In March 2020, the first Trebinje Energy Summit (SET) was held and it was apparent even then that it was a serious, well-oiled organization and that the event could become the most important gathering of the energy sector of the region in a short time.
Over the next two years, the response of the participants, sponsors and guests from the region showed that it was justified to establish and form such an event in the southernmost city of Republika Srpska. For many, this gathering became a mandatory date in the annual calendar, because, in addition to the business community seeing an opportunity for new contacts and jobs here, nobody stays immune to the landscape of Trebinje, its gastronomy and hospitality.
For the Diary of Success, the director of SET, Aleksandar Brankovic talks about organizing one such event and what the plans are for next year.
The third Trebinje Energy Summit finished recently. Already after the first edition, right before the pandemic, the guests and the participants were surprised with the professional approach and the seriousness of the whole organization. How challenging was it to set everything up in that first edition?
– It is very difficult to answer that question while getting to the essence and giving an exact and precise answer. When an idea is conceived that now has to be realized, while also making it a tradition, I would say that, with all the skills and knowledge, one also needs to have luck. We were lucky in 2020, more precisely, on March 5, 2020, when the first Trebinje Energy Summit SET opened, and the first case of a Covid-19 infection was recorded in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the same date. What followed was the lockdown of the whole region. Today, I can say that we were very lucky as the organizers then, because, otherwise, we would not be talking about SET today, as it would have probably not even been established.
That first year, with certain difficulties, primarily due to the pandemic, we set high standards in organizing one such event and it was already that first year that we became unique for the scenography, the visual effects, but also the expertise of the panelists and moderators. We try to push the standards we set each year and we have been successful so far.
Now that your team has three editions of the Summit behind it, what have you learned and which results are you proud of?
– We are proud of the fact that, in a short time, SET was listed in the calendars of many companies and institutions in the region as a mandatory event that they would visit. It incites us to develop further and do everything in our power to provide the participants with good expert panels that will deal with the most current topics, while also securing for them business contacts through which they will try to contract new jobs.
This has certainly become one of a handful of the most important gatherings of the energy profession in the region, initially devised as a science and expert gathering, only to later turn into a serious business event. What are its biggest benefits to the business community?
– At the very beginning, SET was designed as a conference where the most important projects of Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske and the other two power companies in BiH would be presented. However, after the first year, it became an international event and today we can say that participants come to the Summit from 11 different countries. Dozens of potential investors also come among the participants in the Summit with the intention to invest in BiH and the region. The potentials and benefits that the business community can therefore have are big, from direct investments to the employment of workers and the increasing of the GDP in the country and the region.
It cannot be denied that the Summit has further improved the image of Trebinje, which has been especially fostered in the past years. What do those who come to the city on the Trebisnjica for the first time say?
– Of course, SET and events like SET give a new dimension to the development of tourism in Trebinje. As an event, SET has to be organized in a place whether the location has the potential to accommodate a larger number of people, which Trebinje certainly has. When you add to it the spring sunshine in March and the beauty of Trebinje, what every participant in the Summit says is that they will go back to Trebinje. As the organizers, we are trying to contribute to filling out the accommodation capacities at a time when the tourism season has not yet started by organizing SET and we hope that we are managing to do so and in our own way helping increase the tourism offer of Trebinje, especially when it comes to congress tourism.What would you like to see develop in terms of infrastructure that would mean something to gatherings like the Summit? Are investments in congress capacities and additional hotel capacities in Trebinje necessary?
– Of course, with the development of this event and other similar events that will be organized in Trebinje, there’s a need for the construction of a modern congress center and ideas in that respect have already been presented. We hope that, due to the quality of the event, they will be realized soon and that other organizers of similar events will choose Trebinje as a destination of the organization of their business events.
What is crucial for a successful organization of one such large event – what are the most important pillars of the organization?
– The most important pillar of the organization of one such event are the program and science boards of SET. Our boards feature the most important experts in energy in BiH and it is certain that they are the pillar of the organization which contributes to the quality of the Summit’s program, due to which the participants come to SET and Trebinje in the first place. The process of preparing SET lasts up to a year and there are many topics and names in the running before we come up with the final agenda and the program of the Summit. In the next period too, we will place the focus of the organization on the work of these boards. Also, an important pillar of the organization is the technical staff, which takes care of the organization of the event and which is in charge of making the scenography and everything that the participants see in the hall flawless.What are the further plans for the development of the Trebinje Energy Summit? How would you like this event to develop?
– The aim of the organization of SET is clear – to become the most important, most visited and best organized event of its type in Southeast Europe, which will gather, once a year, the most important factors and actors in the field of energy, who will agree the realization of new RES projects at SET. Also, as the organizers, we would like this trend of the growth of SET to continue in the future as well.Teodora Brnjos
Take a look at what the 2022 Trebinje Energy Summit looked like below:
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