Interview. Avi Cicirean (Brand Minds): There is a hunger for great content

Newsroom 13/12/2017 | 11:29

On May 11, local businesses and creative leaders will take part in what is being called one of the most inspirational business events of 2018, Brand Minds. Sophia, the humanoid robot, and big names from the branding and business world, such as Seth Godin, Shed Simove, Robin Sharma and Daniel Goleman, will all take the stage. BR sat down with the owner and general manager of Brand Minds Europe, Avi Cicirean, to get insights into the event and its future.


By Romanita Oprea


When did you first have the idea of organizing a big event with international public speakers and why?

Brand Minds started in 2013 as a necessity on the Eastern European market. We noticed that there was so much potential when it came to supporting business communities and helping people achieve their maximum potential. We therefore decided to bring value to our business community by organizing events focused on growth, with the best world-changers.


How did Brand Minds first appear and how did you choose the speakers?

We chose the speakers based on their impact in different areas. For example, we brought Karim Rashid to share his outstanding vision on design, but also Martin Lindstrom, who is a highly respected marketing expert.

Our mission is to create amazing experiences that encourage people to act in their lives. We work to bring some of the world’s most inspiring leaders and iconic personalities for people to hear their stories and get a taste of their knowledge.


How long does it take to convince someone like Seth Godin or Gary Vaynerchuk to be a speaker in Romania?

This is the main problem when organizing business events. The speakers have very busy schedules and you have to book them a year or two prior to the event. After you establish a relationship with them, it’s easier, but it’s challenging until you reach that point.


How difficult is it financially to organize such an event and how are you positioned on the Romanian business events market?

Brand Minds has become the Central and Eastern European business summit of the year. There are a lot of people coming from nearby countries, a fact that encourages us to keep striving to grow and support as many communities as we can.

Financially speaking, these kinds of events are very expensive, but with the help of our sponsors, they become sustainable.


What were the main challenges in organizing the event?

The main problems are related to finding the best venue. Most of the time it’s either too small or too big. Furthermore, since our main focus and objective is to offer our attendees the best experience possible, the venue plays a very important role.


What were the results of the first runs?

All the events were sold out and, to our delight, people left with their expectations exceeded.

How did you decide to organize Brand Minds 2017 Asia?

After becoming the Central and Eastern European leader in the business events industry, we focused on the next level and chapter of our journey. Therefore, the decision to choose Asia came naturally in our growth process. Additionally, it complemented our vision: to inspire people to create a better world everywhere we go! We had the opportunity to book Gary for our event there, so we decided to bring him to Singapore for the first time.


How would you characterize this year’s event? What are your feelings and impressions?

There is a hunger for great content. When we curate the speakers, we have the mindset that every person who attends Brand Minds will leave with at least three ideas that will improve their life or business.


What were the main differences between the Romanian and the Asian versions (besides the speakers and locations, of course)?

The Romania and Singapore markets are quite different, from the cultural insights to the way they consume content. In Singapore, for example, there are a lot of free events. Besides this, there is a lot of support from the government to help startups grow and young entrepreneurs develop their businesses.

What are the main lessons you learned from those experiences?

The entire experience gave us a global perspective of the events market, which helps us a lot.

Do you plan on organizing a new one next year?

Yes! Next year in November we will organize the next big event in Singapore.


What are your plans and expectations for the 2018 event?

Brand Minds Europe 2018 will definitely be sold out soon. Over 2,500 participants will have the chance to meet world-changers like Seth Godin and Robin Sharma. Also, people will have the opportunity to see Sophia, the AI Robot, for the first time in CEE.

However, besides the fancy idea of seeing an AI robot, we are offering people the opportunity to get a wider perspective of what the future is going to look like, to learn about it and to have a better understanding.

What feedback have you received so far (both in Romania and internationally)?

In Europe, we had companies that attended with up to 70 employees and the feedback was fantastic! Seeing the impact we have on people’s lives with our events motivates us to continue what we’re doing.

In Asia, the feedback exceeds our expectations as well. From entrepreneurs saying that 25 October was the best day of their lives, to people coming all the way from Australia and Indonesia to join the event. We also had local business influencers saying that they hadn’t experienced such a vibe at a business event before. Customer service software has evolved over the years into the best tool for businesses of all sizes.

We are so grateful to see how our work pays off and people are actually leaving our events with a mindset to change the world.



Avi Cicirean

owner and general manager, Brand minds Europe

Creative and self-motivated person. Emotional experience visionary. Sensory branding expert. Challenger, adaptable, sociable and funny. Former creative services director at Radio 21,Vibe FM and Radio Zu, former voice over and producer at Music Channel and Activ Band Romania, Avi (Flaviu) Cicirean has been, since August 2005, owner and creative director at Brand Emotion Bucharest and, since February 2017, owner and general manager at Brand Emotion Singapore.

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