Andrea Faflíková: I'm looking forward to seeing new ideas, creativity and innovation
The president of the Bea World jury, which will meet this November in Porto, shared with Event Point the expectations for the next edition of the awards, and the experience of being responsible for Lego events for Central Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Can you share with us the biggest highlights of your career so far?
I used to work in different sectors – music, sports, advertising and now in a toy business - but mainly I worked in the Corporate Communication and Events sphere. Since I act mostly in this area, being the Bea President is a true recognition and the biggest highlight.
What are the main challenges of working in a major international company events-wise?
It can vary from one company to another or even within a person working for the same company. I represent the CEEMEA region – Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa – that is a very complex region in comparison with some other European regions that have, for example, only three countries under its leadership. Therefore, my colleagues can have a very different work experience than myself. Since the region I represent is so diverse, we design a different strategy for different market clusters.
From my perspective, the first that come to mind are in general different laws, regulations and standards, cost calculation, currency rates, shipment methods, customs and duty. I see three main challenges:
Complexity: We have a full spectrum of markets under our team’s leadership – from mature markets where we have offices to developing ones in which we do not have an active presence and are represented by distributors. These markets are very polarised; they have different goals and needs, and in practice almost every country has a different official language.
Scalability: We have to make sure that events that we develop are relevant to different locations; therefore, we have to think how to produce them to fit diverse event premises.
Timing: Developing event concepts for more markets that are not necessarily on one continent makes the lead-time challenging. We have to make sure that we are in line with the marketing strategy; we have to have time to develop the ‘big idea’. Along the way, you have many internal and external stakeholders involved, whom you have to inform about the development process and get approval from. On top of it all, you must bear in mind a delivery time not only within EU countries, but in our case also, for example, for African countries.
How important are events for Lego? Do you feel the importance of this tool is increasing?
Events organised under the LEGO brand help us to explain LEGO play experience especially in markets that do not have such a long history as in Europe and USA. If you put LEGO bricks into children´s hands, you do not need to say anything, kids start to build, create their stories and they have fun. LEGO Events help us to show to parents what LEGO play means for their kids and what benefits the experience has – a part is fun, other development of different skills.
I need to add that all of us know that events, in general, are very expensive if you look at the average cost per person and they are mostly of local character. At the same time, the level of engagement is incredibly high in comparison with other communication channels. With the latest development of Social Media, we can create a content from events and share it on the social media. On top of it, there is also UGC (User Generated Content) shared on these platforms. This way, we add reach to the existing cost and lower the cost per person. Being so, we still can have good quality leads via engagement metrics, not only views. Thanks to this development, I see the increasing potential of the industry. Yet, we have to leverage it properly.
Being a brand that has children as one of the main targets, what kind of extra challenges do you have in your events?
I would not say that we have extra challenges during our events. Naturally, what we are very cautious about is to make sure – according to the company motto: only the best is good enough, that all assets and settings meet the quality and safety expectations of our consumers. We produce only the safest products of the highest quality so that parents can rest assured that their children can experience the many essential values of play while playing safe. This approach we indeed respect while organising events.
Do you hire local agencies for your events?
We do hire local agencies. We also have an internal agency with which we primarily work in different areas including events. There is a big benefit of this set up – the agency knows our strategy, needs and quality requirements of including playability, model quality and fit with the LEGO brand. Once the Review Board has given a project a go, the next step is to decide on final design, pricing and release date before it goes to the factory and is released for sale.
Personally, I’m a big fan of this LEGO theme that helps to spread the creativity of any single individual.
How do you feel about being Eubea’s jury President?
It is a great honour! I absolutely did not expect the appointment; what’s more, I am proud that I can represent the entire jury composed of professionals from all over Europe / world. It is definitely one of biggest highlights of my career.
What are you looking for in the competing events?
I hope to see great strategies and fantastic results of competing events that matched the objectives set. I am looking forward to seeing new ideas, creativity and innovation presented by industry representatives from all over the world.
All the contestants will have the chance to pitch their events to the jury. What kind of approach do you find more effective?
It is important to be well structured in their presentation and to dedicate time – during the onsite presentation – and number of characters in the initial submission process. The objective should be clearly set, achieved results should reflect the objectives. To include the channel strategy with data related to number of people reached and engaged, is for me personally very important. Creativity and innovation is, naturally an integral part of a successful event, and all its main elements should be shown in the submitted video.
Have you ever hold an event in Portugal? How do you see the country as an event destination?
Not personally, since I primarily work in a different region. However, I am very well aware of LEGO Events that are being held in Portugal. For example, in Porto, there is the LEGO Fan Factory concept that I personally really like. It is a permanent event in a selected shopping mall in the form of a baby-sitting corner. LEGO play provides great building experience and at the same time a role-play full of stories that children can create and imagine themselves. The play offers fun and development of different skills. I hope that people in Porto are aware of it and that they like the experience.
What are your favourite destinations for an event and why?
I like Mediterranean countries because of the weather. Apart from other reasons, the main one is weather. In the Central and Eastern Europe is very hard to rely on weather conditions, therefore if an event is organised outside, you have to have two options “dry” and “wet” – for the case of the bad weather. We are organising a LEGO Event outside this week in the Czech Republic and the team is carefully watching the weather forecast to edit the settings depending on the final weather conditions.
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