Impressions from the conference

Jovana Đuričić
Jovana Đuričić
June 2, 2017

Each journey brings a new experience, and every year, families plan their travel destinations. This spring, our, not so small family, with its 15 members, headed to the two-day knowledge roller coaster – fifth conference.

Day I

Predrag Lešić, CEO of the company, founder of, brilliantly announced the start of another successful conference, raising the question: How many sparks you need to hold the The answer: Only one. A special, magical spark, because everything is in that one spark that starts the flame.

The honor to open this year’s Spark was given to Max Mckeown, an English writer, consultant, and researcher specialized in innovation strategy and leadership, who used his extremely interesting illustrations to show the importance of timely strategic planning which will lead us, not from point A to an imaginary point B, but to the innovation, which is hidden in the future. He taught us that only ourselves can find it. He gave us a little hint: Just send yourself a message in a bottle, that will help you to shape your future and reach the paradise.

In a later talk with Max, our attention was drawn to a tattoo on his left forearm, which, how it turned out, was not really a tattoo, but a Max’s ideas recorded with marker. Namely, each time he prepares for the exhibition, he draws illustrative thesis, but depending on how he feels the audience, the lecture goes in a slightly different way every time. Well, it seems that even the greatest teachers sometimes, just like that, smuggle a little. ;)

Inspire and develop those who create tomorrow is a LEGO’s mission, as presented by Peter Kim,  VP of Digital Consumer Engagement at the LEGO Group. Speaking of our witnessing that the world is slowly but surely moving from physical to digital, he pointed to the importance of a brand communicating. His advice is to always be those who can laugh, who spread the light to others and those who believe in the brand story, because only through honesty we can get closer to our clients.

Robert Fitzpatrick, tech entrepreneur,has drawn attention to importance of positioning ourselves as an honest brand and discussing all aspects with customers in today’s world where everybody lies. For a company that is at its growing stage, acting too big is fatal. Do not go in the growth and expansion if initially you are not well acquainted with your customers, because it can be disastrous for your business, advised Robert. He mentioned three key steps for building a successful business, first, you learn; second: you get confirmation, and only then you start to grow.

Shortly after Robert,  Matt Desmier fronted the stage. He moderated the panel discussion on technology, health and welfare. The panelists were: Cate Murden (founder of PUSH Mind and Body), Fern Miller (Chief Strategy Officer, International, DigitasLBi), Mary Keane-Dawson (entrepreneurial leader and business mentor), who spoke about the fact that people are not really aware of dangerousness of treating ourselves computers. For causes dissatisfaction despite all the blessings we are surrounded with.

Jason Romeyko, Global Executive Creative Director at Serviceplan Group, advised all those who hesitate to start their own business, to go out and try, encouraging them not to be afraid, as fear must be converted into curiosity. As a grand finale on the first day, Kamran Elahian,  philanthropist, entrepreneur without borders and a global venture capitalist, said: Social entrepreneurship has a positive impact on a society and it is the message you need to transmit to all.

Day II

Heather B. Armstrong, world famous blogger in the field of parenting, had a honour to open the Day II. She revealed:  “You can be the best copywriter, expert in marketing or sales, but if you do not know the secret: The way you perceive people, they believe, nothing else is true.” Also, as much as it may seem contradictory to the modern capitalist system, Heather spoke about necessity to draw our attention to the empathy that really reaches out, not only to users, but to an each its cell.

Jon Burhart, award-winning keynote speaker and copywriter, with his ball concept, will certainly be remembered as one of the most interesting speakers at the conference. He proved that with a different approach you can get, and most importantly, keep the attention in real time.

A little bit extravagant Virginia Salas Castilo, CEO of consulting company Ginicanbreathe, has attracted attention with her appearance, but also with her lecture about the unpredictability of social networks, and possibilities of the Snapchat. After her, Sharad Sagar, a young entrepreneur from India who is on Forbes’s list of 30 successful people younger than 30 years appeared on stage.

Ancilla van de Leest, digital privacy and rights advisor, made us laugh with her question: Is there anybody that has never made a selfie? And then recalled to the original promise that the technology is only there to serve us. Yet, today we ask the question: Whether the smart home was really a stupid idea? Drawing attention to the importance of privacy protection in the digital world, she gave us 3 small tips: Be smart, be safe and be happy!

Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather UK, and co-founder of Ogilvy change- “the man, the myth, the legend,” as he was announced by Vladimir Vulić. Standing ovations, five-minute applause and the best possible finish of the fifth conference. He introduced us with his concept of the brain perception, spoke  about necessity of good marketing, and, yet, just won’t asking for help in this area. He particularly advised to think 10 times: “The longer the longitude, the better it is!”

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This year’s confirmed the label of greatest marketing conference in South East Europe. We are already packed for the next year, eager for knowledge, new experience, creativity and inspiring speeches., just gives a date! ;)

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