectations and delegating the tasks, much fewer problems, fights, disagreements will appear…)
– Appreciate, give and ask for feedback, be thankful and be open-minded
Be humble. Use PDCA. And learn.
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?
Of course. Thank you!
Q8: What are your thoughts on our selection of the influencers?
I feel privileged to be here with such a group of doers and event professionals.
Q9: In your opinion, who deserves the title of the TOP influencer if you had to choose from the finalists yourself?
The top influencer is anybody trying to help all those Ukrainian people in need because of this war.