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INTERVIEW WITH ELISA RAGGINI - EVENT MANAGER CASA OPTIMA GROUP

INTERVIEW WITH ELISA RAGGINI

EVENT MANAGER CASA OPTIMA GROUP

The exhibitions in presence have started again in a big way, and with them the entire organizational machine. To coordinate them as always, Elisa Raggini, Event Manager for Casa Optima Group.

How long have you been responsible for the exhibitions and how has your role changed over the years?

I joined MEC3 on the 1st of March, eighteen years ago and I initially covered the role of Customer Service for Italy. At the time I took care of the Customers at 360°, as well as covering marketing activities; together with Marco Conti I organized two exhibitions a year: Mig and Sigep. In 2005 I moved on to the Marketing department, as time went by the office began to expand, populating with new professionals and in 2010 I officially became the MEC3 Event Manager, a role that I have always considered to be perfect for me, because I adore organizing events and I have an aptitude for ‘problem solving’. My job begins with the draft of the stand, designed by listening to the ideas that come from the commercial team regarding the program to be carried out. When creating the stand, we must take into consideration the country in which the exhibition will take place, the square metres require and the different types of products to be exhibited (gelato, gelato soft, beverages, pastries). Unlike other sectors, our stands are in effect mini gelato parlours and real workshops where we install showcases and batch freezers.  Based on the program I contact the suppliers, we decide how many PS and commercial staff are required, i book the hotels, flights and the exhibitor passes. Because my job involves various offices and functions, we have created a standard procedure, although in some cases the details change from country to country, and it is sometimes necessary to adapt the rules accordingly. Since 2018 I am the Group Event Manager, and I am responsible for the events of all the brands.  The job has changed a lot after the pandemic, there are lots of new rules to follow and the uncertainties have led to a reduction in the time available to organize the exhibitions which, are all very close together and concentrated in the winter period. This year between direct and indirect we will organize approximately 25 exhibitions. It will be a great challenge!

What did it mean for you and the group to go back to the exhibitions in presence?

It was a great emotion for everyone, and we were all very enthusiastic. At last, we can travel and see each other again. I have been able to meet up with people that I haven’t seen, not even in video, for two years. The exhibitions as well as being important business moments, are opportunities to meet new people, catch up on the lives of colleagues who live far away, and there is always a great climate of collaboration.

What is the best aspect of your job? Which is the most complex?

The best aspect is without doubt the human side, the contact with colleagues and customers from all over the world. The most complicated part is the organizational aspect relative to both the execution of the exhibition itself and leaving home and family for many days.

Your favourite exhibition?

Apart from Sigep, the international exhibition with visitors from all over the world and which involves nearly 600 people from our group, on an emotional level, the one I prefer is Gullfood in Dubai, the first foreign exhibition that I organized and which I would never want to miss.  

Would you ever consider changing your role with another?

Even if it is challenging, and sometimes complicated, I would never change it! Especially now, after two years of standstill, feeling the adrenaline of being able to travel again has given me back a dimension of normality which i missed a lot.