Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
National advertising festivals in the region are breaking all records. First, the last Days of Communication broke all their own records so far, and soon after the Slovenian Festival of Advertising (SOF) had the largest number of participants so far – more than 1,300 of them! In the competition part of the festival, 365 works were entered, 30 teams competed in the special Young Creatives contest, and delegates had the opportunity to listen to 39 top speakers.
The entire organization of the SOF was led by Mojca Briščik, executive director of the Slovenian Chamber of Advertising (SOZ), a woman who over the last few years revitalized SOZ and can now work peacefully on the implementation of the Steering Board’s plans and decisions. There’s no rest for Mojca. As soon as the SOF finished, she started preparations for the Golden Drum (in October) in which she is also a President. Then, as soon as the Golden Drum ends, she’ll start preparations for the next SOF at full steam. That’s the proverbial wheel that Mojca runs with a firm and steady grasp.
MM: Are you satisfied with this year’s SOF?
This year’s SOF hasn’t left anyone indifferent. More than 1,300 participants literally occupied the Hotel Kempinski Palace in Portorož, Slovenia. Some enjoyed lectures or socialized with their colleagues on the terrace. For many, SOF has been an opportunity to hold numerous business meetings, and on Friday evening many of them shared a toast with the winners…
This year, because of the great interest, we were forced to stop selling tickets for the closing ceremony. Judging by the participants’ opinion (high ratings of lectures and workshops), we managed to bring speakers who met the expectations of the entire advertising triangle – representatives of agencies, advertisers and the media.
That is why when planning the program, we consistently pursue objectives in terms of content diversity because the desire of SOF participants for knowledge from other areas is increasing. This year, Felix Baumgartner, a pilot and extreme skydiving recorder, and Dragan Bjelogrlić, a Serbian actor, screenwriter, producer and director, stirred the greatest interest of delegates.
On the other hand, the record-breaking number of participants at this year’s SOF has brought a bitter taste to some, in the form of shut doors to halls that were jam-packed. This is an important aspect that comes with the organic growth of the festival over the past years, which is of crucial importance to us for the preparation of the next festival.
The satisfaction of the participants and their experience are equally important to us as the objective and professional competition and satisfied partners. I believe that a big challenge awaits us in this sense net year. I also believe that through talks with the participants of this year’s festival we will find the right and realistic solutions.
MM: What left the greatest impression on you. What will you remember this year’s SOF by?
Mojca Briščik: I will remember it for the people, festival participant, their active role in lectures and workshops, smiling faces and energy at both evening parties.
Like every year, we can’t do without our young creators. This year, because of the great interest, we opened the competition for 30 teams. We were pleasantly surprised by the solutions we got. You can only imagine how it was for them. Some of them have very little agency experience, and they have to stand in front of the jury, their colleagues and strangers, they have to present themselves and fight for their solutions that were created in just 24 hours.
I believe it was an invaluable experience for them and that they will remember it with a smile on their face. Young people are the source of our inspiration and a part of the commitment that the SOZ Board has placed before itself for next year – to use such competitions to bring the profession closer to young people and evoke their interest in our industry and understanding for the role they would take. Personally, I think that among the young creatives whom we listened to this year there were many future leaders of our industry.
However, not everything is nice and great. David Carson, world-renowned graphic designer, left a bitter taste. Those who have never been involved or have never cooperated in the organization of a big event like SOF can’t even imagine how much people, time and energy is needed to bring speakers that are one of the key pillars of the festival. And then, just as you can see the finish line and believe that that the last speaker will come to Portorož safely and timely – a cold shower. On the day he was supposed to arrive in Slovenia, David wrote a courteous message that, due to his business obligations, he would unfortunately not be able to come to SOF, and added: “My sincere apologies to all, it is my loss.”
As a festival organizer, you know that a “Carson” can always happen, because a festival is a living breathing organism, and without a great team like that engaged on SOF, this gap could not have been filled as professionally as it was. Thanks to the SOF team for an excellent festival this year!
MM: Can it be better than this?
A festival rests on three fundamental pillars: personal participation, competition and partnership. Your answer, naturally, stems from this – of course we can build and upgrade SOF further.
When I say upgrade, I mean a wider context, not just operationally. I am talking about the strategy of further development of the festival, its possible transformation in some segments, the change in structure of the participants, the growing demands for “out of the box” knowledge that we haven’t even dreamed about two decades ago.
When we describe SOF today, the word event doesn’t encompass its entire essence. The SOF has become an advertising ecosystem for exchange of knowledge, opinions and good business practices. It is a place of inspiration that serves as a platform for new business opportunities.
It is precisely for this reason that we aim to determine the role of SOF in Slovenia among all the participants who actually make up this ecosystem.
The goal is to create an ecosystem where it will be better for all of us together!