This September my older daughter started school. School! First grader! The time flew by when crying, sleepless nights, and anxiety – both her and mine – made me doubt if I was doing the right thing, if I was making mistakes, and if my best efforts in organization, patience, strength, understanding, and love – whose limits I exceeded three times over since I became a mom – were enough?
It’s as if it was yesterday that I was holding her hand while she – hesitant and faltering, but persistent – took her first steps. She didn’t take them on her own until she was 110% sure. On the other hand, she was very confident about her words, and she started talking very early, bold as brass, charming people and leaving them speechless with her observations and remarks. Today she’s starting school, full of confidence. She is excited about her new challenges. I am overwhelmed with pride and satisfaction. The puzzle pieces of invested effort, work, and dedication are nicely coming together. So far, it seems that the mistakes or oversights – made more or less by every parent usually unintentionally – are not terrible, but instead they turned out to be part of the inevitable learning process, both mine and hers.
Why am I writing this? First of all, to show off a bit because hey, my kid is starting school!Second, the issue you’re holding right now is special for both myself and our whole team, because it marks TEN YEARS since the first one saw the light of day! I know I don’t have to say again that time flies. The path and process of development, progress, ups and downs, momentum, doubts and (in)securities are very similar to what one goes through with children. When we launched SEEbtm, we had no manuals or instructions on how to do it – just like when our daughter was born. Although it would most definitely be helpful, especially for the kid! In both cases, instinct did most of the work. Instinct, love, commitment, and desire to succeed. So yes, SEEbtm is kind of like our second child (the first and older one would be Kongresniturizam/SEEmice 🙂 ).
There were times when I wondered if we were doing the right thing and if the work and effort we put into every issue of SEEbtm even yielded any results. Are we doing what we’re doing at the highest possible level because nothing less is acceptable for what we stand for, the industry we represent, and our longstanding partners and readers whose trust we enjoy? What can we do better? What does the region’s event industry need right now? What knowledge or information do event planners need? How do we spark interest and maintain it? How do we innovate? These are some of the questions I keep asking. And as usually, an acknowledgement of work and dedication comes when we least expect it – a wonderful comment, respect, fantastic praise, and even open admiration are the greatest satisfaction we’ve encountered in recent years as validation of our efforts, of SEEbtm values, and of what the magazine stands for.
After every unexpected praise, the world stops for a moment, just like when the teacher tells you, “I don’t know what you’re doing, but whatever it is – keep it up.” Without the tremendous trust and support of many of our longstanding partners and associates, SEEbtm would certainly not be what it is today, and probably wouldn’t even exist. Those who have our deepest gratitude will know who they are. Without you, our dearest readers, SEEbtm wouldn’t have a purpose. Thank you for your time and interest, those are not easy to set aside and stimulate these days. Together with all of you, SEEbtm and Kongresniturizam/SEEmice will continue to justify and exceed expectations, set standards in event planning, event management, and growth of the region’s MICE industry. This jubilee edition is also special because we have prepared special interviews for you with our longstanding partners, regional leaders in MICE and business tourism.
P.S. Happy first day of school to all those starting! I wonder how many among them are future leaders in the meeting and event industry?
“The secret of success in life is not doing what you love, but rather loving what you do.” Winston Churchill