Holanđanin koji živi u Podgorici piše o Spark.me konferenciji
Već drugu godinu Paul Wennekes dolazi na Spark.me. On je novinar po profesiji a odlučio je da živi u Podgorici, jer iako je proputovao svijet smatra da njegov avanturistički nemirni duh najbolje odgovara Balkanskom mentalitetu. Napisao je turističke knjige o Crnoj Gori, Ohridskom jezeru i Albaniji na holandskom. Aktivno predstavlja Crnu Goru kroz držanje prezentacija po Zapadnoj Evropi. Prešao je Crnu Goru i region pješke, biciklom i kamperom, i poznaje naše krajeve bolje od svih nas. U vječitoj borbi da svijet učini boljim mjestom on želi da počne od Crne Gore, a za to koristi svoj talenat i ljubav prema pisanju i tehnologiju. Odatle i stiže na Spark.me. Evo njegovog kratkog osvrta na konferenciju, na prilike i mogućnosti.
“Sitting on a rock in the immeasurable space of a high plateau in the Kučke Planine mountains, I am reflecting on the past weeks. Highlight? The Spark.me Conference. I am meditating while the sun is shining on my head, burning my scalp. That is the consequence of losing my hair and gaining age. I remember the Spark.me images and decide to write down my thoughts…
There you are as a 67-year old man among young people who are eager, who want to score and to make a career. What are you doing there? Watching of course. And listening. And nothing is less true; gradually you get the feeling that you are lagging behind the times. And then you feel a kind of regret, regret about the years that passed by when you had to acquire your knowledge from magazines, newspapers and books. For instance, I will never forget the book: ‘Hidden persuaders’ written by Vance Packard! An ‘eye opener’ and still for sale at the bookshops!
Then I become aware that I am still full of ambition, in spite of my age. Well, ‘apps’ and other technical tricks are not exactly my world but I do use them! And then, yes, then the Conference is also fascinating for me and full of new interesting facts I can benefit from.
A crisscross of stories are tumbling through my mind. I select the facts I want to know and remember the things I can learn from the man or woman on the stage. And that is so much! Regardless of the fact that I felt a little bit stuck-up in the style of: “What can those people explain to ME!’
Listening and analyzing, I am even more aware of the fact that nowadays young people are getting many chances. Starter premia for interesting solutions and crowdfunding are ideas from this new intellectual world! Admonishing words to avoid creating “your own toys” but produce applications that “people” are waiting for. Market research and efficiency are the headwords.
In short: The Conference was extremely interesting, in particular for young entrepreneurs (read: start-ups) – but also for me -, and it contributes to a better understanding of what the entrepreneur should expect before being able and allowed to sell his or her product on the market.
Oh, and ‘by the way’; on my entry permit I was called a blogger. Don’t think I have something against bloggers; my wife is a blogger, but I am proud of my own title: Journalist. And that is the title I would like to see on my badge next time!
So, Paul Wennekes is a journalist. A retired journalist who can’t stop working. With great interest in everthing that is happening in today’s world of providing information. After forty years of journalism, of which more than thirteen years in the former Eastern Bloc countries as correspondent for ANP, Dutch Press Agency, and nine years of radio journalism, the tourism sector started to become more and more attractive. After my last “war task” in Kosovo (2000) I decided to change over to this branch and since then I have been traveling all over the Balkans, through Russia and Ukraine. At one of these trips I met Marianne van Twillert and apart from a fruitful cooperation in the area of producing travel guides, among which the first Dutch guide for Montenegro (!), I definitely settled down in Montenegro in 2011 and finally also married “Mariana”.
In the beginning living in my own world. Getting familiar with the country and the people. But gradually becoming restless; I wanted to do something. Something for Montenegro as a tourist attraction.
So one of the reasons to visit the Cconference was also my search for somebody who could help me. What am I looking for? An App. As for attracting tourists to Montenegro you need more than a flyer, a book and a map. Oh yes, of course, Facebook is another possibility, but here you can’t even see the forest for the trees. Too many people use this medium and that is why we need something new. Most websites in tourism show a lack of transparency, they are chaotic and full of non-information. Blogging? That is what Marianne is doing with a lot of success. I want to have something essential. Something that can be used at each moment of the day. Something that has surplus value for the people who visit Montenegro. Or whatever other country! “Foursquare”? Nice but that is not what I am looking for. So let’s start to inventorize what is really needed. Nowadays I have started a research of what people really want during their visit in Montenegro and how I can help them to get their wishes fulfilled. Andthat is why I need a seasoned “technical chap” who would be tourism-oriented, who could interprete facts and find creative App-solutions. So… who could it be?
In the meantime I also thought about the following: Is there nothing I could possibly teach the participants of the Conference? Yes, for sure! There is a number of persons who master their subject in a perfect way. But …. there are also some speakers who might gain some more control of the concept called “presentation”. Being master of your profession does not necessarily mean that you can captivate the interest of 400 eager persons. And that’s something I can do!”