FOUNDER AND HEAD OF HORECA SOLUTIONS, PUBLIC SPACE DESIGNER OLGA TESLENKO - ABOUT HOW THE WEST HORECA FORUM EVENT SIGNIFICANT TO THE REGION WAS PASSED AND WHAT IS ITS VALUE?
Of course, this forum has become a real event for representatives of the hospitality sector of our region. How did the idea of holding such an event come about, and what is its "stardom"?
Kaliningrad is a city with a claim to become a resort of not only federal, but also global significance. Therefore, it should be of interest not only to its own inhabitants, but also to the surrounding world. And for this you need to develop service, infrastructure, develop strategies for promoting and attracting customers.
Feeling the urgency of these issues through our clients, we decided to organize the WESTHORECA Forum and address it, first of all, to restaurateurs and hoteliers of Kaliningrad, combining them into one important business area. Federal speakers were invited to review the best federal experience. Actually, this was the manifestation of the "star character" of the event. Because a truly unique line-up of speakers has gathered at the West HoReCa Forum.
Who exactly are you talking about?
All my colleagues who hold similar events in St. Petersburg and Moscow immediately agreed to participate in the Kaliningrad forum and supported us, for which I am very grateful to them. This is Aleksey Volov - the founder of this kind of events, the organizer of the Hotel Business Forum. This is the vice-president of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Russia Sergey Kolesnikov, a very strong practitioner and theorist who teaches at the university and simultaneously opens hotels throughout Russia. Each meeting with him gives a strong and positive charge to the accomplishment of significant deeds. We invited to our forum not only representatives of the business environment, but also the creative elite - designers and architects. Among them was Paolo Bodego, an Italian architect who designs public spaces around the world.
Can you mention the speakers from Kaliningrad, whose experience was also useful for the forum participants?
Of course, our city has unique specialists in the field of management and service. For example, Tatyana Aksyuta, executive director of Hospitality Management and an expert of the National Association of Hotels and Restaurateurs "Academy of Hospitality", acted as a speaker at the forum, with her lecture "Client's complaint is like a gift." I myself have repeatedly listened to her lectures and would highly recommend to others. This is truly a revelation of a professional - how to deal with the most difficult and capricious clients in order to ultimately turn them into your dear guests. Among our local leading specialists in the hospitality industry was Dmitry Kirillov, the head of the Altrimo Hotel on the Curonian Spit, with advice on how a small hotel, remote from the city's civilization, can be successful.
Among the local speakers was Dmitry Shakhov, a well-known Internet marketing specialist. Many hotels and restaurants ignore this important way of doing business. That is why we invited Dmitry to tell us in understandable language what the promotion of business is. We also invited sisters Daria and Anastasia Gusevs - well-known marketers in our city and beyond. There were also business trainers from the Kaliningrad school, Oleg Alferov and Natalya Gershkovich, with their own recipes for team building and business processes.
Participating in forums usually costs money and your event is no exception ...
Of course, this allows you to cut off the audience that can come for free and, most importantly, without much interest. There is such an important psychological aspect - a person can accept value when he invested in it. I would like to note that such forums are always paid for in large cities. We are all business people and we are well aware that organizing such events is not cheap. Renting a room, the arrival of speakers, food, drinks - in a word, ensuring a decent level of conferences always requires investments. I am grateful to all our partners who helped create the West HoReCa Forum in Kaliningrad.
What was the cost of participation in the forum and what exactly did the participants invest in?
The ticket price ranged from three to five thousand rubles. Each of the ticket categories implied a different level of immersion. A ticket for 3 thousand is attending lectures, participating in practices, consultations with specialists. The ticket for 4 thousand included a lunch from the Chef with food partners' products, which was held as part of a business lunch with speakers, a tour and practice at the Radisson hotel, where the forum was organized. But, you see, walking around Radisson and learning all the secrets is so instructive, such an immersion in practice is expensive. The next category of tickets - for 5 thousand - made it possible to participate in a business dinner. This is a kind of gala concert that was held at the Radisson restaurant. Frankly, in organizing the forum, we set the bar high, and this implies a fairly large budget.
What did the forum participants get in return?
This is the most important thing. The business program of the forum consisted of several sections that covered the most significant components of the industry and included various seminars, presentations and practical cases from leading experts and business owners. That is, in addition to the theoretical part and practical exercises, the participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with all the top speakers, establish useful contacts, get consultations, and the opportunity to agree on long-term cooperation. This is a format in which each questioner necessarily finds answers to questions on their topic. We all know how much consultations of leading specialists cost in everyday life, each individually, and here there was a whole "concentrate" in real access.
Can we say that the Kaliningrad site will regularly collect such events?
We will definitely strive to make this forum a regular event in Kaliningrad. We plan to hold the next one in November this year.