How I got to co-organise an HR Conference in Mostar

April 19 2024 - Living the expat life, Exploring different Cultures, Serious Business


When we moved to Mostar in the summer of 2022, I had a lot of expectations.
Some came true; some didn’t. But one expectation I certainly did NOT have was that I would be organising the very first HR Conference in Mostar!

Yet here we are…. May 10 is the day!

How did that happen?

I guess it was the perfect mix of some people who believe that anything is possible, some people who are great at bringing the right people together, some people who are diligent in organising and getting things done, and some people who are very enthusiastic about driving a project to the finish line – no matter what.

Meet the members of the Mostar HR Community – all involved in HR-related jobs and all truly passionate about their business.

Being the only foreigner in this community gave me some interesting insights into how things can be done differently.

I come from an exceptionally well-organised country. We are known for our punctuality and for organising our work quite efficiently.

Let a Dutchie organise even the most minor project, and you will end up with a dedicated project team that meets at regular intervals, diligently reviewing the project's status and capturing the discussion in clear action items. Preferably, it should be in an Excel sheet with project owners, clear deadlines and a status tracker.

But my fellow community members showed me a whole different approach.

For quite some time, we were meeting and chatting over coffee. Someone would usually scribble some notes on a piece of paper, and we would verbally agree on who would do what. Until we would meet again and the process would repeat itself. It went on this way forever –until one of us booked the venue. Things were getting serious now!

And I was becoming quite uncomfortable….For the longest time, I had very serious doubts about whether we would ever pull this off for real.

But I learned that even when things are less rigidly organised and structured, you can be successful. A lot can happen when everyone chimes in and is dedicated to doing their part. And when unforeseen problems are met with the “Nema Problema” mindset, which is characteristic for the people in this region, not much can really derail the project.

And so I managed to restrain myself—well, most of the time. Very recently, I gave in and captured everything in…yes, an Excel file—and I think I am the only one who ever looks at it.

I learned to have faith in my fellow organisers – who navigate through the work so calmly and with ease. And why shouldn’t they?

After all, we are well underway in delivering a world-class HR Conference right here in Mostar!


Check out and register on our webpage: https://hrkonferencija.ba