October 8, 2020
Meet Elina Gilnere, Partner and Account Director of Ideju Instituts in Riga, Latvia.
– How did you get started in events? How did you end up at Ideju?
I got started in events during University (studying Culture and Sociology), organizing underground music concerts around Riga and some parties in a local café. After graduating I started working in a PR agency where the bosses of Ideju Instituts noticed my work and offered me an opportunity to join their team in the event sphere.
I have worked at Ideju for 16 years now and have been with it through all changes in our country – joining the EU, introducing the Euro, the economical crisis of 2008, etc. So far, it’s been a hell of a ride and I’m still excited about what is to come. And so, I can assume I adapt really well and always look for new opportunities for my and the company’s growth.
– How would you describe your agency? What makes Ideju special?
When I joined Ideju Instituts, it was the boldest, most creative, crazy and artistic agency with its own special character and signature. Since that time, we have maintained our creative side, while still becoming more mature, client focused, hard working on details and most importantly – aim, purpose and task of every event.
– How has COVID impacted the event industry in Latvia? Has the government provided any support for agencies? How has your agency adapted to the situation?
The situation has been hard. Many event agencies have stopped their work, fired many employees etc. Still we – as an agency and member of Latvian Event Production Association – became deeply engaged in communication with the Ministry of Culture and other institutions responsible for decision making about support measures to the event industry. And all together we managed to receive some support for the event companies in Latvia. Still, as many events got postponed or cancelled, we had to make some hard decisions regarding cutting down expenses, including parting with some of our team members.
On the other hand, there are some good things that seem worth emphasizing. During Covid, reliability, trust, experience and flexibility are valuable. It is not easy for clients to write briefs at the moment; they are looking for advice more than ever. Therefore, co-creation is important. We have started several co-creation and co-production projects with both clients and partners. We learn quickly by doing 😊. Many hybrid, digital events and new products, concerts etc. We are very busy at the moment and it actually feels that we have reached the maximum of our capacity right now.
– What Covid-related word or phrase are you tired of hearing at this point?
The words “virtual” and “streaming” are getting a bit annoying.
– How do you benefit from being a 27Names member?
We as an agency of a small country still are not living on a deserted island – we get influenced tremendously by everything going on in the world – new trends, discoveries, politics. Sharing experiences with the best agencies in Europe is an important value to us. Personally, and professionally I gain a lot from the opportunity to meet, talk and learn from my European colleagues. 27Names is a European family for me. Love them all 😊
– If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
Most probably I would be an art curator.
– What might someone be surprised to know about you? Any hidden talents or unusual hobbies?
I truly and honestly like live avant-garde and free jazz.
– What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Did you learn anything from it?
Hmm, it feels that I have quite boring work experience…
During my studies, I sometimes worked as a hostess for events. Once I had to replace the host of the evening on the stage. I`m not very good at public speaking. It was terrible.
– What is the best piece of advice you’ve received, personally or professionally?
This will pass.
You never know when this info might come in handy 😉
– You’re stranded on a desert island for one month. What 3 items do you take?
My kids and husband. But actually, a bunch of books and music records would be nice.
– Finish this sentence. On Sunday mornings you can usually find me__________.
In the forest, at an art exhibition or a concert.
– If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I can transfer myself in space in a moment.
Elina’s Riga Tips
– Favorite coffee shop?
I am not really into coffee shops. But for a glass of wine I totally would suggest “Vina veikals” in Riga, in the same building as our office.
– Favorite local publication/blog/Instagram account?
Arterritory an art and culture site which focuses on Baltic, Scandinavian, and Russian art.
– Top 3 sites every tourist should visit?
-The swamps near Riga.
Ideju Instituts team circa 2012
Ideju Instituts team after winning 5 national event awards in 2020.
Thank you for sharing with us Elina!
If you’d like to learn more about 27Names and our members, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.