Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
The jubilee tenth Weekend Media Festival is ahead of us. The program, which includes about 150 speakers, is designed so that even the most demanding visitors will find something just for them. There’s a host of interesting things coming with the Weekend.
We talked about this year’s program with the program director of Weekend, Nikola Vrdoljak.
Media Marketing: The first impression that came to mind as I was going through the program of this year’s Weekend is that you have sublimated all your experience in creating a program, collected over the previous nine years. How big of a challenge was it to create the program for the tenth, jubilee Weekend?
Nikola Vrdoljak: The world of media and marketing is changing so much, and so much is happening, that the topics impose themselves. Of course, the Weekend program is extremely large. Everything needs to be set in place. All the key discussions going on in the region must be included. The trends we want to present here must be chosen, and people for it all must be found. There’s a lot of work, but it’s interesting and puts us in the position of setting the agenda, which is important. I believe that through this work we have all learned a lot, and that we can say that we now have an excellent position to track and understand trends from all aspects of the communications industry.
Apart from what we define as media and marketing, Weekend has been covering issues of business, technology and creativity no matter how you define it. We are not afraid to go into topics that delve into the political space, from the standpoints that interest our target group. Without politicians of course. We will no longer give them space. They have it too much already.
Media Marketing: Your partly counting on the proven stars of earlier Weekends. We will again listen to Saša Savić, Željko Mitrović, Pethe Smith, Branimir Brkljač, Srđan Šaper, Predrag Grubić, Ivan Stanković and some other speakers who have left their marks on some of the earlier festivals.
Nikola Vrdoljak: Tenth Weekend is partly some kind of a retrospective. Through a few panels we will recall everything we have been doing in the last ten years and how the industry, markets and the environment have changed. We will also recall how we came to be, and all the people without whom it would not be possible.
This Weekend will have over 150 lecturers, including the ones you listed. The stars, as you call them, continue to bring value to all of us, so I believe they are worth listening to. A perfect example is Saša Savić. At present, all major global advertising agencies have announced a large drop in revenue, suggesting a much more serious shift of media transformation to agencies. It’s a privilege to listen to the CEO of Mediacom at this point in time and on this subject.
Media Marketing: I know Srđan Šaper well, and I know that he is not quite fond of this kind of public appearances, although he strongly works on the development of our industry in the region every day. How did you manage to persuade him, or did he like it last year so he easily accepted?
Nikola Vrdoljak: I’m very much looking forward to the One on One with Srđan Šaper and Tomo Ricov because this panel marks the ten years of Weekend, 20 years of McCann, but also marketing in this region. It’s an excellent opportunity to go through all the key marketing topics. Srđan has done a lot in his career and is certainly one of the most important persons of this business in the region. His perspective has weight, and I believe it is worth listening to. I believe the hall will be full of seasoned marketers, but I would also recommend to all directors and owners of agencies and companies to send their young people because they will have something to hear.
Media Marketing: I know it’s hard to say, but who are your favorites this year? Who is it that we simply must not miss?
Nikola Vrdoljak: The program is designed to cover various interests. I believe that a someone from digital and a journalist have different preferences in topics. That’s why we have invited a dozen people this year to recommend their ideal route through the program from their perspective. We will post recommendations regularly on social networks, and they will also be available online through the mobile app.
My five recommendations would be:
- STEM – we gathered the key people for a very heated debate about STEM and education. I believe that education in Croatia is outdated. We don’t keep pace with the rapidly changing world. We have excellent speakers: Boris Jokić, Mate Rimac, Boris Drilo, Marko Matijevic and Nenad Bakić. We want them to explain what is the current situation, what situation they want to see, and how can we get there. Everyone wants change, but their visions are different and society isn’t really moving.
- Google – A huge change in direction and strategy in Google, one of the most important global corporations. Google now positions itself as the artificial intelligence company (AI). Given that this is Google, this is a tremendous change that will affect all of us.
- Where to next, Cousin? (Sasha Savić) – an insider view on the global advertising by the CEO of Mediacom from USA.
- Is Croatia really going forward? – although the topic is Croatia, I believe that it applies to all countries in the region. The market is divided into companies that exist only because they are related to the state or the public sector, or the parastate, thereby avoiding the real competition, and the sector that is exposed to the true competition, and is being stifled by the former one. All companies in the second group want a better legal system, transparency, and the opening up of the economy. The ones from the first group want to stay protected. What to do to get rid of clientelism?
- Mindfulness – For years, Google has provided all of its employees with free Headspace app. California promotes mindfulness which is included in many high schools, UCLA and many other major universities have institutes. Mindfulness in this region is still in infancy. At Weekend, there’s an opportunity to try out how it works and what it’s all about.
I will also briefly mention Tomo’s five recommendations, as they are completely different
- Boris Jokić – From Ramones to Rozga
- Srđan Šaper One on One with Tomo Ricov
- Roskilde festival, experience of top festivals in Scandinavia
- Jonathan Calvert, journalist who exposed the affair of FIFA and world cup in Qatar.
- House of cards, freedom of media in the age of Agrokor and AlJazeera
The others will soon be on the web, and in the app.
Media Marketing: What else needs to be highlighted in terms of the program of this year’s Weekend?
Nikola Vrdoljak: The program is extremely rich and I believe that it is an opportunity for many to participate in discussions with people who are otherwise difficult to meet. To have a workshop for 40 people on TV production with Pete Radovich who has won over 20 Emmys, or listen to top CEOs discussing their strategies (Is there still a region?), live listening to Uber, Flixbus or Turo who present their vision, all of it is a great opportunity. We have over 150 great speakers, there will be top discussions, and it’s a shame not to be involved.