Wojciech Liszka, 36, works in Krakow, Poland, as owner and CEO of
Z—Factor. As a 2017 40 Under 40 honoree, Liszka discusses his passion for the events industry.
*Connect with Liszka on Twitter.
What I do: I started my business, Z—Factor, two years ago with the goal of providing tools to help hotels and conference centers increase their revenues. Demandoutlook.com, our conference benchmarking tool, is one of our most successful. We are now delivering our services in seven European countries, and our clients represent major hotel chains, individual hotels, tourism organizations and DMCs.
How I got here: I spent 12 years working in hotels, from a trainee in a hotel sales department to director of sales. I was always looking for opportunities to help differentiate the hotel I worked for from its competition. Finally I decided to use my skills to start my own business. About two years later, I’m hiring around 60 people on contracts.
My greatest career accomplishment: While working for Radisson Blu Hotel, Krakow, I discovered I had a common interest with UBS Krakow’s CEO: running. We wanted to organize an event to connect business communities of Krakow, stimulate corporate employees to get involved and contribute to charity. We first wanted to organize a charity running relay for approximately 300 people in Krakow. It turned out we could reach much further. Five years later, we are organizing an event taking place simultaneously in seven cities, gathering 17,000 runners in 2016.
Specific improvements I’ve made: I specialize in initiating and making things run: MPI Poland, Meetings Week Poland, Poland Business Run, MPI Poland Discovery of the Year and Z—Factor are all projects I started from scratch that are now successfully operating as well as helping our industry and communities.
What I’m working on: We plan to double the number of markets of Z—Factor’s operation from seven to 14. This means we open a new market every month and a half. I’m very excited about this and this is also very challenging for us; it can only happen with the great team we have.
What I do outside of work: If I’m not in the office, I’m on the basketball court. Being an international basketball referee lets me travel across Europe from Lisbon to Krasnoyarsk every weekend. I also lead the Business Council at the Warsaw School of Tourism and Hospitality Management and am immediate past president of MPI Poland.