Kongres Magazine Interview
Claudia Badiu: “I focus on putting Romania on the map as an emerging MICE destination”
Interview with Claudia Badiu, General Manager of Paloma Tours
Kongres Magazine talked to Claudia Badiu, General Manager of Paloma Tours, who was recently named among the top representatives of the 10 Most Influential Meeting Agencies 2021. Claudia shared her advice for newcomers in the meetings industry and expressed her opinion on the future of events.
Q1: What does the title of the industry’s most influential individual in the region mean to you?
I am very grateful and honoured to be recognised among the Top 10 Most Influential Meeting Agency Representatives for the second year. In the last two years, we have reinvented our company, and this prize is a recognition for very hard teamwork. Paloma team played a major part in this achievement. The accolade is a wonderful acknowledgement of our work in these past two challenging years as we managed to become stronger and more united as a team. This prize is very special for me and is a real motivation for the upcoming years to grow as a company and increase the MICE business in Romania.
Q2: Can we say that you are a newcomer in the meetings industry? What inspires you?
I have been deeply involved in the meetings industry ever since 2010. Still, we have reinvented ourselves and adapted to the constant changes within the industry since the pandemic started. We have developed our live streaming platform and studios, but, most importantly, we have reinvented ourselves as professionals. When talking about inspiration, we talk about our clients and partners. We constantly try to come up with innovative ideas out of a desire to honour long-time partnerships and build new ones. As you already know, this is a versatile industry, and to stay on top, it is a must to exit your comfort zone constantly and be better than you were a day before. All these reasons are a great incentive to keep going and growing.
Q3: You have contributed a lot to the development of the meetings industry. What would you say was your greatest achievement so far?
There have been many achievements so far in my career, and it is very hard to determine which one is the greatest. For more than 15 years, I have been focused on putting Romania on the map as a new and great MICE-destination. If I had to choose from our latest achievements, my thoughts would probably go to the tailor-made streaming platform that we perfected to be accessible, fresh, and highly customisable.
After we launched it on the market, our expenses with other subscriptions were cut to half, and our profits started to grow. We added value by including our moderating services, equipping out studios with green screens and the latest tech, and of course, adding our visionary designs to the mix.
Q4: What changes would you like to see in the meetings industry in 2022?
The need for human interaction will prevail. More and more partners want to organise their events fully offline. We are ready for any kind of scenario. If there is anything we have learned in all these years is that the most important thing in our line of business is adaptability. We consider it the key to our success.
Q5: What is your prediction for the future of meetings?
I am sure online and hybrid events will remain on the market from now on. They can reach a larger audience regardless of the distance, but the focus will be on human interaction.
Q6: What is your advice for young colleagues making their way in the meetings industry?
You cannot do it alone. You need to surround yourself with flexible and hardworking people to achieve success. It is about teamwork, so do not be afraid to ask for help and take risks.
Q7: Were you more exposed in public after being placed on our list? Do you see this as an opportunity to reinforce the prominence of our industry in general?
Kongres Magazine is prestigious and influential within the meetings & events industry. It goes without saying that being placed on your list is not only an honour but also great publicity for the company. Concerning your second question, I believe that, as professionals, we have the responsibility to exchange expertise and bring each other up. If we aim to reinforce the prominence of our industry, we must start by becoming an example of good practice and sharing our approach. I value this list because it allows us to network and learn while applauding each other’s results.
Q8: What are your thoughts on our selection of the influencers?
I am proud to say that most of them are my friends, and we have had several collaborations together. I am sure they all deserve the nomination.
Q9: In your opinion, who deserves the title of the TOP influencer if you had to choose from the finalists yourself?
As I mentioned already, everyone deserves this nomination, so I cannot decide. However, in my eyes, the top influencer will always be my team – Paloma Tours. Indeed, I have received the title, but this has been a team effort, and it will be unfair not to publicly applaud their work by always voting for them.