Digital Nomads

Zagreb Digital Nomad Week Wins Sustainability, Best Crossover Awards at Conventa 2021

By 28 August 2021
Tanja Polegubic (centre), CEO of Saltwater Nomads, which won 4 awards for its Dubrovnik and Zagreb digital nomad projects
Tanja Polegubic (centre), CEO of Saltwater Nomads, which won 4 awards for its Dubrovnik and Zagreb digital nomad projects

August 28, 2021 - A good night in Ljubljana for Zagreb's emerging digital nomad story, as Zagreb Digital Nomad Week scoops two awards at the Conventa 2021 Best Event Awards in Ljubljana.

The buzz is getting louder...

An excellent night in the Slovenian capital last night for the Croatian and Zagreb digital nomad story, as this year's inaugural Zagreb Digital Nomad Week won Best Event for Sustainability and Best Event in the Crossover (B2B/B2C) categories at the Conventa 2021 Best Event Awards. Zagreb Digital Nomad Week & Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador Project is a collaboration between Saltwater Nomads, Total Croatia News and Zagreb Tourist Board, and it was one of two Saltwater Nomads projects to make the finals of Conventa 2021.

The Conventa Crossover Best Event Awards have been held annually since 2018, and follows on directly from the Conventa Events Trade Show. It brings together Event and Live Marketing leaders and awards events on their innovation, creativity, legacy, execution, results and sustainability. There are 4 categories (B2B, B2C, B2I and Crossover) plus an audience award, creativity, sustainability and best agency. The event every year brings together leading speakers, workshops and in 2021, over 300 MICE professionals.

Both Saltwater Nomads projects, Zagreb Digital Nomad Week and Dubrovnik  Digital Nomads-in-Residence made the final six in the Crossover section, along with Travelling with ICare (Italy), World of Synergy Confluence (Slovenia), 'Promotion of Entrepreneurship' by Komunikacijski Labatorij for the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, and Photomath Press Event (Croatia). 

The panel of international judges and audience voting (which contributed to 20% of the overall vote) placed Zagreb Digital Nomad Week first  and Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence third. Zagreb also came in first for the overall Best in Sustainability Award in all categories. You can learn more about Zagreb Digital Noamd Week here.

Saltwater Nomads CEO, Tanja Polegubic, was in Ljubljana for the event, where she had 60 seconds to pitch each event live, in addtion to the pre-recorded video showcase above. 

I consider what stood out foremost was the audience: digital nomads. Everyone is working from home, so could relate and quickly grasp that a destination would want to connect with this audience and see how they could suit these needs. The format, which took you around the entire city, engaged businesses who had suffered from covid and the earthquake.


(Zagreb Digital Nomad Week opened on June 21 at Canopy by Hilton in Zagreb)

The challenge was - Croatia was trending among digital nomads, and yet no one was really considering Zagreb. This was ZAGREB’s challenge. Get on the map!

We needed to see how might we - in the shortest space of time, and while the topic was hot - showcase the city to this audience? We also knew working while traveling was new to a lot of people - so we brought together experts and topics which would help them - and inspire them to consider Zagreb. 

The pitch was only 60 seconds and took a lot of focus to craft. How do you convey an event and try win over a crowd? 

I have to acknowledge and applaud the leadership and trust Zagreb Tourist Board  showed in us by taking on this project. Beyond the success for the tourist board, providing great outcomes for the city -  the broader events industry in Europe recognises this is a viable segment in tourism and the value of these programs.

Winning these awards demonstrates this is a sustainable model Croatia can develop to engage this audience.

Zagreb is already seeing the benefit of the international participants of Zagreb Digital Nomad Week. Dean Kuchel from Digital Nomad World and a keynote speaker at the conference, was beyond impressed with his time in Zagreb, declaring that not only does the Croatian capital tick all the boxes for digital nomads, but that the only thing missing is more digital nomads. A hidden gem for nomads just waiting to be discovered. And these are not just words on Kuchel's part, for he is returning to Zagreb next week to take up residence as the third ambassador of the associated project to ZDNW, the Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador Project. 

You can learn more about Conventa 2021 and all the winners on the official website

For the latest news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section