The best weekend of the year has become synonymous with the Weekend Media Festival since its inception in 2008. The festival’s visionary founder and director, Tomo Ricov, had a vision of a relaxed gathering where attendees could discuss current events and trends, exchange experiences and opinions within the media and communication industry, and even potentially strike a business deal. So, we sat down with Tomo to discuss the festival’s beginnings, as well as the challenges and expectations surrounding Weekend.16.
What has changed the most since the Weekend’s inaugural event in 2008?
The best thing about the Festival is that it has changed very little over the years. Now and then, luck shines upon us in life, and everything falls perfectly into place. For me, that’s what the Weekend Media Festival represents! Just as I envisioned it back then, it has remained the same until today – set in an informal, relaxed atmosphere where people engage in conversations about important and current topics. It’s a zone of peace and love where everyone feels welcome! Not to mention the countless fruitful collaborations that have emerged from networking at Weekend.
In over 90% of cases, our panelists and speakers have eagerly accepted our invitation to join the Weekend. Is it a matter of prestige to be a part of the Weekend program?
Honestly, I sincerely hope so. People understand that this is a serious conference, and I don’t invite them without a good reason. When you bring together smart individuals in one place, attendees know they’ll gain a fresh dose of inspiration and new insights. We host both local and international speakers. The international ones often explain trends and provide a global perspective, but I’ve never wanted to lose sight of the fact that this is genuinely a regional festival.
Is Rovinj still the ideal destination for the Weekend?
The Festival and Rovinj have shared a special connection from the very beginning. We chose Rovinj because it appeared to be the ideal destination for people from Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina – in other words, the entire region – to gather and savor the last weekend of September. Additionally, the Adris Group has been a steadfast supporter of the festival, aligning with our vision and ideas since the outset. Rovinj has established itself as an ideal tourist destination, as well as a sought-after event venue. In this synergy, it has become a place of inspiration, a hub for acquiring new knowledge, networking, and entertainment, while also marking the perfect transition from summer to autumn, refreshing both mindsets and spirits.
Do you have a vision for the next 16 festivals? Is there something you want to change?
I believe that the Weekend concept is fantastic and can be applied to other industries. Specifically, we want to fill the Weekend with expert speakers, keeping it at the forefront of current trends, if not ahead. Moreover, we’ve expanded the Weekend brand to include the Women’s Weekend, held in March, which focuses on women’s issues. The Weekend Food Festival, gathers the finest chefs and global restaurants, and we’ve even ventured into sports. In Zadar, we have a festival that isn’t named Weekend but shares a similar conceptual approach to the Weekend brands; it’s called the Sunset Sports Festival.
For the first time, HR.Weekend is being held as part of the Weekend. What’s it all about?
This year, we’re hosting the inaugural HR.Weekend, a festival designed for all HR professionals, HR managers, employers, company representatives, and anyone interested in shaping modern HR practices. We developed HR.Weekend in collaboration with the Degordian agency, listening to the market’s needs over the past few years. For example, we realized that the IT industry faced a significant challenge in how they recruit talent. It can be quite a struggle to find the best people. HR has become highly complex, unlike traditional personnel departments. That’s why we decided to integrate it into the Weekend Media Festival to gauge people’s responses, and so far, the feedback has been excellent.
What can we expect from Weekend.16?
Celebrating three days of inspiration, camaraderie, and entertainment, Weekend.16 promises an unforgettable experience. Visitors can rest assured that they will be thoroughly satisfied, both with the program and the entertainment options. We consistently showcase top regional musicians, adding the perfect finishing touch. With 16 years of festival experience, our priority is ensuring that everyone who wishes to join us in Rovinj does so, while we, the organizers, have everything else under control.
Judging by everything Tomo has shared, there’s no doubt that this year’s Weekend, with its atmosphere and compelling speakers, will surpass all previous editions.