Photo Credit: Marko Delbello Ocepek

Cringe is to feel very embarrassed because of someone else’s actions, when it sends shivers down your spine or when you feel unpleasant because of another person’s inappropriate actions. That is what representatives of Generation Z had to say about cringe when asked about the topic by the Slovenian national radio Val 202.

Cringe is not an expression that my generation uses frequently. Generation Z, on the other hand, uses it daily. Most often, they use it to describe the behaviour of our generation that makes them cringe when seeing our odd habits and daily activities. It seems unacceptable to even think in this context for our generation. Nevertheless, I wrote about the cringe embarrassments I found myself in this week as we organised Conventa, our premier event.

Cringe situation 1: When an older journalist continuously asks for a printed programme

After spending tremendous effort and time digitalising our entire event, I saw a journalist who insisted on having a printed event programme. My colleagues spent a few minutes convincing him that we have a super cool mobile app, yet he remained unconvinced. Even after we said that the app helps reduce our carbon footprint, our suggestion fell on deaf ears. We then showed him the beautifully designed programme on a digital screen, which he could not see because of his poor eyesight. Finally, my colleague activated the app on his phone, and the journalist experienced a eureka moment. Or not?

Photo Credit: Marko Delbello Ocepek

Cringe situation 2: When you get told off by an angry supplier who forgot you are, in fact, the client

Imagine you receive a phone call from a supplier (venue provider) who raised the expenses of your event by 44,7 % before the event. They start the conversation by explaining the rise in venue prices is a result of skyrocketing energy prices, which have soared by 500%. That sounds catastrophic, and you may almost feel a tad of sympathy for the partner. In reality, the inflation rate rose only by 10%. When you explain that to them, they start threatening, extorting and insulting you to boost their ego. They even threaten that the conversation is being recorded. Who is the client, and who is the supplier? Who is the madman, and who is the fool?

Cringe situation 3: When the same supplier has to come to your best event thus far

You see that same supplier with his colleagues at your event, which was a tremendous success. You look into the eyes of the suppliers’ team, who realise their venue will probably never host such an event again. This cringe situation happened because of an egotrip of their manager. It is unclear whether the manager is a sociopath, psychopath or just a person with an antisocial personality disorder. One thing is clear: the manager is short-sighted, greedy and egocentric.

Photo Credit: Marko Delbello Ocepek

Cringe situation 4: When you get asked ask why the menu does not include more meat

Before the event, you explain to the attendees that, due to your sustainable aspirations, the balance between plant-based dishes and meat dishes is 70:30. The catering service prepares a fantastic selection of dishes. For the premier time, attendees can enjoy an innovative plant-based steak with an uncanny resemblance and taste compared to meat. Still, one attendee claims you breached his personal rights. What answer should you give him? He is not convinced when you show him the carbon footprint numbers. The solution? Invite him to read the Common Sensitarian Diet Manifesto (

Cringe situation 5: When exhibitors share plastic memorabilia with attendees

Despite our strict ban on plastic, we found an exhibitor that continues to share plastic souvenirs at the event. These include everything from anti-stress plastic balls to branded plastic bags. No sensible argument can deter them. Alas, most such products end up in the bin. Wouldn’t it be more rational and practical to offer a gift that supports your local environment? Every potential client will certainly be happier to receive an authentic bottle of olive oil than a plastic ice scraper. Or does it depend on the season?

Non-cringe moment of the week: When a dog urinates on the green carpet

After we installed a green carpet at our event, a cute dog named Nur nonchalantly used it as a toilet. He was the star of the event and a photo magnet. Nur is an example of a non-cringe moment and proof that organic carpets are much better than single-use carpets. No faking!

To conclude, let us look at how we can fight against unjustified rises in venue prices and what the soaring prices of venues in the meetings industry herald. Our survey, published on LinkedIn last week, made our readers cringe. Viewed by 3875 event organisers, the survey was answered by 63. We received 16 comments, which you can read at my LinkedIn profile:

What to do if a venue’s price suddenly rises by 40% one week before your event?

  • 40% Call the best lawyer in town
  • 29% Pay a higher price
  • 16% Cancel the event
  • 16% Host a press conference

In my opinion, the following answer was the most relevant: A venue that does that kind of trick should be made known, so others will not come to organise an event there. A contract is a contract. History knows situations when there was no increase in anything but demand. A venue decides whether you pay 40% more or you cancel. The venue gives money back, and another client is just at the door knocking with a stash of cash of your 40% more… Even if there are only seven days. If there is no client, which venue director will risk having a contract/money or nothing?

Perhaps the following answer summarises the entire story: Pay the higher price and call the best lawyer in town.

DISCLAIMER: All names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this article are not fictitious and are not the author’s imaginary creations.

The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not explicitly or necessarily reflect nor represent the views held by the editorial board of Kongres Magazine or Toleranca marketing d.o.o.

Join our newsletter!

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up-to-date with the latest updates from Kongres Magazine.