Networking, experience sharing, discussions on crucial topics, and excellent entertainment marked the beginning of the week in Nikšić and Montenegro, where the third edition of the Cross Border Coworking Conference was organized. The conference, jointly organized by the Innovation Entrepreneurship Center Technopolis and INTERA Technology Park in cooperation with the National Tourist Organization of Montenegro, brought together over 150 participants from around the world, including digital nomads, tourist operators, coworking managers, and decision-makers who engaged in a rich three days program.
It all started on Monday, October 9, 2023. in the evening hours when speed networking took place in the premises of the Tehnopolis Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, during which the participants had the opportunity to get to know each other better and learn about each other’s professional life, as well as interesting things related to the lifestyle of digital nomads. With a snack after the speed networking, the participants relaxed and had fun, creating a foundation for a productive continuation of work during the conference.
A rich program filled with the exchange of knowledge and experiences
During nearly eight hours of the program on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, participants had the chance to listen to presentations, panel discussions, and workshops prepared by regional and global experts. After the welcoming speeches, the conference began with presentations about Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, highlighting the natural beauty of these countries and the various offerings available to digital nomads. Progress in attracting nomads was evident in the countries’ offerings, and it was emphasized that key stakeholders, especially tourist operators, are aware of the importance of tailoring their services to the needs of this target group. The conference program encompassed the presentation of the digital nomad lifestyle and a panel discussion on the experiences of local companies with remote work. The possibility of remote work was identified as a significant benefit of modern work environments, with an emphasis on the importance of adapting management styles to this trend, particularly focusing on employee well-being in these conditions. This year, the conference was enriched by the presentation of experiences from digital nomads who had previously stayed in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina through video messages, defining both countries as hidden gems with much to offer this target group. The conference also included workshops addressing contemporary challenges faced not only by digital nomads but also by other individuals in their everyday professional lives. During the time management workshop, it was highlighted that the key to success lies in focus and goal-oriented attention, along with tips on improving focus and, consequently, productivity. The burnout workshop emphasized the absence of a positive routine as one of the primary contributors to burnout, offering participants steps to overcome this issue. Throughout the program, 12 coworking spaces from the region presented their services, inviting all attendees to visit and become their users. The conference also delved into advice for digital nomads on how to integrate into the local community, emphasizing stepping out of their comfort zones as a necessary factor for engaging in various activities like social events, volunteering, and more. The personal branding workshop introduced five rules for successful branding, with a focus on credibility, authenticity, networking, and consistency as characteristics necessary for enhancing one’s image. The conference ended with the presentation of examples of good practices from Europe, this year the coliving space Coconat from Germany.
Networking as a key benefit
For the third year in a row, the conference proved to be a platform for presenting the region to digital nomads, but also for networking and making contacts. This year’s novelty was a cruise on the magnificent Bay of Kotor on Wednesday, October 11, 2023. year, which served for additional introduction and exchange of experiences. The special value lies in the positive impressions of all the participants who this year agree on one thing – the countries of the Western Balkans are truly a hidden gem for digital nomads and they have a bright future ahead of them, during which the offer for this target group will be improved in order to meet their needs and take advantage of all benefits.
This year’s edition was co-financed by the European Union and the Government of Germany through the Covid-19 Investment Response/EU4BusinessRecovery project. This project is implemented by GIZ BiH with the aim of reducing the economic consequences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other things, his project contributes to the strengthening of the capacities of tourist operators, the development of sustainable tourism and the branding of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a destination for digital nomads. The conference was additionally supported by the Investment Development Fund, Municipality of Nikšić, The Regional Rular Development Standing Working Group (SWG), Tourism Organization of Nikšić, Nikšić Theater, ZenDev and DELI. Media sponsors of the conference are Bljesak.info, Nezavisne novine, Večernji list and RTV Nikšić.