A few days before the debut of ICEEfest, that gathers in Bucharest all main players in online, organizers say they are close to the max capacity and that they will stop selling tickets this week-end or at the start of next week.
In an interview for Paginademedia.ro, Dragos Stanca, Managing Partner ThinkDigital Romania and founder & organizer ICEEfest, gave more details on this year’s edition of the event.
Stanca said that, for 3 years already, the festival gains strength and relevance for the region and ICEEfest’s momentum is “a good thing for Bucharest and Romania”
Below, some of the info and answers given by Dragos Stanca during the interview for Paginademedia.ro:
Q. Euro 250 for a ticket at ICEEfest. Little? A lot? Normal?
Dragoș Stanca: To quote an anonymous commentator in social media: “Aren’t you jerks to ask Euro 250 for a ticket?”. The correct answer is yes, we are. Towards our shareholders. Because the normal price should be double in order to cover all costs. Moreover, the ticket was available for Euro 100 and Euro 150 a month and a bit ago. Plus there are discounts starting from Euro 80. Plus discounts for groups and companies. Plus all of this is not important.
A weaker event in terms of content organized in Dubai, taking place right now, costs $1,200 per person. Similar events in Istanbul are Euro 400-600. I’m not even mentioning London or Paris. Let’s talk about the important things. This is from “if it’s in Romania, it needs to be free” mind-set, because people are paying without any problems triple amounts (plus plane tickets and hotel) for events with less relevance for us that are in Istanbul or Budapest.
Q. And what is important at ICEEfest?
Dragoș Stanca: Mainly it is important the fact that, for 3 years, the festival kept becoming more powerful and more relevant for the entire region. And, although all that “smells” like patriotism is now considered to sound ridiculous, I think this is a good thing for Bucharest and Romania. This year, we have over 35% participants from abroad, there are already 10 countries (an amusing thing is most foreigners are coming from Netherlands, don’t ask me why). Two years ago, Twitter wasn’t answering our e-mails. We didn’t write to them anymore this year and they reached to us.
As important is that we have a list with important representatives from major global players, many of them present for the first time: starting with Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft (Skype and Windows Phone), continuing with Twitter (a first in Romania), Shazam, BBC, Forbes, Spiegel Digital, UpComing, continuing with all major communication groups and digital creative agencies that made spectacular global and local campaigns (Sid Lee, DigitasLBi, Achtung etc).
There are over 50 important companies and over 70 speakers, which isn’t easy in Romania, where the incomes for a festival like this, that will be the pride for any European capital, aren’t ye where it would be justified from a business point of view. But I am glad to see the public supporting us and participating in significant numbers. And Orange is with us since 2008, “since the days” of RoNewMedia.
According to Stanca, ICEEfest was attended, last year, by 1.732 registered participants. He also added that the tickets sales will be stopped soon, as the comfort of participants matters and they should have access to festival’s events without being crowded.
ICEEfest is scheduled to take place next week, on June 12-13, Grand Cinema & More Baneasa Shopping City, and over 2,000 participants are expected to attend.