Event description and key objectives
Istra Inspirit is a multi-awarded tourism project in Istria that enriches cultural and tourist offer of the peninsula with the revival of historical events on authentic locations, through staged Istrian legends and myths. Our vision is to reach the target market through the presentation of products in a creative and innovative way. The main objectives are that Istra Inspirit gather people togehter and gives a chance to anyone who wants to participate and to present true values that Istria has to offer. The main mission is by interactive approach making the culture heritage „alive“ to the local people and tourists who today are looking for experience and creativity. The Istra Inspirit performances are interactive; the audience is included in each part of the story in various ways (they learn how to make bread, pasta sing, dance etc.) Another principle is that we include locals in our experiences because we believe that they should be presenters of their culture. We believe we are creative in what we do and our experiences are enriched by various artists – actors, musicians, fire-eaters, acrobats and dancers. We offer experiences all around Istria: Poreč, Rovinj, Brijuni, Buzet, Vrsar, Rabac, Medulin, and some of locations are protected cultural and natural heritage, such as National Park Brijuni. We believe that we can, trough our project, make our visitors happy and enriched with unique new experiences and emotions.
We always try to find new ways to presents our storyand keep audience surprised. The key challengesare to valorize tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Istria, involve locals in creating cultural experiencesand preserve traditional customs from being frogotten.The project is trying to bring together tourism stakeholders of Istriaand influencthe launch of many tourist activities. IstraInspirit project added value is achieved by networking between companies, trades, family farmsand associations that are in their activities touching some of segments they deal with. The project also encourages creativityand inventiveness in young people, providing them new ways of thinking and open their horizons in terms of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking of the world around them. Young people are not only encouraged, but also part of the team: many of them have worked, or are still working on the project because we believe that energyand ideas from their perspectives can contribute to the project in many ways. In the latest years, we try to make our experiences free, for what is needed to make partnerships with stakeholders, that are willing to be involved in our goals of promoting istrian cultural heritage. We gather various of different artists, with many different skills, which means that they need to connect to each other. That’s way we try to build team spirit with all people involved in project.
The highlight of IstraInspirit is that it first started with the implementation of the program of creative industry in Istria, based on the authentic location, event and historical facts. Creative industries are specific by the location of available resources, including the time available to engage in entrepreneurial activities and the unification of the fundamental common values of different stakeholder. Creating authentic different experiences was always one the main goals of the IstraInspirit project as well as finding new ways of presenting cultural heritage but however following the principles of sustainable and responsible tourism. For example, during our experience ‘Jules Verne: escape from the castle’ we used 3D technology in presenting one part of the event, multiple times we combined many skills of our performer together: acting, music, dancing, juggling, walking on sticks, fire – eating, silk dance. But, we think that the creativity comes from the places in Istria, that we visit multiple times even before we have an event organised in the same places; they are our inspiration.
As for creative approach, IstraInspirit project wasalso awarded multiple timesas wellas innovative one: MRAK (Networkfor Development and Creativity) – an award for the most creative and innovative tourism product in 2012; Simply the Best – award from the UHPA and magazine Way to Croatiafor acreative and innovative approach to creating tourism offers in 2012; Golden Goat 2012 / Capra d’oro 2012 – for the best innovative product in Istrian Region. We can say that in Istriaregion creative and innovative tourism is in its beginnigs, which we try to change with our efforts through the project. Doing something different from the other stakeholders in our surroundings,as wellas including unpredictable and unexpected elements in our experiences hasa major role in this project. That is possible, because the innovative part of this project is its interdisciplinarity: we connect different people from different sectors. That includes local community,actors,artists, historians, musicians, costume and set designers, logisticsand production and supporting artisticactivities.
To make any experience that is promoted as IstraInspirit experience, it is necessary to go through the whole process from interest to revive a certain topic to its premiere. First of all, it is important that the interest of a local stakeholders to develop an experience is existing. Working meetings, which often involve the local people,are essential because during them we find the information needed to create the experience. We always try to combine their desires and expectations, so that all the subjects involved in the development of the new product are satisfied. This often involves cooperation with local producers, educational institutions,as wellas other interested parties. Our research often includes research of historical material,advices from historians,as well as gathering any other crucial information. After several meetings, we get guidance on who can participate and which activities we have to accomplish all set goals. Then, our creative director can start writing the scenario, set designers in costume making, promotional activities are being planned, including the preparation of promotional material and making all the necessary equipment. That can take several months until the date of the event, because some operations take multiple hours to be accomplished. Promotional activities can also take more than one month, especially if it’s whole new experience in our production.
From the beginnings of the project named Istra Inspirit, there has been results that can be presented as measurable: we have been awarded many distinguished rewards, seven in total, we came from organising 9 different experiences to being present in 15 different events in 2017, in the same year we also achieved following results: with our performances we were present on 15 different locations in Istria, 60 performers were involved to perform on events for Istra Inspirit, a total of 9,000 visitors saw our events in 2017. The numbers of performances, different kinds of events and the number of visitors of our events are increasing from 2012 constantly. On our social media, we have 7776 followers on Facebook and 1350 on our Intagram page. Our results are still in growing also because we went from Business to Busines (B2B) to Business to Customers (B2C). We believe, that is important to listen to customers in our surrounding and that is the key to conduct a project of cultural and experience tourism in the long terms.
Not only the customers are the one we listen to; also our audience is giving us many directions in which they want to see us going. We can see their opinion through communication on social media: we are very active on our official sites on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter. Although we organize our events the most during the period between June and September, we are active throughout the year on social media. It is important, that our public is constantly reminded on our work and experiences. But during our experiences we communicate the most with our audience: they are part of the event in many different ways, and then we also listen their comments. Networking is also a big part of Istra Inspirit and we try to maintain a partner relationship with all the stakeholders surrounding the project
The use of sustainable practices
When we are making different scenography props, we use recycled materials such as chipped paper, cardboard, various plastics and glass, all in order to improve environmental conservation and contribute to the recycling system. We strive for sustainable practice by using different materials, colors and textiles when we are making costumes for Istra Inspirit. We certainly like to highlight this part as one of the strongest sides during our business, because of the potential for project progress and the expansion of knowledge and skills when it comes to sustainable business. During managing Istra Inspirit project, we also decided to reduce the number of flyers we print per season, and we reduce from 10.000 to 3.000 flyers. The reason is that we use digital media to promote, which is more successful than printed promotional materials