1. Current trends require continual progress and advancement both of employee skills and of business operation as such. Can you tell us something about the education of your employees?
Ongoing education is extremely important for maintaining a competitive market position. Our employees are continually trained in every area of our business from the moment they start working for our agency. Although nearly all our employees have university degrees and must be proficient in at least two foreign languages and computer skills, continual education and the acquisition of new knowledge is essential. This is dictated by constant innovations and use of modern technology in the meetings industry, which must be incorporated into every event-organizing activity.
We are currently implementing the ISO 9001:2008 for Quality Management Systems, aimed towards ensuring high quality of operation, sustainability, and competitiveness, thereby advancing company interests.
The employees of Spektar putovanja agency continually follow nearly all European and other international meetings and events on different subject matter, learning about current technological trends whose implementation into our own practice would be desirable.
The Croatian Convention and Incentive Bureau of the Croatian Tourist Association, the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the Croatian Meeting Professionals Association, the Tourist Bureau of the City of Zagreb often organize excellent workshops and educational seminars attended by qualified lecturers from the international meetings industry, expert meeting organizers, who not only point out the strengths and weaknesses of Croatia as a meetings destination but impart their own experiences of the latest trends and projections to be followed and implemented.
2. What innovations need to be introduced in event organizing in order to go beyond ordinary offer and satisfy client demands?
Here I am primarily referring to the creation of our own client data base, on-line services that we provide particularly in the domain of congress tourism, all united into our agency’s “knowledge base”.
Event planners and organizers, as an educated and sophisticated buyers of various providers’ services, are increasingly focusing attention on the choice of location for an event in order to fulfill the growing need to maintain safety and implement new trends in F&B services which dictate light, low-fat food, that will make participants feel energetic and alert.
I would also like to point out the importance of taking part in social networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and networking for the sake of exchanging ideas, good and bad experiences, good practices and any other information that could be useful to everyone in meetings industry.
3. In your extensive experience and business activity, how important is following international trends and advancement for retaining clients?
From its establishment our agency has followed international trends, especially by taking part at major international fairs where we present our offer but also by constantly striving to keep abreast of market demands and promptly adjusting to new challenges and requirements. At these and similar events we join forces with other agencies to offer combined and enhanced services to our clients. Our partnership with other agencies has resulted in the organization of a number of international meetings (such as the long standing cooperation we have with the French marketing company, Publiciscare, in organizing medical conventions throughout Europe).
Our partners, scientists – event organizers, very frequently take part in the work of international meetings worldwide and follow current trends in the entire meetings industry. As a result, we are fully aware of the need for our quick adjustment to new tendencies and implementation of new technology. On the other hand, we, the event organizers, also have to ensure that introduction of new technology will not jeopardize an event’s “budget”.
On-line meetings, streaming, web conferences certainly have their adherents but while new technologies certainly represent valuable support for direct, face-to-face events, they cannot replace them.
Our awareness of new tendencies has prompted us to recently implement a new program enabling all Smartphone users access to every information and program change pertaining to the conference they are attending.