In bed with the storytellers: Gernot Marx



“Just like bedtime stories that we used to listen to as children, every event creates and shares its own story. A well-told story is an event where the narrator and the listener meet, where the participant and the speaker form a personal bond.”

Before you come to Conventa Crossover, a hybrid conference for everyone, who wants to learn, socialize and exchange ideas in an informal, relaxed environment, the organisers wanted you to meet the speakers (or storytellers as they like to call them). Don’t worry if you can’t make it to Ljubljana on 27 August 2020, you can join the conference virtually.

Gernot Marx

Managing Director of Salzburg Convention Bureau

Q: How are we going to organize events in the future?

The process of organizing events will not change, but it will rather be supported by new tools. More importantly, I like to ask why, instead of how. The purpose of events needs to be put in focus when inviting people and asking to spend their time there. Apart from that, experience design will become more important at the very first touchpoint that an attendee has with an event.

Q: What is your love story with the world of events?

I am like a child on a playground, learning new things and doing what I really love day in and day out. Our industry has one of the highest human interaction levels and is very complex. And because I’m into the psychology behind all this, I’m still in love. Even if it makes me angry sometimes. But hey, that’s really all you get in a good relationship, right?

Q: In your opinion, what is live marketing’s best advantage vs online?

Physical meetings are key to satisfy our basic psychological needs for relatedness, autonomy and competence. For example, the touch of another human is not possible online. Virtual meetings lower the satisfaction of our self-determination, raise cognitive dissonance and constrains the sensory perception. And: There’s a buffet at physical events.

Q: What are you bringing to Conventa Crossover and why should an attendee not miss your session?

I am not a person that gives advise on one-size-fits-all marketing. I rather raise questions and discuss. We all love simple solutions, but I’d like to start a more self-reflective perspective in our industry. We need to talk about the factors that influence us most: Our needs as human beings. We need to ask “Does this meet the clients’ expectation?”, but we need to ask “How do I feel about this?” first.

Q: What do you expect from the event?

I am very much open to the content of conferences as long as it features people that are from different industries. A little drive for new innovation is probably what I’d expect as it grows from the outside perspectives and not from a self-contained environment.


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