“If the event works for business, business will not miss an opportunity to be there”. Olga Solovei, Managing partner and Co-Founder of Ukrainian Real Estate Club.
When was the EEA Real Estate Forum founded and who initiated it?
The first EEA Real Estate Forum took place November 2015. Honestly, it was a challenging and at the same time very positive experience for the whole team. First of all, URE Club as a local player and EuropaProperty.com as an international player acted as co-organizers. Just year before in 2014 the two organizations had signed a memorandum on strategic partnership. It was an unprecedented practice for the market. However, we were at the same page and agreed that we should bring new experience for real estate players, and go beyond one country. As a result, 5 Eastern European countries were involved. Among them were Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine.
Secondly, the first event was held right after Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine. Guests from every participating country understandably had controversial feelings when they were invited to the country with armed conflict in place. So, we had a task to show people a different picture. In reality, Ukraine turned out as a good location in terms of geography for all guests of the event.
What is the goal of the forum and what are your resolutions for this year?
The Forum has several key goals. They are quite straightforward. First, the Forum brings countries, which still seem unclear for the international investors and businesses. It gives them an opportunity to have the whole picture covering 5 countries of the region at the same place, to differentiate and compare markets and, of course, to understand these markets and the way people do business here.
We as organizers aim to grow each year, improve the quality and to make the event efficient and beautiful at the same time. Beautiful as after good job, everybody deserves to celebrate and enjoy the atmosphere.
What are the consequences of the past awards? How did it change the market?
This year we will hold third event. As a result we can compare and see trends and impacts for the market for sure. Forum and Project Awards together allows companies and projects to compete. Competition is always a good motive force for market development and it helps to increase the quality of the projects. We also believe, that strong players and hard workers should be visible on the market and play as a role model for others. In 2015 we had 12 nominations; last year we had 15 nominations. This year the number of nomination is more than 25. At request of the Awards’ participants, we added several new nominations. Among them are innovative green building project; renovation of the year; public building of the year. Other than that, we raise requirements for the nominated companies. Thus, service companies such as law firms, brokerage companies; consulting companies should attach recommendations or comments of their clients/partners. As a result, we see the sense of the nominees’ responsibility is growing. It is good sign.
Awards is getting bigger and bigger every year, how do you plan to raise awareness about it? How other people will be encouraged to take part in the development in the real estate sector in the country and region with this event?
It is true. The EE Forum and Project Awards is getting bigger. This year we have 200 people in the guest list, and 200 nominees. It has been doubled since last year. We believe that with help of strong international partners, high-quality business media publishers like CBW there is a very good chance for the event to become more popular among our target audience internationally. Also, of course, we count on word-of-mouth. It works well when you are consistent and show positive tendency. In other words, if the event works for business, business will not miss an opportunity to be there.
Will this year’s awards be different from previous events? What are your plans?
It will not be completely different from previous years as we are consistent and keep moving the same direction. This year it will be bigger and I would say more enthusiastic. But you should come and see it by your own eyes.