Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Photo: Ilija Brajković (last one on the right) with the organizers
This article is not really about Ekrem, the title is pure click-bait. This text is about the Creative Republic of Bihać. I have participated at quite a large number of conferences, but it’s seldom that I could say that they have a soul. There are a lot of bigger conferences, there are much better organized conferences, there are all kinds of things … but there are very few conferences that leave you amazed with the positive atmosphere and attitude of the organizers both towards the visitors and to the speakers, especially taking into account the financial constraints.
I went to Bihać with Vanja Cuculić of Studio Cuculić. I have to admit that I was not familiar with his work, and the trip to Bihać was a great opportunity to get to know each other and exchange experiences. It was great to listen about #agencylife and the local scene from a creative who doesn’t fit the classic stereotype.
Upon arrival at the hotel, a dinner was organized for all the speakers and organizers. Of course, Admir and I immediately began talking about food, mentioning #NikadSitUvijekGladan and #VolimSveStoVoleGladni (#NeverFullAlwaysHungry, #ILoveEverythingThatHungryLove). In the ritual feasting of Begova sablja (a popular dish, Bey’s saber) we were aided by Slobodan Jovanović Coba, one of the representatives of the old guard (I hope he won’t be offended) among creatives, who generally left a great impression on me.
For the opening of the conference, organizers had invited Kristina Ercegović, who introduced us to the power of networking and actually showed how much we’re all ‘afraid’ of meeting new people and stepping out of our comfort zone. She was joined on stage by Coba and Jovana Lea Simić, so they could talk about Jovana’s brand, the Little Blue Pot, which is sold in the US as the most expensive jam in the world. It’s amazing how the packaging itself influences the perception of product quality, and Coba is obviously hit the bull’s-eye with this packaging.
Martina Kolaček showed us what online production of The Voice looks like, and how much effort is needed to connect online and TV. Vanja showed us some of his work and totally thrilled us showing how the process flows from concept to final production. A similar presentation was given by Slobodan Jovanović, showing visual identities that they did for some of Belgrade’s neighborhoods, and a project he did with his students: visual identity of J***slavija, a fucking great country.
Before the final panel, I gave a lecture on the use of social networks in business, with an accent on tourism. I presented data that are generally known, but I noted that much of the audience was shocked learning how much internet marketing and social networks have changed the world around us and ourselves.
At the final panel, Kristina was joined by Božo Skoko, PR expert from the agency MPR, and director of the National Park Una Amarildo Mulić. I must admit that I was delighted with the energy with which Mr. Mulić leads this national park, and how ‘healthy’ his thinking is – which is reflected in the results, and the number of visits. We all need many more people in tourism like him.
Dinner was held at the River Dock restaurant, near a place which holds a special place in Ekrem’s heart. We mentioned him as we ate veal and toasted.
All in all, we were delighted by the Creative Republic of Bihać. Too bad there were not more visitors (although according to registrations the hall should have been full), but everything else was in a great level, thanks to the great energy generously invested in the project by the organizers. Their only misstep was that they haven’t sent the PR message immediately after the conference, which infuriated Ekrem. Maybe they did it on purpose because he stood them up. Or maybe not, who knows…