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/10/ EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW LEGACY OF THE EUROPEAN BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS Interview with Aleš Križnar – the first man of the championship /15/ IN FOCUS A look into the crystal ball at the future of the meeting industry

/24/ EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW LOŠINJ ISLAND OF MICE VITALITY Interview with Sanjin Šolić, CEO of Jadranka d.d.

ISSN 1 8 5 5 - 8 6 1 5

9 771855 861009 VOLUME VII, ISSUE 6 // NOVEMBER 2013

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Our selection Page 14 In focus A look into the Crystal Ball at the Future of the Meeting Industry Liz King, CEO, Chief Event Specialist, Liz King Events Page 28 Voice from the top Milan Culić & dr. Bojan Zečević, EIAT Page 32 Young talents Žan Sekirnik Tjaša Šuvak Dejana Dimitrijević Page 35 Telescope Seoul’s Peaks & Seoul Speaks by Kongres Telescope Editor, Rob Cotte Page 74 Hidden Convention Guets Westin, Zagreb Sheraton Sofia hotel Balkan, Sofia Kempinski Zografski, Sofia IN hotel, Belgrade Hotel Metropol Palace, Belgrade Hotel Punta, Lošinj Page 80 Voice from the top Saša Zor, Sava turizem d.d. & Goran Pavlovič, Opatija Convention Bureua Page 82 Hidden Convention Guets Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre Zagreb Fair and Congress Centre Page 90 Croatia Addendum How technology changes the meetings industry by Karlo Dževerlija Interview with Romana Vlašič Dubrovnik Convention Bureua by Daniela Kos “Game of Thrones” as an inspiration for an incentive in Dubrovnik Page 114 Who is who Petra Tolja Leonarda Djinović

CONTRIBUTORS Rob DAVIDSON Rob Davidson is a Senior Lecturer in Business Events at the University of Greenwich in London. He specialises in research in conference management and destination and venue marketing. In addition to his teaching and research role, he also runs his own consultancy, advising destinations and venues on how to win conference business. Karlo DŽEVERLIJA Karlo Dževerlija is the Business Development manager at Streaming. hr, the multiple award-winning services for supporting congress events and other industries that require modern video and IT services. Solutions are united in a common package with IT solutions management on the web by the system turnkey. is located in the Adria region, and present projects throughout Europe and beyond (Austria, Brazil, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Turkey, Croatia, Serbia,...) Daniela KOS Daniela Kos graduated from Zagreb’s Faculty of Business and Economics. An entrepreneur with a specific interest in marketing, after starting her career in the IT indus- try and culture Daniela has gone on to today run the first Croatian media for the meetings industry. Robert COTTER Alongside his work for Kongres, Rob is a regular contributor to MPI’s One+ magazine as well as MICENET Asia and MICE Japan. He attends interna- tional MICE events to seek out best practice and share this with the inter- national meetings community. Liz KING Liz King started her first company in 2010 in the midst of the economic downturn. By sharing content on Twitter, Facebook, and her blog, she gained expertise in the event planning industry and has become a leader and influencer. Named one of the 40 Under 40 Up-and-Coming Event Planners in 2011 by Connect Magazine and 25 Most Influential Event Planners by Special Magazine. Gorazd ČAD Editor of the magazine and by profession a geographer and historian. He united his professional education and love of discovering new, lesser-known convention destinations with a love and passion for the meeting industry. In Meetologues he will try to share his enthusiasm with the readers


G Editor in Chief Gorazd Čad Assistant to the Editor in Chief Danaja Besnard, Špela Jeruc Editor of Croatia Addendum Daniela Kos Editor of Kongres Telescope Robert Cotter Editorial Board Renata Balažic, Gorazd Čad, Anuša Gaši, Miha Kovačič, Viljam Kvalić, Srečo Peterlič, Tatjana Radovič, Maja Vidergar Design Nenad Cizl dtp and prepress Premedia, Andrej Juvan Translation Danaja Besnard Printing Schwarz, Ljubljana Circulation 6000 copies ISSN Number 1855-8615 The Kongres magazine is entered into the media register under sequence number 1423. Magazine issued in January; March; May; July; September; November Publisher, Production and Marketing Toleranca Marketing d.o.o., Štihova 4, SI-1000 Ljubljana, t: +386 (0)1 430 51 03 f: +386 (0)1 430 51 04 v e: Issue date November 2013 For the content reproduction it is required to get the written editorial consigment.

Official magazine of the Slovenian Convention Bureau Member of

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A word from the editor

BANKRUPTCY OF CONGREX PCO domino effect @gorazdcad

Gorazd Čad, Editor, Kongres magazine


ive years ago the largest U.S. investment bank, Lehman Brothers, went bankrupt and with its collapse the financial crisis erupted that has turned into a global economic crisis. Every day across the world hundreds of companies perish. Usually the world isn’t shaken off its hinges because of this. It seems then that the collapse of the legendary Congrex in our own industry can be compared to the events of five years ago. Thirty-one-years of history of the pioneering company also means as many years of history of the meeting industry. In the first fifteen years of business, everything only went up. The first harbinger of the new age was the purchase of IT company Shoklogic, which was supposed to provide Congrex a competitive advantage in the field of IT support of congresses. This was followed by a period of several acquisitions and takeovers: in 2005 the takeover of the British Concord, in 2006 of the Swedish SKD Euroconf and the Venezuelan Congreco, reaching the peak in 2007, just before the economic crisis, through the acquisitions of Panama Congrexpo, Belgian AGS (Association Global Services) and Swiss AKM AG. On the 25th anniversary of the company in 2008 they founded branches in Denmark and Germany. It seemed that the only way was up. Atti Soenarso of Meetings International reported that in 2010 the company created 49 million Euros of revenue and a profit of around a million Euros. In its golden age Congrex was considered to be one of the most recognisable meeting industry companies. However, the company’s difficulties began in 2011, when it began to accumulate losses and the first restructuring began. Congrex probably failed due to a combination of different causes: some experts now warn over too much and too rapid growth through acquisitions in recent years; the shift from quality

to quantity and over-optimistic planning. The biggest problem now mentioned is also the acquisition of the Swedish company SKD Euroconf AB, which was specialised in corporate events and at the peak of the financial crisis suffered the heaviest losses. It seems that in similar cases there is a lack of understanding of the changes in the market

to pay for it. Associations are not sheep, and even these cannot be trimmed any more than to the skin. The second issue is that of content marketing. Associations are bringing together different communities around shared content. The basic function of connecting PCOs is today taken on by the most basic social networks. The key, therefore, is specialised knowledge of content and experience marketing, which is the real PCO added-value. Today everything must be loaded into an extremely attractive package. The system must operate intuitively, informatively and be member-friendly. Other issues will be triggered too. For many years PCOs have been a kind of bank that collected registration fees on behalf of the client and managed association assets. The Swedish case will open a number of unresolved issues in this area. Things may be extended to such an extent that at the EU level specific regulations in this area will be introduced. The biggest problem, however, may be a domino effect on the association side. After all, Congrex is a global corporation that operated with a significant share of the market. There will definitely appear a fear of working with PCOs and additional financial guarantees and insurance will be required. Several large organisations will be establishing their own in-house PCOs. In the PCO realm nothing will be as it was before. The bankruptcy of Congrex has to become a kind of a turning point, as behind the magnificent façade of the industry there are many problems and challenges that will irresistibly flourish in the coming months.

The development of the company was based on a unique registration system, which in the eighties represented a key innovation in the international meeting industry, that all the way to the millennium provided a steady growth and a stable base of international associations. and in the mindset of employees, as well as a lack of organisational communication and innovation. From this perspective, we can point to at least two important aspects of bankruptcy. The first issue is that of the value-added of professional congress organisers. If we look at this issue in terms of clients, the added value is reduced to a specialised knowledge of congress management with the help of a powerful information system, which saves the client time and money and ensures maximum quality and satisfaction for participants. IT solutions in the ‘cloud’, apps for a few Euros that solve the most complex IT challenges and everyday innovation is a new reality. To maintain one’s own IT company with nearly 50 employees is simply too expensive and associations are no longer willing 5

Industry’s reactions: Dan Rivlin Congrex Sweden went bankruptcy. A big impact on our industry :-(

TOP 10



Belgrade, Serbia


The legend has returned to Belgrade. Historic heritage has been in the long renovation excellently rebuilt and the hotel today is flirting with premium hotels in major metropolitan cities of the region. Warm colours, superior lighting, retro furniture and services at an appropriate level place it among the best hotels in the Balkans. If you want to impress your conference guests, then this hotel at the moment is the best choice in Belgrade. The hotel in which the memory of the good returns, which many people are missing today.


Zagreb, Croatia


The hotel is an excellent choice for business and congress guests and is probably the regional flagship in terms of service quality, customer care, prestige and image. Staying at the hotel is a special experience, with a package that gives you a feeling of luxury.


Trieste, Italia


The Savoia Excelsior Palace is definitely a good example of why such hotels are still a big selling hit and a shining exception on the otherwise quite tired Trieste congress-hotel scene. The hotel with its offer is a good starting point for the re-launch of Trieste as a congress destination. Less can be more. Probably the most stylish first category facility also in the wider region.


Sarvar, Hungary


The hotel Spirit certainly represents a new chapter in the rich history and culture of spa tourism of Sárvár, which is currently the “flag ship” of the city. Hotel Spirit is elegant, spacious and because of all this an impressive hotel. It is certainly not perfect. Anyone wishing to take advantage of everything the hotel has to offer will have to deal with a relatively high price for this part of Europe.


Sofia, Bulgaria

Extremely practical classic hotel, which has recently received numerous competition. The question remains what, in addition to the central position, differs the hotel Sheraton from contemporary competitors. If you’re a fan of minimalism and the latest hotel fashion than this hotel is not customised for you. It is a traditional hotel with the classic charm of the hotel, which is felt at every step after entering the hotel lobby. However, for the hotel to keep pace with the competition it will need cosmetic refurbishment in hotel rooms.



TOP 10



Sofia, Bulgaria


Reasonable prices, a solid selection of restaurants, beautiful views from the rooms, especially on the Vitosha mountain, a great convention centre are the main advantages of the hotel. Still, the hotel is far from the standards of other hotels in the Kempinski chain. The most disturbing are lobbies and other public areas, which call for urgently needed renovation, and inconsistent services. The hotel also in the final evaluation fits into the category of four stars and does not reach the standard of five stars, but because of the diversity of the hotel offer in combination with the cuisine, a large number of rooms and spaciousness it is still a very good choice for meeting planners. 7. GRAND HOTEL UNION EXECUTIVE

Ljubljana, Slovenia


Taste of meetings organizers is unpredictable and difficult to follow, but the choice of Grand Hotel Union is definitely a right one. Due to the excellent convention halls, flexibility and friendly staff, of course. In the Ljubljana conference offer the Grand Hotel Union reigns. Excellent hotel for convention gourmets and a true flag bearer of the Ljubljana hotel conference offer ever since 1905.


Belgrade, Serbia


Hyatt Regency is a legend on the Belgrade hotel scene. It represents an excellent choice in Belgrade’s current premium class. For many years it has been the most reliable and convincing Belgrade hotel. Soon it will face fierce competition with an excess of hotels, which will necessarily demand a renovation of the existing hotel. Already the rooms are calling for renovation. The hotel has a soul, which has been successfully shared with its guests for a number of years and, like the city itself, it does not leave you feeling indifferent.


Zagreb, Croatia


Westin Hotel is contemporary but not modern, spacious but not over equipped, robust yet flexible hotel for those who care a lot for practicality and reliability. Westin Hotel still functions perfectly and is among congress clients well received due to its versatility and professionalism of the staff. Service, staff, quality in all the important elements of the hotel works well, it is disturbed only by the lack of a hotel of character and personality, which more inclines the hotel towards four stars. 10. HOTEL LEV

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Hotel Lev is somehow reminiscent of car limousines: in our region, despite numerous advantages they are not always the first choice. The situation is completely different in other markets, where limousines dominate among cars as do those with pedigree and genetic blueprint of large hotel chains among hotels. Lev is love at second sight, which never disappoints. After all, not all guests are the same and to some more important than the appearance of the hotel are the well-being, comfort and friendliness of the staff that makes all the difference. After all, this hotel is “good value for money”, which today is also very important to business guests. 7


TOP 10


Portorož, Slovenia 



The Kempinski Hotel is the only five-star superior hotel in Slovenia. This means that the rooms are spacious and well-equipped, as befits a top hotel. The interior colour is subdued, of modern design and appears prestigious, whilst offering a lot of style and freshness. The technical equipment showcases the hotel’s technological sophistication. The modern convention centre is prestigious and well-equipped. Six conference rooms have natural daylight and the largest hall can accommodate up to 220 participants. The heart of the convention offer is Crystal Hall, which post-renovation shines in full splendour and which in addition to the Union Hall in Ljubljana is the most prestigious conference and banquet hall in Slovenia. It opens onto a century-old park, which is an attractive venue for outdoor events. 2. HOTEL MONTE MULINI

Rovinj, Croatia


This is the hotel to enjoy, for which the entire business philosophy is covered. There are only a few hotels that delight and thrill as fully as Monte Mulini does. The hotel looks good, is superbly equipped and offers a number of extras. The longer we hung out in the hotel, the better was the feeling that it is an extraordinary gastronomic oasis. A real 5 star hotel in an excellent location. Suitable for the most demanding and exclusive conference events. 3. FALKENSTEINER SCHLOSS HOTEL VELDEN

Velden, Austria


The legendary hotel is no doubt one of the best hotels in the region. Managed with German precision and Austrian charm, it is the ideal of excellence in all areas. Unfortunately, the town Velden is not following the hotel standards and also the rest of the tourist offer is only average. After the takeover by the Falkensteiner hotel chain the hotel was slightly refreshed and is probably one of the best incentive hotels for the most demanding guests. The Hotel was established as the best hotel for elite guests in Carinthia. We consider that the goal is close, however still a little mastery of details will be needed by the Falkensteiner Team. You know what happens when a large hotel chain buys a boutique hotel: in the great zeal to rationalise, it is often forgotten that some things simply cannot be squeezed into a boutique hotel. 4. HOTEL LONE

Rovinj, Croatia


We understand design hotels as an experience that includes reflection and very personal contact with culture, nature and the culinary art of the destination. The creators of the first Croatian design Hotel Lone were probably thinking similarly. We like it. Lovers of hotel glamour and kitsch will not like it, but we think that the luxury is in the small details, like the enormous room service menu and the hotel guide in broadsheet newspaper format, or in the selected fabric for curtains and the numerous other details. The hotel is ideal for “DINKS” and young professionals and is a monument of Croatian creativity and the zeitgeist of the new generation. 5. HOTEL LAV MERIDIEN

Split, Croatia

It is in a class of its own on the current hotel and convention scene in Split. Operators of Starwood have done their homework excellently and are winners in the most sensitive area - friendliness and professionalism of the staff. This has in the past earned them a place among the best in its class. However, there are also some shortcomings, particularly in the field of catering and hospitality, where one would expect a little more from a top hotel. However, this is a balanced congress hotel, which is elegant and charming and the perfect choice for the most demanding congress clients. 8


TOP 10



Umag, Croatia


Hotel MeliĂĄ Coral convinces with the quality of the offer, comfort and spaciousness. The final grade is that this is a good hotel for good money. Prices are in fact reasonable in relation to the nearby Istrian and Slovenian competition. There are numerous options for organising receptions and outdoor activities. Without much bragging Istratourist together with the hotel chain Melia managed to make a great hotel and convention product. Umag is now becoming a serious and respected European incentive destination. 7. HOTEL & SPA IADERA

Zadar, Croatia


The overall result of the new resort is extremely good. The hotel follows the known standards of the Falkensteiner group and is an excellent choice for incentive and product launches and smaller conferences. It is important to avoid the high tourist season and go for less frequent dates, carefully planning the arrivals logistics. From what we saw and experienced we can only give a firm nod of approval.


Dubrovnik, Croatia


At the Hotel Dubrovnik Palace I wonder how little is needed to move from being a solid hotel to something special and collecting numerous awards. Firstly, it is about the quality of services, as well as about the marketing that was excellently prepared around the hotel and is reflected in its increased profile. According to the World Travel Awards jury, something of a tourism Oscar, the hotel earned the 2011 award for being the leading Croatian hotel and spa resort. At the same time, we wonder whether they are eligible for other prizes. After visiting the hotel, it is clear that the Hotel Dubrovnik Palace deserved the award; to the highest category it does not lack much, and depending on the assessment we ranked it among the top premium congress hotels in the region, where the emphasis is not only on the environment, but also on quality. In almost all respects a modern hotel and definitely a good choice among the many options in Dubrovnik. 9. RADISSON BLU RESORT & SPA

Dubrovnik, Croatia


The Hotel does not have any serious weaknesses and convinces with comfort and quality that befit hotels in the colours of the Radisson chain. If we use automotive jargon, it is a premium hotel. If you wonder what we see under the term premium in this hotel, then it would be its rich and luxurious equipment, small details and above all the image of the brand. If you have ever organised a meeting in a hotel belonging to the Radisson Blu chain, then you can expect a similar experience in Dubrovnik. The Hotel is very suitable for incentive events, which seem to be taking place as if they were lined up on the conveyor belt at the Hotel’s Convention Centre. 10. GRAND HOTEL TOPLICE

Bled, Slovenia

In Slovenia there are only a few hotels with such a long tradition and regular guests who like to return to Bled. The Hotel Toplice (Spa) remains one of these, regardless of the change of ownership and renovation of a hotel classic that gets under your skin. Changes since the last renewal have been welcome, but they did not deprive the hotel of its soul. This is the right hotel for sworn lovers of historical locations and a place where time slows down and almost stops. It is reminiscent of the period that many people long for. 9


Exclusive interview


Exclusive interview

LEGACY OF THE EUROPEAN BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS Interview with Aleš Križnar – the first man of the championship Text by Gorazd Čad

Q: How do you evaluate EuroBasket a month after the project has closed and as the first real reactions to the project have now been collected? Reviews are currently the same as at the end of the competition, when we were in all areas extremely satisfied. We are still at the stage of accounts, compilation of reports and detailed analysis that will demonstrate more detailed and probably more interesting numbers and data. One of the most important tasks is also the composition of the financial report, which will give an answer to the question of whether we have diverted the EuroBasket 2013 into positive figures or not. If all the arrangements adopted prior to the event are kept, then the financial picture should be a good one. Q: Prior to the event you set targets of 250,000 viewers and some 30,000 foreign fans in hotels. Have you achieved this goal? The Championship was attended by 331,000 basketball fans, including more than 55,000 foreign visitors. According to the last two European Championships we had more visits, especially taking into account the capacity of the hall, and we are also extremely proud of the campaign of distribution of free tickets to Slovenian primary schools, whose aim it was to achieve wider social effects. EuroBasket 2013 was viewed for free by 15,000 primary school pupils from more than 150 elementary schools.

The Championship was attended by 331,000 basketball fans, including more than 55,000 foreign visitors. Slovenia has in all areas proved to be a hospitable and not too expensive destination, where they will come back or recommend it to others, which for the future of Slovenian tourism is of utmost importance. Q: What is the estimated cost of the organisation of such a championship? The cost will be just over 10 million Euros, but the exact number will be known after the completion of the financial report. Q: Have all of the obligations of co-financing by the public partners been met at the time of the interview? Not yet. We are still waiting for some arrangements and responses and for some funds, municipalities under the previous agreement that has been reached and the contract will be paid in the next two years. At the same time one of the objectives will also be fulfilled, that we will be able to repay all of our partners and subcontractors, of which there are over 300.

Q: What are the financial effects of the championships not only tied to its organisation? Will the target of €40 million of revenue from tourism be reached? We have never said that €40 million of revenue will be only in the tourism industry, but rather that there will be between €38 and 42 million of revenue in different areas. Even before the start of the championships, we agreed with the Faculty of Economics to develop for us a cost-benefit analysis, which will give us answers to many questions in relation to income in various fields. Q: What will be the long-term legacy of the EuroBasket? One of the legacies is the renewed Jesenice and Koper hall, in which Slovenian athletes will now have better working and competing conditions. In addition, such facilities can also be used for other purposes, for example for cultural and musical events, and ultimately also for business events. The legacy is also the organisational “know-how” - people who were involved in this event have acquired invaluable knowledge and experience in organising large events, including for example the 1,100 volunteers who were the heart and soul of this championship. I also hope that the other organisers will see the potential and the chance to benefit from our collective expertise in various fields. Linked to this is the proof that the international sporting public has received, that small Slovenia with an extremely limited budget can prepare an extremely well organised event, one that recognises our domestic and foreign public as well as distinguished guests, including many years of experience with basketball events. And finally, but perhaps the most important, the promotion of basketball and sports among young people as a way of healthy living. After EuroBasket 2013, interest in the sport and specifically entry into the basketball schools throughout Slovenia has seen a massive increase. Q: You often mention the multiplier effects of the championships, which are comparable to the effects of large international congresses. How will you measure them and ensure comparability of the data? These effects will be measured with a variety of analyses that we do ourselves or in collaboration with our partners. They can only be compared to data known to us or to publicly available information. Q: How valuable was your co-operation with the Slovenian tourism industry during the championship? With the Government Communication Office, we have co-operated from the candidacy, since this was closely related to the support of the Government and the assistance in obtaining the championships. We began to work intensively with GCO and Spirit agency before the start of 11

Exclusive interview

2013, when we first visited the WTM in London, and later also the other major trade shows and fairs in Europe, with a major role played by the tourist bureaus of hosting cities and the directorate of tourism, but not forgetting the Slovenian Embassies in places that we have visited because they were extremely helpful, among other things with the provision of space in the media. All these entities have significantly contributed to the fact that Slovenia received more than 55,000 visitors, of which as many as 68% of those who had come came solely for the purpose of EuroBasket 2013 and otherwise would not be seen in our country. The promotional part, during the championship, was taken over by other tourism subjects that have to take care of the hospitality, and I think they did it well. Now, everyone in Slovenian tourism has to nurture this positive impact and even upgrade it in the future. I hope that they will succeed. Q: During the championship did Slovenia turn out as a welcoming destination and one that did not set out to benefit from unjustified price increases? We have the experience and the data from the Eurobasket 2011 in Lithuania, as well as from the Football Championship in Poland and Ukraine, where the hoteliers, restaurant owners and other tourism stakeholders unjustifiably increased prices, but the effect has not been as good as they would have liked. For us it did not happen, or only minimally. The fact is that with the big competition, there is always going to be an increase in service prices, but if these are controlled, there is no disagreement among the foreigners who bring bad promotion of the country. We were following publications in the media, listened to the opinion of the foreign fans and distinguished guests, and got positive feedback - Slovenia has in all areas proved to be a hospitable and not too expensive destination, where they will come back or recommend it to others, which for the future of Slovenian tourism is of utmost importance. Q: Did we use the event appropriately for the promotion of Slovenia in the areas of economy, sports and other fields? For sure, although one is always trying for an even better result and would in certain areas want more. However, in the history of Slovenia’s independence there has not been an event that would be followed live by such a number of media (1,300 accredited journalists from 40 countries), and that would be watched by so many people on TV screens (we are still waiting to get the number of viewers from FIBA, but the partial results show that we have exceeded the number of EP in Lithuania, which was seen by over 200 million viewers). In FIBA, among other things, we also achieved the promotion of cities and hosts could be presented before every

game with 20-second video-clips. Our sponsors were liaising with EuroBasket 2013 and thus strengthened their brand in Slovenia and abroad and had at an unprecedentedly exquisite VIP area networking opportunities with representatives of foreign companies, among which there were also a lot of the most influential European largest corporations (such as BEKO). We also hosted a number of political representatives who visited games and took advantage of meetings with local politicians. If you draw a line, EuroBasket 2013 opened up many new opportunities that now need to be grabbed by those who were economically and politically involved.

Sports events are no longer purely competitions for points and victories, rather it is about a complete story which in different ways connects society, including those individuals who otherwise would not have witnessed the event Q: What was the most difficult aspect in the organisation of such a large project? Each area had its own EuroBasket story, and each was very difficult, so it is also difficult to say what was most difficult. Everything we have experienced in the last three years has been to our organising committee a special challenge, because no one has ever organised such a big event. Q: In your opinion what do you think the future holds in the field of major sports projects? With the excellent organisation of EuroBasket 2013 we showed that even such a small country can prepare a major international event. I hope that with this we gave motivation to others and that more sports federations will decide to take a similar step, since such events raise the value of our country around the world. Sporting events are constantly upgrading and are constantly looking for new marketing solutions. This was the case at this year’s championship, in which we have made a big step forward compared to the previous organisers, as well as in the fields of hospitality, communications and promotions and much more. Sports events are no longer purely competitions for points and victories, rather it is about a complete story which in different ways connects society, including those individuals who otherwise would not have witnessed the event. Slovenia should have at least one big event annually, even if not in the sports sense, to stay on the European map, as this way it would simply be raising its value and its positive image.



VIVO CATERING & MONTH OF DESIGN Abandoned industrial building as a top event venue

The revitalisation of abandoned industrial halls into an attractive event venue is a project co-created by Vivo Catering for the occasion of the 10th edition of Ljubljana Month of Design. The premises of the old Mladinska knjiga printing house in the former Merkur store have been turned into space for more than 30 exhibitions, conferences as well as the venue of the celebration of 20th anniversary of Vivo catering. Both buildings originate from post second world war architecture, designed by Savin Sever.


Vivo catering is ready to offer a provocative platform for creative events in an innovative environment. Soon it will be one of the hottest and top venues in the region. It gives us a comprehensive answer to the question of how to bring life back to abandoned historical buildings and use them for new purposes.

In Focus


LIZ KING DEFINING MOMENTS: Craziest destination: Muelaboh, Indonesia right after the 2006 Tsunami Craziest event: We had an event called Plannertech in NYC in 2012 - it was ten days after Hurricane Sandy destroyed our area and it ended up snowing on the day of the event as well! Hotel to return to: Love the Westin brand! Concert: Ingrid Michaelson is my favorite Best rock band: Queen

BIO: Liz King started her first company in 2010 in the midst of the economic downturn. By sharing content on Twitter, Facebook, and her blog, she gained expertise in the event planning industry and has become a leader and influencer. Named one of the 40 Under 40 Up-and-Coming Event Planners in 2011 by Connect Magazine and 25 Most Influential Event Planners by Special Magazine. She was also awarded the #Eventprofs Most Thought Provoking Blog and People’s Choice Award. This created a platform for Liz to build her business and strong brand even further. Working with clients on events like Earn $100K Summit and S.H.E. Summit Week, Liz helps entrepreneurs integrate technology into their events to better engage their attendees. In addition, she also hosts her own events. As the founder of TechsyTalk and PlannerTech, Liz is dedicated to educating her fellow event professionals as well on how technology can enhance events.


n the grand scheme of things, I would be considered a newbie in the industry. Having started my career just seven years ago, I have not experienced many things that 20-year veterans have experienced, but I have still seen a lot of change in my tenure. Technology, in particular, has completely advanced in the world and is starting to take hold in our industry as well. As a technology evangelist, I am often asked about the gap between event planning and technology – are we adopting too slowly? Is there really a place for technology in face-to-face events? These are all valid questions and important for our industry to discuss and debate. For a face-to-face industry, it may seem that technology gets in the way. We’ve all seen people completely disengaged in a room, looking down at their phones as they text, email and take pictures. We are lost in an online world and have very little ability to engage with those around us when technology is involved. It’s a very complicated situation to get people to focus on educational content, making relationships and learning when they have her heads buried in technology. So then isn’t technology really the opposite of what we should be in encouraging at our events? While many people still believe this, I believe strongly that there must be another answer. While it is true that technology can be all-consuming for people, it has also proven to connect people in new and better ways than ever before. Consider the number of people who make relationships with event attendees before arriving 14

on site. They are ready to be engaged, and have already started the networking process before the event has even begun. For introverts like myself, technology is the perfect tool to bridge the gap between in-person connections and online connections. Additionally, being engaged in note taking, sharing takeaways on Twitter and using other technology can often keep a person more engaged in the educational content, if things are structured correctly. So the real question is how do we integrate technology strategically so as not to make an impact? How can we encourage the use of technology to better meet our goals as event planners, while still having boundaries and keeping the focus on in person connections and learning? As an industry, I believe this is the question we must ask in 2014. How can we use technology to achieve our event goals with the right balance? Being overly attached to technology creates more problems than we need, but believing that technology is the opposite of face-to-face connections is lethal for our industry as well. We must evolve. We must learn more strategic uses of technology. We must educate our audiences and provide easy access to technology, strategic implementation of it at our events and rewards for engaging both online and off-line. This is the key to the success of our industry. For our industry to remain a vital part of the future, we must evolve. I’m incredibly excited to see how we will continue to experiment with technology as an industry and devolved towards a more integrated online and off-line experience.

In Focus

A look into the Crystal Ball at the Future of the Meeting Industry

Patrick Payne Co-Founder and CEO, Qucikmobile

How will the meetings industry change in the future and in which direction will it go? Speaking from the mobile perspective, we will witness an increasingly sophisticated attendee with well-defined expectations, both for the event itself and also for the event app. Like other technologies before it, mobile apps will be more widely adopted as a tool to help get the most out of the event - before, during and after. What this means to event planners is they will have to deliver a more timely, personalised, valuable - and fun - mobile experience. Mobile event and meeting apps will have to meet these expectations and enable truly meaningful networking and connections; provide access to relevant, useful content; and help attendees take advantage of the community of which they are a part. For example, if social was big in 2012, it will be doubly so in 2014, only it will have to support business objectives more directly. For meeting planners and owners, the industry will be more driven by insight into attendee behaviour. Not just the simple points like number of attendees and number of app downloads, but data that more directly supports their broader objectives, be they revenue, networking, education, reward or others. Here’s where mobile apps offer significant advantages, because the app is

the most pervasive, data driven tool at their disposal. Because of this, ‘basic’ apps won’t cut it; meeting planners and owners will need an app that maximises adoption and usage, and provides analytical insight into the how’s and why’s of attendee behaviour.

Engagement for meetings and events is now pre, post, and during. Patrons stay in touch through Twitter or other real time communications with other attendees and exhibitors. For those not able to attend they can harness the online information and engage from remote locations.

Which innovations in your opinion will most influence the organisation of events? We believe mobile solutions for meeting planners and organisers will completely change the way they currently work. Many of the tedious and manual tasks related to physical binders, document management, scheduling and messaging can be radically improved with mobile technology. This can also be connected to the attendee mobile event app as it will provide a whole new dimension of visibility and functionality for the event. We are also excited about real time polls and surveys and how interactive audience response will transform the experience of events.

Which innovations in your opinion will most influence the organisation of events? Crowdfunding is the innovation that will change how people organise events. This innovation effectively changes the power of the event over to the people. When this happens both parties have insights into what will be provided at the events. Organisers no longer play guessing games about what attendees want. Attendees get to voice their opinions through social media channels and they get to work with each other to develop amazing events that are of huge success. Today, innovation is heading towards predictive intelligence and technology. Predicting and suggesting movements, like people connections patterns and much more. Technology will know more about you than you do of yourself - which will enhance experiences and opportunity, thus creating more value for all parties involved.

What personally inspires you? Seeing the incredible creativity, dedication and commitment of our QuickMobile team to transforming the event experience. As we grow, I am constantly amazed at the diversity of ideas and the determination to take new technology and see the ideas materialise - it is truly inspiring.

Jayesh PARMAR CEO, Picatic How and in which direction will the Meeting industry change in the future? The meeting industry is already rapidly changing through startup technology. The power of events has been given to the people through crowdfunding, as attendees vote with their dollars. If organisers receive the market dollars, the guess work is done. Events/meetings are also going to be more connective and less location based. 15

What personally inspires you? Organisers are losing money and we can fix that. Events can be better and we are enhancing the process daily. We are creating technology that

In Focus

empowers organisers in the sense that they can set up events and not assume risk. At the same time, patrons are excited to be more involved in these events. This type of shift is moving incredibly fast and that’s what gets me excited and inspires me - solving major problems. It’s a really exciting time to be changing the event world.

Michael BALYASNY CEO, Attendify

areas such as planning, budgeting, ticketing, on-site check in, and other event functions. Unfortunately networking, the core value that events offer attendees, hasn’t changed much. Attendees still struggle to break the ice and make new connections, but that’s going to change very soon. We’ve already seen attempts to boost engagement, but these efforts haven’t been successful in a meaningful or scalable way. Very soon we’re going to start to see people rely on mobile solutions to initiate and manage new connections; events will become communities that survive long after the event is over. What personally inspires you? Convergence of technologies used in the event industry is inevitable, I’m inspired by the efficiencies and new opportunities this will create. Events are more important today than ever before, but the most successful events will engage attendees year round and become communities in the true sense of the word. Planners and attendees will benefit from these changes in a major way, and technology will power this transformation.

Dan BERGER Chairman and CEO, SOCIAL TABLES How and in which direction will the Meeting industry change in the future? The meeting industry is seeing significant change and much of that is driven by technology. Meeting planners have embraced technology as a way to work more efficiently and improve the event experience for attendees. Consequently we›re seeing a time of experimentation, as planners try everything from new registration systems, polling tools, RFID and NFC technologies, event apps, and countless other innovations. In the next few years we’re going to see the convergence of many of these tools into a single, seamless experience, the core of which will be mobile event apps. Apps that augment what’s happening in the physical world and bring together key services that help planners and attendees will come to dominate the market. We›ve only seen a tiny fraction of what mobile can do for the meetings industry Which innovations in your opinion will most influence the organisation of events? We’ve seen technology improve meetings in

How and in which direction will the Meeting industry change in the future? We are seeing three major trends: 1) The number of meetings and events will continue to increase. This contradicts what many 16

have predicted -- that technology will kill our industry -- but I think it’s obvious: people value face to face more than ever. We use the web to share information, but it cannot replace physical interaction. 2) Meeting space will continue to become more and more commoditised. Everyone has a meeting space these days. The question then is, how will meeting spaces differentiate from one another? Competing on price is not the answer. 3) Meetings will be more important than ever.  As more teams are distributed the times that they will be together will be more meaningful and high impact. Which innovations in your opinion will most influence the organisation of events?  1) More affordable technology will bring the cost of implementation down. Automated training and better design will make event solutions more user-friendly to end users and thus easier to adopt.  2) HTML5 and responsive design will bring the cost of mobile applications down. Open source software will bring the cost of enterprise software down. Cloud deployment will bring the cost of maintenance and setup down. 3) Organisations that won’t adopt innovation will fail. Event planning automation is here and we need to embrace technology. There is just too much noise out there and manual/antiquated processes won’t cut it.    What personally inspires you? Events inspire me! I believe that every event is an opportunity. An event is an opportunity to make personal connections, find new business and shine light on a cause or brand. I want to help anyone involved with an event -- from planner to vendor to attendee -- extract more value out of it.

In Focus

Lawrence Coburn CEO and founder, DOUBLE DUTCH

How and in which direction will the Meeting industry change in the future? The short answer is that live events are increasingly coming online. Between smartphones, wearables and sensors there is now the opportunity to digitise previously offline transactions such as sponsor/attendee interactions, session attendance, and audience response. The key to digitising the live event lies in audience engagement. If event organisers are able to engage their attendees through interactive technology, there is opportunity to generate substantial data – data which can be used to maximum ROI and to optimise event spend.



Which innovations in your opinion will most influence the organisation of events? If you look at events five years ago, and events today, there is one innovation that stands head and shoulders above the others, and indeed, is disrupting many other industries as well. Today, in 2013, virtually every event attendee is carrying a powerful handheld computer that is connected to the cloud, connected to the user’s address book, and equipped with a camera (and other sensors). Of course, we are talking about the smartphone. Mobile applications present a huge opportunity for events to maximise their potential. Market research firm Frost & Sullivan have stated that mobile apps built specifically for events increase attendee engagement by 33% and sponsorship sales by 13%, but less than 10% of events use a mobile app. Given that there are more than 50,000 events every day and that more than $565 billion is spent on events every year, the mobile event app market is absolutely enormous and ripe for innovation. Furthermore, things like iOS7’s new indoor tracking feature creates even better opportunities for apps to change the way events are run and managed. As more and more events include mobile apps into their overall plans, we expect that organisers will take advantage of the technology and mould their events around it. Outside of that, the closer connection between event software (both mobile and not) with existing marketing automation systems will make a big difference in how companies organise and run their events. Previously, event stakeholders would try and gauge the success of their par-


22 – 23 JANUARY 2014 • Ljubljana–Slovenia


ticipation from a stack of business cards of the people they met and anecdotal information. As new tools help quantify attendees’ behaviour during events and tie this to exhibitors and organisers’ existing sales databases, companies will have new ways to consolidate, track and optimise their sales process and evaluate the effectiveness of event marketing. What personally inspires you? At DoubleDutch, we are inspired by other early stage companies that are tackling hard problems in mobile technology. Companies like Prism Skylabs, Highlight, Snapchat, and more continue to push the envelope in what’s possible in digitising the real world. In the world of events, we are blessed with an environment that is ideal for testing new features and functionality to see what resonates with attendees and sponsors. Expect to see a lot of A/B tests from us in the coming months as years as we look to apply innovations from other industries to the world of events.

Flash - In Focus

What do you know today that you wish you knew 10 years ago?


Maja Vidergar

Marijana ŠURINA

Project manager at Intours DMC

Marketing projects manager at Cankarjev Dom

Branch office manager at Lošinj Hotels & Villas

It would be easy to say a number of things I wish I had known 10 years ago. But at the same time I know that only by going through the process of trial and error one truly is learning and growing as a person.  The one thing I wish I would have known is how quickly time passes and that I would have used even more time for travelling for longer periods of time at once and to places that are hard to get to.    

Not much has changed within 10 years. In the basics the procedures or steps for organising meetings are the same. What has changed is the media. There is less and less paper but more e-publishing, more digitisation, more IT and social media involved in the process. Actually it is all about going and being digital. As per changes in the world of professional congress organisers, I notice, more and more, that meetings have become business. There is no longer a professor in the centre of attention, but the question how much of an income would a meeting bring to a PCO and the association. The idea itself of sharing the knowledge within the scientific community has become secondary to earning money. Consequently associations are engaging core PCOs to provide the essential funds for their operations through organising different meetings or events in general. So, if I knew that 10 years ago (or a bit more), I would definitely try to find a job at some international PCO.  

In general, what I learnt 10 years ago has made me now and I’m happy with me. From the business side I worked for a great and big travel agency and I got know-how which I couldn’t learn in 3 Universities. Currently I work for a Hotel Company with a clear vision and great potential. Looking into the past from today’s position, I regret that I didn’t pay more attention to additional education and skills and that I didn’t have more courage for acting on personal instincts, which resulted on my postponed decision for changing business environment. I realise that the lessons that we have learned, the mistakes we have made and the experiences we have gone through are what makes us who we are today. In the next 10 years I wish to improve those, because the funny thing is that as we get older, 10 years becomes a lot shorter!


Surveys and Forecasts

EIBTM 2013 TRENDS WATCH The only way is up - global upturn in demand for corporate events - meetings and incentives

Text by Rob Davidson, University of Greenwich in London

Rob Davidson defining moments:


ne of the most positive signs that I noticed when I was doing my research for this year’s EIBTM TrendsWatch report is the global upturn in demand for corporate events - meetings and incentives. Ever since the crisis of 2008, we have seen many companies reluctant to invest in business events, due to cuts in their budgets or unwillingness to be seen by their stakeholders to be spending freely on meetings and incentives. This has been particulrly frustrating when we know that many of those same companies have been sitting on large cash reserves. Such companies appeared to be saving those reserves in case they were required in the event of another major financial crisis. Now, as even Europe appears to be enjoying a period of economic recovery, and the probability of another global crisis seems diminished, companies are increasingly returning to investing in their relationships with their employees and their clients, through training sessions, incentive programmes, product launches and other live marketing events. The impact of this greater willingness to spend has been noticed in the return to profitability of residential venues specialising in the hosting of corporate events. My theory is that part of the drive towards this resurgence in the field of corporate events is the fact that in recent years more and more companies have come to realise that cutting back on spending on their events is a

false economy, and that having fewer events for the training and motivating of their staff and for ensuring valable face-to-face contact time with their clients and prospects brings its own costs in terms of demotivated employees and lost sales opportunities. Of course, many companies have experimented with technology solutions in the attempt to drive down costs, and we in the meetings industry have to be honest and admit that there is a category of meetings that can be handled effectively online. Small, short meetings, where all of the participants already know each other and therefore no networking is required - these are the most likely to be substituted by videoconferencing or other applications of technology. But the events that do most to build confidence and trust between companies and their stakeholders can never be substituted in this way. Indeed, there is a growing body of research that suggests that the dominant role of technology in our professional and personal lives is making us hunger even more for face-to-face events. I think that readers of this year’s EIBTM TrendsWatch report will be encouraged by the findings. All of the signs are that the recovery will be slow, and we are still along way down from pre-2008 spending levels, but we are definitely heading in the right direction. The only way is up!


Craziest destination: Helsinki: it’s another planet a BETTER planet! Not a crazy destination, but showing us all how crazy we are for not living in Finland Craziest event: Turizmijada: an annual “conference” for tourism and hospitality students in the Balkan countries. It’s a wild party, from beginning to end - with SOME educational content (that’s where I come in ...)
 Historical event: Meeting my beloved one in 1984 (that’s ANCIENT history!)
 Hotel to return to: The Hotel Splendid in Budva, Montenegro - they have the best spa in the world, and the best-smelling soap and shampoo!
 Concert: The first concert I went to is still the best one for me: the rock band Hawkwind, in Edinburgh in 1972 - Silver Machine!!
 Best rock band: Hawkwind, of course.




he editorial board of Kongres magazine has throughout the year been collecting data on persons who have marked and had a major impact on the region’s meetings industry. By highlighting examples of good practice and the activities of individuals we wish to contribute to the enhancement of the meetings industry in the region. On the scale individuals are ranked according to their business, financial, management, innovation and other strategic developments that have had a positive impact on the development of a destination or company and also on the broader meetings industry. Candidates were assessed on the following key criteria: • Achievement of the best financial and other multiplier effects of the meetings industry in 2013, which significantly deviate from the average; • Implementation of the most demanding improvements and innovations in their field, which also includes successfully implemented projects that have marked the year 2013; • Help in enhancing the reputation and visibility of the meetings industry in 2013; • Innovations that facilitate the work of meetings organisers or have shown the way to the future.

TOP MEETING ARCHITECTS (DMO, CVB,...) Miha KOVAČIČ Slovenian Convention Bureau Has for a decade been active as the director of the Slovenian Convention Bureau, which enjoys an outstanding reputation abroad. In 2013 he was invited to the “Advisory Board” of a new international trade show, the “UK Meetings Show.” Through a number of innovative marketing and CSR projects he continually takes care of the growth of the Slovenian meetings industry. The editorial board put a particular emphasis on the Conventa project that, as a brand, has become synonymous with the SE Europe congress product and has significantly affected the placement of the region on meetings planners’ list of destinations. Miloš MILOVANOVIĆ Serbia Convention Bureau In record time he managed to place the deva­stated meetings industry of Serbia on the international conventions map and has set up the entire congress infrastructure. According to the ICCA statistics Serbia is one of the fastest growing destinations that has everything that larger and more developed destinations have. Miloš is on the scale also because of many innovative marketing campaigns conducted in 2013, among which the first destination apps and a game on social network Facebook stand out most strongly. Zlatan MUFTIĆ Zagreb Convention Bureau With a wide range of activities he is faced with placing Zagreb on the congress market. It is to his credit that Zagreb is today a modern and distinctive convention destination. Through active participation in all regional and international initiatives Zagreb is today a stable, growing congress destination, which in the last few years has been steadily in20

creasing its market share in the associations and corporate markets. Gordana PLAMENAC Serbia Tourism The recipient of the prestigious IMEX Academy Award as the director of the Tourist Organisation of Serbia has generated an appropriate supportive environment that has enabled the re-growth of the Serbian meetings industry. With this she has facilitated the work of Miloš Milovanović and the Serbian convention Bureau. Serbia is an example of excellent co-operation between tourism policies and the convention industry. Gordana Plamenac is on the scale because of an excellent international network of connections and the visionary management of tourism policy. Nik RAČIĆ Croatia Convention Bureau In addition to Gordana Plamenac, Nik Račić is the second winner of the IMEX Academy Award for lifetime achievement. As a former president of the Skal association he has done so much for the development of the meetings industry of Croatia. Despite the turbulence in the Croatian National Tourist Board Nik Račić is a man who can, through his connections, do a lot for the meetings industry. He is also placed on the scale with a call to find him a right place in the Croatian meetings industry. Tatjana RADOVIĆ Ljubljana Convention Bureua Tatjana Radović has candidacies that she has been preparing with passion and dedication in her blood. In carrying out her role she has for a number of years been linking key Ljubljana meeting suppliers, which this year came together in the Ljubljana Strategic Bidding Team. This gave an addition-


al boost to the work of connecting with the Slovenian Convention Bureau and to a number of important projects of associations obtained for the coming years. The latest success is a successful acquisition of the ABTA Conference, which will take place in 2014 in Ljubljana.

total renovation of Cankarjev dom in the midst of the worst recession in memory. This renovation has placed it among the best European convention centres. Barbara VAJDA Ljubljana Tourism

Slaven RELJIĆ Croatia Tourist Board A fresh wind and a man of the meetings industry on key marketing function of Croatian tourism is an important event and a great responsibility to set the meetings industry on the list of key products that will contribute to de-seasonalisation of Croatian tourism. This is also an important event as an opportunity to strengthen the presence in professional and business environment. Slaven has many years of experience in the economy and undoubtedly has all the credentials for success. Romana VLAŠIĆ TZ Dubrovnik Is in the position of director of TZ Dubrovnik with concrete years of experience in business and has given acceleration to the promotion of Dubrovnik. This is now the most recognisable congress brand of the region and a player in the first congress European league. You could say that the year 2013 was the year of Dubrovnik on the conference scene, since almost all the important events of this year were held in this very beautiful city. Among other things, in Dubrovnik the meetings of NATO, FIS International Ski Federation, FIA - International Automotive Association and FIFA all took place. Mitja ROTOVNIK Cankarjev Dom Without the vision of Cankarjev Dom’s legendary director, there wouldn’t be a Slovenian meetings industry today. He still promotes congress activity with incredible enthusiasm. He earned this ranking with his team because of the

part of the repositioning. Her work is characterised by an understanding of the meetings industry and the international tourism market place. She also deserves her place on this list for actively co-designing the Conventa project. The Conventa invitation with Coffee would not exist without Barbara Vajda.

She made sure that the meetings industry is embedded in the tourism policy and practice of Ljubljana and as one of the key products and as

TOP MEETING LOGISTICS (DMC, PCO,...) Danijel MARUŠIĆ Dubrovnik Travel DMC Dubrovnik Travel is recognised in the market as an extremely marketing-oriented company, which dictates the trends of regional DMCs. A clear marketing strategy and a systematic operation are visible at both the service level of co-operation with the most demanding clients as well as in the credible results, which were confirmed through the Gazelle Award in 2011. Danijel is heavily involved in the meetings space, also as a member of the peer associations and the voice of the convention industry of Croatia.

Peter FUCHS Valamar He is a part of the leadership of the Valamar company, which also installed world-class convention centres into its renovated hotel capacities. The most recognisable, the Lacroma Valamar Dubrovnik, is an example of good practice and has excellent business results. He is also included on the scale because of the innovative socially responsible campaign ‘meetINblue’, that for any event greater than 100 persons contributes a grant from the Valamar company for the adoption of Adriatic dolphins. Martin JEZERŠEK Jezeršek Catering

Tomaž KRUŠIČ and Miro HRIBAR Intours DMC Intours reached its star moment 2013, when the company has been recording impressive business results, increase of brand awareness and rapid growth. For the company 2013 has been moving in a broad regional presence, where it has been continuously increasing its market share. Tomaž is also active as president of the council of the Slovenian Convention Bureau, in which he is responsible for improving the visibility of the industry in Slovenia. 21

He has internationalised the Jezeršek Catering company through the Sora Catering company and has passed the test with flying colours, taking up the family business management at this year’s European Basketball Championship Eurobasket 2013. Catering for VIPs, international delegates, business guests, media and volunteers was this year’s most demanding logistical and culinary catering venture in the region. For about 70,000 meals 150 people were involved and the task was performed with excellence.


Bogdan LIPOVŠEK Grand Hotel Union The fount of congress tourism in Ljubljana, who has been leading the Grand Hotel Union for 23 years. Under his leadership, the hotel became synonymous with the convention hotel, which was copied by many followers, while at the same time remaining a Ljubljana institution, because it always maintains involvement in the city’s social and cultural life. Bogdan Lipovšek is also personally the greatest Slovenian advocate of the meetings industry, which has consistently stressed and pointed fingers at the errors of the incapable Slovenian tourism policy, which in relation to congress tourism behaves inappropriately. Tomislav POPOVIČ Maistra In recent years, Maistra has with bold investments set-up a different meetings product, the peak being a new convention centre at the Lone hotel. With this Maistra has placed Rovinj on the market as a high-quality business venue, which in terms of design and experiential value does have an equal in the region. With the support of events such as the Weekend Media Festival it has become the focal point of a new creative meetings industry of the future. Andrej PREBIL Sava turizem When assuming office, he took a brave decision and put congress tourism into the heart of the new strategy of the largest Slovenian tourism company, which has led to Bled experiencing a revival. This aside, he is characterised by a broad understanding of hospitality, consistency of management and solid work towards achieving objectives. All this is reflected in the good business results in the field of congress tourism. Even in his wider environment, he is through various roles working to promote the meetings industry and its credibility.

Kristian ŠUŠTAR HUP Zagreb Under the leadership of Kristian Šuštar the leading Zagreb hotelier, managing 70% of capacity, has become a generator of new business practices and models. With a clear marketing strategy, the right combination of marketing mix, integration and effective tactical execution the HUP Hotels Sheraton, Westin and Four Points by Sheraton, are still at the top of congress offer of Zagreb, despite growing competition. At the same time, with technological innovations and apps they are predicting trends in the hospitality industry and its relation towards conference guests. Živorad VASIĆ Crowne Plaza Under the leadership of Živorad Vasić Belgrade is only a step away from the opening of the Crowne Plaza hotel, which will be one of the most important congress acquisitions for the city and will largely change the face of the congress centre of Belgrade in the vicinity of Sava Centar. Živorad is characterised by persistence, pervasiveness, professionalism and a personal contribution to the successful implementation of congress tourism in Serbia. Snežana VEJNOVIĆ Talas – M agency For more than a decade she has been developing real DMC services in Montenegro within the Talas- M agency. With world-class clients she has helped to put Montenegro in the incentive map of the region via its own network of representatives throughout Europe, indirectly contributing to the country’s promotion. Due to a number of fresh ideas, which they have identified in the Ovation agency and within the partnership of the Dubrovnik Talas-M, they have become one of the strongest regional DMC agencies.


Sanja VUKOV COLIĆ Spektar putovanja The most recognised Croatian PCO achieves excellent results on the market. They have been achieving quality management and setting high business standards since 1989. They have received the certificate ISO 9001 – 2008, have reputable international partners and have organised over 20 conferences annually. Iris KOCIPER HAAS Brdo estate From many years of working in the field of tourism, her work speaks of concrete results. She is on this list due to the successful implementation of the congress philosophy, opening government buildings to the public and congresses reborn in what were often previously closed facilities.


TOP MEETING INNOVATORS (MARKETING, TECHNOLOGY,....) Davor BRUKETA Bruketa & Žinić Agency Bruketa & Žinić, which was founded in 1995 by Davor Bruketa and Nikola Žinić, is considered to be the best small marketing agency in the world (AdAge 2013) and the second most effective independent agency in the world (Effie and Cannes 2012). A ranking on the scale was earned by understanding the future of the meetings industry through the integration of creative industries with congress ones, which was beautifully packaged into a complete picture in the Hotel Lone.

Tomo RICOV Pepermint Weekend Media Festival has completely changed the face of marketing festivals of the region. By the number of participants as well as by the quality of content it became an institution in a very short time. Each year it gathers some 4,000 participants, among which are all the key players in the field of communications industries.

Anže ČOKL Bohinj Park Eko Hotel He thinks seriously, when he is talking about green meetings. At the same time he is among the youngest in the rankings. He has earned attention through the expense of so-called green eco-friendly measures. Eco and green are terms that all too often suffer from marketing abuse, behind which there is often no correct content. In the case of the eco Hotel Park, behind the word eco there is not only a well raised green philosophy and technical perfection, but also a young and dedicated team that has internalised a green mindset and follows it at every level of the business. Jovan JELOVAC Belgrade Design Week A perfectionist, obsessed with the idea of establishing a regional creative hub. Belgrade Design Week is in global terms an event without precedent. His work is characterised by an understanding of the creative industries and their importance to the revitalisation of society. This results in a changed perception of Belgrade, which Jovan has achieved over a number of years. At the same time the annual event is a surprise in terms of innovation in its organisation.

Milan CULIĆ and dr. Bojan Zečević EIAT The sixth Anniversary of the EIAT conference showed how important and pioneering was the work of Milan Culić and Bojan Zečević. In the professional field they managed to establish a platform for knowledge sharing in the region, which today brings together more than 400 participants. Their work is concentrated on the effective and efficient integration between academic knowledge and practice of tourism. Also in this area they successfully navigate between the demands of the global market and the characteristics and specifics of the SouthEast European market and have made a major contribution to the visibility of the whole region. Jerneja KAMNIKAR Vivo Catering At the 20th anniversary she earned her ranking through the socially responsible project of co-operation in the placement of the Month of Design in the abandoned factory premises of Mladinska knjiga. The revival of this place


has created a completely new event space in Ljubljana with unimagined development potential. Visitors of the event were excited about the look of the premises; this is a completely new dimension of socially responsible conference tourism. Marko KRIŽNIK Promo Tacit innovator in the field of event organisation, which has earned him his place in the ranking with the region’s most ricocheting corporate event. He has turned Elan’s sales conference into a ski slope in the middle of Portorož during one of the hottest days of October. He is characterised by a persistent love of events and is an inexhaustible source of new ideas. As he is being formed through practice, his main asset is his number of references. Kosta PETROV PWorld Entirely new form of organisation of conferences throughout the region. Everything says their business vision, ‘PI events do not produce events, but experiences’. His work is characterised by integrity and innovation through new approaches in communication that break with restrictive traditions. From Skopje he demonstrates that the organisation of events is also successfully operating in difficult economic conditions and in a non-conference tradition. Events Marketing kingdom, HR Experience have become bestsellers and brands that are carried out throughout Eastern Europe.

And what do you think? Write to us at

Exclusive interview

Sanjin Šolić defining moments: Craziest destination: Dominican Republic Craziest event: basketball representation of Europe and NBA playing a game in Lošinj for the need of financing a fund for children without parents Historical event: birth of the first child Hotel to return to: The Royal Horseguards in Londonu Concert: B.B. KING Zagreb 1980. Best rock band: Santana


Exclusive interview


Q: As a long-term employee in tourism we are interested in how the industry has changed over the last twenty years and what has had the greatest impact on this change? The tourism industry over the last twenty years is characterised by enormous change. When talking about generators of this change, we should first of all point out economic development, a growing level of education and a general prosperity increase. These trends have resulted in a transition towards post-materialist social values ​​of the ‘experience’ economy, during which the concept ‘to have’ has been replaced with the concept of ‘to do and to experience’. Added to that, we should not ignore processes such as urbanisation, changes of relation towards family and work, and maturing of the young, ‘technological’ generation. These changes generate new behaviour patterns of ‘new tourists’, so they turn to authenticity and local identity, and to the activities and experiences that contribute to learning and personal development. Q: What is your vision of tourism in Lošinj in 2020? The tourism of Lošinj is turning towards the concept of sustainability. In that sense, I also see Lošinj in 2020 as a tourist destination that meets its development in a way that doesn’t threaten the future for the coming generations, while ensuring the quality of life of local residents within the existing system. In doing so, it seems that the destination brand of Lošinj as the ‘Island of Vitality’ has the potential to become not only a promise, but a real experience of life energy and a good feeling that comes out of a preserved and healthy environment, a dynamic cultural scene and a quality tourism offer. Q: Your company, Jadranka d.d., is responsible for the tourism revival of Lošinj. How did you manage to change your company through privatisation from a gigantic socialist enterprise into a modern tourist company? It was difficult and gradual. However, I must emphasise that this process is not yet completed. We need to do much more in order to really ‘deserve’ through our way of management the benefits of the resources we are leaning on. By this I primarily mean the need to further improve the skills and abilities of our management at all levels, insisting on increasing the

potential of human capital, not to point out in particular the areas of improving our products, market recognition, and improving business processes. Q: On Lošinj it is believed that your company is a kind of “mama” of tourism development on the island. How is your company otherwise connected with Lošinj? We are certainly not the ‘mama’, but we are for sure an important factor in the development of the town. The importance comes out from the fact that, of course, we ourselves achieve a significant traffic of tourist and commercial services, but also from the fact that our customers use the products of the entire destination, and the fact that Jadranka employs, directly and indirectly, a large number of local residents. But, I want to emphasise that for Jadranka the concept of social responsibility is not just a slogan that we wave about, but it is the way of doing business we have entered into our mission and which is reflected in each of our business and development stages. This reaches from the fact that we approach all our investments in a way to be sustainable to the fact that with our offer we directly support the positioning of Lošinj on the tourist market and thus strengthen the market position of all of the participants of Lošinj tourism, both large and small. Of course, we are always participating and supporting the developmental ventures of the town as well as supporting a variety of local organisations. Q: With the rise in categories of hotels present and the expected renovation of the hotel Bellevue, Lošinj is becoming more attractive for more demanding guests. How are you going to actively attract them to the island? This is the question of all questions. It is simplest to invest in the outlet, in the building, no matter how hard it seems to secure funding for such a project. Much slower and much more difficult are the ‘soft’ changes, changes in business processes that must respond to the demands of these new customers. That’s why I just said and emphasised that there is still a lot of work ahead of us for everybody. Already at first glance changes are necessary in marketing activities, because we must ‘break’ new market segments. Changes are also needed in operations, because 25

in a ‘profitable enough’ way we must respond to new expectations. And here we primarily need activities to improve the existing staff management through various programmes of ‘continuing education’, but also through the acquisition of professionals for certain areas. In the case of Bellevue, that is certainly the area of medical tourism with which we want to achieve a significant breakthrough, not only in Croatia but also in the wider region.

Lošinj as the ‘Island of Vitality’ has the potential to become not only a promise, but a real experience of life energy and a good feeling that comes out of a preserved and healthy environment, a dynamic cultural scene and a quality tourism offer. Q: In your opinion what inspires today’s tourists? Of what type are the tourists who come to Lošinj? I think that today’s Lošinj visitor is becoming more and more a customer of experiences and adventures. He tends towards physical and intellectual improvement through new skills, education, health. First of all the visitor is informed, picky, critical and puts emphasis on quality, while choosing value for money, and not necessarily prices. Already today we see such customers, and I’m sure that the described features will be even more important in the future. Q: Who is your main competitor in Croatia and what makes Lošinj different from the more cosmopolitan Hvar? I could mention on a simple level all prestigious locations of Istria and Kvarner, and certainly some in the region of Dalmatia, but I don’t want to think that way. Jadranka and Lošinj will look for its market position in differentiation and segmentation starting from the key features of available resources. In this sense, we don’t look at every strong destination or company as competition, but as an additional strength of our market position and additional strength to Croatian tourism, which will then contribute to further improvement of all of us. In doing so, the concept of sustainable destinations and established destination management become necessary and inseparable facts which must

Exclusive interview

ensure to Lošinj and all economic entities, including Jadranka, the desired specificity based on excellence, authenticity, sustainability and collaboration.

The visitor is informed, picky, critical and puts emphasis on quality, while choosing value for money, and not necessarily price.. Q: Croatia is becoming strong also in the field of congress tourism. How is this area addressed is your plans? Congress, or in general MICE tourism, is an important orientation for us. At this moment we are primarily oriented to meetings and smaller conferences, no matter if these are conferences of associations or companies. But we are sure that this is just the beginning and that we haven’t taken, not even closely, the advantage of what this product can provide. Primarily, as a key constraint of MICE tourism development I see the accessibility of the island, and then we will relatively quickly be able to infrastructurally and in terms of employees adapt to the new demand. In this sense, we have already started to consider the possibilities of improving the functionality

of the airport, which would enable us to seriously deal with different segments of business tourists. Q: With what can Lošinj convince congress organisers? Given the difficult accessibility I wonder with which attributes can you convince congress organisers to go for Lošinj? You are again indicating the problem of accessibility. Therefore, in this aspect improving the connection is a prerequisite to becoming equal with the main competitors within that product. But once we becomw equal, then our attributes, such as quality hotels, service excellence, environmental protection, cultural offer or desirable portfolio of other products can be a crucial factor. I am sure that the emergence of a new destination that can fulfil a given and expected promise carries a competitive advantage. Q: What are the results of this year’s tourist season? How about projections for next year? The results are good. We achieved both the increase in revenue and operating profit with all our daughters. I have to emphasise again that the results are a reflection of significant investments in physical facilities, but also investment in staff.


When I said that we have achieved good results, I think it was clear to you that I have a clear picture of possible improvements in front of me. By this I mean to strengthen the market position and market recognition on one side and improving the operation on the other side, which should result in further revenue growth, but what is more important is increase of return on investment as the key assumptions required for continuation of the investment cycle. Q: If Mr. Šolić had not been CEO of Jadranka dd, what would he be dealing with? Basketball coach. And I hope of a renowned club. I can think of Real Madrid, but ……... Q: What counts today in the industry? What makes you appreciate your colleagues in the business? I think we all have to turn towards collaboration and innovation, even inside our houses, and at the destination level, but also at the level of the sector and economy. I think those are the key features of modern managers who wish to remain so.

Been there


01 Social program at EIAT 02 EIAT greeting 03 EIAT conference 04 V-ideas for future 05 Rob Davidson 06 Delegates listening



07 EIAT team






Voice from the top

VOICE FROM THE TOP Have you always wanted to work in the meeting industry? Not really. I felt the passion for the meetings industry after I met some people working in it, especially Ms. Gordana Plamenac (now Director of the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia), who made me understand it and realizse that it is a magic triad of expertise, networking and fun. Why is your destination/country the best in the world? Meetings: things done with excitement. Leisure: Café culture. What would be the first thing you would show every visitor to your country? Belgrade Design District. What has been your star moment so far and your favourite project with which you would praise yourself ? Actually, all my star moments are related to the births of my kids! They top all the professional ones. My favorite project is EIAT.

Bojan Zečević Co-founder and Programme Director, Centre for Tourism Research and Studies Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade

What motivates you the most at work? There are three things: delivering high performance results, expanding my knowledge and expertise, and hand transferring them to younger colleagues. In what way do you deal with stress? Running in the woods and exercising in the gym. When were you last angry / disappointed and why? Disappointment does not bring anger. I was disappointed when I undoubtedly realised that one of my colleagues was irredeemably superficial, which affected our performance as a team. What will be new in your business in year 2013? Going international. What have you learned last week? That my youngest and gentlest kid has guts. He took a gold medal on a beginners’ judo tournament, and I could not recognise him there, wondering: is that really my son? A real fighter, but at the end smiling and shaking hands with his opponent.


Where will you spend this year’s holiday and why? I will spend my next winter holiday on the Kopaonik mountain, since my kids love it. And summer holidays, well, who knows? If there were no time and financial constraints, where would you go? A China and Japan tour. What would be the title of your life autobiography? Looking back at the first quarter: A step by step guide to happiness.   

Voice from the top

VOICE FROM THE TOP Have you always wanted to work in the meeting industry? I will take the liberty to say that I always wanted to work in this industry subconsciously in the beginning and after a while with determination to make a difference in it. Why is your destination/country the best in the world? Serbia may not be the best meetings industry destination in the world, but it is far most interesting and with its best taste in food, wine and women that are an essential component of any event, no matter if you want to admit it or not. What would be the first thing you would show every visitor to your country? People. I have been traveling the world a lot and love seeing beautiful people, but Serbia is country with so many young, talented and happy people.

Milan CULIĆ President of the Managing Board, The Centre for Tourism Research and Studies

What has been your star moment so far and your favorite project with which you would praise yourself? When I was told I won the MPI Foundation Youth Award in 2007, as well as the moment when I was given the award from Mr. Ray Bloom and Mr. Bruce MacMillan in Frankfurt Opera during the IMEX Trade Show. Favorite project is for sure the EIAT Conference an idea of best young leaders development in the region of SEE. What motivates you the most at work? Seeing my team sharing the same vision and same values and at the same time making a difference in the region of South East Europe. In what way do you deal with stress? I tend not to deal with stress - I just show my emotions and never hide them, which has proven to be an excellent stress relief.


When were you last angry / disappointed and why? It is difficult to define anger or disappointment or to cross-reference them. I am usually angry when see people under-performing or following procedures with absence of the big picture or its impact to the future. What will be new in your business in year 2014? 2014 will be a challenging year and there will be high demand in developing transnational projects in the region of SEE. Building capacities of the key partners, co-creating and identifying markets would be a challenge, but at the same time an enormous business opportunity. What have you learned last week? That I am deeply in love. Where will you spend this year’s holiday and why? I plan to celebrate New Year in London, a city that I lived in for four years and that brought me so much joy and happiness. I plan to visit places I used to go to, people I love and to refresh memories from one of the best periods in my life. If there were no time and financial constraints, where would you go? Fiji. What would be the title of your life autobiography? Have a dream and kick ass!!!  


th SoUtH eASt eURoPeAN eXHiBitioN foR MeetiNGS, eveNtS & iNceNtive tRAveL


explore the emerging destinations of South east europe over a cup of coffee.

22 - 23 JANUARY 2014, Ljubljana—Slovenia


KONGRES MAGAZINE INVITES YOU TO CONVENTA! Explore South East Europe at Conventa and “Wow” your clients with new destinations KONGRES MAGAZINE, a long-time media partner and supporter of Conventa, invites you to discover the charms of great congress destinations of the Central and South European region from 22 to 23 January 2014 at CONVENTA, South East European exhibition for meetings, events and incentives.


bout 120 major hotels, convention centres, special venues, DMCs, PCOs, CVBs, providers of catering and other suppliers from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey will be presented during the event. Kongres magazine doesn’t want you to miss the opportunity to get to know them and to create new business links! 
Meeting planners searching for new destinations to offer to their clients can apply for hosted buyer programme at Conventa, pre-arrange individual meetings with suppliers of their choice and personally meet with them in Ljubljana at Conventa.

 Conventa treats meeting planners like royalty. The tailor-made hosted buyer programme grants the selected ones: • transfer and accommodation in the best hotels in Ljubljana
 • personal itinerary of appointments that turn business talk into business deals
 • networking opportunities that turn handing out business cards into a workout
 • fam trips that turn first-hand experience of selected congress destinations presented at the trade show into the best platform for selling the destination to the clients

The biggest professional event for business tourism and meetings organisers of Central and South East Europe is just around the corner and the meetings floor will be hotter than ever. Make sure you don’t miss it! Kongres magazine will be there to support and report. Will YOU? Join us for a lovely cup of coffee at Conventa, from 22 to 23 January 2013, in Ljubljana, Slovenia!

• dedicated Conventa support team that turns hosted buyer’s wish into a command

REGISTER as hosted buyer at Conventa >>


Global Village


1. Tell us who you are?

Executive Director at CTRS – Center for Tourism Research and Studies

2. What is your favourite meetings brand? 3. What’s the bravest thing you’ ve ever done?

Every decision we take on our professional path is either brave or stupid, as some say. I have taken many, and some of them have taken me in the wrong direction, whereas others have taken me to my current position. For instance, I started coming to the EIAT conference as a student, participating as any other. Later on I was brave enough to offer the organisers to work as a volunteer, doing pretty much anything they would ask, even though I have had a well-paid job at that time. The following year, the organising team hired me as a team member, after four months I was promoted to Project Manager and after only six months I was promoted to Executive Director. With that being said, I would like to advise all young leaders to always be brave, grab the opportunity and never look back, as there might not be the next time. 3:

4. What’s your alternative career fantasy? 5. What are you kind of obsessed with at the moment?

ference- organised for the past six years by the Centre for Tourism Research and Studies, where I currently work. EIAT stands for Education and Industry Advancing Together, and it truly meets all professional expectations, with one thing distinguishing it from other events: EIAT has a vision and shares the sharp message with its participants! This vision is introducing young leaders to globally recognised tourism experts and professionals from the public, private and academy sectors and showing that only by recognising each other strengths, can we create the Sustainable tourism products in the South East Europe region to be competitive enough for other tourism markets.

My name is Dejana Dimitrijević, and my current working position is Executive Director at Centre for Tourism Research and Studies, Serbia. I am 25 years old, with a fiveyear career in Tourism, Hotel and the MICE Industry. I graduated from the University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Science, where I got my Master’s degree as well. Even though I appreciate Tourism and Hospitality, I must say that my passion has always been Event Management and Organisation, long before I started my studies, so that is the direction I have chosen for my career and further education. I dedicated my time in high school to learning languages, as I knew this could ‘open many doors’ for me in the future. Besides Serbian, today I speak five more languages, but still wanting to learn more. I have organised all kind of events during this time, from cultural and artistic to corporate and educational ones. I am proud to say that I have had an honour of working with world recognised musicians performing at the famous music festival- EXIT FEST; as well as working with tourism industry leaders and experts - for which I am very grateful. My idea of work is that one can never stop learning, especially in this industry, so I tend to always take steps forward and learn more. 1:

Some may say that I am not being objective with my response, but still I am proud to say that my favorite meetings brand is EIAT con2:


To tell you the truth, I don’t see me in any other way but this: I have chosen it many years before and I am going to stick to it until the end. I do have a dancing hobby, but I think it is smart to keep it with one profession and one direction, without questioning your choice. If you do see yourself in other job positions, than maybe you have a potential problem and it is time for some changes. :) 4:

I am very obsessed with following new trends and always delivering something new to the events I organise. It is quite a challenge for two reasons: first of all, there are many events today, and the competition is huge! How do you stand up, that’s a question I ask myself every day?! The second thing is, that the modern trends are changing rapidly, so if I close my eyes for a moment, or take a break, I will probably miss out on some very useful innovations that I must apply if I want to keep up the quality and level of professionalism. 5:

Global Village

Tjaša Šuvak Sales manager MICE at Hit Holidays Kranjska Gora

At the moment I am fully occupied with preparing winter incentive programmes, including many activities that can be done in winter time in Kranjska Gora. I am trying to blend all the fun, athletic, snow connected activities that will make Kranjska Gora memorable for each business guest. However, I am a big fan of summer, so I keep myself really occupied during winter time so the summer arrives faster – well, at least it feels like it! 5:

For being 24 years old, I think it was brave to start a master‘s degree in the field of finance and banking and, in addition, to work for the top quality hotel in Slovenia in the field of congress and business tourism – which I have never done before. So I think it was a brave thing to step into the world of organising seminars, conferences, meetings and doing business in Slovenia, Europe and worldwide. 3:

If I ever get tired of working in tourism, business management or the organisation of events and conferences, which I doubt, I would like to work in finance research of the banking sector as the Director General of Finance or in a major bank corporation. 4:

Žan Sekirnik Sales manager at Grand Hotel Sava**** superior Rogaška Slatinaw

I have been responsible for MICE at Hit Holidays hotels in Kranjska Gora for the past 2 years. Before that I studied in the USA for 4 years and I have a degree in Accounting, a profession totally opposite to tourism. Being an athlete for all of my life, I soon realised that I need to work in a dynamic and challenging environment, which always pushes you to be better, so I fell in love with tourism, where I have been working since 2005. 1:

What are your favourite meetings brands? I would say that Hit Holidays Kranjska Gora is one of my favourite meetings brands, however I have to mention Conventa, which was the first trade show I attended and the first one where I met with international MICE professionals. 2:

One of the bravest things was my decision to leave Slovenia right after high school and experience the different way of living as an international student in the USA. During that time I learnt a lot about how to work with people with different personalities and with people from different cultures. 3:

I never thought I would work in tourism; before my professional career started I fantasised about being a lawyer, maybe because of all the movies promoting that profession. 4:

My name is Žan Sekirnik and I come from Slovenia. I am 24 years old and already writing a master‘s degree thesis on finance and banking. I have been involved in tourism at the Grand Hotel Sava**** superior in Rogaška Slatina for 4 years now. I started off as a receptionist, and for the last two years I‘ve been active in the field of congress and business tourism. 1:

I‘m fairly new to the field of MICE – even though I have organised several high-profile events in tourism, which was of great help for me in learning about the business. I think that SPA-CE, conventions and MICE projects are a great opportunity to build a quality business relationship or make new friends, no matter where, when and why ... 2:


First of all I would like to finish my master‘s degree as soon as possible to be able to devote myself 100% to congress and business tourism. I am also trying to bring more meetings from Slovenia and Europe to Rogaška Slatina and the goal is to establish a “different – new” MICE destination in Slovenia in order to achieve outstanding results. 5:




Greek Philoxenia - A Truly Warm Welcome text by Robert Cotter


t this time of the year across Europe is when the temperature begins to take a notable dip, sending a gentle reminder that winter will soon be upon us and that it’s time to get the scarves, gloves and hats out of the closet. This cold breath of winter reaches even to Europe’s hotter corners, including right to the corner of SEE, Greece, a destination more accustomed to receiving swarms of holidaymakers to its sunnier shores. Making sure that the temperature stays high for one final burst before winter comes, however, the Philoxenia 29th International Tourism Exhibition at the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre will be bringing an abundance of sunshine to the world’s tourism market from November 21-24, as it showcases the best of what the country can offer at an event that is Greece’s official tourism expression. Greece is a country that has been under the international spotlight since the onset of the GFC in 2008, but the representatives of the country’s tourism industry have been working tirelessly to ensure that one of the mainstays of the country’s economy can also be one of the dynamos for

its return to ordinary business. For Philoxenia, this meant undergoing a facelift in 2012, which for this year’s event has reaped tangible benefits, including a trebling of hotel participants, trade visitors being attracted from all over the world, a high level of pre-arranged B2B meetings, a specific conference on Religious Tourism, as well as a number of satellite events by other tourism agencies taking place concurrently with the main show. The success of the tourism industry will be a benchmark for the success of Greece’s nascent return to economic health. If Philoxenia is the litmus test for this, things are looking up and Greece will be in safe hands. Kongres will be attending this year’s event and after enjoying the warmth and hospitality that are synonymous with Greek ‘Philoxenia’ will be reporting back in a later issue.





iverside locations are known to be a serious pull factor in attracting leisure tourists, but a recent stay at the Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside hotel, occupying 250 metres of river frontage on the eastern banks of the city’s Chao Phraya River, showed how it is possible to easily combine business with pleasure. Blending the luxury hotel experience with top business and conference facilities is clearly the strategy employed by the 525-room Ramada Plaza which, with its 22 function rooms, including 2 spacious Thai inspired ballrooms, offers full flexibility for organisers – whether it be a meeting for 10, a conference for up to 600 delegates or a banquet for 1,000 guests. With 2 separate entrances to the main meeting floor and an ample supply of rooms, the accommodation is readily adaptable for either main or supporting events - such as cocktails, gala dinner, banquets, team-building activities and product launches. And if organisers are looking for something a little bit special, then the hotel offers tailor-made cocktail canapé cruises with which to wow delegates. Taking advantage of one’s best assets is simply commonsense and this hotel proves to be no exception: the 2 ballrooms boast panoramic views of the river and the riverside terrace area offers a unique and stunning setting for outdoor functions. In addition to these showpiece features, the Ramada facilities also include a fully

equipped business centre, the latest audio-visual technology, a selection of event menus and tailor-made themed events. As an environmentally friendly hotel, conference organisers are also able to work with the hotel’s organisers to ensure green initiatives are in place for their events through the Green Meetings standard. When the working day is over, however, business travellers wanting quick and easy access to tourist sites are spoilt for choice. The hotel provides a complimentary shuttle boat service connecting with the central pier and wider access to the myriad historical sites along the riverbank, as well as the BTS Skytrain for wider city exploring. Particular highlights of the hotel’s location include the nearby Asiatique - Asia’s largest night bazaar (to which the hotel provides a complimentary tuk-tuk ride) - and the Thonburi canal community, a slice of old Bangkok on the opposite side of the river from the hotel, hidden away from the vertiginous skyscrapers and bright lights and offering a more serene experience of an Asian megacity. Looking to the future, the success of this riverside location has prompted expansion plans and a new convention centre is planned for the site. Such forward thinking can only be possible when there are already solid foundations upon which to build – the first-rate facilities at the Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside certainly stand up to this test.



Twin Peaks text by Paul Broderick


eing recognised as an emerging global powerhouse comes with certain expectations and this year’s IT&CM Asia/CTW Asia-Pacific event in Bangkok (1st-3rd October) delivered in spades, demonstrating once again why, after a decade of successful co-location in Thailand, this double-bill event remains such a force on the Asian MICE industry scene. Taking place at the world-class Bangkok Convention Centre (BCC) at CentralWorld, situated right in the heart of Bangkok, delegates enjoyed first-rate conference and networking facilities and accommodation by day and at the close of business were perfectly positioned for plunging straight into the tantalising tumult of everything the city has to offer by night - creating the perfect environment in which to do business. Reflecting on the strength and the triumph of ten years of co-location, Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media, commented that ‘as a duo, the event delivers a buyer profile that is unparalleled by any other industry event in the world’. With the World Bank having also just announced that Thailand has held on to its high rank of 18th out of 189 countries for ease of doing business (placing it in the top 10%) it’s no surprise that this year’s show reflected a healthy pro-business environment: 14,000

business appointments were generated over 2 days; an impressive ratio of 1.6 buyers to 1 exhibiting company was achieved, and 60% new buyers and 47% new corporate travel managers attended. CONNECTing Globally Occupying centre stage on the show floor was the high-profile Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), very prominent through the launch of their ‘Thailand CONNECT’ global marketing campaign designed to boost MICE business and promote Thailand as a premier MICE destination by ‘connecting’ with global buyers. As part of a five-year Master Plan, Thailand CONNECT aims to enhance the global visibility of the Thailand brand and help the country achieve a 2014 target of 987,000 MICE visitors from abroad. Power Surge In continuing with its determination to not merely consolidate, but to constantly improve and innovate, this year’s event also saw the launch of the new Smartphone app messaging function, allowing delegates to chat with one another in a bid to improve communication and engagement – a ‘smart’ move in light of the results of the 2013 Abacus Corporate Travel


Practices Survey, which reported 83% of respondents feeling that mobile technology would have a ‘moderate to significant’ impact on their business. Originally launched earlier this year at the sister IT&CM China event, another notable innovation was the continuation of the successful implementation of the online diary facility, enabling both exhibitors and buyers to schedule up to 100% of their appointments in advance of the event. With other initiatives such as the inaugural Association Day (2nd October) and the Corporate Performance Forum programme (3rd October) taking place, the 2013 event demonstrated a real commitment to inventiveness. Rather fittingly for a city that was once the site of two capital cities (Thonburi & Rattanakosin) Bangkok looks set to retain its status as host for these two prestigious events. ‘Thailand has been our significant constant for the past 11 years,’ confirmed Darren Ng, further stating that ‘we will continue to hold the event here for as long as possible.’ Welcome news indeed for both organisers and delegates appreciative of such a rewarding MICE event. Here’s looking to 2014 and beyond for an event that continues to drive Thailand’s, and Asia’s, MICE industry on from strength to strength.


Seoul’s Peaks text by Robert Cotter Photo credits Seoul Convention Bureau

Kongres Telescope was recently invited to participate in a Seoul FAM trip coinciding with the Seoul International Business Advisory Council (SIBAC) sitting. What we saw and what we learned clearly sets the South Korean capital in a league of its own.


f all the Asian mega-cities, none has a setting as naturally dramatic as South Korean capital Seoul. The broad, mythical Han river separates the historic north side from the hip south side and its celebrated ‘Gangnam’ district, both sides bounded by mountains whose peaks peer down on the vast city below. From these natural peaks around Seoul it is also possible to appreciate the view of a number of manmade peaks within the city, not only those of the new skyscrapers peppering the skyline, but also some of the peaks reached in the MICE industry that have put Seoul in the international spotlight. Since 2011, three years after setting up the Seoul Convention Bureau (SCB), the city has been placed fifth in the UIA rankings for hosting international conferences, up from its previous position of eleventh. This jump came years ahead of SCB’s goal of achieving a top five spot, but witnessing the industry and desire of the SCB staff - spearheaded by the indefatigable vice president Maureen O’Crowley, who has built a very internationally-savvy team around her - and alloying this to the city’s facilities makes it very understandable how they were able to make this happen. First of all is the city’s flagship COEX Convention and Exhibition Centre. Although it has chalked up a few years and is under increasing competition from new centres springing up seemingly daily around Asia, it still stands for everything good in intelligent and integrated convention centre design. With almost 50,000m 2 consisting of four flexible exhibition halls, 54 meeting rooms, two capacious conference rooms, as well as an auditorium and ballroom facilities, the centre can cover the full range of meeting requirements, which goes a long way to explain its remarkable 73% occupancy rate. COEX’s meeting facilities are part of a broader complex including a wealth of shopping (Asia’s largest underground mall, no less, complete with Aquarium) and entertainment options, as well as two five-star InterContinental hotels and a premier residential hotel. Add this to an urban air terminal and direct connections to the airport as well as the city’s subway lying beneath the centre and in COEX Seoul has an effective self-contained meeting city. Set for renovation beginning early in 2014, the complex will only get better. Not resting on the success of COEX, the city continues to add new and very high-spec facilities to its meeting portfolio. Foremost amongst these and set to open to the public in Spring 2014 is the Zaha Hadiddesigned Dongdaemun Design Plaza. A futuristic, sprawling temple to world-class design, the international uniqueness of this building will undoubtedly be a powerful magnet for meeting organisers from across the world wanting access to premier facilities provided in its convention halls, exhibition halls and more than 20 meeting rooms within a truly iconic building. 40

Its location is also increasingly becoming identified as Seoul’s design ‘hub’ with all of the potential that that offers, a number of new hotels already scheduled to open around the perimeter of the new plaza. Also opening in Spring 2014 and exploiting the natural treasures of the city will be another unique venue, the ‘Floating Island’ complex. Consisting of three floating islands – Vista, Viva and Terra – connected by floating bridges, it will be suitable for more intimate events. Being located next to the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain Bridge, the longest bridge fountain in the world, promises the end of day entertainment to be something extra-special for delegates. Complementing these established and emerging meeting facilities is a range of established and emerging infrastructure. The Shilla Hotel, a Seoul landmark and classic of the city’s hotel scene, has just undergone a full refurbishment. Its rooms are sumptuous and continue to ooze quality, as does just about everything in the hotel, including its meeting and leisure facilities, not to mention the immaculately landscaped gardens it sits within, all of which consolidates its status amongst the leading hotels of the world. Whilst the Shilla is justifiably recognised as a standard-bearer for new hotels regularly popping up on the city scene, these new hotels are rising to the challenge with their own take on modern design and the demands of the modern delegate. One such case is with the Walkerhill Convention Centre shared between the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill and the W Seoul Walkerhill, on the eastern side of the city. Not only does the flexible convention space offer a plethora of possibilities for meeting organisers, but for an extra-special event there is Aston House, a palatial villa within the hotel complex commanding jaw-dropping views over Seoul and the Han river. After a hard day’s work, the W Hotel then offers quite possibly the most contemporary rooms in the city and a cuisine that is earning a reputation far and wide. Scattered around the city there is an endless supply of leisure activities to be had, as befits such a modern metropolis. Should mixing business with pleasure be the priority, options such as a meeting room at the Korea Furniture Museum – a real ‘hidden gem’ boutique museum visited by the great and the good – at the Korea House, a venue showcasing traditional Korean culture, or a function in one of the three exhibition spaces at the stunning Gana Art Centre can easily be organised and should be high on any organiser’s wish list. For tech lovers, a visit to the Samsung museum, loaded with their latest innovations, is a must. In addition to these there are a wealth of leisure options, many of which have signed up the Seoul MICE Alliance, a public-private partnership established to enhance the city’s global business events competitiveness and which is constantly being expanded through the efforts of the SCB.






01 Dongdaemun 02 Gana art centre 03 Korea house 04 Korea furniture museum 05 Sheraton Walkerhill 06 The Shilla Seoul


Yet for all of these peaks that have already been climbed, with our European knowledge of the Alps and the Pyrenees we understand that reaching the summit of one peak can often disclose an even higher peak over its ridge. And so it is with Seoul: a private Q&A session in advance of the Seoul International Business Advisory Council (SIBAC) 2013 with Park Won Soon, the Mayor of Seoul (see following article), granted to Kongres Telescope along with six other leading international MICE publications, unveiled that the city has developed a 20142018 Masterplan for Tourism and MICE to take the industry to the next and ultimate peak – to aim to be the world’s number one international MICE destination. Following a report commissioned by the city and undertaken by McKinsey, the MICE industry was identified as a future driver for growth, just as it will be across the globe. Also identified was that whilst Seoul is ranked 5th in the world, its infrastructure provision comes in at number 20. Align this with the expected demand in

future years and something needed to be done – which it has, through the Masterplan’s commitment to triple MICE infrastructure by 2020, from a current 64,000m 2 to almost 200,000m 2. Given the unprecedented scale of growth, the expansion has been planned in three phases: the first focussing on the Dongdaemun Design Plaza and a proposed convention centre at Seoul Station, leading to a total uplift of approx. 40,000m 2 by 2018. The second phase, running to 2020, will see the Seoul Metropolitan Government convert and merge the area surrounding the COEX facility (the adjoining 1988 Olympics main stadium site and some riverside space) into a gigantic, fully equipped MICE complex, adding more than 80,000m 2 of additional MICE space. The final phase, from 2020 and beyond, will focus on MICE facilities supporting industrial research and development to the south-west of the city, which will be invaluable in supporting South Korea’s increasing position as the world’s leading IT and telecommunications state. 41


Realising these phases of growth is now a top priority of the Seoul Metropolitan Government – in other words, it is going to happen. To make it happen it will be bolstered by initiatives to expand access to venues, to nurture a business environment conducive to business engagement in MICE, and to develop a comprehensive support system for the MICE industry. If the world wants a template of how government can commit to developing a key growth sector, in 2013 Seoul has set down a serious marker with its 2014-2018 Masterplan. Industry influencers, take note! Bukhan, Dobong, Namsan – these are the names of just some of the peaks surrounding Seoul. They’re going to need some more names pretty soon – a lot more peaks are set to appear in the city, and 2020 promises to be the year to reshape the global MICE topography.


Seoul Speaks text by Robert Cotter

Kongres Telescope was invited to a Q&A with the Mayor of Seoul on the Seoul MICE Masterplan as part of a select group of international MICE publications. The session offered insight into the partnerships necessary to become a global MICE leader.


n the middle of a frenetically busy week – apparently perfectly ordinary by the standards of Park Won Soon, the dynamic Mayor of Seoul– we were granted an exclusive audience with the Mayor to get more information about the Masterplan, what it will mean for facilities in the city, how it will be delivered and what it will ultimately mean for the global MICE industry. Here is a selection of some of the questions posed and the answers that were shared with us. Kongres (Q): Active policies are being implemented to develop the Seoul MICE industry. Why have you taken such a strong interest in this industry? Mayor Park (MP): With so many people travelling on business, we have selected the MICE industry as one of Seoul’s future core industries, because its economic impacts touch every other aspect of the business sector and economy as a whole. The expenditure of business visitors in Seoul for MICE-related activities is 1.8 times greater than that of general tourists. In terms of job creation rates, it exceeds the manufacturing business by a factor of 2 and the IT industry by a factor of 5. McKinsey, the global specialised consulting group, suggested in 2012 that the tourism and MICE industry should be developed extensively as Seoul’s future growth engines. Q: What is the government’s current policy for attracting MICE events to Seoul? MP: Seoul has been operating a one-stop support program covering the initial stage of attracting international meetings to the actual hosting of the event. In 2008, Seoul City established the Seoul Convention Bureau, a division of the Seoul Tourism Organization, consisting of MICE professionals. During the first phase of attracting a MICE event, the following support services are available: assistance in bid preparation, a one-on-one presentation workshop and consultation on successful bidding strategies, site inspections of convention facilities and unique venues and information on tourist attractions. Administrative and financial support are also provided, such as support funds, cultural performances, promotional materials and welcome messages on LED multi-screen displays at Incheon International Airport are available during the actual hosting of the event. The industry also actively promotes “Seoul: Your Complete Convention City” when participating in overseas MICE exhibitions and information sessions and advertising in MICE specialised media. Seoul participated in five MICE exhibitions in 2013, including IT&CM Shanghai, IMEX Frankfurt, and three MICE road shows in Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bangkok. In addition, Seoul Tourism Organisation operates the Seoul MICE Alliance, a partnership of 113 private-sec42

tor organisations in MICE and related fields, such as convention centers, hotels, PCOs and travel agencies. Together, they participate in joint marketing activities such as MICE industry tradeshows, Seoul site inspections for international congresses, and Seoul media tours. Q: What kinds of role or contribution do you make as the Mayor of Seoul in order to attract MICE events? MP: I am actively marketing Seoul as a MICE city through my participation in international events hosted here. I engage in conversations and interviews with key speakers and other visiting professionals. My upcoming schedule is to participate in the general meeting of UFI (Union des Foires Internationales), the association of trade show organisers, fairground owners, national and international associations of the exhibition industry, and its partners, in November 2013. I also network with organisations and bodies that can bring MICE events to this city and listen to their suggestions. In addition, I often meet with the president of an association considering Seoul for an international event and show him/her Seoul’s charms as a global MICE city and if I cannot participate in person, I will provide a promotional video, explaining Seoul’s capabilities for business events and its attractions. Examples of events I have provided videos of support for include the 2012 World Physiology Association Congress, attended by 5,000 people, the 2020 World Clinical Test Association Congress, which will bring 5,500 people, and the 2017 International Soil and GeoEngineering Symposium, which will be attended by 1,800 people. Promotion of this city through international MICE media is another example. This interview with you right now is also an important duty that I am doing in person as mayor to attract MICE events. One thing we are working on is the development of programs in which event participants can create memories in Seoul, both through the event itself but also post-tours, etc. Q: What is Seoul’s goal or aim for the future of the MICE industry? MP: Seoul will aim to become a global centre of knowledge and economy and a leading global city of innovation, with the latest information and techniques communicated and shared through the MICE industry. The important points of future economic development are knowledge, creativity, dissemination of information, communication and convergence. The MICE industry will function as the platform for the development of these factors that enhances the economy. If this goal is met, it can be stated that MICE Industry


The Mayor of Seoul Park, Won Soon with Robert Cotter will bring growth in the economic, social, and cultural areas of this city and in turn will enrich the very lives of the citizens of Seoul. Q: What are the main elements of the Seoul MICE ‘Master Plan’? MP: The vision for Seoul is to become a leading global MICE city. There are four policy tasks involved in the master plan to develop the MICE industry in Seoul: – Development and expansion of Seoul’s world class MICE infrastructure – Expansion of attraction through seeking potential demand for MICE events in Seoul – Expansion of added value services for MICE events – Reinforcement of the local MICE industry and its professionals. Q: What are the detailed plans for Seoul to expand its MICE infrastructure? MP: Seoul’s meeting and exhibition space is only 30% of the average of the top 5, with a total of 214,000m 2. Seoul needs to triple its convention and exhibition space by 2028 for a total of 186,000m 2, meaning an addition of 122,000m 2 of space. The goal is to expand facilities in the

metropolitan area, Yeongdong area and Magok area in 3 separate stages by 2020, [going] from 60,000m 2 to 180,000m 2 of exhibition and convention space. Q: What is the role of the public sector to develop the MICE industry and how does Seoul cooperate with the private sector? MP: The MICE industry is a complex industry of interconnected entities such as private enterprises like PCOs, travel agencies, hosts of exhibitions, hotels, shopping, tourism, and groups and corporations such as institutes and associations. Therefore, cooperation for division of roles between private and public sectors is of utmost importance for the future development of the MICE industry. Collaboration between government and private businesses is the most important. It is crucial for the public sector to improve the system, make significant investments, and build a connection link for networking between private entities. The public sector should focus on the creation of an environment where people can work efficiently, [through] improvement of the law and systems, expansion of infrastructure, such as exhibition and convention centres, supporting R&D, and 43

supporting the manpower supply and demand system, such as training quality manpower. The government’s role is to create bridges for active networking between MICE companies, corporations, institutes and associations and improve confidence and trust in the public sector’s ability to do these things. Seoul has established and is operating the Seoul MICE Alliance, a network of MICE companies, such as convention centres, hotels, PCOs and travel agencies. The SMA runs cooperative initiatives to attract MICE business, such as joint participation in overseas MICE tradeshows, support for site visits in Seoul for international organisations and corporate meetings, and media tours of Seoul’s MICE industry. Q: What unique venue in Seoul would you recommend? MP: As a 600-year old capital of this peninsula, there are many traditional venues with rich culture and history, complimented with the natural surroundings, such as mountains and the Han River. [However], I would like to recommend Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Floating Island, which are the two facilities due to open next year.

MALAYSIA CONVENTION & EXHIBITION BUREAU (MyCEB) Suite 22.3, Level 22, Menara IMC, No. 8 Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpu r, Malaysia. Tel: +603 2034 2090 Fax: +603 2034 2091 Email: Web:


MyCEB woos Australia’s MICE planners


he Malaysian Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) has recently hosted a familiarisation trip for 10 Australian corporate meetings and incentive planners, to introduce a range of purpose built and unique events venues in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi. The initiative was carried out in partnership with the national flag carrier, Malaysian Airlines. Attendees experienced a mix of the modern and old-world charm of the city of KL. The group viewed the contemporary meetings facilities at locations including: The Majestic Hotel, The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and Aloft KL among others. To absorb the historical elements of KL city, planners were taken on the KL Heritage Trail where they visited the Sin Sze Ya Temple and took part in a tea making ceremony. Other places visited include the Royal Selangor Pewter Factory and Batu Caves.


The second part of the trip took place in Langkawi, where the group was inspired by a different side of Malaysia by the ‘Jewel of Kedah’. Highlights included the scenic view from the Panorama Skybridge and a sunset dinner aboard the Crystal Yacht. Hotels visited in Langkawi included The Westin Langkawi and The Andaman Langkawi. “Familiarisation trips are one of our most effective experiential initiatives used to highlight the range of facilities Malaysia has to offer to the global business events arena. By experiencing Malaysia firsthand, we hope that the Australian corporate and incentive planners will be able to spread the word about our unique offerings to their clients,” said Ho Yoke Ping, general manager of Sales & Marketing, MyCEB.  


Malaysia scores hat trick of international conferences


he Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) has announced three bid wins for Malaysia. Over the next two years, Malaysia will be welcoming The 9th Asia Pacific Clinical Nutrition Society Conference (APCCN) 2015, Spine Week 2016 and The Asia Pacific Conference of the Junior Chamber International (APJCI) 2015. APCCN 2015, organised by the Nutrition Society of Malaysia and Asia Pacific Clinical Nutrition Society will be held from January 26-29, 2015, and attract around 1000 delegates interested in functional foods, nutrition and disease and dietary cures. The event aims to promote advancement in nutrition science, research and development through international cooperation to encourage communication and collaboration among nutrition scientists. To be held from May 16-20, 2015, Spine Week 2016’s objectives is to synchronise the annual meeting of leading scientific societies concerned with disorders of the spine.

Organised by the Junior Chamber International, a not-forprofit organisation of more than 200,000 youth around from 100 countries, the APJCI 2015 event will be held from May 22-25, 2015, and aims to foster cooperation across boundaries by engaging in dialogues, and to ignite global development projects to collectively improve local communities and enhance the leadership of youth. “Every conference conducted serves its purpose to create milestones,” said Zulkefli Hj Sharif, chief executive of MyCEB. “Whether it is a medical conference or gathering of other industry experts, Malaysia is proud to be chosen as the conference destination and to be a part of these breakthroughs. We look forward to welcoming delegates from around the world to not only an eventful conference but also to experience Malaysia- Truly Asia.”


A deluxe property set on 250 meters riverfront on the Chao Phraya River, featuring 525 guest rooms and suites. Offering 8 restaurants and bars, 22 function rooms accommodating 10 up to 1000 guests, an Executive Lounge, a Business Center, an outdoor swimming pool nestled in a lush tropical garden, the Massira Wellness & Spa and the Ocean Kids Club; it is the perfect choice for business and leisure. Within easy access are major cultural attractions, the central business district, major shopping and entertainment outlets, and only a 5-min walk to Asia's largest night bazaar, Asiatique - The Riverfront. Complimentary shuttle boat services are available to the Skytrain station and the Central Express Boat pier.

2074 Charoenkrung Road, Bangkok 10120, Thailand Tel: 66 (0) 2 688 1000 Fax: 66 (0) 2 291 9400

Meetings & Events

in Croatia

only 1- 3 hours flying time from all major European cities high-quality destinations, infrastructure, hotels & venues world class DMC & PCO professionals


Croatian National Tourist Board provides neutral, free-of-charge information on suppliers, venues, hotels, social & incentive programmes as well as pre- and post- convention tours for your meetings, exhibitions, incentives and events across the country. Our team is readily available to help all organizers, corporations, associations and agencies. We are looking forward to assisting you with your next event in Croatia.

Croatian National Tourist Board, Head Office Iblerov trg 10/IV, 10000 Zagreb, CROATIA e-mail: /


Chipolo - Bluetooth Item Finder for iPhone and Android Name: Chipolo Location: Trbovlje, Slovenia Contact: tadej.jevsevar@chipolo. net or Website: Chipolo is a joint project of young developers which was developed as a solution of all-too-common problems involving searching for misplaced keys, wallets and other necessary items. Chipolo uses wireless Bluetooth connection and helps find lost or misplaced items, with the

help of a smartphone. You can put it on your key chain, bag, wallet, etc. Chipolo also serves as a thermometer, as it transmits the temperature of its surroundings. And a thermometer is the one thing we’ve always missed on our phones! Compared to similar Bluetooth wireless products, Chipolo has the farthest reach, which means 200 feet in ideal circumstances. The communication with Chipolo is secure, as it uses a coded connection.

GEOFFREY – ELECTRONIC BUTLER Geoffrey is a multi-award-winning electronic ordering system, price list and newspaper all in one device. Leaves no wishes unfulfilled, lets customers order at any time – without having to wait a single minute. Geoffrey speeds up the average table turnaround and shortens the ordering time to a minimum. Customers can place their own orders, making mistakes, excuses and misunderstandings a thing of the past. Geoffrey is always ahead of the time, and it only gets better!

FlyKly SMART WHEEL Name: FlyKly Smart Wheel Location: New York City, USA Contact: Website: Lightweight and highly efficient all-in-one pedal assist that fits on practically any bicycle. Move through busy city streets in no time and spare your energy with the help of smart wheel, a pedal assist that encases an ultra-thin electric motor and intelligent electronics within a robust housing, neatly fitted onto the spokes of a bicycle rim. The motor turns on when you start pedalling and begins acceler-


ating to your desired speed. It stops when you stop. You can remotely lock the motor and track it in case it gets stolen. While riding, smart wheel keeps you safe because it spares your energy and allows you to keep focus on the traffic. Smart Wheel’s genius design packs a lot of power and keeps its weight as light as possible. FlyKly app allows you to control and monitor the Smart Wheel. It also offers many other features like safety, support and social connectivity. It’s available for free for iOS and android devices with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and for the pebble watch.


LAVIVAVERA Name: Lavivavera Location: Ljubljana Contact: Živa Javeršek,, 040 972 121 Web site:








Two girls took their chance to make the design for the equa bottle, and now you have the opportunity to get your hands on this exclusive and limited edition water bottle too, with only 300 to be produced. Having your own bottle will help you stay hydrated at all times, and we all know how important water is for our skin, body and brain to look and feel its best. The bottle is made from glass and is available in three different colours: green, blue and peach.

Time for oxygen Name: Kisikura Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
 Contact: Udihni d.o.o., Hrenova ulica 8, 1000 Ljubljana, Website:

10. november 2013 14:55:32


KISIKURA is a pure oxygen therapy producing unparalleled effects on the human body. If you are visiting one of our events and you wish for a natural revitalizing oxygen experience, you only need to relax in a comfortable chair…and breathe in! Oxygen is inhaled through a sterile nasal attachment.: a device is in place to extract nitrogen from the air you breathe in, leaving 92% to 98% of oxygen, enabling you to inhale up to five times more oxygen. Results? Pure physical energy! Revitalized body! No more headaches! Focused and clear thoughts! KISIKURA is completely mobile and adds variety to any indoor or outdoor event.

Canon EOS 70D Speed for the demanding user Name: Canon Adria d.o.o. Location: Dunajska 108a, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Contact: Tel.: +386(0)15308710, Website: The new EOS 70D is an ideal choice for those who wish to push their photography to a higher level. Equipped with the latest technologies, the camera captures stunning pictures at 7 frames per minute and Full HD video, while integrated Wi-Fi enables you to instantly post them to your web or social media page. Multiple creative modes let beginners use advanced shooting options, while compatibility with more than 60 Canon’s lenses gives you almost unlimited framing possibilities. The EOS 70D will become your faithful companion on all your endeavors, business and pleasure.



Anyone looking for excellence, comes to Brdo


the Convention Centre, which was headquarters to the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union, a real difference is created by experienced organisers. The natural environment provides a memorable relaxation, and business Hotel Brdo a superior accommodation. Glass modernity in the middle of nature The Brdo Estate has historically been a venue for important governmental events. Renaissance castle Brdo, villa Zois and other attractive premises in the middle of the superbly designed park were in 2007 joined by the modern Congress Centre, which was also the seat of the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union. Behind glass fronts of the building, which in architecturally thoughtful way blends with the natural environment and the Alpine peaks in the background, there are around 9 thousand m2 of premises. Adjustable larger and smaller halls, meeting

rooms, business rooms, booths and halls offer an excellent environment for large congresses and conferences and for smaller meetings and work conversations. The equipment is designed in such a way to allow for a wide variety of layouts. Superior custom-made implementation There are all devices for multimedia work, free wireless access to the Internet throughout. Interpretation booths for translators are available, workplaces for journalists are arranged. Depending on the needs of the event the Convention Centre team can arrange for any additional details. Experts, tested at events of the highest protocol level, are advising in meetings organisation - from the first talks through all the way to flawless execution and to the final thanks to participants. At any event special attention is given so that it all corresponds to the organiser, participants and content of the meeting.

Staying with specific tastes During the event chefs at Brdo can provide everything from snacks, informal cocktail receptions to comprehensive entertainment both on the premises of the Congress Centre and in selected and properly arranged other facilities at Brdo. Participants can be accommodated at the Kokra Hotel, which in addition to great rooms and restaurant also offers a wellness centre. The integrity of different experiences Park Brdo, with its natural features, with lakes and a duck pond, with an elite restaurant Zois, with the cottage Jezero (lake), a golf course and many other venues, is also an excellent choice for unusual motivational meetings! For special meetings you can also select the Brdo Castle and the nearby Castle Strmol.

The true difference is in details Actually, everything starts and ends with a cup of coffee. In-between your wishes are revealed, plans and possibilities discussed, detailed organisation of the event set, and perfect performance carried out. Our experienced team guarantees your event in the Congress Centre Brdo or in the recently renovated Strmol Castle will not only meet your expectations but leave an impression. Welcome drink awaits you at Brdo! 50

T: +386 4 260 15 01






uite a number of weather proverbs are associated with Bohinj, such as the one that ‘in Bohinj the rain has got young ones’ or the famous proverb that ‘we Bohinjci are in the middle of paradise, where winter lasts seven months’. Due to the valley location the microclimate of the lake is also blending in with the weather, so much so that in recent years of changing weather we have often been experiencing just the two seasons: winter and July. It is no wonder then that Bohinj also has its own weather monument in Bohinjska Bistrica! In reality, Bohinj does not have much more rainfall than nearby Bled or Ljubljana and, despite complaining about the weather, it remains one of the most famous and legendary Slovenian destinations right in the heart of the Julian Alps, famous for its beautiful glacial lake and the location in the middle of the Triglav National Park and the traditional alpine architecture. The Bohinj basin extends into the south-eastern part of the Julian Alps and at the far eastern edge there is the widest part of the Bohinj valley, with the Bohinjska Bistrica village. In the field of nature and environmental protection Bohinj is a place with a long tradition. It builds its tourism products primarily on nature, and efforts to preserve environmental quality are logically its main priorities. The only possible form of tourism development in such an area is sustainable and in this direction, Bohinj has recently developed intensively. Of the entire territory of the Municipality of Bohinj 66% is situated in a protected area of the Triglav National Park and due to this the preservation of the rich cultural heritage is also high on the list of tourism priorities. An important factor in the development of tourism was the railway line linking Vienna to Trieste since 1906. Soon after the establishment of the line the first Slovenian Alpine Hotel Triglav was formed in Bohinjska Bistrica, which was the forerunner of today’s Bohinj Park EKO Hotel. However, due to the general condition of Slovenian railways that link is not much used and not too welcoming for passengers. Road access, on the other hand, is solid, but throws up the lingering issue of the not-yet-built Bled bypass, which causes occasional traffic jams. There is also the desired and expected cycle path between Bled and Bohinj, also on the wish list for many years. The local road infrastructure has also become obsolete with an irregular traffic regime, which is most problematic in the high summer season. Otherwise, Bohinj is near to the major incoming markets, which is one of the benefits. To the central Slovenian motorway it is 25 km, to the Brnik airport just 50 km.


The poor quality of the majority of accommodation facilities is a major challenge for Bohinj tourism. The accommodation offer is split between hotels and many private guesthouses and apartments. The flagship of the offer is Bohinj Park EKO Hotel, which was built with great attention to the environment and as such is currently one of the most advanced, energy efficient accommodation complexes in Central Europe. Since its opening in June 2009 Bohinj Park EKO hotel has been much dedicated to sustainability issues, and in May 2010 it officially became the first eco-resort in Slovenia, which boasts a prestigious sustainable Green Globe certificate. Immediately after opening, due to attractive water park it has become the heart of the tourist offer of the valley that functions well also outside the main season. The area of Bohinj is still distinctly tied to the summer and winter tourist seasons and to the period of good weather. Bohinj is for conference guests also the epicentre of unspoiled nature, clean water, a lake shore accessible to all with a centuries-old tradition in tourism. It seems, however, that all of this is a bit overlooked by the conference delegates. Neighbouring Bled is much more active in this area and the Bohinj brand is not sufficiently present or recognisable across the world. Obviously convention tourism is currently not the first priority in the development of the area - Bohinj is suitable for smaller congress groups, of whom most favour Bohinj in Bohinj Park EKO Hotel, which has 8 conference rooms, the largest one for 150 participants. In addition to this first category there are smaller congress facilities in the Hotel Jezero (30 persons), Hotel Zlatorog (50 persons), and pension Tripič (25 persons). Also awaiting renovation is the hall in the Jože Ažman cultural centre, which can accommodate up to 300 people. The main thing is that Bohinj shows and is proud to offer an original and very sought-after authentic conference experience. Moreover, in Bohinj one becomes aware of the magnificence of nature and the programmes developed by Bohinjci are respectful of the cultural, social and natural heritage of the valley.




Meetings infrastructure

Until the construction of the Bohinj Park EKO Hotel convention activity was not among the priorities. A modern conference centre has brought many incentive groups and other meetings groups to Bohinj that have contributed a lot to de-seasonality and show the way towards a sustainable meetings industry.

Grades: 5 excellent convention destination 4 quality convention destination 3 recommendable convention destination 2 average convention destination 1 so so

Subjective grade Individual grades: Natural and cultural factors


Pure, unspoiled nature in the heart of the Julian Alps, peace and quiet, a quality offer, originality and sustainable development are the main attributes of the high experiential value of Bohinj. With its beautiful nature Bohinj is today one of the most recognisable tourist destinations in Slovenia. General and road infrastructure


Transport infrastructure is poor and outdated and road networks is one of the key local priorities. At the same time, and in line with environmental protection and authenticity values, it is one of the most authentic Slovenian destinations with a high living standard and genuine tranquillity of the local area. Tourist infrastructure



Apart from the Bohinj Eko Park top hotel there is a lack of accommodation facilities in Bohinj and a lot of them are inadequate for the needs of congress tourism. Among these are mainly different apartments and guesthouses. The catering offer is also average.


The variety and diversity of the natural environment places Bohinj among the exclusive and superior convention destinations in Slovenia. It is difficult to imagine a better location for sustainable conference programmes. Comparison with the region: The majority of congress guests will be sworn lovers of nature and its aesthetic value. Bohinj is a place that is created for sustainable conference programmes and for active incentive experiences. It is a place where without any hesitation you can drink water from the public water supply and from its clean streams. Even the basic network of thematic paths offers ideas for authentic congress programmes. In Slovenia, the beauty of Bohinj can only be matched by its neighbours across the peaks in the Soča Valley, or in Kranjska Gora. Cool meetings: Bohinj cheese is a special type of Emmentaler cheese. A typical ‘loaf’ is heavy, from 45 kg to 55 kg, measures about 60 cm in diameter and is from 8 cm to 15 cm high. The loaf is slightly convex, its rind firm, smooth, dry and golden. Throughout history, the typical traditional way of making Bohinj cheese has adapted and changed. Today, Bohinj cheese from the traditional Emmentaler cheese differs by its golden yellow crust, dimensions, time of ripening, and the distinctive taste that is slightly spicy and reminiscent of walnut kernels. 54



SLOVENIA MEETINGS Feel the people. Taste fresh ideas.





pring wraps Kranjska Gora with warm rays of sunshine, making it an even more pleasant destination for business meetings. It is also an excellent starting point for walks in nature and discovering of what lies in the surrounding villages, with its outstanding gastronomic offer pleasantly rounding off the moments spent in the splendour of the surrounding mountains. Kranjska Gora meetings tourism has a long tradition. In the Hit Holidays Kranjska Gora hotels they have as many as 19 halls with all the necessary technical equipment, the biggest hosting up to 1,200 participants and most of them having plenty of daylight. The unspoiled natural surroundings call for active leisure time and are excellent for a wide range of teambuilding programmes. After the activities, participants can relax in any one of the four wellness centres, swim in one of the pools, take a walk and see the local sights, or visit any of the museums. There are also many options for organising gala dinners and dinner parties that take you to the realm of dream culinary experiences. Guests can wrap up the evening by singing karaoke at the Legends Pub, dancing under the spotlight at the disco or trying their luck in one of the casinos. At the end of February the Hotel Larix hosted the 12th CEESCA Conference and the participants were very satisfied. “It was excellent, without fault from the hotel staff, and for that I would like to thank you a lot. This was the 12th CEESCA Conference and you can be proud because your service was the best so far. You can see at

our website that we had always used renowned hotels with many stars.” The organisers of various events like to come back to Kranjska Gora, because they are always surprised with its new and original ideas for carrying out events in a way that participants always fondly remember.

Lake Bled – »green« and inspiring in all seasons It is not a myth; this is how Bled is described by the media and by the majority of those who have ever set foot in this town.

Bled Convention Bureau Cesta svobode 11 4260 Bled, Slovenia T: +386 (0)4 57 80 500 F: +386 (0)4 57 80 501 E:







visit to Hungary does not go by without thinking about the Pannonian Sea, that in ancient times covered today’s plain. Over time, it retreated and left in the lowest area what is now known as Lake Balaton. The Pannonian Sea left a rich legacy to the country in the form of oil, natural gas and thermal waters. The thermal water was discovered in Sárvár by coincidence when they were exploring for petroleum. Upon this wealth the city of Sárvár has also developed, a city that lies in the most famous spa-health area of Hungary and which connects with the Spa road places Sárvár, Buk, Kesztely and Heviz by Lake Balaton. The Pannonian basin is a part of Europe where time has stopped and the inhabitants seem to be living in harmony with nature. The region does not lack national parks and protected areas – there are infinite fields of cereal and corn and sunflower fields cover almost every piece of fertile lowland. One gets the feeling as if one is riding the waves of the former Pannonian Sea, as the landscape is always a little raised and then lowered. The traditional Pannonian villages abound with friendly and hospitable people with a sense of tradition and heritage conservation. The city has developed on the river Raba, the name of the city, like with other Hungarian words, is coined from the words Sar (mud) and Var (castle). The city has developed around a fortified Renaissance castle, Nadasdy, which is the symbol of the city and today arranged into a museum. The surrounding landscape is in terms of adventure not too exciting, but the social and cultural potential makes it interesting and attractive for convention guests, mostly because of authenticity and the time that is here moving a little more slowly. The city has somehow retained the character of a village in a positive way. It seems that the whole development of the city is subordinate to tourism today. Sárvár is very nicely and attractively arranged. The great advantage is its proximity to Austria and to Vienna and Bratislava airports. To Vienna airport it is approximately 130 km, only a shot more to the airport in Bratislava and to Graz airport it is just 150 km. Administratively it belongs to the region of West Pannonia, which has about one million inhabitants and is a multicultural region, which in terms of development is the second most developed region of Hungary immediately after Budapest. This can be observed through the solid quality of the infrastructure. To the meetings industry goes its location is close to many major cities: Vienna, Graz, Gyo�r and others, where there is a large concentration of companies with potential for the organisation of events and a lot of people with high purchasing power. 59

The city of Sárvár is a tourist centre of the region and is considered to be a young wellness tourism destination. The thermal water, with a temperature of 92 degrees Celsius, was an excellent basis for the development of tourism. This was captured by the construction of an enormous medical and wellness centre in 2002, which was enlarged and renovated in 2010. The health resort has earned the title Royal Spa, due to the high quality of service and exceptional healing properties of the water. With the construction of the new hotels Park Inn by Radisson, Vitalmed, Spirit Hotel and others, the number of guests rose from 26,000 in 2001 to 444,000 in 2011. Two of the most famous hotels in Sárvár were only opened a few years ago. The five-star hotel Spirit was opened in 2008 and Park Inn/Radisson in 2006. In terms of quality the Spirit hotel stands out, being very polished, professional and fully on the level of category 5 *****. The four-star Park Inn Hotel has 223 rooms and is connected by a walkway to Sárvár Spa. The hotel has a perfectly designed conference centre. The largest hall can accommodate up to 300 guests. Moreover, it also has 4 smaller capacity halls. Hotel Spirit is basically a spa hotel with superior thermal offer, which extends to over 10,000 m 2. At the same time it is boasting a modern multifunctional conference hall for up to 500 guests that can also be partitioned into several smaller halls. Sárvár hides numerous natural and cultural gems and positively surprises guests. The open horizon of the Pannonian Plain entails openness and hospitality of the people and the typical Pannonian melancholy.





Sรกrvรกr enjoys the advantages of its position near the main emitive markets in the region and the major transport hubs. Throughout the history of the region it has acted as a bridge between East and West.

Grades: 5 excellent meetings destination 4 quality meetings destination 3 recommendable meetings destination 2 average meetings destination 1 so so Individual grades: Natural and cultural factors:

General and transport infrastructure

Tourist infrastructure


Natural conditions with numerous pristinely preserved areas and a rich cultural heritage of the area are ideal for the development of sustainable tourism. Autochthony is a big advantage in the development of convention tourism.


Although the city has a long and rich history, it seems like in the last 10 years it has blossomed. The mainstay of tourism is medicinal water for rehabilitation and relaxation, complemented by outdoor activities, from visits to the Arboretum to rowing on the lake and learning about the history of the area at a museum collection at the Castle.



Meetings infrastructure


Spirit Hotel and Park Inn by Radisson have certainly set guidelines for the development of convention tourism in Sárvár. Park Inn with the tradition and the knowledge of hotel chains, Spirit, so to speak from the point of zero, but by following the best international hotels. Spirit Hotel also offers the largest hall in the city, accommodating up to 500 participants. Subjective grade:


The Hungarian proverbial hospitality was confirmed during the visit to Sárvár. It shows already in abundant portions of food and an overall desire to please guests.

Comparison with the region: Sárvár is a city that at the moment only a few would place somewhere on the convention destinations map. Development has been primarily focused on health tourism. Once you get to know it, it is an elegant and fresh destination that is surprising because it is not ostentatious. Cool meetings: Famous Hungarian meat stews are paprikás, a paprika stew, meat simmered in thick creamy paprika gravy, and pörkölt, a Hungarian stew with boneless meat (usually beef or pork), onion, and sweet red paprika powder. Fun fact: Pannonia Ring circuit is only about six kilometres from Sárvár and is an excellent venue for incentive programmes.







he Queen of Croatian tourism can also in gloomy autumnal days surprise continentals with its sun and typical Austro-Hungarian patina. Opatija is also reminiscent of the elite places on the Côte d’Azur and seems that at the turn of the century it arose as a response to the fashion fads of Paris. If you therefore find yourself missing the smell of the sea, a trip to Opatija and a walk along the Lungomare coastal footpath is the best tonic for winter depression. Opatija was given its name by the Benedictine monastery that was built in the first half of the 15th century. For the unprecedented tourism development it must primarily thank its favourable climate, as well as the visit of duke Ferdinand, who was so excited over the place that many well-known tourists started flocking to Opatija, with the rush resulting in the construction of the southern railway between Vienna and Rijeka. Interestingly, the first major hotel, the legendary Kvarner, was built by the Southern Railway Company. Naturally and geographically dominating the city is Učka mountain, which includes an attractive nature park and Kvarner Bay, the coastal part of which is rich with the Mediterranean vegetation of laurel, camellias and magnolias. The city boasts six Blue Flag beaches and many beautifully landscaped parks. Despite other cultural and historical tourist attractions the sun and the sea still dominates in Opatija as the main motives for visits. The city has recently undergone renovation of many of its historical villas and hotels. One can see this when walking around the city, which is very safe and clean. For some of the famous hotels, such as the Kvarner, renovation is still due, but in general the city is changing for the better and is slowly approaching the goal of revitalisation of its tourist architecture. The overhaul of the Hotel Kvarner raises parallels with Portorož, where renovation of the Palace Hotel and inclusion in the Kempinski chain gave back some of the old glamour. Accessibility by road is solid, whilst air accessibility, despite the relative closeness of the airports of Pula and Krk, remains a major challenge for planners of tourism policy. In Opatija today are mostly tourists arriving by road. The city is squeezed at the Učka slopes, which is why there is always too little space, making parking in the city a major problem, which is especially pronounced during the high season. However, the city positively surprises in another detail: it is excellently covered with WI- FI signal that operates smoothly and without complications. The heart of Opatija’s tourism is a park around the villa Angiolina, including the famous Japanese camellia that is the symbol of the city. The park was created in the period from 1845 to 1860, when tourism began to flourish with the Kvarner and Imperial hotels, as well as several private villas. When we are talking about the tourist destination it is necessary to consider the entire Riviera, from Moščeniška Draga to Volosko with the centre in Opatija. In this, the destination has 34 hotels that have been recently upgraded and their quality was generally improved, but these are mainly concentrated in Opatija. Their raised quality is the key point of the revitalisation of Opatija as a fashionable resort. 63

Heartening news is also coming from Liburnia hotels that after privatisation it has become the largest hotel house in the region and is now owning many failing hotels. This year they introduced a Remisens brand that targets upscale guests and in the coming year they are planning to overhaul the legendary Hotel Kvarner and a few other hotels. Today, therefore, the most stable part of tourism is concentrated in Milenij hotels, the Grand Hotel Adriatic and other smaller hotel companies. In Opatija there is also no shortage of special treats, such as Opatija’s ‘Walk of Fame’. Among others, there are Janica Kostelić, Krešimir Čosić, Nikola Tesla and many other Croatian celebrities. A unique museum of tourism is also cute, which is located in the villa Angiolina, and there are many other cultural and historical ‘candies’. In Opatija the first medical congress was in 1885, so it may be regarded as the historical city of congress tourism. Thanks also to the congress the city was in 1889 declared a health resort. Opatija today enjoys the reputation of being one of the most popular convention destinations of the region. It is especially popular among pharmacists and doctors. Today, the majority of congresses are held in hotel convention centres. The project of reconstruction of the summer theatre into a multifunction hall remains as a design concept on paper, although it would certainly provide Opatija with greater competitiveness. The largest convention centre is at the Grand Hotel Adriatic, with the largest hall for 550 participants in amphitheatre and many reputable references that have been accumulating since its 1971 opening. Very active in the field of congress are the Milenij hotels group: Milenij Hotel with congress hall for 300 participants and Milenij Grand Hotel 4 Opatija flowers with Congress Centre Tamaris, that in the largest Orchid hall can take up to 400 participants. The third largest supplier is Liburnia hotels, with conference centres at the Ambassador hotel - that in the largest hall can accommodate up to 515 guests - and smaller conference centres in a series of their hotels. In Opatija there is no shortage of special venues. Probably one of the most beautiful halls of the Adriatic is the Crystal Ballroom at Kvarner hotel, which holds 900 guests, and the Golden Ballroom at the Imperial hotel for 400 participants. A special venue is Villa Angiolina and many other locations, including a modern lounge restaurant, Bevanda, which can be privatised for a little more modern impression. A great opportunity for Opatija is in connecting providers, which it has successfully been doing since 2009, through the newly established Opatija Convention Bureau. The Opatija Convention Bureau can, with the sincere support of all stakeholders, quickly help to improve the dusty image of the destination, which is the biggest congress challenge of Opatija today. Everything else at the destination is solid: Opatija is cost competitive, mostly excites the professionalism and business orientation of hosts who know how matters are dealt with in the meetings industry.


Opatija otherwise fluctuates between aspirations and a vision of the cosmopolitan resort and mass tourism that is prevalent today. One type of tourist usually does not understand the other very well. However, as a convention destination it is a refined old lady with a wide range of culture and exquisite cuisine and a few restaurants that are the best in the Adriatic, such as Bevanda, Blue cellar (Plavi podrum), Kukuriku or La Mandrač. Above all, it is one of a few destinations in the Adriatic with the complete and year-round congress infrastructure, from the operating Convention Bureau through all kinds of convention venues to DMC agencies and individual specialists for teambuilding programmes and incentives. This, combined with a wonderful ambience and a rich natural hinterland, has been creating a winning convention combination ever since 1885. Destination grade: QUALITY MEETINGS DESTINATION



Connections with Rijeka are good and also at Opatija’s disposal is the relative proximity to the major population conglomerates of Central Europe. In terms of infrastructure Opatija appears tidy and offers a truly diverse tourism story with the legendary tourist Adriatic Riviera connected with an attractive Lungomare promenade. Tourist infrastructure


Almost every stone and building in Opatija is a witness to the rich history of the city’s tourism, which was once called the ‘Nice of the Adriatic’. With the renovation of hotels, which is in full swing, it will again shine in its former beauty and with an upscale hotel offer. A rich gastronomy offer thrills, with some restaurants at the peak of Croatian cuisine. Meetings infrastructure


The ratio between hotel rooms and congress facilities enables the organisation of medium-sized conferences with up to 600 participants. In Opatija there is virtually no hotel without meeting facilities, and also very attractive is the accompanying offer with its well developed incentive programmes and the offer connected by the Opatija Convention Bureau.

Grades: 5 excellent meetings destination 4 quality meetings destination 3 recommendable meetings destination 2 average meetings destination 1 so so Individual grades: Natural and cultural factors

General and transport infrastructure


The whole part of the Kvarner below the Učka mountain is famous for its mild climate, due to the sunny position below Učka, which allows year-round tourism. This combined with lush vegetation and a clean Kvarner sea is main reason for the development of 30 kilometres of the Opatija Riviera. The primary tourist motive is therefore natural wellness that nicely upgrades the needs of congress organisers.

Subjective grade


An elegant tourist lady to which years are showing and appears at times a bit tired, but is still very charming. It will need a facelift as soon as possible and a vitamin treatment to be able to fully compete with the competitors on the Croatian Adriatic, and above all to fight for its congress place in the battle with Dubrovnik.



Comparison with the region: 170 years of tourism tradition is based on the positive energy of the riviera and the exceptional natural conditions. This is a great sign for the revival of Opatija congress tourism, which has recently relaxed slightly in comparison with the hyperactive Croatian Adriatic competitors. The city already boasts the entire infrastructure, but it is beaten mostly by an unfavourable image and somewhat slow adjustment to the new congress market conditions. A change of the structure of hotels is also necessary, as ‘cosmopolitan’ Opatija today only boasts three hotels in the 5-star category, whilst in Dubrovnik there are now 14 Cool meetings: Kvarner scampi: are considered to be the best in the world. Identified by the pale red colour and thinner armour, their specialty is - experts say - in that they live here in a very shallow sea with a lot of drinkable water springs and are therefore very soft and sweet.





ale and hearty ladies are said to be like good wine – the older they are, the more fascinating they become! The same can be said about Opatija, even if no wine could live such a dynamic life and maintain so much style and bouquet after one hundred and seventy years! As centre of the Riviera since the long-gone days of the AustroHungarian monarchy, Opatija has maintained its fine reputation up to the present day. Even more, thanks to its revitalising energy and willingness to adapt to the trends of modern tourism, Opatija is experiencing a new renaissance. The renovation of several of the town’s historic and classical buildings, many new facilities and the wellknown favourable climate guarantee that you will enjoy every single moment of your stay in Opatija. This ambience that has inspired so many famous artists, poets, and Nobel prizewinning writers, as well as politicians, businessmen and governors, invites you to enjoy its charm and unique energy. The whole of Opatija is like a large stage set of hotels located close to the sea and beautifully maintained parks, only a few minutes’ pleasing stroll from each other. This is exactly what the largest business events in Opatija are like - the whole town pulsating to a rhythm that can only be wished for. The life of Opatija and the whole Kvarner region delights with its laidback manner while at the same time it offers numerous diverse facilities. Between two long sips of a cappuccino in your favourite café in Opatija, think carefully how you want to spend your precious free moments, because there are so many possibilities. Only a half-hour’s drive will bring you within an entirely new ambience. Trekking or free climbing on the slopes of the marvellous Mount Učka, which go down to Opatija and bring that recognisable, magical breath of mountain air? Skiing in the nearby Platak, one of the rare ski centres with sea view? Or a visit to the green hills of the Croatia’s Tuscany – Istria for a joyful truffle hunt? It’s a hard choice and yet this is only a small piece of what is on the plate. Opatija is proudly preparing for the 170th anniversary of the beginning of organized tourism in 2014. The new multifunctional sports hall, opened in 2013 will host first big events. With its capacity of up to 1,500 participants it is an excellent venue for all kinds of events. A complete renovation of famous Hotel Kvarner will return the whole glamour and glory that this hotel proudly carries for 130 years. Renovation and opening of the Hotel Royal will further extend Opatija’s rich conference offer with new 800 m2 banquet hall. Famous Opatija beach Lido will also restore its gloss in line with luxury and elegancy of nearby newly opened Hotel Bevanda. Last but not least, construction of the Culture and tourism centre, a 500-seat event hall with exhibition space, will start at the end of 2014.

Opatija is simply irresistible make your business event like this too: we are waiting for you! Opatija Convention and Incentive Bureau V. Nazora 3, HR-51410 Opatija, Croatia tel. +385 51 271 710 • fax 271 699 66




part from numerous international, as well as Croatian acknowledgements and awards, the capital city of Croatia – Zagreb, has recently also been recognized by Croatian tourism professionals as the best destination in continental Croatia. It was also included on the list of the top three tourism centres in the country. The awards are a result of an increase in the number of guests, the improvement of the tourism features, and an innovative promotion. They are quite significant as they have put Zagreb neck-and-neck with the famous Croatian coastal destinations of Dubrovnik and Split. As the best hotel in continental Croatia, Zagreb’s International Hotel won a special excellence award for the third consecutive year.

Zagreb won the aforementioned awards as part of the Tourist Flower – Quality for Croatia campaign, organized for the 17th time by Croatian Radio Television and the Croatian Chamber of Economy, and received them during the Days of Croatian Tourism – the largest annual gathering of tourism professionals.

ZAGREB TOURISM ENJOYS 15% GROWTH IN 2013 It was not only Croatia’s stunning coast that saw more tourists flock there this year. The Croatian capital Zagreb has had 630,000 visitors in the first nine months of 2013, resulting in more than one million overnight stays.


This year arrivals to Zagreb are up 15% from 2012, whilst there were 13% more overnight stays this year compared to last year. Zagreb’s number one tourists up until the end of September were the Germans, followed by Americans, Italians and Brits. Tourist numbers have also been steady already in October and only last week Zagreb won a silver medallion, and an international award for design in the competition “Golden Flower of Europe 2013 which 2400 cities took part in.

Venue of the Month


Unique meeting and events venue in Croatia Location: Poreč, Istria, Croatia Elegant Villa Polesini There are few places that combine elegance and a maritime ambiance with as much style and refinement as Villa Polesini. Built for the noble Polesina family, this beautifully renovated 19th century villa is the ideal venue for private celebrations and business events for the most discerning guests. Located in Poreč, small town on the west coast of Croatian peninsula Istria, on the sea waterfront, with lovingly tended gardens and interiors that have been restored to the very highest standards, Villa Polesini will take your guests’ breath away whatever the occasion.

Villa Polesini is undoubtedly one of Croatia’s most exclusive venues and the perfect choice to host any spectacular event, adding an air of refinement to wedding ceremonies, business meetings and gala dinners. It features four modern, fully-equipped conference rooms over three floors plus a cellar tavern with a wide array of drinks. Expert support is at hand to ensure the organization and smooth running of any event, corporate or celebratory. Support includes full catering service to events in Villa Polesini from Valamar catering team experienced in serving up to 1000 people. Seaside manicured gardens and a stunning sunset make a perfect scene for a romantic and fascinating garden cocktail party, holding up to 300 people.


With finishing touches such as fully equipped meeting rooms, honeymoon suite, extensive wine bar, full use of Valamar Riviera Hotel facilities, Villa Polesini will surely turn your next event into an affair to remember. Contact: Villa Polesini, Obala maršala Tita 15 Poreč, Istria, Croatia Tel: +385 52 465 566, Fax: +385 52 451 331 E-mail:

Special Venues



he Piran theatre building is an integral part of this smallish Mediterranean town, which from the late 13th to the late 18th century belonged to the Venetian Republic and then from 1813 to 1918 to the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1906, the Piran municipality entrusted the architect Gioacchino Grassi with the preparation of the conceptual plans. On the basis of these, the Trieste architect Giacomo Zammattio in 1909 created implementation plans, whilst the actual construction was finished in February 1910. The painting and decorative work was carried out under the leadership of the Trieste painter Napoleon Cozzi (1867-1916). The theatre was fes-

tively opened on 27 March 1910 with the staging of the tragedy Phaedra by Umberto Bozzini and named after the famous Italian violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini (born 8 April 1692, Piran, died 26 February 1770, Padua). Between 1998 and 2000 the neglected theatre was once more thoroughly renovated. With the help of the preserved original plans and old photographs, the main façade and the auditorium in particular were as far as possible returned to their former state. Now, the theatre is used mainly for conferences, symposia concerts, gala dinners and other events.


Theatre Tartini Piran Avditorij Portorož-Portorose - Cultural, congress and promotional center Senčna pot 10, 6320 Portorož Slovenija T: +386 (0) 5 67 66 701 F: +386 (0)5 67 66 718 E: Capacity: 265 (seating)

Good practice case


Agency Promo, Slovenia

EXPERIENCE: Event: WHITE CIRCUS ON THE SEA Date: 14th October 2013 Location: Marina Bernardin Partners: Elan d.o.o., Ski association of Slovenia Execution: Agency Promo d.o.o. ABOUT THE EVENT: Weather conditions in Portorož on 14 October 2013: it has been snowing heavily; today the snow cover is 40 to 80 cm thick and conditions are perfect for skiing. We have used the warm October days to create a vibrant and innovative show Slovenia has never witnessed before. CHALLENGES: This year our client company Elan combined two very important events (International Sales Conference and Elan Innovation Days) into one larger 3-day event ‘Elan Innovation Days 2013’. The reasons for

that are several: sharing the effort of presentation preparation and building their business community to a wider audience, presenting the new Ski and Snowboard collection, bigger interest and better impression. The aim of the event, ‘White circus on the sea’, was to inform the public and encourage children to spend more of their free time outdoors and on the snow.

and legends of the ski sport arrived at the lagoon on yachts, where they were greeted by the visitors. On the slope and the finish line area spectators were served up a variety of treats and different activities (workshop for children, sailing, Piran sightseeing). In the evening at the VIP party we managed to impress an additional 240 Elan business partners from around the Globe.

SOLUTION: For this purpose we prepared a ski slope on the staircase in Bernardin in Portorož only a few metres from the sea. The slope, measuring 400 square metres, was made out of artificial snow, which had been in the making for five days prior to the event in special freezer rooms. The snow was completely chemical-free, and lasted 24 hours in the open. After the morning sales conference in the hotel Bernardin organisers hosted a round table discussion directly on the slope, titled ‘Bring kids back to the snow’. After the opening ceremony active competitors

AFTER THE EVENT: Our client company Elan was very pleased with the event, which they used to present their global innovation to the world. The news about the snowfall in Portorož has certainly found its way to the top news stories in October, overshadowing many other events. Similar to any true international sports event, our event was attended by over 40 registered reporters, 30 photographers, 6 broadcasting companies and over 1000 spectators.


Good practice case


Agency GO.MICE, Slovenia EXPERIENCE: Event: SPA-CE, 5th Trade show of Spa and Wellness Tourism in Central Europe Date: 3 -5 October 2013 Location: Sárvár, Hungary Partners: Slovenian Spa Association, Hungarian Tourism Plc, Sárvár Tourist & TDM Nonprofit Kft., Slovenian Tourist Board Execution: Go.Mice/Toleranca Marketing d.o.o.  

ABOUT THE EVENT: SPA-CE, the trade show for spa and wellness tourism in Central Europe, is one of the most important spa and wellness events in the Central European region that every year brings together around 30 spa & wellness providers from CE and around 50 buyers from all around the world. CHALLENGES: Since its beginnings in 2009, the trade show has been growing every year. This year, for the first time ever, SPA-CE has been organised abroad with the help of an international SPA-CE team. Interest to host SPA-CE in other European countries with a great spa tradition has made it even more attractive for spa and wellness providers from all over the world,

as well as for the most serious buyers looking for new spa and wellness services to introduce to their clients. So the challenge was to organise the best SPA-CE trade show yet offering a different boutique trade-show experience enriched with a great accompanying programme, all in a foreign country with the help of Hungarian partners. SOLUTION: Hungary, as one of the Top 5 destinations with the most abundant thermal water resources worldwide and one of the Top 10 medical tourism destinations in Europe, with its town of Sárvár as the only Hungarian spa town that is a member of Royal Spas of Europe, were the perfect hosts. The focus of trade show remain on pre-scheduled meetings between providers and hosted buyers that were carried out by the actual pool area of the Spa and Wellness Centre Sárvár. Krisztina Hamar, director of the Sárvár Tourist Board, said: “As we always like to surprise our guests with fresh ideas, we transformed a part of spa into a great working environment for networking between exhibitors and hosted buyers. We wanted to make sure that our guests felt the positive energy of the thermal water!” The trade show experience was enriched with educational conferences on Natural healing factors in Central Europe and Trends and ten-


dencies in health tourism, a great evening programme that will be remembered particularly by the synchronised swimming act and the traditional Hungarian dances, as well as great postshow tours to Hévíz or Budapest. AFTER THE EVENT: Overall the fifth SPA-CE was a success. The event was attended by 34 exhibitors representing spa and wellness services from Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia and the Czech Republic and hosted buyers from 16 different countries. The show was supported by 13 media partners around the world. The feedback organisers received from exhibitors and buyers was very positive. The satisfaction survey showed extreme satisfaction with the new venue and the initiatives that were introduced. Karen Gindroz, of Gindroz and Company Inc. that attended SPA-CE as hosted buyer, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed Sárvár and the trade show, where I learned so much about Health and Wellness tourism in Central Europe. The post tour to Hévíz was incredible. I had not heard of Hévíz and had no preconceived idea of what it would be like. The lake, town and facilities there are incredible! We had the opportunity to swim in the healing lake and enjoyed some spa treatments. It was a true learning experience that will help me to sell this wonderful part of Hungary to our American clients.”

Hidden Congress Guest




LOCATION The predecessor of the Hotel Westin was the Intercontinental Hotel, which was opened solemnly in 1975 as the largest and finest hotel in Zagreb. The opening struck and impressed the then tourism elite. During this period, Zagreb got the Vatroslav Lisinski congress hall and many modern buildings, and the opening of the Intercontinental hotel can be considered a pioneering period of the meeting industry of the former Yugoslavia. The hotel is located on the edge of the historic centre and in the heart of the business section of Zagreb.

CATEGORY ★★★★★ OPENED FROM 1975 STANDARD CONGRESS HOTEL Affiliation: Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Inc. NUMBER OF ROOMS 378 rooms PRICE INTERNET 136 - 138 EUR (October 2013)

ACCESSIBILITY The road and rail accessibility of Zagreb is excellent, with the main train station 1.5 km away from the hotel. Access to the hotel is easy by any means. The tram stop is outside the hotel and also within walking distance are the main sights of the city, which are just a stone’s throw away. Parking is not a problem as the hotel has a large underground garage and outdoor parking. Pleso Airport is less than 17km away from the hotel and a taxi ride will take about 20 minutes.

ADDRESS THE WESTIN ZAGREB Kršnjavoga 1 10000 Zagreb T: +385 1 4892 000 F: +385 1 4892 001 E: FACILITIES - Restaurant Kaptol - Restaurant Allegro - Rendez-Vous Lounge - Diana Bar - Health Club

RESULTS OF ANALYSIS Location Accessibility First impression Lobby Employee attitude Reception Hotel room Hotel bed Bathroom and restroom Hotel breakfast Bars and restaurants Congress hall Additional offer Total: FINAL GRADE premium hotel Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget

4.63 4.08 4.11 4.18 4.64 4.39 4.49 4.44 4.18 4.79 4.68 4.93 4.22 4.44

4.44 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics On the architecture of the Hotel Westin opinions remain divided. The architecture is classic without any significant flashes that would make the hotel special. Because of the mighty skyscraper and yellow façade the hotel appears dominant. The entire hotel design stems from the co-operation with Intercontinental, which even today is difficult to criticize. After entering the hotel chain the hotel has undergone evolution, which brings quite a few new features. They are focused on restaurants and public spaces, but otherwise it is a classic Intercontinental hotel design. WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer The hotel staff routinely face various protocol, business and normal hotel guests. Their mileage and experience shows, and this sometimes results in a slightly less warm reception than one would expect from hotels in the Westin chain. The most critical point is at the reception: in terms of the service, this is a typical representative of the premium business class hotel. A rich and varied breakfast with friendly staff inspires. The hotel restaurants are solid, but in terms of quality what stands out most is the congress catering, which is among the best in Zagreb.


Final Score

MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer When one enters the hotel room it is immediately clear that one is in a hotel room of an international chain. The spaciousness of the rooms is satisfactory and the equipment impresses with the charm and timeless hotel prestige. Beyond the rooms the hotel otherwise shows its high visitor frequency, which results in quite weary public areas. The Crystal convention hall is one of the nicest hotel halls in Zagreb, which has seen many star moments of the Zagreb conference scene. It can accommodate up to 800 guests in a plenary setting. Concurrently, it is possible to organise events in 8 meeting and conference rooms. Noteworthy is the Panorama Restaurant on the 17th floor of the hotel, which can accommodate up to 220 people and is particularly suitable for receptions and banquets. The refurbished nightclub The Room is also suitable for VIP parties and receptions on the site of the former Casino. DESSERT – Additional offer The Tablet app, which is a novelty in the hotel offer and which is enabling information and communication to guests. Tablets are available in all public areas, restaurants and hotel suites.


FLOP – negative surprises Parking for hotel guests is not free and costs 10 EUR/day.


TOP – positive surprises Panorama – a restaurant or a conference hall in the 17th floor with a beautiful panoramic view over Zagreb. Overall impression and credibility The Westin Hotel is a contemporary but not modern, spacious but not over equipped, robust yet flexible hotel for those who care a lot for practicality and reliability. The hotel still functions perfectly and is well received among congress clients due to its versatility and the professionalism of the staff. Service, staff, quality in all the important elements of the hotel works well; it is disturbed only by the lack of a hotel of character and personality, which pushes the hotel more towards four stars.

Hidden Congress Guest




CATEGORY ★★★★★ OPEN FROM 1956, renovated in 2006 STANDARD CONGRESS HOTEL Starwood Luxury Collection NUMBER OF ROOMS 164 rooms 20 suites ONLINE PRICE 95 EUR (October 2013) ADDRESS SHERATON SOFIA HOTEL BALKAN 5 Sveta Nedelya Square 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria E: P: +35 92981 6541 F: +35 92980 6464 FACILITIES - 24 hours business centre - Pliska lobby bar - Stardust restaurant - Erotic piano bar Angels - Viva casino

RESULTS OF ANALYSIS Location Accessibility First impression Lobby Employee attitude Reception Hotel room Hotel bed Bathroom and restroom Hotel breakfast Bars and restaurants Congress hall Additional offer Total:

4.95 4.15 4.45 4.16 4.13 4.06 4.18 4.56 4.48 4.68 4.85 5.00 4.93 4,51

FINAL GRADE Luxury hotel


Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget

★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

LOCATION Set in the very heart of Sofia is one of the city’s hotel icons. It was built in monumental style between the years 1954 - 1956 as a hotel for the members of the former Communist Party. In 1986, after an extensive renovation it opened as the first hotel in Eastern Europe, which has become part of an international hotel chain. Due to the neighbourhood of the Presidential Palace it is also the centre of political, protocol and social life in Sofia. Sofia does not appear as the most beautiful or most tidy European city, but life in the city is definitely dynamic, colourful and full of contrasts, and one of the centres of the city’s business and convention life is definitely the Sheraton hotel. Because of this, staying at the hotel seems like such a contact with the history of this city.

Final Score

Otherwise, the hotel equipment in the rooms does not lack anything you would expect in a hotel of this category. The cleanliness is also at an appropriate level. Alongside the Convention centre on 1,500 m 2 of space, the largest banquet hall can receive 720 participants, which is also accompanied by two medium-sized ones for 240 participants and a series of smaller meeting rooms. The functionality is at a level that is expected from the Sheraton Hotel. DESSERT – Additional offer Casino and night club for gentlemen as a hotel specialty.

ACCESSIBILITY The hotel is located next to the Serdika metro station and from the hotel you can go to all the main sights of the city on foot. To the renovated airport it is about 20 minutes by taxi (beware - taxi drivers are true masters of price flexibility!) COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics Thoughtful luxury and pomp defines the monumental architecture of the hotel, which is already on the exterior giving the impression that in the hotel and in the rooms there is plenty of space. In this area, the hotel does not disappoint: the polished exterior is continued inside the hotel, appearing self-confidently with luxurious furniture and flooring, but the general impression, however, is somewhat spoilt by the substantial fatigue of the hotel, especially in the guest rooms. WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer Staff varies from professionally cold to occasionally friendly in behaviour. In this area there is still a lot of room for improvement, especially at the reception. The hotel breakfast is solid, but still it does not reach the level of expectations from a five star hotel. Also missing is a greater emphasis on local cuisine. The hotel restaurant is solid and not too expensive, but it does not offer culinary extras for which one might remain at the hotel for dinner. MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer Rooms are large in terms of floorspace and with unusually high ceilings that enhance the feeling of spaciousness. The beds and bathroom are solid, with historical furniture already calling for restoration. 75


FLOP – negative surprises Payable internet in the rooms is today unacceptable for conference guests.


TOP – positive surprises Value for money - really good value in terms of prices, which for the average European taste are really moderate. Overall impression and credibility Extremely practical classic hotel, which has recently received numerous competition. The question remains of what, in addition to its central position, differentiates the hotel Sheraton from contemporary competitors. If you’re a fan of minimalism and the latest hotel fashion then this hotel is not for you. It is a traditional hotel with classic charm, felt at every step after entering the hotel lobby. However, for the hotel to keep pace with the competition it will need cosmetic refurbishment in the rooms.

Hidden Congress Guest




LOCATION One of the most prestigious hotels in the Bulgarian capital is named after the entrepreneur Ivan Zorgrafski, who took over the hotel in 1997 and incorporated it into the famous Kempinski hotel chain. The 21-storey tower is a widely visible symbol of the prestigious Lozenetes neighborhood. The hotel is a veritable ‘small town’, comprising an area of over 30,000 m 2 and including the largest hotel convention centre in the capital. It is also close to the largest convention and cultural centre of Bulgaria, the National Palace of Culture.

CATEGORY ★★★★★ OPEN FROM 1979 STANDARD CONGRESS HOTEL NUMBER OF ROOMS 442 rooms and suites ONLINE PRICE 132 EUR (October 2013) ADDRESS KEMPINSKI HOTEL ZOGRAFSKI 100 James Burchier Boulevard 1407 Sofia T: +359 2 969 2222 F: +359 2 969 2223 FACILITIES - Intermezzo Lobby Bar and Terrace - Captain Cook Restaurant - Panorama Restaurant - Ristorante Colline Toscane - Lozenets Bulgarian Restaurant - Happy Sushi, - Candy Club, Bar Le Parfum - Fitness centre - Shopping arcade - Luxury Spa RESULTS OF ANALYSIS Location Accessibility First impression Lobby Employee attitude Reception Hotel room Hotel bed Bathroom and restroom Hotel breakfast Bars and restaurants Congress hall Additional offer Total: FINAL GRADE premium hotel Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget

4.82 3.92 4.15 4.07 4.77 4.93 4.13 4.13 4.38 4.66 4.69 4.89 4.48 4.46

4.46 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

ACCESSIBILITY The hotel is located at the edge of the city centre. Traffic in Bulgaria is quite chaotic, so it is best to leave it to the city’s experienced taxi drivers. Taxi drivers will get you from the airport to the hotel in about 15 minutes. It is recommended that the price is agreed upon in advance, otherwise a very cheap taxi ride could become very costly. From the hotel to the city centre it is not far away, on foot about 10-25 minutes. It is also close to the metro station, which is very inexpensive and well organised. Another advantage is a large hotel garage should you arrive in Sofia with your own car. COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics Sofia defines an intertwining of the old and new, which is mixing with every step. The hotel has an interesting architectural history. It was built between 1974 and 1979 in line with plans by the famous Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawe. In a striking modernist skyscraper the most interesting detail is a Japanese garden with a house and a lake, which is a copy of the garden in Tokyo’s Hotel New Otani. Otherwise, the architecture raises mixed feelings today. Lovers of modernism will like the building, but to many the building is reminiscent of East European socialist realism. WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer The personnel is not always at the level that one would expect from the famous hotel chain. At multiple visits one can have a variety of situations that range from complete professionalism and kindness to cold and even arrogant reception. On the culinary side, it is one of the best hotels in the capital. Six restaurants and two bars are adapted to different tastes. Particularly impressive is the national restaurant Lozenets, where it is worth trying typical Bulgarian specialties that are a blend of Balkan and Turkish influences. The menu is dominated by various types of meat and the famous oriental sweets, such as 76

Final Score

baklava and lokum. The hotel’s Happy Sushi restaurant is probably at this moment the best sushi in the city. MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer On taking over the hotel they have tried to adjust the hotel rooms to the standards of the Kempinski chain, although compared to other hotels in the chain the rooms are too small and not well enough equipped. They would be more suited to 4**** standard, also because of the relatively tired furniture that has otherwise had exemplary maintenance. The rooms that are the weakest part of the hotel and are calling for an urgent renovation, which is already being carried out. Therefore, it is worth requesting rooms in the renovated part of the hotel. The largest hotel convention centre in Sofia can accommodate up to 700 guests in a plenary setting in the multifunctional hall Sofia Grand. Three medium-sized meeting rooms - Kyoto, Vitosha and Silhouette - can each take 100 guests. In addition, there are 6 smaller meeting rooms available at the hotel. DESSERT – Additional offer Sushi restaurant “Happy Sushi”


FLOP – negative surprises The old and not yet renovated rooms are not at the level one would expect from the Kempinski hotels.


TOP – positive surprises Japanese Zen garden with restaurant.


Overall impression and credibility Reasonable prices, a solid selection of restaurants, beautiful views from the rooms (especially to the Vitosha mountain) and a great convention centre are the main advantages of the hotel. Still, the hotel is far from the standards of other hotels in the Kempinski chain. The most disturbing aspects are the lobbies and other public areas, which call for urgently needed renovation, and the inconsistent services. In a final evaluation the hotel fits more readily into the four star category and does not reach the five star standard, but because of the diversity of the hotel offer in combination with the cuisine, a large number of rooms and the overall spaciousness it is still a very good choice for meeting planners.

Hidden Congress Guest



Photo credits: IN HOTEL

LOCATION Hotel In was among the first new hotel acquisitions in New Belgrade. To the Belgrade hotel scene it has brought a practical content tailored to business guests. In addition, it is located in close proximity to New Belgrade’s commercial buildings and the Sava Centar convention centre is only about five minutes away, making it convenient for conference guests.

CATEGORY ★★★★ OPEN FROM August 2006 STANDARD HOTEL WITH CONFERENCE FACILITIES NUMBER OF ROOMS 187 rooms ONLINE PRICE 117 - 136 EUR (October 2013) ADDRESS IN HOTEL Bulevar Arsenija Čarnojevića 56 Novi Beograd 11070, Serbia T: +381 11 310 53 54 FACILITIES - INFUSION restaurant and breakfast room - INFUSION bar - INFINITY bar with terrace - INCOGNITO restaurant - FITNESS centre

RESULTS OF ANALYSIS Location Accessibility First impression Lobby Employee attitude Reception Hotel room Hotel bed Bathroom and restroom Hotel breakfast Bars and restaurants Congress hall Additional offer Total: FINAL GRADE premium hotel Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget

Final Score

4.32 3.99 3.50 3.98 4.06 4.23 4.15 4.15 3.98 3.68 3.75 3.65 3.83 3.94

3.94 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

ACCESSIBILITY The advantage of a location by the main Belgrade road into the city is easy accessibility and added to this it is also close to the airport, which is just 9 km away. The hotel is a neighbour of the Belgrade Arena, which was recently renamed the Kombank arena. This means that in the immediate vicinity of the hotel there are a lot of parking spaces, making the hotel popular with guests coming to Belgrade by car. Otherwise, the access to the city centre is easy and cheap, as Belgrade taxis are known to be among the cheapest in the region. Belgrade’s public transport is also getting better.

and an excellently functioning Wi-Fi, which during the stay operated without fault. In the rooms more exacting guests might miss some gadgets. Whilst the hotel also has smaller conference halls the largest hall is Index, which can take up to 100 participants. In addition, there are two smaller conference halls, INvent and Inform, as well as a conference meeting room, all of which make it suitable for smaller business meetings and as a complementary conference offer during major congresses in Belgrade. DESSERT – Additional offer Offer of hotel cakes and homemade delicacies.

COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics IN hotel is considered to be an architecturally functional hotel in an unpretentious style. There are no specific complaints, but it is also a stretch to say that the architecture is among the most beautiful. For the interior of the hotel the functionality takes precedence over design characteristics. Everything is managed and maintained solidly, the materials are of high quality, but the architectural touches can not be found. WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer The staff is very friendly and professional and it is difficult to find fault with them. The value-added is service with a smile, which was only tested with a number of crowds upon arrival, which caused some smaller problems at the reception. Breakfast is average, with a selection of some of the local dishes. Service at the hotel bar is commendable and the cappuccino is excellent. An additional plus is the quality Novak Djoković restaurant practically in the backyard of the hotel, with an excellent fusion cuisine. MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer Rooms are spacious and nicely furnished. The bed and furnishings are in line with the philosophy of the hotel: functional. Do not expect a fancy hotel, but rather usefulness alongsie one of the quietest air conditioners 77


FLOP – negative surprises Crowds at breakfast in the breakfast room, which for the capacity of the hotel is too small.


TOP – positive surprises Infinity bar with a terrace and a view over Belgrade. Overall impression and credibility In terms of design a simple and completely pleasing hotel that impresses with the spaciousness of hotel rooms. Together with their friendly staff this is a reliable business hotel that impresses with reasonable prices and special amenities for business guests. If you are looking for hotel extras, then you will have to find another alternative in Belgrade, but certainly this is a solid hotel with excellent value for money.

Hidden Congress Guest




CATEGORY ★★★★★ OPEN FROM Opened in 1957, renovated in 2012 STANDARD CONGRESS HOTEL Starwood Luxury Collection NUMBER OF ROOMS 199 rooms 40 suites ONLINE PRICE 237 - 280 EUR (October 2013) ADDRESS HOTEL METROPOL PALACE Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 69 11000 Belgrade, Serbia E: P: +381 (0)11 333 3100 F: +381 (0)11 333 3300 FACILITIES - Metropol Palace Rooftop music restaurant and bar - Outdoor café - Lobby café - Metropol Spa & Fitness centre

RESULTS OF ANALYSIS Location Accessibility First impression Lobby Employee attitude Reception Hotel room Hotel bed Bathroom and restroom Hotel breakfast Bars and restaurants Congress hall Additional offer Total: FINAL GRADE Luxury hotel Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget

4.93 4.17 4.89 4.99 4.67 4.83 4.84 4.95 4.92 4.48 4.85 4.95 4.86 4.79

4.79 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

LOCATION Hotel Metropol is one of South East Europe’s hotel icons at which, in the country’s golden age of Yugoslav film, the world’s most famous film and other stars have all stayed. In the Metropol they say that the current renovation was so thorough that it is now a completely new hotel. By entering the market under the flag of Starwood group, the first league of the Belgrade hotel scene has been given its most serious competitor. The hotel flirts with premium hotels in the capital cities of the region. An additional plus is its location next to the beautiful Tašmajdan park, which was renovated in 2011. ACCESSIBILITY The hotel is located on the edge of the old city centre in the middle of the Boulevard of King Alexander - one of the busiest streets in Belgrade. Nearby are the greatest monuments of Serbian culture, as well as major tourist activities. The tram stop is right outside the hotel. Parking in the underground garage is managed by properly experienced guys. Taxis in Belgrade are priced very affordably. COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics Both the inside and outside of the hotel has seen the renovation, although the hotel at first glance retains features of the old Hotel Metropol. It appears powerful and has a pronounced noble character, while with the modernist architecture it appears at the same time subdued and sophisticated. Most impressive is the lobby, which has preserved the full spirit of the former hotel, including details such as inlaid wood and furniture reminiscent of the sixties. Also thrilling is the stained glass on the facade, which is exemplarily renovated and shows the Yugoslav nations, and many other details, renovated with great attention and patience. WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer The charming staff is one of the main highlights of the hotel - young, smiling, friendly and happy to communicate with guests, just as befits a hotel of this category. In the kitchen of the Metropol one has eaten well throughout history, the kitchen in the golden age being synonymous with the first-class cuisine. Maintaining the high quality of the cuisine is now in the hands of chef Christophoros Peskias, who has learned about it and studied with masters such as Ferran Adria. The cuisine is thoughtful and based on international and local dishes making it modern, light, seasonal and adapted to international guests. Even from the break78

Final Score

fast guests are leaving satisfied, because everything is prepared imaginatively and perfectly in a modern guise. MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer Hotel Rooms feature fine equipment, appropriate for the class of the hotel. They pamper you with first class materials and minimalist furnishing. Perhaps for the standard of the hotel the rooms are somewhat smaller than expected, but this is due to the original architectural design of the hotel. The apartments delight, including the presidential one, named after Nikola Tesla. The Convention Centre comprises of 9 multifunctional congress halls over a surface of 1,300 m 2. The largest hall, named after Nobel price winner Ivo Andrić, holds 364 participants. The halls were restored with feeling – there is inlaid wood and from the ceilings the Murano glass chandeliers are well maintained. It all looks very modest and modern. DESSERT – Additional offer An exclusive spa centre on 1,300 m 2 overlooking the Tašmajdan park.


FLOP – negative surprises Small construction details that are not yet completely resolved after the hotel’s opening.


TOP – positive surprises Tašmajdan park for lovers of recreation and jogging, or simply to relax between busy convention hours. Overall impression and credibility The legend has returned to Belgrade. The historic heritage has been through the long renovation excellently rebuilt and the hotel today is flirting with premium hotels in major metropolitan cities of the region. Warm colours, superior lighting, retro furniture and services at an appropriate level place it among the best hotels in the Balkans. If you want to impress your conference guests, then at the moment this hotel is the best choice in Belgrade. The hotel in which good memories return, which many people are missing today.

Hidden Congress Guest




LOCATION The island of Mali Lošinj has from the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire been appreciated as the island with the most beneficial climate for the treatment of respiratory diseases. Today, the climatic health resort is in a pretty bad shape, but the good climate remains. Hotel Punta Vital, near the charming port of Veli Lošinj, has been withdrawn from the more touristic side of Mali Lošinj.

CATEGORY ★★★★ OPEN FROM renovated in 2012 STANDARD HOTEL WITH CONFERENCE FACILITIES NUMBER OF ROOMS 219 rooms, 16 apartments ONLINE PRICE 58,00 EUR (low season – end of October) ADDRESS Šestavine 13a, 51551 Veli Lošinj, Croatia Tel: +385 51 662 000 FACILITIES - Vitality Zone - Olea restaurant - Lounge Bar - Pool Bar Luna - Vitality Bar

RESULTS OF ANALYSIS Location Accessibility First impression Lobby Employee attitude Reception Hotel room Hotel bed Bathroom and restroom Hotel breakfast Bars and restaurants Congress hall Additional offer Total: FINAL GRADE premium hotel Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget

4.20 3.65 4.12 4.15 4.90 4.65 4.22 4.24 4.05 4.75 4.08 4.16 4.75 4.30

4.30 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

ACCESSIBILITY Accessibility is perhaps the only weak point from the perspective of international guests. The nearest airport is on the island of Krk, which has some connections with low-cost carriers until mid-October, but otherwise the airports in Pula, Zagreb and Ljubljana are the nearest ones. In any case, you will have to get to the island by ferry. If we take the path as a part of the event to change the ferry ride into a part of an incentive programme, this could also be an interesting experience. COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics The hotel is not positioned primarily as a convention hotel, but as a ‘Vitality hotel’. The hotel’s 2012 renovation was well considered, taking into account the needs of modern guests who wish to take leave to recharge their batteries and to find their inner balance. This is enhanced by the carefully planned colour combinations, dominated by shades of lavender, accompanied by the aroma of lavender, which is sensed in the hotel lobby. WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer In the hotel, which is open from April to the end of October, it certainly takes a lot of energy for the team to set itself up and to act in perfect timing. In the hotel Punta Vital one is glad to see the team wearing the uniform, this time in the colours of lavender. In the middle of the season, in the maximum heat, the approach to guests is professional and friendly almost without exception. A rich buffet breakfast and dinner in a pleasantly equipped restaurant and on the terrace include Mediterranean specialties and a wide selection of healthy, macrobiotic and locally grown food. MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer The rooms are comfortable, stylish, clean and adequately spacious. The bed and bed linen provide for restful sleep. Wireless internet works perfectly, quickly, and is included in the price. 79

Final Score

An excellent choice for incentive - for companies that invest in their employees. With a little imagination, any business meeting, conference or education can be enriched with programmes for relaxation and maintenance of vitality. Hall, intended for events at the Punta Vital hotel, can take 72 people (theatre set-up), otherwise for larger events the Aurora hotel is better suited. DESSERT – Additional offer Great emphasis on the welfare of guests. In Mali Lošinj some 1,100 plant species grow. The most typical aromas are captured in high-quality hotel cosmetics. The specialty of the Hotel Punta is its Vitality Zone, with a number of programmes to sustain the vitality of the body and mind.


FLOP – negative surprises The only thing that could be described as a weakness is the more difficult accessibility. Today, when the saying that ‘time is gold’ is even more valid, the journey to the hotel Punta could be an obstacle for some.


TOP – positive surprises Very affordable packages with DDR – daily delegate rate. Information on the offer and the content of packages are available on the hotel’s website. Overall impression and credibility A natural environment that has a calming effect - on one side the sea, on the other pine trees. Although Punta, because of its positioning as a ‘Vitality hotel’ on the first ball does not catch congress guests, it is a very suitable choice for the organisation of business and motivational events for groups of up to 60 guests. Professional service, friendly staff, solid cuisine, reasonable prices and interesting additional offer.

Voice from the top

VOICE FROM THE TOP Have you always wanted to work in the meeting industry? Today I feel I am exactly where I have always wanted to be. Not specifically in the meeting industry, but with a great passion for customer service I have always imagined myself working in a dynamic, people-oriented field. Why is your destination/country the best in the world? With immense natural beauty, Bled ranks among the most beautiful alpine resorts, renowned for its mild, healing climate and thermal lake water. The beauty of the mountains reflected on the lake, the sun and the fresh air makes it an ideal destination both for a relaxing break or an active holiday. Not only being unique because of its natural and cultural beauty, Bled truly offers an opportunity to reflect. Here you can revive yourself in a serenity that leads to contemplation. As one of my clients perfectly summarized: ‘Bled simply does something to you’.

Saša Zor Director of MICE Sales, Sava Turizem d.d.

What would be the first thing you would show every visitor to your country? You have to feel Slovenia to fall in love with it, and I believe I would succeed in engaging all the senses by showing the idyllic destination of Bled. Surrounded by spectacular views of the lake and mountains, I would offer a tasting of a Carniolan sausage together with the best Slovenian wines. What has been your star moment so far and your favourite project with which you would praise yourself? It was definitely a milestone in my professional career when I was invited by the Management Board of Sava Turizem to join the team and as the Director of MICE Sales, a newly established department within the company. With the new role came new responsibilities and new, more strategic projects. Together with my team, we are writing a story of success, breaking the limits and stereotypes every single day. More specifically, the latest highlight was definitely the announcement that Bled has been chosen to host a 12-day long scientific conference in 2014. What motivates you the most at work? Driven by daily challenges, feeling responsible to deliver what I promise and being surrounded by inspirational people, it is not hard for me to stay fully motivated. I somehow enjoy it when a particular situation becomes complicated, and when I have to engage my thoughts completely, to find a perfect solution. These are bitter delights that spice up my daily routine and also at the end make a collage of personal achievements that I am proud of. Looking back at them always pushes me forward and motivates me to wish for more.


In what way do you deal with stress? Although I am a kind of person who works better under pressure and in one way enjoys challenging situations, prioritising my responsibilities usually helps me deal with bad stress. I also find it crucial to maintain a balance between hard work and quality spare time, mixed with lots of sport activities. When were you last angry / disappointed and why? I am usually disappointed when I expect too much from people or situations. However, I am learning how to convert disappointment into a call for action, where I ask myself ‘what can I do to avoid this kind of result next time?’, and how to look at things from another perspective. What will be new in your business in 2014? We will continue developing our brand ‘Green for Tomorrow’, which stands for all sustainable practices that we offer to event organisers for the purposes of environmental protection. Furthermore, we will try to present ourselves in new markets and increase awareness of Slovenia and Bled in the current ones. We will remain focused on the quality of services, keeping an eye on trends in the meetings industry. As Bled continues to grow as a congress destination, as it has over the past few years, we will have to find more niches to attract, and new ambassadors to engage, in order to help us strengthen our position. What did you learn last week? I re-learned that everything happens for a reason and that some events in life require a certain cycle to fully develop, not just a strong wish. Where will you spend this year’s holiday and why? The way I plan my holidays reflects my splitting interests and what kind of a stress-free therapy I need at that particular moment. Throughout the year, I therefore create a mixture of experiences, Robinson–style adventures somewhere in nature, spontaneous road trips, sports-oriented breaks and, nevertheless, more luxurious travels where I act as typical tourist. More importantly than how and where, it is with whom I spend my holidays. If there would be no time or financial constraints, where would you go? I believe it is all a matter of priorities and how strong the wish exists to go somewhere, given that these things are reachable. On my long wish-list of destinations to visit, New Zealand certainly ranks among the top. What would be the title of your life autobiography? “Anything but easy & average”.

Voice from the top

VOICE FROM THE TOP Have you always wanted to work in the meeting industry? Ever since I chose my high school, I knew the meeting industry is the one for me. Later I’ve built up my experience working in hospitality in different positions in hotels’ operations and sales. Finally, spending most of my life in Opatija and knowing what it can offer I saw a great opportunity to start working for the Opatija Tourist Board and I used it. Why is your destination/country the best in the world? Speaking about Opatija, it is a destination that offers all the advantages of a major convention destination combined with the enticing charm of a more intimate holiday resort. As a compact city with over 50 meeting rooms in hotels and special venues, Opatija is more like an open air congress centre where participants can enjoy the calmness of Opatija parks, breathe relaxing air on the Lungomare promenade and enjoy excellent cuisine in numerous restaurants. The Opatija Riviera further offers many possibilities for incentives and teambuilding events, with Učka Nature park within a 30-minute ride.

Goran Pavlović Head of the Opatija Convention & Incentive Bureau

What would be the first thing you would show every visitor to your country? There are many natural and cultural sights in Croatia that shouldn’t be missed. There is also lot of heritage, so it is hard to say what to show first. Is it the carnival tradition on Kvarner, the Plitvice National park, or maybe Dubrovnik? I’m sure each visitor, no matter from where he comes or which places he ahs already visited, will find a stunning part of Croatia that will surprise him and win his heart. What has been your star moment so far and your favourite project with which you would praise yourself? For the past three years I was working with the Croatian Nursing Association in Neurology in achieving their goal to bring their international congress to Croatia. They’ve been inviting representatives of the European association and world federation to their national conferences in Opatija and my part was to showcase Opatija as a potential host. Our work paid off and we won the bid to host the Congress of World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses in 2017, in competition with major European congress cities.  

keep fit and running is a great stress release for me. A good sweat after running 5-6 km takes all my stress away. Also, sunrise wind surfing on Preluk bay by Opatija takes my worries away and gives me a great start to a day. When were you last angry / disappointed and why? I don’t get angry or disappointed very often, as it doesn’t help, so even when it happens it doesn’t last for long. The last time it was several weeks ago when I found out that some people don’t realise that special projects demand extra work and they thought that they shouldn’t do anything more than their regular work. What will be new in your business in 2014? Opatija is preparing for the celebration of its 170th anniversary of the beginning of organised tourism in 2014, so there are several new projects. Already in 2013 a new sports hall was opened, which is multifunctional, so it can be also used for conferences and other events for up to 1,500 participants. The Hotel Bevanda (5*) also opened in 2013, offering 10 very luxurious rooms, which in 2014 will be complemented with a restoration of the nearby beach in the same style. For 2014 the new opening of Hotel Royal (4*) is expected, with a banquet hall of 800 m2, and complete refurbishment of famous Hotel Kvarner and Villa Amalia to become 4* properties. Finally in autumn 2014 the construction of the Culture and tourist centre will start, a 500-seat modern event hall project with exhibition space around it. What have you learned last week? Within the preparations for our Chocolate Festival, which will be held from December 6th-8th in Opatija, I had opportunity to visit a chocolate laboratory where a chocolate ambassador of the biggest chocolate producer in the World was showing how to work with chocolate. I learned how to temper a chocolate and how pralines are made. Where will you spend this year’s holiday and why? I always spend holidays with my wife and our three daughters, usually in our summer house on the island of Pag, where we spend days on lonely beaches away from crowds, swimming and snorkelling in a crystal clear sea.

What motivates you the most at work? My greatest motivation is the satisfaction after work well done. The opportunity to work with a great team of people is another one.

If there were no time and financial constraints, where would you go? There are so many great places in the world that I would like to visit however, I must admit that New Zealand is most appealing, so it would be my first choice.

In what way do you deal with stress? I used to train in athletics, so even today I try to

What would be the title of your life autobiography? Always look on the bright side of life.


Hidden Convention Guest


CATEGORY E - convention centre OPEN SINCE 1921 Ljubljana Fair Congress, from 1955 at present location NUMBER OF HALLS 24 CAPACITY OF HALLS Number of seats cinema: 2,200 Number of seats classroom: 1,200 Number of guests reception: 2,100 Number of guests banquet: 1,200 26,031 m2 Surface area (m2): ADDRESS LJUBLJANA EXHIBITION AND CONVENTION CENTRE Dunajska cesta 18 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia T.: +386 (0)1 300 26 39 E.: MAIN FACILITIES - Kocka, max. 2,200 participants - Kupola, max. 1,600 participants - Marmorna hall, max. 1,400 participants - Urška, max. 500 participants (possibility of partitioning ) - Povodni mož, max. 560 participants (ability of partitioning) - New halls Sonet, Oda, Gazela, Meduza for receptions and exhibitons - Stebrna hall for receptions and exhibitions - Forum – smaller conference room - Jurček- special room for registrations and admissions SPECIALS External platform – 10,194 m2 - The only exhibition and convention centre in Ljubljana with specialised knowledge and own production fairs

INTRO The Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention centre, which along with other exhibition centres grew in post-war Yugoslavia in the fifties with substantial financial investments, reflected the rapid post-war development in the country. LOCATION The Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention centre is located on the Dunajska road, north of the Ljubljana railway station. Its location close to the city centre represents a significant competitive advantage and also contributes from a sustainable point of view. Beyond convention activity the proximity of shopping, entertainment, recreation etc., also responds to the needs of conference delegates. Accessibility by public transport is gaining importance, so the current location is very suitable for congress tourism. ACCESSIBILITY Location in the city centre provides time and cost-effective access by plane, train and bus. Positioning the convention centre downtown also minimises the cost of transfers and allows time savings. In addition it allows sustainable behaviour of congress organisers and participants (the use of public transport, walking and cycling). COLD APPETIZER Architecture and Aesthetics The Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention centre was planned in the modernist style by the architect Branko Simić and built in the tradition of boldly designed exhibition spaces. The most impressive hall, Kupola, originally hosted sports and cultural events, which were later moved to the newly built Hala Tivoli and Cankarjev dom. It was used as a model for similar halls in the Belgrade and Skopje Fairs. An important part of the Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention centre is also the circular, partially glazed pavilion E or ‘Jurček’, which took its name from its spongy structure and today serves as an impressive entrance hall and registration area.


4.61 Final Score

WARM APPETISER – Staff and customer service The Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention centre team has over ten years of experience in organising meetings, congresses, fairs and special events. The centre has hosted events of the highest importance, such as the 13th Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe – OSCE, the 15th session of the ACP-EU and many others. A breath of fresh air has come through the new administration in the last few years in improved services and becoming comparable to international centres with a high level of professionalism and a thorough knowledge of the meetings industry. MAIN COURSE – Quality of facilities The Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention centre today consists of seven large halls and several smaller conference rooms. The most sophisticated in terms of design the Kupola Hall, was built in 1967 and is the first building in the former Yugoslavia with monocoque construction (with no intermediate support). The Kocka hall is the largest space available for various events, mainly for concerts. The Marmor Hall is primarily intended for conferences. Hall C, designed by Milan Mihelič in 1967, is also interesting. The Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention centre was completely renovated from 2001 to 2008. In 2011, the complex was expanded with four new halls: Oda, Gazela, Sonet and Meduza. DESSERT – Catering and additional offer An important part of the offer are the 10,194m 2 of outdoor areas, which can be used for accompanying events, such as parking or show rooms. Customers have many catering providers of different category qualities, including the best Slovenian catering companies. A nice addition is the Beer Shop Bunker, where you can choose from 70 different types of beer. This is also a nice place for small private parties. A coffee shop snack bar, which offers a variety of coffees and hot drinks, also operates within the Beer Shop Bunker.


FLOP – negative surprises Like all congress centres of this type are the basic prices for the bare halls, where you need to add costs for equipment in order to arrange your event.


TOP – positive surprises The exemplary decorated Jurček pavilion, which after renovation became an elegant and spacious entrance hall and reception room. Overall impression and credibility The Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention centre is positioned as a mid-sized regional exhibition and convention centre. As a result of a number of past investments and reforms and with the new administration in place they have really lifted the level of infrastructure and come in line with the highest international standards. After renovation, the centre functions in a very fresh and tidy way and gives the impression of a well maintained centre that is the equal of similar centres in Europe.

RESULTS OF ANALYSIS Location 4.76 Accessibility 3.95 Overall impression at arrival 4.45 Quality - entrance hall lobby 4.44 Quality - conference space 4.49 Quality - conference inventory 4.68 Quality - lighting 4.73 Quality - acoustics and sound system 4.47 Quality - multimedia system 4.43 Quality - internet connectivity 4.48 Employee behaviour 4.68 Access to power and com lines 4.73 Business centre 4.42 Customer service 4.75 Safety 5.00 Security and emergency 5.00 Additional offer 4.69 Catering 4.72 Sustainability practices 4.65 Communication & marketing 4.72 Total: 4.61 FINAL GRADE Luxury Convention centre Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget


4.61 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

Hidden Convention Guest


CATEGORY E - Convention centre OPEN SINCE 1909 at various city locations from 1956 at present location NUMBER OF HALLS 24 CAPACITY OF HALLS Number of seats cinema: 2,000 Number of seats classroom: 600 Number of guests reception: 2,000 Number of guests banquet: 1,000 26,031 m2 Surface area (m2): ADDRESS ZAGREB FAIR AND CONGRESS CENTRE Avenija Dubrovnik 15 10020 Zagreb, Hrvatska T: +385 (0)1 6503 111 F: +385 (0)1 6550 619 E: MAIN FACILITIES - 40 pavilions 1/3 fairgrounds - Congress centre 1 - the largest hall for 200 participants includes 5 halls: Brijuni, Vis, Korčula, Hvar, Exhibitors Club - Congress centre 2 - the largest hall for 100 participants includes 3 halls: Congress hall, Kumrovec and Zimski vrt - Pavilion 5 for 2,000 participants - Pavilion 7 for 1,000 participants - Pavilion 10 for 1,000 participants - Pavilion 10a for 2,000 participants - Pavilion 11a for 1,000 participants - Pavilion 11d for 800 participants - Pavilion 11a and 11c for 300 participants - Pavilion 15 for 1,200 participants SPECIALS - A huge surface of 550,000 m2 - A complete fair infrastructure with freight forwarding, customs, bank and post office

INTRO The history of the Zagreb fair and congress centre dates back to 1242, when the King Bela IV granted Zagreb the rights to operate with fairs. The year 1956 is very important for the fair, because it was moved to its present location and started its boom. The status as a member of UFI since 1925 witnesses to the long tradition of the fair. After the construction of more than 40 pavilions the fairgrounds became the largest in the region, at over 550,000 m 2, with 150,000m 2 of exhibition halls and pavilions. However, as the centre was oversized for the needs of the former much larger country, they made optimisation plans for renovation and refurbishment and made a more functional congress and exhibition centre. Today, a large part of the former fairground halls are intended for renting to the needs of sports, storage and trade. Part of it remained in its function for trade fairs and congress centre. LOCATION The largest fair and congress centre in the former Yugoslavia, at 550,000 m 2 and conceived as a central fairground for the wider region, was formed in the area of New Zagreb as the first part of the new town and its new centre. It was built spontaneously and in an extremely short period of time. Consequently, a huge closed work area looks chaotic, disorganised and very ad hoc, without any focal points and without a clear urban concept. This kind of design follows the needs of the city with difficulty, not to mention the needs of the modern fair and congress organisers. ACCESSIBILITY Zagreb is Croatia’s most important traffic junction. The convention centre is easily accessible from the city bypass and Ljubljana – Zagreb – Belgrade motorway. Clearly defined signs will lead you to the fair and congress centre. As part of the huge area there is a suitable parking area, which is now free of charge during the events. It is also relatively close to the airport in Velika Gorica. The city centre is well connected to the fair and congress centre by public transport. COLD APPETISER - Architecture and Aesthetics Pavilions built with exceptional speed were done so in cooperation with the exhibitors. Many of them are architectural extra, which still surprise with their design, but many are in extremely poor condition. This huge place needs revitalisation and renovation, which has been discussed for many years.


3.13 Final Score

WARM APPETISER – Staff and customer service Next year, the fair activities will celebrate its 150th anniversary. The saga of this prestigious exhibitions house has lasted more than 20 years and it has been especially problematic from 2005 onwards. These problems were also reflected in the quality of service, which for relatively high price offers too little. The whole package of survivor rooms, poor equipment and services which are outmoded cannot be substituted by both professional and friendly staff. MAIN COURSE – Quality of facilities From the construction of the last south entrance building in 1980 there was no more investment in the renovation of rooms, or the building of new ones. The halls and pavilions seem neglected and need renovations. A significant area of the pavilions has no air conditioning and the important infrastructure is unstable. The congress experience is like returning to the past, when the fair and congress centre once enjoyed regional visibility and reputation. DESSERT – Catering and additional offer The whole offer seems tired, unsuited to the times and habits of the guests and reminds one of a return to the past. Many abandoned fast-food kiosks, shops and post offices from some other era are urgently calling for a rapid renovation. The strongest part of the offer is a solid catering company, Globus, which is housed in the centre premises. The positive part of the offer is also WTC Zagreb, which operates within the fairgrounds and from whom you can rent office space.


FLOP – negative surprises Disordered pavilions and public areas urgently need better maintenance and a thorough renovation.


TOP – positive surprises Some very successful thematic and specialised fairs in the region are becoming more important and are a positive sign for the future of the fair and congress centre. Overall impression and credibility The Zagreb fair and congress centre has lost the importance it once held in the former Yugoslavia and the wider region. It is necessary to reform and modernise the halls, as the existing ones are no longer suitable for modern, demanding visitors. There is large potential in combining the convention centre and fairgrounds - the unlimited space offers huge potential for a relatively easy revitalisation of the fairgrounds into a modern congress and exhibition centre in the eastern part of Europe.

RESULTS OF ANALYSIS Location Accessibility Overall impression at arrival Quality - entrance hall lobby Quality - conference space Quality - conference inventory Quality - lighting Quality - acoustics and sound system Quality - multimedia system Quality - internet connectivity Employee behaviour Access to power and com lines Business centre Customer service Safety Security and emergency Additional offer Catering Sustainability practices Communication & marketing Total:


3.12 4.04 2.45 2.48 2.87 2.98 3.04 3.45 3.67 3.12 3.06 3.05 2.98 2.93 3.97 3.97 2.60 3.48 2.50 2.90 3.13

FINAL GRADE Business Convention centre


Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget

★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

Hidden Congress Guest


LJUBLJANA EXHIBITION AND ZAGREB FAIR AND CONGRESS CONVENTION CENTRE CENTRE Evaluation 4.61 PREMIUM 3.13 PREMIUM Location Ljubljana Zagreb Category E-Congress centre E-Congress centre Number of congress halls 24 16 The largest hall Kocka Congress hall 1,200 seats 2,200 seats Pavilions wit a capacity of up to 2,000 seats

How did the two fair and congress centres, which appeared during the fair and congress boom in the former Yugoslavia, perform in our evaluation. Ljubljana and Zagreb were among the founders of the Union of International Fairs – UFI in 1925. This clearly demonstrates that the two cities were important and valued in the wider international context. After almost simultaneously investing in new facilities, both places experienced a trade fair boom until the end of the eighties. From the transition, both centres were released in a different condition. The Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention centre adapted perfectly to the new times and market conditions. The Zagreb Fair and Congress centre is still unresolved after 20 years of agony, despite the best disposition in the region. WHAT’S TO LIKE Temperament After renovation, the Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention centre shined in full glory. The modernist architecture looks at first sight a little bit cold, but with superior maintenance the whole thing works very effectively. On the other hand, the Zagreb Fair and Congress centre operates chaotically, disorganised and hardly following modern congress and trade fair demands. Comfort It is in the comfort for the participants that we observed a significant difference. The Ljubljana

Exhibition and Convention centre is more user-friendly and has the position in the city centre close to the hotels. The interior design of the Zagreb Fair and Congress centre evokes a long bygone era. Image The Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention centre can easily follow international standards and the expectations of the most demanding clients. The general condition of the Zagreb Fair and Congress centre has a negative impact on the image, which has been steadily suffering and declining.

Overall quality of service The are marked differences also in the field of service quality between the Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention centre and the Zagreb Fair and Congress centre. Below the line Both centres were created in the same period and with a similar historic ‘farewell’. The Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention centre is more practical, more pleasantly modern, and in this aspect surpasses its competitor. On the other hand the Zagreb Fair and Convention centre impresses with unlimited space and meeting rooms, but unfortunately they do not meet modern standards - a renovation is necessary. The Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention centre is a convincing winner. And what do you think? Write to us at

RESULTS OF ANALYSIS LJUBLJANA EC ZAGREB EC 1. Location 4.76 3.12 2. Accessibility 3.95 4.04 3. Overall impression at arrival 4.45 2.45 4. Quality - entrance hall lobby 4.44 2.48 5. Quality - conference space 4.49 2.87 6. Quality - conference inventory 4.68 2.98 7. Quality - lighting 4.73 3.04 8. Quality - acoustics and sound system 4.47 3.45 9. Quality - multimedia system 4.43 3.67 10. Quality - internet connectivity 4.48 3.12 11. Employee behaviour 4.68 3.06 12. Access to power and com lines 4.73 3.05 13. Business centre 4.42 2.98 14. Customer service 4.75 2.93 15. Safety 5.00 3.97 16. Security and emergency 5.00 3.97 17. Additional offer 4.69 2.60 18. Catering 4.72 3.48 19. Sustainability practices 4.65 2.50 20. Communication & marketing 4.72 2.90 Total: 4.61 3.13



Convention Forum Ekaterinburg


onvention Forum Ekaterinburg is a meeting industry professional event with a competitive format and great speakers from business travel and congress management. The Forum will be held on December 10 – 11, 2013 in Ekaterinburg and will host participants from various parts of Russia, CIS and abroad. Two days of intensive work include an outstanding educational programme and a familiarisation tour designed specifically for international event organisers looking for amazing new destinations. The discussions will cover the issues of future trends and sustainability of the Russian meeting industry market, personnel training and certification, technologies available to support conference organisers, marketing, promotion, sales and many other topics. Although Convention Forum Ekaterinburg is a new brand, it is already the 6th practical conference organised since 2008 by the Ekaterinburg Convention Bureau in cooperation with the International Department of Ekaterinburg City Administration.

The Forum regularly gathers over 100 participants, including travel company specialists, PCOs and DMCs, CVBs, hotel chains, conference interpreters, transportation companies, excursion bureaus and other industry professionals. In 2012 the forum attracted leaders of the following companies: CPL Events, Portugal; MindMeeting, the Netherlands; Motivation and Events, Italy; ID-Reel, France; IBC Corporate Travel, Russia; Mittex, Russia; Perm Exhibitions; Yaroslavl Convention Bureau; Business Bureau of the Association of Interpreters, Russia; Russian Lawyers’ Association; National Association of Events Organizers, Russia; Agency for Regional Development, Russia, and much more.



MEET THE WORLD HERE Meet over 3,100 global exhibitors in just 3 days.


NETWORK AND CONNECT HERE Meet face-to-face and make connections that matter.

FIND INSPIRATION HERE Find out what’s new and see the latest innovations.

EIBTM. Where the global meetings and events industry connects. Join over 15,000 professionals at the leading global meetings, events and business travel exhibition for three days of networking and unlimited business opportunities. Discover over 3,100 international venues, hotels, destinations, technology, business travel and events services providers essential for your meetings and events. Attend EIBTM for a unique and powerful opportunity to make the connections that matter to drive your business into the future.

EIBTM. Create your meetings and events here.

Register to attend or apply to be hosted at

Croatia Addendum


Croatia Addendum



Editorial Board: Daniela Kos, Aleksandra Uhernik Đurðek, Roko Palmić


Croatia Addendum

How technology changes the Meetings industry

text by Karlo Dževerlija



ver the years, just like with every branch of human activity, the meetings industry has also changed and progressed. The continuity of the process and its development is not disrupted even today; together we have all witnessed the powerful impact of modern technologies and new communication channels on many aspects of business events. The impact of Facebook and Twitter, or for example, livestreaming or a regular Skype to the conference organisation, to efficiency of the conference and to participant’s costs are so strong that changes take place even to those components for which we were sure it would remain unchanged forever. Changes initiated partialy by technology have been affecting even these “forever cemented” postulates. For example an attendee can participate at a round table even if he’s thousands of miles away! Or today the audience will be an important co-author in creating the content of the conference, so it will sweep that hard Maginot line between the stage and the first row of seats, between the speaker and the audience. The audience becomes co-author Since the area of my business interest is for some time now closely related to the technical solutions of the events, from that position I would try to prove thesis mentioned above. Perhaps it would be best to take a real example, through one corporate event held this spring in Croatia’s Istria. It must be said that this is a client who has modern views and a well-perceived potential of new technologies. We upgraded its conference on a number of specific services, using sophisticated technology and of course the knowledge and experience we gained on previous projects. Using social networks – Twitter, Facebook and to some extent Instagram, we have achieved interaction at the event, as well as greater outreach with messages from the event. Along with the help of video streaming, those people that could not be at the location that day could still have the opportunity to participate in the conference. Here’s the exact purpose. Here’s what we exactly did. The client first agreed to increase the number of audiences in the way that he hired us for video production and live broadcast on their own websites. Streaming was also placed on several popular local business portals, which is why the au-

dience soon far outweighed the number of filled chairs in the hall. It can be said that the event at that moment came out of the four walls of the hall and we could put a checkmark beside goal: greater reach. A clear proof is the line with running text was fully loaded at the bottom of the live videos and a very active chat window near the video player, in which participant’s and watcher’s comments has been shown - grouped under the #hash tag of the conference. Then we put a check mark at the end of the second objective: interactivity. Communication went one level up once the moderator in the hall read some of the questions generated by the aforementioned chat. This produced a desired discussion, with which we achieved our third objective: the creation of a joint conference. The audience partially take over the role of the organizer and directly influenced the content of the event and in doing so we have created a win-win situation: the speakers could answer exactly those issues that interested the audience. And those were the answers that every organiser and visitor of the conference wanted. Interactivity and multimedia At another conference, in terms of interactivity, we went a step further. In addition to the hall in Zagreb and individual viewing over the internet, the video streaming was accompanied by five groups of participants gathered in five major Croatian cities. We join representatives of the groups to the live streaming one by one, showing it’s video and audio to the audience. In this way we connected Zagreb with five distant locations from which an interesting story, question or comment was seen and heard. This is a clear example of a situation in which the user/participant creates content of the event with technology. In addition to interactivity, technology at conferences affects another very important aspect: content popularity. The tool used to attract the attention of the audience is technology that ultimately produces an appealing combination of text, image, audio and video experience, which we call “multimedia”. I like to say that multimedia is a steroid for interesting content that you present.

Croatia Addendum

Karlo Dževerlija is the Business Development manager at, the multiple award-winning service supporting congress events and other industries that require modern video and ICT services. Solutions are served in the same package with all IT solutions and delivered as - “turnkey”. is located in the Adria region, but outsourced by the projects throughout Europe and beyond (Austria, Brazil, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Turkey, Croatia, Serbia,...) 93 Speaking of multimedia elements we all understand the impact, such as good illumination or ambient music in space, and very often we were faced with PowerPoint slides, usually full of attractive visual content. With the development of Internet infrastructure, live streaming more and more makes its mark. In attracting attention, we don’t have to spend a lot of time for the power of moving images (video), but I would mention in this sphere yet another remarkable and still relatively fresh solution – the so-called holographic projection. The organisers decide to use them during the presentation of new products, services or an important campaign, some of the key conclusions of a study or glossy annual results. In the hall with special lighting prepared for projection, special devices generate the hologram in the middle of the stage, with no visible screen (using a special transparency film), but in fact with 3D illusion and audio-visual effects like teleportation and radiant time travel known to us from Star Trek. The organisers can count on the full attention of the audience. New technology produces more positive effects With a such small tricks, with the support of high-quality professionals and the right technology, the organiser has a great opportunity to present even the most monotonous presentation in a way that every participant will follow it with great attention. I strongly believe that messages sent from the conferences having at least some of the above mentioned modern elements, will make deeper impression on the audience and will annul number of “backside-sleepers”. And isn’t this the primary goal of every event?! Despite all the fantastic resources offered by modern technology, the condition to operate with it is of course the human factor. Readiness of the organisers to introduce technology without fear that it will significantly deprive another segment of the event is important. Also his courage to open the “ether” of the conference, even to those participants from the audience who were not included and planned as speakers. On the other hand, the willingness of the public to cooperate and interact is also very important. Keep in mind that “human factor” is just one prerequisite; a certain knowledge/experience in the use of new technologies is required also.

Video streaming for the dislocated “It will affect the attendance of the event” is the most common concern I hear when it comes to video-streaming from the conference and when it comes to modern technology at the event. However, this is not true. Video streaming is designed for those people who certainly wouldn’t come into the hall that day because of traveling cost, because of distant location, overloaded personal schedule or because of other reasons. But live streaming and modern technologies will give the opportunity even to them to participate in the conference. Karlo Dževerlija

Croatia Addendum

ISTRA INSPIRIT – Travel through time Nine experiences, a sea of feelings, countless flavours, one Istria

text by Daniela Kos



stria, ‘Croatian Tuscany’, as some call it, has long been known to connoisseurs for its gastronomic offer, and is increasingly a good host to many sporting events and festivals. But Istrians have gone a step further and have created an innovative and short-term award-winning project ISTRIA INSPIRIT. It is co-launched by the association of Istria Municipality (Istarska županija), Istrian Tourist Board and Istrian tourism development agency. Istria Inspirit - Travel through time is a cultural-tourism product in nine locations with a one-day event full of experiences, tastes, smells and feelings connecting local gastronomy, traditions, music and theatre. Old Istrian legends are presented in a creative and imaginative way within the city castles, lighthouses, historical town centres and museums, mines or archaeological sites. Programmes usually last two to three hours in which visitors are fully immersed in the story of the rich past of the mythical creatures and Veli Jože, from the witch Mare to Labin miners. After the execution visitors are enjoying the flavours and local delicacies such as ham, fish, polenta, soups, fuži, truffles, olive oil, wine and beer, natural juices ... Moments of Istrian mystical history, with top actors and superb scenery, are completed with a special dinner prepared from various historical periods, entertainment, dancing and many surprises. Nine experiences are based on historical staging, folk tales and customs. The general framework of the project makes the locals involved in the realisation of each individual experience through amateur art, revitalisation of traditional crafts, dance, production and the sale of authentic souvenirs, food and beverage ... With the constant involvement of the project leaders, organisational teams, sales centre and call centre the programme includes the production of 400 artists, 80 extras, directors, playwrights and 10 representatives of the technical staff, and students. “We wanted to present Istria as an interesting, mythical and traditionally rich peninsula, a place where the young respect and love to present their heritage and the history in innovative and attractive ways,” says Manuela Hrvatin, project manager. “As cultural tourism has for many years been neglected in comparison to gourmet or sports tourism in Istria, we have decided to take advantage of existing resources: costumed stories, great legends, myths and fairy tales and

produce from them products. The project aims to extend the tourist season, and encourage non-pension spending, as well as attract new market segments and enhance the satisfaction of existing visitors.” After the first two years, in which the programmes were viewed by some 10,000 domestic and foreign visitors, Istria Inspirit is preparing for the third year in which the organisers are introducing novelties: already now are known the terms of all one-day events which will during summer 2014 be integrated into a Istria Inspirit festival, in off season they will design group programmes for children called Istria Inspirit Junior and for business groups – corporate, congress and event agencies – there are a special Exclusives. For business groups, congress and conferences participants, team building and incentives throughout the year can on request be organised by Istria Inspirit. Individual tickets for individual programmes cost 27 Euros and all information on the events, as well as online ticket purchase, can be made on the website Istria Inspirit – numerous awards for the most creative tourism programme: •C  BTour – the best creative programme of Croatian business tourism • MRAK – the best creative and innovative tourism product • “ Simply the best” – creative and innovative approach to creating tourism offer •G  olden goat 2012 / Capra d’oro 2012 – the best innovative product in Istrian municipality •G  olden Zoom Awards – the best marketing campaign of a tourist destination • „ XVIII edición Concurso al mejor producto de turismo”, FITUR, Madrid – nomination for the best international tourism product

1000 bc



Buzet po starinski Old Buzet


Buzet Pazin

Svjetionik ljubavi The lighthouse of love

Iustitia Iustitia

Mletačka republika The Venetian Republic

Srednji vijek The Middle Ages



Svetvinčenat Spacio Spacio

Dolazak Rimljana The Arrival of the Romans


Vještica Mare Mare the witch


Mitska bića Istre Mythical creatures of Istria

Vrijeme nakon divova The Era After the Giants


Crispo Crispo




Croatia Addendum

Jules Verne: Bijeg iz kaštela Jules Verne: Escape from the castle

Austro Ugarska Monarhija The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy


Rudarska republika The Miner’s Republic

Doba revolucija The Age of Revolution





95 Iustitia – what has Domenico Furlan stolen and how was justice served (Poreč) Mythical creature of Istria – what has Veli Jože eaten, kakvi su napici štriga and dances of the ancient circus (Pula) Ancient Buzet– how was the bread baked and to what music did they dance in the old Buzet (Buzet) Jules Verne: escape from Kaštel – how count Sandorf escaped from Kaštel and what does Jules Verne know about this (Pazin) Lighthouse of love - whom count Metternich secretly loved and why they did not live happily ever after (Savudrija) Crispo – With what music did Constantine the Great honour his son and why was the stepmother evil (Medulin) Mining republic – is there a sky below the ground: how did miners live and what they ate (Labin) Which Mare - why did whinchat Mare end at the stake and how did the executioners celebrate (Savičenta) Spacio – what did the batana fishermen and farmers eat and what did they talk about in konoba (Rovinj)

Croatia Addendum

The series ‘Game of Thrones’ as an inspiration for an incentive in Dubrovnik The popular TV series Game of Thrones has for a third straight year been recorded in Dubrovnik, and business and conference groups coming to Croatia can now enjoy the specially created incentive programmes inspired by the making of the series. text by Daniela Kos



he globally popular HBO series Game of Thrones, which for the third consecutive year is recorded in Dubrovnik, served as the inspiration to creatives in the agency DT Croatia-Dubrovnik Travel for the creation of themed events. The agency organises events at various locations where the series is filmed, Dubrovnik and its surroundings - Lokrum Island, Lovrijenac and Revelin Forts, Dubrovnik’s city walls and the 15th century Trsteno arboretum. Clients are taken to an authentic atmosphere, accompanied by appropriate costumes, decorations and music, as well as excellent food of the period. Most important is to know how to use the momentum and popularity of such innovative programmes and include them in your offer. The agency found that, due to the large circle of fans of the series around the world, groups from different countries would be interested in participating in incentives inspired by this particular theme. So far, they have organised several test programmes, but they have groups already inter-

ested for the following year. At locations where the series was filmed they are organising teambuilding programmes, gala dinners, workshops with medieval costumes, tools, music, and anything else that can evoke the atmosphere of the series. DT Croatia, otherwise known as one of the leading Croatian DMC agencies, is the only Croatian partner of the respected international network Ovation Global DMC. They emphasise that the most sought after programmes in Croatia are those where participants are discovering the beauty, history and culture of the country in a special way, as an ordinary tourist could not do, by getting to know the locals, learning about their culture, visiting places hidden from the rest of the world and tasting Croatian delicacies prepared in an original way. In doing so, it is necessary to know the different needs and desires of clients, to understand what it is that will amaze them, to tailor the programme to their expectations, to be different from competitors, to be completely flexible in the preparation of the programme and in its performance.

Croatia Addendum


Croatia Addendum


Croatia Addendum

Romana Vlašić: Dubrovnik is a city that truly lives Tourism Director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board


ubrovnik doesn’t need to be specially presented to the tourist and congress world. The latest market research from Croatian National Tourist Board in foreign markets showed that this Adriatic pearl is our most popular destination in the world. We were talking with Romana Vlašić, who is well acquainted with the rules of convention business and became the Director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board from being head of the Congressional offices. Q: This year during the Days of Croatian Tourism Dubrovnik has once again won the title of “Tourism champion”, and is this year’s most popular Croatian tourist destination in the world. What has contributed to the great results you achieve every year? This year’s numerous individual tourism awards and the title of overall champion of Croatian tourism is a great recognition of continuous excellence. Among other things, our hotel Excelsior received the award for the best hotel in 2013 in Croatia. The recognition and uniqueness of the city, with the true commitment of all the participants in the tourism industry and cooperation at every level, ensured for us a strong position in the strongest Croatian tourism brand. Just now, within the Days of Croatian Tourism, the results of research on nine key markets were published which were processed for the needs of Croatian National Tourist Board. Dubrovnik was positioned as most famous Croatian brand in the world. Dubrovnik is proud of the well-deserved status. We are obligated to further improve the quality and optimal development of the destination. Dubrovnik is a city that truly lives Tourism. Q: What are the characteristics of the average visitor to Dubrovnik? In your opinion, which segment should Dubrovnik pursue with its offer: elite guests, cruise ship passengers, or perhaps a third segment? According to starred accommodation, Dubrovnik has Croatia’s most 5 star hotels and at the same time offers high quality conference facilities, as well as our recognised 4 star hotels, so it depends on the season and market segments. However, in its 45 hotels Dubrovnik has an offers suitable to anyone who wants to come, and it is important to note that to the total of 13,000 hotel beds, guests also have access to an additional 13,000 beds in high-quality private rooms and apartments. Annually seen, the average stay in Dubrovnik is 3,5 days, but it depends on seasonality and the markets from which the guests are coming. Traditionally, our most important outbound market is Great Britain, which represents one fifth of tourist traffic, followed by the French, Germans and guests from the United States, who have this year made an

increase of 35%. Scandinavia also records a large increase, thanks to the new direct line from these countries. Distant markets also achieved a remarkable increase in tourist traffic and our target group. Q: After a great public controversy even leading to referendum, it was decided that the private investors will build two golf courses, hotels, villas and apartments on the Srdj hill above the city. What will this project bring the city? Do you think the citizen and activist criticism is correct that it is a primarily a sale of expensive real estate on very attractive land? Golf courses on the Srdj hill, as a sport and recreational faTcility, is certainly an added value to the overall tourist offer in Dubrovnik. I see the construction of the golf course with associated recreational areas as the possibility of renewing a to now neglected area. Other professions are in charge of the town planning and construction of villas and apartments and there was a lot of politicisation around this. I personally believe that we will keep a harmony in the construction and that the overall project will contribute to the development of that so far non-evaluated land. Q: Pre- and post-season in Dubrovnik are always longer, thanks to the congress tourism, but winter still holds untapped potential for tourism. At one time there was a group of destination management that worked on positioning Dubrovnik as a year-round destination. What is the current situation? A year-round tourist season is the eternal theme that engaged almost every strategy. For us, the basic prerequisite for success is a destination in its simple accesibility, but it is also necessary for us to extend our post-season, whether we are talking about the congress industry, senior programmes or a city break. In recent years we have significantly invested our efforts to establish a “Dubrovnik - City for all seasons ” programme for certain markets. We are constantly working on the British market, with whom we have excellent all yearround results. British Airways has continued this winter with two flights a week from London, and British Airways Holidays recorded a 60% increase this year, noting that they have a great interest in Dubrovnik for the first quarter of next year. We additionally invested big financial resources in the model of joint advertising in the last two years to establish winter flights in cooperation with the national airline and processed French market, which however launched. The negotiations are still in the process with the French airline company, and in cooperation with tour operators to continue this project and extend flights from February to December. Concurrently with the conditions for the extension of the


Croatia Addendum


season, we are intensively working on promotional activities in foreign markets, we participate in the organisation of various programmes and events in the city, organising receptions for numerous specialised journalists, travel agents and tour business meetings. In mid-September we announced a five-day New Year’s Eve programme and are working on the promotion of the destination in the country and abroad. Q: For the last few years you have led the Dubrovnik Convention Bureau. According to the recently adopted Dubrovnik strategy of tourism development, the Neretva County is by 2020 projected to increase congressional and nautical tourism by 300 – 600 percent. What has to be done to reach that goal? Knowing the dynamic of the congress industry, it was easy to conclude that this segment is the best foundation to extend the season. Dubrovnik has successfully positioned itself as an excellent Congress destination. According to ICCA’s ranking, we are in the top 100 world Congress destinations, and our position is growing each year. Growth in the number of conferences held in Dubrovnik in recent years ranges from 20 – 25% annually, which is a great indicator of the destination success. The Convention Bureau operates within the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and it’s significant in terms of marketing and promotional support as a support to congress organisers, as well as local businesses that are involved in the meetings industry. The strenght of the congress destination is also reflected through organised activities and support of Convention bureau. The assessment of the developers of the Dubrovnik strategy of tourism development set out that for Dubrovnik-Neretva County, the growth of congressional and nautical tourism of 300 – 600 percent by 2020 is optimistic, but in the real world requires many factors. Better access to a destination and new accommodation would certainly ensure the safe growth of this segment with the purpose to extend the season, respectively better capacity utilisation in the preand post-season. Q: This year you hosted several important international meetings. How does the City of Dubrovnik or the Convention Bureau and Dubrovnik Tourist Board participate in the financial and other support to such gatherings? This fall, Dubrovnik held numerous meetings that caught the public’s attention, from the UEFA and FIA conference to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the ABTA annual conference of British travel agencies and the Lufthansa city Centre Conference. All of these events mean great importance for the city as well for the congress destination. All promotional effects are measurable, which can tell us what such conferences bring. The City of Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik Tourist

Board are actively involved in supporting the conferences, both in financial as well as programme and logistical terms, depending on the type of event. Specifically, the ABTA conference was a joint project of the Croatian National Tourist Board, the Tourist Board of Dubrovnik – Neretva County and Dubrovnik Tourist Board. Q: Can you tell us about some of the large business meetings in the coming years? What is crucial for congress organisers to choose Dubrovnik over other destinations amongst the fierce international competition? In the following year, Dubrovnik will host numerous meetings. We can point to the great IADR (International association of dental research) congress of 1,500 participants, where the first contact was made three years ago at IMEX America. In order to interest a large number of participants for Dubrovnik, last year we organised an info desk at their congress in Helsinki, and this year in Florence, where Dubrovnik was confirmed as the City of the next congress. Q: What would be your suggestion for a perfect incentive programme in Dubrovnik? Dubrovnik is the perfect destination for incentive programmes; all programmes provide a unique experience, just as Dubrovnik itself provides. Author: Daniela Kos Photos: Željko Tutnjević

oglas Kongres



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Croatia Addendum










Croatia Addendum


Croatia Addendum

Saša Petković: Offline is ideal for creating interest and the web to complete the business


he international advertising agency KG Media, based in Austria and with branch offices in Croatia, has for years been developing and implementing marketing campaigns of Croatian tourist companies in a variety of media. In conversation with us their long-time expert and sales manager Saša Peterković reveals little secrets of quality optimisation of the media mix in tourism. Q: Have you noticed some major changes and trends in recent years in the way of communicating the tourism market and its offer? In the last decade, the concept of Croatian tourism has not drastically changed, even though every year we are witnessing changes for the better, primarily in terms of solving our major ailments, which is a too short tourist season. During this same period, the trends of communication have greatly changed, primarily due to the exponentially growing trend of using the Internet on a global scale. In other words, 10 years ago budgets for advertising in online media were a very small proportion of the cumulative advertising plans, while from about five years ago we are witnessing that the trend is changing in relation of the budget favouring the Internet, and at the expense of other types of media, especially print.

but surely, putting them back and also other media in their media plans. In our benchmarking it shows that companies that use a high-quality media mix eventually generate much better results compared to those companies who want only the Internet as a platform for their advertising plans. My personal view of things in this paradox is that the Internet is in many cases great for “completing the business” - a salesman. But the initial spark that awakens a desire in people to buy - or to go to a destination - usually happens offline: on TV, print media and radio. Therefore, I predict that things will eventually balance, because a high-quality media mix is not built only from Google AdWords and from placing sponsored stories ads on Facebook. Not even in the context of online media plans. Advertising on Google you advertise your website

Q: How much has the economic crisis affected advertising budgets? We are all aware that tourism is one of a few industries that each year generates better results, while a significant number of others are stagnating or declining. As a result, fortunately, we do not have large fluctuations in terms of the budget we are working with, as our clients are aware of the fact that reducing the budget for advertising could consequently bring a reduced awareness of their tourism products and services in receptive markets important to them. This can be dangerous, especially because the competition is not sleeping. As a result, an increasing number of companies want to have quality advertising plans in order to improve their own marketing and sales plans and activities.

Q: How much are the Croatian tourist companies or destinations well represented, or are creating their own image in the media? Advertisers who emotionally perceive complicity “need → product → media → ad → buying → meeting of the needs for customer satisfaction” usually understand that it is necessary that their ad realistically describes the product/service they are offering, and that at the same time this should be done by principles of design and communication technologies that are current at the time of making of the ad. There is one very interesting theory in the advertising industry with which I agree absolutely: “Selection of media for the advertising plan is important, but the ad that will be published is of prime importance.” It can be said that the Croatian tourism milieu in general adequately promotes their offer, and I think everyone will agree that we have the chance too, at least in the selection of photos for presentation of our tourism, we should not beat ourselves up too much, because we have God-given predispositions of quality and attractive tourist destinations.

Q: What are your expectations in terms of allocation of budgets in the tourism industry in the future? In terms of budgetary allocations in advertising of tourism in the future, I believe that in the Croatian tourist market online budgets will grow at the expense of other types of media, and it is going to be so all the way up to a kind of saturation, which has already happened in markets such as Germany and Austria. A large number of tourist associations and companies in these markets has almost completely expelled offline media from their advertising plans, which are now, slowly

Q: In the last years Google AdWords advertising has brought a real “buzz”. How effective it is in tourism and how best can one achieve the fastest and most convenient conversion of such advertising? Yes, AdWords method of advertising brought a revolution to the market. Here I think that the first crucial thing is to put things into their place: forget that by advertising on Google you advertise your product/service. By advertising on Google, as well as in all other forms of online promotions, you are advertising your website. Sometimes the difference between


Croatia Addendum


these two is drastic; we have had cases where a hotel wanted to promote itself on Google and that was just fine: it is at a beautiful location, it offers quality service, has four stars; in the real world everything is as it should be. However, in the virtual world - woe and wrong! They had a website that consisted of only one web page that has literally one background colour, different font colour (of course : Times New Roman) , and one photo that was probably taken by a cell phone owner. The Croatian language version of the website was “translated” into other languages via the Google Translate service! Advertising on Google is extremely effective in the field of tourism, the fact that the search by keywords related to tourism are among the most numerous ones, and in relation to other topic searches they are in order to purchase. We believe that the conversion (or conversion from a visitor to your website into a buyer of your product or a proven prospect for your service), can be fastest and best achieved by employing a certified agency for advertising on Google. Spaniards as a model of tourism positioning Q: How much truth for tourism subjects is there in the saying : “If you’re not on Facebook, it is as if you do not exist”? Facebook is, as we all know, globally the most used social network. From the perspective of business subjects, Facebook offers a very important concept, which is not present on most web sites of tourism subjects: it is the main principle of the so-called Web 2.0 philosophy, which is a two-way communication. Until the advent of social networks, media and web pages were mainly communicating uni-directionally → I provide you information to you and you do with it what you want. Social networks have added the aspect that was missing: prospective or actual users of products and services give their opinion on what they want and in the manner and time that best suits them. A large number of companies are opening pages on Facebook, this way they want to “blow up” as many Likes as possible, and at the same time they do not care enough for the timely communication with visitors of their FB page, or for the response to their posts. I think that the co-ordination of quality management of the Facebook page and, in parallel, advertising according to target groups on Facebook, is a winning combination.

Q: Could you highlight some of the best examples of advertising campaigns in the tourism industry in the world or in Croatia? One of the most globally successful campaigns in tourism was the branding of Spain as a tourist destination. Until the end of the 1970s, Spain was a poor country, which by all means wanted to catch up with the rest of Western Europe, which is now almost unthinkable, as we see it as a very successful tourist destination. During the World Cup which was held in Spain in 1982, Spain implemented a very strong campaign, which was based on the new logo of the destination, designed and based on the sun. Although this advertising campaign of their tourism is not the only factor that influenced the modernisation of Spain (and let’s not forget the Olympics in Barcelona, as well as the changes that have occurred in the government’s political and social strategy), it is believed that it was this campaign that enormously helped to “put on the map” the country as an important tourism player. Since this campaign was launched, Spain became the eighth world tourism power of the world. From a marketing perspective, the campaign worked, given that it successfully positioned Spain as carefree destination full of beaches, while the message “Todo bajo el sol” (everything under the sun) suggested that the country offers much more than sun and sangria. With this message was successfully transferred the emotion of richness of exciting experiences, which are only one touch of sun tanned, sea salt sprinkled fingers. This image of Spain persists to this day, more than 30 years after the launch of the campaign. Interview prepared by: Daniela Kos

Croatia Addendum




KONGRES EDITORIAL CALENDAR TOPICS AND DATES Published 6 times per year Kongres Magazine is far from being just a magazine. It is the only provider of integrated congress marketing communications, with which you can make effective dialogue with congress customers. Because we know what congress customers really need and how to ensure their long-term loyalty, we can make above-average, high-quality, relevant, independent, in-depth and interesting congress stories. In 2013 they will dedicate to you and your customers even more.


CONVENTA DAILY 1 - 2 Daily newspaper, which will be released during the Conventa trade show and which brings to exhibitors and invited guests daily news from Conventa. Space close: 13.12.2013 Materials due: 20.12.2013 Delivery: 22. - 23.01.2014

SPECIAL ISSUE January 2014

CONVENTA 2014 Special edition, published as a catalogue of Conventa together with extensive destination presentations and presentations of participating partners. In terms of content this is the most comprehensive overview of the meetings industry in the region of Southeast Europe. Space close: 13.12.2013 Materials due: 20.12.2013 Delivery: 22. - 23.01.2014

SRING ISSUE March 2014

In Focus: ENERGY The uniqueness of your event is based on energy. The event can be quickly estimated as successful if it was just executed well and in line with the objectives. Effective are only a few events, which are the ones in which the flow of atomic congress energy is present, where participants become a part of the energy. In the spring issue we will highlight all the meetings industry topics related to energy. Themed supplement: KONGRES GOURMET 2014 Space close: 14.02.2014 Materials due: 21.02.2014 Delivery: 28.03.2014


MEETOLOGUE 2014 In Kongres magazine we have been publishing since 2010 CONGRESS TRAVELOGUES, which were renamed MEETOLOGUES. International Congress buyers thus discover little-known European convention destinations. All existing travelogues of the NEW EUROPE will be issued in a special issue of Kongres magazine, which will be released prior to IMEX trade show. With high-quality editorial content, travelogues completely replace the tedious and irrelevant catalogues of meetings suppliers. Digital versions of MEETOLOGUES are currently the most read sections of the Kongres magazine. Space close: 11.04.2014 Materials due: 18.04.2014 Delivery: 16.05.2014

SUMMER 2014 July 2014

In Focus: ENGAGEMENT Future of meetings industry depends on understanding the needs of new generations of congress participants who are looking for new different experiences. In the summer issue, we will explore what triggers positive experiences. To do this we must first build well, if we build events on authenticity, there is a good chance that we will initiate positive emotional reactions. We will present to you a few stories that are true, verifiable and relevant. Themed supplement: ADVENTURE PARKS 2014 OUTDOOR VENUES 2014 Space close: 20.06.2014 Materials due: 27.06.2014 Delivery: 25.07.2014

FALL 2014

September 2014 In Focus: “EDUTAINMENT” We live in a period of edutainment, where connection of educational content with entertainment has become a vital component of events. We will discuss how to use technology at your events for greater interactivity, what kind of innovations are offered on the market. We will re-open the dilemma of whether technology can replace personal contact. Themed supplement: INNOVATIVE PEOPLE & EVENTS Space close: 22.08.2014 Materials due: 29.08.2014 Delivery: 19.09.2014

WINTER 2014 November 2014

In Focus: ENTERTAINMENT Meetings industry is characterized by a mixture of professional and fun motive, but certainly the most important thing is companionship in their profession and communities. What are the trends, innovations, and what are the examples of good practice will be revealed in the last issue in 2014. Moreover, as an integral part of the magazine we will present a whole series of new ideas for organization of congress parties. Themed supplement: KONGRES WAW - WINES AND WINERIES 2014, KONGRES HOLIDAY & PARTY GUIDE Space close: 18.10.2014 Materials due: 25.10.2014 Delivery: 15.11.2014


Inside Ljubljana

New team member at the Ljubljana Convention Bureau


s of this October, a new team member has joined the Ljubljana Convention Bureau. Vesna Klemenčič returned to the meeting industry business after running a project of corporate membership for an NGO - Transparency International Slovenia. Prior to this, she was in congress management, working got a short time for the Slovenian Convention Bureau and before that with INTOURS DMC, where she was responsible for incentive programmes for the French market. Her international experience includes working for the European Parliament in Brussels and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia.

CONTAC Tatjana Radovič Visit Ljubljana / Convention Bureau Krekov trg 10, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija T 00386 (0)1 306 45 84 M 00386 041 977 730 F 00386 (0)1 306 45 94 E



mong the Ljubljana-based DMCs, there is one that specifically takes corporate social responsibility as a creative challenge and has developed a range of attractive and creative programmes. These allow meeting planners and delegates at their events to contribute to specific causes and give something back to the local community. In search of new and original incentive programmes, iDMC stretch their imagination to the limits. Green is the new black is “la parole du jour”. The CSR programmes bring an added value to the fun and team building part of incentive travel, however there are more and more congress organisers that incorporate them as an

optional activity on the day prior to the event. Bearing the social element in mind, iDMC offers various programmes with a CSR touch. Inspired by a beautiful natural environment, participants under the guidance of a painter can discover their artistic talent at a charity painting event. The artwork is either donated to a chosen institution or put up for an auction, with the returns donated for a purpose. Other options comprise preparing the food for the homeless, building a child’s bicycle and donating it to children in need, or by helping run an animal shelter. No matter what the activity is, it will make another person happy.


Adding philanthropic efforts to incentive programmes or conferences and business events benefits the community as well as a company or association and all the participants on top. iDMC recognised this added value and has well integrated the CSR elements to their offer. This component can definitely help making an unforgettable event in Ljubljana and Slovenia - one that creates an experience of a lifetime for the participant.

Inside Ljubljana



ome Ljubljana-based DMCs and Event agencies have taken a step forward, adding a dash of fresh creativeness to their incentive menu. Green & CSR programmes or creative workshops are among the breaking news on the incentive scene. They allow meeting planners and delegates at their events to experience fun in joint challenges and develop creative skills whilst contributing to a specific cause or giving back to the local community. These components can definitely help towards making an unforgettable event in Ljubljana and Slovenia – one that provides an experience of a lifetime for the participant. BICYCLE FACTORY The team goal is to assemble a children’s bike. First, each member team has to acquire the individual parts of the bicycle through teamwork and exciting exercises and at the same time get to know other members of the team. Communication among the team members comes in very handy when they are faced with the final task of the day – assembling the bike. Here each member of the team is tested since only harmonised work of all team members will assemble a working bike in the allotted time. This task will be followed with an upgrade of the bike’s image where personal creativity comes into play. The peak of the day is donating the bikes to children in need, chosen by one of Slovenia’s charity organisations or upon the decision of the team. iDMC, Telephone: +386 590 177 46 E-mail: FEED THE KINGS OF THE STREETS A common goal, division of assignments, democratic leadership and good interpersonal relationships – all these are the basis for successful teamwork. They are also the fundamental principles for the preparation of a healthy meal for the Kings of the Streets - as the homeless in Ljubljana are lovingly called. In cooperation with a social worker the team takes care of the whole process of food preparation from its source to the final delivery. After the preparation of a cooking plan the team starts preparing dishes with an emphasis on healthy food, all under the guidance of a cook. In order to succeed, the team invites the Kings of the Streets beforehand to a tasting as to find the perfect recipe of the day.

CLEAN THE UNDERGROUND Humid rocks, underground canyons, rivers and lakes, endemic animals and complete absence of light, in more than 8000 underground caves in Slovenia, leave a strong impression on every participant. Unfortunately, for many years people have been using caves and caverns as garbage dumps. The team will descend into the underground and help clean up one of the polluted Karst caves endangering our drinking water. With the help of experienced cave guides they help cleaning up the cave and therefore contribute to a more “green” underground environment. A common goal and satisfaction with the achievement will bring your team closer and the memory of this experience will remain with you forever. iDMC, Telephone: +386 590 177 46 E-mail: CHARITY PAINTING What kind of feelings do artists experience whilst creating with their colours? The idyllic surroundings of a hilly landscape far from the roads and cars will transform everyone into an artist. The workshop is guided by a master painter who helps in discovering the hidden talents. Each team member is indispensible in creating a team painting, which represents as much an individual personal touch as group cooperation. Once the painting is finished, it is time to put it to display and to auction! The returns of the auction are donated to a children’s hospital or other charity organisation chosen by the group. iDMC, Telephone: +386 590 177 46 E-mail: ARGONAUTIC ADVENTURE Follow the steps of the Argonauts – brave sailors and warriors under the command of Jason, who stole the Golden Fleece. According to the myth, the Argonauts sailed on the Danube, Sava and Ljubljanica rivers to the town of Vrhnika. This was the place where the Argonauts disassembled their ship and transported it by land to the Adriatic sea. The mission is to hide from the pursuers from the Black Sea and sail from Vrhnika to Ljubljana on a simple raft, built by the team. T  IME OUT EVENTS – ZELENO PLEME Telephone: +386 41 870 880, E-mail:

iDMC, Telephone: +386 590 177 46 E-mail:


PAINT A GIANT POSTCARD FROM LJUBLJANA Prepare the paint and brushes and create a group masterpiece! The team will be swept away by a wave of creative energy and crazy ideas, when they are faced with a complex artistic test: each group must paint a part of a huge painting, which is made u ​​ p of smaller parts. Are they able to reproduce the synergy, communication and teamwork on the canvas? After all partial paintings are painted, they are assembled into one giant painting and put on display at a gala exhibition. T  IME OUT EVENTS – ZELENO PLEME Telephone: +386 41 870 880, E-mail: LJUBLJANA’S URBAN VIBE – THE GRAFFITI WORKSHOP The “street gang” is in town! A professional designer, a painter and a graffiti artist guide the team in making the graffiti and present a variety of techniques and tips for creating a unique urban masterpiece. Larger groups are divided into smaller teams, each of them make their own graffiti by using real graffiti spray paints. T  IME OUT EVENTS – ZELENO PLEME Telephone: +386 41 870 880, E-mail: MAKING A HYDRO POWER PLANT The objective of the task for the team is to make a small hydro power plant. Teams are provided with a plan, guidelines and technical parts necessary for building a power plant. The first challenge is to direct and manipulate the water flow straight to the power plant. It is crucial to bring water with as few losses as possible and direct it to the power plant generator at a right angle. S  OL INSTITUT Telephone: +386 (0)31 343 012 E-mail:

Inside Ljubljana

Ljubljana Castle to be Refreshed by Spring 2014


he Ljubljana Castle, which towers above the Old Town, is one of the prime special events venues in the Slovenian capital. Back in 1979, the extensive renovation of this historic building started in the M Wing, right where the works are approaching the final stage. This section of the castle has welcomed many visitors in the past for a special reason, as it housed until recently the Blue and White halls, better known as the Wedding halls. More than 30 years of use and over 700 weddings a year were a good reason enough for a makeover. The renovation works are due to be completed in March 2014 and will transform the two halls, henceforth named Red and Blue, into a versatile and even more appealing function space. The solemn elements of this castle wing will be softly intertwined with its architectural heritage, light and freshness of the colours. The premises will open up to the courtyard and therefore emphasise the historical environment of the Ljubljana Castle.

More Comfort at CD Congress Centre Ljubljana


D Congress Centre Ljubljana has skipped a proper summer break again as, for the past few years, the venue has been undergoing an extensive gradual renovation, technological upgrading and maintenance works in the warmest months. Bearing the comfort of visitors in mind, the seats in the two largest auditoria - Gallus and Linhart halls - have been replaced, with a thorough refurbishment that took place alongside. Gallus Hall (1,545 fixed seats) is set to start the forthcoming season shining in a new splendour. The parquet floor in the stalls, as well as the dress and upper circles, have been sanded, the marble walls polished, and the new seats

installed. The overhaul of Linhart Hall (562 seats) has been even more extensive. The walls are now repainted, the stage portal renovated, conduit pipes and electrical installation replaced, equipment upgraded, the latest ventilation and air-conditioning system built in and an advanced lighting system installed. The highly comfortable new seats were the final touch. The value of this year’s investment is two million Euros. Other details of the makeover comprise improved elevator access to the panoramic, topfloor CD Club, as well as the refurbished CD Information Centre and Box Office. The construction works have been concluded by the


end of August as scheduled, right on time for the busy autumn congresses and events season, which has also featured the Congress of the Paediatric Rheumatology European Society (PReS) with 1,000 delegates – this year the largest in Ljubljana. The Centre’s recent genesis, to be continued next year with the construction of additional breakout rooms, will certainly be appreciated by the foreign and local public, whose total number in just over 30 years of operations has reached as many as 15 million visitors / delegates.

Inside Ljubljana

Conference highlights in 2013 and 2014


jubljana’s congress calendar features a number of scientific and expert meetings of regional, European and international relevance. Among the ones taking place in 2013 the two largest were: 5th Conference of the European Survey Research Association – ESRA (Faculty of Social Sciences, 600 delegates) and the Congress of the Paediatric Rheumatology European Society – PReS (CD Congress Centre Ljubljana, 1,000 delegates). The highlights in 2014 are to be: World Psychiatric Association – WPA Regional Meeting 2014 (CD Congress Centre Ljubljana, 1,000 delegates), 40th World Scout Conference – WOSM (GR - Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, 1,500 delegates) and the 14th Congress of the European Association of Agricultural Economists – EAAE (also the GR, 800 delegates).

Nox - a Novelty on the Hotel Design Scene


he Roman Goddess of the night, Nox, brings a breeze of fresh air to the Ljubljana boutique hotels portfolio. Ljubljana’s latest hotel offer has been enriched this September by Nox, another trendy property in the design line, which already seduces travellers by its refined style, modern comfort and aesthetic luxury. The prime concept of this 4-star boutique hotel is to perfectly blend business and pleasure through an original approach aiming to create an experiential showcase of the “made in Slovenia” hotel interior design. What distinguishes Nox from other hotels is its interior decoration. Each of the 24 rooms is unique in design and character and guests can choose the one that suits their taste best when booking. Several acclaimed Slovenian designers and architects had a total creative freedom in developing the room concept, which ranges from minimalist to a richly decorated baroque, as well as vintage, more romantic, or even a saltern room. All the hotel rooms are double, but differ in layout and size, ranging from 24 to 45 sq m. The property also features a trendy lounge, which is becoming popular for smaller social functions, and a conference room seating up to 60 delegates, The hotel’s construction follows one of the green principles of sustainable development: the use of local materials. The wish was also to create a raw yet plain and attractive appearance. As a result, the interior blends three primary materials - oak wood, concrete and metal. The NOX Hotel is well situated close to the ring road, on the way from the city centre to the airport, which makes it perfect for business travellers and those coming to Ljubljana for a city break by car. In a nutshell: the aim to reach diversity in ideas and experiences has been accomplished and Ljubljana can now proudly present another jewel in its design palette.


Who is Who



What are you most proud of in your business and private lives? I am most proud of all the clients who wrote to me after an event with nice words and feedback. In those moments I feel I have chosen the right job. In my private life I am still waiting for the most proud moment - probably it will be the day that I will have a child and a family. Life wisdom/motto? I am who I am. Accept yourself and then you can accept all the others J

Petra TOLJA Meetings and Incentive Manager Kompas DMC

Where are you going to spend this year’s holiday? USA What was your favourite vacation? My friends would tell you that I am around all the time having fun, but the truth is that a lot of my traveling is combined with the business we are in, so besides airports, hotels and venues there is not much time for leisure. But most definitely the best vacations are always on a boat we rent for the summer and we spend it in Dalmatia. Family, friends, sea, sun, food and fun, fun, fun. Where would you go if there were no time and financial constraints? Waking up each week in a different location.   What is your favourite indoor/outdoor activity? All the activities that combine family and friends. If you look at me you see I am not really a sportive kind of person, but I am realising now that I need more sport in my life - it’s good for my body and soul. So I started with long walks and a bit of running.... maybe by next year I’ll be ready for the Ljubljana Marathon... J What is you favourite dish and restaurant (anywhere in the world)? A difficult one, as I am a hedonist. I love Lebanese food and Sushi, but I am always open to try something new. My favourite restaurants in Slovenia would be Mak in Maribor and Pri Lojzetu, Dvorec Zemono. As I do a lot of cooking myself you would have to ask my friends what they think about it, but as they are coming back I guess I am good. J


What is you favourite gadget? iPhone. Which song do you most often play on your iPod? I would have to make a long list. On my playlists I always have a mix of every genre of music and I listen to them depending on my mood. A must: Queen, Italian music, 80’s, 90’s, nowadays hits. Which part of the day and of the week is your favourite? Cheese if I say weekends? What is your favourite mode of transport? Car, definitely, and boat. If you could return to the past or hurry to the future, how old would you like to be? 28 Why? I would not be 30 yet. J If you could witness any event in history which one would you choose? My birth J no, seriously I would love to witness the Renaissance - so much art and innovation. What was the best party you have attended? Conventa after-party, 2013. The last film, book, concert? Don’t remember the last movie, guess it was not that good. 50 shades of Grey, and some other light summer readings. Robbie Williams. What fantasy character would you be? Sometimes I think of myself as a fantasy character, but if I have to choose I would be Tweety bird. J What did you learn last week? We are learning every minute of our lives, so we need to be open to accept information all the time.

Who is Who



What are you most proud of in your business and private lives? I am proud of the way my career is developing and I am very proud of my family. Life wisdom/motto? Our thoughts determine our lives. Where are you going to spend this year’s holiday? I have not decided yet. What was your favourite vacation? Every minute spent in London. Where would you go if there were no time and financial constraints? I cannot choose one destination, I would travel from one country to another.

Leonarda DJINOVIĆ Project Manager TALAS-M DMC

What is your favourite indoor/outdoor activity? I have two. The first one is dancing. I spent my childhood attending various dance schools. The second one is photography. I love taking photos of nature and everyday situations. What is you favourite dish and restaurant (anywhere in the world)? I love home-prepared dried codfish (that we eat during the St. Nicholas feast day) together with black olives bought at a local market. My favourite restaurant would be one small tavern by the sea, 10 minutes from my house. This is the place where I gather with friends and where I know the staff and almost every guest. What is your favourite gadget? I do not have one really. I try not to get too attached to things. Which song do you most often play on your iPod? Well, it depends on the mood. Normally I listen to music on the radio in my car, as I spend a lot of my time driving. I have one, two favourite radio stations and I like them to surprise me with selection of songs. Which part of the day and of the week is your favourite? That would definitely be Saturday morning (when I do not work on Saturday, that is!). The reason is simple: the working week is over and


Monday seems to be so far away J. I’m joking, but I liked to think this way while I was in school. What is your favourite mode of transport? Car. If you could return to the past or hurry into the future, how old would you like to be? I am happy where I am now. There is nothing in the past that I would do differently and I wouldn’t like to see my future in advance. If you could witness any event in history which one would you choose? I wish I could have been involved in the organisation of the Summer Olympics opening ceremony in China. It was magnificent. What was the best party you have attended? My brother’s wedding. The last film, book, concert? The last film I saw was the one I have watched several times – The Pursuit of Happiness with Will Smith (my favorite). Last book – The Gift by Cecelia Ahern. Concert –Vlado Georgiev, which every year is traditionally held on Kanli kula “Bloody tower” in Montenegro, one of the most wonderful summer stages on the Adriatic coast. What fantasy character would you be? Jerry Mouse – especially in those rare episodes when he and Tom display concern for each other’s well-being. What did you learn last week? That nature will never stop surprising us. I saw a branch of a fig tree naturally growing out of an oak tree.

Extended stay



Location: Obala Maršala Tita 15, Poreč, Croatia

Location: Logarska Dolina 10, 3335 Solčava, Slovenia

Villa Polesini is a 19th century mansion located on the Poreč waterfront. Its grandeur is perfect for any special event, presentation or gala evening requiring something extra. Overlooking the shimmering Adriatic, its manicured lawns and elegant courtyard have graced many society weddings and elegant banquets.

The four-star hotel, located In the core of the most beautiful Alpine valley, the Logar valley, is combining the very best of all modern comforts with the pleasant ambience of a country house. The hotel is popular destination for business retreats and meetings. The atmosphere is particularly pleasant thanks to natural light and magnificent views of Savinja Alps. Hotel offers exquisite dining and professional service.

Villa Polesini T: +385 20 448 228 E:

Hotel Plesnik T: +386 (0)3 839 23 00 F: +386 (0)3 839 23 12 E:


Extended stay



Location: Rade Končara 12, 52440 Poreč, Croatia

Location: Dvorje 3, 4207 Cerklje na Gorenjskem, Slovenia

Plava Laguna – Laguna Poreč is one of the biggest tourism and hospitality companies in Croatia. In our 13 hotels we offer you conference halls and meeting rooms from 10 to 600 seated places with audio-visual and other equipment. You will find everything you need for Professional organizing business events and a pleasant Mediterranean climate with the natural environment. We will merge business with pleasure – and this may be the goal of our offer - to organize congresses, seminars, sport events, weddings and gala-dinners. After your regular program, we offer you the opportunity to relax with excellent sports and recreational outdoor facilities or in our sports halls, fitness, swimming pool and the wellness center. Therefore it is best to see for yourself and be sure how your stay in Laguna Poreč facilities brings you real success, because: YOUR SUCCESS IS OUR GOAL! Plava Laguna d.d., Laguna Poreč T: +385 52 410-222, F: +385 52 410-412 E:


10 kilometres from Brdo estate and just 3 kilometres from Ljubljana international airport lies a beautiful castle from 13th century. Professionally renovated in 2010–2012 it represents a perfect location for boutique events. The elegance of a former noble residence certainly is the right choice for lectures, presentations, meetings, working groups, press conferences, signing an important document, small cultural event or smaller wedding ceremonies and receptions. The owners will be more than happy to take you on a guided tour of the ancient noble residence with extremely rich history, many stories and exciting adventures of former owners. Strmol Castle T: +386 (0)4 260 16 82 F: +386 (04) 260 17 94 E:

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Conventa Addendum

WHY Conventa? • Its great value for money. • You can meet and network with key meeting industry players of SEE. • One2One meetings will give you a chance to get personal. • You will experience first-hand the South-East European hospitality. • You can build and position your brand with Conventa year-round promotion.


Conventa Addendum

WHY Conventa? Join us from 22 to 23 January 2014 at the 6th Conventa in Ljubljana, Slovenia.


“Conventa is the most important promotional event of the South East Europe meetings industry. As co-organiser of the trade show I believe that the organisation of this event and participation in it allow better visibility and positioning of Slovenia as a successful convention destination in the European and international market. With Conventa Ljubljana’s reputation has been raised as the host destination in the region and in the international arena. The support of the city of Ljubljana, the support of the public agency SPIRIT, the support of our Slovenian and regional and international partners with whom we have been actively co-operating all these years shows us its importance. It is because of previous successful implementation and close co-operation and involvement of all the strategic partners of the whole chain of the meetings industry of South East Europe that Conventa is among the highest quality smaller meetings trade shows in the world. Conventa 2014 will allow us many opportunities of connecting, networking with foreign clients not yet familiar with Slovenia, education, promotional exposure, spreading of opinions and monitoring of trends. It will be a meeting point for key players in the meetings industry in our region, for which a number of initiatives have been prepared, so we are looking forward to organisation and our participation in the sixth consecutive Conventa. We believe it will be even more successful with our constructive co-operation, as we have always proven to be good hosts. We are going to have foreign clients in Slovenia, in Ljubljana, therefore it will depend on how all of us will be best able to take advantage of this opportunity. We must be aware that the client is willing to confidently offer a new destination to the final customer only after a positive personal experience of the destination and the knowledge of its key suppliers. Therefore, I believe that we can be the best only when we work together!” Azra Botonjić, Marketing Manager at Slovenian Convention Bureau

“Kompas has been present since the very establishment the project, so we believe in and invest in the product. By signing a five-year contract last year we want to continue to co-operate and participate. We have grown together and learned a lot over the years. Since the initial transfers we upgraded our services by focusing on ecology and a personal approach to each participant for both exhibitors, hosted buyers and invited guests. In this way we have over the years earned the title of a reliable partner and official DMC of the trade show. Only with a good team and organisation our visibility is growing every year. Partners that we encounter at other trade shows already know us, so our name is appearing on the list of successful and reliable DMCs.” Tatjana Juriševič, Member of the Management Board, Kompas d.d.

“Our destination is different from your expectations. This mix of Alpine hard work, Slavic sportsmanship, Balkan temperament and unspoilt nature can only be felt live. We would be glad if we could host you with Slovenian cuisine in Slovenia.” Jure Jezeršek, Business Manager, Jezeršek Gostinstvo d.o.o.

Conventa Addendum

Meeting specialists were again nicely surprised Conventa 2013 participants satisfaction survey



Main reasons for attending Conventa

Main reasons for exhibiting at Conventa 6.0%

Presentation of Southeast Europe’s meetings industry offer in one place


Presentation of the offer in one place


One to one meetings between exhibitors and buyers


One to one meetings between exhibitors and buyers








The level of exhibitors satisfaction

Ratings of the following aspects of Conventa Overall reputation


Quality of companies exhibiting


Quality of educational and events programme

Education opportunities


Overall reputation


Relevance of visitors to your business


Quality of visitors


Quantity of other companies exhibiting


Networking opportunities


Quality of educational and events programme


Conventa sustainable measures


Networking opportunities


Conventa sustainable measures


(Rating marks: 5 – Excellent, 4 – Good, 3 – Adequate, 2 – Poor, 1 – Very poor)

(Rating marks: 5 – Excellent, 4 – Good, 3 – Adequate, 2 – Poor, 1 – Very poor)

Effectiveness and timeliness in communication


Friendliness and effectiveness of the show organiser


Registration procedure at the show


Quality of trade show layout and booth location


Overall satisfaction with the show


(Rating marks: 5 – Excellent, 4 – Good, 3 – Adequate, 2 – Poor, 1 – Very poor)

Possibility of placing future business in… The destination 


The hotel/s


The venue/s


The activities


(Rating marks: 5 – Excellent, 4 – Good, 3 – Adequate, 2 – Poor, 1 – Very poor)


Conventa Addendum

Conventa sustainable management Conventa is fully committed to reduce the negative environmental impacts of the trade show by implementing sustainable practices that add value to all participants and the local community. Winning the Sustainable Stand Award at EIBTM 2011, global meetings & events exhibition, Conventa therefore considers as a special honour.




At Conventa 2012, a further step is made in implementing and assessing sustainable practices, among them: Sustainable commitment

In line with implementing of a number of energy efficient measures, Cankarjev dom commits to reduce energy consumption by encouraging Conventa participants to use stairs instead of taking the elevator.

Sustainable performance indicator

Cankarjev dom undertakes to report on energy savings by participants taking stairs.

Sustainable commitment

With its own cogenerated electricity Hotel Mons reduces water consumption by 15% and gas consumption by 15% in 2012. By providing hotel toiletries in refillable dispensers, Hotel Mons reduces their costs by 15 %.

Sustainable performance indicator

Hotel Mons is to report on water and gas consumption savings during the Conventa trade show. Hotel Mons undertakes to report on cost savings on hotel toiletries.

Sustainable commitment

Austria Trend Hotel, built in line with sustainable principles, commits to provide for digital signage in 50 % and use signage made from recyclable materials in other 50 %.

Sustainable performance indicator

Austria Trend Hotel undertakes to report on the number of digital and paper signage and thus related costs and savings.

Sustainable commitment

Vivo Catering aims to establish a traceability system of food products, especially those from the local area.

Sustainable performance indicator

Vivo undertakes to measure the food miles of products and their ingredients travelling from their source before reaching the Conventa venue.

Sustainable commitment

Printed materials are designed and written in a generic way instead of specific way (not including the event date), to allow them to be reused for future editions of the trade show.

Sustainable performance indicator

Go.Mice is the report on the number of printed materials to be reused for future trade shows and the number of materials to be donated to the cultural-ecological fellowship Smet Umet that, combining art, ecology, design, creates new products from waste.

Sustainable commitment

In addition to providing standard participant communication, Go.Mice prepared sustainable guidelines for exhibitors and for hosted buyers to help them understand how to integrate sustainable actions into their exhibit and travel arrangements.

Sustainable performance indicator

In the Conveneta evaluation form, participants are asked to give their opinion concerning the sustainable initiatives within the show programme. The outcome of the survey and the feedback obtained are evaluated and used for the quality assurance of the following trade shows.

Thank you for taking part in our sustainable endeavours!

Conventa Addendum

CONVENTA 2013 Impressions

01 Meeting new business parters. 02 The secret power of the Conventa show catalogue. 03 Sharing knowledge and experience. 04 Discussing business opportunities at oneto-one appointments. 01


05 Power of one2one 06 PCOs of South East Europe join forces. 07 The stage of the main meeting industry gathering of SEE. 08 Gaining valuable knowledge at the Future Leaders Forum








Conventa Addendum

Conventa FAM trips Personal experience of the destination? You’ve got it! Hosted buyers coming to Conventa 2014 will have the possibility to personally experience some of the congress destinations presented at the trade show.


Start your Conventa journey with a PreConventa tour: a shortcut to Ljubljana in 24 hours “Ljubljana Tourism / Convention Bureau will once again prepare a special pre-Conventa familiarisation programme. The very positive reviews from the participants of the last two years are a motivation to be even more creative in 2014. We are therefore inviting hosted buyers to join us on 20 January 2014 and embark on a 24-hours journey (sleep excluded) in order to get a feel of the capital city of Slovenia. The concept is to provide destination knowledge in a different and fun way. Our guests will have the opportunity to see a selection of meeting and special event venues, as well as the main sights. There will also be time to try the exquisite local cuisine and taste the surprising Slovenian wines, maybe in a more “hands on” way. The concept is to take the participants through various spaces on a mission, during which they will meet interesting people from various backgrounds and create a story to remember. We do not want to reveal all the details, but If we have awoken your curiosity to discover a cosy and vibrant city which offers a very good value for money meetings & incentive product, with an array of downtown venues within walking distance, do not hesitate to register, as the number of attendees is limited. Welcome to Ljubljana!” Tatjana Radovič, Ljubljana Tourism / Convention Bureau

Get to know Bled “Beautiful nature provides a fantastic backdrop that enthuses and inspires participants. The lake, island and castle are a truly unforgettable sight, with countless other natural and cultural attractions to stun visitors merely a short drive away. A meeting in Bled will remain in the memory of attendees forever. It is compact, with all its facilities and sights being within walking distance. Meetings at Lake Bled – Inspiration in all seasons!” Eva Štravs Podlogar, Bled Tourist Board

Explore Carinthia

“Welcome to Carinthia, Austria’s southernmost province that presents itself to its guests with sincerity, a Mediterranean charm, genuine hospitality and a zest for life which is infectious and determines the quality of life and holidays.

Conventa Addendum

The many crystal-clear lakes provide refreshment and make Carinthia a lake district, but it is also a region of mountains with marvellous sceneries that are perfect for hiking and skiing. Carinthia’s refreshing paradise of nature offers varied and exciting activities at any time of the year. So why not organise your event, meeting or incentive in Carinthia? Once arrived you will suddenly notice that work and enjoyment go hand in hand. From congress centres, conference hotels and locations to event agencies and transfer partners – our experienced partners stand for top quality, customised service and genuine hospitality. Carinthia - joy of living.”

Trieste, a cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic city with its Habsburg charm, seems to embrace the sea, or rather, to welcome the sea into the heart of the city. “Piazza dell’ Unità”, one of the loveliest and biggest sea-front city squares in Europe awaits you!” Brenda Lee Fabbro, MICE Department, Agenzia TurismoFVG

Boost your energy in Zagreb

Patricia Flatschacher, KÄRNTEN CONVENTION und Mitgesellschafter GesbR

Visit Friuli Venezia Giulia, an amazing destination for successful events in the North

East of Italy

“Professionalism, innovative properties and a multitude of sceneries. In Friuli Venezia Giulia each event becomes an unforgettable experience. The design and the modernity of the conference centres, combined with the charm of castles and ancient dwellings, provide a wide range of amazing opportunities. Friuli Venezia Giulia is an unspoilt territory - rich in charming locations and ideal for visitors looking for unique emotions - which provides every single event with a touch of originality that will ensure its success.

“Zagreb is the capital of the Republic of Croatia, it is one of Europe’s oldest cities and since July 2013 the new metropolis in the European Union. It is the scientific, economic, and cultural centre of the country hosting numerous major cultural and sports events, business meetings and international events all year round. Conveniently located on the intersection of several important routes between the Adriatic coast and Central Europe, Zagreb has always represented a unique blend of different worlds and cultures. It has excellent air and road connections with other destinations in the region and beyond. Zagreb boosts energy, motivates and brings out the best in every event and its participants. Welcome!” Martina Csiffary, Zagreb Tourist Board & Convention Bureau


Conventa Addendum

Meet the team Miha Kovačič Exhibition Director How did you get into the meetings industry? When working 15 years ago for the largest tour operator in the country, the M&IT department head invited me to join the team and I haven’t left the industry since then, despite a few years later changing to the convention hotel and eight years ago to the national convention bureau. A challenging but rewarding experience contributing to the development of the industry.


What is the most positive thing about Conventa? It is difficult, almost impossible, to name the ‘most’ positive one. There are so many and they are connected to each other. Conventa is also a development project, so things are changing every year. One of them is definitely positioning Slovenia and South East Europe on the international meetings map. The next one could be uniting the meetings industry of the region and developing its product, its potential, but also demonstrating its value and contribution to national economies. Career high: I am in the middle of my professional career. The first half has been great, looking forward now to the second half. As Gandhi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Gorazd Čad Head of Marketing How did you get into the meetings industry? For the meetings industry I was first inspired at Cankarjev dom, where I worked as a student. It was then virtually the only convention centre and PCO in Slovenia, which has given me a lot of knowledge and connections. It was a long time infection that lasts to this day. In the meantime, I also tried my hand as a hotelier, but my passion for the meetings industry and organisation has led me to my own company in which in addition to other projects we are also co-creating Conventa. What is the most positive thing about Conventa? Definitely a special energy that we have managed to create at the event and for which much larger congress organisers envy us. Energy is the result of Conventa being prepared by highly experienced organisers who are trying to understand buyers’ needs as well as those of exhibitors. At the same time the whole event is conceived as a boutique experience.

Career high: In the long career there have been a lot of events that could be described as peaks, depending on the period. Among congresses the highlight was definitely the largest congress in Slovenia’s history, the Apimondia Congress, which was organised in 2003 in Cankarjev dom. Today, the biggest challenge and at the same time satisfaction is managing my private firm and I am especially excited by changes in the field of content marketing, which we are trying to promote through the production of the Kongres magazine.

Natalija Bah Čad Exhibition Manager How did you get into the meetings industry? During my study at the Faculty of Arts I was working as a hostess in Cankarjev dom, the Congress and Cultural Centre in Ljubljana. At that time I first had a chance to get in contact with congress participants. It was a very interesting experience. When there was an opportunity to start working in the PCO department, I knew that this is what I want to do. And I stayed there for 10 years…. What is the most positive thing about Conventa? I was involved in the organisation of the biggest congresses held in Ljubljana with very complex logistics. But Conventa is special. First, because we did it from scratch. And every year it is a challenge how to make it even more effective for providers and hosted buyers. Career high: After 17 years in the meetings industry, I still see a lot of challenges. For sure I will continue my work as a congress organiser and share my experiences with younger colleagues that would like to work in the meetings industry as well.

Špela Jeruc Hosted Buyer Manager How did you get into the meetings industry? It was pure luck. I got into the meetings industry through an internship and stayed because I love the team I’m working with. I’m studying management of tourist destinations, so I always knew that I was going to work with people. I especially wanted to work in the process of the organisation. How can anything be more interesting than that? I’m definitely staying in this business.

Conventa Addendum

What is the most positive thing about Conventa? I personally think the evaluation of Hosted Buyers. The Conventa team is always trying to get better and better buyers for exhibitors. Conventa puts so much effort into finding the right people from SEE, which you can’t see on other trade shows. We are very strict in the field of reviewing. At the end this means satisfied exhibitors and organisers. Career high: Well…because I’m so young I would have to say working for the company Toleranca marketing is my career high. They gave me an opportunity to show them what I’m capable of. Our team is small but very effective and passionate about every project. I especially enjoy working for Kongres Magazine. I think it is the most stylish magazine for the congress industry with great content.

Jasna Flis Hosted Buyer Manager How did you get into the meetings industry? I must say that it was somehow ‘by chance’ (although I’m convinced that everything happens for a reason). However, it has been quite a long way. After University I started my career at the Ministry working in the field of regional development. I continued at another public agency to then realise that the private sector must be much more challenging and exciting. After several years in Italy, where I used to work in the field of sales for different international companies, my way took me through a luxury real estate project to an experience in the hospitality industry, which has always been one of my ‘curiosities’. As ‘one door opens another’, now I’m a proud member of the Conventa team and a new entry in the (I can already say) fascinating meetings industry. What is the most positive thing about Conventa? I can say that “it’s all about people”, we are a young, enthusiastic and dedicated team with a nothing-can-stop-us spirit. I’m sure that with this positive approach we can overcome any limits and obstacles and make the 6th Conventa a unique and unforgettable experience! Career high: Every single experience has its small (or big) high, but the peak for me is definitely the recent start of my independent working path.

Polona Simšič Content Manager How did you get into the meetings industry? Actually it was Conventa that first introduced me to the meetings industry. Three years ago organisers needed someone to help out with on-location press and Conventa TV, so I stepped in at the last minute. Agreeing to work on the project I did not know what to expect, but obviously I was pleasantly surprised, so I have been working on and for Conventa ever since ☺ What is the most positive thing about Conventa? I think the idea of connecting people in the SEE region. The business model might look complicated on the outside, but it is actually quite simple and works very well. Another thing I would say is the opportunity to mix serious business with pleasure. Career high: That’s a tough one. I am interested in so many things and you never know where life will take you. If I would have to pick one thing from the past that I hope to continue working on I would choose the Intercontinental Advertising CUP – The CUP. I love the feed of creativity which I believe we are often lacking in life.

Tanja Smrzlić Financial Manager How did you get into the meetings industry? It was completely unplanned - I had an opportunity for a job interview and here I am working in the meetings industry for 8 months. What is the most positive thing about Conventa? Conventa is a large event, recognised in business tourism. I think that just mentioning the name Conventa is a synonym for an important event for exhibitors and hosted buyers from around the SEE region. The city of Ljubljana has the honour to host such an event each year. Career high: In a few years time I see myself as business analyst, financial advisor for large projects such as this one. Conventa is a large project and I shall take the opportunity and learn from the project as much as possible.


Conventa Addendum

EXPLORE BEST WESTERN – THE WORLD’S Biggest hotel family®

programme of events varying in scope from traditional fish-smoking trips to the smokehouse in the Brdo wilderness to culinary workshops or a standout golf break experience. At Brdo, business and pleasure share the same place. More at _ centre/ introduction Hotel Cubo Hotel Cubo with new addition

128 Good in Business - Beneficial to Business Now finding your perfect hotel for meetings, incentives, congresses and meetings in Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Kosovo is even easier. BEST WESTERN offers individual conference hotels, ranging from 2 to 1,000 people, special business-packages, to the established BEST WESTERN standards (from CORE to PREMIER hotel). More at Congress Centre Brdo & Hotel Brdo Memorable Corporate Event

Hotel Cubo offers meeting rooms with minimalistic design, strategically placed lighting and latest audio-visual equipment. From our opening we have striven to add and improve on our product and services and we are proud that a larger conference hall has just been added to them. The new conference hall, gallery ISIS, is situated in the vicinity of our hotel, a few metres walk away. It can easily accommodate up to 100 guests. The hall and all hospitality services are managed by our hotel. More at Hilton Sofia White Winter Meeting Special

How to design a meaningful, personalised and remarkable corporate event? Outdoor adventures offer wonderful ways of bringing event members closer together. A pleasant golf break or fish-smoking trip add value and a relaxed atmosphere to events, which can be perfectly catered to your product launch, seminar, conference, teambuilding session or campaign kick-off. The marvellous nature surrounding Brdo near Kranj is the setting of many unique experiences. Blending great conference facilities with a charming landscape makes it one of the best congress venues in Slovenia, which provides a custom

For conferences and banqueting the Hilton Sofia meeting facilities provides seven meeting rooms with daylight holding

Conventa Addendum

up to 50 people and a ballroom to accommodate for up to 350 delegates. All meeting rooms are situated on the mezzanine floor and ensure easy access to the coffee break areas and the spectacular Atrium, which can host exclusive events. The Hilton Sofia catering team offers full service off-premises catering ranging from small gatherings to grandiose celebrations. During the outdoor party season the Hilton Sofia South Park terrace is the perfect place for garden parties. Book & confirm a meeting at Hilton Sofia by the end of February 2014, to take place until 31 December 2015, and get 5% off the total bill! Terms & conditions: The meeting special is valid for new bookings only, applicable only for bookings that include event and accommodation. Discount is not valid for technical equipment. Special benefit for all Conventa 2013 participants who book the package: Bulgarian honey tasting and visit to the Hilton Sofia bee garden: Hilton Sofia has 6 bee hives on its rooftop and 2 in front of the hotel producing its own honey, in co-operation with Dimo Dimov, Chairman of the Bulgarian organic bee keeping association! More at hilton-sofia-SOFHIHI/index.html Plaza Hotel Welcome to the biggest and most modern hotel in Ljubljana

BEST WESTERN Hotel Slon Concierge service brings rewards to BEST WESTERN Hotel Slon


Service: Concierge and e-Concierge Availability: Summer 2013 onwards Beneficiaries: Our guests and organizers A recently started concierge service at BEST WESTERN Hotel Slon sets a new approach and high standard for guest fulfilment by offering an attentive and informative service to help meet guests’ needs and requirements, prepare incentive programmes and customise itineraries. By using the hotel’s e-Concierge service, visitors and organisers can also make their requests in advance of their stay at the hotel. So far the new look concierge service has elicited comments such as “Really helpful”, “Amazing service”, “Great suggestions and organisation” - feedback to be really proud of. More at Solaris Beach Resort A big Resort for a big event!

Plaza hotel Ljubljana invites you to enjoy the luxury of 236 rooms and exclusive apartments with breathtaking views of Ljubljana and its surroundings. The hotel is located in the shopping, entertainment and business district BTC City of Ljubljana. Meeting and Events On the 15th floor of this prestigious building, Plaza Hotel Ljubljana proudly presents a modern congress centre: adjustable congress halls with a capacity of 400 square metres, astonishing views and extraordinary food and beverage service. More at

Solaris Beach Resort is a respected congress destination situated in central Dalmatia. It is only 6km away from the historical city of Šibenik and roughly 70km from both the airports of Zadar and Split, which makes it well connected and easy to

Conventa Addendum


reach. Solaris is situated in the region famous for its national parks, untouched natural beauties, old Mediterranean towns and exceptional gastronomic offer. It extends along a 4km coast, surrounded by beautiful Mediterranean vegetation. Thanks to its theme hotels, 5 spacious beaches, a la carte restaurants with excellent gastronomic offer, Aqua park, beach clubs and bars, sport and animation programs and numerous other facilities it is the biggest hotel company in Dalmatia. Advantages of the Solaris congress destination: We have a long experience in the organisation of various events for large groups of people. We offer a wide range of possibilities, from organisation of Pirate theme nights on the Legend Beach Club, the 30 metres pirate stranded galley, to Pool parties in Palma Beach Club, in the unique atmosphere near the pools with water effects and the view over the beautiful Šibenik archipelago. Restaurants and beach bars are only 100-200 metres away from the hotels. We are available for a variety of organisation options, depending on the client’s needs and requirements. Solaris Congress center Authentic Dalmatian Experience Total capacity of the Solaris Congress center: 2,000 places Solaris Congress centre: It includes 12 multi-purpose halls on a surface of 2,000 m 2. The biggest hall is the amphitheatre with a total capacity for 500 participants, while the other halls can host 25-300 participants, depending on organisation needs. Hotel Ivan Solaris: Among the existing capacities, we would like to highlight our brand new premium, luxury hotel Ivan****+. The connection of modern architectural trends with simple, traditional elements in one place presents all the values and natural beauty of Dalmatia. It is a reputable congress destination, ideal for the organisation of different incentives, congresses, conferences, events or team building. It consists of a congress hall with 500 seats, 4 conference halls with total capacity of 650 seats and 2 meeting halls with 80 seats. Within the hotel is the Wellness & Spa centre. Its high-end design and modern equipment make it the ideal place for revitalisation and relaxing after business obligations. The business atmosphere is enriched with numerous attractions and facilities, such as the Dalmatian Ethno village, designed in a unique Dalmatian manner, in stoned houses where you can get in touch with the ancient customs and way of life of our ancestors and try some specialties prepared according to original recipes.

Terme Krka

Terme Krka is one of the leading tourism companies in Slovenia that comprises health and spa resorts in Dolenjske and Šmarješke Toplice, the seaside centre Thalasso Strunjan, the Otočec Hotels with the Otočec Castle and the Krka Hotel in Novo mesto. At all its locations Terme Krka offers plenty of opportunities for organising seminars, meetings, trainings and social or business gatherings. The modern Hotel Balnea together with the Cultural and Congress Centre sets Terme Dolenjske Toplice Spa as one of the most attractive destinations for congress tourism. Another interesting venue are the Otočec Hotels with the Otočec Castle Hotel, located a one hour drive from two capitals, Ljubljana and Zagreb. More at Prague Convention Bureau Good News from Prague

More at Prague is awaiting a bright future in terms of congress tourism. The Prague Congress Centre has recently announced the upcoming refurbishment of this significant congress venue that regularly hosts the largest international congresses. In addition to this, the proposal of extended incentive support for large international congresses held in Prague has been submitted to the City Council for approval. The Prague Convention Bureau considers these two steps as

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essential for its ambitious goals - Prague as a top-ten world congress destination by 2015 and top five by 2020. More at Le Meridien Lav Split

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Magency Event: Yamaha Revy Your Heart MT-09 Date: 18.08.2013 - 11.09.2013 Location: Le Meridien Lav Split, Croatia Partners: Ant-Productions BVBA Execution: Ant-Productions BVBA Press launch of new Yamaha MT 09 “The dark side of Japan” for journalists from all over Europe Challenge: How to find interesting sites and exciting new challenges for Yamaha MT 09 “The dark side of Japan” in Split and surroundings and offer impeccable service and comfort for journalists coming from all over Europe. Solution: Le Meridien Lav was a perfect venue with the top level of accommodation and perfect parking facilities ready to be the start of the every day drive kick off. The old factory of Salonit in Vranjic near Split provided the brilliant spot for the unusual launch. More at City Hotel Ljubljana Event: City corporate meetings venue Location: City corporate meetings venue Give your business an inspiration and hold your meeting at the unique location with full technical support in the heart of the city. We offer a comfortable venue on the top floor of our hotel with a wonderful outside terrace which gives you a feeling of freedom with its marvellous view to the city centre and Ljubljana castle. Take the opportunity to hold a different meeting and make your business with style.

Magency gives you the possibility to use digital tablets for any of your events. Our profession is to digitalise events and create a fully customised application that dematerialises content and brings interactions into events. We offer you a turnkey solution that includes the software, hardware, service and consulting. Our platform operates on iOS and Android and counts more than 100 modules classified into 4 categories: basics, team building, gamification and entertainment. We also offer must-see effects such as the tag clouds, live reveals and interactive iPad walls. We have been the pioneers in Europe to bring a turnkey solution and all of our features have been created in order to engage, train and connect participants. We have been able to observe that the iPad solution has increased participant’s engagement by 40% and has reduced companies’ carbon footprint! Many of the CAC 40 firms, big private firms and agencies have signed up and brought iPads to their conventions, trainings and press events such as: Renault, Nissan, Citroen, Audi, Orange, Total, Michelin, EDF, Saint Gobain, Airbus, Nespresso, Publicis, MCI, Volkswagen, Apple, Peugeot, Rolland Garros... More at


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CONVENTA 2013 Impressions

01 Rocking at the Conventa Afterparty. 02 Have a cup of coffee with us. 03 Taking the stage at the Academy Conventa plenary session.


04 Conventa ambassadors 01


05 Celebrating in black and white atttire. 06 Conventa green 07 The future generation of meeting professionals.






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133 Casino Velden Casino Velden Starts Renovation of Facade

Convention Bureau Lower Austria Hospitality, cultural & culinary treats

Renovation measures to the Casino Velden began in mid-September 2013. The casino’s entire facade is being refurbished and furnished with a wave-like canopy, hence the casino provided a perfect start to the “Shared Space” project currently being implemented by the market town of Velden in front of the casino. The city’s touristic centre is getting a pedestrian zone that invites guests to spend time there and to take a stroll. Due to the challenging economic climate triggered by the Italian crisis, the phased implementation of the project was rescheduled to include the completion of the “Shared Space” project and refurbishment of the facade and entry area. The wave-like canopy will cast the area in front of the casino in an attractive light, using contemporary LED lighting and the street lighting planned in the scope of the “Shared Space” project. The project volume encompasses approximately EUR 1.3 million. With its planned investment Casinos Austria reaffirms Casino Velden as a leading tourism enterprise in Carinthia. Completion is planned in the scope of the ongoing operations for the end of April 2014 - the opening is to be celebrated on the 25th anniversary of Casino Velden on 3 May 2014. The issuing of the concession for Casino Velden on 1 October 2013 means the successful cooperation between the municipality of Velden and Casinos Austria will continue during the period from 2016 to 2030.

Lower Austria offers not only a perfect setting for your meetings, events and incentives in an exclusive ambience, but also cultural and gastronomic treats, a sense of joie de vivre and warm hospitality. The Lower Austrian Convention Bureau is your competent partner for finding the right location for your event. You are planning a business meeting in a royal palace? An event beyond compare in a modern event hotel? Or an elegant banquet in a romantic Baroque castle? Welcome to Lower Austria! The Lower Austrian Convention Bureau and its top partners can suggest the perfect location for every occasion to combine a hard day of business with the more pleasant sides of life.

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134 Terme Čatež Where business events are different Terme Čatež, one of the renowned hosts of business conventions in Slovenia, offers diverse conference premises for up to 900 participants at three locations (Čatež, Mokrice, and Marina Portorož). Besides a long tradition in congress tourism, Terme Čatež offers to its guests an abundance of additional supporting programmes, e.g. water programmes at the Thermal Riviera, relaxation in the wellness centres, playing golf in the beautiful setting of a medieval castle, naval tourism on the Adriatic coast… all of them appealing to guests to return to Terme Čatež. More at

Terme Olimia Event: Slovenian Lawyers’ Day 2013 Date: 26-28 September 2013 Location: Terme Olimia Execution: Terme Olimia d.d. During the period from 26 to 28 September 2013, Terme Olimia and the Bar Association of Slovenia organised an international event for around 200 people, with 40 people from foreign countries, including Turkey, Macedonia, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Austria, Slovakia, Italy and France. This was a three-day event which began with an initial reception where the guests were offered a premium quality Slovenian sparkling wine and later invited to dinner. All of this took place to the sound of gentle music provided by an accomplished pianist. The second day was the main event, which began with an official ceremony and a round table discussion, then continued with a tour of the Olimia Minorite Monastery in the close vicinity of Terme Olimia, where guests were offered traditional dishes (monastery soup, crackling in bread, Kozjansko cold meats, etc.) with an appropriate selection of wines. What followed was the highlight of the day – a gala dinner. In the ambience of the gentle sounds of the piano, guests were invited to the Basilicum restaurant, where a formal reception had been prepared for them. The combination of traditional dishes from the Kozjansko-Obsotelje region and the excellent singing of the Slovenian vocalist Nuša Derenda left the guests with a positive memory of another excellent event at Terme Olimia. More at

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135 HIT d.d. Nova Gorica Jewish Experience in Slovenia Event Title: Rosh Hashanah Celebration at the Lipa Hotel in Šempeter pri Gorici Client: Israel Contractor: HIT d.d. Nova Gorica Šempeter pri Gorici is a town located in the Primorska region, just by the Italian and Slovenian border that enjoys a Mediterranean climate and temperament. During the summer it hosted Israeli guests for 12 weeks, who spent more than 3,000 nights total. The destination known mostly for the nearby wine-growing region of Goriška Brda served them as a starting point for daily trips to the near and remote surroundings. Learning that the Jewish New Year was approaching, the Lipa Hotel staff, all dressed in white, prepared a surprise event with a traditional meal for their Mediterranean guests, with the presence of the Mayor of the Municipality Šempeter-Vrtojba, Mr. Milan Turk. It was not surprising that a note in the hotel guest book written by an Israeli visitor stated that their best experience in Nova Gorica was that the staff made them feel at home and that is what HIT d.d. Nova Gorica is known for: being good hosts and offering impeccable services in our hotels and during the events we organise. More at

Hotel Aristos Zagreb The celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Hotel Aristos Opened in 2003, Hotel Aristos is 4 star business hotel located in Zagreb. The hotel marked the 10th anniversary of successful business and its presence in the Zagreb tourist market. The celebration was held on October 2nd, 2013 with a great party, organised for its clients and guests. The celebration was filled with cheerful tunes, dance and culinary delicacies. The Grand hall was decorated with special lights, balloons and a large designed cake. For this celebration, the hotel also made a special video presenting the hotel staff from all departments in the daily process of creating final services to hotel guests. To give additional meaning to this celebration, guests were invited to bring a small gift for children at the Children’s Home in Zagreb. We got the best gift for our birthday - children’s smiles! More at

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136 iDMC incentive & destination management company Event: Business meeting and incentive Date: 12. – 15.3.2013 Location: Bled Partners: Sava hoteli Bled Execution: iDMC About the event: This was a business meeting for 25 persons from a UK medical company. Besides the meeting aspect they wanted to experience some outdoor incentives and an off-site gala dinner. Destination Bled was selected by their GM. Challenges: What appeared to be a simple event turned out to be quite a challenge. Every planned activity was undoable due to weather. During the days of the event Bled experienced a snow blizzard, icy roads and extreme wind. All of the organised activities were cancelled just minutes before they should start. Solution: In a situation like this the client can truly benefit from a good local organiser. Just minutes prior to departure of the group the Ski centre informed us that they would be closing for the day because of the snow blizzard. With quick reaction we managed to organise an indoor bowling incentive with a local partner. The gala dinner at the Bled Castle was saved with bulk snow shoes and good coordination with public services to keep the roads cleaned. After the event: Despite the challenges the client was satisfied with the turn out of the event. Even more so since we managed to stay on budget. More at

LifeClass Hotels & Spa Portorož LifeClass Hotels & Spa hosted the convention of the world famous trademark Chanel (Russian branch) Event Title: Convention of the Chanel Specialists Client: Liberty Slovenia for Chanel Russia Contractor: LifeClass Hotels & Spa Portorož In July 2013 Portorož hosted a particular event from Russia. The participants arrived from Moscow on a charter flight to Slovenia and were then transferred onwards to Portorož by 3 coaches. There were 114 female representatives accompanied by a crew of 6 people from Liberty Slovenia, that put together an interesting programme and took care of the event organization. The DJ from Moscow came along to entertain them during the evenings. They spent 5 unforgettable days in Portorož and its surroundings. These 5 days were dedicated to body and soul pampering in the Lifeclass Spa and enjoying the unique mediterranean cuisine. The couple of hours spent working in the Portus Conference Centre of the Lifeclass Hotels & Spa will not be remembered as much as all of the rest, including the beach, the spa and the late night parties! More at

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137 Ilirija Travel Countless hidden coves, islands covered with dense forests, lovely falls of the Krka and Plitvice Lakes, Paklenica and its pristine nature, nature sights offering outdoor leisure activities, savoury dishes and diverse cultural, entertainment and sporting events throughout the year are only some of the reasons why one should come and visit the ZADAR REGION. Ilirija travel is a part of Ilirija d.d., a company with more than 55 years of tradition, located in the town Biograd, which covers all three segments of the tourism offer: hotel industry, nautics, camping, DMC and provides all necessary support. More at

Sunčani Hvar Hotels A Renaissance Gala Dinner on magical Island Of Hvar Event: Renaissance Gala Dinner Location: Arsenal, at the 17th century Renaissance theatre Partners: local community, DMC and Sunčani Hvar Hotels Contractor: Sunčani Hvar d.d. Sunčani Hvar Hotels has a long experience and an excellent track record as a corporate events organiser, from conferences to incentive trips. What makes us special is the historical and magical island of Hvar, a perfect stage for any event, which makes our goal to incorporate its natural and historical beauty into every theme and purpose of the event. We strive to exceed expectations of the clients and create a long lasting buzz in their companies.

About the event: The world leading industrial manufacturer and supplier had an annual conference in Hvar, with 3 gala dinners that were each themed by a different era of Hvar’s history and with the final event, the Renaissance Dinner, taking place in the Arsenal, a historical venue located below a 400 year old theatre. Challenges: The biggest challenge was planning the event in Arsenal, which is located some distance from hotel Amfora, which provided the catering for more than 150 people. Managing all the staging, entertainment and catering from Amfora, hvar grand beach resort, and ensuring all the food was served hot took some organising. We wanted the event to be as authentic as possible, and that meant following the traditional recipes of the era from the convent of the Benedictine Nuns in Hvar. Solution: Food preparations started a full three days before the dinner: the pork was marinated in sea water to make it more tender; the chicken in home-made yogurt; and whole pheasants in their skin and feathers. And the whole lambs on the spit were roasted, wrapped in fat. On the day of the event, several local businesses helped us ensure that the hot dishes stayed warm enough until they were served and our local DMC organised the whole entertainment, from musicians, acrobats and jugglers, to stunning period costumes for the waiting staff and other main actors. After the event: Once the guests had enjoyed their spectacular Renaissance evening, we had to return the Arsenal to its original state. It was a spontaneous team building that involved all Sunčani Hvar Hotels staff and the local community, which was pleased to help. The combination of the state of the art conference facilities at Hotel Amfora, the tourist setting and the excellent local partner support means that Hvar has conferencing capabilities which meet highest standards of demanding international clients and opens a new chapter of excitement and creativity for the local community. More at

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Conventa has in five years become a respected brand that among invited guests and exhibitors enjoys a high reputation and credibility. By participating in the trade show you can become part of the group of best meetings companies of the region.

Investment in Conventa is equal to investment in a minimum 250 sales contacts (sales leads). In addition, Conventa is one of the few trade shows that provides exhibitors with a database of all participating invited guests after the event for the purpose of further marketing.


Fact: We are trusted by global trade shows IMEX, EIBTM and UK Meetings Show, ICCA association, MPI and SITE, as well as all the major convention bureaus in the region. In addition, all the largest meetings players have been with us from the beginning. The degree of loyalty is extremely high, because from the beginning 98% of exhibitors have put their trust in us and they are joined every year by new exhibitors.



Fact: Average cost per lead in Europe is, according to base estimates, 15 EUR per contact. At Conventa you are guaranteed 250 contacts, or a total value of EUR 3.,250, far exceeding the investment cost of registration fee for participation.



Only at Conventa can you have on average 22 pre-arranged meetings in two days, the organisation of which would otherwise take a lot of your precious time.

The registration fee for Conventa does not have concealed costs and includes a fully equipped stand to work on the principle “come, meet, win�. In addition, over the two days of the event and fully included in the registration fee, Conventa is one of only trade shows taking care of food for its participants.

Fact: For the average sales meeting organisation you would spend at least 60 minutes, without counting time invested in market research and other time invested in finding customers. According to the Conventa survey, on average we save you at least 60 hours of valuable time that you would otherwise be spending searching for contacts, organising and executing of meetings.


Fact: Normally, the costs of appearing at fairs and exhibitions in the basic package do not include different types of additional equipment such as chairs, tables, lighting, and more. Conventa offers all of this, as well as a year-round marketing package, for a single price. To the costs of appearing you need only add the cost of getting to Ljubljana and accommodation for your staff.

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These are the heart of Conventa. Only those who have a serious interest in the region and a real purchasing power are invited to the event. Every year we decline over 200 applicants who do not meet the strict criteria of qualification.

Through various forms of socialising Conventa enables you to meet as many invited guests as possible. The social events element of the trade show includes coffee breaks, a green corner, working lunches and evening receptions. Conventa is one of a few trade shows that treats exhibitors and invited guests equally and offers this side of the networking in the package.


Fact: According to Conventa statistics a minimum of 10% of all actual meetings are transformed sales in the long run. On average this means 2.2 successful meetings with us. Taking the assumption that it is a one day event with 50 participants, who according to Ljubljana Tourism analysis spend EUR 383,60 (without transport to the destination) per day, this means that specific yield of the trade show is on average at least EUR 57,540 per exhibitor.



Every year we are expanding our range of year-round promotional activities of the trade show, which are included free of charge into the exhibitors’ packages. The promotion is based on the constantly growing database of potential invited guests and tools such as the Meet in SEE e-catalogue, Conventa e-newspaper and the quickly growing social networks of the project. Fact: B2B promotion is based on a rapidly expanding database that has reached 39,816 contacts with whom we regularly communicate and keep informed on the project and our partners.


Fact: Conventa treats invited guests and exhibitors equally, which is why all of the social events are an integral part of the Conventa project and are free of charge for exhibitors, as they represent an integral part of achieving ROI.



Conventa improves with every passing year and upgrades its education programme, which is free of charge for exhibitors. Fact: We have brought global stars of the meetings industry to Conventa, among others Paul Bridle, Linda Pereira, Patrick Delaney, Angie Mason and many more. The average registration fee for such events is ordinarily 250 EUR. Conventa offers them to exhibitors free of charge.



Conventa is well visited by professional media and their leading journalists. Many of them were so excited about the region that they became media ambassadors and friends of destinations. Fact: In five years Conventa has been visited by 67 leading professional media, who have brought 119 journalists to the event to spread the word of the meetings potential of the region to the whole world. In partnership co-operation media contacts annually guarantee us free publications and other forms of content marketing to a total value of 65,000 EUR.


CARING FOR THE QUALITY OF THE TRADE SHOW Conventa always ensures a high quality of satisfaction of exhibitors and invited guests. Through the analysis of the overall results, participant surveys and individual meetings with every exhibitor we are taking care to improve the quality each year, understanding that this will increase the loyalty of partners and enhance the reputation of the trade show. Fact: Conventa achieves outstanding results in terms of quality. The average satisfaction grade of exhibitors was in five years 4.23 from a possible 5), with the average satisfaction grade of invited guests even higher, scoring the trade show with an average grade 4.44.


Prestigious meeting & events destinations QUALITY

We perform top-quality services.


We take gifts of nature into our consideration.


Our services are consistent and efficient.


We fulfil our obligations.


Our motto and our promise.


We encourage people’s focus on themselves. It counts only this moment, right now.

4 1 0 2 S P L A R U O T A N T A U ENIA O V O Y L S , E A D E S ISKA BR R O G , 4 1 0 5, 2 OCTOBER


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Join us at the 6th


From 23 – 25 October 2013, Radenci, SLOVENIA

Bussiness meetings in Julian Alps

19 halls the biggest hall with 1200 seats 1300 beds 4 wellness centres team buldings in unspoiled nature different options for evening entertainment great culinary experiences INFO: +386 4 588 44 77

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November 2013


November 2013