About a year and a half ago, I made my first trip to Bucharest for work. Like most people heading out that way, I had a few thoughts in my head about what it might be like. But, to be honest, no real firm views. When I got there, I was more than pleasantly surprised by what I found. I’ve since been back twice in my GolinHarris Digital role and every time, I come away even more impressed.
For a country that was brutally oppressed under a dictatorship for many years, you would not expect the people there to be as friendly and welcoming as they are. The first two times I went over, the guy that drove me around (called Cezar) was constantly showing me around the city, telling me about its amazing history. Again, I was so struck by this guy’s passion, enthusiasm, his friendliness. Could you imagine the same in London, Sydney?
Then there’s the GolinHarris and Lowe teas out there. One word – amazing. These guys are so creative, passionate, hard-working and energized. I think the rest of Europe could learn a lot from them. My last trip out there was to present at a conference called Zilele Biz, which was all about innovation. I have to say, I was honored to be there. Unlike most conferences I speak at, I was one of only two marketing people there talking about innovation in marketing. The rest of the presentation were pretty amazing – caviar coffee by Lavazza, a window that you could install in 5 minutes!
My last engagement was for at the Digital snapshots event, hosted by the GolinHarris Bucharest team. A really smart idea where marketeers get to come in and here people speak about topics that they want to know more about and get to ask experts questions face-to-face. Again, the level of questions, the engagement, the passion, totally blew me away.
So, the thing about Bucharest is……. a lot more than you think.