This article is about a lecturer of EBS, Mihkel Lubi, who is teaching a subject named Event Marketing. He is also organizing Black Food Festival in november, where every food has to be black. Mihkel is going to tell us a little about this event and a little about working in such a field.
Mihkel is a professional in his field and there is definitely a lot to learn from him. Also, the EBSTER team is going to visit the Black Food Festival to see how this event has turned out, and to have a look at some black foods from different Estonian restaurants, cafes and food trucks.
Tell us about yourself. What do you do at EBS?
My name is Mihkel Lubi and I am giving an Event Marketing lecture here at EBS for the sixth year already. I am the founder, shareholder and CEO of an event marketing company named Elamusstuudio. We do around 250 projects in the field of corporate events and degustation annually. In my lectures, I try to pass on the realistic understanding of organizing events and the joys and problems behind them.
How did you find your way to organizing events?
It seems like it could be a gene error of some kind. My parents have both been sports functionaries and they took me with them to many contests when I was little. The first events where I got to be “hands on” were innovative and exciting house music parties from the VIBE events series. From there on I worked at Inorek & Grey Event, helped to launch the Diil brand at EMT as a advertising manager and from 2005 I’ve been working in events marketing in Elamusstuudio.
What would you recommend to a student who is interested in working in the same field? How to get started and what to consider beforehand?
In our work we hear constantly that it should not be complicated – a few phone calls, a few deals and that’s it.
In reality it’s much more complicated and detailed. Working in an agency is a skill in itself – to hold many balls (projects) in the air at the same time, but it’s not impossible. You need willpower and persistence. The easiest and the fastest way is to volunteer – find a few festivals you like, volunteer to work there. If you are good at what you are doing there, then you’ll be seen and in no time you’ll be in the organizing team. From there you’ll get contacts and experience which gives you great knowledge and of course it’s great to start out with organizing different parties and your personal events.
You are organizing the Black Food Festival. What is it and where did you get the idea for it?
The first Black Food Festival in Estonia is happening on the 23th of November. It’s an international festival which is organized by Elamusstuudio and Ekspress Meedia here in Estonia. It’s an experimental culinary festival which is filled with black food. The participants’ foods can be seen from the pictures they have sent us which we have made public on our social media sites. The festival which started out in 2018 in Hungary has found its way to the festival calendars of many bigger cities in the world and has now come to Tallinn. The idea to bring the festival to Tallinn was born on the Elamusstuudio trip to Helsinki where we visited that exact festival. When we saw how popular it was, and that there were many Estonians we decided to investigate if there was any way we could bring that to Estonia.
Do you have any prior experience in the field of culinary festivals or is this the first one?
I have a lot of prior experience in organizing events. I have been contributed in organizing Simple Session from 2004. We started the Elderly Festival with Inkotoa, I have been the consultant to JJ-Street in organizing the Baltic Session and for the eighth year in a row I am the technical manager of the Yoga Festival.
In addition to that, we have had the opportunity to offer different activation solutions to most of Estonian festivals with Elamusstuudio.
I have an unique history with food trucks – I have launched the Bite My Bagel food truck which offered bagels, which gained popularity in New York, for three seasons. In relation tho that I have gained some experiences taking part in food festivals and I have gained the respect for the job that is done by the participants of BFF.
Our Elamusstuudio team and our co-organizers are also foodies – for example our teammate Taavi has an app on his phone, where he has marked about 600 different restaurants and experiences from across the globe and he aims to really do and visit the majority of those.
How long does it take to make this kind of an event come to life?
After visiting Helsinki, some time passed so we could process the thought of it. But we have been organizing the event every day since May. It’s really fascinating to conclude the statistics of the time we have spent on it (every team member has been marking down their working hours) and to see how much time and effort has been put into this.
What would you say to the person who is hesitant on visiting the festival? What is it that makes the festival special?
Black Food Festival Tallinn is going to be filled with creativity in every possible way. Our participants have shown their creativity already by creating the recipes. Põhjala factory is a really inspiring place which is slowly becoming the heart and centre of Kopli. It has been a blast for us as organizers also, to do and plan out everything. We are really excited for our guests’ experiences. A stomach filled with great food and time spent with your friends and loved ones goes also hand in hand with the festival. It’s also cool that the evening of the festival day is filled with a great programme – the festival takes place from 11:00 to 20:00, but the party series Must Mesi starts with its programme at 21:00, so the festival is actually gonna end in the very early hours of the next day.
The event takes place for the first time in Estonia. Many can find it difficult to understand what the black food stands for. Has there been any funny or confusing stories?
With every new concept there will be some unexpected surprises. Black coloured food should be an easy concept but still we get a lot of questions about it – how black should it be? Is it considered to be black food when only the packaging is black? Do i have to have employees who have black/brown skin? Does it have to do with African cuisine? These are some of the typical questions.
The founder of the festival, Regina Boros has told some of her stories from other countries. For example, In New York they had to use the name Dark Food Festival because the culture there takes a very strong and different stand regarding the word “black”.
There have also been comments from other festivals. For example, they have had to deal a lot with the fact that people really want the black ice cream, but unfortunately the only ice cream stand had canceled their participation on the last minute, a day before the festival, but they didn’t manage to find a substitute in that timeframe. Fortunately, we have 3 ice cream stands so it shouldn’t be a problem.
Black Food Festival
Web EST: http://blackfoodfest.ee
Translator: Marlen Kuusk
Editor: Tea Teesalu