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/ 14 / IN FOCUS – EDUTAINMENT Dani Polajnar, Modern teambuilding events as typical edutainment Žiga Novak, Let’s play a game





ISSN 1 8 5 5 - 8 6 1 5

9 771855 861009

www.kongres-magazine.eu VOLUME VIII, ISSUE 6 // September 2014

1..2..3.. START PLAY






I FEEL INSPIRED BY WHERE WE MEET At the crossroads of Europe we come together to do business. Accessible, affordable with fine Slovenian hospitality, all you need to do is provide the people.

SLOVENIA. Green. Active. Healthy. www.slovenia.info #ifeelslovenia

OUR SELECTION Page 6 VALUE FOR MONEY, THAT IS CROATIA TODAY Interview with Daniel Marušić, CEO of DT-Dubrovnik Travel Croatia Page 14 In Focus Exploring Edutainment Locations Page 80 Fresh Meetologues Brežice-Čatež Rovinj Briefing Page 28 Belgrade Page 30 Prague Page 105 Zagreb Kongres Face2face Page 47 BELGRADE vs WARSZAW Page 127 LJUBLJANA vs. REYKJAVIK Page 100 Hidden Congress Guest City Hotel Ljubljana Falkensteiner Hotel Belgrade Hotel Excelsior & Spa Belgrade Hotel Park Novi Sad Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik Page 69 Kongres Telescope Seoul Searching A Future of Coopetition Bangkok: Site for It&Cm Asia’s next great acte Invigorating India Page 78 Who Is Who Marina Knittel, Cmp - Marketing Manager Sophie Buchacher - Marketing Assistant Page 108 Croatia Addendum Edutainment at meetings Designers & programmers speed dating The European bridge team championship in Opatija Interview with Goran Ražnjević: In Ilirija, we have always strived for innovation Exploring Edutainment Locations

CONTRIBUTORS Dani POLAJNAR Dani Polajnar is CEO and Training Consultant at Teambuilding Academy (TBA) – a company, specialized in team work and team dynamics. For the last 15 years he is implementing workshops, trainings, interactive seminars and facilitating conferences. His major areas of expertise are team work, team development, organisational culture, communication, conflict solving, project management and internal communications in organisations. 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. Žiga NOVAK Žiga Novak is an entrepreneur, lecturer and facilitator, specialising in developing teams and creating experiences. He has extensive experience in workshop facilitation, speaking, lecturing, event management &marketing and business development. Žiga published hist first best-selling book Event management A-Z in 2009. Miha KOVAČIČ Miha Kovačič is known as a highly professional and motivated, zealous, positive, hearty and constructive colleague. Under his management, the Slovenian Convention Bureau became an important connecting point and an efficient marketing and promotional institution of the Slovenian meetings industry, which currently unites over 60 of the most important Slovenian providers of congress services. Špela JERUC With her youthful energy Špela carries out even the most difficult journalistic tasks. Over the past two years she has become an important part of the Kongres team and is now ready to conquer the media world

Natalija BAH ČAD An unforgettable member in the editorial board of travelogues, who at each destination adds her icing on the cake. She has insight into the soul of destinations based on many years of practical experience with the organisation of events. She is interested in everything from the history, geography and destination marketing to care for the tiny little things that make the big events. Robert COTTER Alongside his work for Kongres, Rob is a regular contributor to MPI’s One+ magazine as well as MICENET Asia and Eventbiz Japan. He attends international MICE events to seek out best practice and share this with the international meetings community.

kongres magazine is media partner of


G www.facebook.com/kongres.magazine Editor in Chief Gorazd Čad Assistant to the Editor in Chief Danaja Besnard, Špela Jeruc, Tina Stojanović Editor of Croatia Addendum Daniela Kos Editor of Kongres Telescope Robert Cotter 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, SI1000 Ljubljana, t: +386 (0)1 430 51 03 f: +386 (0)1 430 51 04 v e: gorazd.cad@toleranca.eu Issue date September 2014 For the content reproduction it is required to get the written editorial consigment.

Official magazine of the Slovenian Convention Bureau Member of

ISSN 1 8 5 5 - 8 6 1 5

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READERS Kongres magazine total unduplicated reach of 41.200 meeting professionals.

18-20 November 2014 Barcelona, Spain





Top level global decision makers meet here. See you in 2014: 18 – 20 November. (,%70 LV D WUXH JOREDO IRFDO SRLQW ZKHUH WKH PHHWLQJV DQG HYHQWV LQGXVWU\ FRQQHFWV &RQVWDQWO\ HYROYLQJ WR UHƃHFW WKH market, EIBTM brings together over 15,000 industry professionals for three days. Three days of discovery and focus in a dynamic business environment. Three days of one-to-one appointments and three days of networking with the decision makers that matter to drive your business forward. EIBTM. Where the global meetings and events industry connects.

www.eibtm.com EIBTM is part of IBTM Global Events: AFRICA

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14/03/2014 15:28

A word from the editor

BALKANS CO-OPETITION Co-operation and competition as the future of the region’s meetings industry

Gorazd Čad, Editor, Kongres magazine



aking place in the shadow of significant historical events and just after Belgrade and Novi Sad’s rainy summer season were the ICCA CEC and INSIDE conferences, events that will certainly leave a permanent trace on the region’s meetings industry. In the Balkans, more than twenty turbulent years have passed before the possibility of putting regional co-operation on new foundations is finally becoming manifest. The fairly generic names of both of these recent conferences didn’t in any way hint at the actual expansive content yield of both of them, but the premium content properly delighted the participants at each and they have offered a whole new perspective to the region and vice versa. The legendary Christian Mutschlechner, with his presentation on the co-operation between Barcelona and Vienna, really hit the nail on the head in demonstrating that mutual trust and friendly relations are possible if there is chemistry between the partners. He triggered a wave of positive thinking among the participants and called the two-year co-operation between the two cities ‘CO-OPETITION’, explaining their marital contract in great detail: co-operation in the areas where the two cities are complementary – i.e. the mega congresses, which in terms of infrastructure can almost exclusively be organised there – and in all other areas it covers normal conference competition, which is the engine of business opportunities and innovation. Even working in such a way both cities are able to maintain their position in the TOP 5 world congress destinations. Another example of such positive co-opetition is the international one being carried out through the Future Convention Cities Initiative, which we have profiled in this issue’s Telescope section, and that signposts how collaborative working can build the profile of a city without diminishing its competitive prowess. In the South-East Europe region a similar series of conferences and events was once in vogue, and it seems that they are getting themselves set up once again. Tangible evidence that something is really happening has come through the inspiring lectures on congress projects that were based on overcoming regional barriers, all of which proved to be a success. Regional congresses have been assuming their place in the sun either under the guise of European or global associations, or from their own professional and entrepreneurial initiative. They are certainly positively welcomed by the industry, which through such events has easier and greater access to markets and knowledge transfer. Currently, however, a key obstacle to ensuring that such events can more easily and efficiently be obtained is the lack of common understanding between the meetings industry and the scientific and corporate organisers. It is in this area that we particularly need positive “co-opetition” projects, and in fact we really have little choice in this, as Prof. Gudić colourfully explained to us using Russian scientist G.F. Gause’s ‘Principle of Competitive Exclusion’: when he put two protozoa with the same genetic make-up into a tube of food, one did not survive. If the two protozoa had 5

different genetic make-up and found themselves in the same situation, both survived. Transferring Gudić’s conclusions to the meetings industry, it might read something like this: ‘No two meeting destinations that make their living in an identical way can co-exist. Each one must be different enough to have a unique advantage.’ To be successful in the region we therefore have a real chance if, as was explained by Prof. Gudić, together we carry out the following processes: INCLUSIVENESS

be better than the others


be different from the others


be better than yourself


be different from yourself

I have never yet come across a better recipe for further development of the region’s meetings industry. Co-operation in joint projects designed following these principles will bring positive, long-term benefits. I am glad that this strategically important topic was thoroughly highlighted in Belgrade, which is experiencing a meetings revival and is becoming the leading congress city of the region, even ahead of Athens. To put all of this into the context of the scale of potential we are talking about here, if you ask Uncle Google about the Southeast Europe Conference scene, it will immediately throw back at you some 41 million hits covering:

South East Europe Conference South East Europe Meeting South East Europe Congress South East Europe Symposia South East Europe Seminar

45 million hits 9, 1 million hits 1, 6 million hits 1, 2 million hits 0, 7 million hits

We clearly have a great future ahead, and one that will be even better if it will become more co-opetitive!

Exclusive interview

DANIEL MARUŠIĆ DEFINING MOMENTS: Craziest destination: Amsterdam Craziest event: Lokrum island, Dubrovnik, 2012, private party with games, concerts, DJs, massages, yoga, food & drinx for 650 consultants Hotel to return to: M/S Le Boreal J Concert: Rolling Stones in Budva 2007 Best rock band: AC/DC


Exclusive interview

VALUE FOR MONEY, THAT IS CROATIA TODAY Interview with Daniel Marušić, Director of Dubrovnik Travel Croatia

Text by Špela Jeruc

Q: Can you highlight for us out the positives and the negatives for the Croatian Congress industry? Looking for now at our prime market, Europe, Croatia is the best-positioned and bestequipped destination for international meetings and events in Europe. Our infrastructure is visibly growing and improving in quality day by day. ‘Value for money’: that is Croatia today, and definitely many meeting and incentive planners say so. The feedback is always great, as the expectation is always lower from the end users, but the results are amazing, people are so happy and compare Croatia to the best in the world, some even saying that it’s a paradise and we should keep it as a secret and never change it – so for many it is as good as it is today! Let me also mention today’s four Croatian aces: Dubrovnik, as the regional flagship for conferences and incentives; Hvar, as the party island, funky getaway for mid-size groups; Split, over 1,700 years of history and today’s vibrant life meeting in one unique Mediterranean place; and Zagreb, a new European capital heartily welcoming delegates hungry for new and rocking destinations. In Croatia I would love to improve: a) t he flight connections to destinations, mostly in winter months, as, for example, while it is zero degrees in most west and east and north European capitals, in south Croatia we talk about 10-15C in the air and in the sea!! And we talk about really low off-season deals and prices and so much space to choose from and so much better time for delegates to explore and have even better fun and work here. b) I would definitely also change the complete state administration around travel business the state is still politically influencing major development issues in the country and it is so annoying to see these inexperienced political figures playing God in travel business, talking about and deciding on strategic issues for the travel business that this country desperately needs to be solved immediately. c) we need a professional, active and dedicated non-political convention bureau, and not one where, as today, they put the meetings and incentives office (the ex CVB) among with

other things such as, with all due respect, campers, hikers, birdwatchers etc! Q: Does the Croatian Congress industry need change? If so, what kind of change? All industries need a constant “change”, if we call it that, and if we bring down the political barriers it is going to happen in a dynamic way in Croatia. These days we are working in a customer-driven business world, so our mission is to be flexible and customers need to see that. In Croatia today many suppliers are very professional and up to date. Some, however, despite still wanting to be in this industry, are still living in the past with their minds, but the results show which destination in Croatia knows the business better and which one is still learning and which is a “wannabe” meeting destination. The same goes for the DMCs: DT Croatia, as the leading international DMC for meetings and events in Croatia, is constantly and with both our feet and our hands on every detail of what our customers need and what we can do to make them feel as satisfied as possible– and bear in mind also that we all do business by agreed terms and common business ethics. Q: Do you miss Croatias' Convention Bureau and what are your views on this issue? Of course Croatia needs a professional office for the meetings and incentives industry. There is no doubt about it. Again, to see how political interests are more important in this country and in some parts of the industry is so annoying. That’s why today we don’t have the Convention Bureau any longer, we have a “department”. As a strong supporter of the Convention Bureau role for a country like Croatia, I believe very soon it will be obvious that a CVB is necessary to obtain serious strategic steps. Q: How was this year’s congress season and what are the trends for the coming year? This year was great and we are already preparing for 2015. Trends are safety, for sure always number one, and then ‘price down, quality up’, and you get the business – and, as always… adding a hint of funky and sexy to it all doesn’t hurt. But, the troubles in Ukraine, the Middle 7

East, Africa, they may all affect some decisions and change some movements, even overnight. We expect that. Nothing is normal today – apart from chaos, and we are aware of it! Q: In your experience and from your many years in business, how would you say world trends and improvements play a role in retaining congress customers? Indeed, following trends is equal to growth in the amount of business, but also keeping one’s customers loyalty as well. It is the same with any other product or service - it is all being part of the game, or… ending up in the second league, if one is not prepared and ready. Q: How do you plan to attract new congress guests with your offer? We already have an established network of very successful DT marketing and sales tools. Our representative network is the best combination and number one team for helping DT be globally one of the most respected DMCs, and I mean globally! Our customers recognize our quality and the safety of working with DT Croatia; our company is the most stable DMC in the region, and not only today, but from 1998 since it was established. Our business is pure B2B. Q: What innovations in event organisation are required to move our borders and meet the demand of clients? Daily innovations in communication and technology solutions, and also being visibly active on the site management of events, as well as preand post-event needs. Q: Is there enough staff to meet the needs of a congress guest, and if not, which staff do you think is lacking? Looking at the average European destination that is competing with Croatia I don’t see anything lacking; I even see a better ratio here, but I do always say that in our industry it is always better to be extra-staffed for all kinds of events, because here we are talking about important business events and thousands of individuals meeting each other with individual business needs. Also, the spending per delegate in a

Exclusive interview

Let me also mention today’s four Croatian aces: Dubrovnik, as the regional flagship for conferences and incentives; Hvar, as the party island, funky getaway for mid-size groups; Split, over 1,700 years of history and today’s vibrant life meeting in one unique Mediterranean place; and Zagreb, a new European capital heartily welcoming delegates hungry for new and rocking destinations.

destination is usually four or five times higher than a normal traveller spends, so they deserve more attention. Definitely more staff are always needed at bars and restaurants – and I don’t understand property owners trying to save money by saving an employee or two instead of outsourcing extra staff for an event to make extra money that night or that day! Q: Current trends indicate continuing education and improvement of the employees as well business firms. Can you tell us in which way you develop your own employees? Our team does not have time for that! Just joking. We do daily mentoring and also periodical group and individual education. Most time


spent on education and improvements is during the winter months when there is less time spent on site. Q: What is your message to Kongres readers? Keep on supporting all of the meeting and incentives media - our voices need to be heard all over the world. Every day I meet people and politicians who think working in our industry is easy and a quick profit, but they are so wrong! It is a tough world, but it is fun as well. We all need to share information and experience to live in a better world. Kongres helps a lot. Keep sharing!

Exclusive interview




Belgrade, Split and Bratislava are the fastest growing incentive cities in the region, with
among the smaller towns places near the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, Schladming in Austria and Soča Valley in Slovenia are experiencing the fastest development. Many of the Kongres magazine readers have recently asked us about the interesting incentive destinations in the region, those that in the future will be the leaders in the field of incentive travel. We have found that there is no clearly defined criteria of what an emerging destination is. Therefore, we have developed a special assessment matrix and with its help assessed over 40 cities and smaller towns, which in their offer also have incentive programmes. KONGRES magazine conducted a recent survey to rank over 40 emerging incentive destinations in region based on evaluation criteria divided into three groups.













o Developed

incentive cities:

Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Salzburg, Venice, Dubrovnik, Klagenfurt, Graz, Zagreb, Ljubljana





o Developed

incentive locations:

Steirmark, Karnten, Veneto, Bled Lake, Kranjska gora and Julian Alps, Friuli and Venezia Gulia, Slovenian Istria, Kvarner bay with Opatija, Black sea Coast








The criteria were divided into three groups: A. GENERAL





1.1. Climate & Weather 1.2. Accessibility 1.3. Attractiveness for tourism 1.4. Economic stability and local prosperity 1.5. Visa requirements 1.6. Professionalism of local meetings industry 1.7. Safety and security 1.8. Ground transportation & Public transport 1.9. Effective DMO (Destination Marketing Organisation) 1.10. Value for money B. NEW MARKET READY....





2.1. New Hotels 4**** and 5***** 2.2. New DMCs 2.3. New Teambuilding agencies 2.4. New International airline connections 2.5. New Special venues 2.6. New Adventure activities 2.7. New lifestyle offerings (cooking, wine tasting) 2.8. New CSR programs 2.9. New culinary products 2.10. New references - corpo incentives C. CONTENT














3.1. Destination Brand perception 3.2. Interesting history - image and richness 3.3. Interesting culture - image and richness 3.4. Variety of experiences 3.5. Local incentive brands 3.6. Restaurant lifestyle 3.7. Night lifestyle 3.8. Sport lifestyle 3.9. Authenticity 3.10. Tolerance Following evaluation by the event organisers an interesting rating was generated, which was then divided into larger cities and smaller geographic and tourist rounded wholes. Here are the results, together with an expert estimation of which are the already-developed incentive destinations against the individual categories.

YOUR MOST TRUSTED REGIONAL PARTNER INTOURS DMC SLOVENIA Dalmatinova 3, Ljubljana, Slovenia | Tel: +386 1 430 35 50 | info@intours-mice.si | www.intours-mice.si INTOURS DMC CROATIA — Split office Bihacka 2a, Split, Croatia | Tel: +385 91 174 10 28 | info@intours.hr | www.intours-dmc.com/hr INTOURS DMC CROATIA — Dubrovnik Office Sv. Križa 3, 20000 Dubrovnik - Croatia | Tel: +385 20 295 144 | info@intours.hr | www.intours-dmc.com/hr

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6/19/14 2:35 PM


WHATS CONVENTION BUREAU GOT TO DO WITH IT… Text by Miha Kovačič The biggest difference is between the Bureaus in emerging and established countries. Bureaus in emerging countries lack drastically of resources and understanding by Government officials what is their actual role and benefits. They are actually fighting several battles:

World’s first Convention Bureau has been established in the United States of America. More than 100 years ago! This is no surprise as Americans have always been innovative and business focused. The reason for establishing a Convention Bureau was very simple. To attract more business to the city. Nothing has changed in the last century. Or? There are hundreds of Convention Bureaus in the world today being City, Regional, National and Transnational. They all have a common business goal. Bringing more business home. European National Convention Bureaus have recently decided for closer cooperation. At the first meeting it was very interesting as we realised that there is no common model of a National Convention Bureau. Much more, there are quite big differences among them. This is interesting as all Bureaus have the same goal ie. attracting more business to the country.

 The first one is to prove itself on the world’s market  The second one is to prove its value to the National Government  The third one is to prove its advantage to the local meetings industry  The fourth one is to educate the national market of the role of the Bureau Due to its under-financing and understaffing they are fighting a never ending battle. They can simply not bring enough evidence on the table to get the right position within national economy. Which evidence is lacking here? There is no one sentence answer, unfortunately. First we need to define the role of the National Convention Bureau. It is non-profit entity being public or private or public private partnership. I had the opportunity to ask an experienced professional congress organiser what is the role of a National Convention Bureau. Her answer was: • Be a Business Events Champion. To create, grow, and attract business events that reinforce the destination’s reputation as a business and intellectual hub, • Partner with organisers and other Government agencies to leverage established strengths in key industries such as biomedical & healthcare, ICT & media, social, transport & security, lifestyle & cruise, environment & energy, infrastructure, business, trade & professional services, forestry etc., • Be an Experience Architect, by working with local suppliers to delivers exceptional experiences for business delegates, • Be a Global Marketer and engage in various marketing and promotional activities in order to entrench destination’s position as a premier Business & MI destination and to provide marketing and publicity support for partners to reach their target audience regionally and internationally, • Be an Industry Developer and work to create a vibrant Business & MI environment with strong industry players, robust alliances, world-class infrastructure and an emerging pool of MI (meetings and incentives) talent. 13


•A permanently updated marketing campaign that focuses on business objectives and is totally separated from the leisure sector, •A ctive involvement in the sector, on association committees, participating in international forums and being the voice of the destination, •K nowledgeable business oriented management, •A lignment with Government and City officials, •A national 5-year strategy as to where we are going (objectives, target sectors), •A vailability and willingness to support the quest of local businesses when bidding for events, •C reation of own events, •T otal objectivity as to national suppliers, • K nowing the difference between co-opetition and competition, •F oster a national philosophy of education and “worldliness”, •C reation of peer-to-peer information exchange opportunities, •A bid fund, •C ontinually communicate with its members, •C reate a member directory, •C reate a convention calendar for the country or destination, •T o maintain statistics and create white papers and produce research, •C lear benefits outlined and • Advocacy

What I do not expect:

•T he CVB to act as my competitor, •T he CVB to bring me business and •T he CVB to promote my own company

Men could easily say these could be the Manual for a successful Convention Bureau. Once you read each point and think thoroughly you will soon realise why emerging Convention Bureaus simply need to work harder and for several years not only to get the proper position in its own country, but also on the international market. As Paul Bridle said at Conventa Academy few years ago. Keep on digging.

In Focus

MODERN TEAMBUILDING EVENTS AS TYPICAL EDUTAINMENT PROGRAMMES Adding an educational note to entertainment activities makes teambuilding a typical edutainment event for adults Written by: Dani Polajnar, Teambuilding Academy www.tbaeurope.com


Dani Polajnar, Teambuilding Academy CEO, Senior Training Consultant

hat is the first thing you think about when someone mentions ‘teambuilding’? Is it having a party with your co-workers? Is it paintball or a high-rope course? Is it a picnic or a dinner in some out of town tavern? This was perhaps all true, but that was years ago. Today modern teambuilding is far from that. The only thing that is still there is a fun element. Teambuilding is still supposed to be held in a relaxed environment and entertainment is still supposed to be part of it. The thing that has drastically changed is the educational part of it. Adding an educational note to entertainment activities makes teambuilding a typical edutainment event for adults. One of the most vivid trends in the development of teambuilding events is that more and more corporations combine their yearly events (strategic conferences, cycle meetings, New Year parties or summer picnics) with complex teambuilding activities. Upgrading a traditional corporate event into an active teambuilding with the educational note behind it makes for not only

higher satisfaction of attendants, but also saves money by combining the budgets of Marketing, HR, Training or Corporate Communications departments, since more corporate objectives can be achieved at the same time. Evolution of teambuilding programmes During last couple of decades teambuilding has evolved drastically from just fun events (without any pre-set objectives) to complex educational events with clear, pre-set goals, led by professional trainers and facilitators. Setting a clear objective and deciding why to organise a teambuilding event anyway is one of the main tasks that any event organiser should do. Questions like: “Is it only a motivational incentive event?” or “Is it a socially responsible event?” or “What is the learning outcome that is required?” need to be answered before the event programme is confirmed and they should be fully agreed upon between the client and the teambuilding agency.

Team assessment / development program

Teambonding/ fun event

Socially responsibile event

Socially responsibile event

Educational training

Educational training

Educational training

Planned activities to build the team

Planned activities to build the team

Planned activities to build the team

Planned activities to build the team

Teambonding/ fun event

Teambonding/ fun event

Teambonding/ fun event

Teambonding/ fun event

Evolution of teambuilding programmes


In Focus



experiential learning


Dani Polajnar, Teambuilding Academy CEO, Senior Training Consultant

The TBA teambuilding triangle model

The teambuilding triangle No matter what type of teambuilding event it is, be it for 10 or 1,000 people, simple or complex, we at Teambuilding Academy always follow our teambuilding triangle model when organising it. Every event we do needs to cover three main areas: Group dynamics: all the activities that make up the event are team based (the tasks of the event cannot be achieved without proper teamwork) Experiential learning: the attendants learn by experience (they are not only passive observers, but active participants at solving different tasks) Fun: all the events are set in a relaxed atmosphere and environment After the basic areas are covered, we put the education part in the centre of it. This part may be related to business or it can be any type of common knowledge that we’d like our attendants to learn and that is interwoven into the programme itself. A great example of this is our programme called GoTeam – it is a GPS based treasure trail, where teams are led around different European cities (Vienna, Ljubljana, Venice etc.) by computer tablets. The attendants are divided into small teams and have to co-operate to achieve the goals (group dynamics); they navigate the trail and solve different kinds of tasks (experiential learning); they follow a story and execute different kinds of entertainment activities (fun) and by solving tasks related to the city history they learn about its cultural heritage (education). Our main objective in organising any kind of teambuilding event is to give our attendants just the right amount of challenge. This makes the event fun, yet not too simple, and this generates a high rate of intrinsic motivation of the participants. With the team energy level held high, they love to discover, research and solve

mysteries. When people start to play, we know we have achieved the main goal of a teambuilding event – there is just the right amount of trust and openness, which strengthens the invisible team bonds among co-workers, and this is what teambuilding events are all about. While during teambuilding events there is a very high rate of intrinsic motivation for learning, teambuilding provides very useful tools for transmitting corporate messages to employees, introducing core values, corporate strategy or teaching the attendants about some important business or management topics. As an example of that check the case study of our Art of War teambuilding event presented in the next article. What makes teambuilding a great corporate learning event? From years of experience of organising large teambuilding events we have discovered that the event cover story is of the highest importance. It needs to connect all the team-based activities into one big, coherent whole. Whether it be Chinese philosophy, Rock’n’roll, or Secret agent mysteries, the story is the main red thread which intrinsically motivates the attendants to play a role in it. Combined with great scenography, audio, video and other hi-tech equipment it can make any story come alive. When attendants turn into painters, detectives, archaeologists, musicians, designers or movie-makers, it is quite simple to teach them anything we might set as a learning objective, no matter how tough it is. Of course the magnitude of the event is always set by an event budget and whilst programme creativity is limitless, budgets aren’t. The main thing in these tough economic times is to make an unforgettable and high quality learning event come true with the lowest possible budget. This is one of the main areas where a professional teambuilding agency, such as ours, can help you.


Key strengths: • More than 15 years of experience in training, conference facilitation and consulting • Extensive knowledge in teamwork, corporate culture and communication • Broad experience within different companies, industries and cultures • Excellent communication and training skills • Efficient, precise, enthusiastic, out of the box thinker, innovative, result driven Profile summary : Dani Polajnar has been actively involved in team work and team dynamics for the last 15 years. His major areas of expertise besides team work are leading teams, organisational culture, communication, conflict solving, project management and internal communication in organisations. He disseminates his knowledge and experience in the form of workshops, seminars, coaching and consulting. He is a frequent guest speaker and facilitator on human resource conferences and seminars. He is also finishing a book about the basic principles of teamwork. With a degree from the London School for Public Relations he is also a certified NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) trainer and a member of several international organisations. He is an accredited consultant for the Margerison-McCann TMSDI. In 2009 he was awarded within The best 10 lecturers of the Slovenian market. Dani is a CEO and founder of Teambuilding Academy (TBA), which is dedicated to team work and team dynamic. Their portfolio ranges from educational workshops, trainings and active teambuilding programs to modern and innovative teambuilding experiences and events for bigger groups, performed at conferences or other business meetings. Teambuilding Academy is a part of Catalyst Global, international network of teambuilding providers, which implements state of the art teambuilding events worldwide.

Edutainment Case Study

The Art of War Edutainment Case Study

Text by Dani Polajnar

A good example of a modern, edutainment teambuilding event is ‘The Art of War’, an active and strategic team building activity where participants search for the wisdom of Sun Tzu and apply them to the modern business world. Sun Tzu was an ancient philosopher, strategist and general. He put down his wisdom, which he called ‘stratagems’, in the famous book The Art of War. Participants relate his strategic wisdom to the challenges they face in the everyday business environment. Engaging the philosophy behind Sun Tzu’s strategems, the end results of the event are out of the box, yet very practical business solutions. After participants gather the strategems, they are first of all faced with various pre-determined external enemies of the company (competitors, government regulations, a poor economic environment etc.), and proceed to eliminate each one with a different weapon. To find and use the weapons each participant needs to demonstrate a high level of team work. Their victory, however, is only temporary – by this stage they have won only the first battle. To win the War they have to face even mightier opponents - the inner enemies of the company (internal conflicts, lack of proper management, insufficient teamwork etc.), which they take on as one big team. They can only win this one by using a special, ancient weapon that again demands the participation and active involvement of all team members. The Art of War is dynamic program, appropriate for any number of participants and different industries, as it is adaptable and flexible in terms of the selection of stratagems, length of event, scenography and the image to be conveyed to participants. The goals of the programme range from fostering team work and communication, networking, strategic thinking, creativity and innovativeness to more specific ones, depending on the structure of the group and the objective of the client. This kind of event can also have an output of a thorough (self ) analysis of the team work between group members. It is mostly an indoor programme, but also combined with some outdoor activities. What makes the programme even more unique is its scenography – the conference room is transformed into ancient China, which creates an unforgettable and picturesque setting and enables participants to enjoy every moment of it. 16

Edutainment Locations


KSEVT explores the most complex social-technological achievements of modern civilization, national and commercial space programs. The main programme is accompanied by a set of smaller, temporary exhibitions, conferences, symposia, lectures, and other events in the fields of space culturalization. KSEVT focuses its work mainly on the research and development of the programmes of space culturalization. Composite missions are designed to intertwine science and art, stressing the importance of humanistic sciences and modern art in space exploration through various conferences, workshops and future residence programme for young artists and scientists. Their aim is to gradually develop cultural applications as an enhancement of the existing space programmes. The opening exhibition of KSEVT is dedicated to the man, who as a historical reference was the starting point of KSEVT project. Family of the spaceflight pioneer Potočnik originates from Vitanje, where there is also the Herman Potočnik Noordung Memorial Room. Edutainment: Cultural experiences Wow factor: The architectural design of KSEVT - The building is a concrete monolith object Best time: All year More info: www.ksevt.eu


In Focus

LET’S PLAY A GAME Fun is about humour, experience and play

Written by: Žiga Novak, Director of the Walnut grove


ne way or the other, we humans are all about having fun. When we are enjoying ourselves we are simply better people friendlier, more creative and receptive to new ideas. But what is fun really about? Sure, it’s about luxury and things that we love, but at the bottom line fun is about humour, experience and play. Put these three elements into one equation and no events will ever be boring and ineffective.

Žiga Novak is an entrepreneur, lecturer and facilitator, specialising in developing teams and creating experiences. Žiga has been working in developing teams and organisations for last 10 years. He specializes in entertaining, experiental and participative training programs that are based on business simulations, role playing and other methods of active engagement. Žiga has a MSc from London School of Economics and has researched edutainment at Leeds Metropolitan University with the Fellowship of the British Council. He is a board member of the Slovenian Association of Facilitators. Since 2013 he runs the Team Building Lab training agency and co-manages a unique event and educational centre Walnut Grove in Ljubljana. More on Žiga at www.ziganovak.com.

The Four Realms of an Experience

Anatomy of humour Forget about the unfortunate misconception that humour cannot be studied or learned. It’s quite the opposite. There are literally hundreds of insights that any student of edutainment can learn from studies of humour and apply it to one’s own work. For a start, take a quick glance at the main humour theories (such as superiority, incongruity, release and verbal theories) and explore new ways of how you can put people in a good mood with simple tricks that have been proven to work. Keep in mind that creating a humorous event or educational session is not just about booking a funny speaker or a standup comedian as a host. It’s more about taking a closer look at one of the formulas that stand-up comedians use for writing jokes and apply it to your event (e.g. the THREES formula).




Passive participation

Active participation Escapist


Immersion 18

Experiential event is more than just learning through fun and entertainment – it's also about active participation, play and immersion in the event, ideally with as many senses as possible Four realms of an experience Perhaps the most rewarding way to approach edutainment is through the lens of an (extraordinary) experience. After all, organisers of events, even if it’s a seminar with the most boring of topics, should care about creating a good experience for the guest. Thanks to Pine&Gilmore it’s easier than it sounds. In the famous 1999 book on The Experience Economy they showed us that any outstanding experience has to touch each one of the four experience realms: entertainment, education, aesthetics and escapism. What this means is that every special event should be a sort of edutainment. It also means that any experiential event is more than just learning through fun and entertainment – it’s also about active participation, play and immersion in the event, ideally with as many senses as possible. Social lubricant no.1 Some say it’s alcohol, I say it’s play. It’s no secret that people love to play games. Just look at the video games industry, which surpassed both the movie and music industries by 2007. Play is far from being just the domain of kids and teenagers. Grown-ups play games all the time too. We play with our roles, identities and choices. We play (and watch people play) sports and

In Focus

board games and all sorts of other games, including the very popular games of chance. We go to see plays in a theatre and play with possible scenarios for the ending. We even call an important person or a company »a player«. People play games without even realising - just ask any student of transactional analysis (TA). All in all, it’s seems pretty sad that the only places where we don’t really play is at school and work. The gamification buzz Marketers and educators have only recently recognised that games are probably the most effective lubricant for penetrating human minds. What we have not is a buzz called gamification, which stands for using play and game as a method to engage a person or a target group with a specific goal in a non-game context. Much of the inspiration for gamifying comes from sports and video games, like collecting points, earning badges and rewards. Naturally, the idea behind it is not entirely new. We have been collecting points and rewards at supermarkets, at corporate teambuildings and elsewhere. Nevertheless, gamification is a fancy new word that is getting a lot of attention worldwide and there are many exciting opportunities to be explored beyond collecting points.

Simulations and role plays Despite all new technologies, real-life (educational) games have the biggest potential for immersing people in educational events. This method is relatively simple - provide a realistic scenario, an immersive setting, write roles for the guests and run the simulation with a facilitator. People will generally love to play, because playing with roles and scenarios is perhaps the most immersive and rewarding type of play there is. This method of edutainment is not entirely new either. Generations of students of international relations and politics have enjoyed Model UN simulations. Business simulations have long been recognised as a very effective teaching model at business schools and at corporate trainings. Murder mystery events, at the more experiential level, have also been around for quite some time. But with gamification in the air, now is the time to take these concepts to a new level. Future of play It seems that talking about play, games, simulations, even role playing is finally entering the mainstream in many non-game environments, such as marketing, HR and education. Many people in business have finally come to recognise that play is a very cool activity for children and 19

adults alike. Soon, perhaps, engaging in serious role playing as an adult will no longer be viewed as geeky or inauthentic, but as a very interesting method of having fun, exploring emotions and learning. As for the future, keep an eye on the concept of LARP (live action role playing), the most immersive and complex game people engage in. LARP has relatively recently spread from the USA to the rest of the world and developed into some very interesting sub-genres, such as the Nordic LARP, and most interestingly for our topic, educational-LARP (edu-LARP).

Edutainment Case Study

EDUTAINMENT CASE STUDIES When we are enjoying ourselves we are simply better people - friendlier, more creative and receptive to new ideas Text by Žiga Novak, Director of the Walnut grove

Escape the barn in 60 minutes

InVinoVegas – I bet it’s Chardonnay! Since Slovenia is famous for its quality and diversity of wines, vino is one of those stories that should end up on the table of every incentive or conference in Slovenia. Are you willing to put your money on the table and bet that the wine you just tried is Chardonnay from Štajerska region? And what is that weird wine making tool? Will your colleague manage to make something cool in 60 seconds? InVinoVegas is an edutainment program that combines the thrill and fun of betting in a casino with tasting wine and learning interesting facts about Slovenian wine culture and the country in general. The program can easily be adapted to different time frames (1-3 or more hours), venues, regions and all group sizes (of up to 1,000 people).

The Walnut grove, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Your team is locked in a mysterious barn with 9 doors and the room is crisscrossed with numerous challenges that need to be solved if you want to get out of the barn in 60 minutes. Or face the consequences! This fun game, inspired by the escape the room frenzy around the world, comes in several versions depending on the needs of the client. It can be run 1) just for the fun of it, 2) as a first phase of team development training with subsequent video analysis and 3) as a customized edutainment event, where a group has to gather information and come up with a secret password to get out of the room. The original game, which takes place at the Walnut grove in Ljubljana, Slovenia, can take only 20 people at a time, but the game can be adapted to much larger venues, such as conference centres or even stadiums.


This unique 4-seasons event venue is specialising in corporate and other special events for up to 300 people. The story behind the Walnut grove is green, sustainable and responsible. The venue recycles most of the waste, re-uses and up-cycles old objects (wait till you see the toilets), works with local suppliers and promotes initiatives and projects for greener events. Moreover, it actively pursues partnerships with universities and other stakeholders in developing creative new practices in landscaping, teaching and event experiences. This former horse ranch is also a home venue and the experimental laboratory of the Team Building Lab, an experiential, edutainment and teambuilding agency behind innovative new projects such as Escape the barn, InVinoVegas, EcoRace and many others.

Terme resort

In Focus

Getting personal: Q: Your favourite movie of all times? Once upon a time in America and James Bond Goldeneye. Q: Which movie character would you be and why? Phil Connors in Groundhog day because I don't give up and come back every day. Q: Best line from a movie? Best story line: Dead Poets Society. Best Quote: “Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.� Casablanca, 1942.


In Focus

CINEPLEXX IS A GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING Interview with Cineplexx Managing Director/CFO Christof Papousek

Text by: Špela Jeruc

Q: Next to being traditional theatre, Cineplexx also focuses a lot on organising special events. You organise men’s and lady’s night and you also brought opera and ballet to the Cineplexx. Has the diverse offer been successful so far? Cineplexx is mainstream cinema multiplex, offering and targeting a wide range of people. Cinema is a place of entertainment, where people can relax, have fun with their family, friends or partner. With a high quality of sound and picture we offer a unique experience that makes you feel like a movie star, believe in miracles and really feel like you are a part of the movie and the story. With that in mind, we have introduced to Slovenia a new event and marketing concept. We upgraded the organisation of premieres and pre-premiers and added events, targeting different types of people: Ladies’ night, Men’s night, Teens’ night and Family night. They all have the same purpose: offer additional fun and experience of your favourite movie and give you a perfect excuse to go out. All our theme events offer giveaways for the visitors and activity that refines the cinema experience and also connects them even more closely to the movie. This is also a great opportunity for companies to get involved and target specific groups. In addition to offering a wide range of mainstream movies, we also incorporate a lot of alternative content into our programme to offer an even wider range of choices, so there is something for every taste and every age. Alternative content often includes content unknown in Slovenia until the arrival of Cineplexx: in addition to live transmissions of the MET Opera and Bolshoi Ballet, we have different live transmissions of concerts like Robbie Williams. The latest was a live transmission of the once again reunited Monty Python show, direct from the O2 Arena in London. We wish to continue bringing people this content, as it is a unique experience. All this makes Cineplexx tickets not only great entertainment, but also a great gift for loved ones or business partners. More and more people and companies are recognising that a cinema experience is one of the best giveaways and great value for money. For only €5.9 (the cost of 1 cinema ticket) you can get 2 hours of excitement, love or adventure with your favourite actors and heroes.

Q: What Challenges do you face with filling the halls thoughtout the week and day times? To attract visitors it is necessary for cinema to provide the best experience with a wide range of choices and a varied programme. With our top of the line cinema technology (we were the first digitalized cinema in Slovenia, have advanced 3D technology, the only cinema in Slovenia that offers 3D HFR and excellent sound and picture), a rich programme for all kinds of tastes and a wide offer and different events for cinema visitors we make sure that they keep coming back to us. We have an innovative approach, rich experience and a long tradition in the cinema business that helps us recognise the needs of our customers and respond to them. We don’t just provide them the best possible programme - we also make sure there is always something happening in our cinemas.

Cineplexx has excellent technology that provides companies the best possible seminars, events and lectures We offer our visitors different programs, like cinema days, with discounted cinema ticket prices from Monday to Wednesday, movie premieres, special events, reward games, a Family film club card which offers discount prizes for children and much more. You can even have a kids birthday celebration in the cinema! Q: What makes Cineplexx special for organising an event? Why choose you instead of others? Cineplexx has excellent technology that provides companies the best possible seminars, events and lectures. A great sound system, huge screen and good seat layout enables every participant to be able to get the best experience of the lecture and the events. But it is not only great sound and picture that provide the best experience; we even support companies by providing them the unique possibility to have international conferences, as our Skype facility makes it pos23

sible that the company provides their attendees to have best lectures without the lecturer being actually present. With this companies can save money, but provide the same great experience as if lecturer were there. Attendees can even ask the lecturer questions and have in-time communication with him. All that on comfortable seats that make the experience all the more pleasant. We also have different size of halls, so no matter what the size of the event is, we can support you. You can even have several different lectures at the same time and then finish together. The cinema really has great potential for events. In Austria, for example, we even had the pleasure of hosting a wedding! Q: What are your plans for the future? Are you thinking of expansion? Currently we are present in seven other countries in additional to our home, Austria. In total we have 44 cinemas, 301 cinema halls, 60,000 seats and 11 million visitors on average each year. Total revenue of our group of companies last year was 120 million euros, which was the work of approximately 1,200 employees. We want to further strengthen our position of cinema market leader in SE Europe. We have opened the first Cineplexx multiplex in Tirana a few months ago, and we would like to open another in Albania. In the area of ex-Yugoslavia we have not yet a cinema in Sarajevo/Bosnia and Herzegovina and certainly we are at detailed planning on coming to Ljubljana. Q: How do you keep up to date with changes? As the cinema business is our one and only focus and business we make sure we keep in touch with all the innovation that is upcoming. We try not only to keep with the changes, but be the one to set the standards, as we have shown in Slovenia by being the first cinema that was digitalized here. We are aware that it is necessary to be extremely good at what you do and we want to always provide our visitors with the best possible experience. We invest not only in technical equipment, but also in our employees, as we continuously educate them. They regularly attend film conferences all around the world to exchange experiences. We also keep a strong regional connection, so that ideas can flow and be adapted to local markets, which also helps boost creativity.

In Focus


Q: Where are you positioning your marketing efforts for this year and next? As we already announced in June this year we are actively working on our biggest current project – a cinema in Ljubljana. Otherwise we are also strongly dedicated to bringing back to the Slovenian cinema market the glory and popularity it once had by providing our visitors the best possible experience. We want not only for our visitors, but also companies to recognize the value of cinema, that it can bring out the best and worst in us. It will make us smile, cry or scare us; the emotions of watching movies on big screen is always unique and emotional experience. That is why more and more companies are also recognising cinema tickets as a great gift for their business partners as well as their employees. For a low cost you can give somebody 2 hours of great entertainment, no mather whether it is a comedy, drama, opera or ballet show. It is a gift that keeps on giving. Q: What has been the largest event you hosted at Cineplexx? In Slovenia the number of big events have declined, so we currently host mostly small to medium size events, like presentations, seminars, conferences... But in other countries like Austria we have hosted one of the biggest events in the country – investors relations roadshow of

one of the biggest international Austrian insurance company, which took place in all capital cities of all Austrian federal states. The responses of the public was very positive. We have also already hosted several annual general shareholder meetings of stock listed Austrian companies like Wienerberger (brick manufacturer) or Immofinanz. Q: How many events do you hold in Cineplexx in Slovenia throughout the year and can you compare that number to other countries that also have Cineplexx? In Slovenia we currently have 1-3 cinema events per month, similar to other cinemas in the CEE region. In Austria there is a bit of difference as we have 26 cinemas around the country which means also a higher number of events. But during the year we make sure we have 2-5 theme events per year targeting different types of groups: Ladies’ night, Men’s night, Teens’ night, Family days. And of course pre-premieres and premieres are also always very popular. Q: How do you view today’s event technology and its effect on the industry? The fact is that not only companies but also the world is becoming more and more digitalised and technologically advanced. Today’s technology enables us to have an international 24

conference without all the lecturers actually being present – with the click of the button you can connect to a person on the other side of the world and they can give you the information and share knowledge…and at the end of the day also help significantly with cutting the costs. Also, event visitors are becoming more demanding, all wanting to have the best view and sound frome presentations/lectures. The practicality, the technological equipment and also the comfort for all attendees have become the most important values when in search for an appropriate location. But not only for seminars and lectures: Cinemas can also bring glamour to the event. Cinemas were and still are intended to be the place where you can feel like a movie star and this can be translated also to other events. Q: Which supporting services do you offer at Cineplexx when organising an event? We provide companies with full logistical and technical support and all concession services within the cinema. If the company has any special needs or wishes, we always listen to them and help them with the organisation so that all their needs are provided for.

In Focus







Edutainment Locations

EXPLORING EDUTAINMENT LOCATIONS Architecturally stunning and educationally rich spaces for your events 1 SEAPLAN HARBOUR, Tallinn, Estonia Seaplane hangars were initially constructed as part of the naval fortress of Peter the Great in 1916-1917. The hangars are the world’s first reinforced concrete shell structure. It hides incredible stories from above and below the water and hangars can easily accommodates several hundred guests. Edutainment: Historical experiences Wow factor: Exceptional atmosphere right in the middle of the exhibits Best time: All year More info: www.lennusadam.eu






Sirogojno, Serbia The Staro Selo Sirogojno - Old Village consists of around forty wooden structures made of woodlogs that were transferred from the neighboring villages on Zlatibor Mountain. It represents the authentic architecture and family lifestyle of the mountainous region of the Southwest Serbia. Edutainment: Ethnographic experiences Wow factor: Authentic, delicious Serbian soul food Best time: Spring to autumn More info: www.uzice.net/sirogojno/


Novigrad, Croatia The museum’s permanent collection comprises medieval architectural monuments from the 1st to the 18th centuries AD. Apart from the items of the permanent exhibition, which are part of the Lapidarium Collection, the museum also houses edutainment events. Edutainment: Historical experiences Wow factor: Masterpiece of modern design blends perfectly with old town and Mediterranean atmosphere Best time: All year More info: www.muzej-lapidarium.hr


JÄGERMUSEUM, Innsbruck, Austria The Giant Panoramic Painting, which covers some 1.000 sq.m portrays in an intriguing and stunning circular format - the Tyrolean struggle for freedom. Within the overall concept, the Museum of the Tyrolean Imperial Infantry represents the military history. Edutainment: Historical and Cultural experiences Wow factor: The Cyclorama, beautiful panoramic view on Innsbruck Best time: All year More info: www.tiroler-landesmuseen.at

Zagreb, Croatia Lauba is a place for experiencing, learning, entertainment and social interaction. Lauba showed a combination of works from the Filip Trade Collection and current contemporary art production. Lauba is example of a successful cultural heritage reconstruction. Edutainment: Cultural experiences Wow factor: Contemporary space with preserved historically significant features Best time: All year More info: www.lauba.hr

Ljubljana, Slovenia Hiša eksperimentov (The House of Experiments) is a “hands-on” science center. In the activities of Hiša eksperimentov, science, learning, art and humor are all intertwined. Through them, the visitors’ curiosity is aroused and, in a straightforward and interesting way, they are made more familiar with the natural laws and phenomena of everyday life. Edutainment: Science experiences Wow factor: Personal experiences, acquired by experimenting Best time: All year More info: www.h-e.si


RELATIONSHIPS, Zagreb, Croatia Museum dedicated to failed love relationships. Its exhibits include personal objects left over from former lovers, accompanied by brief descriptions. Museum encourages discussion and reflection not only on the fragility of human relationships but also on the political, social, and cultural circumstances surrounding the stories being told. Edutainment: Cultural experiences Wow factor: Unique emotional journey around the world through hundreds of love break-ups Best time: All year More info: www.brokenships.com


Slovenia The Land of Hayracks is the first open-air museum of hayracks. It consists of 19 different drying structures. Hayracks presents a centuries-long achievement of agricultural and livestock activities and reflect and extraordinary sense of using natural materials. Edutainment: Cultural experiences Wow factor: Extraordinary sense of using natural materials and mastery of carpenter’s tradition Best time: Spring to autumn More info: www.dezelakozolcev.si

- WATER MILL SLUP, Brno, Czech Republic Contemporary late-renaissance building, built probably in the late 16th century to replace an earlier mill, is one of the greatest surviving buildings of its kind. It is a unique technical monument due to its size and architectural interpretation. Edutainment: Historical experiences Wow factor: Unique technical monument due to its size and architecture Best time: All year More info: www.technicalmuseum.cz


Sečovlje, Slovenia The symbiosis between man and nature is marked with centuries-old tradition of salt making; from the Middle Ages till today it has created a unique saline landscape. Owing to its specific architectural and historical features as well as to the exceptional diversity of plants and animals (such as 270 species of birds), the 650 ha large area of once thriving saltpans is today protected as a cultural monument and nature park. Edutainment: Historical experiences Wow factor: The unique outdoor spa Centre Lepa Vida Thalasso Spa Best time: All year More info: www.kpss.si

Edutainment Locations












Regional Briefing



or decades, a large area of Belgrade’s city centre between the main railway station and river Sava has been completely forsaken and home to abandoned cars, rusty wagons and half-demolished warehouses. But this unattractive site may soon change, turning an area of Belgrade into a Dubai of the Balkans The Belgrade Waterfront project promises office and luxury apartment blocks, eight hotels, a shopping mall and a tower resembling Dubai’s landmark Burj Khalifa, albeit a quarter of the size at 200 metres, on the right bank of the Sava River. It is the signature project of Prime Minister

Aleksandar Vucic’s two month-old coalition government, which has pledged to create jobs and growth and turn Belgrade into a business hub for the Western Balkans. The project is to be co-financed and led by Dubai-based construction company Eagle Hills, although Eagle Hills and the Serbian government have yet to form a joint venture and define a co-financing model. Eagle Hills has agreed to put up the €3 billion ($4.08 billion) 
cost of the scheme but the terms have not been settled and it is 
unclear how much the Serbia 
government will contribute in funds.





Upcoming new hotel

ew Belgrade hotel landmark works are nearing an end and the exact opening day they expect should happen in the second half of October. Hotel enjoys a prime location next to Belgrade fair and above one of the city’s most important thoroughfares. It will be a local landmark – the overall development of the site will even incorporate an existing historical old mill. The Old Mill was established in 1901. The Old Mill was one of the largest and most developed mills in Serbia during the period between the two world wars. Radisson Blu kept the spirit of Old Mill design as respect to heritage. This stylish hotel was designed by

Regional coopetition

well-known architects Graft. The inviting atmosphere of this Graft designed hotel makes guests feel relaxed and welcome upon their arrival. All rooms have been provided with breath taking wall paintings by artistic society of Strauss & Hillegaart. Guests staying in Exectuive rooms and suites can enjoy beautifly furnished Executive Lounge. The 500 sqm of meeting space will be situated in refurbished Old Mill. The hotel offers 6 versatile boardrooms. These conference rooms are ideal for exclusive meetings and events for up to 200 people.

his year from 27th – 29th August Serbia Convention Bureau and Belgrade has been host of the ICCA Central European Chapter Meeting. ICCA Central European Chapter is one of the largest in the association. Meeting has been performed under the theme “Strategic Alliances and Regional Cooperation in the Meeting Industry” and correspondence to the regional cooperation and development. Idea was to present strategic alliances and all the benefits from this model of collaboration from different perspectives as a possible resource of new business opportunities. Effectiveness boosting lies in innovative way of creating business, in sharing


information and knowledge between key stakeholders, not in the assumption that inside competition is a vital instrument of success. The mark point is the process of collaboration and teamwork between regional congress destinations to produce the synergistic effect in the meeting industry. For South East Europe region it is very important to establish SEE meetings and events and for that reason it has been stressed the chance of taking the initiative in the process of regional collaboration and creating regional associations in different fields.

Top Stories

TEN OF THE MOST POPULAR STORIES OF THE MONTH ON www.kongres-magazine.eu Voice from the top, meetolgues, hot news and much more! 3. Behind the scenes: Park Hyatt Vienna

1. Voice from the top: Aleksander Valentin, General Manager at Four Points by Sheraton Ljubljana Mons

2. The biggest collection of incentive ideas is here! 5. Meetologue: Hvar Meetologue 2014

4. News: DT Croatia and Tala M, Ovaton Global DMC’s regional strategic partners

7. News: Fraport to close Ljubljana airport dela

9. News: Gala Opening of Hotel Valamar President

6. Who is who: NataĹĄa Langus, Cluster Sales Manager MICE, DoubleTree by Hilton Zagreb & Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik

8. Column: More Contacts - More Contracts 4

10. News: Central European Chapter summer meeting in Belgrade


If you have an opinion you would like to share, please send us an e-mail to info@kongres-magazine.eu. We also hope you will follow all of our latest stories from the industry at www.kongres-magazine.eu. @kongresmagazine, G www.facebook.com/kongres.magazine


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Regional Briefing

ALEŠ HOZDECKY New Director of the Prague Convention Bureau


n September this year Aleš Hozdecky stepped into the shoes of his predecessor who lead Prague into the first congress league, Lenka Žlebkove. Taking over the reins, Aleš has extensive experience in tourism and from 2006 to 2010 he was also the mayor of the picturesque town of Turnov in the centre of the Češki raj - Czech Paradise region. From 2011 to 2014 he headed the Department of Tourism at the Ministry of Regional Development, when he was involved with the new legal framework for the operation of tourism that will allow the Czech Republic to more successfully manage tourism destinations. He has also introduced the principles of public-private partnership (PPP), under which the Prague Convention Bureau itself also operates. Following the template of the Austrian destination organization, in the Czech Republic 14 public-private regional tourist organisations are planned, as well as a central national tourism organisation responsible for promotion abroad. Aleš’s extensive experience in the field of tourism and his knowledge of public administration will certainly help him in carrying out his new position and at the same time his appointment is also a great recognition of the importance of the meetings industry. Former director Lenka Žlebkova left Aleš with a great team in place, a good position on the ICCA rankings and as a culmination of work a successfully obtained ICCA Congress, which is scheduled to take place in Prague in 2017.





New Convention Centre In Prague

Taxis with IQ

nce a neglected industrial centre of Prague Karlin is being slowly transformed into a youthful creative centre. To this will also greatly contribute Forum Karlin, which was opened in May this year and acts as a multifunctional centre for events, concerts and congresses. The centre is an important acquisition in terms of large congresses because it can accommodate up to 3000 participants in banquet setting. Precisely such a space was missing in Prague and provides a greater competitiveness of the city. The seen state-of-the-art acoustics and technical equipment is among the best in the region. The building was designed by world-renowned Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill, part of the centre is office space that was soon occupied by different creative companies. Former factory of boilers ČKD from 1908 was turned into such a special congress venue that are not many in the world. He has brought together the modern with the old and created a very pleasant congress architecture, a unique atmosphere is created by a community of creatives that have taken this part of the city as their own. In a very short time, however, the Forum has hosted bands including Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age and others. If you like modern post-industrial spaces with huge volume, superb acoustics and a special charm you will be amazed and thrilled by the Forum.

his just sounds amazing! A taxi service that uses exclusively the Audi A6, has free water waiting for you, has wi-fi, navigation screens and television, a battery charger and, crucially, a friendly driver. In addition, the price is half that of the other city taxis. And more - the cheating of foreign tourists is strictly prohibited and control of the drivers is also completely transparent for passengers. Sounds like a dream? Well, all of this has become a reality in Prague over the last few months. Taxis of the entrepreneur Radim Jančura, the Czech Richard Branson known for his ambitious projects, became an instant hit in Prague. As we go to press, 40 white taxis are circulating on the streets of Prague, with the main aim being to raise the quality of taxi services. The entrepreneur plans about 500 vehicles when the project will come to full fruition. Radim Jančar has already successfully undertaken the Regio Jet regional train project, creating something of a revolution in the obsolete Czech railway system. It seems that his taxi company will cause something similar in its field, one that has always been subject to the largest number of complaints by congress participants. He also plans to adjust the business to the B2B segment, on which he is placing great emphasis and focus.


Destination in Numbers


★★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ ★ ★★ ★ ★★



hotels (luxury)

• Prague`s position: 11


• Number of association events: 121

hotels (category A)

• Average number of participants to events: 428


hotels (category B)


• Estimated total number of participants per year: 51,827 • Favorite month of meetings:

• Length of meetings:

3.5 days

• Congress venues used: Meeting facilities in Hotels (54%)


• The significant increase (37.5 %) in 2013 in category of meet- • Subjects of events: Medical ings for 250 - 499 pax (comSciences 25%, Science 12.8%, pared to 2012) Technology 12.8%, Industry 7.8% and Education 7.8% •T he most of meetings held in Prague hosted 50 to 249 pax


and other categories (category C)

Trade (Consumer) show

Total hotel accommodations:

42,664 rooms

1,03 %

DID YOU KNOW The Prague astronomical clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still working.

3,81 %

Association conference/congress

21,39 %

Other business meeting

Total number of beds in all categories:

92,093 beds

19,92 %

Incentive meeting

(including low cost accommodations)

53,84 %

Corporate meeting





787 000 000 EUR / YEAR

20 – 25% SHARE

Number of conferences in Prague (2006 - 2013) 4234 3545



Number of participants of conferences in Prague (2006 - 2013)

4264 3427

671812 561350



484807 1360




2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013



2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Source: Czech Statistical Office. Note: Published data is the total of processed data from submitted reports only. Period 2006 - 2008 covers conferences up to 100 participants; from 2009 onwards data include conferences up to 50 participants.


Join us at the 6th


From 23 – 25 October 2014, Radenci, SLOVENIA




hatever it was, what’s the one thing that you remember the most clearly about your last event? Chances are, what you remember the most is the food. And it’s what everybody talks about — the food. If you’re trying to impress and make a lasting unforgettable impression for your next conference or event, make sure you pick a Catering company that has experience making high quality food for the number of guests you anticipate. Our first annual look at the businesses of some of the biggest caterers in region. Although the majority of companies interviewed here predict a flat revenue year at best, they show a growing commitment to prepare high-quality food.



CATERING FAVORY Zagreb, Croatia Catering FAVORY, professional catering & banqueting with the longest tradition in Croatia, the best reputation and solid references, innovative, individual, a multilingual approach to every project, the only caterer with an ISO 22000 system, the largest pool of vehicles, its own pastry shop, complete banqueting equipment, catering business and private events from 10 to 3,000 guests throughout Croatia and the EU. History: Established in 1989 and since then have continued education and advancement, with the result that up until today our customers value the famous FAVORY reliability and best quality. Achievements: We cater for events up to 3,000 guests, and cater for island weddings with the same professionalism as for seated gala dinners for business events. We have our own children catering, FAVORY FOR KIDS, our FAVORY CORPORATE CLUB, as well as our FAVORY PRIVATE CLUB. Culinary style: Quality is our secret in any dish we prepare, and we can prepare them all.

Interview with Tamara Tuđman Šuk, Owner of Catering Favory

Q: What are the main innovations today in the field of catering? Almost anything has been said and tried out in the culinary field of catering, but the innovation we follow is: TRADITION, SEASON AND QUALITY. Q: In your opinion what is the quality of catering services in your country/region on a European scale? Croatia has a very good quality of domestic food, but we would need our school system to develop together with the market and produce well educated professionals. I would say we are in the first third of the scale, with a good cost/benefit ratio. Q: Which trends do you predict for 2015? Back to the original and simple, high quality taste.


Q: Your advice for event organisers? Beware of price dumping, it will bring you the one assignment, but cost you your existence in the end. Special Questions: Q: Moments to remember? Sunset at a wedding catering on the island of Hvar, achieving that happy customers’ smile. Q: Favourite drink? Strong Espresso. Q: Favourite food? Adriatic fish, preferably bass, adriatic scampi. Q: Favourite congress location? Zagreb, Adriatic coast, Slavonia, any other. Adress: Sveti Duh 50, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia www.favory.hr


LIDO CATERING Zagreb, Croatia Lido Catering is part of the LIDO family consisting of the Lido Restaurant on the Jarun lake, of a special catering kitchen and a pastry shop, all of which are owned by Lido. Lido Catering specialises in business events and banquet organisation for groups ranging from 20 to 3,000 guests. Should one wish to organise a family occasion, such as christenings, weddings, birthdays and/or family gatherings, our chefs from Lido Catering will take your specific orders and design the event accordingly. History: Catering actually came about from requests by guests of the Lido restaurant, because the food quality was so high, they thought that their special guests at important events simply had to taste this delicious catering food. Achievements: The largest event which we have worked at is the World Handball Championship, at which we worked for 14 days in a row in six big cities and delivered catering for 3,500 to 6,000 people. In addition, we have provided our services successfully at the World Water Polo Championships on the Mladost swimming pool and at openings of shopping centres, such as City Centre One East, City Centre One West, Arena Center and Garden Mall. Culinary style: Our style of cooking is international and local cuisine, but at the request of our clients we work all kinds of cuisine.

Interview with Darko Ĺ ikoronja, F&B Director / Restaurant & Catering Lido

Q: What are the main innovations today in the field of catering? Innovation in catering usually go side by side with what customers are looking for from us, but usually that requires that the food be prepared on the spot. In addition, guests love a cooking show, where food is prepared in front of them. Q: In your opinion what is the quality of catering services in your country/region on a European scale? Under European standards, the quality of catering services is lower in our country and in the region generally, but that primarily refers to the performance, meaning the inventory and utensils, while the quality of the food is at a very high level and can compete with any European catering. Q: Which trends do you predict for 2015? When we speak of trends for 2015, in fact, we are interested in how accession of Croatia into the European Union is going to affect us, because from that point on we are a part of a much larger market. Does this mean that we will be able to find our way into the European market, or some catering will come from the outside and take a piece of our business? We shall wait and see. Q: Your advice for event organisers? When we talk of the organisation of events in our country, catering is the one in charge, there-


fore we have a lot of freedom in regard to this; however we would like to recommend that event organisers arrange with their clients all the details and requirements up front, so there are no last minute changes that catering will not be able to manage. Special Questions: Q: Moments to remember? Certainly, there have been a lot of moments to remember. However, we would like to put emphasis on the World Handball Championship event organisation, where we all gave our maximum and felt great pride when everything was done right. Q: Favourite drink? Cocktails made by our cocktail masters. Q: Favourite food? All of our food that is being prepared in front of the guests, pancakes mostly. Q: Favourite congress location? Most popular congress events locations are the Marincel property and KORNATI conference hall. Adress: Avenija Dubrovnik 16/7, 10000 Zagreb, C roatia www.lido.hr


SORA CATERING Medvode, Slovenia SORA Catering is an international event catering company providing multiple hospitality products and services. SORA Catering provides innovative and personalised solutions with a dedicated human touch to create memorable experiences. SORA Catering is the most reliable and flexible partner providing creative culinary solutions and personalised experiences. History: SORA Catering is a family owned company with 30 years of tradition and experience. In 1981, Franc Jezeršek founded Jezeršek Catering as the first company in Slovenia to specialise in catering services. The four Jezeršek sons are now running the business. SORA Catering was launched in 2013 as the international brand of Jezeršek Catering. Achievements: – Opening of House of Culinary Arts (1994) – Opening of Dvor Jezeršek property (2007) – Receiving the ‘Sejalec 2009’ national prize for opening of Centre of Culinary Arts – Taste Slovenia at Dvor Jezeršek – 7th place at the World Championship Georges Baptiste in service in Tokyo – The craftsman of the year award (2013): The chamber of crafts and small businesses of Slovenia awarded last year’s craftsman of the year award to caterer Franc Jezeršek for numerous years of successful work in catering and rank organisation. – Becoming an official caterer of EuroBasket 2013. – Opening of a new office in Zagreb in 2013. Culinary style: Local, seasonal and regional dishes are prepared in a modern and sophisticated way, whilst preserving the national culinary heritage. Personalised solutions are our main value when planning event services.

Interview with Martin Jezeršek, General Director of Sora Catering

Q: What are the main innovations today in the field of catering? A lot has changed in the catering business. We have introduced several innovations into our business process. The technology innovation allows us to do the so-called long distance catering, which helped us to expand our market. In the area of customer service we follow our clients’ expectations and measure their satisfaction; we became more flexible and started to customise every event specifically for the client. In order to increase our sales we implemented business model innovations, started regional partnerships and expanded the SORA Catering brand into Croatia and soon also into Italy. The main change is the fact that nowadays every event is 100% custom made. We need to understand the customer and his or her expectations and create events and service concepts accordingly. Q: In your opinion what is the quality of catering services in your country/region on a European scale? By benchmarking and visiting events all over Europe, I can see that the quality level in our region is very high and, more importantly, creativity and flexibility of caterers in the region is higher. The most important reason for that is the fact that the Slovenian or even Adriatic market is small compared to large urban areas such as London, Berlin etc. We therefore have to be more flexible and maintain high quality. Q: Which trends do you predict for 2015? The catering business will be all about the experience. We will have to WOW the guests every time, we will have to understand their expecta-


tions better and be even more service oriented. Food and beverage will be continuously sourced locally where possible, so as to reduce food miles. Goods selection will be even more seasonal. There are more and more options suited to specific dietary requirements, including choices for ethnic minorities. Q: Your advice for event organisers? It all comes down to food and service at the end. Do not try to save event money on food. If it runs out or is of poor quality, it will become the main topic of the attendees for days, months or even years. A trustworthy and a reliable caterer is essential for a successful event. Special Questions: Q: Moments to remember? After-work drink with my colleagues after a successful event. Q: Favourite drink? Champagne in the morning (this usually means I am on vacation, therefore that is my favourite). Q: Favourite food? A real foodie can never name his favourite food. Just like a mother can never name her favourite child. Q: Favourite congress location? Dvor Jezeršek. Adress: SORA Catering, Sora 1a, 1215 Medvode, Slovenia www.soracatering.com


VIVO CATERING Ljubljana, Slovenia With high quality in the field of event catering the company Vivo d.o.o. is a recognised brand on the Slovenian and European market, classified into one of the three most recognised catering companies in Southeast Europe. Vivo has managed to combine high professionalism in culinary work with elements of market-based approach that adapts to the needs and wishes of the highest standards of business and private clients. We work together with the Institute for Innovative Management to develop business in a new location in the center of innovative solutions D125 ( Dunajska 125 Ljubljana). History: For over two decades Vivo catering has been taking care of banquets for high-profile media, protocol events of the Republic of Slovenia, MICE receptions and dinners, weddings and various other events. Vivo catering has been closely linked with the culture and congress activity since its early days. Vivo catering is at the top of Slovene catering services and has a tradition of success. Vivo catering is specialised in organising event catering and is able to care for several thousand guests in different locations at the same time. Achievements: Vivo is proud of every event, especially those hosting such eminent guests such as Queen Elizabeth II, former President of the USA Bill Clinton, celebrities Kevin Costner, Monica Belluci, David Guetta... In recent years the company has been award-winning, with the more prominent awards being to Vivo catering’s director Jerneja Kamnikar - Manager of Tourism in Slovenia in 2009, and first place among the best employers in the category of smaller companies Golden Thread (Zlata nit), 2009, 2010 and, 2011. This year, Jerneja Kamnikar received the title Ambasador of knowledge by the Life Learning Academy, of which we are vey proud. Culinary style: Traditional, contemporary, international

Interview with Jerneja Kamnikar, Director of Vivo Catering

Q: What are the main innovations today in the field of catering? Catering equipment is constantly changing. Among the most important are certainly conveyor cooling and heating boxes, which allow us to flawlessly transport meals from the home kitchen to the location of the event. One of the most important innovations, particularly in the development of the meetings industry as conveyor convection ovens to small kitchen in practically leads to the location of entertainment. In terms of design innovation is certainly an inventory. Q: In your opinion what is the quality of catering services in your country/region on a European scale? The quality of Slovenian catering is excellent according to European standards - in many areas we are innovators. Many work across Europe and the guest response shows that our service is of the highest quality. Q: Which trends do you predict for 2015? Novelties and development of the profession always pose the biggest challenge, which results in recognition in the field of event catering. According to the Avant-guide institute, trends in tourism are: increasing emphasis is on health. To ‘’make it green’’ and create the atmosphere of the natural environment. To show all the details without secrets. To help people to connect and learn. Active segmentation of tourists and creating groups with the same needs and desires. To ‘’go mobile’’ - the transition to e-mobility, which means smartphones also included in the services.


Q: Your advice for event organisers? A professional approach - focus on the individual, on the purpose of the group. Plan in frames of financial assets and be professional and real to the client, not to promise too much for too little. Special Questions: Q: Moments to remember? The trust of Queen Elizabeth II. for Vivo Catering to carry out the solemn dinner on her visit to Slovenia is certainly the largest international reference for Vivo, both as a company and for the staff who took care of the queen and her guests. For the meetings industry, Vivo catering’s most marked banquet was at the Congress Autoimunity by organiser Kenes International, for the world‘s media reception, while Kevin Costner, Monica Belucci, David Guetta and Bill Clinton were visiting. It was a lot of unforgettable events both at home and abroad. Q: Favourite drink? Champagne, wine, cognac. Q: Favourite food? Pates and terrines. Q: Favourite congress location? The nicest and safest place in the world: Ljubljana. Adress: Pot na Fužine 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia www.vivo.si


ZÁTIŠÍ CATERING GROUP, a.s. Prague, Czech Republic “Yes, we can…” was always our philosophy, ever since 1998 when we established Zatisi Catering. Passionate about food, we work every day on creating new ideas and producing better events. You can count on our full flexibility, proactive service and communication skills, which add up to the symphony of taste and ingredients we create for you. At Zátiší Catering we understand your needs, that´s why we guarantee you a stress-free event by offering uncomplicated solutions to your challenges: creative ideas, delicious food, service excellence, unique inventory, great value for money and WOW service. We are providing catering for different types of events, get familiar with our Zátiší Exclusive, Fun parties and Congress & Conferences lines. Achievements: 2014 – EAIE Congress, Prague Congress Centre, 5500 guests 2013 – Škoda Auto, Geneva, 800 guests per day 2012 – TATA Motors three evenings for 1,100 guests 2011 – Three-day wedding celebrations at Troja Chateau, Rudolfinum & Žofín Palace for 300 guests from around the world 2011 – Launch of the new Škoda logo & branding with over 5,000 guests 2011 – Dinner for Condoleezza Rice at the Lichtenstein Palace 1999 – 2012 –The Thanksgiving Ball of the “American Chamber of Commerce” 2009 – Heads of State official caterer for the EU Presidency 2002 – Exclusive caterer for NATO Heads of State dinners Culinary style: International, life cooking, flying buffets…

Interview with David Tomašovych, Managing director, Záti í Catering Division Congress centre Prague Q: What are the main innovations today in the field of catering? From 2010 until recently, the situation in the conference and congress industry catering was pretty turbulent. Event organisers drastically reduced budgets, forcing catering companies to look for compromises, which did not always benefit the end recipients of the service. This era has finally come to an end. The current trend is, again, the utmost comfort of the client, quality services, but with regards to “value for money”. Main innovations in the industry thus follow the trend. In the area of service, it is greater interactivity with clients and providing services above the scope of mere catering – the so called “one step contact”, while in the F&B area, we see healthy alimentation with balanced in nutrient “brain food”, creative and vivid presentations in front of guests and great regard for the character and purpose of the event. Q: In your opinion what is the quality of catering services in your country/region on a European scale? Similar to other countries, there are exceptional, average and less quality catering companies in the Czech Republic. In general, the quality of catering services in our country is considered to be high. Take e.g. our company, Záti í Catering Group, which provides catering services at events throughout the EU. To name but a few, we catered VIP Villages at the Moto GP 2012-2013 series and the recently hosted European Tour golf tournament Czech Masters.


Q: Which trends do you predict for 2015? I expect to see stabilisation of the congress and conference tourism market and gradual growth of the industry in Prague and the Czech Republic. The trend of the next year will be high quality events, precisely focused. We will see greater use of modern communication technologies and increased number of side programmes, supporting the events. Q: Your advice for event organisers? Catering is a very important part of every event. Its quality is often a vital criterion when evaluating the success of the event. It is important to be selective and focus not only on the financial aspect of the received offers. Work with companies that do not wish to become a supplier, but have the ambition to become a partner of your event, willing to actively pursue its successful execution. Special Questions: Q: Moments to remember? Catering of the Czech EU Presidency, CZ PRES 2009. Q: Favourite drink? Pilsner Urquell. Q: Favourite food? Thai lamb curry. Q: Favourite congress location? Prague Congress Centre Adress: Novotného lávka 5, Praha 1, Czech republic wow.zatisigroup.cz


KAVAL CATERING, KAVAL GROUP Ljubljana, Slovenia Kaval Catering is famous for its diversity and creativity. The professional capability and professional staff create an unforgettable event, superb cuisine and, above all, complete peace of mind, confidence and enjoyment of the event itself. We will spoil all of your senses and will meet all your expectations in every way ... with a personal touch, difference and creativity… History: Kaval Group is a restaurant chain in Ljubljana. At Kaval Group we pride ourselves on providing a distinctive experience to our guests. The typical Tuscan cuisine combines classic preparation from Italy infused with the flavours of Slovenia. Our guests will find the experience to be both enlightening and memorable. The Kaval Group mission is to be a reliable partner that provides a creative culinary journey for everyone. Achievements: – 26.-29. August 2014 – XIVth Congress of the European Association of Agricultural Economists in Ljubljana – catering for 700 people. – In 2012, we hosted 1,350 journalists from all over the world - world premiere for the new Mercedes A-Class (Mercedes Daimler Benz). – In 2010, we hosted a Slovenian incoming workshop in Tivoli Park for about 600 people. – Our employees are all educated in this field. Culinary style: Innovation – diversity – creativity.

Interview with Dada Jerovšek, CEO of Kaval Group

Q: What are the main innovations today in the field of catering? Creating innovative, unique and quality catering solutions. We believe in sourcing the freshest local produce that we promote in healthy food choices. From corporate catering and conferences to exclusive private parties and weddings, the team is committed to providing professional outcomes with creative finger foods that will both delight and surprise clients. Q: In your opinion what is the quality of catering services in your country/region on a European scale? I think that hospitality and catering services are ranked very high on the European quality scale. Foreign guests have always been impressed by our catering services, dishes and their taste. For the quality of our services our employees, who are professional and well educated, also have to take the credit. Q: Which trends do you predict for 2015? More and more innovative products and services. More emphasis will be on organically grown products, home-cooked meals, ingredients produced in Slovenia. A focus will be on new products, diversity and creativity. Q: Your advice for event organisers? Respecting and following client‘s wishes and expectations, creativity, professionalism interlaced with high-quality service.


Special Questions: Q: Moments to remember? A sense of pride in a team that has successfully completed an event. Q: Favourite drink? Homemade ginger drink by Element Chef Borut Centa. Q: Favourite food? Homemade and handmade Kaval pasta, especially with truffles. Q: Favourite congress location? Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre Adress: Smlednik 200, 1216 Smlednik, Slovenia www.kaval-group.si


JERRY CATERING SERVICE Belgrade, Serbia Jerry Catering Service specialises in film, music, sports and all other forms of catering requiring high professional standards and F&B quality above all. We are equipped with the most upto-date (Cambro) equipment that allows us to provide top quality services in all conditions. The capacity of our central kitchen (1,200m2) allows us to prepare more than 4,000 kg of meals as well as all other products on a client’s request. We own mobile kitchens and bars that have an independent water supply and electricity, so that we are ready and prepared for the production of food and beverages at any place and in all conditions. History: Jerry Catering Service Belgrade is a company that blends 15 years of international experience with an ultra-modern restaurant brand - Jerry. Since June 2012 the company Jerry has had a branch in Serbia that operates in two directions: super modern contemporary elite restaurants and Catering Services. Achievements: The capacity of our mobile kitchen and bar service is over 1,000 guests at any time. Our team consists of 120 specially trained people: cooks, servers, drivers, hostesses and many others. Culinary style: All types of cooking at the client’s request.

Interview with Igor Bošković, CEO of Jerry Catering Service

Q: What are the main innovations today in the field of catering? The development of global technologies has resulted in the need to arrange catering in amazing locations and under different conditions, especially in film catering, where the requirements are more serious. Modern catering has to be able to satisfy even most demanding customers with the equipment that they own and a trained personnel. Catering equipment and its team that function as a complete mobility restaurant, with all of its elements and developed technology, provides immense possibilities of preparing food and drinks, as well as maintaining freshness. Q: In your opinion what is the quality of catering services in your country/region on a European scale? Since the requirements for professional catering standards dates from not so long ago, the service itself starts to develop from the position of »almost«. In film catering in particular, serious development and therefore experience in this field only began in recent decades with the arrival of a large world production. The great experience and level of Hungarian catering services has influenced us to raise our level of service, so that we can compete with most serious catering services in Europe. Q: Which trends do you predict for 2015? As far as Serbia and film catering is concerned, the future doesn’t seem too bright, because of the lack of state initiative, one that refuses foreign


production. For these reasons we’re turning to new trends and to economical food production, as well as placement of the canteen style where the modern businessman may very quickly and inexpensive eat a quality meal. Q: Your advice for event organisers? My advice for event managers is to listen to the wishes of clients and carefully plan the details of the event. Technological progress allows us to satisfy the most demanding custom desires. Just relax and let your imagination run wild... Special Questions: Q: Moments to remember? Making meals for Hollywood stars such as Kevin Costner, Pierce Brosnan and Selma Hayek. Q: Favourite drink? Red wines from Piedmont. Q: Favourite food? Zucchini moussaka made by my spouse. Q: Favourite congress location? In Serbia, definitely Arandjelovac and Izvor Hotel. Adress: Vojislava Ilića 141, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia www.jerry.rs




he region is experiencing a real boom of small, boutique hotels. Among them are some that are more than suitable for smaller events. In the editorial board and with the help from our readers we have selected some of the best ones based on the following criteria:

-M inimum 5 boutique guest rooms for a total of minimum 10 participants - Small meeting room or adequate space for minimum 10 participants - Specificity that makes the hotel a boutique one (authenticity, design, cuisine) - Private ownership / a family business - Excellent cuisine, selected drinks and individuality - Special, intimate atmosphere

What are Boutique hotels? • A boutique hotel is intimate in size • A boutique hotel is not generic • A boutique hotel is an independent hotel • A boutique hotel makes exceptional personal service

All of the selected hotels are of top quality and have an interesting story and character. In addition, they reflect the spirit of the environment in which they are set and offer a different convention experience. Here they are:

1 SAN ROCCO Brtonigla / Croatia 14 rooms / 1 meeting room for max. 25 participants

San Rocco was created from an old, restored Istrian family business, while at the same time maintaining the atmosphere of the medieval town. For four years running (2007-2010) the hotel was acknowledged and honoured as Croatia’s best boutique hotel. Thrills: top quality gourmet offer of Istria.

2 ART LODGE Verditz / Austria 12 rooms / 1 conference room for max. 60 participants

A 300-year old farm has been renovated into an organic pearl with its own exhibition gallery and collection of art works, not to mention the ecological swimming pond included in the remarkable wellness product. Thrills: art accessories.

3 HOTEL BEVANDA Opatija / Croatia 10 rooms / 1 meeting room for max. 25 participants

It started out as a superb restaurant, to which a hotel offer was added in the last year. The prime location and superior design overlooking the Kvarner Bay can also be a venue for very special events. Thrills: one of the most famous Croatian oeno-gastronomic brands.

4 HOTEL PLESNIK Logar Valley / Slovenia 30 rooms / 4 conference rooms for max. 120 participants

The hotel is set in the idyllic natural surroundings in one of Slovenia’s most beautiful alpine valleys and combines nature conservation with the life of the locals in a unique way. Solčavsko received the 2009 EDEN award. Thrills: the Logar Valley natural landscape park.

5 BASTION Zadar / Croatia 28 rooms / 1 conference room for max. 20 participants

A boutique hotel that has evolved from the ruins of the 13th century medieval castle in the heart of Zadar, it is just a few steps away from a number of new attractions. Thrills: location and technological equipment.


6 CASA DEL MAR Herceg Novi / Montenegro 8 rooms / 1 conference room for max. 15 participants

This boutique hotel is located in Kamenari, in the heart of the Bay of Kotor. A great added value is the private beach, suitable for events and an npotable for the unsurpassed hospitality of the Milić family. Thrills: views of the bay of Boka Kotorska.

7 HOTEL MEČAVNIK Drvengrad / Serbia 76 rooms / 3 conference halls for max 150 participants

The cult ethno-village of Emir Kusturica also has a smaller hotel and conference centre. Thrills: authenticity and ethnological features.

8 HOTEL KOTONI Tirana / Albania 23 rooms / 2 conference halls for max. 60 participants

Family boutique hotel in a historical building dating back to 1938 that was once the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in 2011 was renovated into a boutique hotel. Thrills: stylish interior design.

9 KENDA MANOR Idrija / Slovenia 11 rooms / 3 conference halls for max. 80 participants

The mighty, renovated building of the former Kenda homestead revived the spirit of ancient times. The serenity of the house, with touches of the past and small attentions at every step, defines this exceptional hotel. Thrills: cosiness and warmth.

 PALAZZO RADOMIRI Kotor / Montenegro 10 rooms / 3 meeting rooms for max. 50 participants

A historic, characterful hotel in which a family of seafarers once lived, the palace was built in 1700 at a time when the area was under the rule of the Venetians, which is reflected in the interior design and architecture. The hotel has a terrace for events with one of the most beautiful views of the Adriatic. Thrills: Tradition and exceptional architecture.














SOUTHEAST EUROPE MEETING PLANNER PROFILE 2014 The Editorial Board of the Kongres Magazine in September conducted the first on-line survey on the habits of regional meeting planners.


y the time of finalizing, we received 141 responses but the survey will be completed by mid-October. Most of the responses were received from corporate planners 31.39% in the second place are Independent planners 31.29% followed by Associations with 21.90% and the Government sector with 8.76%. The final results of the survey will be published in the November EIBTM issue. You should look at some of the most interesting preliminary results.

How many meetings do you plan each year?

21.90 %

1-5 45.26 %

11.68 %

6 - 10 11- 20 Over 20

21.17 %

The vast majority of meeting planners (67.16%) organizes up to 10 events per year. Among them is a big part of those who organize small number of events and over 20% are planners with a large number of events. 0.73 0.73


What is the average lenght of a typical meeting that you plan? 19.71

21.90 36.50

Less then 1 day

Less than 10%

1 day 27.01


What percentage of your work time is spent for organizing meetings in your company?


2 days

10-20 % 20 - 30%

3 days


4 days

More than 30%

More than 4 days The most common length of the meeting is 1 day (30.66%), followed by two-day events (27.01%). Only a very small proportion of the planners organize longer events. We noticed a trend of organizing shorter events.

Approximately half of the Meeting planners performs the function of the organization in addition to many other activities. A bigger share, 36.50% meeting planners said that they devote more than 30% of their working time for organizing an event.

3.65 4.38

What is the average size of a typical meeting that you plan?

13.14 The most common size of a typical meeting is up to 100 participants. In this category is a good half of all events (56.94%). The share of events with more than 500 participants is small and amounts to 3.65%, but the effect of such meetings is relatively larger than with the smaller ones.


1 - 15 participants 16 - 40 participants 41 - 100 participants


101 - 200 participants 30.66

201 - 500 participants More than 500 participants



Where have you booked your meetings over the last three years?

8.52 8.83

Hotels 35.33

Conference Centre


Special Venues Universities Other/Hospitals, Museums, Castles, Office, Ship, Shopping centre


Meeting planners for their events most often choose hotels (35.33%). The following are Conference and Convention centres with 26.50%, which reflects the high proportion of association meetings. The share of Special venues is also very high because they are a very popular choice among meeting planners.

Overall meeting spend within your organization is.....? 44.53

16.06 12.41




Staying the same

Slightly increasing (1-5%)

• Poor accessibility • More »first hand« information • Delay in response • Lack of flexibility • Not understanding the needs of the clients • Not respecting the budget • Non-commercial attitude in times of crisis •D estination does not offer good possibilities for farewell dinners, excursions for individuals • Lack of communication • Lack of flexibility of local meetings industry • Lack of special venues • Language issues • Late response to questions or remarks •M ost Convention Bureaus / Tourist organizations tell you that they can help with “everything” but when it comes down to matters, the ability to help is minimal •S low reaction time • Inflexibility •U nwillingness to adapt or search for common solutions •T he connection of Slovenia with the rest of the world • Lack of flexibility and initiative providers • Lack of involvement of the local environment • Lack of innovation and positive surprises • Excessive prices • Poor additional offer •T he assumption they know what we are looking for! Never assume! Just deliver quality! •T he can’t do mentality: in our country we never do..... • Lack of CVB structure • Not listening to our demands • Unprofessional Staff • Incompetent transfer staff What are your habits? Share with us on http://bit.ly/1mJMhfa

0.73 Significantly Decreasing Slightly decreasing (6 - 10%) decreasing ( -10%) (1-5%)

In your dealings with DESTINATIONS, what annoys you most?

Increasing Significantly (6-10%) increasing (+10%)

Very interesting are results on overall meeting spend within their organization. Less than half of meeting planners estimate that the budget will remain the same. Quite a large proportion (38.69%) estimate that they will reduce costs for events. The increase of expenditure forecasts only 16.79% of the respondents. Very interesting are also the answers to the issue what annoys them most when dealing with Destinations.


Find out MORE in the November issue of Kongres Magazine.

Share your opinion

If you have an opinion you would like to share, please send us an e-mail to info@kongresmagazine.eu. We also hope you will follow all of our latest stories from the industry.

E info@hotel-lev.si T +386 1 433 21 55 WWW.UNION-HOTELS.EU


BELGRADE vs. WARSZAW A current comparison of the closest competitors on the 2013 ICCA scale according to the methodology of Kongres travelogues – meetologues.

BELGRADE Population: 1.34 million ICCA Country and City rankings 2013 44th place, 52 meetings Mercer Quality of Living 2013 135th place

WARSZAW Population: 1.72 million ICCA Country and City rankings 2012 34th place, 65 meetings Mercer Quality of Living 2013 84th place

✚ Belgrade is an authentic, open and hospitable congress destination with soul. It features a plethora of floating restaurants and clubs, plus lively riverbank promenades. The city has a good basis for the development of the meetings industry, with a large convention centre, the Belgrade Fair, numerous convention hotels, a long tradition and very reasonable prices. Belgrade bases its congress story on a rich culture at the crossroads of East and West, the central position in South-East Europe and a vibrant social life. Belgrade is a city on the rise and a rough congress diamond that has enormous development potential. Once it improves its infrastructure and handles the entire meetings sales chain it can be placed geo-strategically side by side with world congress capitals. In short, the zeitgeist of Belgrade is best summed up by writer Momo Kapor: “Belgrade is a low-budget New York.”

✚ Warsaw is a modern city, which impresses congress organisers with its exceptional congress offer and a wide selection of hotel accommodation. Among the 30,000 hotel rooms you will find as many as 10 five-star hotels. The general opinion about Warsaw is that the city is a modern one, but also boasts a historical centre that is UNESCO heritage protected. In addition, the quality of life in the city is visibly improving from year to year. A number of new investments that are changing the face of the city are also very noticeable. Due to the developed congress infrastructure Warsaw is becoming an increasingly important location for congresses of international associations. Large and high-profile international events, such as the UEFA Euro 2012 and the EU Presidency, have contributed a lot to its promotion, as has the fact that it is the capital of a new EU Member State. A modern, interesting and urban convention destination attracts more and more organisers who are tired of traditional European cities.

Belgrade meetings flashpoints: 1. Crowne Plaza - new 416-room hotel with meeting space for up to 800. 2. The Royal Compound - a palace built in Serbian-Byzantine style in 1924. 3. Skadarlija - The most evocative part of Belgrade packed with traditional restaurants. 4. Tito’s Train - Journey back in time on board President Tito’s famous Blue Train - art deco style hotel on wheels. 5. Sava Centar - Serbia’s prime convention facility with 16 meeting rooms.

Warszaw meetings flashpoints: 1. MT Polska Trade Fair & Congress – 10,000 m2 of exhibition space for over 6,300 people. 2. Hilton Warsaw Hotel & Convention Centre – with 12 halls and a large hall for 1,850 participants. 3. Zamek Krolewski – Warsaw’s royal castle which dates to the 14th century and has interior space for up to 300 persons and outdoor space for up to 1,500. 4. Fabryka Trzciny - Arts Centre, which is in a revamped factory in Warsaw’s arty Praga district. 5. Polish Vodka tasting - Vodka Incentive! Taste a small shot of the pleasure of Polish alcohol firmly rooted in Polish tradition.

STAY: Hotel Metropol Palace

4.21 / 5 47

STAY: Le Meridien Bristol

4.35 / 5





he well-known quality of service, tradition and location in the heart of the city of Rijeka make Grand Hotel Bonavia a great business hotel and an ideal starting point for exploring Kvarner, Gorski Kotar and Istria. The refined four-star hotel offers accommodation in 114 elegant rooms and 7 suites, all of which are equipped with state-of-the-art technology that offer you full office facilities while also providing high functionality and comfort. The Grand Hotel Bonavia Conference Centre is an ideal place to organise events for up to 230 people across its three multifunctional conference halls that meet the most demanding business standards.

The Kamov fine dining restaurant, combining rich tradition with a modern gastronomic offer, is located within the hotel, as is CafĂŠ Dante, with its summer terrace making it the perfect place for a morning or afternoon break taking in the sea and promenade views. Grand Hotel Bonavia is also the only hotel in Rijeka with Halal quality certificate. After enjoying some fine cuisine or after a busy day, the fitness and wellness centre of the hotel is there to provide you with some unique, relaxing moments. Grand Hotel Bonavia is the right choice if you need a business hotel in Rijeka or wish to organise a conference or business event. Whatever your needs, Grand Hotel Bonavia will give you the quality you expect.


Information and Reservations: Grand Hotel Bonavia Dolac 4 , Rijeka Tel. +385 (0) 51 357 980 Fax: +385(0) 51 330 243 sales@bonavia.hr www.bonavia.hr

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 49

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

Global Village

YOUNG TALENTS The bravest thing for me was the EuroBasket 2013 project, which was held last year in Slovenia. This was the biggest inbound project that Slovenia hosted in history. I was in charge for Incentives who were top companies and brands from Europe and beyond. Providing the best service on high professional level was a great challenge and a thrilling experience which gave unforgettable moments in my life. 3:

1. Who are you? 2. What is your favourite meetings brand?

My alternative career fantasy is connected to history and Archaeology. I have dreamed to be an Egyptologist who would work with Ancient Egyptian History. I’m very curios person who loves history, technology and marketing. In tourism I think I have found a kind of balance between all of them. 4:

3. What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done? 4. What’s your alternative career fantasy? 5. What, if anything, are you obsessed with at the moment?

I’m obsessed with implementing new ideas with the latest innovations and trends in my field of work. To present Slovenia as a quality MICE destination who can challenge even the best destinations of the World. 5:

Rok Švab Sales manager at Palma TO & DMC

My name is Rok Švab, 27 years old and I come from Celje. I’ve spend my childhood in Gorenjska and then moved to Celje. Working in tourism is my passion and I guess as well my destiny somehow connected to my ancestry. For all my life I have worked jobs connected to tourism and hospitality which intrigued the love of tourism business. In the other hand, I’m not a routine person and this is a field which suits me so far the most. When I joined Palma, one of the most successful tourism companies in Slovenia as a student, I was working in many different areas to develop needed skills and needed professionalism before the permanent empdloyment. Two years ago, my professional path brought me to MICE industry and a great opportunity which I found as the biggest professional challenge in my career. 1:

Favourite meeting brand for me is Palma for one special reason; the passion of brand creation which is in my opinion the most important factor for a company. It was a crucial factor for the company to become one of the most successful tourism brands in Slovenia. Every project we are making is carried out with high professionalism and skilled people, two main factors needed for success. The best proof for that are our clients who give us positive feedback. As one of our clients said “the word impossible” does not exist for us! 2:


Milena Čolaković Banquet Sales Manager at Zira Hotel

My name is Milena Čolaković, I am a Banquet Sales Manager in one of the most popular business hotels in Serbia, the Zira Hotel in Belgrade. I graduated in Hospitality Management in 2009 and got involved in the 1:

Global Village

hospitality business back in my college days. Before I became a member of the Zira team, I worked in several different positions in Belgrade hotels and tried to improve my knowledge in as many hospitality areas as I could. In February 2011 I made my first steps in the congress business, and it was love at first sight that has been growing ever since. Modesty aside, I think my answer on this one will always be the Zira Hotel. It is a relatively young congress brand that succeeded in placing itself at the very top of the Serbian meeting industry. With 127 highly quality rooms, 500 m² of congress area, an international restaurant, fitness and shopping mall, it truly offers everything a guest could request from a modern business hotel. A few months ago we got the ‘Serbia Leading business hotel 2014’ award, which confirmed that, so far, we have done a good job. 2:

When I look back, I could definitely say it was applying for the position of Banquet Sales Coordinator without any previous experience in that field of hotel business. I was extremely lucky to get a chance to work with professionals who had enough patience and were willing to share their knowledge with me. As a result, in less than a year, we have successfully organised meetings and seminars for several thousand people. 3:

To open a small, family cake bakery. In fact, I am seriously planning cross-training with my colleagues from the kitchen sometime in the near future. 4:

Juggling between two highly responsible positions. The one at the hotel and the other, which is even more demanding - being a mum of a one year old baby. 5:


Kongres magazine

Welcome to Conventa, a heartfelt B2B event with a personal touch! Kongres magazine invites you to become a hosted buyer at the 7th Conventa and join a selected group of international meeting planners who will be able to personally check the possibility of organising meetings in Slovenia and other countries of Central and South East Europe along with new emerging destinations of New Europe. We look forward to hosting you in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 21st to 22nd January 2015. What is Conventa?

Conventa acts as a sophisticated meetings market where supply and demand for meetings and event services meet. For the seventh consecutive year, about 120 major hotels, convention centres, special venues, catering providers and other suppliers from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Russia will be presented during the event. You will be able to meet with them in person at Conventa by pre-arranging individual meetings through a special One2One meeting system.

What makes Conventa so special? It’s personal: • meetings market with character • boutique show that accepts only up to 140 meeting providers • the right balance between business and pleasure • Conventa staff on call 24/7 • a mazing personal experience of destination, people, culture & cuisine It’s business: • personal contact as the most effective sales tool • vast amount of information about the region and congress destinations • guaranteed meetings with providers of your choice • new business leads and new partners • networking at every step • time and cost effective attendance It’s education: • Conventa Academy invites the biggest international experts from the meeting industry • Conventa morning sessions are lead by local speakers from different fields connected to organising events, incentives, meeting and congresses • Expert corner brings good event/practice examples

It’s pleasure: • Hosted buyer status guarantees you a VIP treatment at all times • Conventa lunches and dinners are real culinary delights • Welcome reception, Official reception and Afterparty are filled with fun, laughter and dance It’s all taken care of by us: • Plane ticket, airport and other transfers • overnight accommodation • meals • personal itinerary of appointments • exciting and informative fam trip programme

Enjoy the VIP status by registering as Kongres magazine’s hosted buyer at Conventa

By applying for hosted buyer status through Kongres magazine, you will not only enjoy a VIP treatment hosted buyers at Conventa normally get, but you will also be invited to an exclusive Conventa breakfast where Gorazd Cad, Editor-inChief of Kongres magazine, will personally share his Insider tips for the region and the host city of Ljubljana. An investment of 55 EUR will bring you a VIP treatment worth 1,200 EUR, not including the new contacts, business and friends you will make at Conventa.

How to apply?

Go to http://www.conventa.si/hosted-buyers/hosted-buyer-programme/hb-application-form/ and enter the group code KONGRES MAGAZINE VIP to ensure your status is upgraded to VIP Kongres magazine hosted buyer status. Remember, companies that invest in business meetings are far more successful that those that don’t. And success is what we wish for you! Looking forward to seeing you at Conventa! The Kongres magazine team


1:2:3:4:5:6:7:8:9:10: Reasons


Kongres magazine

Reason 1: 2:3:4:5:6:7:8:9:10:

THEY SAVE YOU MONEY Added value on the case of Conventa trade show:

An enduring question of the MICE industry is whether participation in a B2B trade show has a return? With buyer data now widely available on the Internet or through social networks, one might think that just a little bit of research and work by an organising team can allow for an offer be sent off and the confirmation of it to be waited for.

COST PER LEAD: Average cost of sales contacts calculated based on six years of implementation of the project is €15 per contact. RESULT: Conventa guarantees at every trade show a minimum of 250 sales contacts, which is equivalent to a €3,250 investment. IMPACT: Conventa is the only trade show that provides every exhibitor with a complete database of participating Hosted Buyers. Through this you can greatly increase the potential for further conversion of potential contacts into genuine buyers of your congress services.

Thinking like this on either side, however, would be an expensive and risky gamble, unless, of course, you have a large team of skilled marketers at your disposal. Even with this as the case, there are only a handful of us out there who are considering the real value of sales contacts. To do this, we must first of all ask ourselves what exactly is a real sales contact? These are the contacts with a high probability of sealing business and with a high possibility of sales of your specific services. It is necessary that they are carefully examined against strict criteria by B2B event organisers, from which it can instantly be discerned that the matter is being addressed seriously and that concrete measures of added value are being sought. In short, a good organiser separates out the wheat from the chaff for you, and in so doing saves you a lot of money. For this he or she has a range of tools at his or her disposal, from the classic direct mail to the most sophisticated social media campaigns and their own sales acquisition information. The ultimate power is held in using different channels, which combined with a strong brand ensures successfully securing the best sales contacts. From this recipe for success, the stronger the brand, the greater the possibility of mutual success, and especially when this brand is a trusted partner representing an entire region in an equal and fair manner that can also save buyers’ time and investment in discovering new destinations and practical solutions.

About the author:

Gorazd Čad is a veteran convention tourism addict. Founder and owner of the marketing and congress agency TOLERANCA MARKETING, he has numerous years of experience in the planning, preparation and execution of major international trade shows and fairs. Having started his career in Cankarjev dom, where he project-led on fairs such as Infos, Kapital, Bits & Fun, Slovenian Wine Festival and many others, work in his private capacity has given him a long and multi-faceted experience of developing B2B trade shows, the most noteworthy of these being Conventa, Space, Natour and Hot-Rest. B2B selling solutions sit at the heart of the action of his work and are the key specialisation with proven added value and measurable results.

Verified, logically developed and systematically supported processes and tools for collecting data on potential customers set cutting-edge B2B events apart from the norm. Knowing the target groups and user experience in conjunction with the measurement of results and a full analysis provides a high level of added value on top. We offer you all of this and much, much more.


Kongres magazine

Reason 1: 2:3:4:5:6:7:8:9:10:

THEY SAVE YOU TIME Have you ever wondered just how much time participation at a trade show might actually save you? Looking at the figures for what it takes to organise a typical meeting that is otherwise carried out daily at the trade show, you would be spending at least a good 60 minutes of valuable work time in getting it arranged. To achieve a similar number of meetings that you can undertake at an event, we estimate you would need about a month to get it all scheduled and arranged, meaning that on average 21 working days at 60 minutes per day (21 hours per month total) gets spent on meeting organisation. If you use just a portion of this total time saved to you by the organiser and use it to make better event preparation and consider how best to complete a sale, you can greatly improve your performance efficiency and ROI attending an event. Major events at the same time save a lot of time for your buyers, attracted to B2B events by the fact that in a very short time they can get to know, assess and evaluate the entire market offer. Consequently, trade shows remain one of the main meeting points where supply and demand converge, offering personal contact and bridge-building that opens the door to service sales. Moreover, through the various channels of social activities they also help you get acquainted with unexpected and new potential business partners. And all of this takes place in a single forum where you can learn about the key developments and trends of the industry where, despite the great leaps in technological development, the intensity of targeted personal selling still reigns supreme. These are just some examples of how trade show participation is reimbursed via time savings, but the reimbursement is spread over months or years and it is necessary to be systematic and patient with getting them. It is also necessary to come to the event thoroughly prepared and with a readiness to dedicate time to the contacts made when the trade show is over, ensuring the saved time does get you the business results you seek. Frequent B2B trade show attendees know this well, and they also know well the power of outstanding results from shows they attend. When you are making your decision on which events to attend, get as much background information as possible on the organisers and on their past results. The best business events will have such information on their websites and make it available through different communication tools. At business trade shows, the most important criterion definitely remains the number of guaranteed, pre-arranged meetings, so these should be at the forefront. Given their complexity, time efficiency and the level of personal contact they offer, business trade shows are incomparable with any marketing and communications media currently available. There is no indication that this situation will change in the future and these shows remain as important as ever.


Added value on the case of Conventa trade show: ORGANISATION OF MEETINGS: We believe that for the organisation of a quality meeting 60 minutes of working time is needed. Conventa guarantees 22 meetings at every trade show, which concretely means that the organisers of the event save you 60 hours of your working time. RESULT: Conventa is a buyer-driven show. The minimum number of meetings is 15, with exhibitors having 22 on average and the best of them completely filling their schedule, which means a daily total of 34 meetings. IMPACT: Conventa saves a lot of time in the field of exhibition logistics, since all of the exhibitors have standard-equipped exhibition stands, removing the additional cost of technical equipment, insurance or logistics management.

Kongres magazine

Reason 1: 2:3:4:5:6:7:8:9:10:

NO HIDDEN COSTS One of the most irritating experiences at events is hidden costs that organisers fail to highlight until registration. In fact, registration itself can be the trigger for a deluge of sub-contractors to the main organiser to start offering everything from electrical connections to additional signage, stand decoration, insurance, freight handling, logistics, increased marketing and much more. When you can finally make sense of it all and understand what you actually need, it often turns out that at an additional charge you will need at least the compulsory insurance, the cost of an internet connection and some additional elements of signage. Not having this basic equipment can quickly uplift the standard package of co-operation by at least 30% - which is not the best way to start an event. With the deepening global economic crisis event transparency has undeniably improved, as well as new business models having appeared that are based on a more transparent relationship with the business partners. For this, trade shows are at the forefront, offering a comprehensive ‘all in one’ solution that includes everything an exhibitor needs for successfully concluding business. In this, they function like an IT system integrators, bringing operating systems and databases into a business information system and creating a powerful matchmaking system that allows advance conclusion of meetings. To this they then add the communication systems, different tools for building communication between exhibitors and buyers, including social networks and other channels used by the organiser. In addition to a simple exhibition space, a comprehensive ‘all in one’ solution further provides an integrated solution from the organiser’s side covering finance and databases, which is a coherent and results-oriented marketing system. In designing the Conventa show we wanted to avoid all of the problems of hidden costs and offer complete transparency and measurement of your investment. Through the development of the project a unique knowledge base and an integrated marketing solution, tailored to the specific needs of the region, has been created. Its main strength lies in the our systems approach and in the transparent business model it offers to exhibitors and buyers.


Added value on the case of Conventa trade show: REGISTRATION FEE COSTS: Registration fee for the basic package (Black Sea package - early rate for CVB members) at the Conventa trade show is 2,060 EUR + VAT RESULT: Conventa offers all that and a year-long marketing package for a single price with no hidden extras. To the cost of attending you only need to add the cost of getting to Ljubljana and the accommodation for your staff. IMPACT: The registration fee for Conventa does not conceal additional costs and includes a fully equipped stand on the principle of “you come, have meetings, you win.” Also, over the two days of the event we are one of the few trade shows that takes care of food for participants, which is fully included within the registration fee.

Kongres magazine

Reason 1: 2:3:4:5:6:7:8:9:10:

YEAR ROUND PROMOTION OF PARTNERS From the yesteryear of my career the classic meetings industry marketing tools still linger in the memory, most of them being the various providers’ catalogues and usually prepared by publishers, associations or a destination. The annual catalogue of the ICCA members was sought-after and a main reference point, with expensive and slow distribution through direct mail the dominant mode of communication. Thinking about it from today’s perspective, their use value was at about the level of a phone book and the time dimension irrelevant compared to the present. Just how much marketing methods have changed is also proven by trade shows, which due their complex marketing demands have taken on an important role in the meetings industry’s marketing side. The reference point for key providers today are the digital catalogues of the global and regional trade shows, or, more coarsely put: if you’re not on the list of either IMEX, EIBTM, or other important regional trade shows, then for the global meetings industry you pretty much do not exist. Trade shows are no longer reflecting the use of the old sales catalogues - they are becoming modern marketing machinery. In addition to the widely adopted changes in the way we communicate, the attitude towards brands and the general relationship between buyers and sellers has also changed. A trade show is a brand and a marketing platform, which through a systematic approach attracts potential buyers and turns them into promising customers. Through constant nurturing and upgrading of relations they are then turned into your buyers. A business trade show helps you in four key areas of B2B marketing: 1. It enables potential buyers to notice you, to discover you and then to get to know you as a credible partner. The Internet is the key tool for exploring, learning, benchmarking and independent decision-making and informed buyers of convention services increasingly trust the online and aditional information supplied by renowned trade show organisers. The web portal also plays a key role in this in ensuring the broadest possible outreach for meetings industry website visitors. 2. Business trade shows offer you a number of tools with which you can find yourself on buyers’ radars. Firstly, however, you must provide interesting content that attracts attention and that you can share further. Most of the tools to create superior and eye-catching material are free of charge. You need only think of social networks through which you can attract the right target group of buyers and distribute your content. 3. In agreement with the organisers you can prepare targeted campaigns that are designed in such a way to offer something to hosted buyers in return. Most trade show organisers will adopt such ideas and proposals with enthusiasm. This call to action can be two-way through links and crosslinks between the organiser’s website and your own portal. 4. Satisfied trade show participants are also supporters of participating exhibitors and partners. Positive recall can more quickly lead to sales conversion and you can make a good impression through inclusion on social networks and the many opportunities offered by the organisers. More sophisticated methods are associated with advanced campaigns analytics that through performance analysis tools give you different answers to the question of what your congress customers are most responsive to. Personally, I believe that trade shows are one of the key tools for building relationships with potential buyers and in raising your image. In addition to sales they also allow you to leave a good impression on potential buyers, which is invaluable in further stages of the sales conversions.


Added value on the case of Conventa trade show: DIGITAL STATS: The Conventa web portal receives monthly visits of on average 7,450 unique visitors. B2B promotion is based on the rapidly growing database, which has grown to 39,816 contacts with whom we regularly communicate and inform about the project and our partners. RESULT: 1,205 Hosted Buyers from 36 Countries; 616 Exhibitors from 11 Countries. IMPACT: Conventa annually expands its range of year-round promotional activities of the trade show, which are included free of charge in the exhibition packages. The promotion is based on the constantly growing database of potential invited guests and tools such as the e-catalogue Meet in SEE, the e-newspaper Conventa and the project’s fast-growing social networks.

Kongres magazine

Reason 1: 2:3:4:5:6:7:8:9:10:

BUSINESS NETWORKING You probably still remember your very first steps into the world of business networking. I will certainly never forget my first solo business trip abroad, when completely green I was sent to the legendary IAPCO training in Wolfsburg. Being the only participant from Slovenia, I had no choice other than to go about actively networking. The connections I made with some of the participants have remained until today – contacts such as these are invaluable. Networking and building a social network is one of the key skills of the success. With social networks, it seems that everything is much simpler, but a genuine personal contact cannot be replaced by any computer-generated network, although the latter can make maintaining personal contacts much easier. That this is case was made clear in the Harvard Business Review survey, with an overwhelming 79% of respondents answering that they believe personal meetings to be the most effective way to enhance sales. In the world of networking there are a number of techniques, ranging from quick dates with random partners (Speed Dating) to complex business systems for networking with compatibles researched in advance. In each case, the time to get to know each other is limited, but additional random networking also takes place in the form of social events. From the exhibitors’ or vendors’ perspective the business trade shows require very good preparation: of paramount importance is that the sales pitch should be short, clear and concise, whilst openness and communication talent is also a great help to building visibility and gaining trust. The key thing is a respect for diversity, which is the foundation for a good relationship. In addition to this, trade show organisers build in networking on the basis of having the right potential buyers at the very heart of the event. In fact, in many ways the right style of networking separates the good from the average trade show. The construction of social networking is therefore a further tool to increase contacts, with another advantage being the accumulation of new experiences and knowledge, information that you would not have had access to before. At the trade shows that I organise the networking is usually done through a variety of social events, at which I advocate equality between buyers and sellers. So, for example, during a coffee break or a lunch event we meet people whom otherwise we would never have got to know. One can network at a training session, which brings together people thinking along the same lines. Networking is enabled because of new technologies being designed, more precisely because of and through a number of the new apps coming on stream. I advocate that to get the best ROI from a meeting, a minimum of 25% of the time spent at it should be dedicated to networking. Business trade shows therefore continue to offer a wealth of opportunities that will benefit you in both business and private life, from the random networking that everyone gets involved in and that differs in its targeting and how it can create added value for the partners. The aim is therefore manifold: to develop business opportunities, to develop relationships and to help make good business decisions. The maxim of ‘Tell me with whom and where you are networking and I’ll tell you who you are’ applies just as equally to the meetings industry!


Added value on the case of Conventa trade show: REGISTRATION FEE COSTS: Registration fee for the basic package (Black Sea package - early rate for CVB members) at the Conventa trade show is 2,060 EUR + VAT RESULT: Conventa offers all that and a year-long marketing package for a single price with no hidden extras. To the cost of attending you only need to add the cost of getting to Ljubljana and the accommodation for your staff. IMPACT: The registration fee for Conventa does not conceal additional costs and includes a fully equipped stand on the principle of “you come, have meetings, you win.” Also, over the two days of the event we are one of the few trade shows that takes care of food for participants, which is fully included within the registration fee.




Explore the emerging destinations of South East Europe over a cup of coffee.

21 - 22 JANUARY 2015, Ljubljana—Slovenia




he recently renovated hotel Laguna Parentium provides a modern setting for guests looking for a really special holiday. The hotel, boasting the longest tradition in the area, is situated on a green peninsula in the fairytale natural environment of the Zelena laguna tourist resort. Once the working part of the day is over, we recommend relaxation in the hotel’s wellness facilities. Conference hall Laguna, two smaller meeting rooms (Plava and Zelena), open office and Internet room are ideal for all types of conferences, congresses, seminars, business meetings, weddings, cocktails or presentations. All congress and banquet facilities are fully fitted with state-of-the-art equipment in order to satisfy even the most demanding guests. CONFERENCE HALL “LAGUNA” Our largest conference hall, ‘Laguna’, has a capacity of 435 persons. It was designed in theatre style and can be separated into three separate halls. It has daylight, digitally-adjustable lighting and dimming, spotlights and an inductive loop for persons with impaired hearing, as well as the possibility to hold video (Polycom VSX7000S) and telephone conferences (Polycom SoundStation 2). There is also a 160m2 exhibition area in the lobby of the hall.

MEETING ROOMS “PLAVA” AND “ZELENA” Meeting rooms ‘Plava’ and ‘Zelena’ are suitable for small-scale meetings and small presentations. With a capacity of up to 30 persons, in theatre style, these meeting rooms will certainly ensure that you and your most important guests have an undisturbed and successful meeting. Expert assistance is at your disposal to ensure an impeccable organisation of congresses and all other business or entertaining events. A combination of the pleasant and the useful - this might just be the essence of our message and the goal of our offer for the organisation of congresses, seminars, work meetings, symposia, presentations, sports events, weddings, gala dinners, refreshments during work meeting breaks, as well as folklore evenings, special entertainment programmes and animation in Laguna Poreč facilities. After the regular programme, we can offer relaxation in one of our exceptional outdoor or indoor sports-recreational facilities, gym, swimming pool or wellness. Staying in Istria without getting to know its inland would be a real shame. That is why we organise half-day boat tours, tours of the Istrian inland with visits to picturesque Medieval towns and excursions to Pula, Rovinj, Lim channel, Brijuni, Trieste or Venice. So visit us and find out first hand why your stay and work in Laguna Poreč hotels will be truly successful, because: YOUR SUCCESS IS OUR GOAL! 60

Info & Reservations: Phone: +385/52/410 - 222 Fax: +385/52/410 - 412 E-mail: mice@plavalaguna.hr www.lagunaporec.com

Extended Stay



Location: Poreč, Croatia

Location: Logarska Dolina 10, 3335 Solčava, Slovenia

Plava laguna - Laguna Poreč is one of the largest hotel companies in Croatia. It has 13 hotels (six 4**** hotels, including the Bonavia Hotel in Rijeka, six 3*** hotels and one 2** hotel), 4 apartment villages and 4 campsites, having a total accommodation capacity for 22,000 guests. Our 13 hotels have conference halls and meeting rooms that can accommodate from 10 to 600 people, providing audio-visual and other equipment. Here you will find everything you need for the professional organisation of business events, while the pleasant Mediterranean climate and natural environment will ensure you get the peace and comfort you need. A combination of the pleasant and the useful - this might just be the essence of our message and the goal of our offer for the organisation of congresses, seminars, work meetings, symposia, presentations, sports events, weddings, gala dinners, refreshments during work meeting breaks, as well as folklore evenings, special entertainment programmes and animation in Laguna Poreč facilities.

After the regular programme, we can offer relaxation in one of our exceptional outdoor or indoor sports-recreational facilities, gym, swimming pool or wellness. Staying in Istria without getting to know its inland would be a real shame. That is why we organise half-day boat tours, tours of the Istrian inland with visits to picturesque Medieval towns and excursions to Pula, Rovinj, Lim channel, Brijuni, Trieste or Venice. So visit us and find out first hand why your stay and work in Laguna Poreč hotels will be truly successful, because: YOUR SUCCESS IS OUR GOAL!

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.

Organising a congress? Contact us! Info & Reservations: Phone: +385/52/410 - 222 Fax: +385/52/410 - 412 E-mail: mice@plavalaguna.hr

Info & Reservations: Hotel Plesnik T: +386 (0)3 839 23 00 F: +386 (0)3 839 23 12 E: hotel@plesnik.si







ast year is hardly behind us before there is yet another opening or renovation of a luxury hotel on the Adriatic coast. In the editorial board of the magazine we have therefore taken it upon ourselves to refresh the list of luxury resorts that also have larger conference facilities.


In addition, the provider must operate as a resort with a comprehensive and complex offer of restaurants, conference facilities, sports and a further additional offer. In addition to Venice, the largest concentration of luxury hotels on the Adriatic is currently in Dubrovnik and Montenegro. There are more and more of the world famous chains, as well as the regional boutique brands. To the first wave of new luxury hotels opened in the years 2007 - 2011 a second wave followed this year. Quite a few novelties are also planned for the year ahead.


Hotel rooms:


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No. of function rooms/spaces



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In the rankings, we have taken into account the following minimum criteria: - Conference hall for min. 200 persons - Luxurious and characterful banquet hall - Outdoor terraces and attractive venues for receptions overlooking the sea - Location with outstanding architecture and natural environment

Hidden congress guest mark:

Surface area (sq. m):

750 2,500

± Year built/renovated: 2007 ± Mark: NOBLE ± Special: Kelly Spa The legendary hotel on the island of San Clemente with wonderful views over the Venice lagoon. The paradise garden, which extends to 6 hectares, is stunning. The hotel has been thoroughly renovated and is the flagship of the Starwood hotel offer. Hidden congress guest mark:


Hotel rooms:


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NA 300 NA

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KEMPINSKI PALACE, Portorož, Slovenia

± Year built/renovated: 2014 ± Mark: HISTORIC ± Special: Private San Clemente Island HILTON MOLINO STUCKY, Venice, Italy

One of the most renowned hotels in Slovenia and one of the frontrunners of the Adriatic. With a rich heritage it strives to provide the most prestigious space for boutique congresses and meetings, as well as elite events for up to 225 participants. Hidden congress guest mark:


Hotel rooms:


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No. of function rooms/spaces


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Surface area (sq. m):

350 2,500

± Year built/renovated: 1910/2008 ± Mark: HARMONIOUS ± Special: Crystal Hall Ballroom A restored former mill from 1895 on the island of Guidecca was converted into one of the most remarkable Hilton hotels. The spacious convention centre is among the largest in Venice.




Max. seating capacity classroom:


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Capacity reception: Capacity banquet:

850 400

± Year built/renovated: 2011 ± Mark: CREATIVE ± Special: The Designer Mulini Beach

4.32 186

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250 310 210 700

± Year built/renovated: 2008 ± Mark: RELAXED ± Special: Adriatic Golf Course

The hotel combines top-notch architecture, excellently laid-out wellness facilities, professional staff and superior congress capacities, all wrapped into a quality product – suitable for congress groups of up to 200 participants. Hidden congress guest mark:


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No. of function rooms/spaces

200 140 600

The first Croatian member of the design hotels group is set within the wonderful environment of the Mediterranean forest park Zlatni rt. It is defined by its extraordinary architectural layout. Along with its neighbouring boutique hotel, Monte Mulini, and utilising other facilities it can host events for up to 750 participants.

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No. of function rooms/spaces



± Year built/renovated: 2011 ± Mark: BALANCED ± Special: Signature architecture of Boris Podrecca





± Year built/renovated: 2006 ± Mark: AWARDED ± Special: Luxury Marina Lav

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HOTEL LONE, Rovinj, Croatia


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The first luxurious hotel in the Adriatic to incorporate a golf course. The modern and richly furbished hotel is managed and taken care of by the Kempinski chain. A smaller congress centre seats up to 230.

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Hidden congress guest mark: No. of function rooms/spaces


Hidden congress guest mark:

Adriatic, despite tough competition. It’s no surprise that the hotel has already received eight ‘World Travel Awards’, the Oscars of tourism. Congress capacities are some of the largest of the Adriatic luxury resorts, as the centre can host up to 850 participants.

The hotel in a quiet cove features a spectacular cascading pool with views of the Pakleni islands and a comprehensive resort offer. The congress centre is the largest on the Dalmatian islands; the hotel is top of the offer at the renowned island, which for incentives is an especially excellent choice. Hidden congress guest mark:


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No. of function rooms/spaces

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The concept of a hotel with a marina. The services and personnel are amongst the best in the 65


370 700 550


± Year built/renovated: 1971/2008 ± Mark: FLASH ± Special: Spectacular pool area for parties

Kongres magazine

RADISSON BLU RESORT, Dubrovnik, Croatia

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DUBROVNIK PALACE, Dubrovnik, Croatia


1,000 650

1,200 600


± Year built/renovated: 1968/ 2008 ± Mark: DIVERSE ± Special: Golden Sun Casino This top-end resort 10km from the centre of Dubrovnik surprises with its incredibly functional congress centre able to host up to 900 participants. The offer is rounded off by spa and recreation facilities, ideal for incentive programmes.



Hotel Dubrovnik Palace was named the best hotel resort in Europe last year, before which it had already received a number of prestigious awards for its spa facilities. The congress centre can seat up to 750 participants. Recently they fully renovated 308 contemporary rooms and suites.

Hidden congress guest mark:


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1,000 540


± Year built/renovated: 2009 ± Mark: HARMONIOUS ± Special: Creative incentive spaces RIXOS LIBERTAS, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Valamar Dubrovnik President Hotel is an ideal venue for smaller business meetings and events. With a cool contemporary decor, each of the 181 rooms provides a luxurious personal retreat. Gorgeous terraces with a stunning Adriatic backdrop make a perfect setting for banquets and receptions. Hidden congress guest mark:


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A modern hotel in the ownership of the Turkish corporation Rixos has the largest congress hall in Dubrovnik. It is the only hotel in town with a Halal certificate and the first hotel of this Turkish chain in Europe, which brings to Dubrovnik the essence of Turkish hospitality.



Capacity reception: Capacity banquet:

Surface area (sq. m):


750 700 400


± Year built/renovated: 2004/2014 ± Mark: IRRESISTIBLE ± Special: Sunset Lounge and Hotel terraces REGENT PORTO MONTENEGRO, Tivat, Montenegro


220 150 400

± Year built/renovated: 1976/2014 ± Mark: SUPREME ± Special: Additional convention facilities in the nearby Valamar Lacroma Hotel The recently opened hotel is the second of this chain in Europe. In the middle of a luxury marina it pampers its guests in 51 rooms and 35 suites, luxury restaurants and shops. Its congress offer is through its banquet/conference hall Teodo, which can accommodate up to 200 guests. The hotel is a new lifestyle acquisition 66

Kongres magazine

that places Montenegro among the luxury convention destinations. Hidden congress guest mark:


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Surface area (sq. m): SPRING 2015 FALKENSTEINER HOTEL & SPA JESOLO, Jesolo, Italy

150 200 NA

± Year built/renovated: 2014 ± Mark: IMPRESSIVE ± Special: Luxurious Super Yacht Marina HOTEL SPLENDID, Bečići. Montenegro

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Max. seating capacity theatre: Capacity reception: Capacity banquet: The star Montenegro hotel is defined by luxurious furniture, a lot of hotel glamour, an excellent spa and a spectacular congress hall. The hotel is the centre of social life in Montenegro. The largest congress hall can seat up to 780 participants. Hidden congress guest mark:


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Surface area (sq. m):


236 300 250 500


± Year built/renovated: 2006 ± Mark: PLAYFUL ± Special: Pool area for parties

380 1,100


openings in

The building was designed by the renowned American architect Richard Meier, while ‘starchitect’ Matteo Thun is in charge of interior design. This high-profile duo has created a peerless mix of distinct shapes, luxurious materials, fresh colours and pop art design elements. The hotel will be a real highlight of Jesolo and a new hotspot for fans of the Adriatic with a penchant for chic design and lifestyle.

± Year built/renovated: 1937/2008 ± Mark: ICONIC ± Special: Bruno Lounge Bar

Hotel rooms:

MARCH 2015 JW MARRIOT, Venice, Italy

Max. seating capacity classroom:

No. of function rooms/spaces

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108+19 3 126 70 200

In the next issue we are going to announce:

N E W in




1,500 216



The hotel is located just 50 metres from Budva Old Town and directly on the beach. It is a design, 5-star luxury resort that has a long tradition in the MICE industry. The congress area consists of the main congress hall, with the capacity up to 236 pax, and 10 breakout rooms.

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AVALA RESORT & VILLAS, Budva, Montenegro

The JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa experience properly reflects its surroundings, imparting a sense of harmony and wellness and beautifully delivering lasting memories, with guests able to indulge in ultimate luxury. Hotel rooms:


Max. seating capacity classroom:


No. of function rooms/spaces

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12 380


Ideas Bank



he Moonlighting Orchestra consists of seventeen band members that have been creating music together ever since 2003. Their programme includes many musical styles; from blues, soul, evergreens, Slovenian popular songs from “the golden era”, jazz, funk, Latin and dance music. A powerful brass section allows experienced musicians to often include well known jazz standards and swing songs in their diverse repertoire, while the vocal tracks emphasize the transparency of their performance.

Quality music artists that help create the special atmosphere at events are hard to find. Due to their extensive musical knowledge, The Moonlighting Orchestra is a perfect match for any kind of event. A carefully selected repertoire, high quality performance, commitment to music and exclusive live show without playback will put any guests in high spirits. The Moonlighting Orchestra performance is definitely a memorable experience that turns event guests into enthusiastic dancers.

“The Moonlighting Orchestra knows how to create an amazing atmosphere. The powerful energy of the orchestra, great live music and repertoire tailor-made for our international guests have contributed to the excellence of the Conventa 2013 evening event. The Moonlighting Orchestra are true professionals with whom we will be glad to cooperate again in the future!”

Conventa organisers

Let The Moonlighting Orchestra heat up the dance floor of your event. For reservations contact Mr. Jakob Felzer by phone +386 41 725 767 or e mail jakob.felzer@gmail.com 68





Seoul Searching Text by: Robert Cotter


teadily ascending the MICE industry’s global rankings, within the past year the Korean capital of Seoul moved up from fifth to fourth place in the UIA rankings and up eight places to join the top ten of the ICCA rankings, activity in the city also bolstering Korea’s position as a top twenty country to stage an event in. In surpassing the targets it had previously set for itself and now operating in the lofty heights of the global MICE elite, the city of Seoul continues to search for new and innovative ways to improve the industry and move ever closer towards the international MICE top spot. For this issue, Kongres was invited to search Seoul and get to understand some of the current initiatives that show how this dynamic, pulsating Asian capital can keep growing in popularity. The first of many that we discovered was in how the city’s meeting infrastructure is not only upgraded and improved, but is now delivering globally recognizable icons suitable for events, as is the case with the recently opened Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) designed by ‘st-architect’ Zaha Hadid and the new Floating Island complex, a unique facility set on the city’s revered Han river. The DDP, unveiled in March of this year, is a futuristic, sprawling, multi-purpose venue with a number of different spaces adding up to a vast 85,368m2 of floor area suitable for an enormous range of event possibilities. It has instantly become the nation’s and the wider Asian region’s design hub and has had the knock-on effect of stimulating broader regeneration of the area, a notable example being the beautifully located and designed Marriott hotel, the JW Marriott Dondaemun Square Seoul, opening its doors a few months in advance of the DDP’s own grand opening. The Marriott has put its own event footprint on the area with its 920m2 of meeting space, the Grand Ballroom having a mind-blowing 98-unit screen media wall of the most incredible ultra-high definition, offering a universe of presentation and event options. Located on a tight site in the up-and-coming area, the hotel also overlooks one of the city’s historic treasures, the East Gate that gives its name to the Dongdaemun area and that is a pilgrimage point for many national and international tourists. Opening hot on the heels of the DDP was the Floating Island, which in April of this year started to welcome guests through its doors. In reality a complex of three islands floating on the water by means of an incredibly technologically advanced engineering mechanism, the first of the three islands is the one offering a dedicated convention facility of 762m2, with the two neighbouring islands consisting of exhibition, restaurant areas and recreational functions. The uniqueness of the facility, its location on the river and at night with the views across the city and directly of the Rainbow Bridge nightly illuminated fountain, guarantee that in time it will become a huge hit as well as a stunning success. Despite these new facilities taking much of the recent limelight of the city’s MICE offer, the old staple of the vast COEX Convention and Exhibition Centre continues to offer a solid and reliable product – hosting no less that the 2010 G20 Seoul Summit and the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit, among a huge array of high profile events – and remains Korea’s top meetings venue. Within a complex including Asia’s largest underground mall, the Coex Mall, entertainment facilities, a number of hotels including two 5-star properties, a city airport terminal and a number of office buildings, COEX remains one of the best MICE facilities to be found not just in Korea, but across the world, despite having been in business for more than two decades already. Supporting the importance and prestige of these COEX facilities and ensuring it remains buoyant is a solid political backing of the industry, demonstrated at this year’s International Congress of Mathematicians by a host of VIPs participating in the opening ceremony, even including an address by the President of South Korea herself, Park Geun-Hye, and the official 70


conference dinner attended by the Mayor of the city, Park Won-soon, who we have had the privilege of interviewing in a previous issue. This political support, essential to the growth and development of the MICE industry as part of the city’s economic fabric, further underpins the Master Plan that has been developed for Seoul and that in addition to helping deliver the new facilities recently opened will by 2020 also see the MICE facilities of COEX increased by almost 90,000m2 by expanding on to adjoining sites, growth that will surely have the effect of propelling Seoul to the industry’s global top spot. Along the way of this dynamic adventure for Seoul’s MICE industry, it has also been helped by having an international, versatile and well educated team at the Seoul Convention Bureau (SCB) who remain open to new ideas whilst providing a top level service. This can be seen in the city’s participation in the Future Convention Cities Initiative (FCCI), currently chaired by SCB Vice-President Maureen O’Crowley (see interview in next article), which is a gathering of seven leading global MICE cities to share ideas on how the industry can improve whilst at the same time remaining competitors in attracting global events – coopetition in action from MICE’s most progressive global city. Seoul is a progressive city also in the scale and extent of supporting facilities and activities it can offer event delegates, with new and exciting venues appearing daily on the horizon of Asia’s most hi-tech city. The tech giant’s Samsung Museum is a perennial favourite, with the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art a significant recent addition. There is also the hugely capacious National Museum of Korea, also available for events, and for those seeking the traditional sides of the city a quiet stroll (or ride on a pedicab!) through the Bukchon Hanok village allows visitors to connect 71

with how things used to be in the days before Seoul evolved in the huge, modern metropolis it is today. With so much going on, it goes without saying that the city also has an endlessly high-quality food choice, from its tasty street food to boutique special event venues such as the Bear House, an intimate glass box in the forested hills with breathtaking 270 degree views over the city that for more than thirty years has been serving guests the most delicious western-style food to be found in Seoul. Kongres did a lot of Seoul searching on our visit to the city and can say with complete conviction that in seeking a premier city to stage an event, where organisers and city organisations leave no stone unturned in meeting requirements and every aspect of it will surpass all of your expectations, Seoul is the real deal. For event planners out there looking for a home for their next profile event, Seoul searching comes highly recommended.


A Future of Coopetition Interview with the Seoul Convention Bureau Vice-President Maureen O'Crowley Text by: Robert Cotter


asting the Kongres Telescope’s lens on international best practice examples of this issue’s theme of Coopetition, Seoul’s involvement in the Future Convention Cities Initiative (FCCI) show that it is still able to rise higher in the competitive world of the MICE rankings, whilst at the same time working closely with other competing global MICE cities to advance the industry worldwide. We caught up with the Seoul Convention Bureau Vice-President and this year’s FCCI Chair, Maureen O’Crowley, to ask some questions about how a strong and successful model of Coopetition can be established.

Q: How and when did the idea for FCCI come about and was there a single, common thread between the cities involved? Seoul was a major sponsor of “Convention 2020” – a major study initially kicked off with funding provided by two founding sponsors: ICCA and IMEX. Designed as a ‘strategic foresight’ study, its aim was to assist the association memberships and the meetings industry at large in enhancing their competitiveness for the next decade. As a newly established convention bureau (2008), several of the key objectives were most appealing: Help the industry prepare for the future, explore how meetings of the future could evolve by 2020 and suggest emerging strategies, approaches and business models for destinations. Armed with the results upon the completion of the study, we turned our thoughts to questions such as “How best to apply this knowledge? right through to “What next?” While at IMEX Frankfurt 2010, we began to have discussions with like-minded destinations – with Sydney and London, another Convention 2020 sponsor, both keen to join forces to explore ways to collaborate. Looking for representation from throughout the world, the three founding cities sought out key cities and in a short period of time, we had reached agreement with seven cities. Thus, FCCI was born when Abu Dhabi, Durban, London, San Francisco, Sydney and London joined forces with us. Q: What were the original terms for the group and the expectations of cities in signing up? Our goal was to bring together leading future-focused cities – aiming for at least one member from each continent. We devised the concept of the Future Conventions Cities Initiative not as a marketing initiative, but rather with a focus on strategic research, collaboration and knowledge sharing, and agreed to meet several times annually, with our two major meetings taking place 72


during IMEX Frankfurt and IMEX America. The seven cities set out to position themselves as leading destinations for key knowledge economy meetings and business events. FCCI members are strongly committed to collaboration that shapes and accelerates the development of both their own destinations and the broader global industry. We recognised that there was enormous, yet largely unrecognised potential of meetings and business events, therefore, under the leadership of our first chair, Lyn Lewis-Smith of Business Events Sydney, our first official project expanded on their earlier research. Completed in 2011, that research revealed the significant benefits of business events beyond the tourism spend. In 2013, FCCI commissioned the University of Technology Sydney to undertake a groundbreaking international study to lend further support to the global business events industry. We are determined to make the case with solid evidence for all – from within our industry to those in the business world and government – that the contribution of business events is vast. Q: With Seoul becoming a stellar city of the global MICE industry, what additional benefits beyond Seoul’s own success do you think can be had from the initiative? All destinations face similar challenges to educate government officials of the value of the industry and solicit financial funding to market to the industry in order to attract and induce business. We must be a constant advocate for both the meetings industry and our destinations as ideal hosts. Our study drives the case for support for the business events sector and its subsequent contribution to the growth of economies. The results can be put to use here in Seoul to drive home the point to both government officials and our local associations that the benefits beyond the tourism spend are significant and warrant the efforts to host business events and thereby grow our global convention market. This is key here in Seoul, as the city recently released a MICE Master Plan that calls for the expansion of facilities, number of events and participants by 2018. Q: How do you overcome any concerns of collaboration versus competition? Indeed, though competitors, FCCI members have pooled resources in the spirit of “coopetition” to address important industry issues for the greater good of the industry and all its stakeholders. It’s interesting to note, that while convention

bureaus we all have the same ultimate mission to secure business events for our cities, we all operate under different circumstances utilising very different models. So far, our collaborative efforts have not clashed with any competitive ones; yet what we learn from each other, strengthens our competitive abilities. Granted, while outwardly, it may seem to defy logic, it is somewhat amazing. Q: Whilst the FCCI is a global initiative, do you think it can also work on a regional basis? Absolutely; actually to be successful, I believe having an active and well-managed alliance at home and abroad is a key factor. Case in point: Seoul’s city wide initiative, the Seoul MICE Alliance, has been in place since 2011 and has now grown to 144 members in 9 categories within the industry. Q: Can you tell us a little about the recent research published by FCCI, anything else in the pipeline, and how you manage to balance being VP of STO with Chair of the FCCI as well? “Beyond Tourism Benefits: Building an International Profile” clearly indicates that business events contribute to the economy in the short term; while in the long term, their 73

legacies are broad-reaching and potentially far more valuable. Business events stimulate creativity, inspire innovation, propel productivity and drive knowledge economies. Doing the two roles actually comes naturally to me, because I believe so strongly in our mission. Over the past four years, our professional bonds and commitment to the FCCI cause have grown stronger. In fact, our next meeting will take place at IMEX America in Las Vegas on October 13th and the identification and selection of our next project is top on our agenda. As we see it, all seven FCCI members are truly the “new generation” of convention leaders and what we achieve as a group will be our legacy to our cities and our industry. As industry advocates we have therefore made this research available to all and it can be downloaded from our website at: www.fccinitiative.org We hope Kongres readers can find it useful too.


Bangkok: Site for IT&CM Asia’s next great ACTE Text by: Robert Cotter


olitically, the last year has been quite tumultuous for Thailand and especially for its capital city, Bangkok. Both event organisers and local businesses will therefore be pleased to see the return of the meeting industry calendar’s annual staple, the double bill IT&CM Asia and Corporate Travel World (CTW), being held at the Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld from September 30th to October 2nd. Delegates will also be very happy to see the event come into view on their calendar horizon, especially so as it has done a ramp-up of its lineup to ensure that 2014 promises to eclipse the standards set in 2013 and be the best event yet. First on the radar of change is that the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (Site) has been drafted in to bolster the supporting association framework and bring a wealth of additional ed-

ucation, publicity and delegate support options to the event. “We are thrilled to have Site on board and we are confident this collaboration will add on new dimensions to our tailored educational forums,” said Ooi Peng Ee, General Manager of TTG Events. “Our commitment to elevate the sophistication of the Asia-Pacific region’s corporate professionals will serve to broaden our industry’s horizons.” “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to align the Site brand with IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific as the leading association in the region, combining what we do best with what they do best in bringing together buyers and sellers,” added Kevin Hinton, Chief Staff Officer of Site. “We see this as another step in our relationship with IT&CM Events, whom we have 74

partnered with in the past, and are excited about this new expansion of our relationship.” With relationship-building filling the air as well as broadening the educational content, this year’s event also sees the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) join the partner line-up, giving extra focus to the corporate travel dimension of the show and taking its education aspects to new and giddy heights. “This significant milestone collaboration for both ACTE and IT&CM Events will further strengthen and nurture the knowledge of corporate travel executives,” said Benson Tang, Regional Director of ACTE. “Only through knowledge transfers and best practices sharing can our corporate travel industry reach new horizons.”


“IT&CM Events is proud to welcome ACTE on board as a valued education partner and we are confident that our collaboration will contribute significantly to IT&CM’s mission of providing relevant and meaningful education and engagement for corporate travel professionals,” added Ooi Peng Ee. “Our delegates are always eager to participate in the latest talking points facing the industry and, most of all, learn from experts and peers who share similar challenges and have deep insights on solving them. Keeping interest high among our participants is something I am confident ACTE will bring to the relationship.” Even in advance of ACTE’s involvement, a high level of interest in this year’s event has already been signalled through the early bird booth sign up, recording its best ever results – booth space being snapped up within three months following the 2013 event by organisations including Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO), Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Taiwan Convention & Exhibition Association, amongst a number of others – and all hinting very early at a bumper show in store for 2014. “The 2013 show was our best IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific to date, where we delivered on a high buyer-to-exhibitor ratio, fresh procurement opportunities with new buyers and dynamic and relevant buyer profiles,” said Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media. “These early registrations [for 2014] undoubtedly evidence the value of IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific for our exhibitors.” Kongres will be attending IT&CMA and CTW and in our next issue will be reporting back on how one of Asia’s premier meeting events, successfully celebrating its 22nd year once again in Bangkok, Thailand, continues to go from strength to strength.



Invigorating India Text by: Robert Cotter


ver recent years the Indian MICE market has shown a soaring outbound appetite, but despite the many comparisons with China on its broader market potential, unlike China it has yet to make a significant global imprint of the strength or presence of its inbound potential. This year’s IT&CM India, the second instalment of the event held at the capacious Kempinski Ambience Hotel to the east of the city, provided a welcome boon to both India’s in- and outbound growth, showcasing the Indian market to be very invigorating and way more than just a one-way street. “India is the third fastest growing global economy and well positioned for an unparalleled development within the travel and tourism sector,” said Christophe Verstraete, Executive Director of Euromic. “As Indian companies look for business opportunities around the world, outbound business travel and MICE are estimated to be expanding at a greater pace than leisure.” “India has always been an enchanting destination for tourists from all around the world and in recent times it has emerged as a hub for MICE tourism as well,” he added. “Overall, as a destination, India offers excellent accessibility, amazing accommodation, unique incentive options and cost effectiveness, all making it an ideal MICE destination.” In striking the right formula to get the most from the event and to begin to realise India’s full MICE development potential, organisers had to bring the inbound and outbound focus together through a number of initiatives on format, buyer-seller ratio, education days and social sessions. The first of these was by hosting in the Kempinski Ambience to ensure the scene was properly set for strong Indian business, the

hotel offering a single-site all-in facility, with a number of ballrooms setting the stage for the appointment and education sessions and the hotel’s vast recreation spaces accommodating for all of the social sessions, as well as breakout and relaxation for delegates. With the new venue also came a new format for 2014 – table-top sessions rather than exhibitor booths, offering a more intimate setting for buyer-seller appointments and reflecting the domestic market’s desire to focus primarily on business without distraction. This new format was complemented by adjoining ballrooms hosting the education sessions and the delegate lunches, ensuring that business could flow uninterruptedly throughout the days of the event. A further initiative for this year’s event came through the organisers’ collaboration with local organisation KW Conferences to establish the inaugural Association Day and Corporate Performance Forums, offering a wide range of keynote speakers on interesting topic areas for the Indian market, as well as the Corporate Performance Day focussing on incentive travel, technology and measuring ROI, all key to its successful growth. “With the success garnered at IT&CM China and IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific’s Association Day and Corporate Travel forums, we are sure that we will be able to replicate the proven and tested format at IT&CM India - the unique value proposition of IT&CM India’s educational tracks is absolutely tailored to the Indian market,” said Ooi Peng Ee, General Manager of TTG Events. “Participants benefit immensely from expert speakers well-versed with the unique landscape of the India association and corporate performance market segments. Topics covered key issues important for 76

Indian corporations, as well as expert advice on tackling the challenges of the Indian market.” The success of the Association Day saw it draw participants from across India who are responsible for annually organising up to 40 conferences attracting more than 27,000 delegates, ensuring that their next events can benefit from new knowledge acquired at IT&CM 2014. With so much going on at this year’s event, delegates could benefit from the organisers providing an online diary that allowed for up to 100% of meetings to be scheduled in advance. With a strong ratio of buyers to sellers and with 80% of buyers hailing from around the Indian regions and the remainder representing international destinations, this meant that business diaries could be full well in advance of the event. “The adoption rate of the Online Diary has again proven how beneficial this feature is for delegates,” said Ooi Peng Ee. “We are pleased with the positive results we are witnessing at IT&CM India. They demonstrate the intensive efforts the show organisers have put into ensuring delegates can justify their ROI ahead of the event, and have greater control over their appointment schedules.” This year’s show proved a success as a result of the many efforts of the organisers. However, the Indian market has a number of challenges to address domestically to be able to move it forward to compete seriously in the international MICE arena. IT&CM India has shown that it is necessary to strike the right formula to understand and engage with the Indian market, but that if the formula can be struck, India has the potential to invigorate the global MICE industry. The years ahead will certainly be challenging, but also very interesting.

Incorporating Luxury Travel

l l a C t Las tion stra i g e R r fo

The 22nd IT&CMA and 17th CTW Asia-Pacific

www.itcma.com • www.corporatetravelworld.com

30 September - 2 October 2014

Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, Bangkok, Thailand

We Are All About Results Strong Business Generation

86% of 2013 exhibitors expect to receive orders over the next 6 to 12 months

Proven Procurement Platform

Over 40% of buyers confirmed purchases at the event

Quality Exhibitors and Business Appointments according to 90% of buyers

Fresh Procurement Opportunities

60% New Buyers + 47% New Corporate Travel Managers

The best show

Great platform to

we have participated at with

true quality buyers

Ark Travel Express Inc, Philippines Maria Paz R Alberto, President

explore venues for our association’s

upcoming regional & international congresses. International League Against Epilepsy, Ireland Richard Holmes, International Director of Meetings

Good mix of buyer profiles.

Genuine buyers, with zero no-shows Go Vacation, Thailand Sarinya Holloway, Group & Events Manager

An excellent event that

improves every year. POP Inc, Japan Robert Cotter, International Editor

Correct decision makers present.

Excellent calibre of speakers

Exhibitors are one of the best in the region Travel Warehouse, Inc., Philippines Jaison Yang, General Manager

covering relevant topics.

Accenture Australia Pty Ltd, Australia Katherine Hopcroft, Travel Management Specialist

Exhibitors MICE, Luxury Travel and Corporate Travel Buyers MICE, Associations and Luxury Travel Corporate Travel Managers Conference Delegates

Corporate Travel Professionals and Corporate Travel Suppliers

Industry Media Scan This QR Code

To Find Out More About Participating At The Show Hosting Programme For Buyers, Corporate Travel Managers & Media Available!

Organised By

Endorsing and Supporting Associations

Supported By

Host Country

Official Media

Media Affiliates

Contributing Media

Official Airline

Official Venue

Who is Who


Who is Who in Vienna Convention Bureau

Q: What are you most proud of in your business and private lives? Two months ago I took a new step in my life and moved to Vienna to be working at one of the best convention bureaus in the world! Q: Life wisdom/motto? Don‘t wait too long to change your life! Q: Where are you going to spend this year’s holiday? The next holiday will probably be Kirov, my home city in Russia, visiting family and friends. And then I would love to visit Japan. Q: What was your favourite vacation? Busan, South Korea. Very beautiful costal city with great food (attention: spicy!), breathtaking temples, amazing nature and very nice people. They say Koreans are the ‚Asian Italians‘, as they are very emotional and like to enjoy life - I totally agree! If you happen to be in Busan or Seoul with your friends, go to the Trick Eye Museum – you will take the most funny pictures there! MARINA KNITTEL CMP - MARKETING MANAGER FRANCE & BENELUX, ITALY, RUSSIA

“ Don‘t wait too long to change your life“

Q: Where would you go if there were no time and financial constraints? Travel around the world, see how locals live, make new friends. Q: What is your favourite indoor/outdoor activity? At the moment I am pretty busy with exploring Vienna – this amazing city never stops surprising me. One of my hobbies is oil painting - the latest project is my dad‘s portrait, which I hope to finish before his birthday, as it’s gonna be a surprise! Q: What is you favourite dish and restaurant (anywhere in the world)? I love all food, as long as it doesn’t contain meat and I can equally enjoy a simple meal in a mountain hut as well as a 5 course-dinner in some posh restaurant. Also, when it comes to dessert, my heart starts beating faster. I tried the best crème brûlée of my life at Palais Hansen Kempinski a couple of days ago… Q: What is you favourite gadget? iPad. . And my E-Piano!


Q: Which song do you play most often on your iPod? It depends on the mood, obviously, but recently I’ve been listening to a lot of classics. The Sheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov is one of my favourite pieces ever. Q: Which part of the day and of the week is your favourite? Saturday morning breakfast (or even better, brunch) Q: What is your favourite mode of transport? Here in Vienna - tram. It is fast and convenient and you stay overground and enjoy the view! Q: If you could return to the past or hurry to the future, how old would you like to be? Why? It could be useful to return back to school and be more attentive during history lessons! And I wouldn’t mind a glance into the future either, maybe two weeks from now – to learn what colour of the walls I choose for my new Viennese apartment – cannot make a decision at the moment! Q: If you could witness any event in history which one would you choose? One of the balls of the Russian Empress Elisabeth – she was famous for the most luxurious and extravagant balls in Russian history! Q: What was the best party you have attended? I was lucky to have attended many of those. Now looking forward to my first Viennese Ball! Q: The last film, book, concert? Book: Amelie Nothomb ‚Hygiène de l‘assassin‘ Concert: Schubertiade, The Modigliani Quartett Last film worth mentioning: Nymphomaniac by Lars von Trier Q: What fantasy character would you be? People often call me Snow White...:) Q: What did you learn last week? The best is yet to come!

Who is Who


Who is Who in Vienna Convention Bureau

Q: What are you most proud of in your business and private lives? My friends from all over the world. I love meeting people with different backgrounds and thanks to my work and education I met great, different people along my way. Q: Life wisdom/motto? “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine.


“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine.

Q: Which part of the day and of the week is your favourite? I am definitely a morning person, love coffee and having brunch. That’s why I would say Saturday mornings are the best. Q: What is your favourite mode of transport? My new little car.

Q: Where are you going to spend this year’s holiday? Kenya – for a friend’s wedding and safari.

Q: If you could return to the past or hurry to the future, how old would you like to be? Why? I would be 13/14 years old again but only for a week. I feel great just where I am.

Q: What was your favourite vacation? South India. Love the food, people and the landscape.

Why? During that time my family and I lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan and it was one of the funniest and carefree times of my life.

Q: Where would you go if there were no time and financial constraints? I would travel around South America, especially to see Peru.

Q: If you could witness any event in history which one would you choose? The first election where women were allowed to vote.

Q: What is your favourite indoor/outdoor activity? Spending quality time with friends and family. Does not matter indoor or outdoor. But I love hiking, running and skiing. Indoor I would say reading a great book or baking.

Q: What was the best party you have attended? I enjoy every party with great company.

Q: What is you favourite dish and restaurant (anywhere in the world)? I just love to eat and cannot decide on one favourite dish… I would say Sushi, Pasta & Pizza, traditional Austrian food, Mexican, etc… all are awesome! Favourite restaurant is the TAO in New York. If you’re ever there try all the appetizers. Q: What is you favourite gadget? My kitchenaid & my kindle :). Q: Which song do you most often play on your iPod? I am on shuffle.


Q: The last film, book, concert? Last film: Boyhood. Last book: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini Last concert: Jack Johnson Q: What fantasy character would you be? A student in Hogwarts. Q: What did you learn last week? Nothing is impossible!






f for the venue chooses you air Formula One “Red Bull Air Race”, then this is certainly an attractive and charming tourist destination. Red Bull Air Race is, according to the organisers’ data, followed by 500 million viewers. This year, after a two-year break among locations finally listed Rovinj. Strong investment, which, according to unofficial data only hotel chain Maistra was costing one million Euros which will certainly be rewarded and reverted back in the tourist the future. Picturesque location easily competes with more renowned names ranging from Abu Dhabi to Las Vegas. Severe and invaluable for the tourist profile of Istria and Rovinj, which in recordings from the race looked excellent. Walk from Rovinj’s acropolis church St. Eufemia on the Grizija street full of galleries is the reason that Rovinj is so popular among tourists. Hidden streets, small squares, passages, galleries, intimate taverns make it one of the most attractive tourist destinations of the Adriatic. Rovinj’s skyline is among the most photogenic Mediterranean tourist panoramas with unprecedented experiential value. Everywhere are pleasant Mediterranean colours that make a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere. And coffee in one of cafes on the waterfront with the obligatory accompaniment of ItalianCroatian dialect of Rovinj. Istria is the largest Adriatic peninsula and has historically played an important role of the strategic gatekeeper of transport routes at the end of the North Adriatic Sea to Central Europe. In addition, for centuries it has been the node of three major European ethnic groups Slavs, Romans and Germans. Istria has for centuries been under the influence of Italy, which is also reflected today in a wide variety of to Slavic ear unusual names of streets and squares and a very lively Italian language, which you most often hear in Rovinj. Coexistence of different peoples is in Istria, a value which is now visible in the sharp Istrian multiculturalism and cultural diversity. High on the list is also the attitude towards sustainable development and neatness of the destination. Rovinj is a pleasant place to live, it is especially attractive in congress spring and autumn months, when the summer crowds calm. Security of the destination and municipal infrastructure are excellent. Among the major problems is parking in the high tourist season, which is usually a problem in all coastal cities. Rovinj is considered one of the most successful municipalities of Croatia also thanks to the excellent co-operation of TDR – Tvornica Duhana Rovinj and their companies Maistra and Rovinj tourism. Together, they are very seriously tackling municipal projects and arranging of the space, which will further improve the competitiveness of the destination. Today, Rovinj is because of its natural and cultural landmarks one of the most developed tourist destinations in Croatia and the region. In Istria it is an absolute champion, 81

since last year to Rovinj came 454.886 tourists who created 3.131.302 overnight stays. Among the tourists are in the first place guests from Austria, Italy and Slovenia; very promising is also the German market. In the past few years, the structure of tourists has been changing rapidly. Thanks to the investments of tourism company Maistra the structure of visitors is changing and once pronounced summer season is prolonging. Only a few years ago, most of the accommodation was in camps and private apartments. Rovinj today boasts one of the best hotels in the whole region. Boutique five-star hotel Monte Mulini the most prestigious part of the resort complex on the edge of the park forest Zlatni Rt (Golden Cape). A gem of the offer is the first design hotel Lone, which is a magnet for creative social class. An interesting alternative is Hotel Istria on the island of St. Andrew, to which takes you a boat from Rovinj. Omnipresent Maistra is also to blame for improving the culinary offer of the place. In the Monte Mulini Hotel pampers you one of the best Croatian chefs Tomislav Gretić. In Rovinj they are serious about the meetings industry, which is one of the pillars for the extension of the tourist season. After considerable investments all the conditions for this are being fulfilled; everything from congress capacities to the accompanying congress products. The first rounded offer of the convention centre Cap Áureo. The centre presents a comprehensive convention complex with accommodation facilities of various categories - Lone Hotel, Monte Mulini, Eden and Park. The Centre comprises 20 halls, of which the largest one can accommodate 650 participants, all halls together have a capacity of almost 1.600 participants. Specialty of the meetings offer is the old tobacco factory or convention centre Adris, which is a supreme example of conversion of industrial space in a superb conference venue. A beautiful transformation of industrial heritage into functional halls for the most demanding events occurs each year at the renowned Weekend Media Festival. The main hall has a maximum capacity of 1.500 seats, the second largest 1.000 seats. In addition to these there are available within the centre ten separate halls of different capacities, a separate place for the registration of participants, press centre, numerous offices and meeting rooms, a large banquet hall, in which can be served a dinner for over 1.000 people, it is possible to put a lounge terraces and bars, various entertainment points, and the like. Otherwise, the romance of the old town is hard to resist, especially since the city is live and flashes in its daily rhythm of the Mediterranean. Advanced conference guests are only disrupted by the dominant fast gastronomic offer, which is only slowly adapting to demanding tourists. Insiders nevertheless find some culinary gems that build on the best Istrian


wines, olive oils, flavours and tradition of the rich Istrian cuisine. Similarly, souvenirs on offer somehow do not belong to such an authentic tourist destination. Otherwise, Rovinj is becoming a trendy and modern congress destination, which will soon be a serious competitor to the more well-known Croatian congress destinations.



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

Tourist infrastructure



Picturesque town dominates over some of the problems of the city, among which in the first place limited accessibility, with the exception of roads. After the construction of the Istrian Y


Tourism is the main industry of the city, but it is highly seasonal. Efforts of the main hotelier Maistra and all tourism providers in recent years to promote tourism also in the low season, to which play a role mild climate and new world-class hotel facilities. Every year, improves the offer of entertainment, cuisine is one of the best in the region. Rovinj is perfectly located for exploring other parts of Istria. Meetings infrastructure

Indented coast with over 22 islands of the Rovinj Archipelago, clear waters and rich historical and cultural heritage of this picturesque town are the main reasons that Rovinj is the leading Croatian tourist destination. The old town centre, once an island with Renaissance and Baroque buildings attracts many artists and gives the city a unique bohemian character. General and transport infrastructure

the destination is connected to the main pan-European transport links. Among the main challenges is one of improving air accessibility and transformation into a true year-round air destination.


Maistra has seriously focused on the development of congress offer, as evidenced by the recent large-scale investment in the Lone Hotel, with which is also at the same time rounded the offer of convention centre Cap テ「reo, one of the largest convention centres in the region. The whole story is only missing a neutral and well-functioning Convention Bureau, which would place the destination on the worldwide congress map. Subjective grade


Security of the destination is at a high level. With the new development strategy affection for the meetings industry is high. Personal experience regarding the professionalism of the staff is positive. Ambitious projects such as the Red Bull Air Race will surely give wings to the destination, only the relationship between price and quality is not always the most appropriate.



Photo Credits: Red Bull

Photo Credits: Red Bull

Photo Credits: Red Bull

Comparison with the region: If at the destination you have owners who have clear goals and who look at congress tourism strategically, then in a short time you can do a lot. It is possible to revitalize the old factory premises and build a superior conference hotel. Maistra in Rovinj has undoubtedly left its mark. Taking into consideration the geographical location of Rovinj as one of the closest Mediterranean congress destinations for Central and Western Europe, the future of this industry is guaranteed. Missing is only a convention bureau, which would know how to step out of corporate governance of the destination and would be able to serve as attorney of the meetings industry. Otherwise, forecasts of mayor Sponza that Rovinj will be more exclusive than Dubrovnik, can be realized, Cool meetings: In Rovinj and its surroundings you will find countless taverns and wine cellars where you will get true autochthonous experience of tra-

ditional meals. You can start with “maneštra”, typical Istrian soup, once the food of the poor, today you can find it in the restaurants. The basis consists of corn, vegetables, beans, potatoes, some meat or Istrian ham. Every family has its own family recipe which varies according to what’s in season. WHAT’S NEW 1. Red Bull Air Race – the second race of air Formula 1 has fulfilled the expectations of pilots and organizers and helped to present the wonderful place to 500 million viewers around the world 2. Weekend media festival – the largest regional communications festival, which has become predictor of trends and a good practice case of event organization 3. New city beach Lone – a beautifully arranged beach, which may also be a special venue for your event 4. Dolce Vita festival – a very special festival that celebrates vintage culture of 50s, 60s in all 83

its manifestations 5. Champion of Croatian tourism – for the year 2014 it is predicted that Rovinj will be again be the champion of Croatian tourism. Given the excellent start of the year we do not doubt of success. BEST INCENTIVE IDEA SPACIO – The batana ride across the peninsula, dinner in old tavern, musicians singing old fishermans songs. An impressive way to represent how fishermen and farmers used to live in Rovinj. www.istirainspirit.hr DID YOU KNOW BATANA – Rovinj batanas are flat-bottomed boats protected by UNESCO due to their longevity and a traditional way of construction. This is the reason why the Batana House Eco Museum was established. www.batana.org






lmost not a year passes without a summit of Slovenian and Croatian politicians at the Mokrice castle. Just off the Croatian-Slovenian border the location has played host to a number of historical events. The idyllic setting of the castle with the golf course and castle park is the flagship of the region’s congress offer and in Slovenia it has no equal. A visit to the Lower Posavje is difficult to imagine without a visit to the thermal Riviera, but congress organisers will also get what they specifically came looking for. With our own eyes, however, we were convinced that Čatež and Brežice offer much more. It is worth mentioning that Brežice and its hinterland is a rich landscape and a varied destination rich in history as well as natural and cultural attractions. Brežice and Čatež are a part of the Krško-Brežiška basin, characterized by the specific landscape at this border location, with Gorjanci at the southern part and the vineyard-covered Obsotla hills to the north. The region is defined by the Sava and Krka rivers, the entire region getting its name from the Sava River. The Bizeljsko vineyard is particularly interesting, extremely diverse and attractive to tourists. The centre of the region is the municipal centre of Brežice, which is the administrative, economic, cultural and tourist centre of the lower Posavje. A water tower built in 1914 is the symbol of the city and the old town centre is well worth a visit, with a special seal given to Brežice castle from the 11th century and the old, carefully renovated houses, amongst which the old pharmacy stands out, the oldest preserved house in Brežice. Compact and very nicely arranged, it has everything that larger cities offer. Transport accessibility is good, as 10 pan-European transport corridors from Salzburg to Thessaloniki run through the area, yet most convention guests arrive in Čatež by car. It seems that Zagreb is closer to Čatež and Brežice than Ljubljana, as the frontier there is only a little hold up at both sides of the border. Other traffic infrastructure is relatively well developed, including public transport to the main tourist attractions. The main tourist and congress provider is Terme Čatež, which in addition to the Čatež spa also manages the Mokrice castle and is the largest natural spa in Slovenia. Tourism has developed thanks to the thermal springs by the Sava River, which were already discovered 200 years ago. The philosophy of well-being is also a part of the congress story of the destination. Within the context of the entire municipality Brežice otherwise operates 6 hotels, four of which are the 4 stars category (Terme hotel, Spa hotel, Golf hotel Mokrice and hotel Splavar). In addition, at Terme Čatež there is an apartment complex with 60 apartments. The Čatež Thermal Riviera is itself one of the largest in the region, with nine thermal pools and numerous attractions on more than 10,000 85

m2. In addition to summer the Winter Thermal Riviera with 1,800 m2 of water surface is operating all year round. Terme do not lack innovation, as every year they surprise us with new products, examples that are also suitable for conference guests including the Indian village and pirate bay. Terme and Brežice are also very nicely arranged and offer diverse sports-recreational facilities. This makes it an ideal place for recreation and the preparation of top athletes. In addition to other famous clubs the team of Red Star (Crvena Zvezda) and the Croatian national football team have trained and prepared in Terme. The restaurant offer is extensive, not missing a variety of adventure and animation programmes for all generations. Conference halls in the Mokrice castle are suitable for smaller business, protocol and social gatherings, with the Knights’ Hall having a capacity of 40 participants, the Four Seasons Hall 60 guests and the smaller Masonic star hosting 10 guests. The most prominent of the event spaces is the acoustic hall Four Seasons. Congresses can also be organised in the Club house. The Congress Centre in Čatež consists of seven conference halls and meeting rooms. The biggest multipurpose hall can take up to 900 guests. The Convention Centre at Terme Hotel offers four meeting rooms, the largest hall accommodating 200 participants. The Multipurpose Hall at the Spa Hotel can accommodate up to 900 guests and is technically flexible. The Red Hall at Čatež Hotel can accommodate a maximum of 60 guests. All of these facilities are within the tourist complex of Terme Čatež and they can be properly combined according to the needs of different events. There’s a little something else in the Lower Sava valley, something that extends beyond the visibility of local borders and opens up the new sub-genre elite wine congress tourism. The Istenič house of sparkling wines was the first to create a good reputation with its production of high quality sparkling wines. Today, the enchanting estate also has spaces available for organising events. A tasting room can accommodate up to 80 guests and a conference room for 40 people is also available. In the Lower Sava valley can be found one of the largest concentrations of beautifully landscaped medieval castles in Slovenia. In addition to Mokrice it is possible to organise an event in Castle Brežice, home to the Posavski museum and famous for its Baroque paintings in the Knight’s Hall. It is the largest and most beautifully painted hall in Slovenia, where the legendary Brežice festival takes place in the summer. The renaissance Bizeljsko castle in a scenic location can be a special venue for an evening reception. Especially interesting is the renaissance arcaded courtyard with its stone cistern. The Klakočar wine cellar operates in the southern part of the castle.


The natural environment by the Krka river, the Sava river and Sotla river has created a number of nice corners to implement teambuilding programmes or for congress participants socialising events. Terme Čatež also generates almost endless possibilities for the organisation of incentive programmes. Switching from congress tourism to culinary arts, this is one of the most interesting Slovenian regions, which can nicely complement your event. The restaurant fat guy is among the top Slovenian restaurants. Restaurant Šekoranja in Bizeljsko is also a restaurant classic. Overall the main advantages in terms of congress tourism are a favourable geostrategic position of the border location, close to Zagreb international airport and favourable natural conditions with high tourist potential. In addition, thanks to large investments it provides a variety of accommodation facilities, a welcome boon for conference guests with different purchasing power. An arranged congress centre, multipurpose hall and the Mokrice golf course work together to offer many innovative combinations.




Lower Sava valley has an important geostrategic position, because there are important rail and road links with good connections with European centres. The municipality is also intensively considering the local cycling infrastructure that will securely connect Čatež and Brežice. Tourist infrastructure


The common thread of tourism development is the thermal water and Terme Čatež company, which is a recognized brand in the region. They have developed an attractive, comprehensive and diverse tourist offer for all ages. Meetings infrastructure


Čatež offers everything like much more developed congress destinations but in a very small area, from protocol meetings to a rich offer of teambuilding programmes. Together with the possibility of connecting with other authentic products of the Lower Posavje it is a true congress surprise. Subjective grade


A safe and enjoyable convention destination, where you will get for your money much more than in more established convention centres of Slovenia. In addition to the proverbial friendliness and hospitality of the locals there is also a business-orientation and professionalism of providers at a high level.

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

General and transport infrastructure


Most natural attractions in the Sava valley are in the municipality Brežice, making it known as an area with rich natural resources. A clean, pristine and ecologically unburdened area that can be nicely connected in interesting meetings and incentive products. 86


Comparison with the region: Another convention destination of Slovenia, which according to the capacity, integrity of the offer and convenience is often overlooked. Lower Sava valley is mainly thanks to the proactive Terme Čatež a very competitive convention destination. Improvement is needed, however, especially in its image, as at first one does not think of it in terms of congress tourism. Cool meetings: The only indigenous species of Slovenian pig, the “Krško polje” was strenuously maintained and is increasingly appreciated. You will soon find it yourself in pubs and restaurants.

WHAT’S HOT 2014 1. Golf Grad Mokrice – 18 holes on 70 acres makes this one of the most beautiful golf courses in Slovenia. 2. Bizeljsko – discovering the surroundings of Brežice is a wonderful gastronomic experience – we recommend a visit to the Bizeljsko-Sremič wine road with its friendly wineries. 3. Villa Istenič – Wine conference tourism at the entrance to the Bizeljsko wine-growing area 4. Trgovinica (small shop) with local domestic products at Brežice town hall. 5. Jovsi – Natural park and part of the Natura 2000 protected area. BEST INCENTIVE IDEA Indijanska vas – a quaint programme for larger groups, coloured with an Indian theme. As anthropologists – explorers of ancient cultures – you will see and discover the culture of the native American indigenous people. 87

WHO TO CONTACT Tourist information center Čatež ob Savi (Terme Čatež), Topliška cesta 35, 8251 Čatež ob Savi. Tel.: + 386 (0)7 49 36 757, E-pošta: info@ visitbrezice.si. www.visitbrezice.si DID YOU KNOW Repnicas – caves more than 200 years old that were once used for the storage of crops are now an ideal place for Bizeljsko wine tasting.

How To

How can good CRM increase your sales?


espite quick progress and development in information and communications technology areas, many companies are still facing problems of losing sales opportunities due to their own mistakes and inconsistencies. Even when information about existing and potential customers is accurately collected in tables and updated, this alone cannot serve the needs of the company as a whole. Sales need information just-in-time and wherever the sales person is (in the office, at the meeting, in a car …). In companies without a proper CRM solution, it happens that employees double their phone calls or offers, or forget important tasks. Due to the lack of time personnel often pays too little attention to potential customers and

leads – every company’s greatest potential for growth. As the way from the first contact to purchase is usually not short (which also means that competition gets its opportunities along the way), accurate and timely review of all marketing and sales activities is extremely important. As it is cheaper (and easier) to retain current customers than acquire new ones, it is also necessary to keep them in focus. In short, every company needs an effective and insightful tool to process all the information that is collected on a daily basis. Intrix is a modern solution which brings: • Access to information wherever there is internet access (cloud solution, SaaS). • 360 degree overview of existing and potential

customers, at any moment in time, for all sales team members. • Quick preparation of sales reports and detection of sales potentials. • Connectivity to mass email marketing services. • Systematic and effective planning and organisation of any work process. • Adaptability to specific needs of different users and the simplicity of use. It would be wrong to assume that CRM is suitable only for big companies. Intrix is designed to fit various types of businesses: small, medium, or large. Start your 30-day trial now: www.intrixcrm.com

Sell more, work less. CRM that fits your needs.


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ACE OF M.I.C.E. EXHIBITION 2015 We take great pleasure for inviting you to participate in the 2nd Int’l ACE of M.I.C.E. Exhibition which will be organized between the dates of

26 – 28 February 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey. According to ICCA report, Turkey is ranked in 23rd and Istanbul in 9th place on number of meetings.

Turkey’s and Eurasia’s unique MICE industry event ACE of M.I.C.E. Exhibition has achieved to gather 9856 visitors and 579 hosted buyers from 24 different countries in 2014

Total Number of Visitors

Total Number of Exhibitors





P: (+90) 216 465 95 56 - 57 F: (+90) 216 465 95 58 E: info@ameistanbul.com A: Fatih Sultan Mehmet Cad. Akbey Sk. Kardeşler İş Merkezi No:10 K:5 D:13-14 Kavacık-Beykoz / İSTANBUL

Total Number of B2B Appointments Total Number of Hosted Buyers


Exclusive interview


aniel Tylinger is an example of a real career success story. His first employment in the hotel industry was as a waiter in the Hilton Hotel in Prague in June. This started him on the road to success as from that point on he began to move up the career ladder, working through the ranks of Event Coordinator, Corporate Sales Manager and Sales and Marketing Director at a number of leading Prague-based hotels

before arriving at the Kempinski Hotel Hybernska in August 2009 as Director of Sales and Marketing and then continuing in the rebranded hotel, The Mark Luxury Hotel as the Hotel Manager in charge of Sales and Marketing. Daniel studied hotel management at the University of Pittsburgh in London and also at the prestigious Reims Management School in France.


Exclusive interview

PRAGUE FLAGSHIP - GATEWAY BETWEEN EAST AND WEST Interview with DANIEL TYLINGER, Hotel Manager of The Mark Luxury Hotel Text by Gorazd Čad “I love the atmosphere of the city, it is an easy city to walk and explore. It is also a safe city and I think the service is getting better... everybody is trying to represent and offer something new.” Q: First of all tell us more about hotel Mark and its transition from the Kempinski Hotel. What was the reason that you did it? The hotel was bought last year and we have new owners who decided to terminate the Kempinski management agreement and it will now be much more flexible, because as a direct owner you can make much quicker decisions. Before, the hotel was called Kempinski Prague and after this change we could not use the name any more, so we were looking for a brand name, trying to connect the history of the building and unique selling points. We decided to join the Leading hotels of the world because they are quite strong in the distribution and we need to have an international distribution. Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your background, because we heard it’s quite an interesting story? I was studying at a hotel school and than at a hotel management school. I started as a waiter in 1995 at the hotel Atrium in Prague, which was taken over by Hilton a year later. My field was food and beverage and than I changed to the operation part and administration. I was asked one day if I would like to try in sales from my ex boss and I said no but he said: “ Don’t tell your manager no, tell him yes. If you make it you will have a great career and you can always go down and continue with your marketing position.” I obviously said yes and now I am where I am. Q: Prague is in the premier league of the meetings industry in the region, together with Vienna and Budapest. What is Prague’s meeting secret? I think there is a lot of history and also the charm in the location. Our country was always considered as the heart of Europe or a gateway between East and West. What is charming is definitely the history and architecture; we also have a lot of famous people that were studying or living in Prague in the past. There is lot of connections with airlines so it is a combination of a lot of things and I think there are no more secrets.

Q: What makes the hotel Mark different from other competitors? Definitely the history of the building, because the hotel was a palace in the 17th century, but it is also very modern on the inside and it is a really good combination of contemporary design and history. We are exactly the opposite of our competition. We offer 90% suites and 10% standard rooms, which is not typical and is what makes us different. We can call our rooms ‘apartments’, because all 62 suites have kitchens. Last but not least is the private garden at the back of the hotel, which is also unique and is different from all the other public parks near the river. Q: Who is the typical hotel Mark guest? I would say between the ages of 40 and 50 and it would be a leisure traveller and not a businessman. Someone who would like to go and enjoy his vacation and private time and see the beauty of our city. Definitely guests that are staying a little bit longer than one night. Q: What’s going on right now in hotel Mark, any news you would like to share with us regarding the renovation of the meeting hall? Since the reign of a new owner we knew which weaknesses we had and changes we had to do, like opening to the local market, from the food and beverage point of view. It is the meeting room that we are constructing right now, which will be 200 sq.m and will take about 200 guests. I think that was our weakness. We still have an outlet shop in our hotel that is rented out by different companies and we would also like to extend our bar and come up with an idea for a small spa and fitness area, which is missing in our hotel, and we can do these kind of services in the privacy of our guestrooms. These are the things we would like to change and invest in and we are planning on doing that until the end of 2015. Q: Where do you see hotel Mark in five years time? As we are a new member of the Leading hotels of the world, we would like to become one of their flagships. We joined just recently, in June, and our owners are also looking for other opportunities in Prague and abroad to increase the portfolio of not having everything in one hotel, but maybe two, three or four abroad. We would like to maintain our position as the leaders on the market and do as much sales as possible, to increase awareness about Prague. 91

Q: What are the biggest opportunities that you see for Prague’s meeting industry? There are always opportunities and there is growth thanks to good cooperation and good work between Czech Tourism, Prague Convention Bureau and the City of Prague. We are still missing a big exhibition space in town, which I hope will change, but we are a very attractive destination for international companies and congresses. Q: What do you personally love about Prague? I love the atmosphere of the city, it is an easy city to walk and explore. It is also a safe city and I think the service is getting better, because there is not only competition in town but also between countries, with everybody trying to represent and offer something new. We are missing some international events that happen every year and will attract guests to come again and again. Q: What is your best advice for the regional meetings industry when we are talking about Central Europe or South-East Europe? I think we are not working in marketing or PR to put the cities on the map. If somebody hears about a country once or twice it’s definitely not enough. I think at the moment we are doing what we can, within our limits regards the funds, but we just have to talk positively about the city and turn the negative things to positive, because some of the people from Eastern Europe would first talk about all the negative things and I think we should do it the other way around we should be proud of what we have. Q: What is your favorite place in Prague? I love the Malastrana and the riverbank. I love to sit outside in any kind of garden or courtyard, of which there are a lot in Prague and are not yet discovered by tourists. You can make shortcuts between the streets, which are really interesting with a lot of small local art shops. I also like the castle hill with a beautiful view of the city. Q: Is there anything else you would like to say to are readers? Come to Prague and discover!

Behind the Scenes

Hotel garden (photo collection Mark)


Behind the Scenes




he Baroque palace, built in the 15th century and set in the centre of Prague, is a building with an eminent history. Among its many famous, noble residents was Count František Vežnik, after whom it takes its name of Vežnikovsky Palace. It later became the property of the famous Lobkowic family, one of the most famous families of Czech nobility, who managed the building until 1928, when it was sold to the Gremial health fund and until its most recent renovation was used as a clinic. The hotel in the palace, which in 1958 was declared a cultural monument, is special no less so because of its garden in the middle of the city. The superior location of the building led to its 1996 purchase by Ballymore Properties and its subsequent renovation for the Kempinski hotel

Exterior of the hotel (photo collection Mark)


chain in accordance with the design of the Bryan Architects bureau. It was the renovation of 2008 that gave the hotel its present form and function. The hotel today belongs to the group of top Prague hotels located in the historical part of the city, in one of the superbly renovated buildings with a true soul. Alongside the Mark Hotel the Mandarin Oriental, Augustine Rocco Forte and the Four Seasons can all be bracketed. The Hotel Mark has two advantages over other hotels: the first has already been mentioned - its garden. The second is being in one of the best locations in Prague, next to the Municipal House, the Czech National Bank and just a few steps away from the Prague triangle at the intersection of Hybernska, Na Prikope and Republic Square.

Behind the Scenes

The hotel lobby with art sculptures (photo collection Mark) Hotel room (photo collection Mark)

The first surprise for guests are the mighty gates, through which an elegant hallway leads to the hotel’s garden. The 1,800 m2 garden with its beautiful sculptures also attracts the locals, especially lovers of good coffee and those drawn to its attractive lounge corners and the chef’s garden with spices. When night falls, the intimate and discreet lighting is captivating. As explained to us by Zuzana Novakova, the very professional hotel spokeswoman, the hotel is especially proud of the art exhibitions of leading Czech artists capturing seasonal themes. The interior of the hotel is completely given over to the needs of guests and ensuring their comfort. Due to the nature of the building, the hotel’s public spaces are interesting and unusual. The reception is hidden on the right side of the lobby next to the original baroque staircase, with numerous staff discreetly and elegantly taking care of guests. Around the hotel you will find an impressive collection of paintings, which creates an impression that you are in an art gallery. A special impression is left by the mighty lighting designed for the hotel by Czech glassmakers Lasvit. On the second floor the hotel’s convention centre can be found, which is to be renovated and expanded this year. Today, both congress halls can accommodate up to 120 participants. The presidential suite, which can accommodate up to 16 congress guests, is also often used for congress events. The hotel’s garden is anothera popular venue for receptions, accommodat94

Behind the Scenes

Hotel room (photo collection Mark)

ing up to 300 guests and for a seated banquet with a maximum capacity of 150 guests. As Daniel Tylinger, the hotel director, explained, all of the hotel rooms are actually suites. With the average room size is 50 m2 they are among the largest in Prague - even the smallest include a living room and a bedroom. The presidential suite, which is an apartment of 140 m2 with beautiful views of the Prague cityscapes, is the highest ranked suite. Indoor equipment is extremely tasteful, elegant and not at all gaudy. At every step one is accompanied by a pleasant smell, which is a sign of good maintenance. The hotel room or suite - is one of the best hotel experiences of Prague, also because in this hotel nothing is like you are used to anywhere else. One comes to the hotel restaurant Le Grill with good reason. Executive chef Ondrej Korab is one of the younger chefs of the new Czech culinary wave that has gained his knowledge from across the world. As he himself says, he learned the most from Chris Staines in the one Michelin star Foliage restaurant. Later he studied molecular cuisine from TV star Heston Blumenthal. From January 2014 he has been putting all of his knowledge on to the plates as the restaurant chef and the hotel kitchen chef. Dishes coming from his kitchen neither brag nor are boastful, but rather they are Czech-Worldly, colourful and elegant, and sometimes avant-garde. The cuisine is successfully complemented by a broad wine list. Breakfast is the

most beautiful memory for a good start to the day: indigenous, minimalist and sometimes experimental. In the hotel lobby the appetite is immediately roused by the presence of desserts and pastry chef Karolina Kocinova, who joined the team in August, is responsible for them. Karolina’s last post was in the hotel Kempinski Adriatic in Savdurija and these days you’ll find her creations bringing in the Mediterranean flavours – just imagine desserts made of black olives, Istrian truffles and rosemary sorbet. All of this you can taste in the garden, which is not only a cafe, day time restaurant and a Zen corner, but also a real wine cellar with selected wines. Both celebrity chefs are showing the ambition of the owners to create worldclass cuisine in the heart of Prague. We will definitely be hearing much more about both of them. As a rule, luxury hotels must surprise us. The Mark is special because of its timeless elegance. Nothing disturbs the view in every sense; it seems that everything is in its rightful place. With this and with all we have written above, this hotel is proving that this kind of lifestyle is certainly still worth something.

Chef Ondrej Korab (photo collection Mark)

Pastry Chef Karolina Kocinova


Behind the Scenes


Behind the Scenes


Behind the Scenes


Behind the Scenes

THE MARK LUXURY HOTEL PRAGUE Hybernska 12, 11000 Prague 1, Czech Republic T: +420 226 226 111 F: +420 226 226 123 www.themark.cz

ACCOMMODATION • 13 Superior rooms - avg. size 28 m2 • 15 Grand Deluxe rooms - avg. size 43 m2 • 8 Junior Suites - avg. size 49 m2 • 8 Duplex Suites - avg. size 56 m2 • 18 Executive Suites - avg. size 55 m2 • 11 Premium Suites - avg. size 63 m2 • 1 Bohemia Suite - size 140 m2 with 49 m2 large terrace • 1 Presidential Suite - size 190 m2 with 56 m2 large terrace • Free Wi-Fi internet access • Wireless telephone • LCD TV with satellite and pay TV • Individually controlled air-conditioning • Laptop-sized safe • Large bathroom with separate bath tub and rain shower • Separate living room with kitchenette in all suites • Dining corner in suites • Media panel with iPod connection • Fully stocked large mini-bar

RESTAURANT, BAR & LOUNGE • La Grill Restaurant with International and Czech Cuisine • Two Step Bar and Winter Garden • Lobby Lounge • Courtyard Garden

POINTS OF INTEREST • Prague Castle • Charles Bridge • Old Town Square and Wenceslaw Square • Lesser Town • St. Nicholas Church • Vyšehrad Castle • Jewish Quarter • Strahov Monastery • Municipal House • Rudolfinum • National Theatre, National Opera • Lobkowicz Palace

TRANSPORTATION • The Mark hotel offers easy access to Prague International Airport by taxi. The central train station is conveniently located just 1 km from the hotel.


RECREATIONAL FACILITIES • Fitness Centre and Spa • Massage SERVICES & FACILITIES • 24-hour room service • 24-hour Concierge service • Laundry / dry cleaning service • Airport limousine service • Valet parking service • Gift shop • Business corner • Complimentary shoe-shine service • International newspapers

VISITOR INFORMATION • Language: Czech • Currency: CZK (Czech Crown) • Electricity: The hotel operates on 220-volt power • Visas: Visa requirements are determined by nationality. The Czech Republic belongs to the Schengen area. LOCATION The hotel is located in the centre of Prague, in close proximity to all of its major historical and cultural

Hidden Congress Guest




LOCATION The hotel with a rich past and located on the site where the historic “Pri Bitencu” tavern once stood (and since 1903 the “Štrukelj” Hotel, which was known far and wide for its excellent, savoury “štruklji” (strudels), it was renamed the Hotel Tourist after the war and since the fall of the Iron Curtain became once again the property of the Krajc family. After an intensive renovation in 2007 it was renamed the City Hotel Ljubljana. The hotel, located in the city centre on the street that was once the centre of the city’s social life, does not inspire passion, but it still offers a lot of hotel comfort and a reliable service.

CATEGORY ★★★ OPENED FROM 1905 / 2007 MEETING STAR City meeting hotels STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities NUMBER OF ROOMS 203 rooms and 2 suites PRICE INTERNET 118 EUR per room (BB, September 2014) ADDRESS CITY HOTEL LJUBLJANA Dalmatinova 15, 1000 Ljubljana T: +386 (0)1 239 00 00 F: + 386 (0)1 239 00 93 E: info@cityhotel.si www.cityhotel.si FACILITIES - Conference centre - City hotel restaurant - Hotel Bar - Fitness SPECIALS Super fast and well-functioning Wi-Fi 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:

4.65 4.12 3.45 3.42 4.26 4.28 3.82 3,91 3.98 3.68 3.75 3.65 3.83 3.91

FINAL GRADE Premium hotel


Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget

★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

ACCESIBILITY City Hotel is in close proximity to key attractions and Ljubljana’s business centre, with the major convention centres also nearby. It is easily accessible by car and public transport, as several bus lines run past it. For car drivers the hotel offers its own hotel garage. The location is also ideal for exploring the city on foot or by bike. COLD APPETIZER - Architecture and Aesthetics The modernist architecture of the hotel was softened in terms of colour at the time of the last renovation and made more attractive to the eye. It was designed in a minimalist manner with the reinforced concrete made more visible. When renovating the old hotel building they were limited by the strict dimensions of the city centre site, but they managed to build a functional and guest-friendly hotel. That the hotel should be enjoyable was the guideline also followed by the interior design architects, who have managed to surprise with a lot of quite friendly additions in the public areas of the hotel intended for the comfort of guests. WARM APPETIZER - Staff and Food The staff is friendly, professional and always ready to help and the food reflects the category of the hotel, best exemplified through the breakfast and its perfect adequacy. The spacious restaurant and summer terrace are the most important elements of the culinary offer, which with the quality of the offer will also surprise more demanding guests. In the restaurant they offer interesting and high-quality Slovenian cuisine, but international dishes, tailored to business guests and tourists, are also served.


Final Score

MAIN COURSE - Congress hotel offer The hotel is a solidly equipped “multi–practitioner” and after check-in the hotel room surprises with its good sense of space. The room equipment is satisfactory, although a dampened impression is left by the furniture, which is just acceptable for a hotel of this category. The rooms could be more consistently designed and developed, but bearing in mind that this is a 3 star category hotel this is something of a wish list item, as in the hotel you get an average hotel room, lacking for nothing, and for more luxury it is necessary to go to some of the higher ranked hotels in Ljubljana. The hotel has a small conference centre. Four halls are multifunctional and can be linked and combined. The maximum capacity is 200 participants. DESSERT – Additional offer Summer terrace is also suitable for receptions.


FLOP – negative surprises Occasional crowds at the front desk, especially with the arrival of major tourist groups.


TOP – positive surprises Location right in the city centre.

Overall impression and credibility In recent years the hotel has undergone a number of updates, but after the last one the hotel entered into a new era, becoming more attractive after refurbishment. The city hotel is tailored to the needs of today’s business guests and embodies the current capabilities of most wallets. Considering it with all of this in mind, we can also accept some compromises in terms of room equipment and service.

Hidden Congress Guest



Photo credit FALKENSTEINER HOTEL BELGRADE LOCATION The hotel is located in the Maxima Centre business/ residential building in the business zone of the New Belgrade and is the second hotel of this chain in Serbia and one of the first city hotels. Fulfilling the owner’s requirements, the hotel is with character and has been developed in response to the needs of a growing number of business guests in the city. Novi Beograd is becoming ever nicer and the part around the hotel is considered to be one of the more prestigious areas.

CATEGORY ★★★★ superior OPENED FROM 2013 MEETING STAR CITY MEETING HOTEL STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities NUMBER OF ROOMS 170 rooms and suites PRICE INTERNET 140 - 145 EUR per room (Sep. 2014) ADDRESS FALKENSTEINER HOTEL BELGRADE Bulevar Mihaila Pupina 10K 110000 Belgrade, Serbia T: +381 (0)11 225 0000 F: +381 (0)11 225 0001 E: reservations.belgrade@falkensteiner.com www.belgrade.falkensteiner.com FACILITIES - City Spa centre - A la carte restaurant Pink Topaz - Hotel bar - Business lounge - The summer terrace

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

4.65 4.12 4.41 4.29 4.69 4.72 4.37 4.29 4.36 4.71 4.53 4.49 4.51 4.47

4.47 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

ACCESSIBILITY The hotel is well connected to the city centre and the Nikola Tesla Airport is a mere 15 kilometres away. Choosing this hotel means you will avoid the occasional traffic jams at the entrance to the city centre. Guests can use the hotel garage, with 54 parking spaces, and there is also free outdoor parking in front of the hotel, which is very convenient if coming to the city by car from within the region. Taxis in Belgrade are very cheap and it won’t break the bank to take one. The hotel is also very handy for attending large congresses in the Sava Centre. COLD APPETIZER - Architecture and Aesthetics The modern, dynamic and distinctive design of Boris Podrecca is reflected in the clean lines and some original solutions, such as what appears at first glance to be a bit unusual equipment of hotel rooms. The hotel’s facade is stripped of anything unnecessary and somehow appears futuristic and also masculine. The interior decoration was conceived by Bea Miterhofer and due to the many pink accessories can appear feminine and funky. Altogether, it is nicely balanced and enjoyable. WARM APPETIZER - Staff and Food The staff have the proverbial friendliness of the Falkensteiner hotel chain and it can be observed throughout that the hotel is managed well. The cleanliness and tidiness is maintained scrupulously, despite full occupancy. The hotel’s breakfast, especially the corner with local Serbian food, is exceptional, which is something that can go missing in some of the higher-ranking Belgrade hotels. All in all, a true Falkensteiner that pays a lot of attention to food and to a personal relationship with the guests.


Final Score

MAIN COURSE - Congress hotel offer The philosophy of the hotel is pleasant, functional and comfortable. When you get out of the hotel elevators the pinky shades unexpectedly appear, but make for a very pleasant surprise, as do some of the surprise designer neo-baroque accessories, such as the unusual television frame, recliners and sofas that make the hotel rooms quite special. There are individual pieces that call for photo moments and some others that the guests would probably wish to have at home. The fusion of the old and the new mixed in with the daring colour combinations continue throughout the public areas. Over 700m2 of congress floorspace is located in the basement. The solution is correct for the hotel layout, but daylight is missed and a slightly higher ceiling height would be welcome. The largest banquet hall, one of a total of six halls, can accommodate up to 360 participants. DESSERT – Additional offer The summer terrace is a pleasant area for a reception of event participants.


FLOP – negative surprises Do not expect spectacular views, as the hotel is located in the middle of the business section of the city.


TOP – positive surprises The striking interior is finished to the very last detail in the public areas and in the hotel rooms. Overall impression and credibility We first of all assess a hotel with the eyes, then later comes the assessment from a range of other senses. Here the enthusiasm is high, thanks to the architect, Boris Podrecca, who has succeeded in redefining the urban business hotel. The main feature of the hotel is its dynamic and attractive appearance and top quality of services tailored to business customers, which places the hotel among the top among the current hotel offer of Belgrade.

Hidden Congress Guest




CATEGORY ★★★★★ OPENED FROM 2008 rooms renovation MEETING STAR CITY MEETING HOTEL STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities NUMBER OF ROOMS 158 luxury bedrooms including 15 Deluxe and 2 Presidential Suites PRICE INTERNET 175 - 185 EUR per room (Sep. 2014) ADDRESS HOTEL EXCELSIOR & SPA DUBROVNIK Frana Supila 12, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia T: +385 - 20 - 353 - 000 E: info@hotel-excelsior.hr www.hotel-excelsior.hr FACILITIES: Fine Dinning Restaurant Salin, Satu Sushi Bar & Restaurant, Prora Beach Restaurant, Abakus piano bar, Comfort zone space, Boutique Gym & Fitness SPECIALS: Hotel of the year 2004 (Croatian Chamber of Economy) + many other awards 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

4.96 3.75 4.75 4.68 4.75 4.82 4.89 4.92 4.95 4.75 4.45 4.90 4.40 4.69

4.69 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

LOCATION Excelsior is a Dubrovnik’s icon that is subject to the hotel maxim that ‘location is paramount’. The seaside location overlooking the island of Lokrum and the old town have for over 100 years been delighting guests from all over the world. One could say that it is a unique example of a hotel that for the whole time it has been in operation has also been a cultural, political and business institution of Dubrovnik. Significantly, the hotel doors did not ever close, even in the historically most difficult times for the town. Due to its unique location and special charm, it has been visited by many celebrities. ACCESSIBILITY The hotel is located right on the coast, about 5 minutes walk from the city’s east gate and only about 18 km to Čilipi airport. A large garage is available for cars. In the summer tourist madhouse season the city tends to be crowded, which is something that has to be reckoned with. Otherwise, the convention season is much more tranquil. While staying at the hotel the entire city can be managed on foot. COLD APPETIZER - Architecture and Aesthetics The hotel is a combination of modern and traditional architecture. Throughout its history there have been numerous renovations and modernisations, the last major one taking place in 2008. The most visible renovation took place between 1958 – 1965, when the hotel got a modernist extension in the form of a new hotel tower. This is the only loud architectural element, the older parts of the hotel still oozing with quiet elegance. Inside the architectural fusion is softened and turned into a very functional and useful interior. The equipment appears both prestigious and timeless. WARM APPETIZER - Staff and Food Starting at the reception, the staff here is one of the most friendly and professional ones in all of Dubrovnik. Unobtrusive and at the same time seemingly omnipresent, the staff are deserving of especial praise. In the legendary hotel bar the guests have cocktails and a service available that is missing in some of the competing hotels in Dubrovnik. The wine list is also reflective of the quality of the hotel, as is the rich selection of cocktails and other drinks. Perhaps the weakest part of the offer is the otherwise fully stocked breakfast, where its planners could perhaps address the maxim that less can sometimes be more. The additional culinary offer, however, is very rich and they have literally everything you want, with the best to be 102

Final Score

had if you do not seek to complicate things too much and stick to the concrete tips and advice of the waiters. MAIN COURSE - Congress hotel offer In 2008 all of the hotel suites and rooms were thoroughly renovated. In the rooms can be found paintings by Dubrovnik’s famous artists, stylish furnishings and warm colours; in short, everything you would expect from a luxury hotel at this level. Public spaces pamper guests with comfort and prettiness. The congress centre has six halls with a capacity of 15 to 450 persons. The hotel’s terraces, with its stunning views, are a real special venue. The hotel lives its own life, one that from the moment you cross the threshold exhales a different rhythm and a special hotel patina, which has its own charm and as a result also many followers. DESSERT – Additional offer Terrace overlooking the walls of Dubrovnik, which is a legendary venue for the most prestigious events.


FLOP – negative surprises Some of the standard rooms are smaller than the current hotel standards.


TOP – positive surprises Satu Sushi Bar & Restaurant and inspiring piano in the Abakus bar Overall impression and credibility Dubrovnik’s high-flier defies time and its increasing competition in the city. The image of the hotel’s myth is built on the reputation of being the best hotel in the city. This traditional hotel is still very high on the quality scale, however, it seems that at the same time it has several competitors breathing down its neck. ‘Excelsior is Excelsior’, though, and this sentence you often hear in Dubrovnik. It would be difficult to place any other hotel in Dubrovnik into this thought with the same special meaning. This, however, does not diminish the value of other local competitors, which are continuing to build on other strengths.

Hidden Congress Guest




LOCATION Hotel Park was considered to be one of the largest hotels within the administrative breadth of the former Yugoslavia. It is located in the heart of the largest city park and just a stone’s throw from the Novi Sad Fair. It is accompanied by an interesting history loaded with interesting stories. Supposedly it got the Congress Centre for the New Year’s Eve celebration of President Tito in 1977 and due to this the hotel was fully reconstructed. Supposedly also at that time Tito and Jovanka had fun together for the last time!

CATEGORY ★★★★★ OPENED FROM 1965 / reconstruction 2004 MEETING STAR CITY MEETING HOTEL STANDARD Congress hotel NUMBER OF ROOMS 222 rooms PRICE INTERNET 65 - 115 EUR per room (Sep. 2014) ADDRESS HOTEL PARK NOVI SAD Novosadskog sajma 35 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia T: +381 (0)1 21 488 88 88 F: +381 (0)1 21 488 88 85 E: info@hotelparkns.com www.hotelparkns.com FACILITIES 2 health centres, Beauty saloon, Hairdresser saloon, Restaurant Park sala, Restaurant Tito’s saloon, Lobby bar, Casino SPECIALS Tito’s saloon with a hint of Yugo nostalgia

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

4.65 3.50 3.90 3.12 4.15 4.21 3.12 3.10 3.05 3.98 3.86 4.32 4.45 3.80

3.80 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

ACCESSIBILITY Novi Sad is a user-friendly city of about 400,000 inhabitants and because of this the transportation and orientation in the city does not pose any major problem. It’s not far to the city centre with a taxi, and compared to Europe the taxis are very cheap. The hotel is right next to the Novi Sad Fair and because of the excellent signage you can’t miss it. A great advantage of the hotel is a giant parking lot, which takes 400 cars. The main airport for access to Novi Sad is Beograd, which is become a leading aviation hub of the region. To Novi Sad you will then need just under an hour. COLD APPETIZER - Architecture and Aesthetics The hotel building is gigantic and modernist, but its hard edges are softened by the greenery of the mighty park in which it is set. This is a typical hotel building as they built them under socialism, but inside you’ll find a completely different hotel style, which could be dubbed Neo-Baroque. The main problem of such a spatial arrangement is that it appears somewhat archaic - heavy colour combinations and gilding at every step. In addition, the mighty entrance hall is quite dark, due to the choice of furniture, which at least for our assessors appears just a little too heavy. The quite confused style continues into other areas and interesting architectural surprises await you at every corner of the hotel. WARM APPETIZER - Staff and Food The weakest part of the hotel offer is the catering. Whilst the receptionists are trying hard and stand out with their exceptional kindness, the same can not be said for everyone working in service. In addition, the breakfast is mediocre and not up to the hotel categorisation. This is especially true if you are a vegetarian and would want a little bit of a larger selection of fruit and vegetables. The same is true for the a la carte restaurant and unfortunately, as far as cuisine is concerned, we have to recommend going to some of the top restaurants in the city and on the city’s Riviera along the coast of the Danube River. 103

Final Score

MAIN COURSE - Congress hotel offer If you are expecting hotel rooms of a modern design you will be surprised. The rooms, which are certainly clean and well-maintained, are from a bygone era. It is hard to find such bedding in modern hotels today. In addition, the size of the rooms is outside of the present standards. The bathroom is small and not very well equipped. The entirety appears out-dated, but maybe precisely here lies the charm of the hotel. The stronger part of the offer is the convention centre, which has seven halls. Among them two halls are in the form of an amphitheatre, and there is a large banquet hall in neo-baroque style. The congress centre offers a wide range of options and, also because of the affordability, is an excellent choice. DESSERT – Additional offer The nostalgic Tito’s saloon with the preserved, authentic furniture, in which the Marshal celebrated New Year in 1977.


FLOP – negative surprises Despite a detailed explanation of how it works at the reception, the Wi-Fi did not work. The solution: a classic cable connection.


TOP – positive surprises Value for money compared to congress hotels in Europe is very good. Overall impression and credibility The hotel leaves mixed and conflicting impressions. For the interior equipment you either like the hotel or you don’t. It appears like a kind of retro where you found yourself in the 1970s. In addition, the Serbian categorisation is clearly different from the European standard - following these meetings standards the hotel would have earned a solid four stars. On the other hand, it has a very wide offer everything from spa centre to casino and several congress halls. For complex events is now virtually the only choice in the city. To clients who need this type of a hotel, Hotel Park will definitely fit the bill. Those who are more demanding will probably leave it feeling disappointed. Therefore, it is for those who want such a type of hotel, and for which the ratio between the final price and content is important. The hotel has a number of reliable trump cards, among which are its offer of range of facilities, location, convention centre and usability.

Hidden Congress Guest





CATEGORY ★★★★ OPENED FROM 2009 MEETING STAR RESORT MEETING HOTEL STANDARD Convention Hotel NUMBER OF ROOMS 385 rooms and 16 suites PRICE INTERNET 175 - 185 EUR per room (Sep. 2014) ADDRESS VALAMAR LACROMA DUBROVNIK Ulica Iva Dulčića 34 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia T: +385 20 449 235, F: +385 20 448 444 E: reservations@valamar.com www.valamar.com FACILITIES: Ragusa Spa, Valamar Dubrovnik President Beach, Lacroma Restaurant, Langusto Fine Dining, Orsula Lobby Bar, Palma Lounge Bar , Nocturno Wine & Cocktail Bar, Onofrio Pool Bar SPECIALS: The largest hi-tech convention centre in Dubrovnik with 1,160 m2 of convention halls and an additional 1,000 m2 for exhibitions“ 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

4.12 3.85 4.51 4.44 4.74 4.79 4.53 4.56 4.53 4.59 4.71 4.83 4.29 4.50

4.50 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

LOCATION Built in the middle of the seventies during the former Yugoslavia’s tourism heyday, the hotel lies in the heart of the Babin Kuk peninsula. In that era, the entire peninsula was laid out for development and in 1975 the largest tourist resort on the Adriatic got under way. Babin Kuk is well connected to the city and with the development that has happened since it was built seems to be a natural part of it. From the original plan it was to act as a single tourist city, but since the days of transition it has lost its character. The complete renovation of the Valamar Lacroma hotel, however, has again started to appeal to the originally designed tourist and convention business function. ACCESIBILITY The hotels are perfectly connected with the city by public transport, which is efficient and cheap, as well as a well-developed road network, which takes you to the old town centre in 15 minutes. There are extensive parking facilities for cars, which during major events can occasionally be tested and indeed not be enough. There is also a lovely network of paths for walking and cycling, which are beautifully maintained and surrounded by rich Mediterranean vegetation. The airport Čilipi is 22 km away and in the peak meetings season there are usually no major complications with accessibility. COLD APPETIZER - Architecture and Aesthetics An elegant, comfortable and well-designed hotel with the distinctive signature of the architect, Boris Podrecca. The hotel and congress centre are aiming at a different, more modern and dynamic meetings client and guest. The hotel has been transformed from a socialist design statement into a superior conference hotel. The architecture is inspired by the Dubrovnik city walls in the form of three fingers that descend into the sea. The gardens are especially appealing Giardini between the fingers with a host of indigenous plants. WARM APPETIZER - Staff and Food Very trained and professional staff, accustomed to the challenging demands of convention guests, enhance the feel of the hotel. Everything from the booking to the completion of an event runs smoothly and with an appointed administrator of your project - the team maintains high standards of service. A large selection of dishes for breakfast seems tailored to the needs of convention guests, with a more intimate and very high level dining experience to be found in 104

Final Score

the restaurant Langusto, serving Mediterranean and regional Dalmatian cuisine that can also be tasted in the congress catering. MAIN COURSE - Congress hotel offer The spacious and well-equipped rooms are commendable for their logical arrangement of space and functionality. The hand of Boris Podrecca, who has created a great hotel-convention story, is reflected at every step through the unmistakable aesthetics. A lot of attention has been devoted to a contact with nature through the large glass surfaces. The lighting is perfect and there is a lot of wood, with every detail seeming to be deliberated and sophisticated. The congress centre is multifunctional, so the largest hall, Elafiti, can accommodate up to 1,200 guests in full layout and is accompanied by a business centre with seven meeting rooms that can be changed into a huge exhibition venue. DESSERT – Additional offer Inspiring architecture of Boris Podrecca


FLOP – negative surprises Quite busy parking during major events.

TOP – positive surprises First class convention services and Mediterranean charm Overall impression and credibility The hotel does not disappoint and in terms of hotel functionality it is difficult to criticize anything. The thoughtful, functional and smartly designed convention centre is a rarity and the organisation of events in it is a joy. With the latest renovation of Dubrovnik President Hotel the resort offers a wide variety of capacities appealing to different sizes of participant pockets. The entire hotel-convention package could be placed a class higher, particularly due to the high practicality in the field of congress tourism. The overall impression is tarnished only by the slightly higher price, which then falls within the scope of decision making for organising an event in Dubrovnik.

Regional Briefing

CROATIA AIRLINES CELEBRATES 25th ANNIVERSARY IN ZAGREB Transporting more than 29 million passengers


overnment-owned national airline and flag carrier of the Republic of Croatia – Croatia Airlines –celebrated its 25th anniversary in the capital Zagreb. Croatia Airlines CEO Krešimir Kučko said in front of a number of invited guests at Gradska Kavana on Zagreb’s main square, including Prime Minister Zoran Milanović, that Croatia Airlines over the last quarter of a century has grown into a regional leader and company with the highest level of flight safety. Kučko added that the company was successfully restructured, which has produced positive business results in 2013.

Croatia Airlines was established on 7 August 1989, initially trading with the name Zagal (formally, Zagreb Airlines), and started operations using a single Cessna 402 aircraft on cargo services for UPS. After the first democratic elections held in Croatia, Zagal changed its name to Croatia Airlines on 23 July 1990 and made its first passenger service on 5 May 1991 when it flew from the capital Zagreb to Spit. One year later on 5 April 1992 Croatia Airlines made its first international passenger flight from Zagreb to Frankfurt in Germany. Since then the company has flown over 469,000 commercial flights, transporting more than 29 million passengers.


A one-stop guide to Zagreb convention and congress capacities

Z ALREADY IN AUGUST ZAGREB SURPASSED 1 MILLION OVERNIGHTS! 11 % increase in visits and overnight stays in 2014


ccording to Zagreb Tourist Board statistics, the number of tourists visiting Zagreb in August was 111.405 with 180.947 overnight stays, which marks an 14% rise in visits and a 21% increase in overnight stays in respect to August 2013. The majority of guests arrived from Spain, Germany, Italy, South Korea and France. Overall, from January till August there were 592,308 visitors in Zagreb who made 1.016.489 overnights, which represents an 11% increase in visits and a 11% increase in overnight stays. It is important to point out that in 2014 the figure of

1.000.000 overnight stays was surpassed already in August, while last year it was reached in the middle of September. The top three in arrivals were the visitors from South Korea, Germany and Italy, while in overnights the majority of the guests came from Germany, Italy and USA. The Zagreb Tourist Board is pleased with the excellent results, which again confirm that Zagreb became a must-see tourist destination, and hopes that the positive trend will continue in the following months that will be filled with plenty of interesting events.


agreb Tourist Board has launched a new mobile application MEET IN ZAGREB. Application was developed by and is the ownership of the Zagreb Tourist Board & Convention Bureau. It will guide you through the Croatian capital, its history, accommodation and convention facilities, PCOs and congress services, and catering services for event managers. You can browse through the accommodation on offer, check capacity, services and map locations to find what best suits your needs. If you are looking for professional help in organizing your event, browse the PCOs and congress services list; a short description and references will speed up your search. And when all the hard work is done, we also have a list of reliable catering to help you leave the desired impression. List of best local catering services and restaurants will aid in your search and guarantee excellent results. In short, Zagreb Convention is what its name implies, a one-stop guide to our convention and congress capacities, and your ticket to efficient and professional business planning in Zagreb. As the sole owner of this service the Zagreb Tourist Board & Convention Bureau guarantees that all information is accurate and carefully selected.

ICCA Top 10

ICCA TOP 10 CITIES - CENTRAL EUROPE (Austria, Germany, Liechenstein, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary, Poland) POSITION ON ICCA 2013 CITY AND COUNTRY RANKING








1. VIENNA, 3rd place worldwide / 182 meetings 2. BERLIN, 5th place worldwide / 178 meetings 3. PRAGUE, 11th place worldwide / 121 meetings 4. BUDAPEST, 17th place worldwide / 106 meetings 5. MUNICH, 25th place worldwide / 82 meetings 6. WARSAW, 34th place worldwide / 65 meetings 7. ZURICH, 54th place worldwide / 44 meetings 8. GENEVA, 60th place worldwide / 41 meetings 9. HAMBURG, 62nd place worldwide / 39 meetings 10. CRACOW, 79th place worldwide / 32 meetings

1. BRATISLAVA, 99th place worldwide / 24 meetings 2. DRESDEN, 106th place worldwide / 22 meetings 2. LEIPZIG, 106th place worldwide / 22 meetings 4. FRANKFURT AM MAIN, 112th place worldwide / 21 meetings 5. BERNE, 117th place worldwide / 20 meetings 5. COLOGNE, 117th place worldwide / 20 meetings 5. LAUSANNE, 117th place worldwide / 20 meetings 8. BASEL, 126th place worldwide / 19 meetings 9. GDANSK, 148th place worldwide / 17 meetings 10. AACHEN, 159th place worldwide / 15 meetings












ICCA Top 10

ICCA TOP 10 CITIES - SEE EUROPE (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Greece, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Turkey) POSITION ON ICCA 2013 CITY AND COUNTRY RANKING



4.70 %






1. ISTANBUL, 8th place worldwide / 146 meetings 2. BELGRADE, 44th place worldwide / 52 meetings 3. ATHENS, 47th place worldwide / 49 meetings 4. BUCHAREST, 79th place worldwide / 32 meetings 4. ZAGREB, 79th place worldwide / 32 meetings 6. LJUBLJANA, 84th place worldwide / 31 meetings 7. SOFIA, 94th place worldwide / 26 meetings 8. ANTALYA, 103rd place worldwide / 23 meetings 9. IZMIR, 106th place worldwide / 22 meetings 10. DUBROVNIK, 117th place worldwide / 20 meetings

1. ANKARA, 193rd place worldwide / 12 meetings 2. THESSALONIKI, 219th place worldwide / 10 meetings 3. RHODES, 242nd place worldwide / 9 meetings 4. OHRID, 265th place worldwide / 8 meetings 4. SARAJEVO, 265th place worldwide / 8 meetings 6. BUDVA, 294th place worldwide / 7 meetings 6. NOVI SAD, 294th place worldwide / 7 meetings 6. SKOPJE, 294th place worldwide / 7 meetings 9. BLED, 328th place worldwide / 6 meetings 9. MARIBOR, 328th place worldwide / 6 meetings












Croatia Addendum


Croatia Addendum

Croatia Addendum 109 1 Aleksandra Uhernik Đurđek EDUTAINMENT AT MEETINGS 2 Vjeran Bušelić DESIGNERS & PROGRAMMERS SPEED DATING 3 Daniela Kos The European bridge team championship in Opatija 4 Interview Goran Ražnjević: In Ilirija, we have always strived for innovation 5 Daniela Kos EXPLORING EDUTAINMENT LOCATIONS

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

Croatia Addendum

EDUTAINMENT at meetings Capturing your attendees’ heads and their hearts

text by Aleksandra Uhernik Đurđek, Vjeran Bušelić



n several of my previous articles I shared some thoughts with you about the human issue in the organisation of meetings and events and about audience engagement. The subject of emotional intelligence when it comes to planning an event was also covered. All of this is becoming a special interest for experienced professionals looking to always give attendees fresh and amazing experiences and unexpected encounters. I believe that talking to people outside of our industry always inspires us to a new way of thinking about the business. What works well, what type of meetings they organise, how they include an educational component in their programmes? When I met Vjeran Bušelić and heard the story about “Designers & Programmers Speed Dating” I immediately knew I wanted to share the story with you. Here is the case study that, in my opinion, really shows a great example of how to create emotional connections in the business and organise an event that is both educational and entertaining. I hope more, similar experiences are out there on the market. I am looking forward to hearing about them! Aleksandra Uhernik Đurđek Meetings & Events Professional, Freelancer Croatia & Adriatic Region

“DESIGNERS & PROGRAMMERS SPEED DATING” The Student Council from the Polytechnic of Zagreb (TVZ) organised one of the biggest Croatian Mobile Development Training and Competition – TVZ MC2 (Mobile Code Challenge). The project became very visible and popular in the Croatian student, university and professional ICT community. The competition, which lasted for three months (from February till May 2014), was mentored and guided by Vjeran Bušelić, Head of the Career Centre and Senior Lecturer at Polytechnic. The competition gathered 280 students who participated in various activities i.e. workshops, tests, lectures, training, open student forums, Facebook promotion etc. In total there were more than a dozen organised activities, but kudos goes to “Designers & Programmers Speed Dating”. Speed dating, as the name implies, is a fun, productive and entertaining event with a goal of matching programmers and designers from the Polytechnic into more productive teams. The concept of speed dating seemed ideal for matching young and fun-loving students, with the only difference that they had to exchange their intellectual potential instead of romantic one. Programmers and designers didn’t really have an opportunity to get to know each other at the Polytechnic, let alone to work together, and this competition allowed them to join their minds and exchange ideas in a creative and entertaining manner. For that purpose, we chose the venue of the Students Club in the popular University Students Centre, already known as a place of good vibrations - concerts, thematic evenings and gatherings. The venue is perfectly spacy, so we arranged designers’ exhibition tables in a U shape, allowing programmers to slide from one to the other. Design students had only 3 minutes to present their ideas and materials to programmers in a standard speed dating rotation. At any time the designers and programmers could declare a partnership, got pictured for further reference J, and went to the terrace to further explore each other’s ideas. After just an hour and a half most of the eligible designers were happily engaged/matched in a total of 23 teams and, because of that, they all prepared more innovative and visually attractive applications. According to both participating students and ICT partners the Speed date turned out to be the best part of the compe-

Croatia Addendum

111 tition, because it allowed the students to learn and evolve in a way that is best suited to them – casual and entertaining. Finally, the matched teams had the opportunity to present their applications at the grand finale in the Croatian Chamber of Economy, where the best five teams were awarded. The contest was monitored by 24 leading Croatian ICT companies and some of them have already drafted the Polytechnic’s best students. The competition also had huge PR coverage in web and print media and was reported on national TV as a very innovative concept.

This competition is fully embracing the mission of the Polytechnic to provide students with valuable, practical knowledge in the area of technical activities in order to compete successfully in the labour market. This year’s mission was successfully accomplished, despite, or rather because of, such fun events like Speed dating. Vjeran Bušelić Head of Career Centre and Senior Lecturer at Polytechnic

Croatia Addendum

The European bridge team championship in Opatija 850 bridge players enjoyed in Opatija in June

text by Daniela Kos



he 52nd European Bridge team championship was held in late June in Opatija, an event organised by the ‘Opatija’ Bridge sports Club under the direction of Goran and Branka Grgurić, fans of this intellectually demanding card game. Today, millions of people worldwide play bridge, and this year it brought together 85 teams from 38 countries around the world to the championship at Opatija. Participating teams from the national bridge federations came from all over Europe, from Greece, Spain and Portugal to the Scandinavian countries, the Faroe Islands and as far as Iceland, Turkey, Israel and Lebanon. More than 850 people stayed for the 12 days of the event - team members, representatives of national associations and domestic and foreign personnel and escorts. “The initiator was the ‘Opatija’ Bridge sports club, starting out with the organisation of our own championships and then bigger and more important international championships in co-operation with the European Bridge League and the World Bridge Federation,” said Goran Grgurić. “Our small club, with only thirty members but with our serious and professional approach to the organisation of championships, managed to gain a reputation as a great organiser who could also be entrusted with the organisation of large events like this. But without the support of the City of Opatija, Primorje-Goranski county and the Croatian bridge association it would not be possible to organise the large bridge events we have organised so far.” Competitive bridge is divided into seven regional zones across the world, comprising a total of 124 national bridge associations with over one million registered players and each zone organising regional competitions. Most players are registered in Europe and North America, but bridge is also rapidly expanding in South-East Asia, primarily due to the introduction of bridge in primary schools in China and India. In Europe team and doubles championships are organized alternately every year, as well as the annual Youth Championship in Bridge. On a global level some form of world championships is organised every year: in 2013 it was held in Bali, 2014 in China and in 2015 it will be organised in India.

Opatija won over Madrid The candidacy of Opatija for the European team championship in Bridge became possible only after the construction of a new sports hall, “Marino Cvetkovic”, because for events at this level a standard of 15m 2 per gaming table is required. For this championship there were two candidates: Madrid and Opatija. After almost a year of effort Madrid withdrew, which in August 2013 left Opatija to be entrusted to host the event.

Croatia Addendum

113 The opening ceremony was organised in the crowded Crystal Hall of the Hotel Kvarner, with the Croatian President Ivo Josipović in attendance. During the championships a series of accompanying events were planned: the Tourist Boards of Opatija and Primorje-Goransko County organised trips for participants to the surroundings of Opatija. The annual conference of the European Bridge League and a gala dinner of its representatives was also held, as well as the meeting of the Executive Committee of the World Bridge Federation, with members coming from all over the world. Thanks to the championships about 12,000 overnight stays in hotels and private accommodation were recorded over the ten days. It is also known that bridge players are good spenders, spending about 30% more than other resort guests. Participant feedback indicated their satisfaction with hotels, restaurants, shops, and also the hospitality of the people, as well as the general tidiness and cleanliness. The complete event organisation was hindered somewhat by the transport infrastructure of Opatija, with most of the guests arriving at airports across the region: Treviso, Venice, Trieste, Pula, Rijeka/Krk, Ljubljana and Zagreb. A larger number of flights from major European centres to the Rijeka/Krk airport would greatly assist in event organisation and would help negotiations with foreign organisers. “We started out with smaller events, tournaments attracting players from the region – Zagreb, Rijeka, Trieste, Udine – and in just a few years we have held a significant and rare series of international events that could not be materialized by any of the worldwide destinations,” said Goran Grgurić, who was recognised as a valuable organiser of major events and was entrusted with the organisation of this one that brought benefits to the entire destination and also to the reputation of Croatia. “This remarkable number of championships proves our good organisational skills, a commitment to the undertaken tasks and a desire to help all bridge players who come to Opatija. We are glad that we have gained friends worldwide that we can now consider part of our great family, and have made Opatija a recognisable bridge destination. Our next goal is to organise the European doubles Championships in 2017 and the World Bridge Cup.”

A new Hotel Royal opened in Opatija The newly opened Hotel Royal ****, owned by Milenij hotels, will certainly attract many Bridge players to Opatija, as well as chess, sudoku and other similar games. In fact, the hotel, the largest tourism investment this year marking 170 years of organised tourism in Opatija, is designed as a meeting place for lovers of thought games. Hotel Royal is located along the famous Lungo mare promenade and has 54 luxury rooms and suites. Next to the hotel reception is the Royal Club Café, with a library and tables for popular thinking games. On the lower floor is the Cafe Mahler, which was named after Julius Mahler, the first owner of the villa where the Royal hotel is today located. The café with a terrace is located next to the Lungo mare and its offer consists of the homemade cakes and pastries of the Milenij hotels. With the renovation of this hotel Opatija gets another large, modern conference hall. The Royal hall, which can accommodate up to 1,000 guests, is ideal for various corporate events, shows, concerts, gala dinners and weddings.

Croatia Addendum



lirija Ltd is a company with more than 57 years of tradition, established back in 1957, located in Biograd. It is a part of the few tourism companies which, in their operations cover all three segments of the tourism offer:hotel industry, nautics and camping. Today, it is one of the 30 leading tourist companies in Croatia, which represent the backbone of the Croatian tourism de-

velopment. It is one of the three leading tourist companies in Zadar County and bearer of total economic and tourism development in Biograd na Moru. His son, Mr. David Tudorović, attends to his affairs in Croatia. Since 2000, Ilirija d.d. has been managed by Mr. Goran Ražnjević as the sole member of the Management Board and his associates.

Croatia Addendum

Goran Ražnjević: In Ilirija, we have always strived for innovation


lirija dd is one of the largest tourist companies in Dalmatia, which in its portfolio has a whole set of travel products from hotels, camping, nautical offer, to the special products in the segment of congress tourism. In recent years the company has undergone significant investments in the market and introduced several new products for business guests - a multifunctional event ship “Nada”, agro-tourism of Ražnjevića dvori as the first Croatian diffused hotel, Arsenal is a symbol of cultural and event offer of Zadar, while the DMC agency integrates and sells all products. About it all we ware talking with the President of the Ilirija Board Goran Ražnjević. Q: Ilirija has in the last few years, with significant investments complemented and rounded off its tourist offer. Can you specify what was the most important? Guided by the principles of continuous, sustainable and responsible investments, in recent years we have invested more than 65 million Euros in construction of new, renovation and expansion of existing facilities in all our sectors (hotels, camping and sailing), as well as in the development of new services and content. The most important ones are two separate products - event ship “Nada”, a multifunctional yacht of the size 35m and capacity of 140 persons which is making possible the holding of floating meetings and special events and the first Croatian diffused Hotel – Ražnjević court, located in the town of Polača in the immediate hinterland of Biograd. Then, by increasing the convention capacity and the repositioning of the travel agency Ilirija Travel into a strong DMC and PCO agent, we are creating an integrated and complementary tourism product that is recognized in both the domestic and international markets. Q: What is the vision of the company, considering the rest of the destination’s offer of Zadar and Biograd? Ilirija dd is one of three leading and largest tourism companies in northern Dalmatia and among the 15 leading travel companies in Croatia, and our aim is to be and remain the carrier of the tourist development of our region and the destination. By building our own products-brands we want to be recognized as a company of high quality, not only in Croatian, but also in the European market, by providing quality and superior service and tourism of experiences. Therefore, we will with the development of our own services and offers at the same time contribute to the high quality, competitive and sustainable development of tourism of the destination and our region, always emphasizing its advantages and special features. In co-operation with other tourism entities, we will continue to work on further recognition and competitiveness of our environment because it is only a joint collaboration of

all the creators and holders of tourist offer in the specific area of tourism, which is not only in the long-term viable product, but also a powerful generator of economic development of the region. We have always strived for innovation and for being special because being different from others and being a pioneer in the development of tourism offer are the fundamental principles of our business philosophy, which can permeate through all three of our sectors - hospitality, marine and camping, which are our “core business”. It is therefore our great honour and also a great responsibility, to participate in the development and creation of Croatian tourism offer for the benefit of all its citizens, tourist and commercial workers and communities. Like 40 years ago we were pioneers in the development of nautical tourism on the Adriatic and from Biograd made the leading nautical destination, by opening the first diffused hotel we have presented the fourth power of Croatian tourism. This demonstrates our commitment to developing innovative and complementary tourism product that offers to the market the tourism of experiences, special interests and tailor-made products. Q: You have received several awards in the field of corporate social responsibility. What, as a medium-sized company, are you doing in terms of sustainability? Ilirija is so far the only tourism company in Croatia that has won awards for Corporate Social Responsibility - the CSR Index for 2011 and 2012 in the category of medium-sized companies, awarded by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in co-operation with the Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development. The principles of corporate social responsibility are based on the balancing of rights, obligations and interests of all stakeholders of the business process - owners, government, banks, employees, local communities, suppliers, customers, and the immediate environment. Being a socially responsible company for Ilirija means to systematically and continuously reflect and act on all aspects of its business, operations, decision-making and communication, and thereby at the same time taking into account their long-term economic, social and sustainability, while respecting all the positive regulations, codes of ethics and corporate Governance Code. The stated in our company is specifically reflected in the following areas: environmental protection, treatment of employees and the relationship with the community (corporate philanthropy). We are systematically and continuously investing significant efforts and activities in customization and implementation of standards, procedures and regulations of the European Union in all aspects of environmental protection (protection of the sea, coast, water, air, soil) and waste management. In


Croatia Addendum


2013, we continued to invest in improving the quality and improve our own business processes and establishing a certification of quality management system according to DIN EN ISO 9001: 2008, which was implemented company-wide. In July 2014, we completed the process of implementation and certification of an environmental management system according to DIN EN ISO 14001. Also, our travel agency Ilirija Travel reached the first of three phases of Travelife – management systems and certification that the travel agencies and tour operators establish sustainable socially responsible practices.

Ražnjevića dvori – the first Croatian diffused hotel Q: Ražnjevića dvori near Biograd are bearing the title of the first Croatian diffused hotel. Can you tell us how does this type of tourism product work and what are its advantages? The hotel is a multipurpose functional facility designed and equipped as a place for holding meetings, incentives, seminars, team building, gala dinners, banquets and other events seeking exclusivity of service and ambience. For the full experience of traditional and authentic way of life on the farm, with the use of a registered farmer, produced in traditional and environmentally friendly way of indigenous products - their own wine and olive oil, which you can taste in the winery and oil-tasting contained within the property. In Ražnjevića dvori they are providing accommodation and breakfast, but the hotel is able to provide all other hospitality services in accordance with the wishes and needs of the guests. Such a tourism product that provides numerous opportunities for the organization of events or just the service with a personal approach to every client is very hard to find

on the Croatian market, hence it is as a special product recognized by individual and business clients. Q: You have developed Ražnjevića dvori as a special product developed on the basis of family heritage in flat-districts (Ravni kotari), which is in terms of tourism quite undeveloped and unused. But you have decided to tell an authentic story of Dalmatia and its people right there. Could this be a possible direction of the development and the rest of our tourism offer in Dalmatia, and also in other regions - to develop what is indigenous, what we are and what we can offer to our guests? With the opening of diffuse hotels and investment in agro-tourism we want to contribute to the development of the tourist offer of our immediate hinterland Flat-districts (Ravni kotari), rural development and agricultural tourism in Zadar County, solely basing it on the cultural heritage, historical heritage, natural and cultural values, preserved traditions and customs of the area. That is one of the best ways to revitalize indigenous objects for the rest of our offer to provide added value, visibility and communicate an entirely new image of the offer of the destination and the country. Ražnjevića dvori and similarly revitalized indigenous structures in the economic function of tourism are certainly one of the best ways of development of quality of the offer, not only in Istria and Dalmatia, but also on our continent.

Congress tourism - extremely important Q: In addition to agro-tourism, for the development of business tourism you have invested in purchasing and renovation of a special event ship “Nada”. How much does business and convention tourism contribute to ar-

Croatia Addendum


rivals and what place does it take in the future development of the company? Congress tourism is one of the best ways of quality prolonging the tourist season, to have a successful and profitable year-round business, with particular emphasis on the pre-season and post-season and is of great importance to strengthening the competitiveness of the Croatian tourism in general. We are aware that tourism companies that base their products on the offer of “sun and sea” in the long term cannot be competitive. Therefore, with the investment and furnishing and decorating of the event ship we enabled market positioning of our overall services to the lucrative tourist market, boosting the offer in the off season and the positioning among the leading Croatian convention destinations. Along with investing in a multifunctional boat, significant resources have been invested in technological equipment, landscaping and overall increase in the existing convention facilities and the overall improvement of the offer and raising service standards, thus the overall convention capacity of Ilirija is 900 seats. For us the importance of this segment is unquestionable for long-term business development, which is best seen from the development of our additional offer which was being adjusted precisely to this market segment. We are aware that the local congress market is only beginning its recovery, and we are only left with market competition with the leading European congress destinations to which Croatia is, due to inadequate congress infrastructure and other supporting facilities, is not competitive. Therefore, a significant share of this market segment in terms of business revenue is still awaited. Q: Arsenal in Zadar, the old heritage monument, is a beautiful so-called special venue for organizing all kinds

of events. How is it used as a a space and how does it fit into the rest of the offer of Ilirija? Arsenal is one of only seven surviving buildings of its kind which was renovated in 2005 in the concept of “indoor city square.” With the revitalization of Arsenal the perfect blend of business and cultural tourism was created, which has brought added value not only to the tourist offer of Ilirija, but to the whole destination. In the wider region it is the only revitalized historic building that is functioning as a cultural and congress centre and a place with unique conditions for concerts, presentations, receptions, conferences, private parties, exhibitions and commercial events, recognized by domestic and foreign tour operators, MICE and event management companies. As a representative and multi-purpose building of 1.800m2, situated in the old town of Zadar, it is equipped with modern technology for the organization of conferences for up to 500 persons, public appearances and concerts for up to 1.200 people, then the kitchen to service up to 1.000 people, as well as sections within the gallery space for smaller, more intimate groups of 20 people. Today, Arsenal is one of the symbols of Zadar, as a separate and distinctive historical and cultural space for holding events with the standard of services at level 4 and 5 stars. Aimed at users who require more than just event space and are looking for an authentic ambience that while maintaining the history, culture and tradition of the place, destinations and regions, is also offering full organisation service (organizational, technical, catering, etc..), While an authentic Croatian tourist product that combines the care of monuments with their use. At Arsenal in recent years were held over 895 events with 153.167 participants, therefore, for us,

Croatia Addendum

Edutainment locations in Croatia Entertainment + Education = Edutainment

text by Daniela Kos



o entertainment and education go together in the meetings industry? Yes they go, very much so! It has long been known that young children learn the fastest by playing and in the recent days employed people often seek inspiration and creativity at work combining fun content with learning, meetings and presentations. We cannot all be Google, whose employees during breaks play billiards or table football in specially designed rooms for play and rest. But why not take our employees and business partners to interesting places outside the company and combine pleasant and useful. Also, more and more event managers want to organize their conferences and other events, especially those that bring together the younger, so-called X and Y generations, in unusual places and include in the work programme coffee breaks, and also play. After all, business is often agreed during breaks in an informal and preferably, fun atmosphere. On this occasion, we present two non-classical spaces in Croatia, which offer a great combination of fun and educational activities.

Astronomical Centre Rijeka

Astronomical Centre, situated on the hill Sveti Križ (Holy Cross) above Rijeka, with views of the whole Kvarner Bay, is primarily an observatory and the only planetarium in Croatia. Visitors can enjoy watching films on the subject of astronomy in the planetarium dome with a diameter of 360°, with 50 seats capacity, through cutting-edge digital projectors, special computer installations and high-quality loudspeakers. In case of good weather, it is possible to see the stars through various telescopes. Those who wish to organize working part in the centre can find here a couple of meeting rooms: a large hall can accommodate up to 60 participants, and smaller multimedia hall up to 20. After working hours participants can freshen up in the coffee bar, while the panoramic terrace offers a breath taking view of Rijeka and the entire Kvarner bay. Near the centre is located the medieval church of Sveti Križ (Holy Cross) which has rich history, and on the Sveti Križ (Holy Cross) were found the shortest track of Glagolitic alphabet from the 13th century and a statue of the Roman she-wolves.

The centre was once a military fort from World War II, but the building was completely redesigned and optimized a few years ago for people with disabilities. Modern architecture perfectly blending into the environment is the winner of the “International Property Awards 2014˝ for Europe, in the category of architecture projects of public interest.

Croatia Addendum

119 CineStar Event Centre

Watching movies is one of children’s and also adults’ favourite fun activities. Just as movies can powerfully convey the message and offer emotions to viewers, event organization in the area of a modern cinema centre carries a specific message for partners and clients. The latest digital technologies offer a range of options for video projection, as well as for holding presentations, conferences, seminars, incentives and so on. CineStar multiplex cinemas are located at several locations in Croatia, and offers a whole range of halls with the latest technical equipment. At the Zagreb Arena centre they have

unique cinema formats - IMAX and 4DX and Gold Class cinema. Gold Class represents the ultimate of luxury in the cinema industry, and is especially beloved by business guests who organize their VIP events. In the cinema halls it is easy to arrange all the necessary additional services - from catering, presentation of products, organization of additional equipment in the hall such as plasma screens, laptops, audio equipment all the way to the equipment with which the presentation from one hall can be simultaneously transmitted to another one.

Who is Who


Who is Who in Visit Ljubljana, Convention Bureau

Q: What are you most proud of in your business and private lives? I am proud of being part of the duo, working for the Convention Bureau of Ljubljana together with Tatjana Radovič, promoting Ljubljana as a congress destination. Ljubljana is an amazing little city and once you know it, you can’t but fall in love with it. For me to be able to work at the Ljubljana CVB helps me gather experiences from different fields, from the Meetings Industry to governmental offices, European institutions and NGOs. The network of colleagues I have around the world includes some amazing people, inspiring leaders and true friends. I use every opportunity to learn from examples, and I am sincerely proud to keep my integrity throughout and follow my heart. Q: Life wisdom/motto? Expect the unexpected.


“Expect the unexpected”

Q: Where are you going to spend this year’s holiday? Premantura with Kamenjak at the tip of the Istrian Peninsula is a must. It has a special energy and although the beautiful nature attracts many people, there are still many secret hidden spots. That’s where I find my “zen”. Q: What was your favourite vacation? One month of solo travelling through Portugal, from kayaking on the river Douro to tasting Port wine at the river banks of Porto town and having the famous “bacalhau” in Faro… It was one of the best travels so far. Q: Where would you go if there were no time and financial constraints? Where wouldn’t I? Q: What is your favourite indoor/outdoor activity? I am a certified yoga teacher, which is a counterbalance to my job, and together with a friend who is a ballet dancer we run classes which are a fusion of yoga and dance. During the class time stops, the body merges with the music and the mind just flies. Q: What is your favourite dish and restaurant (anywhere in the world)? One of the best restaurants could be the market place in Barcelona. The variety of seafood, made in the most simple way, is finger-licking. But my favourite restaurant is in fact in Slovenia:Hiša Franko where Ana Roš is in my opinion the queen master chef of slow food. Yet, my greatest wish is to visit the Tickets restaurant in Barcelona owned by the master of molecular 120

kitchen, Ferran Adrià. The tables there are reserved six months in advance. Q: What is your favourite gadget? My MAC. Q: Which song do you play most often on your iPod? iPods are sweet, but I prefer the old school music coming from vinyl. From Ella Fitzgerald to the Doors, Bob Marley, Maceo Parker… Q: Which part of the day and of the week is your favourite? Saturday morning jogging with my dog to Ljubljana’s small hill, ‘Rožnik’, before a coffee at one of Ljubljana’s riverbank cafés and shopping for fresh local groceries at the Ljubljana Central Market. Q: What is your favourite mode of transport? I am a proud owner of a beige Holland bike, the best mode of transport in Ljubljana. Q: If you could return to the past or hurry to the future, how old would you like to be? It would be to the first grade with the mind of today. Seeing my teacher’s face when answering her questions would make my day. Q: If you could witness any event in history which one would you choose? I would attend the Martin Luther King’s speech, or dance at the Woodstock, sit with Rosa Parks in the first row of the bus, or attend the fall of the Berlin wall; yet I believe we are being witness to major shifts right now, as in world economy and politics, as in human consciousness, and it makes me excited to be part of it. Q: What was the best party you have attended? Open deck party in a stormy night boat ride from Venice to Piran on the “Prince of Venice” boat. Q: The last film, book, concert? Film - La Grande Belleza by Paolo Sorrentino Book – Carlos Castaneda - The teachings of Don Juan. Concert - Humanitarian Concert “Preplavimo trg” (Flooding the Square) in Ljubljana for the aid of the flood victims. Q: What fantasy character would you be? Alice in Wonderland Q: What did you learn last week? How to make ‘Ajvar’. My mother taught me to make it, following a family recipe. It took ussix hours and it’s a true delicacy!

Ljubljana Survey

LJUBLJANA for MEETINGS AND EVENTS A short guide to very best Ljubljana has to
offer, from incentive experiences to the best places to meet, stay and incentivize in Ljubljana


Ljubljana Survey

LJUBLJANA BOUTIQUE MEETINGS CAPITAL Ljubljana is a small, very explorable meeting destination. It is one of the safest European capitals. The Kongres Survey explores meeting opportunities within one of the loveliest small cities in Europe.


The best places to meet, stay and incentivize in Ljubljana Grand Hotel Union

Grand Hotel Union is the largest conference hotel in Ljubljana with an exclusive location in the very heart of the city centre overlooking Prešeren Square, the Triple Bridge and the Ljubljana Castle.

GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre With 20 multifunctional halls and 12,323 square meters of exhibition surfaces, the GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre is the largest and central multifunctional events centre in Ljubljana.

Cankarjev dom

Next to organizing over 200 larger events per year, Cankarjev dom as the central Slovenian cultural centre supplies first-rate, diversified and rich selection of artistic and entertainment programme that can complement every event.

Four Points by Sheraton Ideal for corporate and social events is also the new player on the market, Four Points by Sheraton Ljubljana Mons, the first globally branded hotel in more than a decade to enter Ljubljana.

Hotel Lev The only five-star hotel in Ljubljana, Hotel Lev, has been popular amongst business as well as leisure guests for half a century. 122

Ljubljana Survey


Ljubljana market, out-ofthe-box location for events Ljubljana‘s Central Market is more than just a place to shop. Traditionally, it has also been a place for the locals to meet and enjoy themselves together. The open-air market that still represents the heart of the city can be with a pinch of imagination easily turned into a great event location! Hit the streets

Dine-around Ljubljana Ljubljana is also a great starting point to experience delicious local and numerous other national cuisines specialties. Because one can explore the city by foot, the concept of ‘dine-around’ where guests try different culinary delights in various restaurants across the city is a great idea. Play the game

Cultural capital In Ljubljana culture and art is not merely a matter of prestige, but an entire way of life. The Slovenians are apparently the only nation that has a Culture Day as a national holiday.

Ljubljana does not only have museums displaying the heritage that speaks about the history of the city alone, but is also the seat of most of Slovenia’s main museums and galleries. Each year Ljubljana host more than 10,000 cultural events, from prestigious music, theatre and art events to those pertaining to alternative and avant-garde culture.

ESSENTIAL INCENTIVE EXPERIENCES Ljubljana cycling tour The cycling tour, led by specially trained guides, is a fun and dynamic way to discover Ljubljana’s main sights, including several ones located outside the city centre.

Experiencing the roman city of Emona Dressed in Roman attire, guests can experience a tinge of its past history and lifestyle in the company of an Emonan citizen and a Roman legionary.

Ljubljana from the surface of the river to the stars above the castle hill The combination of a boat ride, walking tour and ascent by funicular offer is a unique way of experiencing Ljubljana.


Ljubljana Survey


Museum Quartier Metelkova Metelkova is an internationally-renowned alternative culture community in the centre of Slovenia’s capital. Metelkova with the museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova represents an excellent location for different, more daring events.



Ljubljana Cake


There are plenty of specialities that one needs to try when in Ljubljana. Those with a sweet tooth should definitely indulge themselves with the lovely Ljubljana Cake that features ingredients characteristics of all the Slovenian regions: pumpkin seeds, chestnuts, honey, buckwheat and figs. The Ljubljana Cake is available exclusively at Čopova 14.

Created and designed by young Slovenian entrepreneurs, the Chipolo is a unique Bluetooth item finder that helps you locate your belongings. It’s for everyone. You can attach it to virtually anything – your laptop, wallet, keys, bike, even your pet. It is fully support both Android and iOS mobile operating systems, it is wireless and environment friendly. Chipolo can be bought on-line at www.chipolo.net.


ICCA 2013 84 Worldwide 47 Europe






€ 1798 LJUBLJANA Ljubljana Castle Ljubljana Castle, the crowning glory of the city, has helped shape the capital’s silhouette for more than five centuries. This mighty medieval fortress is an ideal venue for special events offering an outstanding view over the city, a romantic atmosphere and many cultural, historic and entertaining events throughout the year.




Of the Best Places in Europe to visit now via Lonely Planet

PRO LJUBLJANA ✔ It’s a capital city ✔ One of the safest cities in the world ✔ Bike sharing system ✔ Cheap public transportation ✔ Rich tradition, youthful vibrancy and cultural creativity ✔ Has mountains nearby

✔ It’s a smart city ✔ Boutique capital ✔ Small, very affordable ✔ One of the safest capitals ✔ Loveliest small city in Europe ✔ Low population density ✔ Has sea nearby

European Green Capital 2016 (The European Commission has named Ljubljana the European Green Capital 2016 based on the cities sustainable strategy “Vision 2025”, a number of environmentally friendly measures and impressive transport network.) Kino Šiška Kino Šiška is the central Slovenian institution for contemporary and urban culture manifested in concerts and in visual and performing arts. It hosts more than 250 events per year. With larger and smaller hall, exhibition space and café with a summer garden, Kino Šiška is a great venue for an “urban” event.

Contact: Tatjana Radovič LJUBLJANA TOURISM / CONVENTION BUREAU Krekov trg 10, 1000 LjubljanA, Slovenia T: +386 306 4584 www.visitljubljana.com/meetings


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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ATLAS This brand name stands for a destination management company and professional conference organizer creating memorable events for over 90 years. Everything started back in 1923 when the first branch office was opened in Dubrovnik. Nowadays, Atlas is the biggest company in Croatia and the region in the tourism industry. The multiregional organizational structure of the company makes it easier to offer enhanced service packages and wide array of programs and products which satisfy all demands of individual, group and corporate clients from Croatia and the world. Incentives • Event Management • Corporate Meetings • Seminars • Product shows • Special Interest Tours • Team Building • Exhibition • Destination Consulting • Hotel Reservations • Transport Services • Guide Services • Restaurants & Gala Locations • Tickets for cultural events • Airplane and Train Tickets • Sight Seeing Tours and Excursions • Round Trips • Tailor made programs • VIP Services MICE Department ATLAS DMC Croatia Izidora Kršnjavog 1 10000 Zagreb Croatia T. + 385 1 4698 053, E. mice@atlas.hr Skype: mice.atlas

SPLIT is the second largest Croatian city and one of the oldest in the country, its history traceable to at least 1700 years ago. It is now a major city but encompasses several seaside towns and holiday resorts making it a popular place to stay for those who want to explore the Dalmatian coast. The area around the city has strong connections with Ancient Rome and the city is home to the impressive Diocletian’s Palace. Although ancient, Split has a modern touch, in its funky and alternative as well as gorgeous people. Split also has a gold-fish in form of the Great Grgur Ninski statue, where rubbing its golden toe will make your wish come true... There are many historical spots which we turn into exquisite event venues. Daily trips to the inland or one of the surrounding islands will thrill your partners with their atmosphere and local specialties. CONGRESS & PRODUCT PROMOTION – ROYAL STYLE Split offers premium and unique venues and locations for inviting your client base or potential clients to attend a conference, private product launch or exhibition. Atlas will help you choose between modern venues, historical monuments or charming villages in the Dalmatian inlands. BACK TO BASIC TEAM BUILDING PROGRAMMES Split offers premium and unique venues and loIncentive and team-building programs in Split will get another dimension, it will become an unforgettable experience, as Split itself is. Atlas will help you impress your colleagues and create a fun and memorable corporate entertainment event by providing creative and innovative customized team building activities for all abilities, skills and requirements.

HAVE FUN Split is a synonym for fun! During the day, try out Dalmatia’s favorite beach game, picigin: stand in the sea up to your thighs and whack a small ball to other players as quickly as possible, throwing yourself in the water at any opportunity. Careful: the ball must not touch the water! In the evening, the golden Diocletian’s Palace is the perfect backdrop for Croatia’s best bars: spend the night in the secret ancient alleyways and hidden stone corners! PERFECT MIX OF HERITAGE NAD MODERNITY • UNIQUE LOCATIONS FOR EVENTS, FROM CONGRESSES TO SMALL SALES MEETINGS • UNIQUE VENUES, HISTORICAL PALACES TO TRENDY AND MODERN RESTAURANTS • OUTDOORS ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF THE CITY AND WATER SEA SPORTS • MODERN HOTELS • GREAT LOCAL GASTRONOMY


LJUBLJANA vs. REYKJAVIK A current comparison of the closest competitors on the 2013 ICCA scale according to the methodology of Kongres travelogues – meetologues.

LJUBLJANA Population: 272,220 ICCA Country and City rankings 2013 84th place, 31 meetings Mercer Quality of Living 2013 75

REYKJAVIK Population: 118,488 ICCA Country and City rankings 2012 84th place, 31 meetings Mercer Quality of Living 2013 NA

✚ Ljubljana has congresses written in its genome. Long before the emergence of the meetings industry as we know it today, in 1821 Ljubljana hosted the Congress of the Holy Alliance. The city is picturesque, attractive and friendly to congress guests. According to its conference and accommodation infrastructure, Ljubljana belongs to the group of capitals suitable for medium-sized and smaller meetings (up to 2,500 participants). It is positioned side by side with the new EU member states and geographically in the region of the Western Balkans. Ljubljana is friendly and favourable to the meetings industry while at the same time competitive in terms of price and quality. Among all regional capitals it also has a very good image.

✚ Reykjavik is a successful convention destination not because of its geysers, volcanoes and natural attractions, but mainly due to the friendly, hospitable and democratic Icelanders. Maybe the biggest advantage of the destination is also the fact that everything is at your fingertips and you can address the majority of congress problems with a few phone calls. Because they are subject to changeable weather they are accustomed to improvising and also due to this are considered to be excellent organisers. Moreover, nightlife and entertainment in the city is worthy of much larger and more notorious convention destinations. The surprising part of the offer is the local cuisine. In addition, Reykjavik is taking very good advantage of its strategic location halfway between the United States and Europe. The fact that it was ranked in first place in the rankings of Global Peace Index 2014 says a lot about the destination.

Ljubljana meetings flashpoints: 1. Grand Union Hall - a wonderful example of an Art Nouveau conference hall tailored to the needs of modern congress organisers 2. Ljubljanica River - and its banks offers many possibilities for team building 3. Two Convention Centres - Cankarjev dom and Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre 4. Hotels and Congress centres within walking distance 5. Ljubljana Castle - special historical venue for different types of events

Reykjavik meetings flashpoints: 1. Harpa Reykjavik - new congress and concert hall in the port, which is an architectural and sustainable highlight 2. Blue Lagoon - the most authentic and natural spa in the world, which also includes a unique hotel and conference centre and the famous Lava restaurant 3. Hilton Reykjavik Nordica - one of the largest convention hotels, which can host up to 650 participants in 11 halls 4. Get infused by Culture - vibrant and interesting art scene 5. The Pearl - an elegant rotating restaurant that holds up to 300 participants

STAY: Grand Hotel Union

4.46 / 5 127

STAY: Grand Hotel Reykjavik

4.57 / 5



110 YEARS OF GRAND HOTEL UNION A cultural stage in the city centre!


ext year the Grand Hotel Union celebrates its 110th anniversary, having first opened its doors in the year 1905, when Ljubljana had just nine hotels and was visited by 43,000 foreign visitors. In over a century of its existence, the Grand Hotel Union has been an important locale of the political and social life in the capital and of the wider Ljubljana region. Throughout its illustrious history the hotel has witnessed many important events and has welcomed and hosted many famous people – the actor and director

Orson Welles in 1979, American president Bill Clinton and his wife Hilary Clinton in 1999, the spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, in 2002, and the British Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Phillip in 2008, to name but a few. The Grand Hotel Union Café and Union Hall have also been the centre-point of cultural, political and social life for as long as the hotel has been open. Well-known Slovenian intellectuals, artists and dealers have been regular guests at the café, a meeting point for artists such as


the painters Rihard Jakopič, Matija Jama and Maksim Gasparij and the writers Ivan Tavčar, Oton Zupančič, Josip Vidmar, as well as many others. In the period between the two world wars, Union Hall regularly hosted Ljubljana’s elite events, such as the Black-and-white ‘Reduta’ and dances under the patronage of His Majesty King Alexander. Right up until today, numerous cultural events continue to take place every day at Grand Hotel Union.


50 YEARS OF HOTEL LEV Half a century dedicated to top quality service, a pleasant ambience and exceptional guests


otel Lev has been welcoming guests since October 1964, this year bringing up its half-century anniversary. Nestled in the city centre, where the once renowned Pri Levu restaurant was located, the construction of a modern and luxurious hotel started in 1961, following the architectural plans of Emil Medvešček. To continue the traditions of its predecessor on the site, the hotel was named Lev (Lion). Before the hotel was even officially opened, the first guests from America came to stay. Soon after the official opening, the then President of the Republic of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, visited Lev. In its first few years, the hotel hosted a banquet organised by the famous

Japanese company Mitsubishi, a fashion show by Milanese clothing manufacturer Rhodiatoce, journalists reporting on the Ice Hockey World Championship held in Ljubljana in 1966, ... The range of top class hotel and culinary services has over time made the Hotel Lev more and more popular amongst business as well as leisure guests. Its long tradition has helped this prominent hotel to become an important city and regional business and conference hotel, with a reputation spreading far and wide. After running the hotel for more than 30 years, a contract was signed with the InterContinental hotel chain and in 2002 the Hotel Lev became the only five star hotel in Ljubljana.


Important people from all over the world have chosen the Hotel Lev and have departed feeling very satisfied! Agatha Christie, Orson Wells, Louis Armstrong, Janet Jackson, Bob Dylan, Sting, Claudia Schiffer, Luciano Pavarotti, Ivo Pogorelich, Josipa Lisac, Eros Ramazzoti, Seal, 50 Cent, Valerij Gergijev, Zubin Mehta… the list goes on! These are just some of the many renowned guests to have been taking part in creating the hotel’s history.

Conventa Case Studies

Grand Opening Party Event: Grand Opening Party Date: 27.08.2014 Location: Tivat, Porto Montenegro Client: NA Organiser: NA Target: VIPs and 650 of invitees and guests ABOUT THE EVENT: The Gala started with ceremonial part and ribbon cutting which was followed by a spectacular celebration: award-winning classical guitarist and exclusive Deutsche Grammophon recording artist Milos Karadaglic of Montenegro provided stylish entertainment, and a live performance by renowned Serbian singer Aleksandra Radovic brought the evening to a suitably glittering close.

CHALLENGES: The first event carried out by Regent Porto Montenegro and number of people SOLUTION: Organization was carried out impeccably, with all the potential soft spots being taken into account. AFTER THE EVENT: The Grand Opening was the most glittering night of the summer 2014 of which entire Montenegro and the region. All guests complimented the food, music, atmosphere and ambiance. CATEGORY: Celebration


Conventa Case Studies

18th ESCRS Winter Meeting Event: 18th ESCRS Winter Meeting Date: 14 - 16 February 2014 Location: Cankarjev dom Client: European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons – ESCRS Organiser: ESCRS Target: Science - medicine

SOLUTION: Cankarjev dom provided and its technical team have been deeply involved and participated the necessary skills in order to execute the meeting to the client’s requirements.

ABOUT THE EVENT: The 8th Winter Meeting of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons – ESCRS was held at Cankarjev dom in Ljubljana. The meeting that attracted nearly 700 delegates from 59 countries was one of the largest meetings Ljubljana has hosted in 2014. The ESCRS has over 5,000 members from almost 100 countries worldwide and offers a unique forum for discussion and learning which ensures that international expertise is shared by ophthalmologists all over Europe.

AFTER THE EVENT: Susan Little, Director of Professional Relations at ESCRS, shared her thoughts about the meeting: “….Our expectations were well met and we are very pleased at how successful our Meeting has been…”

RESULTS: The project was successful in every aspect. It has a great financial impact on the economy of the city of Ljubljana and CD congress centre as well.


CHALLENGES: Technical aspect of the execution of the meeting which was extremely demanding. The presentations of speakers demanded high definition projectors (bigger halls have all 2 powerful projectors – one in each hall running just as back-up) and monitors, there was also 3D projection of the surgery expected. A large amount of equipment was involved – the installation itself took 3 days. Companies providing this equipment came from Germany, Italy and Slovenia (Cankarjev dom).


Conventa Case Studies

Dinner in the sky Split

Event: Dinner in the Sky Split Date: 15 - 24 August 2014 Location: Split, Croatia Client: DITS Europe O端 Organiser: DITS Europe O端 Target: Visitors and inhabitants of Split PRESENTATION: the length of the individual descriptions is max. 75 words or 400 characters ABOUT THE EVENT: Visitors and inhabitants of Split could avail themselves of a Dinner in the Sky during its 10 day summer stopover in Split. Dinner in the Sky was held during 15 and 24 August 2014 in Split right on the edge of the city centre. Guests got to choose among 5 different types of experience (Brunch, Lunch, Champagne, Dinner in Cocktail in the Sky) according to the time, price and content options. SORA Catering was chosen to create the menus and handle all the catering services.

CHALLENGES: SORA Catering team was lifted to the hight of 50 meters about 16 times a day, depending on time slots sales. Since the SORA Catering team normally works on solid grounds the lifts presented a certain challenge during first warm ups. Working in special conditions required a considered amount of time invested in preplanning of the event and also the capability of finding quick solutions on spot.

RESULTS: About 2.000 guests were served during 10 day Split edition of Dinner in the Sky. Prices of the packages were from 30 to 100 euros per person.

SOLUTION: Menu concept was created at our headquarters while the ingredients were delivered locally. Culinary delights were made in a catering kitchen under a tent at the event location and partially finalised on the platform in front of guests. The end product was a result of cooperation of our Slovene and Croatian office. Also staff working on the platform consisted of Slovene and Croatian chefs and waiters.

CATEGORY: Incentive / Team building


AFTER THE EVENT: Dalmatian sun, stunning views and satisfied attendees are reasons to bring Dinner in the Sky back to Croatia again next summer.

Conventa Case Studies

Big Mac@ The Beach

International Medical Symposium

Event: Big Mac@ the beach Date: 23.06.2014 Location: Kempinski Hotel Adriatic Client: McDonald‘s Franchise GmbH Organiser: Inspiria Salzburg Target: McDonald‘s franchisers from Central Europe

Event: International Medical Symposium Date: April 11 - 14, 2013 Location: Hotel Olympia, Vodice, Croatia Client: Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital Centre Zagreb Organiser: Contres projekti d.o.o. Target: Doctors for Obstetrics

ABOUT THE EVENT: During the days they had conferences in the hotel meeting rooms. In the evenings they had pool-, beach parties.

ABOUT THE EVENT: Practical application of 3D ultrasound in gyneacology and obstetrics with accent on pregnancy, polycystic ovary syndrome and uterine fibrodis.

CHALLENGES: The biggest challenge were the weather conditions due to the fact that the plan A was to have the gala dinner at the beach and plan B was to hold the event in the conference hall.

CHALLENGES: Live scan (TV ultrasound and early pregnancy), live broadcast from General Hospital Šibenik SOLUTION: Live scan (tv ultrasound and early pregnancy) live display from GH Sibenik was enabled by using two-way voice communication over permanent line 6.6 Mbps through wich video transfer went from hospital in full HD

SOLUTION: As a small airport is close to the hotel we called couple of times the mentioned airport as they know the best the weather conditions. RESULTS: 140 guests stayed 4 days

RESULTS: 87 participants and 8 speakers from Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary and Poland

AFTER THE EVENT: Mrs. Nowy who is the Specialist Hotel, Travel & Convention, Assistant to the MD said that the event was great. Unfortunately they do it every year in an other destination so it will be difficult to repeat it.

AFTER THE EVENT: High customer satisfaction, resulting in continued cooperation - confirmed two more such symposiums (Urology Today and MIPS - Mediterranean Incontinence and Pelvic Floor Society)

CATEGORY: Education / Training

CATEGORY: Congress/Convention


Conventa 2015

MEET US AT CONVENTA 2015 Conventa presenting exhibitors for 2015


EXCITING TEAM BUILDING EASILY MADE! DESTINATION: Loipersdorf, Austria DISCOVER: www.vi-hotels.com/loipersdorf

Follow the river and you will find the sea‌



dt-conventa.indd 1

tel: +385 1 20 30 210



24.09.2014. 10:14

des Geschehens Tradition trifft Moderne.

The Int. Exhibition and Convention Center Salzburg offers the space national and international congresses, congress fairs or corporate events need - for up to 5.000 guests.


CELEBRATE OUR OPENING WITH A sPECTACULAR INTROdUCTORy OffER www.regenthotels.com/Porto-Montenegro BALI BEIJING oglas 204x60.75mm.ai


BERLIN 9/23/14


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Kongres magazine

a real kongres_magazin.pdf 1 22.9.2014. 14:51:03











prodaja@olympiavodice.hr / +385 (0)22 452 484 / www.olympiavodice.hr



A perfect location for your black tie gala, cocktail party or corporate gathering

For all additional information please contact us: T +385(0)20 361 913 | E sales.dubrovnik@radissonblu.com | W www.radissonblu.com/resort-dubrovnik | www.dubrovniksungardens.com


Think out of the box. Surprise your clients. Exceed your goals. THINK BLUE.




CONVENTA 2015 INVITES YOU TO REBOOK YOUR STAND and START WITH MARKETING ACTIVITIES NOW! Based on the results of Conventa 2014 exhibitor satisfaction survey, 67 % of Conventa exhibitors would absolutely recommend this trade show to their meeting industry colleagues! Conventa 2014 surpassed all expectations with: t he largest number of international meeting planners in the history of the show (over 200) highest quality hosted buyers (62,78 % were rated as good or excellent by exhibitors) congress destinations were presented in the highest number so far (12) the organizers recorded a record number of pre-arranged meetings (3.158) the best and most extensive educational program was offered (over all 3 days)

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Jump on the bandwagon now to: Be among the first to secure your place at the 2015 trade show Save money and take advantage of the Early Bird Rate Exhaust all Conventa marketing and PR activities Attract the hosted buyers attention at an early stage and build a relationship before the show

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Conventa 2015 promises to deliver: International and regional hosted buyers of the highest quality One2one meetings and plenty of chances to network Your exposure and introduction to the key meeting industry audience 365 days a year Great support and an unforgettable Conventa experience

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Ensure you place on the meeting industry map and continue to be a part of the Conventa magic! Deadline: 15 December 2014. For more information about rebooking the stand visit www.conventa.info


Photo of the Month

Tadej Bernik

Organised by: University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty • GO.MICE PCO • GR-Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre • www.eaae2014.si 139

Kongres magazine

INSIDE 2014, Novi sad August 30, 2014


3 1. Visiting of Belgrade Waterfront 2. Inside Staff 3. Discussion on the future of regional cooperation 4. Welcome speech 5. Radisson Blu old Mill Hotel Belgrade 6. Belgrade Waterfront will take urban renewal to new heights 7. Site inspection of Radisson Blu od Mill Hotel Belgrade 8. Master-planned district will bring new life 9. Inside of Radisson Blu old Mill Hotel Belgrade









Kongres magazine

ICCA CEC, Belgrade August 27 - 29, 2014





4 1. Participant at ICCA CEC Summer Meetings 2. Teamwork between regional congress destinations 3. Discussion about the future trends in Regional Meetings and Associations 4. Visiting of Belgrade Waterfront 5. Looking at the future of Belgrade 6. Group photo of the participants of ICCA CEC Summer Meeting 7. Lunch break 8. Gala dinner 9. Cooking with the chef






Kongres magazine

EAAE 2014, LJUBLJANA August 28 - 30, 2014









9 1. Networking during the breaks 2. Exhibition space green setting 3. Scenery in the lecture rooms with the wooden crates 4. Opening speech by assist. dr. Aleš Kuhar 5. EAAE Registration desk 6. Farewell party in the Kupola Hall 7. C oupons for best wine and food competition at the Farewell dinner 8. Taking care for participants with the special food requirements 9. Kaval Group catering chefs on the stage 10. Tasting Kranjska saussage at the evening event




11. Down-town Get-together party

SLOVENIA MEETINGS Feel the people. Taste fresh ideas.



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