Branimir Brkljač, Live From Montreal: After all – an Experienced Novice

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Maybe we will understand each other better and faster in the virtual world than in this physical one.

Another C2 Conference has ended, and the next one has immediately been announced for May next year. The focus will be on the entertainment industry, and the theme is “collaboration”, which is compatible with this year’s theme – “together”. Will I go again next year? Yes! Why? Many have already asked me why I go regularly to this particular conference and how it is different from any other business or marketing conferences. The answer to that question can’t be given in two or three words. Other conferences may have more famous and better-known speakers, some are held in more attractive locations, some are better known and more established, whatever that means. Since the very first C2 in 2011, the mix of different elements that make it different have really hit the sweet spot for me. This is a conference whose primary goal is not just for you to learn something, but to leave enriched with fresh ideas, new knowledge and a wealth of information on future trends, experimental practices and different business models. You also can’t say that C2’s format is best suited for establishing new contacts and business connections, but in the end you realize you’ve met so very many interesting people with very interesting and different experiences. And with many of them you stay in active contact, and with some of them you start business collaborations. The program is very intense and exhausting and lasts for three days, from morning to evening, and when you come back you are full of positive energy and your batteries are recharged, feeling as if you came back from a vacation.

I really don’t know how, but probably because of all of this together, for me it has become a place and time where I can do sort of my own inventory list of what I did, and of what happened to me last year, and make plans for the next year. It is a time of self-reflection, and a place where the whole environment and everything that happens there is inspiring and stimulating for that process, and doesn’t allow me to be a prisoner of my previous experience, but leads me to a state where I ask myself over and over again what I want, why I want it and how I will feel if I achieve it, but above all encourages me to believe that I can do it, and that the unknown is not the same as the impossible, and that it should start. I guess that’s why every time in this place – regardless of years of business experience – I feel like I’m at a new beginning, which I am. So what am I then but an experienced novice?

Instead of a footnote and notes about the author

It’s not only my friends who ask me why I go there. The people there also wonder why I come. Here’s a chat I had a few days ago with one of the directors of the conference.

“Branimir, I’m glad you come to our conference each year. Thank you for your support!” He then looked at my pass, hanging around my neck, and read aloud: “Terra Panonica! What does Terra Panonica do?”

“It’s a company I founded a few years ago when I bought a derelict farm in Serbia, which is now completely renewed, and provides the conditions for co-working and co-living for young creative people who are able to work on developing their ideas there. We called the project ‘Mokrin House’, you can find out more at www.mokrinhouse.com.”

“I will! So you live in Serbia?”
“No! In Slovenia.”
“Slovenia?”

“Yes! I was born in Serbia, but some 20 years ago I went to Slovenia where a good friend from Slovenia and I started a TV sales business. Business grew rapidly in other countries as well, so we became a leader in direct marketing in Central and Eastern Europe! A few years ago I left the company and now I deal with the project ‘Mokrin House’, and I also write a lot and teach on the subject of media and marketing. So just before my trip to Montreal, I agreed with the leading regional portal that during C2 I would write a daily article about my impressions of that day.”

“Well that’s great! Thank you. And the portal is in Slovenia?”
“No! In Bosnia!”
“Bosnia??”

“Yes. The portal ‘Media Marketing’ is in Bosnia, but is read throughout the region, and now wider, because they recently started an English edition! Its founder and editorial board are in Sarajevo, and that’s in Bosnia! But, I wanted to talk to you about something else. There’s a very successful conference there called ‘Weekend Media Festival’, which over the past seven years has grown into the largest and most important meeting place for business people in the region who are engaged in media and marketing. Conceptually it reminds me of your model. The ambiance is similar – the conference takes place in a renovated old tobacco factory – and the program as well, because in addition to lectures and panels, they organize workshops and have interactive installations, and in the evening there are great concerts and great entertainment. I think it would be worthwhile for C2 to showcase there.”

“Sounds very interesting. And the conference is in Bosnia?”
“No! In Croatia.”
“Croatia???”

“Yes! It takes place in Rovinj – a beautiful old town and a real pearl of a tourist spot on the Adriatic coast. But I think it’s best for me to write you an email about it.”

“Yes, yes, yes … it would be best!”

Phew… Good thing I didn’t mention spark.me in Montenegro, and the AllWeb conference in Skopje, which I wanted to. Never mind, at least I know how to write an email. And really – maybe we’ll understand each other better and faster in the virtual world than in this physical one. I can’t say real anymore, because it’s not clear what is real and what virtual today. But who am I to judge? Just a novice, no matter how experienced I am.

Source: Media Marketing

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