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/ 119 / BEHIND THE SCENES Grand hotel Kempinski High Tatras

/ 18 / POWER TO THE MEETINGS / 29 / IN FOCUS The methodology for creating memorable events EXHIBITIONS ARE NOT DEAD Michael Kern, Dekon group eexuctive director, Exclusive Why attennding exhibitions is important? interview


/ 110 / MEETOLOGUE Ohrid


/ 87 / INSIDER’S GUIDE Woerthersee for meetings and events






Let your business demonstrate its flare and imagination by choosing Istanbul as your next meeting destination. Istanbul is uniquely positioned, geographically and historically, to inspire and connect people like you to a cultural backdrop of the old and new. A tale of two cities makes Istanbul like no other.



Page 20 Viewpoint


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, Philip Maxymilian, Hotailor THE GOOD OL’ DAYS FOR TRAVEL AGENCIES ARE GONE ; EXCLUSIVE Briefing Page 65 Grand Hotel Union Page 27 Lubljana Exhibition and

Convention Centre Page 109 Bernardin Hotels Page 43 Terme Maribor

GORAZD ČAD Editor of the magazine is in his profession a geographer and historian. He united his professional education and love of discovering new lesser-known convention destinations with love and passion for the meetings industry. In meetologues he will try to share his enthusiasm with the readers. NINA PRAPROTNIK A talkative perfectionist, intrigued with details and a bigger picture in all the things around her. A big hedonist, especially in terms of culinary treats, amazing Slovenian vines, travelling and life in general enjoys in creating beautiful stories for Kongres magazine, Conventa and taking care of other clients regarding content marketing. She believes in personal connection and touch in all aspects, in private and professional life. NINA OZANIĆ Young and enthusiastic member of the team has realized quite early about her love for the meetings industry. During her study she gained theoretical knowledge and is now ready to show her skills and experience the joy of the meetings industry in all its grandeur.

Kongres Face2Face Page 122 BRATISLAVA vs ZAGREB Page 132 SKOPJE vs TIRANA Page 118 Hidden Congress Guest


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. POLONA SIMŠIČ The knowledge and experience she accumulated with organisation of advertising festivals and conferences, she successfully transfers to the meetings industry. She tells stories of the project Conventa and takes care that they are always up to date and fresh.

Andrey Danilov Maja Lončar Marko Zidar Page 84 Off the Beaten Mice Track


G Editor in Chief Gorazd Čad Assistant to the Editor in Chief Nina Praprotnik, Nina Ozanič Design Nenad Cizl DTP and Prepress Premedia, Andrej Juvan Proofreading Rob Cotter, Louise Chatwood ISSN Number 1855-8615 Photo credits: archive of Kongres magazine and partners destinations The Kongres magazine is entered into the media register under sequence number 1423. Magazine issued in January; March; May; July; September; November Publisher, Production and Marketing Toleranca Marketing d.o.o., Štihova 4, SI-1000 Ljubljana, t: +386 (0)1 430 51 03 f: +386 (0)1 430 51 04 v e: Issue date September 2016 For the content reproduction it is required to get the written editorial consigment.

Official magazine of the Slovenian Convention Bureau Member of

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.



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MISS MEETINGS INDUSTRY How to recognize narcissism in social media contests

Gorazd Čad, Editor, Kongres magazine



n the middle of scorching summer days interesting event stories are hard to find and the event industry usually finds itself in off-season. A call between me and one of my colleague in the hottest days of August regarded a campaign, which took up an emptied out media space. The question was how can we help her get more likes, more fans, more followers, so their location would become a winner in one of the contests on social media. I am not going to start a debate about the mechanisms to win, but I am more intrigued about the movements and reasons that push a „serious“ industry into feverishly collecting likes and attention. As a matter of fact everything is connected with self-image. If we are objectively proclaimed as one of the best hotels in town, an online competition won‘t mean much to us. The Ritz Carlton in Budapest or Regent Porto Montenegro probably have no need to enter such competitions, as self-confidence and quality comes standard in such institutions, where they give their all to justify that service. Real self-respect is the foundation of a healthy self-image. When self-image isn‘t defined it seems that the only shortcut to the heaven of social identity is through numerous campaigns and competitions. I am a big believer in such stories, if only they include a reference system based on clear and comparable criteria and if the key public is clearly defined #eventproofs (meeting planners or event organisers). Immediate skepticism occurs when you are talked into paying an entry fee of 199,00 EUR to be nominated by votes of an undefined social community. I guess the focus group of such competitions are hotels that strive for a positive self-image, which is already standing in front of a mirror for 24hours on Trip Advisor. If that is not enough to boost your moral, there are plenty of people in our industry capable of doing objective hidden guest evaluations and at least get close to reality. Organisers of social contests mostly take advantage of todays neurotic communication, which usually boils down to only graphic, audio

As a matter of fact everything is connected with self-image. If we are objectively proclaimed as one of the best hotels in town, an online competition won’t mean much to us. and info flashes, where you run out of time for any more in-depth analysis. I like campaigns that are fun and not too narcisstic. For example an innovative idea is the World IceCream Index from the agency Soolnua. I take it as a fun and intriguing markting campaign which is promoting destinations 5

with which they are working with and as a platform to promote their own social media. The campaign is fresh and in its core isn‘t actually picking the best ice cream in the world. The problem occurs when the ones competing take it a little bit too serious. Even worse is when they try to use it for their own promotion in an inappropriate way through personal mail and marketing, which bends the innitial ideas of the author. Choosing the best icecream is based on physical perception of quality and is distinctly subjective. It can probably be judged by only true experts ( in my head I imagine them to be hardcore italian icecream lovers). Even in a small group of people you will quickly stumble upon the well tested proverb of „It takes all sorts to make a world“, when it comes to taste and the perception of quality. Authors of the campaign never bothered with that and they clearly bent the rules a little bit. In their core social competitions are a practice range for meeting destinations to develop their self-image. Their ingenuity is mostly shown in intro videos, which allow for comparissons of creativity, more than the comparissons of actual icecream quality. That was basically the way I answered my colleague and opened a bunch of other questions regarding content marketing and communication in meetings industry. Shortcuts to the hearts of event planners are rare and can be found only with hard work and a quality product that can‘t be replaced by any social campaign, media or marketing agency. Good icecream makes a name for itself and event organisers just have to find, whether with the help of DMC‘s or by looking at well respected reference scales. I myself am leaning towards picking the Miss and Mister of the meetings industry. Looking at the stereotype of the attractiveness of our industry I am sure to have a lot of candidates coming my way. See you again when the parade of brilliance and glamour is all set.

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THE POWER OF BOUTIQUE TRADE SHOWS Why you need more Face2Face meetings CONFEC, Questex-McLean Events / Christine Bartolo Parnis, Event Director CONVENE / Jolanta Beniuliene˙,Exhibition Director GLOBAL CONNECT UK / Roger Oakley & Vanessa McNair, Directors M&I FORUM, WORLDWIDE EVENTS / Richard Barnes, CEO Worldwide Events CONVENTA / Gorazd Čad, Co-Founder Text NINA PRAPROTNIK


outique trade shows are getting more attention and positive feedback from participants, and the numbers prove it. Even though big trade shows comprise numerous offers and in particular, numerous networking possibilities, smaller specialized trade shows are building their role in the meeting industry with the personal touch. They emphasize their basic goal “It is all about quality not quantity” and they deliver, to their participants, quality business contacts instead of numerous connections without finalization. The main difference between the big trade shows and smaller, boutique shows is definitely the personal approach to business which, in this digitalized era, is becoming more and more important. You still need a face to connect to the people you are working with and this is definitely one area that boutique trade shows exploit to maximize their success and all with the goal to give their clients added quality and genuine business contacts that ultimately lead to business realization. One-on-one meetings have become more important to meeting industry professionals who use this approach to personally meet and make business. Boutique trade

shows definitely use being smaller to their advantage and also quicker to change, and use the personalized approach with the goal of staying ahead of the game in the meetings industry market and meet its demands. Face-to-face meetings provide a business-oriented platform for developing individual business relationships with targeted meeting industry audiences in a cost and time-efficient manner. It has become one of the most successful forms of selling and building personal and direct relationship with meeting industry clients. In addition, the more relaxed atmosphere that boutique trade shows offer provides a friendlier atmosphere and numerous stress-free networking possibilities, giving boutique trade shows a friendlier environment, with many of their participants emphasizing this aspect. The hospitality and relaxed atmosphere is definitely where participants are not just a number, everything is personalized. It must not be forgotten that socializing together means making business together! There is no stress, just a friendly and productive atmosphere ideal for a relaxed matchmaking experience.











TRADE SHOWS ARE GREAT FOR MEETING UP WITH EVERYONE IN ONE PLACE WITHOUT HAVING TO TRAVEL AROUND One to one forum style is fast catching on as the meetings provide added quality and genuine interest Q: Why do you believe your trade shows are THE BEST trade shows in the world? Trade Shows are great for meeting up with everyone in one place without having to travel around, however I also believe that the one to one forum style is fast catching on as the meetings provide added quality and genuine interest. Q: Do you plan to stay a boutique event organizer or are you looking to expand? We are happy with our path however expansion is always in our long term plans.

Questex-McLean Events, CONFEC, Christine Bartolo Parnis, Event Director

Q: How do you market and promote the host destination and what do you believe is the real reach of such events? We have a great data base and a high percentage of repeat clients so we use direct digital mailing and of course we reach out to new clients we get to meet at fairs/trade shows


Q: Can you share with us one of your client’s success stories? Gosh, we have loads of testimonials on our website

“I am finding The Meetings Show in London really interesting as my main market is the UK and everyone is there”

Q: What are the conversion statistics for your shows (conversion rate)? 70 %

ABOUT CONFEC: Confec Red and Blue are two exclusive events bringing meeting planners and suppliers of the MICE industry together to do business. CONFEC Events are unique, powerful, productive, intimate, results-oriented business settings carefully orchestrated to deliver maximum results. CONFEC creates the platform to foster relationships between buyers and suppliers--the event combines a forum of one-on-one meetings with great networking activities for the perfect combination to promote business relationships.

Q. What is the biggest challenge you are facing right now and how do you plan to tackle it? Increasing costs and terrorism and market saturation.

Q: Do you offer any post-show activities like sharing the data base, further marketing in scope of the event, etc.? Yes, we always offer data sharing, press release, video footage, questionnaire, etc.

Q: Last but not least. To which event in the meetings industry do you look up to and why? I am finding The Meetings Show in London really interesting as my main market is the UK and everyone is there. Additionally, there is always great entertainment and loads of fun to break the work schedule!


WE STRIVE TO FOCUS ON CREATING EFFECTIVE BUSINESS MEETINGS RATHER THAN A TRADITIONAL SHOW MODEL BASED ON MAXIMISING SPACE SALES Understanding that personal contact is critical in the meetings industry, we provide many more networking opportunities than any other trade show and participants greatly appreciate that

CONVENE, Jolanta Beniuliene�, Exhibition Director

Q: Why do you believe your trade show is Q: How do you market and promote the host THE BEST trade show in the world? destination and what do you believe is the CONVENE is not a regular two-day show, it is real reach of such events? a trademark successfully representing Vilnius CONVENE is the best ever marketing campaign and the Baltic Sea Region’s meeting industry. for Vilnius and Lithuania running throughout CONVENE serves as an international Business- the year. With consistent marketing and comto-business showcase/event that accelerates in- munication activities, the project establishes terest in and demand for hosting meetings and Vilnius a real gateway to the whole region. After events in the region. four years of continued development, it is now The time at the show is used to the maximum very clear that CONVENE has become the most benefit of hosted buyers and exhibitors alike. important Baltic Sea Regional hub for our indusUnderstanding that personal contact is critical try to meet, to do business and to network. in the meetings industry, CONVENE unites the we provide many more efforts of both public and networking opportuniprivate sectors and proties than any other trade vides the possibility to show and participants create an event of such “CONVENE is the greatly appreciate that. scale and importance. best ever marketing We strive to focus on creLocal suppliers could ating effective business not achieve such major campaign for Vilnius meetings rather than a breakthroughs or direct traditional show model access to the industry and Lithuania based on maximising without the government running throughout space sales. All exhibitsupport that is offered to ing companies occupy CONVENE. Additionally, the year” the same sized space with the public sector would a single colour scheme not be in a position to across the event floor. All set and achieve their respective goals without participants are provided with complimentary refreshments throughout the contribution of these public institutions. the day, with a break in the event where a hot As a joint public/private project, CONVENE is lunch is prepared for hosted buyers and exhib- already paying dividends and promises to do so itors alike, allowing for a more relaxed busi- in the future while contributing to the growth ness networking atmosphere, which is a most of the global MICE industry. welcome aspect of the business day. Q: What are the conversion statistics for Q: Do you plan to stay a boutique event or are your show (conversion rate)? you looking to expand? One of the best among these types of events - 2:1 The event is not and will not be concerned about overall size. Rather, it will maintain focus on Q: What is the biggest challenge you are creating memorable experiences for the hosted facing right now and how do you plan to buyer community and the regional supply chain. tackle it? We will continue to concentrate on the quality We are facing the same challenges as the rest of and growth of the education programme, which Europe. Global political and economic changes will continue to be a highly-anticipated part of affect the meetings industry every day and we the event. must continue to find ways to adapt to these changes and to get the most out of them.



Q: Can you share with us one of your client’s success stories? It could be Vilnius’ success story. The meetings industry plays an important role in the destination economy, especially in generating infrastructural growth and creating jobs. As CONVENE accelerates interest in and demand for hosting meetings and events in the region, in addition to attracting conferences to Vilnius, the event has influenced the construction of a new congress centre, which is considered a project of national importance. It has also impacted on the growth of the hotel infrastructure in the city. It is estimated that Vilnius is expected to create about 1,200 new hotel rooms in the coming years, representing a total increase of 25 %. Q: Do you offer any post-show activities like sharing the data base, further marketing in scope of the event, etc? CONVENE is a sharing event from its beginning. Strong regional support and an Ambassador Programme enable a process of sharing and growth that continues organically and works to collectively strengthen the region’s meetings industry. Cross-border cooperation and the involvement of non-EU countries, allow CONVENE to utilise the region’s geographical position as the connecting point between East and West, ultimately opening the gates to the

Baltic Sea Region. By organising a regional approach to gaining exposure, the emerging industries of the Baltic Sea Region can strive to share successes and evolve together. Talking about destination marketing campaign, I must say that it never stops: after one edition of CONVENE ends, we immediately continue to promote the next edition. By promoting CONVENE we promote our destination and the whole region. Industry and media partnership agreements are valid all year long, so marketing campaign runs all year around. Q: Last but not least. To which event in the meetings industry do you look up to and why? There are a number of notable meetings industry events across Europe and around the world that are significant to us because of their integrated professional education programmes. CONVENE participants agree that it is of the utmost importance to be up to date with current industry trends while sharing best practices and knowledge. The CONVENE Education Programme provides a unique space for this process, serving to empower our region’s meetings industry and guiding its evolution. We feel that a strong focus on knowledge will contribute to the development of what is a relatively young industry and enable suppliers to compete on the 11

same level as more experienced neighbors. This is why we want to continue building this part of our event moving forward. ABOUT CONVENE: CONVENE is an annual B2B two-day event for the Baltic countries meetings industry. It is an international show case for the regional meetings industry which accelerates the interest and demand for holding meetings, incentives and conferences in the region. Launched by Vilnius Convention Bureau the event every year offers a hosted buyer programme which accommodates 170+ qualified European buyers and up to 100 exhibitors, including CBs, hotels, conference centers, special venues, DMCs, PCOs, specialist suppliers from Lithuania and seven other countries of the region (Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark) showcasing their meeting products and services.

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THE CORE OF OUR BUSINESS IS HIGHLY MANAGED BUYER & SUPPLIER DATA, RELATIONSHIPS AND INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE We work with our highly managed CRM system and a combined additional platform for our on-line marketing activity resulting in an increasingly world-wide reach Q: Do you plan to stay a boutique event organizer or are you looking to expand? Our business is growing steadily, one area that we are developing is our Masterclass Training Programme which is attracting interest globally. Case Study: Caribbean Tourism Organization – London Commissioned by the Head of the CTO to present a Training Programme to their Members on how to sell their MICE services to the UK buyers followed through with the initial launch of Destination Caribbean to the MICE market, and a series of fam trips. Outbound business is now starting to convert.

GLOBAL CONNECT UK LIMITED, UNITED KINGDOM, Vanessa McNair & Roger Oakley, Directors

Q: How do you market and promote the host destination and what do you believe is the real reach of such events? We use London for our networking events because it has a catchment area offering the greatest number of buyers and as the UK is often the second most important market to overseas Suppliers, London is natural fit. We work with our highly managed CRM system and a combined additional platform for our on-line marketing activity resulting in an increasingly worldwide reach.

Q: Why do you believe your trade shows are THE BEST trade shows in the world? We operate our MICE events on a smaller scale where we offer a cost-effective solution for Suppliers to meet directly with qualified Buyers without the need for huge budgets. We offer cost-share opportunities and add-on programmes for Suppliers attending our events. “Our database is Q: What are the conOur database of UK Buyers is second to none, version statistics for really our life blood it’s managed by our CRM your shows (conversion and has taken us system providing us with rate)? the ability to store and Difficult to say because many years to build extract “contact specific” we put Buyers in direct information. In 6 years contact with Suppliers. up and develop into we have forged lasting In some instances, we are what we now have” business relationships aware of the conversions with the Buyer commubut we can’t give specific figures. When we nity resulting in well atanalyze the number of tended events. Typical attendance is 12 global Suppliers networking with Suppliers attending more than one of our events, 30 pre-qualified Buyers. and the number of Suppliers who work with us Some UK agencies operate “preferred supplier” on a regular basis, it becomes evident that our schemes, any Supplier not “preferred” will find concept does reap rewards. it difficult to gain access and present to these Buyers. Our events have proved that we attract participation from a number of these agencies which provides opportunities for Suppliers that wouldn’t normally be achieved. 12

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Q: What is the biggest challenge you are facing right now and how do you plan to tackle it? Staying ahead of the game, keeping our brand awareness alive, changing and adapting our concept as the market demands, are all hugely important for us to continue to be successful. The core of our business is highly managed Buyer and Supplier data, relationships and industry knowledge and we work daily in keeping this information forefront. Q: Can you share with us one of your client’s success stories? Destination Swedish Lapland. Skelleftea CVB invited us to present our Portfolio after an initial presentation to Destination Sweden. We won the business and were tasked with raising and developing the profile of the destination in the UK MICE market and increasing inbound group business throughout the area. We launched the destination with a grand showcase in London and have organized 2 additional bespoke networking events, a series of fully qualified sales calls, 4 destination fam trips with qualified buyers and a host of on-line marketing activity. As a result of these actions business is converting to the region and we’re now in the process of finalizing activity for 2017.

Q: Do you offer any post-show activities like sharing the data base, further marketing in scope of the event, etc? Our database is really our life blood and has taken us many years to build up and develop into what we now have. Suppliers can make use of it in many ways additional to, or combined with, our events. We offer bespoke mailings and on-line marketing activities, database cleansing, buyer qualification, fam trips and training sessions. One of the more popular activities for Suppliers is to combine event participation with MICE sales calls in order to maximize their time in London. Q: Last but not least. To which event in the meetings industry do you look up to and why? Ibtm world Barcelona offers a 3-day snapshot of the Global MICE industry. Participating year on year enables us to meet new global Buyers and allows us to catch up in person and further develop our global Supplier network.


ABOUT GLOBAL CONNECT UK LIMITED: Global Connect UK operates specifically within two target markets in the UK, MICE and Leisure. They offer a modular approach to sales and marketing services, from full representation to a broad selection of individual and ad-hoc tactical actions built around specific requirements and budgets. All of their services are designed to supplement and enhance existing Action Plans, to help clients achieve elevated brand awareness, exposure and increased market share in the UK.


CREATING AN EFFECTIVE SPACE IN WHICH DELEGATES CAN BUILD LASTING RELATIONSHIPS Relationship-building goes far beyond formal meetings - when people have fun together, they remember each other, and that’s what really drives good business in this industry

WORLDWIDE EVENTS M&I FORUM, Richard Barnes, CEO Worldwide Events

Q: Why do you believe your trade shows are growth and we expect to continue this trend for THE BEST trade shows in the world? the next decade. As well as increasing the size We don’t spend time comparing ourselves to of the Forums, we are always looking to expand others. We concentrate into new markets so that on making sure we do we can offer our clients a the best job we possibly broader range of opportucan. Our trade shows are nities. However, the inti“We don’t spend time successful because we mate feel of our events is focus on one thing: creatcrucial. No matter how comparing ourselves ing an effective space in much we grow, we do to others. We which delegates can build everything we can to lasting relationships. For the boutique concentrate on making maintain us, relationship-building atmosphere that our delgoes far beyond formal egates love. sure we do the best meetings; we offer a job we possibly can.” rounded experience Q: How do you market where people can have and promote the host fun while really getting to destination and what do know one another. When you believe is the real people have fun together, they remember each reach of such events? other, and that’s what really drives good busi- Hosting one of our largest Forums is estimated ness in this industry. at bringing €60 million of incremental business to the destination from the buyers who attend. Q: Do you plan to stay a boutique event or- In addition, we start work on a Forum 12-18 ganizer or are you looking to expand? months before the event begins, and the destiBoth. We’ve enjoyed 10 years of consecutive nation is promoted throughout this time to our



global customer base of MICE buyers. The result is enormous industry visibility, as well as the opportunity to bring together local partners and show what they offer to the industry.

teresting and quirky enough to motivate quality buyers to attend, while also having the facilities to host a wide variety of meeting and incentive trips.

Q: What are the conversion statistics for your shows (conversion rate)? We hold 47,000 individual meetings at our Forums each year. We don’t try to track the amount of business that is generated because the lead times involved make it impossible, but we have calculated that each supplier receives an average of 24 RFPs per event, either during the Forum itself or in the weeks following.

Q: Can you share with us one of your client success stories? One that really stands out for me is The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. During one of our Forums, they received a $500,000 group booking which actually confirmed during the event. What’s more important to me though is that we have regular clients who come back year after year, and they only do that because they secure good business time after time.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you are facing right now and how do you plan to tackle it? Our biggest challenge is to keep getting better, and there are so many elements that go into making that happen. Above all else, it’s so important that we get the right people to attend our Forums. While the quality of the buyers is vital, we also put enormous effort into ensuring that the suppliers at our Forums are of the highest quality. Being so selective is a real challenge, but it’s what ensures that the best buyers keep coming to our events. We also challenge ourselves to select destinations which are in-

Q: Do you offer any post-show activities like sharing the data base, further marketing in scope of the event, etc? We’ve actually just launched the M&I Network, which is all about allowing delegates to communicate and exchange RFPs long after a Forum has finished. Any client who joins the M&I Network gets industry visibility through our online venue finder, as well as the benefits of our account management system.


Q: Last but not least. To which event in the meetings industry do you look up to and why? I think probably IMEX America. Based in the UK, they launched in the States and blew the competition out of the water. They knocked out the established trade show and saw off competition from much larger organizers. They are now the leading show in the States, and to achieve that from Europe is hugely impressive.

ABOUT M&I FORUM: Meeting & Incentive Forums are run by Worldwide Events, a division of Big Worldwide, a global travel, technology, events and media company. The first M & I Forum was launched in 2006 in London to serve a marketplace that demanded a fresh approach. M&I Forums connect the MICE industry and focus on pre-scheduled meetings, only introducing the highest achievers in the MICE industry and have the work/fun ratio down to an art form.


WE TRY TO PUT OUR PERSONAL TOUCH ON EVERY STEP OF THE PROCESS AS WE KNOW PARTICIPANTS APPRECIATE IT The core of Conventa remains a professional platform for creating business opportunities and exchanging expertise in a relaxed atmosphere, complemented with unforgettable happenings

CONVENTA, Gorazd Čad, Co-Founder

Q: Why do you believe your trade shows are relaxed atmosphere, complemented with unforthe BEST trade shows in the world? gettable happenings. So, to answer the question, Every person needs time to grow up and to we are not saying we are the best. Others say we develop their own perare. For us, the greatest recognition is the level sonality. In my experience, a project needs at of loyalty we receive. least five years to grow Around 98% of exhibi“We are not saying into its maturity. In the tors have been with us last nine years, Conventa from the very beginning, we are the best. has become an important with new ones joining us Others say we are. brand, enjoying a great every year. reputation among exhibFor us, the greatest itors and hosted buyers. Q: Do you plan to stay a The quality of execurecognition is the level boutique event organizer or are you looking to tion and professionalism of loyalty we receive.” expand? that are undeniably of We see the expansion the highest level, have greatly contributed to the of Conventa in terms of success. The added value quality. As the organizthat we put at the forefront is also the unforget- ers, we are always striving to find new ways to table user experience based on perfectionism keep hosted buyers and exhibitors satisfied. So, and novelties. The core of the show remains we put a lot of effort into understanding their a professional platform for creating business needs and expectations. We try to put our peropportunities and exchanging expertise in a sonal touch on every step of the process as we



Q: Do you offer any post-show activities such as sharing the database, further marketing and scoping for events, etc? Conventa is the only trade show that provides all exhibitors a complete database of participating hosted buyers. With this, the option for further conversion of potential clients into real buyers of your congress services is greatly increased. The average cost of a sales lead (calculated based on six years of the project) is €15 per contact. At every Conventa trade show, we guarantee a minimum of 250 sales contacts, which is equivalent to an investment of €3,250. Conventa is expanding year-round promotional activities annually and which are free of charge for all exhibitors. Promotion is based on a constantly growing database of potential hosted buyers, and on tools such as the e-catalogue “Meet in SEE”, the Conventa newsletter and its fast-growing social networks.

know that participants appreciate it. The size of event will therefore not change; the event will only become richer from new content. This year we took into consideration the needs of the meeting planners and created a new conference, Conventa Crossover, dedicated to the future of MICE and travel marketing. But that is not all. Throughout the year we also organize boutique fam trips for our most loyal partners that we call Conventa Experiences. Q: How do you market and promote the host destination? Conventa, as an established brand, is directly associated with the region and the City of Ljubljana. Together they are promoted through the fam trips and the show’s content marketing is carried out throughout the year. The results are measured with concrete numbers. We have provided over €800,000 of free media coverage in terms of media partnerships. The reach of web and social networks is impressive and the performance is constantly measured through the concrete economic effects of marketing. Q: What are the conversion statistics for your shows? The most important fact is that, over the years, we have hosted 1,974 hosted buyers who have conducted 21,160 meetings. According to the most pessimistic assessment of the conversion rate, this means that 4% generate over €30 million in turnover, in the region. It is estimated, however, that the real conversion rate is much higher at about 15%. This is confirmed by the feedback of our partners and successfully completed business deals. Conventa also measures its value by conducting satisfaction surveys among exhibitors and hosted buyers, using the electronic system “Geoffrey”. 1,437

hosted buyers indicated their satisfaction with Conventa with an average rating of 4.27 (out of 5); while 753 exhibitors gave it a rating of 4.42. Q: What is the biggest challenge you are facing right now and how do you plan to tackle it? Every year the biggest challenge is the same, to provide new hosted buyers with strong buying power that are interesting for our exhibitors. So far, we have been successfully dealing with the problem with an active search for meeting planners throughout the year and through collaboration with group coordinators that do our job in their markets. With regard to the quality of the show, what is most interesting is the hosted buyer selection process. On average we reject more than half of all of the requests for hosted buyer status. We set the record in 2013 when we rejected 57.8% of requests. We choose only those with a genuine and profound interest in the region. Even great information about buyers does not mean a thing without the proper knowledge and analytical model that helps make the decision on the selection of buyers. Q: Can you share with us one of your client success stories? There are many stories. The last major success story is of the Turkish DMC agency, Dekon, which in the last two weeks have organized two large congresses in Ljubljana. The agency’s first contact with the destination was at Conventa two years ago where they met with representatives of the Slovenian Convention Bureau. Today, the agency is considering opening an office in Ljubljana. There are many stories like this. Yesterday, for example, an incentive with 100 participants was confirmed as a result of Conventa. 17

Q: Last but not least. Which meeting industry event do you look up to and why? We respect the work of all our colleagues who are engaged in the organization of events and trade shows. Speaking about our work, we rely primarily on the analysis provided by meeting planners and exhibitors and are focused on satisfying their needs. Based on this, we developed our model of the show and we try not to be bothered by competition. We can say that personal approach and providing real business opportunities, based on real potential buyers, is the heart of our event. We strongly believe that the right format for effective networking separates good trade shows from the average ones. We treat exhibitors and invited guests equally which differentiates us from other similar events. Everyone likes to come to Conventa to try our cup of coffee and we are proud to say that at the end of every show we know each participant by name.

ABOUT CONVENTA: Conventa is a leading, new European trade show for meetings, events and incentive travel which, for the ninth consecutive year, will take place in January, in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Conventa has become the leading marketplace for the meeting industry of South East and New Europe and the trade show facilitates personal contacts between an international hosted buyer community and the wide choice of meetings supplier businesses from South East Europe.


“POWER TO THE MEETINGS” The methodology for creating memorable events Text GORAZD ČAD


very events planner’s wish is not only to satisfy the participants’ needs, but also to inspire them. The power of events lies in the co-creation and the contact of participants with the organiser’s idea. The moment when a spark of creative energy is lit between participants and organisers is limited and therefore requires careful planning. The process of planning events at our agency is simply called “Power to the meetings”. Even with events we need a very strong skeleton for good composition. The methodology that we use is based on many years of experience and is inspired by the Danish Meetovation methodology. In order to develop the positive experience of the participants we follow the logical phases by using a variety of tools integrated in every event and led by certain rules that can only be learnt by time and through experience.

1. CONTENT The secret and essence of events remains good stories. The best are simple, clear and sincere, and because it speaks to the heart and soul the basic story must grab the participants at first glance. Such stories are those that separate meetings logistics experts from meetings architects. The first are adherents of the beaten tracks, while the others are looking to create something new, passionate and exciting. Practical tool: Event content canvas 2. PARTICIPANT JOURNEY In this phase we come up with the concept for the participants’ experience. Step by step we guide participants through all the experiences that are written down in the form of a script. In it we also include the user experience in the field of communication. We finally test the scenario on a group of test participants. Practical tool: Scenario of user experience 3. BRANDING Branding is the tool for the construction of visibility of the event by using the name, image and symbols as a kind of fingerprint of a desired identity. It is a part of existence as it is understood or decoded by the participants and it represents an important part of the event devel18

opment. The result of a carefully planned branding is the reputation as a clear measurement for brand and image of the event. Practical tool: Brief for brand of the event 4. RHYTHM With rhythm we gather together the different parts of the event and put them into a meaningful chronology. Instead of tones we use programme segments with greater and lesser attention of participants. People react instinctively to rhythm, so thinking about the rhythm of the event is one of the elementary duties of the organiser. Practical tool: Programme scheme 5. CREATIVE SET UP You need to support an appropriate environment to start off the debate among participants. Speakers are mostly the motivators and provocateurs. Different venue set ups like “open space”, “open fishbowl” or “word café” will all instantly improve the communication and set it on a higher level, compared to the traditional classroom set up. In collaboration with the architects we visualize our experiences and prepare them for implementation. Practical tool: Visualization of space (floor plan, 3D animation)


6. SPEAKER MANAGEMENT As organisers we have to make sure the speakers are informed and prepared. At the forefront is not only the transfer of knowledge and experiences, but also the importance of speakers also including in their work the interaction with participants. Depending on what we want to achieve, we advise the usage of different programme formats (Pecha Kucha, TEDEx, elevator pitch,…) Having an appropriate moderator that will connect the programme segments is also crucial for the success of the event. Practical tool: Instructions for speakers 7. CO-CREATION We learn the most when we do it ourselves. In our opinion a precondition for the active involvement of the participants is to use the method of experiential learning. Before that we have to explore and get to know the participants’ needs and wishes. This stage of the process requires careful planning, starting from the content that through different methods (workshops, hand zone) and technical devices we bring closer to participants ( Practical tool: Disposition of experimental points of the event

8. AUTHENTICITY ‘Genuine’ is all that is authentic. We all love to look and create unique experiences that are nothing but authentic and nicely spiced up nostalgic stories. Authentic cuisine, music, special historical sites and cultural history are at the core the elements of every successful event, from incentives to big congresses. Participants like to return back to nature, get to know the authentic way of life, feel real feelings, smell original smells and experience special venues. Practical tools: Matrix “Off the beaten MICE track” 9. GREEN THINKING Our agency is the author of recommendations for organising green meetings, which are used as standard bearers by the Slovenian Convention Bureau. We urge clients to plan, execute and evaluate sustainable measures together. Sustainable measures are implemented in the venue decision, transport of participants, the culinary offer for participants, communication, materials and the technical execution of the event. Practical tool: Matrix of sustainable measures for the organisation of events

SECRET INGREDIENT FOR ENERGY: ROCK’N’ROLL Successful event organisers know how important it is to organise an event with love and positive energy. You need to know how to create the flow of energy between the organisers and participants, the speakers and the audience, the sponsors and the crowd. The event venue has to have a flow as well, like rock festivals or large airports. Above all, to create good energy we have to check the three basic event elements. First is the element of surprise. Some also call it a ‘first impression’. The second element is communication, that is before, during and after the event, transmitting the energy all the way up to the heights of modern hybrid communication of social media. Thirdly, and lastly, is the element of an effective dramaturgy, which includes the ambience of the venue, design of the stage, light and, for the true congress rockers, also great rock riffs, or, in other words: each event must have its own colour and sound.


10. ROI Participation in an event is under the microscope, marketing budgets are shrinking and directors require maximum ROI. That which cannot be measured, cannot be managed. So how do we do it? We carry out targeted surveys among stakeholders to regularly check the satisfaction of key stakeholders. Having participants in mind, it all starts with clear goals and expectations. If there are no goals, it is easy to say everything went well. Setting goals is a must, as only this way can you truly measure what has been achieved. An important part of ensuring high profitability is also generating a feeling of quality. Practical tool: Surveys for the measurement of ROI of events

Kongres Magazine

RIGHT TIME, RIGHT PLACE Veritatem dies aperit / Time discloses the truth



y colleagues often ask me why we chose to pick such specific dates for an event when there are already other events taking place. The usual excuses are linked with a business trip, a vacation, the influence of the full moon or the fact that they won‘t be able to make it because of it being the wrong date. Usually I reply that we have been advised by a fortune-teller and a feng shui master about picking the right date, or in quite a unique style that we don‘t choose a date without GPS. This is of course very far from the life of a real event organiser; an event happens at a particular place at a particular hour and the date has an important influence on the development of the event. In my opinion the most recent example of a flop is in great measure connected with the wrong choice of date - the bankruptcy of the Future of Events event. It was supposed to take place from the 22-24 August this year, when most of Europe‘s meeting planners are on a short summer vacation before the Autumn‘s event season. The organiser went bankrupt and the exibitors and guests without their quotation. In a way the entire event is a reminder that setting important dates should be taken with all due care and seriousness. We are used to a rhythm that is set by the Moon, Sun and seasons, so I often ask my colleagues and partners a few key questions regarding the right choice of date:

CLEARLY DEFINED GOALS AND OBJECTIVES HELP The answer to this question is key for setting the date. Business events should respect the participants‘ private time and so it‘s hard for us to imagine them during their vacation or mass holidays, such as Ferragosto in Italy, whereas it is the opposite for public events with their anticipated number of visitors. IS THE DATE CLOSE TO ANY BIGGER CULTURAL OR RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY? Dates around religious, cultural or other festivals should be avoided. Most potential participants set tradition before the super-important content of your event. Besides that, your event will lose a massive element of media attraction to the cultural or religious holiday themes. A SPECIFIC VENUE CAN DEFINE THE DATE OF THE EVENT If you are set upon a very specific location that is otherwise very busy, it might just happen that the date will be defined by the location itself. For example, bigger congress centres that also do trade shows have reserved all the slots for up to 10 days and more for such events due to preparation and cleaning of the space. It can often happen that you will be the one adjusting and not the other way around. IS YOUR EVENT INDEPENDENT OF WEATHER? If an element of your event is outdoors, then this is the first criteria on which setting the date will be made. As we cannot choose the weather, the best thing to do is to go for a time of the year with the most stable weather conditions, as a result of which (at least in Europe) the most pleasant months for events are March, April, May, September and October. ARE THERE ANY COMPETITIVE EVENTS HAPPENING AT THE TIME OF YOUR EVENT? Systematically checking for any competing events is a must in any date scheduling. For specific industrial fields we often make an internal calendar and with its help advise our subscribers on what date is the most appropriate one. This kind of calendar is used even by specialised expert media. 20

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ARE THERE ANY IMPORTANT WORLD DAYS CONNECTED TO THE EVENT? A tourist conference on World Tourism Day is definitely a winning combination. In the field of PR especially you will be able to generate very good results, as the world media and the public will connect both positively. ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH INFO ON THE LOGISTICS OF THE DESTINATION? Manys a bad mood at an event can be caused by the biggest rush hours in the year or at times when the airport is at peak capacity. Public institutions responsible for traffic can give out calendars about that – it‘s not a bad idea to get a hold of them. IS THE EVENT PART OF AN IMPORTANT SEASON OR ANNIVERSARY? If the event is at a start of a season that is important for the field then it will give the event a boost. Such dates can also be anniversaries that can turn out to be a good boon for the event organisation. Now for some stereotypes, that according to our experiences aren‘t always true: • Most event organisers avoid Mondays, with the reasoning that for an event Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays are the most suitable. An event held on a monday can help ease out Monday stress and perhaps get into a more creative week. • January is stereotypically an inappropriate month for events due to tiredness from the New Year‘s holidays. From my own experience I can confirm that it can in fact be a part of a positive entry into the new year. • It is very interesting, that most teambuilding events happen on Fridays, which is in a way the most relaxed working day of the week, but without doubt it could be easily executed during the week, if the goal is especially to improve relationships in the team. • You can also find those who believe, that it is not a smart move to organise an event on the 13th of the month, as that will fatally influence the outcomes... I will never forget an experienced colleague who years ago advised me that in order to fix a date into participants‘ minds you need five years, and for a permanent placement on the events calendar another five. He also mentioned that such dates shouldn‘t be rescheduled, as that can catastrophically influence the result of the event. ‚The time is always right to do what is right.‘ Martin Luther King, Jr.


Exclusive interview

MICHAEL KERN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DEKON GROUP Michael held numerous strategic association leadership roles, both nationally and internationally and was also in charge of organizing conferences in many corners of the world. Coming from the client side, he joined the DEKON Team and serves currently as the Executive Director of the DEKON Group. DEKON has been providing Professional Conference Organizing services to international clients for more than 24 years. Headquartered in Istanbul, the DEKON Team runs a significant number of congresses worldwide.


Exclusive interview

ATTITUDE DETERMINES ALTITUDE MICHAEL KERN, DEKON GROUP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR We are a strong industry with a lot of common spirit Interview by Gorazd Čad

Q: What is the secret to TOP PCO? If I would tell you now all the secrets, then they wouldn’t be secrets any more, but let me give you a few hints. First of all, you need to have a vision. Some 10 years ago, we have been a local PCO, focused on local business. Without the vision of our owners to become a global player and bringing together the right people with a wide international horizon we would still be at the same spot or even not exist anymore. Another key element is to always stay on top of the last developments of the industry. Offering state of the art operations or technology isn’t enough, you need to one step ahead. Always. Q: How strong is PCO business today? Difficult question, there are so many external influencers which we had no idea about some years ago, it makes the future of the industry really hard to predict. The PCO business is definitely changing. It’s changing a lot. The full service PCO business we all did in the past is dead. Many clients want to have tailor made solutions, they want to use just a parts of our service. On the other hand additional services, working closer especially with association clients who look for sustainable growth, are expected. I still believe, actually more than ever, in face to face meetings. For sure the online conferencing will become even more common than it is today for the smaller meetings, but it won’t eradicate the classical annual association meeting. People don’t want to miss the social gatherings, they want to interact with their peers, talk to the lecturers after the sessions, they want meet their friends from the years before. Q: What is the most positive thing about the meetings industry? That we are, even we have a lot of tough competition, a strong industry with a lot of common spirit. Q: What are some of the big issues that challenge you and your teams? At this time I would say its security issues and hesitant conference organizers. We saw attacks in all corners of the world which are raising the

concerns of everyone within the industry. Can we run a conference at a specific venue? Will we have enough participation? Will we get sponsorship, find exhibitors? What we see every day in media is massively influencing our decisions, creating perceptions of the potential conference attendees but often it’s not reflecting the reality on site. Q: Which are your favourite meeting destinations and why? Our favorite destinations are the ones, which have not only the ‘normal’ ingredients, like being easy accessible, a good hotel variety, exciting social venues, they have also a strong,

About Slovenia: It’s a small but very green country, which can offer mountains, lakes and seaside alike. And if Ljubljana has one day more hotel beds it will be even more attractive for the bigger congresses.

creative and supportive CVB which can offer more support than free city maps. And we need to get the feeling that the city and its representatives really want our meeting to happen just there and nowhere else. Having all that, we can endorse a destination to our clients. Q: What are Slovenia’s strengths as a meetings destination? A really motivated CVB like I mentioned above, which gives us the feeling to be welcome with any concern, question or request. They just try to make it happen. It’s a small but very green country, which can offer mountains, lakes and seaside alike. And if Ljubljana has one day more hotel beds it will be even more attractive for the bigger congresses. 23

Q: What differentiates Slovenia and makes it attractive to the meetings market? One of the ‘newer’, more unknown meeting destinations, not too many congresses have been there already. We often hear from the organizers that most attendees know this or that city already, ‘been there, seen that’ doesn’t happen often with Slovenia. It gives more the feeling of a ‘boutique’ destination. On the other hand we found here very professional partners who are easy to work with, you guys speak our ‘language’. Q: What will the future of International and local PCOs be? When it comes to the role of international and local PCOs, the locals have their strengths, but in the future I see them more in the role of a DMC. Associations expect more than just meeting execution, they anticipate us to understand how their members think, to tell them how they can best reach their vision and mission and to work with them on a daily base giving advice to grow their membership and on the latest technological developments. It’s hard for a local PCO to stay on top of all those things. Q: How do you rate the development in Eastern Europe and especially in South-Eastern Europe? Some destinations in the area seem still stuck in the (post) communist era, where things happened because they were ordered to happen. It needs a lot of investment into infrastructure, into professionalism of the local players and the understanding that we are in the service industry, so we are here to serve our customers and that they are not petitioners. Or, you make it hard for us to work with you, means we won’t come back. I know those are harsh words, but this industry is also known for its tough competition, and don’t forget, attitude determines altitude.

Exclusive interview


Exclusive interview

THE GOOD OL’ DAYS FOR TRAVEL AGENCIES ARE GONE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH HOTAILOR, PHILIP MAXYMILIAN Using Hotailor, travel agent is able to respond to the request in few minutes, not a hour, how it’s now. Interview by Nina Praprotnik Photo credits: Hotailor

Q: Where did the idea for Hotailor came, what problem did you wanted to solve? With over 10 years of experience in travel and hotel business I’m trying to make hotel bookings easier and more convenient. At some point I’ve started to cooperate with business travellers and solve their problems. Well, I’m one of them and I know how business travel is different comparing to the leisure travel. After several dozens of interviews with our existing and target customers, together with the team we have developed a platform for business travellers to book hotels. With growing traction of 1000 bookings in just few months we learned a lot how to serve them. Once upon a time, one of our angel investors wanted to simply test us inviting us to talk with one of the biggest business travel agency in Slovenia. But the meeting went in a completely different way than he assumed. They said, the tool we were using within the company to book hotels might be a perfect platform for travel agencies. That’s how we started to develop a new business model – SaaS and white label solution with smart algorithms that helps travel agencies facilitate more bookings in a cleverer and more efficient way. Q: What is the philosophy and the main advantages of Hotailor? The good ol’ days for travel agencies are gone. When in 1996 Microsoft launched first ever online travel agency – Expedia – brick and mortar travel agencies lost a tremendous part of the market. But all in all, they still have a big power: personal relationships with business travellers they’re manages hotel bookings to. However, those agents are working in insufficiently digitised travel agencies, using booking system, that isn’t good enough. We want give them that missing tool, rebuild their position in the market and bring back good ol’ days. We see the possibility in the XML/API connection to GDS systems and multisource platform to use them all in the same time. Quite recently, Bob Offutt, a research director with PhoCusWright said: “20 years ago, a GDS might display a range of rates for a single hotel, but many hotels did not have the technological capa-

bilities to provide real-time inventory and availability. So, if a travel agency doesn’t have a XML/ API connection with a supplier, it could take 24 hours to confirm a reservation”. He pointed out another big value– time. Using Hotailor, travel agent is able to respond to the request in few minutes, not a hour, how it’s now. It’s possible with access to over 600.000 hotels worldwide, filtering through several original algorithms, to fulfil needs of the end customer – business traveller. Travel agent receives up to seven best selected hotels meeting request parameters. Of that number, he selects just two – perfectly matched hotel rooms, client confirms, pays and whole process takes up to 15 minutes. This is the most relevant value for both time-sensitive business travellers and for the travel agent, that becomes able to do ten times more bookings, than by phone calls or e-mails with clients, as it was so far. A classic win-win.


Q: What do you think that travel agency booking automation like Hotailor can add to the customer? As I said, we’re delivering the painkiller to two customers – business travellers and travel agents. Automation you’ve mentioned is to make hotel booking convenient and quick. Imagine, you’re travelling for business to London. You use standard booking platform, filter available hotels and what you get? 1000 hotels in just one city. You’re completely confused. Then you get the invoice, payment in different currency, you have to pay a city tax in cash… And you’re in hurry! Well, you can involve travel agent in this, but he will charge you extra 30% and you’ll have to hang on the line or send and receive dozens of e-mails, to make sure everything is as you wanted. Using Hotailor, you can easily reduce the time of booking hotel to few minutes. You can immediately pay via PayPal or credit card. For trusted customers we provide delayed payment. After that you get single collective invoice (eg. monthly) for hotel booked so far in one currency,

Kongres Magazine

Q: What is by your opinion the success formula for working in tourism? To listen to your clients, listen to the market needs. Don’t guess them, be data driven company, observe the numbers and test everything. It is true that tourism is growing on daily basis but as much as it’s growing it is also changing all the time. If you don’t know the trends, eventually customers and market won’t need you anymore. Q: Modern tourism is changing and with that also the customer, what do you see for the future of whole tourism and travelling? World is shrinking for both, business and leisure travelers. With growth of internet and social media, our customers became more alerted, informed. Before booking the hotel, they read the comments and reviews. Competition is strong, customers have high expectations so everything needs to be done right the first time. In the future there will be new trends, for sure number of travelers will increase even more both in business and leisure segment.

One on one with Philip Maxymillian Q: How would you describe your job? I like to think about myself as a driver of the bus. Right now we are probably at most flourishing and exciting stage of being a startup. We are developing business and market, so every day is different. Challenging and exciting would be the right words. Short questions: no matter which countries you’ve visited. When it comes to travel agent additional benefits, we provide standardized communication to both hotels and clients, complex algorithms, simple interface – adaptable to every travel agency (SaaS/white label), all-in-one multisource platform with comprehensive hotel comparison, seamless integration of other services (eg. more hotels, flights, Uber), if agency needs this. All that makes booking process error-proof. Q: Who is your competition and who do you look up to? In terms of business travels our competitions are online travel agencies and booking systems like or Expedia. When it comes to Hotailor as SaaS/White label solution for travel agencies, this product is really unique. Combination of algorithms, quality selection, perfect design and people behind. Q: This year you opened also the offices in Slovenia, what was the reason for that? We were accepted into ABC Accelerator which

turned out as a great jumping start for Balkans market. Slovenia is conveniently located, so we have good connections with our target markets. Furthermore, we met part of our team here and since our cooperation is going really well, market responds good and there is an obvious need for our service, we decided to stay here. Q: What are your target markets? Currently we are targeting Balkans, Eastern Europe and Germany, but later in the autumn we will go to Silicon Valley, where we plan to launch Hotailor to American market as well. Our main goal is to be present everywhere; after all our clients are everywhere Q: What is the next big thing for Hotailor and where do you see the potential? As mentioned we are leaving to California in less than two months, where we plan to tackle American market. We just got nominated as best early stage startup at Central Eastern European Awards and received some really good offers for further cooperation. 26

Q: What are the best moments you remember from your work? When our API started to work and chosed first best hotels It was beginning of Hotailor revolution Q: What kind of people/co-workers inspire you the most? The team I work with now. They are all so motivated and enthusiastic, always prepared to go this extra mile but still they know, how to recharge their batteries. Q: What is the best advice you have for everybody working in the hotel business? Don’t overpromise or oversell. It is always better if people are surprised than disappointed.

GR Briefing

76 exhibitors and over 400 participants from 43 countries at 6th European Geosynthetics congress Because of terrorist attacks EuroGeo Conference (EuroGeo6) moved from Turkey and 25th to 28th September 2016 took GRfrom briefing place at GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre. Ljubljana, the European Green capital of 2016, and the new host city, together with its location at the GR – Ljubljana *********************************************** Exhibition and Convention Centre, most cer************************************ tainly impressed with 76 exhibitors who exhibited their latest innovations in Geosynthetics and 400 participants from 43 countries. *********************************************** *********************************** va

11th Slovenian Innovation Forum From 20th until 21st September 2016, the GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre hosted 11th Slovenian Innovation Forum with this year slogan “All can be a challenge”. The event, organized by Public Agency SPIRIT Slovenia with financial support of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology traditionally hosted mayor innovations in Slovenia and innovators. A diverse two-day entrepreneurial and innovation conference program included the presentation of this year 40 top innovation companies and their innovations that were placed on the list of candidates for national awards.

34th FIMS World Sports Medicine Congress in Ljubljana The end of September also brought to Ljubljana the FIMS World Sports Medicine Congress. The 34th edition of the congress was held at the GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre from 29th September to 2nd October 2016 and was organized under the honorary patronage of his Excellency Mr. Borut Pahor, the President of the Republic of Slovenia.


Kongres Magazine

Conventions don´t have to be conventional A business trip to Madrid seems less like hard work than most. Sunny weather, conveniently located conference venues and gourmet lunches are just some of the bonuses for when you visit on business. A„er a busy day, Madrid’s famous museums and elegant stores are a great way to recharge before sampling the vibrant nightlife. (+34) 91 758 55 28

Relax over tapas in an outdoor café or dance until dawn. Whatever you do, Madrid is the business.


In Focus



In Focus

GR - THE LEADING CONVENTION CENTRE IN SLOVENIA, WHERE PERSONAL CONTACT IS THE HIGHEST PRIORITY Interview with Iztok Bricl, MSc, Director, GR - Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre Interview by Nina Praprotnik

organizers a special space for larger exhibitions and vice versa. For fairs, we offer not only halls for exhibition spaces but also spaces for workshops, consulting, lectures, etc. accompanying the program. Our philosophy has been enhanced with the motivational slogan “365 days of events”, which has been mirrored in practice at various events, from international congresses, business conferences, educational seminars and receptions to cultural and social events, as well as established international fairs. The advantages of our convention centre are, as already mentioned, the multi-purpose halls with predominantly natural light; our position in the very centre of Ljubljana, an easily accessible location only a few-minutes’ walk to the majority of the larger hotels as well as to the main bus and train stations. We have our own parking and in close proximity there are parking lots with approximately 3,000 parking spaces. Photo: Dragan Arrigler

PROFESSIONAL: Q: What is the philosophy and main advantages of the Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre? Our slogan, ‘Everything is possible’, communicates our attitude toward our clients: very open, flexible and proactive. Our teams accompany the customer from initial contact to realization. Personal contact is our highest priority. We collaborate with a network of outsourcing partners and together, we take care of everything: the decoration of halls, the supporting program, catering, hotel accommodation, transport, etc. We can provide turnkey events tailored specifically to client expectations. Our responsive, quick and efficient approach is also possible due to our multifunctional halls which are adaptable according to the extent and purpose of an event and can be totally changed in a relatively short time. For example, the reception hall with the registration desk can be quickly converted for the catering. In addition to business conference halls, we can offer congress

Q: How does GR rank domestically and internationally? We are the leading convention centre in Slovenia; GR events are visited by 400,000 people per year. In the international context, we are recognized as a contemporary, mid-sized convention centre with a tradition of more than 60-years. The unique location, in charming green surroundings, is an example of modern functional architecture and the building is also a cultural monument. As a result of past investment and several refurbishments, GR is a fresh and tidy venue, giving the impression of a well maintained centre in line with the highest international standards.

This autumn we are hosting eight important international congresses: • 23 September: Erasmus+: Successes and Challenges • 25 - 28 September: EUROGEO 2016: 6th European Geosynthetics Congress


• 29 September - 2 October: FIMS 2016: 34th World Congress of Sports Medicine • 5 - 6 October: 48th International Danube Neurology Symposium • 6 - 8 October: NMDPD 2016: 11th International Congress on NonMotor Dysfunctions in Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders • 4 - 5 November: Translating for the Directorate-General for Translation of the European Commission • 22 - 23 November: 7th European Alcohol Policy Conference • 28 - 30 November: 9th Conference of the parties to the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents Another significant advantage of GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, is that it has become more and more recognizable as the host of global interactive exhibitions in the region: Bodies Revealed, Genius – Da Vinci, The Brain – the Inside Story, and 1001 Inventions. Over a few months these exhibitions attracted from 10,000 - 70,000 visitors. Each year we host up to 20 fairs; the most recognizable are those organized by GR -Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, many of which have a tradition of more than half-century and are internationally recognized in the region. Why are fairs still so attractive for exhibitors and visitors alike? They certainly enable indispensable personal contact with producers and offer an overview of the competition. We are modernizing the existing fairs that we organize with new content and the latest trends. Furthermore, we are developing a supporting program which provides added value for visitors in terms of free professional consultations, workshops, training, etc. As organizers, we encourage innovation, creativity and orientation towards sustainability through special awards which enable additional promotion for the winners.

In Focus

Main fairs: • For 26 years, the International Natour Alpe-Adria Fair, which specializes in green, active tourism, combined with the boutique business exchange, Natour. • GR is a co-founder of Conventa, the largest trade show for convention tourism in SE Europe. Every January, the most important providers of convention services from Slovenia and abroad meet at GR. • International Home Fair, the largest specialist international construction fair in Slovenia and the neighbouring regions, and the largest fair in terms of exhibition area and number of exhibitors and visitors. • Vino Ljubljana which includes an International Wine Competition. One of the oldest competitions in the world and combined with the International Wine Fair in the autumn, presents wine producers and growers, wine consortiums, distributers and wineries from Slovenia and abroad, with

wine tasting for participants. • Ambient Ljubljana, a furniture fair which remains the top furnishing and furniture fair, focused on encouraging special achievements of designers. • This year’s Ambient Ljubljana – Furniture Fair will be accompanied under the slogan ‘Everything for your home’ by the Home Plus Fair with the following programme: civil engineering in building joinery, heating and cooling technology, prefabricated houses, security and landscape architecture. Ambient Ljubljana is the furnishing and furniture fair, focused on and encouraging the special achievements of designers. Top Ideas, the presentation of young, less known designers and architects, remains the highlight of the Ambient Ljubljana fair. The accompanying program consists of free individual architectural and expert consultancy for visitors on building, renovation, efficient energy use and renewable sources of energy. Two fairs which visitors will be able to attend with

a single ticket from 9 – 13 November. • Nature health fair presenting topics focused on a healthy lifestyle, attracting numerous visitors interested in ecological, sustainable, healthy and alternative products and services. • Fair of Wishes Come True, a New Year fair that traditionally presents the work of craftsmen and entrepreneurs and which will, this year, be accompanied by Lego Planet, a popular exhibition of Lego creations with workshops and competitions for children. Q: What do you think the future holds for trade shows/fairs? Where do you see the potential for GR? The potential of fair activity is shown in the development of a national economy and successful international connections. We see the potential primarily in innovation, such as the Forum of Innovations for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia national awards, the annual Days of Nanotechnology that we host

Marjan Mačkošek, President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS), Iztok Bricl, MSc Director, GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, Dr Miro Cerar, Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia (Photo: Archive GR)


In Focus

every year to bring science and other areas of knowledge such as medicine, biology, and energetics. Together with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, we organized the 5th Summit of Small Business in order to shed light on the most burning issues of small businesses and to present urgent improvements. It is with optimism that we monitor the latest trends in the furniture industry and also the recent upward trend in the car industry from the growing purchasing power. Last August, two weeks prior to the world premiere at the Auto Salon in Frankfurt, the representatives of Audi in Slovenia brought to GR the new Audi A4 limousine and caravan. The star of the evening was Emanuele Pirro, Audi ambassador and ex-Formula 1 driver for Audi and a five time winner of the 24-hours of Le Mans . In the middle of October, the Trade for Automotive Parts fair will be held once again. Last year, the fair attracted more than 3,000 visitors and presented 65 domestic and foreign auto-part manufacturers and partners of the trade organizers - GMT Group from Murska Sobota. The highlight of the event was the presentation of the replica of the vehicle attempting to break the 1997 world speed record (1228km/h) in South Africa in spring 2017. We will present sustainable mobility, that is electric vehicles, at Nature-Health Fair. The

Energetics Solution Centre, with its sustainable mobility section, enables visitors a test drive to get acquainted with the most contemporary mobile technologies which do not pollute the environment with emissions and noise. Finally, we proudly announce the biggest car industry fair in Slovenia: after almost 20 years, the Auto Salon is coming back to GR in Ljubljana! Q: Many exhibitors are currently checking the effectiveness of their trade fair participation. Are companies rational enough in this respect? The effect of fair presentation primarily depends on the company preparation, on its pre- and post-fair activities. It is not enough to rent an exhibition space. How to attract the target groups to the fair, which activities to develop for their fair presentation, how to be different, what to use to attract attention, how to use the advantages from their presence – these are only a few challenges for successful participation, all with a common denominator: the visitor/potential buyer is king. Q: Do real fairs still have the same significance with the existence of virtual platforms? We live in times of turbulent change in the development of technologies and communication.

International Home Fair (Photo: Archive GR)


Digitalization brings, amongst others things, virtual platforms which need to be taken into account. They can substantially clarify a fair organizers’ picture of what can be done in a space. Virtual platforms can significantly upgrade exhibitor presentations. Personal contact, however, remains the core of one’s presence at a fair. Q: What trends can be seen in the development of trade fairs in general? Fairs are more and more specialized, complemented by a strong consulting interactive segment, focused on the business public - an exhibition is accompanied by professional consultation at a conference; contemporary digital channels are extensively included for communication with the public. Q: What is the next project that GR is looking forward to? At the moment, the biggest challenge is the The 24th Auto Salon Slovenia which we are preparing together with the personal motor vehicles section of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and scheduled from 27 March to 2 April 2017. For the last two years, the sales of cars in Slovenia have been on the increase, which is also excellent for the Slovenian economy. The organizers agree that people are eager to see new cars and that we need to make an interesting presenta-

In Focus

tion, to show the novelties here in Ljubljana immediately after the Geneva show. We decided in favour of the 24th Auto Salon Slovenia at GR due to an excellent experience in Zagreb where, last spring, the show attracted 130,000 visitors. The Chamber agreed that next year the event would take place at GR in Ljubljana where it will be available to the widest circle of people. They also chose GR due to our offer, the price per square meter and a favourable ticket price. The 24th Auto Salon Slovenia will immediately follow the Home Fair, which means that we will have at our disposal additional exhibition surfaces in prefabricated halls. We plan to present the latest trends in the car industry on 15,000m 2 of exhibition surfaces and we expect that the parade of passenger cars will attract 100,000 visitors.

Q: Are the Slovenian and Ljubljana tourist organisations fulfilling their role in promoting trade fairs? Both organizations are active at the tourism fair Natour Alpe-Adria as exhibitors and co-organizers of the accompanying professional program attended by international experts and representatives from the World Federation of Travel Journalists and Writers (FIJET) from the region. They regularly announce our activities in their communications. Cooperation is always useful and enables the exchange of experience, information and knowledge, and better mutual understanding. Networking continually brings new business opportunities, so we are always open to the development of broader collaboration; we believe that together we are more recognizable and popular.

Q: What are the advantages of Slovenia as a location for trade shows? Slovenia has a developed business environment; within the region, it has an important connective role in the flow of ideas and people. Slovenia is a safe country with good infrastructure, competitive prices, known and appreciated for its openness and hospitality. This is certainly confirmed from our experience. The majority of our references are related to our teams – their dedication, motivation and engagement.

More personal: Q: How would you describe your job? My work is dynamic, branching into many different areas and therefore interdisciplinary. It is the result of networking and good collaboration with the local community - the municipality of Ljubljana - as well as at the national level. Monitoring the latest trends in the economy and good connections with various associations and chambers, such as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, the Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Slovenia, and the Chamber of Commerce of Slovenia, are of utmost impor33

tance. Networking at the international level is crucial, too, especially within the CEFA (Central and South-Eastern European Fair Alliance) and UFI (Global Association of the Exhibition Industry), where experiences and ideas are exchanged. Short questions: Q: What are the best moments you remember from your work? The best moments are when the planned route is confirmed as the right one: signing the contract for a new project, a new event; expanding our activities with a new fair and a successful breakthrough among exhibitors and visitors; resounding international congresses at GR and then the feedback of satisfied organizers and participants; who praise our convention centre and exceptional GR team that really give their best. Q: What kind of people/colleagues inspire you the most? Dedicated and reliable with a lot of initiative. Q: What is the best piece of advice you have for those working in the trade show business? As our slogan says: ‘Everything is possible!’ Believe, persist and do it even if it seems impossible. Opportunity is always within reach!

In Focus


Profesional Q: How did you get started in the industry? Did you ever consider doing anything else? I began my career precisely 25 years ago at Hungary’s greatest hotel operating firm. Here I gained experience in hosting conferences and banquets. I worked in various positions for years, managing multiple hotels and conference centers and these experiences helped me in adopting a new approach to managing an event center. In 2009, I became the CEO of Hungexpo Zrt. and came into closer contact with the exhibition industry. This is a highly intricate and complex task which you can never grow bored of, only you experience different aspects of it as a greater challenge over various periods, but actually I am not thinking about doing anything else with my time. Q: What is the biggest change in the trade shows since you began working on them? I feel that the B2C exhibitions have become increasingly specialized. Those of our events are truly successful which target a well-defined audience, whether it’s hunters, motorbike or sailboat enthusiast. The age of grand, general fairs is over. The role of B2B exhibitions is growing year by year and it is precisely the financial crisis which showed that they are indispensable in the marketing mix of firms. Despite the gloomy forecasts, their role didn’t decrease next to the growing importance of the Internet; quite to the contrary, their role has become more highly appreciated. Q: What is the essence of the Hungexpo business model? What makes it the top exhibition organizing company in Hungary? Hungexpo’s approach is based on three pillars: our self-owned exhibitions still come in first, yet guest exhibitions and various international conferences also have an increasingly greater importance in our portfolio. Apart from organizing our own exhibitions, our goal is for Budapest to increase its presence on the international market as an attractive destination and for people to come visit us in increasingly higher numbers. We’ve opened our doors to conferences, congresses, and large-scale corporate events and we’ve shifted our HR strategy accordingly. Our current direction is based on flexible work34

force distribution, multi-functional leadership roles and many-sided work. In this process we rely on highly experienced colleagues as well as younger employees who are aware of the new trends. The appropriate infrastructure also plays a key role in this, since the French-owned GL events corporate group spent on developing the 36-hectare site including, amongst other things, the construction of a 22 million EUR multi-functional pavilion, giving us 70,000 square meters of indoor exhibition space. Still, personally, I am the proudest of the fine-tuned work of my team: we came up with a number of new exhibitions as well as developing the older ones and achieved significant success. To this very day, HUNGEXPO is the market leader in Hungary. Q: Are you looking to expand your portfolio of trade shows in Eastern Europe? One of Hungexpo’s key objectives is to reinforce its leading role in Hungary as well as throughout the Central-Eastern European region. To this end, we are planning to introduce newly themed exhibitions as well as significant infrastructural developments. Our regional leading role can also be witnessed in the fact that a sizeable portion of the exhibitors and visitors at our events come from foreign countries, mainly from the neighboring countries. Q: What do you think the future holds in the field of trade shows/fairs? Where do you see the potential for Hungexpo? Years ago, the crisis deeply affected this industry - along with other parts of the economy. However, by now these are outweighed by the positive tendencies. Exhibitions usually forecast the changes to take place in the economy of the country in question. This is a cause for joy, since it means that if we’re doing well, then the economy is also doing well, or at least it will in the immediate future. We’re one of the companies which not only remained afloat over the recent decades, but also continued to develop itself and become increasingly profitable. At Hungexpo, we are continuously examining the market in order to supplement the company’s range of events with successful fairs targeting the general public, apart from our professional events.

In Focus

Q: Which trade shows do you expect will grow in the near future? I mainly see the potential for growth in the field of industry, including the agricultural machine industry, and the automotive and food industries. We have highly successful events in these fields, some of which are new developments. These are the key sectors of the Central-Eastern European economies, so it’s natural that they produce the greatest level of interest from exhibitors and professional audiences alike. Also, it’s worth focusing on the theme of leisure time, since there is a great potential for development in cycling, active tourism, hunting and angling. Q: How do you see the impact and effectiveness of a Hungarian National DMO? Recently, reorganized and re-established the Hungarian National DMO, so the results and effectiveness of the new organization are too early to talk about. As the CEO of the largest professional event organizer and Federation of Hungarian Event Organizers and Suppliers, I consider it important that Hungary and

Budapest have uniform brand image so maybe more tourist and corporate event or guest to congress will come to Hungary. To do this, we provide all support and trust of the Hungarian National DMO successful operation. More personal: Q: How would you describe your job in under 50 words? My colleagues and me do everything we can to preserve and reinforce the firm’s positive image. Every day yields some development, every day we have challenges to face, and every day we’d like to give answers to these issues. Not a single minute of development goes to waste since an hour later it might be too late to act. Short questions: Q: What are the best moments you remember from your work? After every exhibition, we sit down with my colleagues and discuss our experiences and I can tell from the look of them that they are just as eager to be successful as I am. The most fantastic


experience of the recent period was the successful hosting of the European finals of the Bocuse d’Or, after which we were deeply congratulated by the International Bocuse Academy. Q: What kind of people/co-workers inspire you the most? Those who are independent enough to solve the arising problems, yet are still capable of thinking as a team - especially those who have enough foresight to start solving a problem before it even surfaces. Q: What is the best advice you have for everyone working in the trade show business? “Nothing is impossible, there’s a solution for everything.”

In Focus

THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENCING PRODUCTS LIVE Interview with Wolfgang Marzin, President and CEO of Messe Frankfurt Interview by Nina Praprotnik

Q: How is the exhibition market changing? Trade fairs are not static entities but always hold a mirror up to their markets. We observe the markets and sectors, adapt our concepts, orientations and points of focus to the latest developments and set the tone accordingly – in this way, we create platforms that reflect the needs of our customers at all times and events that provide added value. It is no accident that many of our trade fairs at our Frankfurt base are the leading events in their respective sectors.

We create platforms that reflect the needs of our customers at all times and events that provide added value.

Q: What do you believe are the key statistics determining ROI for exhibitors? We give our exhibitors the necessary tools for successful trade fair activities and help them during all stages of the planning and implementation process. These include services relating to stand construction and technology, but also marketing measures and digital expertise. Having a well thought out trade fair preparation plan is half the battle.

Q: What do you think about this year’s trade Q: Why do you think people are still interest- fairs and what are your company’s biggest ed in exhibitions? business challenges? Exhibitors and visitors Event year 2016 has been attend our trade fairs to extremely promising so meet other people with far – in some cases, new similar interests and to records have been set for “There is no network. At trade fairs, relevant key figures such substitute for people are brought toas exhibitor count, visitor gether, deals are made count, international parexperiencing products and knowledge is shared. ticipation and customer Above all in times of insatisfaction. The most live and being able creasing digitalization, recent success reported to see and touch there is a growing need was Automechanika in for formats that involve mid-September: with a them, for soaking up this kind of personal intotal of 4,820 companies teraction. There is no subtaking part, it recorded inspiration at first stitute for experiencing the highest exhibitor parhand and striking up products live and being ticipation in the history of able to see and touch the event. One challenge conversations with them, for soaking up inin the trade fair business spiration at first hand is responding appropripeople – this is what and striking up conversaately to sector developmakes trade fairs a tions with people – this is ments. The sectors that what makes trade fairs a are relevant to us have unique experience” unique experience. their fair share of consolidations, mergers and Q: What makes a good closures, and this is reexhibition organizer? flected among retailers. Here, it is up to us to Messe Frankfurt’s job is to combine the best set the tone and to serve the needs of exhibitors from all over the world and from all branch- and visitors as well as possible. es at our events, thereby bringing supply and demand together – this is what our exhibitors Q: Are the national and regional tourist orand visitors trust us to do. Every day, our 2,244 ganizations fulfilling their role in promoting employees work to establish a professional basis trade fairs? for doing business effectively. Our success in For the most part, our flagship events in doing so can be attributed to our experience and Frankfurt are geared towards trade visitors – know-how and to the working relationships that this means that these events do not attract tourwe have enjoyed with our partners for years. ists as such. As professional business platforms,


In Focus

they firstly offer manufacturers and companies the opportunity to present their product innovations and to forge and cultivate business contacts. Secondly, international retailers use trade fairs to structure their product range.

Q: What would make your job easier? Service professions are very demanding – but also extremely stimulating. Listening attentively and engaging in open communication is always helpful.

Personal backstory: Q: What key business lessons have you learned over the years? Success should always be attributed to a team performance and never to an individual person.

Q: The most memorable event for you? There are many moments that I look back on fondly. Most of these are the result of long, hard work.

Q: What’s your management style? Collegial, team-oriented and straightforward.


ABOUT WOLFGANG MARZIN: Wolfgang Marzin is the President and CEO of Messe Frankfurt, one of the world’s leading trade fair organizers, generating around € 648 million in sales and employing 2,244 people. Having studied business administration with a focus on foreign trade, he began his career in the meetings industry in 1990 as Exhibition Manager for Foreign Trade Fairs at IMAG Internationaler Messe- und Ausstellungsdienst Munich and continued with many managing positions through years at Messe München GmbH, Messe Düsseldorf North America, Gesellschaft für Handwerksmessen mbH, Leipziger Messe and from 2010 started his position as Member of the Board of Management at Messe Frankfurt, becoming President and CEO of Messe Frankfurt the same year.

In Focus

IN REALITY NOTHING CAN EQUAL PERSONAL, DIRECT CONTACT Interview with Corrado Peraboni, CEO of Fiera Milano

Organising exhibitions that are effective business tools, as well as being privileged places for learning about market evolution and professional updates.

Q: How is the exhibition market changing? have little time at their disposal and do not allow Over recent years it has definitely become a for inefficiencies. more global market, but also a more sectorial one. Specialisation driven by trade fairs has Q: What do you believe are the key stastrengthened the function of business’ develop- tistics determining ROI (RETURN ON ment tools: taking part in exhibition events and INVESTMENT) for exhibitors? dialoguing with the competition has become First of all, visits registered to the stand, not only an essential requisite for continuing to be more just in terms of quantity, but primarily in terms competitive. Fiera Milano is well aware of this of quality, and the international component of and strives to only offer effective, attractive those contacts; in the global economy we operate events, which meet the expectations of Italian in today, the greater the latter, the more interestand international operators and are constantly ing the event. But also the number and weight aligned with evolution of the reference market. of the (other) exhibitors are important. Number The first production and weight of the comsectors we worked in are panies exhibiting in fact naturally those where define the importance of Italy boasts a position of the event for the sector, “Fairs are excellence and which, its representativeness and irreplaceable tools, through our fairs can international appeal. For increase their global visthose events that while even if the advent of ibility: furnishings, agrobeing trade fairs also food, fashion-accessory, internet for a while led deal in goods or servicmechanics, packaging. es for the end consumer, us to think differently. another relevant factor Q: Why do you think for the exhibitor is also In reality, nothing people are still interestthe influence the show ed in exhibitions? has outside the pavilions can equal personal, Because they are valuable that house it. Its capacity direct contact between to activate a communicatools for business, innovation and (increasingly in tion circuit that engages those looking for recent years) internationthe consumer, arousing alisation for companies— interest and curiosity products or complex mainly small and medium around the goods sector solutions for their enterprises—which repthe event represents. resent the cornerstone With its busy calendar business and those of external events, which of our economic system. Fairs are irreplaceable have by now become an able to provide them.” tools, even if the advent event in itself, the Salone of internet for a while led del Mobile (International us to think differently. Furniture Show) in Milan In reality, nothing can equal personal, direct has in this sense blazed a trail. A further evalcontact between those looking for products or uation criterion for the exhibitor is the quancomplex solutions for their business and those tity of contracts signed at the fair. But it often able to provide them, often adapting their goods happens that contracts are finalised at a later date, so contacts are perhaps more important or services to the specific needs of the client. than contracts. Q: What makes a good exhibition organiser? Organising exhibitions that are effective busi- Q: What do you think about this year’s trade ness tools, as well as being privileged places for fairs and what are your company’s biggest learning about market evolution and profession- business challenges? al updates. There must obviously then be servic- We closed 2015 with very positive results (337 es, run both by the trade fair district and the city in turnover and 44 in Ebitda) and thanks also (and here I am referring to hospitality, trans- to the recent increase in capital, we can say port, entertainment) to satisfy the increasingly that Fiera Milano is in a condition to look to more demanding expectations of a clientele of the future with confidence. 2016 is, however, a operators, most of them from outside Italy, who difficult year because on our current calendar, 38

In Focus

even years are penalised by the absence of the big two-yearly events, which are concentrated in odd years. There is imbalance between even and odd years, and we are remedying this. In this direction, we have acquired Ipack-Ima, the international packing and packaging fair, and built around it an ambitious fair project called “The Innovation Alliance”. This will be name encompassing five so far separate fairs that will take place at Fiera Milano in May 2018: IpackIma, Meat-Tech (meat packaging), Plast (plastics and rubber), Print4All (converting and industrial printing) and Intralogistica Italia (industrial handling). These five events each illustrate a different soul of Italian manufacturing excellence. They represent a sector worth 19.1 billion euros. In addition to this, Fiera Milan is moving along three paths: we want to increase the events held in Italy; extend our presence abroad thanks to partnership with the big international players; export our top “trade fair products”, through cloning of the same in other parts of the world. These are the cornerstones we are working on.

ABOUT CORRADO PERABONI: Corrado Peraboni has been CEO of Fiera Milano Spa since April 2015. With a degree in Law from the University of Milan in 1989, he boasts extensive experience in the trade fair sector. In June 2016 he was appointed Incoming President of UFI (Global Association of the Exhibition Industry), representing all the members of the trade fair sector in over 80 countries. He is currently secretary of the governing bodies of UFI.

Q: Are the national and regional tourist organisations fulfilling their role in promoting trade fairs? Local government (Comune di Milano and Regione Lombardia) together with Fiera Milano are definitely helping to get the beauty and great tourist vocation of Lombardy known throughout the world and promote the factors of appeal of our region in Italy and on the main international markets. Integrated promotion of these factors through contact with the public and operators at the most important fairs is a formidable strategic action for making the most of all the opportunities that our region has to offer. Personal profile interesting facts  Q: What key business lessons have you learned over the years? If something has not worked so far, it is not a given that it will not work in the future. Q: What’s your management style? I am a sailor in my free time, therefore I believe it is fundamental that everyone on board has a clear idea of their task. Starting with the captain. Q: What would make your job easier? Being exhibition addicted. Q: The most memorable event for you?  The next one opening.


In Focus

TECHNOLOGY CANNOT REPLACE THE RELATION­ SHOP THAT STARTS WITH A LIVE MEETING Interview with Nick Pilbeam, Divisional Director for Reed Exhibitions Q: How is the exhibition market changing? The current changes in the exhibition market are a reflection of the changing expectations of our customers. They have more personalised options to do business but in an increasingly time-poor environment, so the relevance and value of meetings and connections is now vital to ensure better return-on-investment and continuing customer satisfaction. As organisers our role now is to be relationship brokers and not just deliver a physical space for customers to meet. The emphasis is on advanced digital and data solutions to achieve this.

Business worldwide thrives on face-to-face meetings. Discussions, debates, negotiations are always best done this way and we believe this will always be the case.

timely and customer-orientated friendly shows are simply hygiene factors and non-negotiable in this industry. Delivery excellence is at the core of how Reed Exhibitions runs its business and delivers value for customers.

Q: What do you believe are the key statistics determining ROI for exhibitors? There are many factors that will determine an exhibitor’s ROI and measurements will reflect their individual objectives for participating in an event. Identifying objectives and ROI measures is an important aspect of the pre-event planning. The agreed objective, for example to launch a new product, increase sales or raise brand awareness “Even though will influence whether technology of course a more quantitative or qualitative ROI measure plays its part in the is appropriate as well as the timeframe over which process of business, ROI is calculated by exit cannot replace hibitors. We evaluate the event experience through the relationship exhibitor feedback and this insight informs conthat starts with a tinuous development in live meeting!” our offering to customers.

Q: Why do you think people are still interested in exhibitions? Business worldwide thrives on face-to-face meetings. Discussions, debates, negotiations are always best done this way and we believe this will always be the case. Even though technology of course plays its part in the process of business, it cannot replace the relationship that starts with a live meeting! At the same time, exhibitions create the environment where connections are made, where friends choose to meet up once a year and where new relationships are developed. It’s the showcase for brands to stand out, to promote themselves and to meet with the industry trade press. All of this is what a trade show floor creates, there is no replacement. Time is an increasingly scarce resource and our research shows that this coupled with the human factor and the importance of real relationship building and trust, face-to-face events supported by world-class digital products will continue to be a core part of doing business globally into the future. Q: What makes a good exhibition organizer? Two things. Firstly, deliver tangible value to customers, specifically understanding and meeting their varied objectives such as being the platform for driving sales, building networks, building knowledge, making new connections and discovering new innovations – this is critical for satisfying customers and in return building sustainable and value-adding exhibitions. Secondly, flawless delivery of safe, secure, professional, 40

Q: What do you think about this year’s trade fairs and what are your company’s biggest business challenges? At the heart of every one of our shows this year and in the future is innovation, networking and practical education. Our challenge is to provide the content for each of these initiatives at every event. We also recognize that sometimes at large-scale events, it is not always easy to find and meet the ideal new business partner, supplier or customer however we have the data and technology now to help make the right connections and relationships happen. Q: Are the national and regional tourist organizations fulfilling their role in promoting trade fairs? Tourism boards are a key part of the exhibition industry and can provide a strong platform to both promoting their destination and preparing this route to market for the benefit of the private sector from that destination. We see some tourist boards making the most of trade fairs, through promotion to the buyer communities in the target markets, sourcing and support-

In Focus

Personal backstory: Q: What key business lessons have you learned over the years? Preparation is critical - for a meeting, for a sales pitch for a launch, for just about any business interaction, in my view fortune favours the bold and prepared. Great people working together and going in the same direction make a phenomenal difference to business performance and team engagement.

ing the relevant suppliers for the marketplace being targeted, all supported by over-arching destination branding and experiential activity. More recently we are seeing an increased move into the digital arena around trade fairs providing a holistic approach across these online and offline channels, all to increase the effectiveness of their involvement in these events. That said, there are a lot of ways to drive value from trade fairs and some tourist board are missing out on some of the pockets of value.

Q: What’s your management style? Approachable, collaborative and change orientated. We live in an era where there is a burgeoning amount of data both in our private and professional lives as well as the fact that digital developments continue to disrupt significant parts of society and the professional arena – these two areas continue to be an area of professional interest and focus going forward. Q: The most memorable event for you? Growing up in South Africa, the moment when Nelson Mandela, wearing a Springbok rugby


ABOUT NICK PILBEAM: Nick Pilbeam is the Divisional Director for Reed Exhibitions’ travel division, which includes the global portfolios of leading brands such as World Travel Market, ILTM and IBTM. He joined Reed Exhibitions in January 2015, bringing with him over 15 years of FTSE 100 experience in the travel industry from his previous roles with British Airways and Avios. At Reed Exhibitions he is responsible for over 20 travel industry events taking place throughout the year in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. jersey and hat, shook hands and congratulated the World Cup winning South Africa team captain Francois Pienaar on the global stage, was a great moment in the country’s history to be able to witness and be a part of.


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Terme Maribor Briefing

Maribor focusing on sport tourism The focus on sport tourism has positive influence on tourism in Maribor, especially area of Pohorje where Terme Maribor has its main hotels and their offer truly provides a creative environment for meetings, education, socialising or relaxation. One of the events this fall was from 23rd to 25th September, when they hosted EMF Champions League, minifootball championship with 68 top minifootball teams of Europe competing for the crown of the King in 2016.

Terme Maribor offering the right balance of nature, excitement and sports Pohorje is positioned as the perfect garden surrounding of Terme Maribor, offering guests the right balance of nature, excitement and sports without compromising the quality of service. In just a couple of minutes of walk you can feel rejuvenated from the inside out, from strolling the hills of Pohorje to experiencing the gastronomic pleasures of the region. You do not have to compromise between city life and nature’s treats, as it is all so perfectly in sync and close by.

Catalyst of the meeting industry in Maribor is Terme Maribor The catalyst of the meeting industry in Maribor is Terme Maribor, where they have annual growth of 20 - 30 % in the number of events. Over the last decade, synonymous with meeting industry tourism became 5* Hotel Habakuk, located at the foot of Pohorje with the largest hall that can accommodate up to 500 participants and additional space for receptions or exhibitions. Other hotels of Terme Maribor are also perfect for meeting industry, from Hotel Bellevue 4* with a beautiful view over Maribor, renovated Hotel Arena with high standard in details and traditional city hotel Best Western Piramida. 43

Case Studie


Event: The Future or MICE and travel marketing at Conventa Crossover Conference Date: 29 – 30 August 2016 Location: Hotel Lev, Ljubljana, Slovenia Client: Conventa Trade Show Organiser: Agency Toleranca marketing in partnership with Conventa, Slovenian Convention Bureau, Union Hotels, Slovenian Tourist Board and Ljubljana Tourism. Target: Dedicated to meeting planners, meeting providers, congress destinations and all professionals closely related to tourism and marketing industry.

ABOUT THE EVENT: International conference dedicated to the future of MICE and travel marketing that crossed over to a new conference format with more authentic experience, personal engagement and live interaction. 100% Fresh, New and Bold! CHALLENGES: Key challenge was how to stand out and create an “out of the box” learning event that everybody will remember for a long time. From a new meeting design to how to choose the themes that are the most troubling for event organisers and how to come up with practical solutions to help answer their burning questions. SOLUTION: Active involvement of delegates was achieved with engagement of a professional moderator who knew what he was doing and knew how to warm up the crowd and keep the energy going till the very end. We used Catch Box to ask speakers questions, to vote during the conference and Superevent’s app to provide networking among delegates also via their mobile phones.

Creative Setup was co-created with the Union Hotels team. The hall in Hotel Lev was renewed and turned completely upside down. There were no regular stages, no typical conference furniture. In a real boxing ring the heavyweights of tourism marketing battled for the The Champion title, while content bartenders served freshly squeezed knowledge behind the actual bar. The conference hall even had a swing set for the most playful delegates. Green and Responsible Thinking was used when planning the breaks. Lunch was designed in an “open kitchen” concept. Union Hotels’ restaurants prepared creative dishes using only local ingredients. Integration of Authentic and Local Inspiration was used when organizing tours of the city for speakers, speakers’ welcome dinner & Crossover party. Content is the King - we have managed to bring the biggest names from the international congress industry scene. To mention just a few: Colja M. Dams from Vok Dams, Jens Oliver Mayer from Jack Morton Worldwide, Leyla Koray from Turkish Airlines, Cyara Feely from FindaConferenceVenue. com, Mart­ijn Timmermans, The Red Line Project & Event StoryBoard canvas and Thorsteinn Orn Gudmundsson from Meet in Reykjavik. Programme diversity kept the audience on their toes. The programme was moving from one stage to the other, from one end of the room to the other demanding from the delegates to turn their seats for every segment. We have used different programme formats from Pecha Kucha, TEDEx presentations, workshops and round tables. RESULTS: The idea and new format, dedicated to the marketing of events, congress centres, hotels and congress destinations, has impressed and attracted around 30 experts that came to Crossover as speakers and around 150 participants working in tourism and marketing. It was the most buzzed about conference of the summer! AFTER THE EVENT: We were amazed by the positive feedback: “We were deeply impressed by the overall experience at Conventa Crossover Conference. Gorazd, Polona and their team managed to contrive a unique mix of hospitality and expertise. We were moved by their personal approach and dedication not just to engage the speakers and the audience in a very interesting debate, but to enjoy the beautiful city of Ljubljana, too. We will be looking forward for the next Conventa conference.” 44

Ivana Preiss & Filip Vasic, 52 Hours Design, Czech Republic “Congratulations on the fantastic work! In a fresh, unique format, with some amazing speakers that delivered relevant content to everyone involved, the conference was a great success. You can be proud of yourselves. :)” Ognena Ristovska, Momentum, Macedonia “I’m lucky to visit dozens of conferences in different countries each year, and Crossover was one of the most innovative events I’ve attended in past three years! I admire the team’s courage to put things upside down and deliver an experience like no other. It was an absolute pleasure to both speak and work on integrating Slido into the programme with Jan-Jaap in der Maur as well as the entire team of Conventa Crossover.”  Juraj Holub, Slido, Slovakia “Starting something new for the first time is always a challenge. Targeting a specific niche, testing new formats, building a new community, are tough tasks to handle. But the star team of Conventa Crossover proved that if you put your heart in it, and you believe in what you do, anything is possible. I am thrilled to have been a small part of one very successful Conventa Crossover, that I am sure will become a permanent fixture in the calendar of all who work in event marketing. Being in a situation where you can both – give and receive knowledge, is invaluable.” Magdalina Atanassova, Kenes Group, Bulgaria „Conventa Crossover was definitely an unconventional and inspiring conference format and content, highly recommended. I would dare to say - a necessity for this industry to move forward. Marketing is crucial and essential tool to approach new generation of industry buyers.“ Slaven Reljić, DMC/PCO agency Coral Group, Croatia “Pulling of something bold like this for the 1st time can only be done with a shared vision, the right team and partners. A perfect example of great meeting design all the way: from the audience, speakers, workshops and stage design up to the magnificent food from the Tattooed chefs.   Like I say “Memorable events always tell a story”. Conventa Crossover finished with a cliff hanger and I don’t believe I’m the only one leaving beautiful Ljubljana with that feeling.

Case Studie

It was an honour to be part of the journey!” Martijn Timmermans, The Red Line Project & Event StoryBoard canvas, The Netherlands “I absolutely enjoyed being part of the Conventa Crossover. It is a very interesting format Gorazd and his team were putting together for the first time. Very well done! It will always be a pleasure to come back.”  Jens Oliver Mayer, Jack Morton Worldwide, Germany

»Digital customers are transforming all aspects of our lives and business, but there is no industry more customer centric than tourism. Therefore, Conventa Crossover was a must! With a clear goal of connecting marketing and tourism for better customer experience and business results, it offered a unique experience of its own. For two days, we had the opportunity to be a part of generous experience and ideas exchange - in a super pleasant environment. I am surely proud to be a part of the Future of MICE and Travel Marketing at Conventa Crossover.« Lea Lipovšek, Madwise, Slovenia


“An amazing conference at a fascinating, up and coming destination. But CONVENTA Crossover is even more: it is an innovative format offering several opportunities to get inspirational insights from a wide variety of truly interesting speakers, and last but not least, it is fuelled by an amazingly energized (and energizing) audience.” Colja M Dams, Vok Dams, Germany

Been There

CONVENTA CROSSOVER CONFERENCE SHOWED US THE FUTURE OF MICE AND TRAVEL MARKETING Imagine the unimaginable and cross over to the other side where there are no boring events Text by Polona Simšič


rom the 29th to the 30th of August, Conventa Crossover Conference hosted around 30 national and international experts in marketing and tourism and attracted around 150 tourism professionals in Hotel Lev, in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Next to diverse lectures, presentations and workshops, the conference impressed the participants with a new meeting design that revealed a formula for successful “out of the box” events. Conventa Crossover speakers shared: “I’m lucky to visit dozens of conferences in different countries each year, and Crossover was one of the most innovative events I’ve attended in past three years! I admire the team’s courage to put things upside down and deliver an experience like no other. It was an absolute pleasure to both speak and work on integrating Slido into the programme with Jan-Jaap in der Maur as well as the entire team of Conventa Crossover.”  Juraj Holub, Slido, Slovakia

“Starting something new for the first time is always a challenge. Targeting a specific niche, testing new formats, building a new community, are tough tasks to handle. But the star team of Conventa Crossover proved that if you put your heart in it, and you believe in what you do, anything is possible. I am thrilled to have been a small part of one very successful Conventa Crossover, that I am sure will become a permanent fixture in the calendar of all who work in event marketing. Being in a situation where you can both – give and receive knowledge, is invaluable.” Magdalina Atanassova, Kenes Group, Bulgaria “Pulling of something bold like this for the 1st time can only be done with a shared vision, the right team and partners. A perfect example of great meeting design all the way: from the audience, speakers, workshops and stage design up to the magnificent food from the Tattooed chefs. Like I say “Memorable events always tell a story”. Conventa Crossover finished with a cliff hanger and I don’t believe I’m the only one leaving beautiful Ljubljana with that feeling. It was an honour to be part of the journey!” Martijn Timmermans, The Red Line Project & Event StoryBoard canvas, The Netherlands

1 – New conference setting in Hotel Lev 2 – Warm up 3 – The moderator Jan-Jaap In der Maur throwing the Catch Box into the audience 4 – Content bartender Andraž Štalec, Red Orbit 5 – Colja M. Dams, Vok Dams, and Miha Kovačič, Slovenian Convention Bureau 6 – The audience – getting to know the person seating next to you 7 – Key note lecture by Rene Masatti, Trend One 8 – Leyla Koray, Turkish Airline in the Marketing Ring 9 – Mash machine warm up 10 – Simple steps to Win BIG in the Conference Market workshop by Ciara Feely, Conference Converter & 11 – Storytelling workshop 12 – Martijn Timmermans, The Red Line Project & Event StoryBoard canvas, and the participants of the Storytelling workshop 13 – A friendly fist bump - Juraj Holub, Slido and Jovana Miljanović, travel blogger 14 – “round table” on barrels with Roko Palmić, Regent Porto Montenegro, Ana First, Falkensteiner Hotels & Residences Punta Skala and Ninoslav Vidović, Terme Maribor 15 – Tattooed chefs from Union Hotels 16 – Culinary delights, open kitchen concept 17 – Swings as a creative addition to the conference setting 18 – Power to the meetings, Conventa Crossover team Photos by Jani Ugrin and Marko Delbello Ocepek


Been There


Kongres Article

HOW TO DESIGN STORYTELLING EXPERIENCES? 5 Steps to successful storytelling Text by Martijn Timmermans, The Red Line Project, NETHERLAND


ABOUT MARTIJN TIMMERMANS Martijn Timmermans is co-founder and creative director of The Red Line Project, www., an Amsterdam based events experience design agency. He started his career in experience marketing at Disneyland Paris, Marriott and Singapore Airlines, and transitioning into events as a meeting designer and facilitator. Martijn believes the MICE market is sitting on a holy grail. If we use the magic of storytelling we can design and execute events that have both autonomous and shared experiences. For his views and experience on meeting design, audience engagement and storytelling practices he is invited to speak frequently. In 2015 he co-founded Event StoryBoard, as a result of a simple observation: audiences expect to be engaged, connected and amazed during their event experience, but events are struggling to do so. This need led Martijn to create a vision for storytelling event design and a canvas to support it. With an easy to use, fast and visual design approach, events can become amazing experiences that are meaningful and unique. They’re on a mission to create a world full of memorable experiences!

onstantly creating unique experiences can be a tough challenge, especially when this has to be done on a daily basis. To help us with this challenge we can be supported by methods and models. In our workshop we used a method that combines storytelling with Agile Innovation to create new, innovative and unexpected experiences for the 2017 Conventa Crossover edition. The Agile innovation method allows your organisation to design products and services fast with the customer’s needs always on top of mind. It comes to no surprise that at Conventa Crossover Colja Dams, CEO from VOK Dams, told the audience that their main focus is to become more Agile. Agile Innovation helps us to put focus on constantly co-creating and prototyping unique experiences in a fast way. Many other industries successfully apply this way of working and I believe it’s time for our industry to board the Agile train. However as with all strategic and tactical methodologies, they may be successful and solid in theory, but they tend to feel inhuman in practice. They require everyone to initially invest in time and resources, learning new methods, and when this doesn’t work straight of the bat, people can become insecure. This is no different for Agile Innovation. We will always be dependent on the human willingness to make that investment and embrace these changes. To make sure everyone is up for this, we need to make the methods human again. This is where storytelling comes into place. Fostering a culture of storytelling will build trust within your company and with your clients. It inspires people to share ideas and experiences and increases collaboration. In turn this works as a catalyst for Agile innovation. These pure human experiences are what I call ‘the cream of the crop’. Providing you with strategic insights and ideas for creative solutions and a firm base for any ideation session. It builds trust and takes away the fear to fail. All because you see the bigger picture of the story you are helping to write. It is spot-on how Harrison Monarth explains it in his Harvard Business Review article on “The Irresistible Power of Storytelling as a Strategic Business Tool”: “Storytelling may seem like an old-fashioned tool, today — and it is. That’s 48

exactly what makes it so powerful. Life happens in the narratives we tell one another. A story can go where quantitative analysis is denied admission: our hearts. Data can persuade people, but it doesn’t inspire them to act; to do that, you need to wrap your vision in a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul.” So storytelling helps with building trust, but if you are working with teams that haven’t even met before it becomes a bit more challenging. An effective way of quickly building a lot of trust within a group is a making a personal connection. That’s exactly what we showcased at Conventa Crossover. We let the participants form small groups of 5 and asked each one to write about a positive personal experience and share this within their group. The subject on the story was “their best customer experience”. In a very short time they were engaged, inspired, gained new insights. Not only about themselves but also about the others in their group. This created a quick connection on a personal level. After the trust was build within the teams it was time to get working. For this we used the Event StoryBoard Canvas (ESB) Just like Agile innovation it uses iterative development and continual involvement by stakeholders in the process and combines this with storytelling, and empathy. The ESB uses the 5 steps below which can be applied to designing any event, product or service. 1. SET CLEAR GOALS 2. MAKE IT MEASURABLE 3. EMPATHISE 4. CUSTOMER JOURNEY STORYBOARDING 5. ROI To create new, innovative and unexpected experiences for the 2017 Conventa Crossover edition the teams of 5 were given different challenges: • Three teams created customer journey storyboards for the pre-event phase • Three teams for the actual event • The remaining teams created a customer journey storyboard for after the event What followed was a highly energetic co-creation session visualised into customer journey storyboards.  We finished with each team pitch-

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ing their innovative ideas! With the amount of creativity within the groups, I wouldn’t be surprised if we will see some of these again back at the next Conventa Crossover edition! CONCLUSION Combining storytelling with an Agile method proved to be the perfect solution for quickly creating multiple event ideas for next year’s Conventa Crossover. Starting off with a shared storytelling experience worked very well for building trust within the team. It opened the door for Agile methods to truly shine, creating new ideas in a fast and innovative way. We are born storytellers, we just need to be encouraged. If you want to learn more on the 5 steps please visit the website  and download the free workbook to get you started!


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HOW TO INCREASE AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT AT YOUR NEXT EVENT? Five Essential Pieces of the Audience Engagement Puzzle Text by Juraj Holub,, Slovakia

THE RESULT? Conventa Crossover was one of the most innovative events I’ve attended in the past three years! Inspired by the Danish concept Meetovation, Crossover brimmed with ingenious meeting design ideas that created wonderful interaction. Having been a part of this innovative event, I would like to share my key learnings on creating amazing audience engagement at your next event. INSPIRING ENVIRONMENT Exceptional conferences start with exceptional spaces. A meeting space is like a silent sidekick that can have a major impact on delegates’ productivity, creativity and overall experience. In line with the IACC’s findings on the venues of the future, the Hotel Lev in Ljubljana provided an exceptionally creative space that delighted the audience and stimulated learning. It allowed for:


he times when participants attended events just to listen to a string of presentations are over. People expect interaction. They want to be part of the experience. But living up to these new expectations means that we as event planners need to innovate. And innovation goes hand in hand with embracing new session formats, experimenting with space, and not shying away from the latest technologies. For many, this idea might seem daunting, but it is the only way to success as Luke Stallard, Head of Programming at EuroFinance, noted at our recent event.

• Great flexibility in the meeting space • Availability of networking areas • Access to interactive technology In this creative space, there were two main areas where the content was delivered. CONTENT BAR Even though I was a bit skeptical at first, the concept of a content bar worked like a charm. The idea was simple: Bar = Stage Bartenders = Speakers Drinks = Content The serving method = Pecha Kucha

“If you want to stay competitive, you need to make your events interactive. People are tired of one-way presentations without having a chance to participate. Interaction needs to be at the heart of how we organise events.”

To elaborate on the idea, there was a round of five speakers in one block, who delivered brisk 6:40-minute presentations (20 slides x 20 seconds) over the counter. This way, the audience was exposed to a fairly large number of ideas in a short time, without being in danger of death by PowerPoint.

Realizing these major trends, the star team of Toleranca Marketing led by Goraz Čad decided to ditch traditional approaches to event planning. With Conventa Crossover, they embraced the unknown, turned things on their head and experimented with new ways of presentation and interaction.

MARKETING RING There was a marketing ring on the other side of the room. This is not a metaphor. Gorazd’s team put up a real boxing ring that the speakers needed to enter by climbing over the ropes. Isn’t that awesome? The marketing ring was dedicated to TED pres50

entations. Once again, the presentations were dynamic, capped by an 18:00-minute cutoff and then followed by a lively Q&A session. So once the content bar closed, audience members were asked to grab their chairs and turn them the other way to face speakers in the ring. Getting people to physically move after each block was a quirky trick that helped keep the energy in the room high. PANEL ON THE BARRELS Conferences often set up a long table behind which they seat five to six panelists. You didn’t find anything like that at Crossover. Thanks to the flexibility of the venue, moderator Jan-Jaap in der Maur ditched traditional tables and chairs and put panelists on barrels and brought them close to the audience. People loved the idea, and before the session kicked off, Jan-Jaap needed to give people a few moments to take photos. This proves that creative meeting design can also create tweetable moments. Then, when this one-time session was over, the barrels were simply put away. PROFESSIONAL FACILITATION When we speak with event planners, we always stress the importance of the event moderators. This is because a moderator holds the decisive role in creating great interaction. Gorazd and the team didn’t leave anything to chance. They invited meeting design expert and seasoned moderator, Jan-Jaap in der Maur from Masters in Moderation, to steer the event. Once again, Jan-Jaap did a marvelous job, keeping everyone engaged from the start to the end. Below, I’d like to highlight some of the brilliant facilitation techniques that I absolutely loved: 1.) Boosting participation in word cloud polls To boost participation, Jan-Jaap created faceto-face time and used evocative exercises to get people to imagine and discuss what their work environment would be like in 10 years’ time. Only then, he had the delegates submit their contributions via Slido, which were then displayed in a form of a word cloud. 2.) Giving people time for reflection before the Q&A People are often still in a listening mode when you jump on them with a request to ask ques-

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tions after the presentation. To encourage them to formulate questions, Jan-Jaap gave the audience enough time to reflect on the topic and switch to an interaction mode. It took a few moments but then the questions started pouring in to Slido. 3.) Restoring the energy At one point, the energy in the room dropped; Jan-Jaap told people to stand up and exchange seats. The movement instantly helped to boost the energy.

Pecha Kucha 20 slides x 20 seconds. Fast-paced. Lively. Energy-filled. Pecha Kucha was delivered over the Content bar.

Workshop The second day opened with two workshops that allowed participants to deep dive into their topics of interest.

Pitching competition To expose the audience to potential disruptors in tourism and hospitality, there were five pitching startups presenting their projects in less than 2 minutes. The audience then appointed a winner with the best idea in a live poll.

EVENT TECHNOLOGY The last piece of the interaction puzzle was technology. And as Jan-Jaap mentioned at one point during the event, using event technology is like the last piece of the jigsaw that you need in order to complete the picture.

4.) Finishing on a high note Even though the event was amazing, people were tired at the end of the second day. To finish on a high note, Jan-Jaap got people to stand up and gathered them around the ring for a Q&A session. Then he did the CatchBox toss.

TED-style presentations These were presentations on the future of the events industry capped by an 18:00-minute mark.

To execute his meeting design, Jan-Jaap leveraged a number of complementing event technology tools to maximize the audience engagement.

5.) The CatchBox toss People were shy to ask questions. Jan-Jaap got people to toss the CatchBox while Ottavio Cambieri spun tunes on Mash Machine. When he stopped the music, the person who had the mic had to speak. There are two advantages to this: First, the randomness takes off the pressure of being forced into the spotlight. Second, people never know when the mic will end up in their hands, so they need to reflect on the content in order to prepare a question. RELEVANT CONTENT With all the fuss about engagement, it might seem that content has lost its importance. But the opposite is true. Knowledge building is still the number one reason why people decide to attend events. If the goal of a successful conference is to deliver a memorable story, the Crossover attendees had the chance to hear stories from over 30 speakers.

Interactive keynote This was a presentation on the major technological trends ranging from AI to robots. To make the audience part of the story, Jan-Jaap introduced the topic by crowd-sourcing participants’ takes on the future. After the talk, he got their feedback through live polls on the trends that they felt would impact the events industry the most. Q&A The marketing ring talks were followed by the Q&A sessions. To maximize their effectiveness, Jan-Jaap crowd-sourced the topics and questions that the audience was most interested in discussing. Informal panel This lively discussion on the future of luxury travel was conducted while presenters were seated on barrels. People loved this idea!

They tackled topics ranging from content marketing to the importance of customer experience, social and digital marketing and success stories. In line with Mike van der Vijver’s recommendations on maximizing speakers’ impact, the Conventa team came up with various session formats that enabled the presenters to deliver their story in an interactive way. More on this in the next session. INNOVATIVE SESSION FORMATS No matter how engaging your keynote speakers might be, using just one session format will not be effective. You need to offer people diversity to keep them engaged, but also to give speakers flexibility in their delivery. The Crossover team used seven different session formats!


While Jan-Jaap tossed around Catchbox to get instant audience reactions, he used Slido to engage people with live polls as well as to crowdsource the best questions in order to maximize the effectiveness of the Q&A time. Finally, Mash Machine literally brought people together in the process of music creation and thus added another layer of togetherness. Wrap up The team behind Conventa Crossover inspired the delegates with their bold concept and brilliant execution. The fact that over 85% of the audience was engaged proved that the mix of innovative formats, great facilitation and well-implemented technology worked like magic. We can’t wait to see more event planners jump on the bandwagon heading towards interactive events that inspire.

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HOW DID THE MICE- AND TOURISM INDUSTRY REBOOT AFTER THE BANKING CRISES AND THE EFFECTS OF THE NOTORIOUS VOLCANIC ERUPTION OF EYJAFJALLAJÖKULL? “Never waste a good crises” like Winston Churchill once said Text by Thorsteinn Orn Gudmundsson, Meet in Reykjavik, Iceland


he impact was quite substantial from both scenarios, however the effect turned out to be very positive in the long run. Obviously the short term reaction was fairly negative as one could imagine since few people are positive being rerouted or stuck on their travel. When the smoke cleared and the ash literally settled it had solidly put Iceland on the global map and created more general awareness about Iceland than ever before due to the enormous global press interest so the negative impact washed away quite quickly. For example the word „Iceland” had never in history been Googled so many times as post these events. That record was not broken until the unexpected entrance and success of the Icelandic football team in the European championship last June.    Tourism has been of tremendous importance in rebooting the economy, generate foreign currency and lowering unemployment rates. After the volcanic eruption in 2010 the marketing efforts emphasized on one hand on boosting leisure tourism through the marketing campaign „Inspired by Iceland„ and on the other hand on building a strategic focus on MICE-tourism. Having MICE as a substantial part of the overall tourism enhances the average profitability and

more aligned seasonality for the overall market. It has been calculated that if we were to double the ratio of MICE guests all else equal from 8% to 16%, it would lower the seasonal summer peak by 5% but at the same time it would lift the shoulder and off seasons. This would contribute to better utilization of the infrastructure and overall profitability. We would also expect to see environmental footprints decrease by 4-5% as MICE guests usually travel in guided tours and there would be 6% more revenue generated into the community. Meet in Reykjavik, convention bureau was therefore founded as Public Private Partnership to serve as a focused marketing entity to build the MICE market. The benefits of being Public Private is the flexibility and dynamical workflow enabling the Bureau to shape the future by listening and reacting quickly to marketing trends and challenges but also with support and control from the public side. Our motto is “Love what you do, strict adherence to professional standards and endless drive and aspiration”. When the crises hit in 2008 Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre was only half built and a lot of discussion took place on if it should be demolished, halted and branded as a symbol of what happens when people get to bold in investments. The end decision was to finish the building symbolizing the mindset of Icelanders commitment and ability to serve the MICE market. As an example the number of annual conferences with more than 1.000 delegates has twelvefold since Harpa’s opening in 2011. The annual average growth for the MICE industry in Iceland has been 13.6% for the last four years which is around three times the global average. The biggest threat to this singular goal is on the other hand the explosive overall interest for Iceland as a destination as MICE starts to compete more for the same infrastructure as general leisure market increasing the importance to focus on the overall mix and profitability.


HOW TO MARKET A NATURE DESTINATION AS A MICE DESTINATION? The greatest strength of Reykjavik and Iceland as a destination lies in the energetic source of nature, culture and local mentality. All these elements serve as the perfect backdrop for a memorable and effective event. Visitors claim it is the country´s energy, diversity and authenticity that gives the island an otherworldliness and spiritual inspiration. The greatest challenge however for Meet in Reykjavík is to work with the misconception many meeting planners have about Iceland. This is understandable since some people know the country only from notorious headlines because of volcanic eruptions or the banking crises. Others see Iceland mainly as a nature or an adventurous destination. Our task is to inform and educate them about the MICE infrastructure and framework. The truth of the matter is that the infrastructure is modern with great restaurants and a wide variety of accommodation and venues. The number of direct flights from Iceland are frequent, reaching 80 destinations. Many are surprised to learn that the number of direct flights out of Iceland to North America is almost double the number from Sweden, Norway and Finland combined, due to the Icelandair Hub connecting Europe and North America. Clarity in message and focus on key elements is crucial to establish the right perception for risk averse MICE planners. Apart from the modern infrastructure and highly educated workforce we find our competitive advantage is firstly the strategic location midway between the N-America and Europe, secondly the rugged and unique nature in the close vicinity of the city and thirdly the fact that Iceland is on a lot of people’s bucket lists. People love to cultivate their curiosity and bring home stories about their experience and Iceland certainly has a lot of places that can take your breath away. The fourth influential factor that is becoming more prominent is the fact that Iceland is a safe and secure destination.

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HOW TO GET A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN YOUR MARKET? Remember how Voltaire said that common sense is not so common? Here are some common and not so common hacks that can make you or break you.  Text by Jovana Miljanović, Travel blogger, Serbia

your face. The queen is subtle but thoughtful and calculated. She knows when to press play and when to hit pause. She is not driven by status but by the impact her actions have on people. Think like a king but act like a queen.


SK ME ANYTHING. Not really, I don’t believe in this catchphrase. Don’t ask anyone anything. Ask what you really need to know. Ask something meaningful. Ask the question that has been bugging you for days. If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.

Content is queen. If you’re a GOT fan think of Cersei Lannister! The king is powerful, impactful but can also be perceived as arrogant and in

Care to share? You live you learn. In the last three years, I’ve lived in five countries, started three startups and ended up homeless and broke twice. Share your failures, even better celebrate them. They speak louder than words of how daring and brave you are in a world full of cowards and “play it safer’s”. As a company, when you share your failures you receive empathy and gain even more followers through emotional connection. Just be real, genuine and authentic. Don’t pretend everything is perfect, we are all people, we get it!

Hear them out! Last month a post got 14,000 unique visits a day and I got 350 emails. I spent the whole week addressing each and every one of them. I hear out my community because they made me and they can break me. This especially applies to large brands! Never disregard someone’s honest concern or a problem they are having with your brand. 


Blue Lagoon. I like to say that words are my playground! But words are also like playing with fire. One wrong move and you’re burnt! Blue Lagoon in Zakynthos and Blue Lagoon in Iceland aren’t the same, but how do you know which one someone is talking about if you only hear their content without the context? Put your stories into context!

Consistency! You need to be consistent in your strategy and many large brands expect something to work only after three months. If it doesn’t show results quickly enough they change their strategy as the wind blows. That gets you nowhere. You need to be patient and consistent to see results. 

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Gotta catch them all! Whether they love me or hate me, in the end they make me. Never delete negative comments from your accounts, always address them. They are like gray hairs! You kill one, three come back to haunt you! Large brands make horrible mistakes with this. Please don’t say I didn’t warn you! 

Retargeting: You probably know that 98% of traffic doesn›t convert. You need to find new ways to keep your brand in the client’s mind after they leave your website. There are many tools that can help you with this. Remember: Chase them until you’re out of breath! And then keep running!

Uncreate to recreate. Don›t be afraid of breaking things, it is one of the best ways to rebuild them in a way that you never saw possible initially. The travel industry, as we know, is broken and it is shifting and growing into something most large brands aren’t ready to embrace. You evolve or you die. Don’t only study about what is new but start implementing new ways into your business today.

see coming. Far too many people complain about it instead of learning to embrace it before their competitors do. Don’t oppose the change, embrace it and let if shift your mind toward a new direction.

Native Travelizing. Let’s talk about travel and failing when working for large corporations and brands which are afraid to try out new things and take the road less travelled. Don’t do the same thing over and over again and expect new customers to float it. If you choose to work with influencers, choose native advertising. Influencers know their followers better than you think you do. Do you go to a restaurant and bother the chef, stating that you would rather have your dish prepared the way you do it at home? I don’t think so!

Marketing Technologist? Marketing and tech are my two biggest passions and they go together as gin & tonic, my favorite drink! You can’t do one without the other, at least not nowadays! I use over 10 marketing software’s that make me unbeatable when it comes to inbound marketing. When you compare my skills and knowledge, with the help of those software tools I am like a superhuman compared to your average marketing person. I’ll share these tools with you over LinkedIn, just shoot me a message!

Expect the unexpected. The industry is changing on a daily basis and it can be overwhelming to stay up-to-date with everything that is going on. But no matter how “in the loop” we are, there will always be something that we didn’t 54

The Wall Challenge I hit the wall every now and then. It helps clear my head. Jokes aside, it hurts when you hit the wall but it is a great opportunity to think about why it happened. Was the wall there the whole time and you hit it because you weren’t focused? Covering your scars with ice is a great opportunity to rethink your decisions.

Rejection=Redirection I don’t take rejection personally. For me it means redirection - redirecting my focus, energy and time into something else that will pay off more for me at the moment. Rejection from a client or a partner is just an opportunity to see where they were pointing their fingers the whole time and what’s bugging them. See if it is something you do or is it that you are just not a match. Accept that and proceed.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. No matter how cool something is, you shouldn›t use it if it doesn›t resonate with your customers. How many of you actually remember Mary Poppins? You get the point. Use simple words that resonate with your audience. Forget what is hip and cool unless you are a coffee shop in Brooklyn. Ignore the competition. If everyone in the company is paying attention to the competition, who is being the visionary? Hire someone to

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follow the competition and brief you with the most meaningful stuff. Contently & Ceros Here is the insight into two of my favorite tools. Contently is pure gold when it comes to large brands which need special attention when scaling their content strategy. Ceros is interactive marketing software that enables you to act like a team of rock star developers and designers when, in fact, it’s just you.

62 Meetologues of New Europe 220 new features and attractions from destinations for 2016 17 countries

Random Reads Get out of your comfort zone, learn about what you don’t know! My favorite blog is Waitbutwhy and my favorite thought provoker is Seth Godin. I have a zero inbox policy that I stick to, so making it to my email is a miracle, but Seth has a priority inbox spot guaranteed for a reason!

Pass it on! The most important thing in life is my legacy. What will I leave to future generations, to young people from Serbia following me and will I motivate them to learn more, grow more and care more! I do that by spending time every week writing posts about how to get your first online job, enroll in a college on a full scholarship or travel the world for free. Even if you don’t have money to give, give time, share experiences and empower people who surround you! There is always someone who knows or has less than you and who could benefit from your help. Sharing is caring!


n line with the Kongres Meetologue project we have once again been discovering meeting destinations new and old to compare and evaluate them based on: - Natural and cultural factors - General and transport infrastructure - Tourist infrastructure - Meetings infrastructure - Marketing buzz Given the many changes and new innovations that have happened throughout the past year, we have also re-evaluated destinations that have already been assessed in the past. To date, we have visited and evaluated 62 destinations, adding a subjective grade to each and every one of them. As an additional criterion we have also taken into account the ICCA Country and City Ranking 2014 and any data available on quality of life (Numeo) for the individual capitals.

Contact me! In October I am moving to London to be with my boyfriend, so I am looking for a new job and also for some cool coffee shops and restaurants! I am already making my Foursquare list, so hit me up if you have some tips! Also, if you ever need some help with your digital marketing, native advertising and working with influencers, send me a message on LinkedIn miljanovicjovana

To carry out a fair and balanced assessment the cities were divided into three categories: - Large and medium sized cities with more than 150,000 inhabitants - Smaller regional and local towns with less than 150,000 inhabitants - Small tourist destinations with less than 15,000 inhabitants


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HOW TO GROW A BUSINESS WITH THE FUTURE MEGATRENDS? 8 Megatrends and Generation Y Requirements which Every Meeting Industry Player Should Be Aware Of Text by Slaven Reljić, Managing Director CORAL GROUP DMC, Croatia

MEGATREND #2: “PEAK EVERYTHING” – SHORTAGE OF RESOURCES Climate change, shortage of resources and stress affects many participants and/or speakers. Hence, the destinations, organizers, venues and service providers who really care about sustainable production, green meetings and events, will be the preferred or at least more on trend. MEGATREND #3: URBANISATION - THE CITY OF THE FUTURE In 2030, more than 60% of the global population will be living in cities. Hospitality, good organization, openness and tolerance, safety as well as a city’s appearance, cultural offers or the surroundings will be the decisive criteria for participants to visit your town/destination for an event.


he term ‘megatrend’ was created by John Naisbitt, a U.S. trend researcher who published a book with the same title in 1982. 32 years later, the German Convention Bureau, their partners and the Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment, conducted a thorough study which showed some very precise trends regarding the meeting industry. Every meeting professional should actually consider these trends very carefully because the future is already here. Are you ready for it? Here are the findings of the study and my insights regarding the Top 8 Megatrends which should be implemented in your meeting industry business ASAP. MEGATREND. #1: GLOBALIZATION AND INTERNATIONALIZATION Expectations are high. Events become more international meaning that we have to create the products and services suitable for participants from different cultures and religions. Think food options (including halal, kosher, Indian etc.), necessary meeting breaks, locations for observances etc. This does not mean that we should change our identities, on the contrary, but those with strong intercultural skills and options will be more competitive

MEGATREND # 4: DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE, FEMINIZATION AND DIVERSITY According to UN projections, the world’s population will be approximately 8.5 billion people by 2030. Further diversification is expected at meetings and events. Characteristics that are considered rather “feminine”, such as team spirit, social competence and multitasking skills are now of significant importance. Women are highly educated, luckily equal to men in more and more countries, so consider this trend within your own company and organization when structuring an event. Demographic change also requires adaptation for people with disabilities or older people. MEGATREND # 5: TECHNOLOGY IN WORK AND LIFE Virtual events will not replace the real ones but event technology, social media, real-time information and communication is a must. Classic event formats are changing, becoming out-ofdate, so think about how to attract or engage the audience which often meets virtual reality, uses numerous interactive apps and expects much more technology than was used at meetings not so long ago. MEGATREND #6: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Only those destinations and service providers who work and live in a sustainable way, whatever it may be, will be competitive and rewarded by clients and event organizers. A sustainable event 56

is one designed, organized and implemented in a way that minimizes potential negative impacts and leaves a beneficial legacy for the host community and everyone involved. Every company and individual should follow the UN’s definition and recommendations. MEGATREND #7: MOBILITY OF THE FUTURE Buyers and participants also consider destinations according to their mobility options and cost. Different transportation solutions have to be created and offered. Bikes, e-bikes, segways, Uber, car sharing providers or the like, might be a part of the solution for your destination. This new technology such as user-friendly applications, showing the best options, might also attract participants. MEGATREND #8: SECURITY AND SAFETY From data security, via personal safety to overall security, it will become more and more important to clients. A “security and safety guarantee” might and should come from the whole community directly - individuals, firms and all institutions in charge are responsible and may create a pleasant and tolerant space, suitable for major international or global events. These extensive and complex trends are important to all of us in terms of market analysis, product creation, content marketing and overall communication. Create your “own world”, but be aware of these trends, actually facts. You probably find yourself in one or more categories of the megatrends and so don’t think the future is far away – it is already here and we have to make it a part of our business strategy.

Kongres Magazine

HOW TO WELCOME A GENERATION OF AGEING TRAVELLERS? Forget the stereotype of an old couple lost in the era of technology Text by Filip Vasić, 52:HOURS, CZECH REPUBLIC

prefer to travel off-peak, avoiding crowds and extreme weather. It gives you a reason to shift the focus from generic seasonal marketing practices and create specialised, precisely targeted, off-season offers that will drive demand and funnel purchase. Third: Raise the bar for quality. Bear in mind that many elderly travellers will seek higher quality service, not only because they are less fit but also because they see it as a fair reward for life-long hard work. And, with less financial obligations and more savings in general, especially in the early years of retirement, they are ready to pay for it.


ccording to a recent study published by Visa, the fastest growing segment in the travel market is people aged over 65 who are expected to double their international travel to an estimated 180 million trips by 2025. In other words, one-in-eight international trips globally will be taken by senior travellers. This trend can be explained by a set of demographic and socio-economic factors such as the ageing general population, the rise of the middle class in the emerging economies and technological advances that make travelling more comfortable. Pair it with the growing demand for health tourism and there is a clear case for thinking how to seize the opportunities presented by this outlook - today. So, let’s start with a few ideas.

Fourth: Create meaningful loyalty programs. With regular travel often becoming an important part of senior lifestyle, this should be a very important part of your strategy. There is a lot to be said about customer needs and drivers of loyalty and it doesn’t matter whether you take 5 or 10, Maslow’s pyramid or someone else’s list of motivators. What matters is that you understand what elderly travellers feel and think, what they fear and hope for, and what does and doesn’t matter to them. Fifth: Rethink entertainment. Unfortunately, many hotels and operators still tend to recreate

First: Forget the stereotype about an old couple lost in the era of technology. Market segmentation based on behaviour will be more useful than the one based solely on demographics. The people we are talking about are already used to being online and will continue to be so when they retire. Meanwhile, they leave a long trail of information behind, telling us about their behaviour, habits and interests, which we can use to create better travelling experiences. Second: Extend the season. Senior travellers have more time to spend on travel and leisure and are generally more flexible, but they often 57

grotesque movie scenes of spaced out people playing tombola, while reality shows us people who are creative, curious and self-aware. Facilitating blogs, art, interest in history and nature, social engagement or shopping, can create strong networks between the hosts and their elderly guests that can help tremendously in destination development. Sixth: See your doctor. While developing medical tourism requires substantial investment in facilities and complex adjustments of policies and regulations, there is no reason not to include health services in to your operating model whenever possible, especially because health is a standing concern of many senior travellers. Global platforms connecting people who need treatments with hospitals and doctors show growing demand. Get in touch with them and see where it takes you. Surely, this list may strike you as being too short and simplistic, but look beyond and think of the many small steps you can take in order to make your services more available and more attractive to a segment that is playing an ever more significant role in the hospitality industry. Not only will it make you a better and more appreciated host, but new business models and opportunities will also emerge.

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HOW TO ENGAGE MEDICAL MEETING DELEGATES WITH SOCIAL MEDIA? Tips on Integrating Influencers into Your Social Media Strategy Text by Magdalina Atanassova, Kenes Group, Bulgaria

Photo credit: Conventa Crossover


ut there, there are some people holding a medical degree being interested in science, life, and innovation. Some of them utilize social media to share with the world new research, ideas and thoughts in the area in which they specialize in. With their efforts they help bridge the gap between certain scientific fields and the masses, who are now more then ever before looking for credible sources of information. In the context of medical meetings, we call these active social media users influencers. Influencers give us a background look into the life of medical doctors and scientists, raw and unaugmented, just as we want it. They capture our attention with authentic content delivered in an entertaining and easy to digest way. This might be a limiting and out-of-context definition, so let’s take a look at the basics.

MEDICAL DOCTORS AND MEDICAL MEETINGS Medical Doctors (MDs) have always been society’s innovators. Throughout history the society has devoted a lot of resources towards enabling MDs to deliver on the extremely hard tasks they are given, as curing diseases and saving human lives, while having as a constant requirement to deliver as gently as possible. While this fact seems to be known to us all, it rarely comes up when we speak about medical meetings. It seems that the words “innovation” and “medical” only rarely appear in the same sentence, at least in the meetings industry, where medical meetings are still considered some of the dullest ones. Compliance seems to be one of the often quoted reasons for keeping medical meetings in certain constrains. However, while compliance will continue pushing PCOs dealing with medical meetings to be more creative and very knowledgeable about each regulation, one thing that compliance has not affected yet is the use of social media in the events’ communication mix, which brings forward significant opportunities. SOCIAL MEDIA AND MEDICAL MEETINGS

Photo credit: Kenes Group


Social media has changed the face of medical meetings making new medical solutions reach a wider audience quicker, inform and engage patient groups and specialists across borders of new methods and tools to treat patients with. Social media is generally helping the many specialties and sub-specialties in medicine to grow in terms of knowledge exchange and idea development. In order to use social media well for those busy doctors and other medical stakeholders, we need to make it easy to use and visually appealing. No one can argue on the usefulness of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. The channels are well established and they are widely used. So – the platform is there, all we need to do is adapt its use to the needs of our audience. INFLUENCERS? HOW DO WE IDENTIFY THEM?

Photo credit: Marco Melgrati

As we already established, influencers are social media users that we identify by their influence on their networks and way of use of social media. They literary have the possibility to influence with their social media posts having thoughts and opinions on subject matters on which they are well versed or experts in. The process of identifying influencers may seem at first a daunting one, when you imagine trying to scan all people on social media posting with a certain hashtag.

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Photo credit: Kenes Group

Luckily, there are ways to make this process much easier: First of on your list should be using some well known tools and software such as Salesforce, TweetReach, and Mention, to name a few. These tools will help you go through vast amounts of data faster, giving you the best summary of results in terms of who might be the influencers you are looking for, based on their followers; Next comes the hard work. What you need to do is dig deeper in the information that you have just acquired and see the actual engagement that these influencers get from their audience. Sometimes they might have only a hundred followers in a channel, but having much higher engagement rates with their specific audience. 3 EASY STEPS TO EMPOWER YOUR INFLUENCERS Influencers add to our marketing efforts with the use of media – pictures, videos, and live streams. They can raise engagement by adding their authentic view of the event. They

record the ups and downs of their participation at your conference, showing the excitement of attending, the real networking, the super busy poster session, or just how good it feels to hug an old friend that you regularly meet at this event. All that has an outstanding value - for both the event planner and the current or potential delegates. That is why you want to empower influencers further, giving them more tools to report the real experience from your event. How to do it in 3 easy steps: Make them the stars. Make their lives easy. The platform is there, and they are already eager to take part. Don’t forget to clearly communicate from the very beginning the hashtag of the event in all online and offline marketing materials, so that they can take part in helping you build your brand awareness. Promote influencers during your event. Challenge them to stand out. Involve them in fun games that will be of benefit to your wider audience too. Don’t forget that they are medical doctors wishing to advance in their field. Incentivize them to showcase their work too - give them the chance to present their latest research. Don’t forget that people follow influencers. Make them known and support their effort so that others will follow, with the simple use of Twitter Walls for example. And one last note on influencers – remember that sponsors are influencers too. They are important also for your bottom line, so encourage them to be active, to engage, show them the return on their investment, as these audiences are looking up to them too.



Photo credit: Kenes Group

When it comes to the benefits of social media for events, it is easy to say that it helps greatly to carry on live, authentic dialogues with those in attendance as well as those following along virtually, sharing important messages with an informed, engaged audience, and continuing conversations that were first started face to face in the meeting halls. And as to the importance of influencers – do not forget that they aid us with our discussions and dissemination of information. They hear the important messages that the conference wants to pass on, they summarize, and immortalize these important learnings for everyone to see.

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HOW TO GET MORE OUT OF YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING? Step by step guide to digital success Text by Andraž Štalec, Red Orbit, Slovenia

of consumer will research and book travel over the internet, but in some other areas of the travel industry, the process looks a little bit different. On average, in the B2B sector (business travel and MICE fall into this category) the majority of purchase confirmations happen offline (meetings, phone, video conferences etc) and not online. This leads us to the question - how can we then measure online success? To find out the answer you will just have to read the article ;)


et’s face it. For travel, the internet is the key medium to use. Whether you are a travel agency, an airline company, a hotel or a congress center, the internet represents the main source of data for your customers. It’s also the most influential marketing channel throughout the consumer decision journey. I’m not asking you to believe me. Look at the facts (and stats). FACT 1: 86 % OF CONSUMERS LEARN ABOUT TRAVEL PRODUCTS ONLINE. If you think about it, you know it’s true! How do you think your potential clients find you? Sure, there are fairs and trade shows, but if we are truly honest with ourselves, we know that’s just one of many touch points of the decision journey. Nobody, I really mean nobody, uses the yellow pages any more. So what’s left? TV? Radio? Magazines? Sure, they are still influential and widely used mediums and one cannot just forget about them. But these are at the top of the funnel media which drive intention and awareness. The internet is the primary decision making media, where consumers research the product and, based on their research, make decisions. Since we are being honest, we must admit that the internet is not always the last channel consumers will use. In leisure travel, the majority

FACT 2: MEDIA CONSUMPTION IS SHIFTING FROM TV AND MAGAZINES TO ONLINE In the last few years users have started to shift from TV to digital. Desktop and mobile usage are reaching new heights, while TV and especially print is attracting smaller and smaller audiences. While years ago offline media was the way to reach consumers and drive intent, now, with the drop in usage of offline media, companies need to look elsewhere. With digital shooting for first place among the most used media, the choice is quite clear. Users are already there. Facebook, Google and the rest of the gang have been preparing for this moment for years. And trust me, they are fully prepared! They have spent the last few years researching online users and developing tools, apps and solutions for the new mobile-centric user. Advertisers now have so many options to reach users, one has to think twice before deciding which channel to use. FACT 3: USERS ARE NOT STUPID The internet has drastically changed the way we learn about the product. 15 years ago we went to a shop and asked a salesman about the products they sell, we are now more self-educated. We, as a society, strive to know more, to learn. And introducing online services was like entering paradise. “How to” queries on Google have tripled since 2017. The problem is that companies and their digital presence are not following this trend. And here starts our journey to better digital marketing.


STEP 1: CREATE COMPELLING CONTENT The vast majority of websites focus on developing only purchase related content, that is, content which enables a consumer to make a purchase. Companies invest time and money to write better product descriptions, optimize their online forms and advertise their new offers. But, on the other hand, only 1% of website visitors will convert on the website! What about the rest? Should we forget about them? Why are they even there!? 90% of visitors will visit your website while they are in the research phase, that’s why they are not converting/making a purchase. Their intentions are clear - they want to learn more about the product. They are not there to buy. So how are you satisfying their needs? To truly leverage the full potential of the internet, you need to create compelling content that will satisfy users in each phase of the decision journey. Write articles, create info-graphics, prepare detailed whitepapers and eBooks, develop online wizards, create comparison tables, write “how to” guides etc. Don’t forget also about the post purchase experience. Prepare beginner’s guides, describe best practices and develop a designated resources section on your website. This will not only satisfy users but also build trust and a relationship between the user and your brand. And if you are more money driven, the fact is that it will also increase your revenue (users with more than five views of your website have, on average, a 56% higher conversion rate). Great content is a must, but it won’t matter much if users can’t find it. This brings us to our second point – marketing. STEP 2: BE THERE To satisfy user needs, you first need to be where the users are. An overwhelming selection of digital channels doesn’t make this simple. Not all channels are appropriate to use in all phases of the decision journey. Some are more useful and effective in TOFU (top of the funnel), other are more effective as a closing channel and are better used in BOFU (bottom of the funnel). Select your channels based on your goals (and the content you are promoting).

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If you want to increase awareness or drive intent, some of the most effective channels include Facebook, YouTube and the Google Display Network. If you are more focused on closing the sale, Google Search Ads, search engine optimization and email marketing can help. A lot of the time people complain that a specific channel is not working. The reason is usually really simple – they are using it incorrectly! Align your digital marketing channels with the consumer decision journey. Use each channel where it works best. By now we have made a huge step forward. We have created unique and fascinating content and we are reaching out to users and bringing them to our website. We are actually satisfying their needs! Or are we? How do we know? No matter how smart we are, there’s no way we can know everything. Yes, there is a ton of research which could help, but in the end, to really know what’s working and what’s not, it has to be measured and tested.

measure and monitor basically the complete consumer decision journey. You can connect your marketing data with your business data and your CRM. You can even enrich your data with custom dimensions and metrics like weather, customer affinity and content consumption. And, of course, don’t forget about attribution modelling which enables you to properly attribute the value of conversion to different marketing channels. We are not talking just about big data, we are talking about predictive analytics. It enables you

STEP 3: DISCOVER BEAUTIFUL INSIGHTS As I said, digital marketing is getting more and more important in today’s world. The investments are getting bigger and with lots at stake you don’t really want to gamble with your future. Luckily, you don’t need to… In recent years there have been huge advancements in the field of digital analytics. With the use of advanced tools and features, you can now 61

to discover beautiful insights that can change your business. Imagine spending 50% less for marketing and achieving 10-times more. It’s all there, available to you. You just need to dive into the data. Marketing is no longer about gutfeel, it’s about data with makeup to make it sexy. Fight it as much as you want; you won’t get far without data. The not-so-big-secret is revealed. To succeed in digital you need to focus on all three areas: content, marketing and analytics. Now it’s your turn to try it!

Zagreb Briefing

New passenger terminal at Zagreb Airport to be opened in March 2017 The modern and impressive design of the new passenger terminal, Franjo Tuđman, is aimed at giving Zagreb a landmark and to support the city so that it can fully exploit its potential as a desirable European destination for tourism and business. The design and architecture for the terminal was done by IGH, a Croatian construction company, and local architects. In the past two years, nine new airlines have been welcomed to Zagreb which has definitely increased the competition and improved the flight offer, both in terms of new destinations and fre-

quency to existing destinations. The maximum capacity of the terminal will, upon completion, be eight million passengers per year compared with the current two million passengers. These are reasons to look optimistically to the future. The aim is to make Zagreb International Airport a reference airport for management and infrastructure, to be a reliable partner to stakeholders and importantly, the airlines. The particular emphasis is the development of the local airline, Croatia Airlines.

Sheraton and Westin Zagreb have new images

Sheraton Zagreb, the first 5* “branded” hotel in the independent Republic of Croatia, has been extensively refurbished, including all of its public spaces, meeting rooms, bars and restaurants. The hotel’s 13 multi-functional meeting rooms are now aligned with the latest industry trends and equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and complimentary fast WiFi. The Sheraton Zagreb’s comfortable and elegant rooms were the final part of the extensive renovation and now reflect a very modern look, equipped with 5-star luxury amenities that cater to the every need of guests.

The Westin Zagreb has a brand new look! At the beginning of summer 2016, extensive refurbishment works began at the prominent Westin Zagreb. With a new, modern and revitalized look, combined with the timeless Westin elegance, the hotel’s facilities will be greatly upgraded. The prominent London architecture studio, Scott Brownrigg, ensured the Westin’s interior was done to the latest trends in design for the hospitality industry. The Westin Zagreb expects to welcome guests, with its new look, in autumn 2016.

Winter in Zagreb

Upcoming conferences

One of the secrets about Croatia and its capital city, Zagreb, is one of the best Advent scenes in Europe. Now in its seventh year, starting 26 November until 8 January 2017, the Advent program is packed with events, concerts and food specialties - think twinkling candlelight, colorful displays, festive food and drink, concerts, choirs and much more. With so many European capitals being overcrowded and overpriced, Advent in Zagreb offers room to move and value for money. Croatia’s capital tells the Christmas story in a charming and traditional way. Try it this winter; it can be part of a great incentive for your client or employees! Detailed information about the programs can be found at

Central & Eastern European Gas Conference, 15 – 16 February, 2017 15th Symposium of Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 3 – 8 September 2017 ENOTHE Annual meeting 2017, 26 – 28 October, 2017










Certificate of Excellence 5-time WINNER


Grand hotel Union Miklošičeva cesta 1 1000 Ljubljana

Grand hotel Union Business Miklošičeva cesta 3 1000 Ljubljana

Hotel Lev Vošnjakova ulica 1 1000 Ljubljana

Central hotel Miklošičeva cesta 9 1000 Ljubljana

Union Briefing

Stay connected at all times with Union Hotels Having a Wi-Fi connection at all times is nowadays a must for all business guests visiting a destination or travelling through one. Union Hotels thus made sure one doesn’t only experience modern luxury during their stay in Grand Hotel Union and Union Business but can now also travel in style without losing internet access. Mercedes-Benz Experience is a smart solution for business guest that are constantly on the go. Next to accommodation in a 4-star hotel in the Ljubljana city centre, they also offer to their guests an amazing buffet breakfast and a Wi-Fi connection in the Mercedez-Benz day rentals. Travelling in style has never been easier!

Top-notch Selfness and Wellbeing Relaxing after a long day at the conference or business meeting is a must. In an attractive environment with an oriental touch, Grand hotel Union Business offers a holistic approach to care and revitalization of one’s body. From this autumn on, business guests and outside visitors can enjoy a renewed wellness centre run by a famous wellness master Andreja Medvedič and a state-of-the-art fitness with a personal trainer and guided workout. For an intimate VIP relaxation, guests can also book a renewed luxurious Penthouse swimming pool.

Smrekarjev Hram turns into an amazing bistro called Atelje Smrekarjev Hram, one of the finest restaurants in Ljubljana run by Union Hotels, has been undergoing renovation. The place itself was renovated in a more »up to date« and casual style in order to reach a wider audience of guests, without forgetting the history and tradition of the building, the restaurant and its surroundings. A modern and fresh approach to cooking and service has been applied. The food is based on fresh and local ingredients with the emphasis on simplicity of techniques, yet great taste and balance of flavours, interesting taste combinations and respect for tradition as well. A considerably wide arrange of wine, spirits, some cocktails and a fresh approach to the fine art of coffee brewing also give a special note of uniqueness to the place. Re-opened on the 13th of October, your experience rests on the warm welcome of their staff that will make you feel special and relaxed. 65

Young Talents

NEXT GENERATION Young Talents 2016 jeweller which was my dream job until the age of 14.

1. What is your favourite meetings brand? 2. What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done? 3. What’s your alternative career fantasy? 4. What are you obsessed with at the moment? 5. Your goals before 50?

My new project, which is my baby at present, is the Technopark Event which is about promoting the technology parks of Moscow as funky congress venues. And it‘s working - about a week ago two of Moscow‘s technology parks won Live Venue Awards 2016 key nominations. 4:


Communications Manager, Moscow Convention and Exhibition Bureau Career path: Back in 2004 I started out as an Assistant Lecturer at the Moscow City University and then, later, did my Doctorate in Linguistics and continued as an Associate Professor. Little did I know that my career would take a sharp turn in 2010. At some point, I was approached by a Russian expo company to write a press release on their upcoming trade show. What came out of this one press release was four years of dedicated work as Head of International Communications, thousands of meetings, hundreds of partnerships and dozens of friendships. “Once an expo man, always an expo man”, they say in Russia. I was sucked into the exhibition business and I‘ve never looked back. In 2014 another opportunity came along, this time with the Moscow City Government and so I jumped on the wagon. In my current job as the Media Officer / PR brain of the Moscow Convention Bureau, I still have my Alice in Wonderland moments, it is really exciting and it challenges perceptions a lot.  I won‘t be original if I say ICCA but I really mean it. I rely on ICCA resources a lot in my work and the people at ICCA are warm and responsive which goes a long way in this industry. 1:

Careerwise, my sudden transition from academia to the meetings industry was a daring move but it has paid off and so no regrets. Other than that, going to an underground night-market in Shanghai at 2am, all alone with a pocketful of cash, that was a pretty reckless thing to do. 2:

I can readily picture myself as a bearded archeologist at a Viking ship dig. Or, if all else fails, I can always downshift and train as a 3:


Probably to gain tons of experience in international marketing, to write several books and, at a later age, to start a university course on the subject. Old habits die hard! 5:


Destination Projects Associate, Istraturist Umag d.d. Career path: I graduated from the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management Opatija and have been involved in the hospitality business since my college days. During college, my love of sport and health led me to the path of professional fitness and so I also became a certified fitness instructor in many fitness disciplines. I soon realised that I needed to work in a dynamic and challenging environment which pushes someone to be better and so, three years ago, I got the amazing opportunity to work in the events department at Istraturist Umag for north-west Istria. At the moment I am working as a destination projects associate on a few projects which are connected with sport and tourism and I am also associated with a variety of specialised fitness programs. 

Young Talents

My first steps in hospitality started at Istraturist, a partner of Melia Hotels International, where I gained a lot of knowledge, so it is definitely my favourite brand. 1:

Sometimes you have to take a risk if you want to achieve great things. For me, the bravest thng was moving from Rijeka and leaving everything behind to go to Umag for love. Everything turned out great and now I have a great job, a hobby I like and love at home. 2:

Definitely something involving sport. In my youth I was quite enthusiastic about having my own sporting centre one day where I would manage group fitness classes. 3:

At the moment I am fully occupied with preparing for the International Cycling Marathon Istria Granfondo which will be held from 30 September to 2 October 2016. For my team, it is the most challenging project, for now, and so we try to get as much as possible done in the shortest time and, of course, in the best possible way. 4:

To fulfil my desire for personal growth, creativity and leadership; be the owner of my own studio; and to keep finding the time for the people I care about the most. 5:

hospitality industry. My first employer was the Slon Hotel and then I moved to a small botique hotel in the old city center of Ljubljana - Vander Urban Resort. While working in Ljubljana, I also worked on a few projects for the German company, Remo, as an event manager. I am now finishing my masters degree in Tourism Manegement at the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana and, at the same time, I am once again part of the great team at Union Hotels.


Sales Promotion Specialist Union Hotels d.d. Career path: While I was studing at the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana, I was also working on the reception at Union Hotels and at Toleranca Marketing as an assistant to the organizer of Conventa. At the end of my studies I was given the opportunity to move to Abu Dhabi to work at one of the best properties in the hotel industry – the Emirates Palace. The experience which I gained in UAE was enormous. When I returned to Ljubljana, I worked for Galerija Emporium as a fashion adviser for Alexander McQueen, Versace, Armani, Etro, Kenzo, Roberto Cavalli etc., however I wanted to move back in to the

remember the moment when I stopped and it still causes a bad feeling inside me. The bravest thing was letting my real dreams die. Most of my activities are all connected with my main goal. I think we need to spread our opportunities but still follow the main focus. As an ‚opportunity chaser‘, I can see myself as a real estate investor, a classic car collector or as an entrepreneur developing apps or useful products connected with tourism. 3:

 I am obsessed with my career and my plans for my career and so, at the moment, I am working on a few real estate projects which are tourism related. 4:

It has to be Union Hotels. My first step in hospitality started at Union Hotels where I built great core knowledge of the group. It is definitely the best brand in Ljubljana, not only in terms of event management, meetings, congresses, etc,. but also as an accomodation (experience) provider. 1:

The bravest thing I‘ve done in my life is also, from my perspective, the saddest. My passion, my dream and my life was football. I played for the national youth team of Slovenia and had a great oppurtunity to create my life as a football player, but I had to stop playing because of injury and some transfer issues. I still 2:


My parents always said: ˝have goals so big you get uncomfortable telling small-minded people˝. Once again, everything is focused on hospitality. If I go into detail, it is the luxury hotel industry. I will use my knowledge from my experience at the Emirates Palace and use my imagination to bring something new and undiscovered to build a unique boutique hotel experience. 5:

Off The Beaten Mice Track

OLIMJE Difficult roads lead to the most beautiful places

• OUT THERE • Right up until today the mighty Minorite monastery, with it‘s unnusual blue colour, continues to paint the image of the small town Olimje. This treasure, which vicars like to show to visitors, is a pharmacy or, more accurately, the third oldest pharmacy in Europe. The tradition of making herbal potions has been kept alive to this day and you can still come to the pharmacy, select your own tea and replenish your health and energy. Olimje is a village in the magical part of Slovenia where tourism started to develop in the middle of the 1960s. Today, Olimje and its neighbouring village, Podčetrtek, are known as thermal water epicentres with a hugely extended offer. Right on the border with Croatia, in the southeast of Slovenia, it lies in a rich wine region, but the locals prefer to boast about their thermal water rather than their excellent wine. It‘s not difficult to understand why, as the water is the reason Olimje became a tourist icon and is the role model to many other regional tourist destinations. Its inhabitants, who are also the main tourist providers, live by a simple philosophy of co-dependence and close ties.

A big advantage over regional competitors, which is why it has been attracting congress and incentive groups, is its compactness and the option of escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Historical and cultural sights, a rich culinary offer and numerous options for sports are also at your disposal, particularly when you want to go biking or walking. In Terme Olimia they don‘t „lock their guests in their rooms“, but rather encourage you to discover what the region has to offer. There is no shortage of great local inns and homesteads, and every provider lists suggestions on his webpage in order for you to visit all of them. The spectrum of the offer always follows the line of demand, and recently a new coffee shop with accommodation, called „Pod grebenom“, has been opened in Olimje.

in 2006, brought a fresh outlook to the complex and opened up the possibilities for congress tourism. Its congress hall has space for 350 guests and can also be split into smaller units. It has been the host to numerous conferences and meetings of companies from Slovenia as well as abroad. The year 2016 brought a new level of comfort to the rooms, which were renovated to suit the leisure as well as business guests. When it first opened, Hotel Sotelia was an architectural achievement and set the standard for future projects in the region. Over the past couple of years Podčetrtek and its vicinity has seen many new openings of private accomodation, all with sustainability at their forefront. A good example of that are the Orthenia suites in Podčetrtek.

• STAY •

Podčetrtek and Olimje are ideal locations for smaller congress and incentive groups. For example, take Hotel Sotelia as your starting point, where you definitely won‘t forego the opportunity to spend some time in the Orhidelia Spa, which has for many consecutive years been receiving the highest ratings among thermal centres in the region. They have been developing their selfness concept and will gladly advise you

The first hotel to open in the former Atomske Toplice was Hotel Breza, which is intended primarily for rehabilitation with the healing powers of its thermal water. The entire complex of hotels was subsequently renamed Terme Olimia and has become a renowned thermal resort with many different options of accommodation. The modern 4-star Hotel Sotelia, built 68


Off The Beaten Mice Track

TOP 3 INCENTIVE IDEAS 1. Herbal workshop in the Olimje monastery: From time immemorial vicars in the old pharmacy have been experts in making healing tea. Maybe they will show you some secret recipes that you can try at home, but in any case they will most certainly serve you their famous „vicar drops“. 2. Apple story on „Deer‘s ridge“: Get familiar with the native Kozjansko apple by walking through the orchard and competing in making the best apple strudel. 3. Authentic Ethno Experience: corn husking - A chore that used to be an important social event can be re-enacted on one of the local farms, but you will have to organise this event in the fall.

on some efficient rituals that you can include in the schedule of your participants. After the formal part of the day (conference or seminar) you and your local guide can take an electric bicycle and explore Podčetrtek. A ride through a pear tree avenue, past horses and meadows, windows filled with flowers to the picturesque monastery in Olimje and then onwards, all the way to the magical chocolate factory...everywhere you go people will happily share their stories and serve you with some authentic products. The vicars will share their knowledge on making herbal potions in the monastery, which you can also use as a special venue for an evening reception. A completely different evening story is available in the Orhidelia Spa, where they can rearrange the space for your guests. A good night will be brought to its end in the Žafran Club, which is also part of the resort.

are a pleasant surprise, but in the evening you are faced with a dilemma - stay in the Virstain wine cellar and indulge in excellent food and wine degustation, or choose one of the local restaurants in Olimje, such as Amon, Jelenov greben or Haler? It‘s difficult to choose, so the best possible option is to stay for two nights. We were very positively surprised by the family-owned Amon restaurant, where they stuck to traditional recipes but added a touch of modernity to keep the taste buds on alert. Add folk musicians and singers to the ambience, one that resembles a wine cellar, and the atmosphere for a relaxed evening is perfect. A daytime meal at Amon‘s can be followed by a round of golf, or just a lesson on the 9-hole course right by the restaurant.


The third oldest pharmacy in Europe was established at the end of the 17th century by „Patri Pavlinci“. It was here that they took care of sick brothers and wounded locals until 1782, when emperor Franz Joseph disbanded their order, and it wasn‘t until 1990 that life returned to the Olimje monastery with the arrival of the

A must taste is the Kozjansko apple, which used to be an important part of the local diet and is now highly celebrated. It even has its own date in the calendar. The varied and tasty breakfast in Hotel Sotelia and the local service between breaks and lunch



Minorites. Their herbal garden houses more than 200 kinds of healing plants and is truly a thing to admire. • GETTING THERE • „Difficult roads lead to the most beautiful places“ Olimje and Podčetrtek are 115km from Ljubljana - an hour and a half drive, with the route from Zagreb being slightly shorter. It will take you about an hour if you start from Maribor. Wow factor Incredible connection between the inhabitants and tourist providers can immediately be seen in their authentic offer and outstanding hospitality. Directory Terme Olimia Zdraviliška cesta 24 Podčetrtek, Slovenia Contact: Ms. Mojca Juhart T: : +386 3 829 78 70 E:



Sava Hotels & Resorts Briefing

Bled Strategic Forum The 11th Bled Strategic Forum, under the title “Safeguarding the Future”, was held from 5 to 6 September 2016 in the conference centre of Sava Hotels & Resorts. The Bled Strategic Forum is considered one of the most significant international events in Slovenia providing a high-level platform for discussion of pressing regional and global issues. The event held under the patronage of the President of Republic of Slovenia attracted several hundred participants, including heads of state and government, ministers, diplomats, representatives of the business sphere, scholars and the media from the entire world.

Incentive tip: Vital Plus at Camping Bled

Bled and The Lake Lounge of Grand Hotel Toplice take 3rd place on SoolNua’s 2nd annual #worldICECREAMindex SoolNua’s #worldICECREAMindex celebrates and recognises the central role that ice cream plays in defining a destination and highlighting its authenticity and originality. With 30,000 votes cast this year, the 3rd place on the ICECREAM Index City Leaderboard went to Bled. The amazing Lake Lounge of Grand Hotel Toplice run by Sava Hotels & Resorts took the 3rd place at the ICECREAM Index Store Leaderboard. Take advantage of this Indian summer to indulge in their one-of-a-kind, best cold desserts you have ever tasted; Breathtaking Alpine beauty ice cream and Original Bled cream cake ice cream.

Sava Hoteli Bled – Camp Zaka offer a multi-day glamping programme focused on ones vitality that includes workout sessions such as morning yoga, cycling on Pokljuka and jogging, during which participants get to know the sights of Bled. Invigorating breakfasts is served on the pier, the lunch has to be caught first and one of the dinners features live cooking by chef Simon. Try Glamping. Be one with nature!


Behind the Scenes


Behind the Scenes



GRAND DAME HOTEL STORY The present-day Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras consists of three interlinked historical buildingsbuilt over a period of 34 years, one next to another, on the Štrbské Pleso moraine: ‘Jánošík’ (1893), ‘Kriváň’ (1906) and ‘Hviezdoslav’ (1923). Together, they give the impression of a picturesque and quaint construction, with various roof shapes that contribute to the panorama of the surrounding High Tatras peaks. The oldest building, dating back to 1893, is ‘Jánošík’. Originally, Jozef Szentiványi had it built for his own needs and named it Jozef‘s villa. Over time, other buildings were connected to the original building, including‘Kriváň’(completed in 1906) and ‘Hviezdoslav’(completed in 1923). ‘Kriváň’ ranked among the three grand hotels of the Tatrasarea at the time of its creation.


The project was developed by the renowned architect Guido Hoepfner in cooperation with Géza Györgyiin the Belle Époque era, an era dominated by the Secession style.Accordingly, the hotel, including all of its furnishings,was also designed in this style. The hotel also included a spa. Archduke Charles Stephen and his family were one of the first guests of the Grand Hotel; he was astonished in particular at the hotel hall and restaurant. After the foundation of Czechoslovakia, the hotel was renamed ‘Kriváň’, after the Slovakian national peak. ‘Grand Hotel Hviezdoslav’ was opened in 1923 and bears the name of the greatest Slovak poet. The interior furnishings of the hotel were designed by prominent designers of the unique style known as Rondo-Cubism, the Czechoslovak national style at that time.

Behind the Scenes

NEW ERA FOR ŠTRBSKÉ PLESO Starting in 1953, the hotel complex was used as a sanatorium before gradually falling into disrepair and finally, because of its poor condition, being closed. In 2003, architect Peter Černo prepared a new study for the reconstruction and building of the former treatment house ‘Hviezdoslav’. The aim of the project was to transform the historically protected old buildings (from a central list of registered monuments in 1963) into a luxurious five-star hotel that met the expectations and requirements of the future operator - Kempinski. In modifying the exterior, his ambition was to come as close to the original historic appearance as possible. During the preparations, he sought archival materials, historical photos and other documents, all of which were used during the reconstruction. The renewal of the hotel was an extremely difficult process and took more than fouryears from start to finish. The complex is located in the Tatra National Park, under the strictest degrees of protection. It is also a Grade II listed building, which makes it a national monument. THE GRAND RESTAURANT The Grand Restaurant provides outstanding international cuisine and focuses on using only the finest products and local specialties, prepared by an experienced head chef– Tomáš Tejbus. He prepares dishes that offer rustic interpretations of typical Slovak dishes in a modern form. The dishes are prepared based on seasonal ingredients from local suppliers. Up to 116 guests can

savor the best seasonal local products and the finest wines from its celebrated cellar, which is home to the largest collection of wines in the High Tatras. The restaurant has a warm and informal atmosphere with a comfortably fur74

nished sitting room, where guests can relax in front of the glow of an open fireplace and take in the wonderful views beyond.

Behind the Scenes

MEETING ROOMS Hotel offers two distinctive function rooms – the Gerlach and Kriváň – each fully air conditioned and perfect for private meetings, elegant cocktail receptions or festive dinners. The Kriváň can accommodate up to 80 people, depending on the seating arrangement. The Gerlach is 126 square meters in size and features a marble fireplace. The Gerlach can accommodate up to 150 guests, depending on how the room is set up.

Various functions such as receptions, private concerts, parties, conferences and weddings are held at the hotel throughout the year. The experienced events team is fully able to cater to every guest’s requirements, as they proved during the V4 Presidential meeting which was held in the hotel in May 2012.

ONE OF THE BEST THREE RESTAURANTS IN SLOVAKIA Thanks to excellent team and professional approach Grand Restaurant became one of the top ten Slovak restaurants by Trend Top 2016. So Gurman Award is the second prize which was given this year. This only proves that every fan of culinary art will be given the best gourmet experience possible. The annual competition Gurman Award offers overview of the best Slovak restaurants. The luxurious restaurant in the heart of the High Tatras won this valuable third place mainly thanks to its delicious cuisine. This Gurman Award prize is a great counterpart of the title of the best Slovak hotel that Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras won for the second time. The hotel proven its qualities among almost 220 other hotels and outgrown expectations of judges. TOMAŠ TEJBUS, THE HEAD CHEF Tomáš Tejbus is a local patriot born in Batizovce that is situated only few kilometers from the hotel. He studied at the secondary vocational school “SOŠ Horný Smokovec” in the High Tatras and started his career as a cook in Hubert Gerlachov Slovakia Hotel. Subsequently, he also gained experience in other hotels like Hotel Holiday Inn Žilina and Hotel Hills Stará Lesná until he


Behind the Scenes

finally joined the team of chefs in Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras. He started on the post of Demi Chef de Partie and gradually gained experience upon creating seasos menus and team management. He was appointed the Head Chef of Grand Restaurant on 1 December 2013. Tomáš Tejbus is the only Slovak Head Chef in the Kempinski Network. He has been working in the hotel since it’s opening. Tomáš puts an em-

phasis on simplicity of meals but he exclusively uses local raw materials that are supplied by local farmers. He likes to play and experiment with textures. He works with raw materials very carefully not combining a great number of flavors but building on simplicity and highlighting individual meal components.


LOUNGES AND BARS The Lobby Lounge & Bar, which includes a separate Smoker’s Lounge, is an oasis of tranquility and serenity with spectacular lake views. It is the perfect place to unwind with a cocktail in the comfort of the lavish lounge while sitting by the heart of the open fireplace. It is an ideal place for a light snack, afternoon tea or coffee and offers a large selection of cakes,

Behind the Scenes

pastries and chocolates as well. In the evenings, guests can enjoy special cocktails or make a selection from large collection of cognacs and whiskies. The Player’s Lounge is perfect for guests looking to engross themselves in a novel or chess game whilst enjoying a glass of their favorite wine, whisky or cognac.

THE WINE CELLAR The wine cellar is home to more than 300 kinds of wine of excellent quality. The pride of the cellars is perhaps the largest collection of famous vintages from the Château Petrus Pomerol area, where prices stand as high as EUR 8,100 per bottle. Not forgetting the icons of Bordeaux, the cellars also offer Château Mouton Rothschild, Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour, Château Margaux as well as wines from Italy, Sassicaia and Ornellaia. For foie gras lovers, the well-known Chateau d’Yquem is also available. The wine list contains wines from around the world and includes famous names such as Seresin, FX Pichler and many others. ZION SPA LUXURY The spa is a place where guests lose all sense of time, everything around them stops for a while and they can indulge in heavenly peace in absolute privacy. The spa covers more than 1,300 square metres of space and is full of wellness facilities including an impressive lap pool, showers, a whirlpool, a caldarium, saunas, a VIP Spa Suite, herb-infused steam rooms, a Kneipp journey and cold plunge pools. The interiors are luxurious and stylish but still allow guests to feel comfortable and relaxed. Guests can relish a unique selection of herbal teas, spa delicacies and energy drinks in the lounge area 77

while looking out over the High Tatras mountain range and the lake. INTRODUCING KATHRIN NOLL, GENERAL MANAGER A German native, Kathrin Noll has been at the Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras since February 2010. She started as Operations Manager and was promoted to the position of hotel manager in April 2012, before she became General Manager in March 2013. Kathrin brings extensive experience from working in various hotels in Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, Tanzania and the United Arab Emirates. Her career with Kempinski began in 1999, when she started to work at Kempinski Hotel Airport Munich. From there, Kathrin went on to open Kilimanjaro Hotel Kempinski in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania before leaving to gain experience in the Middle East at Kempinski Hotel Ajman. Her background is in Food and Beverage.

Behind the Scenes

FACT SHEET GRAND HOTEL KEMPINSKI HIGH TATRAS Kúpeľna 6, 059 85 Štrba-Štrbské Pleso, Slovak Republic T: + 421 52 3262 222, + 421 52 3262 555, F: + 421 52 3262 333, E:,

OPENING DATE: 1st May 2009, OWNER: Best Hotel Properties a.s. OPERATOR: Kempinski

ACCOMODATION 98 rooms including 20 suites - Rooms: Deluxe Room - Valley View: 38, sized 35 m² Deluxe Room - Lake View: 42, sized 35 m² Handicapped Rooms: 2, sized 35 m² Junior Suite: 12, sized 52 m² Deluxe Suites: 4, sized 68 m² Honeymoon Suite: 1, sized 82 m² Presidential Suite: 1, sized 186 m²

RESTAURANT, BAR & LOUNGE - The Grand Restaurant - all day dining restaurant - Loby Lounge - lounge for light snacks and afternoon tea or coffee - Spa bar - with healthy snacks and freshly squeezed juices - Players Lounge

Room features and amenities: - 100% cotton oversized bath towels - Cable television - Digital clock - Coffee and tea making facilities upon request - Complimentary local daily newspapers upon request - DVD player upon request - Hair dryer - Hypo-allergenic pillows upon request - Pillow menu upon request - In-room safe - Iron and ironing board upon request - Multi-line telephone(s) with voicemail - Overnight laundry and dry-cleaning services - Refrigerated private bar - Twice-daily housekeeping service - Wired and Wi-Fi broadband Internet

TRANSPORTATION Poprad-Tatry Airport: 28 km (by car - 30 minutes) Krakow Airport: 165 km (by car - 90 minutes) Košice Airport: 145 km (by car - 90 minutes)

RECREATIONAL FACILITIES Fitness Club - The centre uses scientifically proven Technogym equipment which works each muscle to its maximum potential. Zion Spa Luxury - The philosophy of ZION SPA LUXURY focuses on three elements - water, fire and earth. POINTS OF INTEREST Nearby attractions: All visitors have the opportunity to participate in a hiking trip of any difficulty all year round. - Spišský Castle, the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the largest medieval castle in Central Europe and surrounded by three more UNESCO sites: Spišská Kapitula, municipal cultural reservation; Žehra church; and Levoča old town. - Café Dedo, on the top of Lomnický peak (2,634 m above sea level). Visitors can enjoy delicious coffee at the café, which is situated on the top of the second highest peak in Slovakia and offers unparalleled panoramic views. - Belianska Cave, natural beauty and the only underground cave in the High Tatras that is open to the public. - Dog sledging, Explore breathtaking dog sledging in a magical winter wonderland with either a 2-hour or 1/2 day dog sledging trip.

VISITOR INFORMATION Language: Slovak Currency: EUR (Euro) Electricity: The hotel operates on 220volt power Visas: Slovakia is a member state of the European Union. Visitors from other countries should consult their local consulate for visa requirements.


LOCATION The hotel is located in the immediate proximity of the most beautiful Slovak alpine lake – Štrbské Pleso [Štrba Tarn], which is situated at an elevation of 1,351 metres (4,432 feet) above sea leve

Behind the Scenes


App Scene

SLIDO - THE AWARDWINNING Q&A AND LIVE POLLING PLATFORM Transform the way in which participants interact at your events Name: Slido Location: Bratislava, Slovakia Contact: Website: Slido is an award-winning audience interaction platform for meetings and events. It allows event organizers to crowd-source the best questions for Q&A sessions, get instant feedback via live polls and share presentations with their audi- ence in real-time. Most conventional events consist of one-way presentations that leave attendees uninvolved and out of the conversation. This ineffective communication often results in the mismatch between what the presenter is saying and what the audience needs. As a result, attendees don‘t get the chance to maximize their learning po- tential at events. Slido gives the audience a voice, allows for ques- tions to be asked and opinions to be expressed via live polls. With live slide-sharing, attendees can bookmark the best slides and easily return to them after the event.

EVENT MACHINE MEETING First turnkey configurator for automated meeting sales Name: Eventmachine Location: Hamburg, Germany Contact: Website: EVENTMACHINE MEETING is the first turnkey solution for automated meeting configuration and quoting. Seamlessly embedded in the supplier’s own website, EVENTMACHINE MEETING is the smartest configurator for conference hotels, venues and all providers of meetings. EVENTMACHINE MEETING is the key to increased efficiency and qualified leads. Using an intuitive web interface, the users or the sales teams configure individual meetings in a few simple steps. Instant quotes are sent automati- cally - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A free demo is available on the website.

To this day, Slido has worked with over 20,000 events and meetings in almost 100 countries, collaborating with a number of high-profile events including: SXSWedu (US), WOBI (USA, Mexico), Adobe Summit (UK), Remix Summit (Australia), Festival of Marketing (UK), the pres- idential debate in the Philippines, IBTM (Spain) or IMEX (Germany). For their efforts, Slido was awarded the Conference Supplier of the Year at the 2016 Conference Awards in London, adding to the company’s earlier success of being voted the Events Industry Supplier Of The Year at the PPA Connect 2015 Awards.


App Scene


THE ULTIMATE APP FOR YOUR EVENTS Engaging, feature rich & cost efficient

Creating an event has never been so EASY.

Name: Superevent Location: Vienna, Austria Contact: Website:

Name: MeetPoint Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia Contact: Website:

Planning and hosting events has never been easier than with Superevent. The Superevent app can be used to support any event, from cor- porate meetings to conferences, and trade shows such as Conventa in Ljublijana, Slovenia, which will take place on 18 - 19 January 2017. The app offers a range of customisable features which allow your app to be tailored in a way that is suitable and effective for your event. Are you organising an engaging event that requires audience participation? Superevent can add Q&A, a survey and polling features to help make management easier. Do you need a way to communicate with both attendees and speak- ers? Superevent can integrate social media to provide a succinct method of communication both during and after the event. The Superevent app also has many other benefits which make it easier to ensure that event information is current, improves networking and displays at- tendee lists, to name a few. Managing the app is simple and doesn’t require any technical expertise – it is as easy as editing a word document. Changes to the app are instant- ly visible to attendees without the need for app store approval. There are Superevent apps available for every event and every budget. You can start using the Superevent app straight away and can add your personal event for free. If you like what you see and want the app customised with all the avail- able features, you can add your first 100-1000 attendees for only 750. You can then purchase your own event branded app for 2,000 or a multi-branded app for just 4,000 per year. Superevent is the event app you need to help you schedule, coordinate and achieve your perfect event. Organising a successful event with Superevent is easy and efficient. The compre- hensive set of features that the Superevent app offers, as well as the interactivity and network- ing possibilities it provides, will help catapult your event to the next level!

It is a complete solution for organizing events, conferences, forums, external or internal educa- tion within the company. The solution provides entire cycle of event for organizer from idea to execution. The MeetPoint solution will boost your event to a much higher level. Full coverage from Start to Finish, with building websites, creating different type of events, cre- ating data base, manage registration, promote event via mobile and maximize event expirience by using user friendly interface. Key features: E-mail communication, Event Networking, Event websites, Event mobile apps, Event analiytics, Mobile check-in regis- traion,Manage contacts. Project references: Mercedes Benz Fashion week Ljubljana, Bled strategic forum, Telemetrics conference Sofia / Dubai / Budampest, Ceed global conference Sofia, Si.mobil – TopTalk Boris Becker.


Kongres Magazine

Think out of the box. Surprise your clients. Exceed your goals. THINK BLUE. hotel cubo OGLAS 1/14/16 2:22 PM Page 1 C







We mean business, Expect the Best.




“LE POTICA” – JANJA ŠTRUMBELJ A traditional Slovenian potica has, with some imagination, presented itself in a unique format - miniature, handmade cakes for any occasion. You can choose between “lePotičkami” with walnut, chocolate or plum filling. Simply place them in the oven and serve freshly baked.

GORKI CHILI – IGOR TAVČAR AND ROK IGLAR Meet the family of fresh chilli sauces with different levels of pungency. Each has its own combination of hot peppers, produced in Slovenia, and tasty fruit-vegetable additives that impress both beginners and true connoisseurs. The “All Stars” can boast of second place in the World Hot Sauce Awards, while “Choco” was ranked third.

BEER KNAP – RENEE VOZELJ Knap Brewery was born from an enthusiasm for home brewing. Renee today represents one of the last generations that knew and were in contact with real Zasavje miners. With their own versions of light aromatic pale ale and dark Stout, the Knap Brewery pays tribute to them.


Off The Beaten Mice Track


• OUT THERE • Did you know that Maribor is one of the few cities in the world that has a vineyard right in its centre? Piramida is one of Maribor‘s symbols and has been in close touch with wine-making from time immemorial. Therefore, it is no coincidence that Maribor is home to the oldest vine in the world. Just a short trek from Piramida unfold the Počehova wine hills which are among the best wine-growing areas in the Podravje wine region. The wine journey of the Ramšak family started in 1998, on denationalised land where the first 8,000 vines of Sylvaner, Pinot Gris, Chardonney and Muscat were planted. These vines produced 10,000 litres of premium wine in a nicely restored cellar - Chateau Ramšak. The desire to produce high quality wine is the cohesive thread of their wine selection, which includes white varietal medium dry and dry wine, for which they have been granted numerous awards. Their wine-growing infrastructure, which is the heart of the property, will also be the basis of a new tourism offer - the first wine glamping resort in Slovenia. An exceptional case of partnership between the viticulture of the Ramšak family

and experienced entrepreneur, hostel owner and caterer, Andrej Zemljič, who has for many years been developing unconventional tourism products. • STAY • Glamorous camping is becoming more and more popular around the world due to the connection between nature and hotel comfort provided by



the luxurious tents. The luxury tents also fit in incredibly well with nature and don‘t spoil or overload the area with infrastructure. The tents were built by Adria Dom and are furnished like luxury hotel rooms with bathrooms, spacious terraces and a garden jacuzzi. A childhood dream comes to life when you look up and see a treehouse, four metres up, offering incredible views of the surrounding vineyards. Combine the vineyard views with breakfast in bed surrounded by tree branches, and you have an experience that you will never forget. The seven tents in the resort can accomodate up to 20 people who will definetely be stunned by the comfort mingled with the magic of sleeping under the stars and breathing fresh air. • MEET IN STYLE • The Glamping Chateau is the ideal venue for incentive groups that are looking for a combination of education and relaxed team building activities. If the weather allows, the glamping resort is perfect for moderated workshops by the fireplace, accompanied by the sounds of the stream. Unforgetable and picturesque is also the team experience in the middle of the vineyard

Off The Beaten Mice Track

TOP 3 INCENTIVE IDEAS 1. Wine degustation: A tour of the old cellar and the biggest wine press with a guided, blind degustation of the champion dry and medium dry wine. 2. Teamwork in the vineyard: Wine growing is all about teamwork and after a quick presentation of the beautiful vineyards, you will get to work. Seasonal labor in the vineyard, combined with fun challenges which are never the same. 3. Piramida challenge: An orientational challenge, which will bring back childhood memories, in the middle of wine hills. The final checkpoint is at the nearby Piramida.

or in a meadow under the fruit trees. In case of bad weather, a degustation room which can take up 30 people is also available. The room can be equipped with multimedia and is suitable for corporate meetings, picnics or other types of meetings, which can be enhanced with team building programs. Without a doubt, the picturesque location will also attract wedding planners. • OFF THE EATEN TRACK • A dinner in the restored wine cellar or in the chateau garden is a special culinary experience, rounded off by exquisite Ramšak wine. We recommend a guided degustation, led by the typical Styrian hospitality of Tomaž Ramšak who will take you into the world of excellent dry and medium dry wine, which goes perfectly with the dishes being served. The award winning Chardonney is a great match for the chicken skewers, innovatively served on a piece of wine barrel from the cellar, together with authentic polenta and porcino porridge. The chateau kitchen promises authentic flavours, seasonal ingredients and respect for the Styrian culinary

tradition. The originality of the dishes will be noticed at breakfast, from the water with fruit to the wide array of local cheese, butter and milk from the neighbor‘s farm. With so many culinary treats, breakfast in front of the cellar or under the canopy of a cherry tree can easily stretch till noon. The kind hosts can also bring it to your glamping tent or treehouse. • LOCALISM • The biggest wine press in Slovenia surprises with the powerfulness of the center counterweight made up of a single piece of oak. It can only be moved by a massive spindle and is marked with the date of 1856. It used to sit outside the building however, it was later enclosed by a wall and is now part of the chateau. A wine press used be a status symbol of the wine-grower and is still the visual representation of why the Ramšak wine-growing business stands so firm today. The press is connected to the wine cellar which is being modernized step by step. The space around the press acts as an extraordinarily special venue for degustations and will be upgraded with a wine and local product shop in the near future. 85

• GET THERE • Glamping Chateau Ramšak is a stone‘s throw from Maribor, surrounded by the vineyards of Počehova. • WOW FACTOR • The only glamping in Slovenia which is set amongst noble vineyards, it is encircled by the story of the Ramšak family. Directory CHATEAU RAMŠAK, vineyard glamping resort Počehova 35, 2000 Maribor +386 40 628 303

Insider’s Guide



Insider’s Guide

STARTING POINT Velden is a charming market town situated on the shore of Lake Worthersee. The visually stunning setting, known as one of the country’s most popular holiday resorts, is reason enough to stop by, although the best way to truly experience it is to take a plunge in the lake. The clear water and perfect location south of the Alps, which means one of the highest annual numbers of sunny days in Austria, makes it an ideal place for visitors to enjoy and soak up the positive atmosphere.

The Wörthersee is Carinthia’s biggest lake and one of Austria’s top tourist attractions, mostly in the summer, although it is becoming an interesting attraction beyond the main season for people who are seeking high quality hospitality standards. Back in the 19th century Austria’s aristocracy chose the Wörthersee as their summer retreat, so the location itself has always been associated with glamour. A rich diversity of top quality service and 5-star hospitality sets the whole destination amongst the best in the region. And it is also a destination for events and meeting planners who are in the constant pursuit of a destination with a ‘wow’ factor.

TOP 5 PLACES WHERE PEOPLE MEET The best places to meet, stay and incentivise in Velden. WERZER’S HOTEL RESORT PÖRTSCHACH This upscale 4* hotel positioned directly on the lake offers fully equipped bright rooms with balconies. Rooms offer free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and minibars, plus balconies and heated floors The hotel has 3 restaurants, including a restaurant set directly on the lake. Other amenities include a gym, outdoor and indoor pools, as well as massage services and meeting facilities. The hotel offers 7 fully equipped seminar rooms for up to 140 people, all offering a terrace and natural daylight. The lake view restaurant can host events for up to 500 people. FALKENSTEINER SCHLOSSHOTEL VELDEN This former royal summer palace hotel has been transformed into a legendary 5* luxurious hotel. Perfectly equipped rooms complemented by a panoramic terrace with spectacular views over the lake, or the verdant park, will satisfy the most demanding of guests. They offer three conference rooms, 1 boardroom and a chairman’s room, as well as a ballroom that can be used for celebrations or bigger events, all equipped with state of the art conference equipment. For that extra luxurious feel, they also offer a private marina.

PARKHOTEL PÖRTSCHACH This fresh, 4* hotel with over 20 years of hospitality experience can be the perfect partner when organising an event. Set on the shore of lake Worthersee, they offer plenty of indoor and outdoor space, perfect for larger groups. Suitable for meetings of anything from 2 to 1,000 persons, yet you will not get any kind of feeling of being overcrowded in this magnificent property. They offer four meeting rooms, a lounge bar, an a la carte restaurant with lakeside terrace and a private beach for barbecues, boat races or other incentives.

SEEHOTEL EUROPA This romantic and luxurious 4* hotel offers a perfect setting for a smaller and more unique conferences. It is a place where you may wish to spoil guests with other incentive possibilities and gourmand meals. Meeting facilities can easily be transformed to outdoor spaces or even arranged on the lake. A bright conference room, appropriate for more than 100 participants, can be divided into two spaces, making it perfect for workshops.

CASINO VELDEN Casino Velden stands for one of the prime city locations in Velden for meetings and events. With a conference room and entertainment area within the same space, it offers oodles of possibilities for business and networking. Some of the high-profile congresses choose this location specifically because of its position, history, gourmand cuisine and the variety of options they can offer. 88

Insider’s Guide


ESSENTIAL INCENTIVE EXPERIENCES PYRAMIDENKOGEL Pyramidenkogel is a 100-metre high wooden viewing tower, the highest such wooden tower in the world, making it a unique tourist attraction. The location offers quite a few options to organise an interesting incentive or teambuilding event, from an adventure slide to coffee drinking in a panoramic restaurant. The ascent to the top is itself a unique experience and is absolutely worth it once you get the beautiful views of the WĂśrthersee and its surroundings.


BIKE TOURS AROUND THE LAKE A perfect 40km long bike tour is a pleasant way to view the surroundings and the location itself. Loads of biking trails are organised along the river and you can check many sights along the way. You will come across some amazing historical sites, landmarks and smaller villages. In the summer you have the chance to cool down with a plunge in the lake as well.

Insider’s Guide


WHEN IN VELDEN MUST TASTE – GASTRONOMY A perfect mixture of Mediterranean taste with a big influence of Italian flair. Most restaurants offer local and fresh products, combining simple food with haute cuisine. They adopted the Italian style of cafes and bakeries, with their pastries and exceptionally well prepared coffees. You can visit a typical Austrian ‘Gasthaus’ or an upscale restaurant and their dedication to quality preparation and fresh food will be evident everywhere.

The castle offers many sights and interesting aspects, from the wildlife park situated around it and the museum collection of life-size wax figures to its large hedge maze... Besides its regular shows they also host contemporary art exhibits, summer events, concerts and theatre programmes.


CARRY ME HOME – GADGETS You will find smaller boutiques and shops around the area that are stocked with produce local providers.

Who is Who

PETRA NESTELBACHER, SALES MANAGER MICE & MORE Who is Who in REGION VELDEN, LOCAL DMC Q: What are you most proud of in business / privately? Proud of the way I went so far both privately and in business and where and who I am today  

Q: Which part of the day and the week is your favourite? I am not an early bird and so I prefer the evening …

Q: Life wisdom / motto? „Auch aus Steinen die einem in den Weg gelegt werden kann man etwas Schönes bauen.“ (Something beautiful can also be built out of stones that are put in your way)

Q: What is your favourite mode of transport? Well, depending on where and how fast I have to go … at home, by car – abroad, by local transportation

Q: Where are you going to spend this year’s holiday? In the autumn, most probably, we will go on a short trip to Italy or Croatia with our “gypsy caravan” J. The rest of the year there is no need for going abroad since I am privileged to live in one of the most beautiful and safe destinations –Lake Woerth! Q: What was your favourite vacation? A seven month backpacking trip through India, Africa & Asia


“Always honor the small things in life“

Q: Where would you go if there were no time or financial constraints? I’d love to travel with our “gypsy caravan” from home (Austria) down to Cape Town (Africa) Q: What is your favourite indoor / outdoor activity? Photography Q: What is your favourite dish and restaurant (anywhere in the world)? Drinking a fresh passion-fruit juice in Mercury’s Restaurant on the waterfront in Zanzibar and listening to Buddha Bar music Q: What is your favourite gadget? My Nikon camera J Q: Which song do you most often play on your iPod? Seems that I am quite old-fashioned – I do not have an iPod J. My favourite song varies depending on my mood, time of the year etc. – however, one song that has been accompanying me for quite some time already is a special Indian chant


Q: If you could return to the past or hurry to the future, how old would you like to be? Why? I think nowadays we live too much in the past and the future. We should enjoy the present much more – so I’d not want to return to the past or hurry to the future, but have more time in the present! Q: If you could witness any event in history, which one would you choose? I’d love to see myself as a little child (the time you have no real memories of yourself) Q: What was the best party you attended? Crew Parties on board the cruise ships I was working on Q: The last film, book, concert? The Book “Shantaram” from Gregory Roberts is a must-read for all who have travelled to India and fallen in love … Q: What fantasy character would you be? What a question … I am not really keen on fantasy … Q: What did you learn last week? Always honor the small things in life – it can be “just” an honest smile from someone …

Behind the Scenes


Behind the Scenes

CASINO VELDEN The Monte Carlo of the Alps

Photo credits CASINO VELDEN

AUSTRIAN MONTE CARLO Carinthia’s largest lake, Wörthersee, stretches for about twenty kilometres between Klagenfurt and on its western edge the elegant Velden. In the mid-nineteenth century this lake and its shoreline became an exclusive summer meeting place for Viennese aristocracy, and with its pleasant climate, cleanliness and warm water it today still attracts crowds of tourists mainly from northern European countries. More than anything else the Casino Velden, in business since 1950, has brought the lake its reputation of being the ‘Austrian Monte Carlo’, very quickly consolidating the image of Velden as one of the most prestigious Austrian tourist destinations.


AUSTRIA’S SUCCESSFUL GAMING INDUSTRY The Austrian gaming industry is highly developed and has a long tradition, with just one company having the concession for organising casino gaming, namely “Casino Austria”. It is owned by public companies, mainly banks, and is also a major shareholder in the Austrian lottery. Besides the casinos in Austria, the company owns also many casinos from Australia, Africa and Canada through to Eastern Europe via sister company “Casino Austria International”. It is therefore interesting that the main goal of the Austrian gaming industry is the promotion of tourism; casinos are located in all of the major tourist spots with the aim of adding variety to the tourism offer. Casino Austria annually attracts more than 3 million visitors and the magic number of 90 million was hit on 21 September of this year.

Behind the Scenes

CASINO VELDEN SINCE 1950 The fifth casino of the Austrian Casino chain opened in Velden in 1950 and as a result of an increase in guest numbers they subsequently opened the open-air gaming salon in 1974. In 1987 they began the construction of a new building for the casino, which also includes a large conference hall, Casineum, which was opened in 1989. The work hadn’t yet finished with this, however, because the complex was further added to in 1991 with the Casino-Hotel Mösslacher, followed in 2004 by the opening of a renewed casino. The casino is constantly adapting to the changing needs of guests and is therefore constantly being updated. The most recent renovation was in May 2014, with a newly redesigned exterior. MORE THAN JUST CASINO VELDEN One of Casino Austria’s commitments of to organise and sponsor cultural events, so you will find all types of events taking place in the Casino, making it the focal event centre on Lake Wörthersee. The International Festival of Humour, The World’s Best Photographs and 94

Behind the Scenes

Carinthian Bridal Days are some of the events taking place at the Casino these days, making it truly a centre of cultural and social life in this part of Carinthia. Furthermore, the Austrian Casinos are a true events generator, as they annually organise more than 2,300 events and thereby properly enrich the tourist offer. CASINEUM CONGRESS CENTRE The congress center in the Casino is the main congress facility of this destination. It hosts events and major congresses, with guests able

to book accommodation in one of the nearby hotels. It consists of two congress halls Casineum and Casineum – both set on the lake. Casineum is truly a special star room layout hall with excellent acoustics and multimedia equipment, which can accommodate up to 300 participants. The new, bigger Casineum hall on the lake, with 480 m2 and able to accommodate 550 participants, hall boasts natural daylight and outstanding views of the WÜrthersee, especially from the terrace that is perfect for creative coffee breaks.


Both of the halls are superbly equipped with all of the necessary AV and lighting systems installed, which sets them apart from the more basic convention halls that can be found in the region. Both halls are also supported by a spacious foyer, which with more than 400 m2 ideally lends itself to organising an accompanying exhibition.

Kongres Magazine

DIE YACHT – SUPERB CUISINE The recently renovated hotel restaurant is decorated in an original ship style and with with views of the Wörthersee. Its offer is based on regional cuisine with fresh ingredients and strong Mediterranean influences. The restaurant food is also available as catering for conference guests, and with award-winning chef Marcel J. Vanic at the helm it is a guarantee for culinary delights ranging from coffee breaks to the most demanding banquets. CASINO HOTEL VELDEN In the immediate vicinity of Casino Velden there are four hotels, among them the Casino Hotel that is renowned for its many famous guests, having hosted Roy Black, Larry Hagman, Telly Savalas, Harald Juhnke, Dagmar Koller, Uschi Glas, Falco, Christian Kohlund, Franz Klammer…the list goes on! The hotel is located in the centre of Velden, opposite the main entrance to the Casino. Guests have at their disposal modern rooms, a private beach and the popular Schinakl American bar and gourmet restaurant “Caramé.

PERFECT MIX OF GAMING, HIGH-END CUISINE AND ENTERTAINMENT FOR MEETINGS A very niche congress product has developed within the casino industry, which is based on the 24-hour offer of gaming and other entertainment events. You can organise an event in James Bond-style at Wörthersee and they can also bring the casino to your event at other locations with an offer that includes a variety of gaming options including roulette, blackjack, poker or the wheel of fortune. At Casino Velden you are guaranteed a superior service and the orderliness of one of the best Austrian casinos sitting at the junction of Austria, Slovenia and Italy.

Contact: Am Corso 17, 9220 Velden, Austria T: +43 4274 2064 E:


Kongres Magazine

Talk to Us Andreas Griessler Kärnten Convention & Mitgesellschafter GesbR



Quick Talk


Quick Talk

WHERE BUSINESS AND LEISURE MATCH PERFECTLY Roland Heitzeneder, managing director of Parkhotel Portschach

Of course since the opening a lot of things have changed, been refurbished, added or adopted, but the building remains pretty much the same. The idea then was to use as little space as possible and to keep the space open, with nice grounds and views around the place. The best thing is definitely having almost all the rooms opening to the lake view. We are fortunate enough to be sitting right here in the middle of the Peninsula, which is unique to this lake, so that you really can look straight out and the water is right on the doorstep. I work for almost 10 years in the Caribbean and on coming back I was searching for a spot that comes as close to what I felt here and to what you could find in Europe. And this is definitely the place. Q: You mentioned working 10 years in the Carribean - could you tell us more about your story? How did you start working in the hospitality business? ‘As we have staff members who have been working here for 20-30 years and we have a lot of experience in what works and what can be done, that really helps. We do not have to experiment too much, like new hotels do. We have already had so many different functions that we know what we can offer and what works best. We have the knowledge and if the customer asks for something we know won't work or can be difficult we can recommend alternatives or adjustments.' 'The vibe is completely diferent than being in the city, where you are inside and you cannot open the window or you cannot go outside. Here you are at work, but you still have the feeling you are somewhere far from it all.' Q: First of all, tell us a little bit more about Parkhotel PĂśrtschach? The hotel as it is now opened in 1963, but before that it used to be a hotel complex that consisted of smaller buildings, with the main building was on the same spot as the hotel now, but it was torn down after World War II and in the late 50s construction of this hotel started. It has been family owned from almost the beginning and it now belongs to the second generation. The father of the owner bought it in the late 60s.

Well, actually it was a pretty late start, I was never too sure as a teenager what I really wanted to do, what would be suitable for me. At the beginning it was more of a technical career, but then I started travelling on my own. For me it was important to have a job where flexibility is key. I wanted to travel and being able to work from anywhere in the world, being able to move around, one year there and then somewhere else... After I finished high school, I started working in tourism, starting with a lot of training and education in the tourism field and I was lucky enough, after two to three years, to get the chance to work in a company in Jamaica for a management trainee programme. It should have been for 6 months, but I ended up staying for almost 10 years. In 2002 I came back to Austria mainly because of my son, who was born in Jamaica but I wanted for him to have at least a part of the European education so he can experience a part of both worlds. After we came back, I spent seven years in Vienna, one year in Bratislava and then coming after those eight years in cities I came back to my roots, to a holiday destination, and now since 2010 I'm here at the Park Hotel in Carinthia.


Q: What makes your hotel different from other competitors? The main difference is that our core business is holiday vacationers, but even for companies when they come to a destination like this it feels like they are on vacation. So the vibe is completely diferent than being in the city, where you are inside and you cannot open the window or you cannot go outside. Here you are at work, but you still have the feeling you are somewhere far from it all. At the moment we have two Austrian companies running a congress. Even if they are only local companies, driving to us for a half an hour feels like you are many miles away. Your mind is free and you are in such a wonderful place. Having the option of really relaxing after meetings has benefits on so many levels. And of course our service over the years has really improved. Guests coming here really expect a lot. As I have been working in Vienna, I know that this is completely different from regular seminar locations in the city - the friendliness of the staff really makes a difference and we are used to dealing with guests and the staff enjoy getting to know them and serving them. The soft touch is our main advantage. The hardware is the building and the grounds, but the soft touch is the most important thing to really feel welcome and to enjoy the stay here, so that guests are not just a 'number' who come to our place. I believe that makes a great difference. Q: And even that you are so big, you are still really flexible... As we have staff members who have been working here for 20-30 years and we have a lot of experience in what works and what can be done, that really helps. We do not have to experiment too much, like new hotels do. We have already had so many different functions that we know what we can offer and what works best. We have the knowledge and if the customer asks for something we know won't work or can be difficult we can recommend alternatives or adjustments. Q: Who is your typical hotel guest? 80% of the business is leisure guests, but since 2010 the proportion of MICE guests has been growing rapidly.

Quick Talk

Q: Where are you positioning your marketing efforts this year and next? The main focus is still in Carinthia, but we are just opening up to other markets and to MICE business. Ten years ago it was about 99% leisure, but since 2010 we are prolonging the season and the hotel stays open until the middle of January to focus more on the MICE business. There are still many companies that are not aware that we are appropriate for congresses and we still have lots of potential, even with local companies. We are looking forward to companies, such as those here today, looking for simple meetings for up to 40 people that we can handle all year round. Today they haven't even used the rooms - they all went outside, in the shade under the trees! The other aspect is the largest MICE function of our hotel in the off-season. We already held a few really big congresses, where the hotel was exclusively booked, where we could easily accomodate almost 200 guests with everyone in their own room. The dining room is big enough and they could easily host a party or exibitions in our lobby, as we really have a lot of space. This works really well. At the moment, we have already planned two larger congreses, one in October and one at the beginning of November. They will have the hotel completely for themselves and since it is low season we can be very competitive with price. And the weather is still nice and the atmosphere is still positive. Q: What is co-operation at the destination like? How is it for major candidacies when the whole destination has to work together? Are you satisfied with the promotion? It is getting better; more and more hotels are focusing on the MICE business, so cooperation is getting more and more important. We have a convention centre, not a really big one, but still, right here in Pรถrtschach. And of course a convention centre can host more people that any single hotel. We are certainly not close to where we should be, but we are on the right track. Q: What are the biggest opportunities that you see for Carinthia's meeting industry? I believe that the same practices apply as for leisure. Maybe we are not the cheapest, but you know the quality and value the quality you get. We are very centrally located, within reach and very accesible, except by air. Bigger companies would rather use Ljubljana airport to get to us, as Klagenfurt has hardly any good international connections. Klagenfurt airport has two daily flights to Vienna, regular flights to Cologne and Dusseldorf and twice a week to Berlin and Hamburg. We see the difference between leisure and business guests flying to our destination. For leisure guests we feel it can be a hassle - flying to

Ljubljana airport can still be a problem, as they need to arrive in another country and then cross the border again. For business people used to flying all over the place, however, this is a normal process. And if you think of it, for any bigger city coming in from the airport to the centre takes more than an hour, whereas a drive from Ljubljana to us takes even less than that, so that really does not present a problem. The road from Ljubljana airport to here is really nice, so a shuttle ride is a common option. Q: Where do you see your hotel in five years time? Our goal is certainly that we achieve more business in the MICE segment in our so called 'new season' of autumn and spring. We have this year pretty much started to attract smaller groups, also in peak season, and as you can now see we are still having congresses in July. There are not dependent on the weather, as they come whether it is rain or shine. They spend money at the bar, they use the facilities and we definitely would love to cater more for them. In summer the groups of up to 60-70 person are still aceptable, but anything bigger can sometimes be a problem. They can do everything here: use the restaurant, barbeque and use the other areas around the hotel. We can cater for smaller and larger groups of people with no problem at all. Q: Personally what do you love most about Carinthia? It is nice to work here, but certainly also to live here. I have seen quite a bit already, as I've been here for six years now and after leaving my parents' house this is the longest I've stayed somewhere. Usually four years was the longest 100

was that kept me in one place, but it is really nice to live in such a beautiful area. Even in the summer, when we work a lot, if you have an hour in the evening you drive somewhere to the lake, you sit there and have a drink and you feel like you are on permanent vacation. And I really like where we are located - you need just an hour or two to go to the sea, to visit Graz, Trieste or the coast of Slovenia. Even if you have just a day. That is really a big plus. The quality of life is incredible. Within about 150km you can get so many different things, experience different cultures and enjoy different foods. We really are the lucky ones. After the end of October the atmosphere calms down and it becomes quiet and peaceful, although in the last couple of years the Christmas season has started picking up around the lake and has become one of the really interesting seasons for a visit. Over the Christmas weekend we had around 250 guests, so we believe it will grow even further. Then from mid January to April it is really quiet, so we close down during that time. We take time to prepare for the next season and to go on vacation. Q: What is your favorite place in Carinthia? I couldn't say, as there are a lot of special places; I couldn't list just one in particular. I live in Klagenfurt and work here. Most of the time, when I'm off, I like visiting Keutschach am See, as it is more secluded and smaller and I have friends there. That is one of the advantages of the region - we have so many lakes that even in the summer you can still find private spots that are not too crowded.

Quick Talk


Quick Talk

BEST VALUE FOR MONEY Heidi Schaller, managing director of Werzer´s Poertscach Hotel

Q: How do you position Werzer’s brand and approach to hospitality? ‘Hospitality’ is a very important word in Austria, especially in Carinthia and also in our hotel - I believe it has become a trademark! For a hotel with more than 120 years of tradition, we consider ourselves to be very traditional in the ways of doing business and hospitality. Ana Werzer was the first owner of the hotel and the lady who started the hotel and hospitality business here in Austria. Our hotel has 180 employees, so we are a big family. We are open the whole year round and for us hospitality is the key. We also have foreign guests who do not know much about the region and that is why we are trying to present to them all the options and beauty spots they can find here. So we are trying to give extra services to private and also business guests.

‘Our prices, if we compare them with other MICE destinations around the world, are at a very good level. What you get in service and food is very good quality and I believe this is the reason why we have conventions here every year. Meeting planners like to say that we are the best example of value for money.’

Q: Your partners are the most demanding congress clients. What is it like to work with them and meet their needs? I love to work with meeting planners, because they are usually organised and know what they want. We want to offer them a full service; it is our special thing and that is the reason why we have a lot of big conventions here and meet all of their needs. It’s not just about the rooms, or the food, but about taking care of all of their needs, the whole meeting, because we wish to be successful - from transportation, incentive programmes, sightseeing and technical equipment to every little detail that makes an event more than just adequate. We try to offer additional services and support them with all the information they may need. Q: Do you cooperate with local DMCs and PCOs? Yes, we do. We have a very good networking system, because we are so big. And I must say that we work together very succesfully and we have a good relationship. Q: Is the price associated with a sense of quality? It is known that wealthier guests also make their decision on the basis of how high the price is. Our prices, if we compare them with other MICE destinations around the world, are at a very good level. What you get in service and food is very good quality and I believe this is the reason why 102

we have conventions here every year. Meeting planners like to say that we are the best example of value for money. Q: What do today’s customers expect from hotels in terms of sustainability? I must say it is not our top priority - service is more important, but of course as we are in Austria, near to the lake and nature, sustainability is important. I haven’t noticed, however, that sustainability is a main issue for choosing the destination or our hotel. Q: Where will Carinthia’s hospitality scene go in the next decade? This is a very tricky question. I do hope that all the businesses related to meetings and conventions will notice that MICE is a big market that we could still tackle. This is a business for the whole year, not just for two months. We have now started with bigger initiatives at lake Worthersee, where we have an extra employee who is in charge solely of meetings and incentives and I think we have taken a big step in this direction. In our company, we have 3 employees who are in charge and responsible solely for seminars and conventions. And it is also a general manager’s duty, my duty, to shine some light on it. Q: What do you think about regional cooperation? I think it is very very important and visible. We need to suport the network, but I realize that the better we support the network, the better we can serve the customer. We have good cooperation, but still have some room for improvement. Q: What inspired you to decide on a career in the hotel industry? When I was a child I travelled a lot and I wanted to do three things in life: to be an archaeologist, a baker or a hotel manager. So I became a hotel manager, went through all the steps and education and I’ve now been here for 14 years. I’m in charge of 400 beds, 3 hotels and 180 employees. The most important thing is that we are open all year round and can cater to all sorts of people and services. I think we have accomplished a lot since I’ve been here - you can see a lot of improvements.

Quick Talk

Q: What is your managerial style? Hospitality is number one. The needs of the guests is the most important thing. We need to establish the best cooperation between employees, customers and the team - that is really important. It is the goal of every day. Q: What advice would you give to future generations? Do not look at the time given, but the services you can offer to the guest. A happy guest is the best thing you can achieve. Q: Which incentive programme is the most popular at your facility? The most popular spot is our Bathaus - it is 120 years old and we do a lot of parties and incentive programmes there. It is a house made of wood on the lake and is at the same time both historical and modern. The scenery there is just mes-

merizing and everyone who looks at it says it is phenomenal. I started doing receptions in the Bathaus and my team was a bit sceptical that it would work out, but it became one of our main attractions. This is what clients are looking for. Q:How do you use social media for MICE business? We try to do different things and be flexible with them, so we are writing a blog and communicating on different channels. 99% of our guests are German-speaking, but if we have international business guests we automatically switch the language to English - everything from in-house information in the rooms and hotel, programmes we have and offer...everything is switched to English. We get a lot of Italian groups in December and then we switch everything to Italian. We are still in the procces of updating our web page, but this is an on-going project. 103

Q: How do you see your business in a couple of years? It is very good that we have great relations with Ljubljana airport to help us with international connections. I believe many companies in Slovenia, Italy, Croatia and Austria will start to focus more on our region and expand in our direction. Our destination could became a really popular one during the next few years. Ljubljana is a perfect meeting destination and we are very flexible about getting guests to our region afterwards. We easily organise the shuttle options from the airport; we need just 45 minutes. It works out perfectly.

Quick Talk

COMPANY SUCCESS LIES IN REGIONAL COOPERATION Othmar Resch, managing director at Casino Velden

‚We are an entertainment area that can cater to congresses, dinners, party people... so our goal is not to have a full casino, but to have a full house in general.‘ ‚An international development in tourism industry and all the facilitating works in a radius of 400 km is our niche market. With all the drama currently happening in the world - the terrorism attacks and flight regulations - people will be searching for safe, clean and quality places.‘ Q: What initially attracted you to the hospitality industry? I was lucky. School wasn’t my strong point and I wanted to pay for my own studies, so I was looking for a job. I came to Casinos Austria where they gave me an option of working nightshifts, so I could attend school during the day. I was working there for 5 years, in Seefeld (Tirol), and during the summer they would send me to Velden. After my studies I moved to a different company, but returned a year later as I was already intoxicated by the nightlife. When I came back I worked as a croupier and after a while I got the chance to go to Copenhagen, to train new croupiers, because we opened a new casino there. After three months I then became a general manager. I definitely didn’t expected this, but in having problems with general managers at the beginning they gave me the chance to solve them out. I stayed there for a year, but wanted to come back. After Copenhagen in 1995 they sent me to Australia as a crisis manager for four months. Now I’m working here in Velden for 19 years. Q: What kind of events fits best to Casino Velden? We are like a vegetable garden - we do not focus on niche programmes, so we try to cater to all tastes and preferences, from cultural events to beauty pageants and everything in between. Our market is too small to be focusing on just one sort of programme or offer. We like organising concerts, singing groups with their own programmes, as people like to visit the concert and then stay on afterwards in the casino. Our product is a leisure product - people visit casinos because they wish to escape the normal pace of life. 104

It also depends on the season, as we are quite full during the summer, but need to work much more during the autumn and winter. We are an entertainment area that can cater to congresses, dinners, party people... so our goal is not to have a full casino, but to have a full house in general. That is my main occupation. Q: What do you hope to achieve with Casino in the future? Most of my plans don‘t so much concern what is happening inside our building, because I believe that we get stronger when the outreach is stronger. We are therefore always connected with hotels, the community and local tourism providers, but I would like to achieve even stronger connections in the future. For example, the street in front of the Casino has a huge importance on how we market ourselves and function in general. In the summer it needs to be a prominent (leisure) street and four years ago it was just a really busy street. This was one of my main focuses, one of the projects that I helped promote and with the help of the mayor and the municipality we made it happen. My wish is to prolong the area of the main street and transform it to be pedestrianised all the way to the Falkensteiner Schlosshotel. So I‘m fighting for the street, as roads have a big impact on the tourism in Velden. That is the future. Q: What are the main challenges of being a General Manager at Casino Velden? I always say to my bosses in Vienna that being the director of casino Velden is the best job possible. Having the best area, a great climate and such a quality of life is so much better than anywhere else in Austria. I do consider myself to be lucky. I do not believe that I‘m the best casino manager, but I know how to connect things together. I was always hard working, I worked in a bakery when I was young, got to know the service, how to prepare coffee etc. and I never forget the things I learned early on, still conecting them with everything I do. I believe in a quality service anywhere in our house, whether it be the casino table, the conference room or the bar. We must offer quality at every level. If I would be just a casino manager, I would be out of the business in 5 years.

Quick Talk

Q: How do you see Carinthia‘s meetings industry scene? I see good future ahead. When companies or areas are in crisis I see a great opportunity for improvement. If we do not have money to spend we now need to be clever. An international development in tourism industry and all the facilitating works in a radius of 400 km is our niche market. With all the drama currently happening in the world - the terrorism attacks and flight regulations - people will be searching for safe, clean and quality places. Slovenia will rise and become a huge market, compared to Austria. We can learn something from the Americans when they said ‚it is not a question of fighting against each other, but always working together‘. We could still learn that in Europe, as we are still fighting more than cooperating. We have been speaking for more than 20 years about the Alpe Adria region and yet we only have one regional airport that makes sense, which is Ljubljana. So we have to forget about Graz, Klagenfurt and Ronki, and make joint offers with a connection to Slovenia, connecting the train or other transportation among the regions and getting that big place that people would explore from all over Europe. To make this work people have to work together. Q: How is Carinthia positioned as a meeting destination today and what are its positive attributes that are often overlooked? Distances are so short to go to Slovenia or Italy,

making it possible within three days to explore three different cultures. I do not believe there is another region in the world that could offer that. I believe this is what we should focus on.

better, giving it the chance to develop, not just stay a small, provincial town. I think this is very good for tourism and also good for international business development.

Q: What is co-operation at the destination like? Are you satisfied with the promotion and work of the Carinthia Convention Bureau? I believe we are on a good path, but as always in business, things can always improve. I like that they are offering new ways of promotion, such as you coming here. Last week we were at the meeting and also discussing how satisfied we are with Conventa, compared to events taking place in Vienna.

Q: Do you expect more intensive regional cooperation in the MICE sector? I believe the toughest market is Italy, as it seems that culture-wise we are more connected to Slovenians than Italians. The main market remains Vienna and Bavaria in general.

Q: Can you tell us more about any future investment in tourism in the Carinthia region? For the last 2-3 years things have been improving in a very interesting way. We opened our first international school in Carinthia, one that opened four years ago in Villach and which they moved two years ago to Velden. They organised the campus area, connecting all schools within a 100-metre distance. They also built a new music school and we now see teachers coming and moving to Velden from all over the world. We also have three of the biggest international companies with offices in Carinthia that have brought international managers to the region. We can already see progress for Velden becoming a more international place; the vibe is getting 105

Q: What else would you like to share with our readers? We have an awesome lake here with the perfect temperature during the summer, where you can swim and even drink the water. This fresh water reflects the perfect combination of the quality of all the other services. I could maybe also use this opportunity to persuade people that we are worth the visit - we are just a short highway ride away, with direct highway exits. Q: What is your favourite place in Carinthia? It is hard to answer, because there are so many nice places. But I do have a favourite place in Slovenia. I‘m a kayaker, so I‘m always on the Soča river. For over 20 years I have been visiting the area, almost every 2 weeks, so I know the area very well and I also use the surrounding area for mountain biking.

Off The Beaten Mice Track

PYRAMIDEN KOGEL Carinthia’s most beautiful meeting point

• WAY OUT THERE • High above the Wörthersee lake on the Jedvovca hill lies an outlook tower, built in 1969, which is an absolute engineering wonder. Atop a 55metre tall hollow needle stands a 20-metre wide viewpoint platform and on top of that another 10 metres of pyramid-like shaped technical floors and antennae - hence the name Pyramidenkogel. In October 2012 the original concrete tower was detonated and in the summer of 2013 a new one was already standing in its place. What we can see today is a wooden vantage point, which is 100 metres high and is the biggest Carinthian tourist attraction. The construction wonder was built from larch wood, has three panoramic platforms and was heralded as Europe‘s tallest and most beautiful outlook tower. • WAY TO STAY • In the vicinity of the Wörthersee there are numerous congress hotels with a first class position right by the lake and one would have a tough time naming them all. Probably the most inter-

esting story, however, starts at the Falkensteiner Schlosshotel Velden: In 1603, a Carinthian aristocrat from the noble Barthlmä Khevenhüller family built a residence that quickly became the hotspot of social life in Carinthia. In the second half of the 18th century it was destroyed by fire and after it was rebuilt, an industrialist from Vienna turned it into a hotel. The hotel built in neo-Renaissance style has been the backdrop of numerous films and has attracted many famous TV stars. In 1990 it found itself in the German and Austrian tabloid newspapers, as it was bought by Günter Sachs, the notorious heir to the throne of Willy Sachs. Günter was a photographer, author of documentaries, art collector, astrology analyst and most importantly the man who in the 60s and 70s was considered as a prototype for today‘s playboys. He sold the hotel in 2003 and today it is owned by Falkensteiner.


• MEET IN STYLE • The tower is a unique tourist attration and at the same time one of the special venues in Carinthia that has no match. The location offers quite a few options to organise an interesting incentive or teambuilding event. An unforgettable meeting for smaller groups could be in the coffee shop on the viewing platform, 70.65 metres above ground. There are 441 steps up to the coffee shop, or you can make it easy by taking the elevator. The ascent to the top is itself a unique experience and is absolutely worth it once you get the beautiful views of the Wörthersee and its surroundings. There are also event organisation spaces on the viewing platform and in the restaurant. For those who want a little more adrenaline, the fastest way to get down the tower is by sliding down the longest indoor slide in Europe, which is 120 metres long, or if you are feeling really brave that day they can also organise a zip-line descent from the top of the tower.

Off The Beaten Mice Track

• OFF THE BEATEN TRACK • By the Wörthersee you will find everything from authentic inns with traditional dishes to the trendy restaurants of culinary masters. The cuisine is based on fresh and locally spiced ingredients and there are 12 different culinary regions in Carinthia, each of which has its own typical dishes. There is no shortage of restaurants with Gault-Millau toques and one of the best is the See Restaurant Saag, which aims for the very peak of Carinthan cuisine. For every group there are dozens of options, as the area is basically the centre of Carinthia‘s creative and quality culinary offer. • LOCALISM • The architects have imagined the tower as a feminine figure with its curves that dance like a ballerina (Sophie Loren) in the landscape. Exceeding everyone‘s expectations, the 8 million Euro investment already started to pay off in the first year of its operation. Most of the construction was made with a combination of

wood and steel, but the biggest challenge was how to lay out the drainage in order to keep the wood intact for the future. The 100 metre tower is made from 500 construction pieces and only took 3 months, or 98 days, to build. It has space for 500 visitors at a time and an additional 350 on the 11th and 12th floors. • GETTING THERE • The tower is located at the top of the 850metre high Pyramidenkogel mountain, near Klagenfurt, the provincial capital of Carinthia in Austria. BY CAR: from Klagenfurt WörtherseeSüduferstraße towards Reifnitz, then to Keutschach and on to Pyramidenkogel. Sufficient parking spaces for cars and buses in the vicinity. • DID YOU KNOW • The brain power behind the project came from Markus Klaur and Dietmar Kaden, architects from Klagenfurt. They were inspired by the 107

rotation of the human body, which reaches its greatest physical beauty when mimicing the moves of ballerinas. They transformed their sense of feminine beauty into geometery, with wooden plates scaling to the top of the tower and surrounding a spacious interior in which an elevator for 22 people and a slide that wraps around the centre column like a snake can be found. DIRECTORY Pyramidenkogel Linden 62 9074 Keutschach am See T: +43(0) 4273/2443 W:


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Bernardin hotels Briefing

Lively summer at Bernardin hotels Main events of the summer on the coast side of Slovenia were at Bernardin hotels, all located directly by the sea with magic power of the soothing sea breeze, providing the perfect conditions for relaxation and summer vibe. They offered numerous events within their Bernardinfest, like every day live music at the Laguna Bernardin where they hosted Tribute to Zucchero, singer Anika Horvat with band, Rockfeller with singer Polona Furlan, band Kingston, DJ parties and many more.

Grand Hotel Bernardin hosted 25th Inter­ national Conference Nuclear Energy for New Europe ­ rom 5th to 8th September Grand Hotel Bernardin hosted an Inter­ F national Conference Nuclear Energy for New Europe (NENE 2016). The traditional, already 25th meeting of Nuclear Society of Slovenia, this year attracted around 200 participants from 23 different countries with special attention focused on 50 years of the Slovenian TRIGA reactor and role of research reactors to support nuclear energy.

Bernardin group celebrates 40 years This year Bernardin group marks magnificent 40-year anniversary. The jubilee is marked with many events, one of it is also a wonderful exhibition of selected artworks by renowned artists in Coastal Galleries Piran. The story of the Bernardin group dates back in 1976 when the group inaugurated two hotels, the former hotel “Bernardin” (today called “Histrion”) and hotel “Ville Park” (Portorož). The exhibiton “Hotels Bernardin - 40 years is behind us ... in front of you” presents as a visual reminder of great Bernardin history through times. 109


OHRID INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2016 Natural and cultural factors: 


General and transport infrastructure:  4.16 Tourist infrastructure:


Meeting infrastructure:


Subjective grade:


Marketing Buzz:


ICCA index:


Numbeo Quality of Life Index:


Global Peace Index:








ake Ohrid was, in my youth, a compulsory topic in geography. I remember that it is supposed to be one of the oldest lakes, similar to Lake Baikal and the lake with the funny name, Tititaka. I also remember that Lake Prespa and Lake Ohrid are connected underground and are full of endemic species. I can certainly confirm that Macedonia is a land of beautiful national parks and the lake is one of the biggest Macedonian natural pearls - a kind of Macedonian sea. Despite enormous natural conditions, Ohrid is one of the most overlooked meeting destinations in the region, although it attracts a lot of tourists from the former Yugoslavia and is considered the most elite destination for wealthy Macedonians. JERUZALEM OF EUROPE The coast of Lake Ohrid has been inhabited from prehistoric times. The oldest settlement originates from 6000 BC, as evidenced by more than 170 archeological finds. The Jerusalem of Europe, as they say of Ohrid, is full of treasures, both underground and underwater, and has been UNESCO protected for 30 years. The city where 365 churches once stood, one for each day, has typical architecture with narrow streets and tunnels, over which grew tall houses with fantastic views of the lake and snowy mountains behind. ST. NAUM In Macedonia you have to visit at least two or three sacral attractions. One of the most famous is the Monastery of St. Naum. It stands on a high cliff above Lake Ohrid, about 15 minutes walk from the Albanian border. St. Naum was assistant to St Clement of Ohrid, a disciple of Cyril and Methodius, and he spent the last years of his life there. One of the most visited tourist places in Macedonia is definitely worth the visit, not only because of the monastery but also because of the attractive park, nice beach and river springs not far from the lake. The springs are supplied from Lake Prespa, which is accessable by the winding road which runs through Mt Galičica, part of which is protected as a national park. The road itself is worth the effort as it offers the most unique views of Lake Ohrid. ST. SOFIA – A VERY SPECIAL VENUE The church from the eighth or ninth century is one of the most important medieval buildings in Macedonia, with rich paintings where motifs from the Old and New Testaments combine on blue arches and walls. During the Turkish ambush of Ohrid, they turned the church into a mosque and after their departure both Orthodox and Catholic rituals took place in St Sofia. Today, the church no longer serves as a religious building but, due to extraordinary acoustics, it is used for concerts. The motif of the church is depicted on the Macedonian 1,000 dinar banknote. SAMUEL FORTRESS Above the town of Ohrid is the magnificent Samuel mansion which was built in the 11th century. Before that, the fortress probably built by Filip II during the 4th Century B.C. stood 111

on the same place. During the reign of Czar Samuel, Ohrid was the capital of the Bulgarian Empire. The fort was reconstructed in 2003 and it offers a magnificent view of the city and the lake. With a little effort it can be a superb venue for events. OHRID PEARLS Few know that only the Talev and Filev families deal with the traditional production of Ohrid pearls. These pearls are made from pastrmka fish scales, the fish that lives in Lake Ohrid, but precise production remains a mystery. The manufacturers are fighting unfair competition, which sell cheaper pearls from an unknown destination. You can receive a guarantee only from the two families, otherwise it is difficult to separate the fakes from the originals. NIGHTLIFE The main attraction of Ohrid is its narrow streets lined with restored Ottoman buildings. The tourist bustle does not die late into the night, as a number of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops invite you to explore! Ohrid is known as the dance mecca of Eastern Europe and so the city is suitable for all of those who are looking for fun. If you want to have fun until the early hours, Ohrid is certainly a good choice, with a lot also happening on the beaches. The nightclubs are only a few steps away from one another, taxis are cheap and so you can go on a “nightclub hike”. MACEDONIAN TRADITION OF VITICULTURE The Macedonian tradition of viticulture dates back to the Roman period. Due to its exceptional geographical position, the intertwining of two climates – Mediterranean in the south and Continental in the north, the good texture of soil which supplies ground water, the local winegrowers centuries ago cultivated a special kind of grape which give the wine a specific taste and aroma. The center of wine events is the Skovin winery, in the city centre, which is an indispensable tourist attraction where they are glad to host larger congress groups. MUSEUM ON WATER For diving enthusiasts Lake Ohrid is real discovery. The water is crystal clear and, on a sunny day, there is nothing better than discovering the treasures of the lake in the middle of endless games of underwater light and shadows. The biggest underwater surprise is the remains of homes and items of the original settlers from the Bronze Age. Ohrid also offers a very special tourist destination concept and presentation of culture and history, an exceptional archeological complex known as the Bay of Bones, which is an authentic reconstruction of the stilt dwellings which from 1200 B.C. to 700 B.C. covered 8,500m2. The museum offers a good historical overview and gives a sense of how people lived. Above the bay rises the Gradišče hill on which a Roman fort once sat.


VOX POPULI OF THE CONGRESS INDUSTRY Currently, the entire congress offer of the destination is based around hotels with meeting facilities. The flagship destination is the Inex Gorica hotel which was once a residence of President Tito. The residence includes a small congress center for up to 400 participants. Among the largest congress hotels is the Metropol Lake hotel with three hotel buildings.The conference center comprises 2,500 m2 with 10 conference halls and, according to the owner, is the largest in Macedonia. Hotel Granit is a typical representation of a medium-sized hotel and offers conference facilities and three conference rooms with capacity for 120 to 300 participants. There is no lack of small hotels with conference facilities in the city, the most representative are the Royal View Hotel with two conference halls, the Hotel Garden, Hotel Belvedere, Hotel Cingo and others. There are also many travel agencies which are designated as DMC or PCO agencies, including the most specialized agency, Vis Poj. Ohrid is also covered by agencies from Skopje and the neighboring countries. Serious and strategic meetings destination management currently does not exist in Ohrid, which is certainly the biggest weakness of a destination with such outstanding potential and an incredible concentration of special venues.


LG'S www.kongres-m

Destination grade: RECOMMENDABLE MEETING DESTINATION Grades: 5 excellent convention destination 4 quality convention destination 3 recommendable convention destination 2 average convention destination 1 so so


INDIVIDUAL GRADES: A. Natural and cultural factors: 


Ohrid is a beautiful Macedonian city on the north-eastern coast of Lake Ohrid, which is among beautiful nature and defined by a mild sub-Mediterranean climate. Old Ohrid had a very turbulent history, which you can taste in every step and with the old architecture it creates a significant experience. From 1979, Ohrid with its lake and surrounding area, has been the only place in Macedonia on UNESCO’s list of World and Cultural Heritage. B. General and transport infrastructure:


The international airport is just a few kilometers from the citiy. For transport around the city take a taxi, the ride will not cost you much. Ohrid is not a big city but has developed a solid commuter network and well developed telecommunications. There are several providers, the network is stable and there is free WiFi at numerous locations. The transport is solid in the Ohrid vicinity as it is a developed tourist city. Caution on the highway from Skopje is warranted. C. Tourist infrastructure: 


Ohrid is not big city but almost all of its residents are engaged in tourism. The old town is interesting; it starts at the lake with the market and runs all the way to the Samuel fortress. The authenticity of the offer is built around a combination of history, mystics and extremely tasty Macedonian food. The offer is truly diverse and among numerous bars, it will be quite hard to pick the right one. The hotel offer is varied and in comparision with its Adriatic competition, quite solid but 112


WHAT‘S NEW 2016 1. Ohrid Summer Festival / July 2016 - One of the biggest and most important music events in Macedonia. The festival has been running since 1961. 2. Ohrid Swimming Marathon/ July 2016 - Marathon begins at the Monastery of St. Naum and is 30 km long. In 1998 marathon ranked in club of 12 international swimming marathons under the auspices of FINA. 3. Macedonian sun – Balkan Folklore Festival / August 2016 - Ohrid is hosting Balkan Folklore Festival each year in mid-August for one week. The festival invites dance groups from all around the world.

DID YOU KNOW Ohrid - the European Jerusalem, the cultural capital of Macedonia, the city of Slavic civilization and Cyrillic script used to have 365 churches, one for every day of the year.

BEST INCENTIVE IDEA Diving in Lake Ohrid: due to its cleanliness, depth and rich life, the lake is ideal for scuba diving. Ohrid offers several variantions for organized diving from a boat.

it needs refreshing and modernization. They are successfully compensating with extremely friendly providers at all levels. D. Meetings infrastructure: 


The organization of meetings is possible mainly in congress hotels, among which is the Metropol Lake Hotel which is the most advanced. There are also a few small hotels with conference facilities in the city. Outstanding is the concentration of special venues. The entire offer is unified since there is not a Convention Bueau. As a result, they are working on local marketing and local events dominate. Team building programs are more leisure-based. To capitalize on the enormous potential of Ohrid, a lot of work needs to be put in to the development of meetings tourism. E. Subjective grade: 


The Ohrid meeting industry reminds of Macedonian urban music. Nostalgic, ethno music creates a special atmosphere. Such is also the local MICE industry. Ohrid is certainly not an ultra modern destination, but it has its soul which is very much appreciated by event organizers. It therefore deserves a high subjective grade and you will have to hurry before the tourist crowds discover it. F. Marketing buzz: 


In the international congress market, Ohrid is practically unrecognizable. It is mainly known as being in the area of the former Yugoslavia and neighboring Albania and Bulgaria. As there is no local tourist organization, there is no strategic destination marketing and marketing in the field of meetings industry is unbundled. There is still a lot of reserve in this area due to its huge potential. 113

SUPing on Lake Ohrid: On Gradište beach and elsewhere around the lake, you can rent kayaks and increasingly popular SUPs. You can row with a guide from the city center to Kaneo beach and back. A trip to Galičica National Park and a visit to the monastery of St. Naum – Take a day trip and go from the city to the monastery and park by boat.

Comparisons with the region One of the main Macedonian tourist centers is becoming increasingly more important as a meeting center. At first glance, it differs from competing regional destinations due to its reasonable prices. The difference is also in the structure of the offer which is primarily adapted to leisure tourism. Ohrid is, in summer, a mass tourist destination with all the challenges that that brings. Out of season it can be a very interesting meeting destination, if rapid development will be followed by the upgraded offer that congress guests expect. The first step is related to performance of providers and the establishment of a Convention Bureau. Cool meetings Ohrid “Pastrmka” is a special type of fish, found only in Lake Ohrid. Restaurants prepare their traditional dish using it and which they proudly advertise. WHO TO CONTACT As there is not yet a Convention Bureau you should contact one of the DMCs in Ohrid or Skopje.




lava laguna - Laguna Poreč is one of the largest hotel companies in Croatia. Our 13 hotels have conference halls and meeting rooms which can accommodate 10 to 600 people, providing audiovisual and other equipment. Here you will find everything you need for a professional organization of business events while pleasant Mediterranean climate and natural environment will ensure you get the piece 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 organization of congresses, seminars, work meetings, symposiums, presentations, sports events, weddings, gala dinners, refreshments during work meeting breaks, as well as folklore evenings, special entertainment programs and animation in Laguna Poreč facilities. After the regular program, we 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 organize 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 firsthand why your stay and work in Laguna Poreč hotels will be truly successful because: YOUR SUCCESS IS OUR GOAL!

Info & Reservations: Tel. +385 52 410 210 e-mail: 114

Kongres Magazine

Best event I’ve worked on? »HEALTHY!«


ESRA Congress 2015 The European Society of Regional Anasthesia & Pain Therapy, scientific programme combined with exhibition

The 40th World Scout Conference with over 1200 people from 130 countries



Naomi Campbell, Kevin Costner, Ben Affleck … Gala receptions of the Diners Club Slovenia

Kurzschluss, the hottest pop up festival club in Ljubljana, with Europe’s finest music talentsevery December

»FAST AND EFFECTIVE AS A SUPERSONIC CAR!« The 5th Trade for Automotive parts

GR-L JUBL JANA Exhibition and Convention Centre

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Meet Busters

•Venice MEET BUSTERS• Congress myths that you did not dare to ask, or know whom to ask: MYTH: VENICE LACKS BIG CONGRESS VENUES. BUSTED


The city of Venice itself is a kind of archipelago, made up of lots of tiny islets divided by canals, although it’s a lot simpler to think of the city as one island. The entire city is constructed on water, on millions of tree trunks planted vertically in the soil of the lagoon, for more than 1,000 years in some cases. There are 400+ pedestrian footbridges spanning the canals, the most famous being the Rialto Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs.

Venice hosts more than 1,200 conferences per year and about 180,000 participants. If we look at the ICCA 2015 rankings under the number of meetings, Venice is placed 132nd worldwide and holds 74th place on the European scale. A historical, modern, unconventional or unique venue for events, meetings, congresses or conferences… Venice has it all. Over 850 hotels are available within which around 200 are ranked with 4- or 5-stars. Venice also has many congress and conference centers, with the largest local Congress and Conference Centre of 4,000 seats. Also available are conference hotels with a capacity of up 1,100 seats, 40 villas, historic houses, prestigious residences, theatres and modern venues. If you don’t know where to start looking, turn to the Venice Convention Bureau that was established in 1982 and was the first in Italy.


Not only is the city being reclaimed by the waters that made it famous, it now looks like it’s actually heading out to sea. Venice is sinking at the rate of 1-2 millimetres a year. The scientists say the reason lies in a combination of land subsidence and rising sea levels.


The city is known as the “Queen of the Adriatic”, the “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City” and “City of Canals”, but due to the extremely high number of tourists flocking every year to this picturesque city, Venice could also be called Veniceland. The city welcomes over 27 million tourists a year and on any given day in the summer, its residents are outnumbered by visitors.


In ancient times, the people in Venice greeted each other with “s-ciavo vostro”, which means “your servant, at your orders, your slave.” As time went by, the greeting became, at first, “sciao” and then “ciao”. It took on the meaning we know today sometime between the 10th and 11th centuries.


The gondola was a “taxi” to the Venetians during the centuries before the vaporetti arrived. A couple of hundred years ago there were about 10,000 gondolas but today there are only about 500. Taking a gondola ride through the canals of Venice can be very romantic and most informative, but it can also be very costly. A standard gondola ride is about 40 minutes and fits up to six people. All gondoliers are licenced (only three to four gondolier licences are issued annually) and must wear black pants, a striped shirt, hat and closed dark shoes. An interesting fact: it is extremely rare for women to become gondoliers. Venice appointed its first ever female gondolier, Giorgia Boscolo, in 2010.



Calletta or Ramo Varisco is the narrowest street in Venice and is located on a side street near Campo San Canciano: it is one of the narrowest streets in the world at only 53cm at chest level.

Meet Busters



We can bust the myth about gambling since the first public casino was born in Venice in 1638 as an attempt to limit gambling and moralize the customs of the Venetian lords. Casino di Venezia, the world’s oldest gaming house, has retained its charm today. On the other hand, we can confirm that it is forbidden to ride a bike in any part of Venice and drastic fines are handed out to those who are caught cycling.


Venetians love to wear masks at any given opportunity. Nowadays they display them during the famous Carnevale di Venezia, one of the most internationally known and oldest festivals celebrated in Venice, dating back to the 14th century. Throughout history, the Venice Carnival attracted foreigners - including princes - from all over Europe, who came to enjoy the wild festivities while spending their fortunes. Today, the festivities attract tourists from all over the world, and for a reason. It is a magnificent experience. St Mark’s Square is the fulcrum of Carnival activities, and that’s where you’ll find the most extraordinary costumes. And don’t forget to buy the most popular souvenir of them all – the Venetian mask sold on every corner.


Famous Venetians include the explorer Marco Polo who has lent his name to the city’s airport, the composer Antonio Vivaldi, the adventurer and famous lover Giacomo Casanova, Francesco Guardi who is today considered one of the greatest painters of the 18th° century and many others. If you love culture and fine art, your list just got a lot longer!


The Venice International Film Festival was founded in 1932 and is the oldest film festival in the world. The film festival is part of the Venice Biennale which was founded by the Venetian City Council in 1895. The biggest film stars in the world attend the event which aims to raise awareness and promote the various aspects of international cinema in all its forms: as art, entertainment and as an industry, in a spirit of freedom and dialogue.

Hidden Congress Guest




OPENED SINCE Built in 1872, renovated in 2006 MEETINGS STAR City meeting hotel STANDARD Congress Hotel NUMBER OF ROOMS 380 rooms INTERNET PRICE 328 EUR (September 2016, Trivago) ADDRESS HOTEL GRAND BRETAGNE, ATHENS 1 Vasileos Georgiou A’ str. Syntagma Square, Athens 105 64 Greece, P: +30 210 3330 000 FACILITIES Butler Service, Business Centre, Fitness Studio, GB Spa, GB Roof Garden Restaurant, GB Roof Garden Bar, GB Pool Bar & Grill, Winter Garden City Lounge, Bar 8, Alexander’s Bar, he Cellar EXTRAS The most beautiful and romantic special venue in Athens is the Roof Garden Restaurant at the Grand Bretagne 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 Extras TOTAL:

5.00 4.89 4.82 4.91 4.72 4.76 4.79 4.93 4.89 4.82 4.84 5.00 4.61 4.85

FINAL GRADE Luxury City Meeting Hotel


Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget

★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

LOCATION When you enter the mighty lobby it seems as if Greece has never known a financial crisis. This hotel, which has for many years stood as a monument to the city and an institution of our industry, is located in the very centre of Athens. Syntagma Square is literally a hop from the Greek parliament; it is also the site where for the past couple of years Greeks have been wrestling with their democracy and the recession. The architecture of the hotel and the meaning it has for the city makes it stand out in this strictly business district, full of banks, restaurants and cafes. Even today, the high-fliers of society like to spend a night in the Grand Bretagne, a hotel that has been host to many important events in Greek history. Guest names can be read like a 20th and 21st century who’s who table of contents. Very impressive. ACCESSIBILITY Practically every main Athenian street leads to Syntagma square - the pure centre of the city that is easily accessible by metro (which was built for the Olympics). From here all of the major tourist attractions are reachable by foot, but public tranport is also available for those who prefer/need it. From the city centre to the airport takes about 40 minutes and Athenian taxi services are also well organised, if somewhat pricey at times. COLD APPETIZER - Architecture and Aesthetics The imposing presence of the hotel comes from it once being a residential building before being transformed into what it is today. Its last big renovation was at the turn of the century, when the Athens Olympics arrived in town. The classical art-deco architecture was kept intact, but it was redesigned and upgraded with modern solutions. Elegant marble bathrooms were added to the hotel rooms, while still keeping the classical style of furniture, all rounded off by superb lighting. Unobtrusive pastel colours, which give the space a feeling of intimacy, are prevalent in the hotel. Fresh flowers, excellent artwork and an attention to detail can be felt at every turn and can keep you occupied for quite some time. WARM APPETIZER - Personnel and cuisine The staff’s impressive energy is not exactly the most formal of affairs, but they take care of every guest in a relaxed and genuinely kind way. In such institutions high quality hotelbservices are taken for granted and so cleanliness can be felt right throughout the hotel. The breakfast is an abundance of delights and will get your taste buds flowing early in the morning. A special experience is the rooftop restaurant that offers carefully chosen and original dishes, and of course the Mediteranean cuisine, fresh ingredients and an excellent 118

wine list wouldn’t be complete without stunning views of the Athenian acropolis. MAIN DISH - The hotel’s congress services Intimate comfort and isolation from the hustle and bustle of the outside world is immediately felt in the rooms. It’s as if every room tells its own story, and with such exquisite interior design you certainly won’t forget it in a hurry. The hotel’s congress centre is all about shifting the importance towards the well-being of participants and it is likely one of the most prominent congress facilities in Athens. The hall can be divided into three smaller ones and the maximum capacity for a standing reception is 500, or a seated banquet 390 participants. The Grand Ballroom creates an extravagant impression with its rare objets d’art, crystal chandeliers, velvet draperies, and splendid antiquities from Christie’s and Sotheby’s. The new wing of the hotel houses the Golden Room, a hall with a capacity for up to 380 guests in banquet. With all of this infrastructure in place they also haven’t overlooked or compromised on having flawless techniques and catering standards at the highest level. DESSERT - Extras GB Spa - a holistic oasis that will replenish energy and bring travellers weary from meetings a balance of spirit and body.


FLOP – negative surprises The only negative side to a hotel of this category is the price. It is completely appropriate if judged against quality, but it can dissuade corporate partners who might have a limited budget.


TOP – positive surprises Churchill’s Room—a unique 23-square-metre dining room that caters to small functions for up to 12 people— that is located on the ground floor. Overall impression and credibility Hotel Grand Bretagne is in a world of its own and definitely falls into the top league of regional hotels. It is a hotel institution, which will never disappoint. The initial concept of a personalized hotel soon became an oasis of peace and tranquility amid the rhythm of a wild metropolis. A big plus is the option of combining conference halls and hotel capacities with its subsidiary hotel, King George, and thus opening up possibilities for larger groups. The combination of halls, lifestyle and top-notch service places the hotel in the elite group of European city congress hotels.

The HIDDEN CONGRESS GUEST section is not paid for. The selection of hotels, which are evaluated by the hidden congress guest, is left to the editorial board. The hidden guest visits the hotels without prior notice.


Final Score

Hidden Congress Guest


CATEGORY ★★★★★ OPENED 1 May 2009 MEETINGS STAR Resort meeting hotel STANDARD Congress Hotel NUMBER OF ROOMS 98 PRICE (INTERNET) EUR 180 (Trivago: September 2016) ADDRESS Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras Kupelna 6, 059 85 Strba - Strbske Pleso, Slovakia T: +421 52 3262 222 E: FACILITIES Concierge, Limousine service, Zion spa, Fitness Center, Grand Restaurant, Lobby Lounge, Player’s lounge, Spa bar EXTRAS The “signature dish” of Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras - Slovak bryndza pirogues. It is the best of traditional Slovak dishes that Chef Tomas Tejbus can offer. 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 Extras TOTAL: FINAL GRADE Luxury Resort Meeting Hotel Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget

5.00 4.35 5.00 4.94 4.95 4.95 4.96 4.98 5.00 4.92 4.87 4.89 4.92 4.90

4.90 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

LOCATION With its glacial lake, Štrbské Pleso is the most popular skiing, tourist and health resort in the High Tatras. The Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras made its way into the magical landscape and created something very special. At an altitude of 1,351m, the mountain fresh air makes it a climatic health spa, perfect for treating respiratory diseases. The hotel consists of three mutually connected accommodation units. As a whole, the hotel fits nicely with its surroundings and it is known as one of the most prestigious Kempinski hotels, suitable for even the most demanding of congress guests. ACCESSIBILITY The road accessibility from Košice Žilina and Bratislava is excellent. Good infrastructure surprises at every corner, especially in Poprad, the largest city in the Špis region with its own airport and with international connections improving every year. Wizzair flights from London‘s Luton airport are a sign of inmproving connectivity with the world. The Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras offers transfer from the airpot by limousine, helicopter or private jet, upon request. COLD APPETIZER - Architecture and Aesthetics From an architectural standpoint, the three buildings look very in-sync despite the fact that they are of three different styles, from historistic to the modern style of the 1920s. The most striking is probably the Kriváň hotel building, designed by architect Guido Hoepfner who worked in the times of Belle Epoque. From 1953, the hotel was used as a health resort until it slowly began falling apart. In 2003, the renovation plans for a luxury hotel were first made. The renovations had to be carried out very carefully as the hotel is a historical monument and sits in the middle of the Tatra National Park. The renovation work was finished in May, 2009 when the High Tatras proudly opened the most prestigious hotel in that part of Europe. WARM APPETIZER - Personnel and cuisine The magic of visiting top-notch restaurants isn‘t just great food and an excellent selection of wine, but the whole experience. This kind of magic can be experienced in the Kempinski, where things are spiced up by amazing views and unbeatable hospitality in a space that feels like home. Tomas Tejbus and Jozef Breza are the chefs responsible for the exquisite cuisine, which includes local ingredients and seasonal menus, and where traditional Tatra-style bryndza pirogues can also be sampled. A truly impressive selection of wine, which complements every dish, is presented by sommelier, Matus Hamara. 119

4.90 Final Score

MAIN DISH Congress facilities The interior of the hotel features sophisticated furnitre, prestigious paintings and sculptures, rich materials, colorful mediterranean tiles and a pleasant color palette. Every space in the hotel is unique and looks like its part of an art gallery. The rooms offer views of the beautiful valley, the glacial lake and the mighty Tatra mountain tops. There are two conference rooms available for congress events. The largest, the Gerlach, has space for 120 guests and the smaller, Krivan, for 80 people. The Grand Restaurant is available for receptions and banquets with space for 200 participants. The hotel is filled with special nooks for receptions or outdoor teambuilding programs. DESSERT - Extras The picturesque location, with views of the High Tatras, can be appreciated from the luxurious Zion spa which streches over 1300m2.


FLOP – negative surprises The offer of the High Tatras doesn‘t quite match the level of the Kempinski hotel, where guests are offered everything they need for a pleasant stay.


TOP – positive surprises There are numerous options for teambuilding activities and which are available throughout the year. A nearby golf course, the Black Stork Golf Resort and skiing, walking and biking are a small part of the possibilties the destination has in-store for active congress guests. Overall impression and credibility The hotel is an attractive Slovak tourist icon, in a picturesque location, which makes everything look like a fairytale. It is a simple hotel which awakens the imagination, raises the heartbeat and is perfect for congress events of the highest order. It is an institution where guests can relax in the wellness center, indulge in culinary treats from the chefs, taste some excellent wine or fully focus on meetings and events with a view. Lovers of culture will certainly appreciate the artwork throughout the hotel. The staircase of the hotel is adorned by paintings by Julie Haluzova and is a perfect spot for a photo. The Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras has won multiple awards which are justified by the experience it offers.

Hidden Congress Guest


CATEGORY Loft ★★★★ Wilson ★★★★★ OPENED SINCE 2011 MEETINGS STAR City meeting hotel STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities NUMBER OF ROOMS 111 rooms in Hotel Loft 10 rooms in Hotel Wilson INTERNET PRICE Loft 85 - 97 EUR (Sep. 2016, Trivago) Wilson 128 - 154 EUR (Sep. 2016, Trivago) ADDRESS LOFT Hotel Bratislava Štefánikova 4, Bratislava T: +421 2 5751 1000 E: FACILITIES Wine bar, Summer terrace, Fabrika the Beer bar, Fabrika Brewery, Mobile Spa, Parking Garage EXTRAS Fabrika Beer Bar, where you can enjoy a rich selection of beer, can also be rented and privatised for your next event, as a kind of ‘hipster’ special venue. 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:

4.98 4.25 4.65 4.72 4.64 4.56 4.19 4.02 4.21 4.76 4.89 4.75 4.01 4.58

FINAL GRADE Luxury City Meeting Hotel


Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget

★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

LOCATION The hotel has the perfect location in the centre of Bratislava, right behind the rococo style presidential palace. It sits on one of the main streets (Štefanikova), which leads to the railway station with its typically Imperial Austro-Hungarian style architecture. The historical part of the Wilson Hotel was proclaimed as a cultural monument for its incredible architecture. The palace was built in 1881 in neobaroque style for the city’s main doctor, Vojtech Tauscher. Up until 1989 the building was the registered seat of the Women’s Association and was latterly transformed into a hotel at the turn of the century. From 2011 this prominent building has been welcoming guests as The Loft Bratislava. ACCESSIBILITY Driving towards Bratislava from Vienna is when you realise how lucky the city actually is; it is close to the Schwechat international airport in Vienna and only about 40 minutes from the Slovak capital. Great highway connections to all of the main European transport routes make Bratislava a logistic nirvana. On top of that it has smoothly working trams and trolleybuses in the city centre. You will probably have no problems getting to the hotel by car and there will also be a spacious underground parking area waiting for you. Like in many big European cities, distances between places can be quite stretched out, but Bratislava is easily mastered on foot. COLD APPETIZER - Architecture and Aesthetics The Loft stands out from the typical hotel scene in Bratislava, because of its concept and interesting architecture between the Wilson palace and the new part of the hotel. Both parts are linked by a neo-industrialist restaurant called Fabrika. Black ceilings, gray walls, wooden tables and industrial lighting go hand in hand with its theme. The space is defined by a glazed brewery, which is the trademark of the restaurant. Everything combined gives a feeling of homeliness and makes you feel cosy. An almost completely industrial interior is a great contrast to the beautiful palace and the luscious garden, which invites you to sit down and enjoy the sun. There is no lack of speical details, such as the battered sofas and retro monochrome pictures of early Hollywood stars and American classic cars. WARM APPETIZER - Personnel and cuisine A young staff full of vigour and positivity surprises when you first step through the door. It seems that they have integrated well with the funky-hipster spirit of the hotel. At a glance everything looks very urban, but at the same time warm and pleasant, and it is positive first impressions like these that can’t be replaced by any form of 120

4.58 Final Score

marketing. Cuisine in the Fabrika restaurant is a mixture of American and Slovakian, and features some alleged must-haves of today - burgers and steaks. But there is also no lack of Slovak dishes, which give you a sense of connection with the local environment. In the morning Fabrika transorms into a breakfast bar with a truly wide selection of dishes and an array of tea biscuits, which even the most notorious hotel chains wouldn’t mind having in their arsenal. MAIN DISH - The hotel’s congress services A sense for aesthetics shades into a practical living space, which it is impossible to fault. You can also choose to stay in the Wilson Hotel, which offers more luxurious rooms that feature retro style furnishings, like a vintage coffee machine and old-fashioned bathrooms. A thing you don’t often come across in hotels is a free mini bar, which in this case isn’t exactly overstocked, but will definitely put a smile on any guest’s face. They have also taken internet connectivity very seriously and it works like a charm right throughout the hotel. Conference halls are located in the Wilson palace and have been completely renovated with a hint of prestige and modernity - the biggest hall can host 80 guests. A small lobby is nicely rounded off by conference space perfect for coffee breaks and networking. DESSERT - Extras A treat for beer lovers - in December 2014 the Loft opened its own brewery and has been producing 5 kinds of unforgetable beer, from Fabrika Lager through to Fabrika Stout. Cheers!


FLOP – negative surprises It‘s really difficult to find any negative points in this hotel, but the most enthusiastic of athletes might miss a fitness centre and wellness facilities.


TOP – positive surprises Without a doubt the biggest positive surprise in the hotel is the fresh concept it brings to the city and the entire story tied together by the Fabrika Bar. Overall impression and credibility Hotel Loft is from a different hotel world, but a perfect match to the more traditional accommodation options in Bratislava. An authentic business hotel, top-notch hipster restaurant and a boutique conference centre give new dimensions and set standards for the existing congress scene in the city. It is suitable for smaller, more exclusive events, which can be spiced up by the special culinary offer in Fabrika restaurant.

Hidden Congress Guest




CATEGORY ★★★★★ OPEN FROM Opened in 1910, renovated and rebranded to Kempinski Palace in 2008 STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities NUMBER OF ROOMS 164 sob *****superior 17 suites *****superior ONLINE PRICE 180 EUR (september 2016) ADDRESS Kempinski Palace Portorož Obala 45, 6320 Portorož, Slovenia T.: +386 5 692 7070 FACILITIES Sophia - Gourmet Restaurant, Fleur de Sel - Bar & Restaurant, Palace Club Lobby Bar, Bubbles- Aperitif Bar, Forma Viva - Caffe and ladies saloon, Pool bar - healthy drinks and light dishes, Wine cellar, Rose SPA EXTRAS Creative cooking from chef Ivo Rodrigues, who used to cook for the Michelin star restaurant Thornton’s in Dublin, is now the author of innovative Mediterranean cuisine at the Kempinski 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 Resort Meeting Hotel Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget

4.80 4.49 5.00 4.95 4.91 4.89 4.95 4.98 4.98 4.99 4.87 5.00 4.82 4,89

4.89 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

LOCATION One of the most famous hotels on the Adriatic coast, the leading force of tourist development in Portorož and host to numerous celebrities and royalty, is one of the pearls of the Slovenian congress offer. It first opened in 1910 and together with Hotel Portorož, soon became a cosmopolitan resort. It was renovated in 2008, bringing a fresh start to the small town, just as it did when it first opened more than a hundred years ago. After eight years in operation, the hotel is in excellent shape and despite changing ownership, it still justifies its reputation as one of the best Adriatic hotels. ACCESSIBILITY Portorož is the epicentre of tourism on the Slovenian coast and the Palace hotel is right in the middle. It is in the vicinity of all the major traffic routes and is easily accessible. The nearest airport is 80km away in Trieste and Ljubljana airport is 150km. The local airport is suitable for smaller business planes. Parking is available in the underground garage. COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics The hotel is one of the best examples of art nouveau architecture from the turn of the century and is the trademark for architecture in Portorož. It is an architectural reflection of the time when it was created, when neoclassical composition, which gives the feeling of stability and tradition, were popular. The classically designed park is a perfect match to the main part of the hotel and its modern extension is discrete enough so that it doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the hotel. The art nouveau interior, with the Crystal ballroom, is connected to the new part of the hotel by a glass lobby which offers views of the Bay of Piran. Overall, the architecture of the hotel is well thought out and reminds you of the past, while keeping in mind the quality standards and demands of the modern hotel guest. WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer Ivo Rodrigues is the mastermind chef from Portugal who is responsible for the exquisite hotel cuisine, which is the fruit of his international career. The dishes are light and feature his signature Mediterranean style cooking. They are a reflection of the places he has worked and even the breakfast is incredibly colorful, playful and diverse. The same goes for the catering service which is of the highest level. After eight years in the business, the hotel staff is in top shape and completely in step. Fast, efficient and polite are the standard Kempinski virtues and can be noticed immediately. In a hotel of this category, guest 121

Final Score

expectations are very high and the Kempinski certainly knows how to satisfy every wish. MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer Kempinski Palace is five star superior hotel in Slovenia. This means the rooms are spacious and excellently equipped, as you would expect from a hotel of this rank. The interior design is very calming, modern and prestigious, with lots of style and freshness. The hotel is technologically advanced and features small details in every corner. The modern congress centre gives the feeling of prestige and offers six congress halls with natural daylight - the largest has space for 220 participants. The Kempinski’s congress offer wouldn’t be complete without the Crystal ballroom, which shines in all its beauty after the renovation. Other than the Union Hall in Ljubljana, it is the most prestigious congress and banquet hall in Slovenia. It opens up to reveal a hundred year old park which is an attractive outdoor venue for events. DESSERT – Additional offer ROSE Spa - an elegant wellness centre with different treatments coming from the salt pan tradition of Portorož and Piran.


FLOP – negative surprises I had a hard time finding any flops, but what I could mention is the orderliness of the coastline, where the quality of the offer just doesn’t match that of the hotel. This has nothing to do with the hotel, but more with the entire tourist offer of Portorož.


TOP – positive surprises The majestic Crystal ballroom is known for hosting famous guests, including the Austro Hungarian aristocracy in the early 20th century. It is the perfect choice for glamorous events, gala dinners, balls and weddings. Overall impression and credibility The Kempinski Palace is simply an excellent congress hotel. With their experience in incentive travel, conferences and complicated corporate events, they have set new standards and assured the number one spot in the region. Since the last evaluation, the Palace hotel has had major improvements in terms of service quality, staff and cuisine. In addition to the standard, top-notch Kempinski service you would expect, the hotel has its unique style, which accentuates the legendary character and Habsburg elegance. All of this shows why the Kempinski Palace is at the top of the luxury offer in Slovenia.


BRATISLAVA vs. ZAGREB A current comparison of the closest competitors on the 2015 ICCA scale following the Kongres travelogue methodology – meetologues.

*Numbeo Quality of Life Index 2016 3,80 / 150,27

Population: 432.801

Sunshine hours: 2.168 per year

ICCA Country and City rankings 2015 163th place, 16 meetings Global peace index:: 3,88/ 1478

Population: 792.875

Numbeo Quality of Life Index 2016 3,90 / 159,03

ICCA Country and City rankings 2015 64th place, 41 meetings

Sunshine hours: 1.898 per year

Global peace index:: 3,70 / 1550

✚ One of the smaller and very likeable European capitals is compact and you can explore its beautiful parts by foot. The old town is closed for traffic. Administrative and economic centre of Slovakia is currently a fast growing Slovakia’s congress brand. Bratislava is undiscovered European congress capital which slowly and steadily penetrates into the congress market. It represents a novelty for international congress market which impresses due to the kindness and sympathetic of city centre but also because of not excessive commercialization. Bratislava has long lived in the shadow of neighbouring Vienna and Prague but today as fresh and full of new energy invites international congress organizers. It is closely to them mainly due to a more personal congress experience -the city is very friendly for the congress organizers and participants.

✚ Zagreb generally makes a good impression on the visitor. Zagreb is a great small place in terms of accessibility and transport. For a foreigner, the first impression is certainly Central European. Generally, the city is safe, clean, comfortable and friendly to congress participants. The good ratio between price and quality is especially attractive; this has a positive impact on the competitiveness of the destination. As its main advantage, we would highlight the compactness and high quality of hotel accommodation, which combined with cultural and historical heritage, is the formula for success. Everything is seasoned with the right dose of metropolitan character and friendliness of the locals. It is well established in the international congress market and in addition to Ljubljana and Belgrade it represents the future backbone of the meetings industry in the region.

Bratislava meetings flashpoints: 1. Loft and Wilson Hotel - an authentic business hotel, topnotch hipster restaurant and a boutique conference centre 2. Hotel Sheraton Bratislava - the first Starwood hotel in Bratislava with 700 m2 of felxible conference space 3. Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel - directly in the heart of the city, as ideal place for corporate meetings 4. Incheba Expo Bratislava - the area of more than 165 000 m2 contains quantum of interior space, large outdoor areas and 2500 parking lots 5. Reduta - Slovak Philharmonic - built under the reign of Maria Theresa, it quickly became a representative gem of Slovakia also used for ceremonial banquets and memorable events.

Zagreb meetings flashpoints: 1. Emerald Hall in Esplanade hotel - probably one of the most beautiful congress halls of the region with Orient Express old times glamour 2. Old Tram Incentive – incentive story on a nostalgic tram ride 3. Sheraton Zagreb – a classic hotel convention centre of the highest level 4. Croatian State Archive – one of the most beautiful special venues of the region 5. Gourmet Zagreb - exploring the culinary delights found in the historic Croatian capital through its farmers markets and gourmet spots.

STAY: Grand Hotel Riverpark

STAY: Esplanade Hotel

4.13 / 5


 tuality of Life Index (higher is better) is an estimation of overall quality of life by using empirical formula which takes into account purchasing power index (higher is Q better), pollution index (lower is better), house price to income ratio (lower is better), cost of living index (lower is better), safety index (higher is better), health care index (higher is better), traffic commute time index (lower is better) and climate index (higher is better). e.g. Vienna index for 2016 is 195.97





Kongres Magazine

Feel the people. Taste fresh ideas.


Croatia Addendum


Croatia Addendum



Editor: Daniela Kos

Croatia Addendum

100 MILLION FOR THE FIRST HYATT HOTEL IN CROATIA First Hyatt hotel in Croatia on the Adriatic coast – Hyatt Regancy Zadar Maraska – will contribute to the positioning of Croatia as a destination for luxury holidays and business trips. text by Daniela Kos



ogus Croatia and the Hyatt Hotels Corporation are planning to open the Hyatt Regency Zadar Maraska in the spring of 2019, the first Hyatt Hotel in Croatia. In addition to the hotel, Dogus Group will build 115 luxury residences and a commercial area with exclusive shops, restaurants and café bars. Investments in the hotel, residences and supporting facilities will be €100 million. “We strongly believe in the great potential of Croatia, which is why we continue to invest in areas and sectors that fit the corporate policy of the Dogus Group in a sustainable way. We have several hotels and marinas on the Croatian coast and we are convinced that the Maraska project will contribute to the beauty of Zadar and the development of the Dogus Group tourism portfolio. “, said Hüsnü Akhan, CEO of Dogus Group.

“We are delighted to begin one of the most prestigious projects in Zadar with our partner Hyatt. Our cooperation with Hyatt in Turkey has lasted more than 20 years and today, we are going one step further with the Maraska project. Croatia has great potential for the development of luxury tourism, which is where we are strongly focused. Together with Hyatt, we hope to strengthen the potential of this region and to attract tourists from Croatia and the rest of the world “, said Naci Baserdem, President, Dogus Tourism Group. “We are very proud to cooperate with Hyatt and to bring one of the most famous hotel brands in the world, Hyatt Regency, to Croatia, “said Burak Baykan, Regional Director for Croatia and Montenegro, Dogus Group. “Together with Hyatt, we will work to transform the old beverage factory, Maraska,

Croatia Addendum


into a hotel that will offer guests the highest level of services. We are sure that the Hyatt brand can significantly contribute to the attractiveness of the City of Zadar as a destination and also to the overall development of Croatian tourism, as well as it’s positioning for luxury tourism. The hotel will manage the residences and commercial areasand will be available to everyone from Zadar. Upon completion, the total investment in Croatia by Dogus Group will be around €350 million.” added Burak Baykan, pointing out that the hotel will create 170 new jobs and will have a positive impact on indirect employment. “The opening of the Hyatt Regency Zadar Maraska underlines our ambition to develop the Hyatt Regency brand,” said Jacques Morand, Regional Vice President, Hyatt

International Hotels and Resorts. “This hotel not only marks the entry of Hyatt into the Croatian market, but it will also be our first hotel on the Adriatic coast. We intend to provide the top quality accommodation and services which made Hyatt Regency successful and recognizable worldwide. We want to be a good neighbor to the local community and contribute to strengthening the tourism profile of Croatia. “ The Hyatt Regency Zadar Maraska will stand out with its design by architect Boris Podrecca, who combines history with modern architecture. With 130 luxurious rooms and suites, the hotel will offer guests one of the most beautiful spa and wellness centers in Croatia, outdoor and indoor swimming pools, a modern conference center, restaurants and bars. “Wishing to emphasize the monumentality and beauty of the old building Maraska, we split the new structure into two connected parts, thus creating a Mediterranean Tripartita. Since the hotel is located next to a park, we wanted to incorporate it into the existing environment and so we designed a terraced landscaped to achieve a transition between architectural structure and the surrounding greenery, with a glass vault which forms part of the restaurant with an indoor garden and pool.”, emphasized Boris Podrecca, author of Architectural Design. Interior design has been entrusted to British company DeSallesFlint, which specializes in hotel and residence design and has previously equipped several Hyatt hotels worldwide. “The idea was to create an exciting design that will reflect the rich history of the Maraska building and a modern, dynamic approach that combines the old and new.” “Modern Nostalgia “is the phrase that tells the story of the interior design of the future hotel, celebrating the historical heritage of the Maraska building with a projection of the modern lifestyle, influenced by Mediterranean sensibility and contemporary glamour “, said Simon Flint, Co-Founder, DeSallesFlint. The residential part will consist of two buildings of 115 luxury residential units ranging from 38m2 to 185m2. The exterior of the residences is inspired by modern lines of design and the architecture of a marina, with the design of modern yachts. PoslovniTurizam/Poslovni dnevnik

Croatia Addendum

ECM SUMMER SCHOOL: EDUCATION, NETWORKING AND EXPLORING CONGRESS OPTIONS IN ZAGREB 30. The ECM Summer School, held this summer in Zagreb, brought together 56 participants from 17 countries. Participants were introduced to Zagreb’s congress offer through education and networking. text by Ana Matusina



uropean Cities Marketing (ECM) is a non-profit organization focused on improving the competitiveness and performance of the leading cities in Europe. It provides a platform for knowledge and best practice exchange, and networking for marketing experts from business and tourism. European Cities Marketing promotes and connects the interests of members from more than 100 major cities from 36 countries including the Croatian cities of Dubrovnik, Pula, Rijeka and Zagreb. For the past 30 years, ECM has organized one of the most important educational seminars for the meetings industry, the ECM Summer School, which is held in a different association member city each year. This year’s jubilee ECM Summer School was held in Zagreb, at the Sheraton Hotel from 27 – 31 August2016, and brought together 56 participants from 17 countries from around the world, led by 16 members of the professorial council. The professorial council consists of ECM members / partners who voluntarily give their time with the desire to pass on their knowledge to young professionals and return something to the industry. “We are very pleased with this year’s seminar as this is the 30 year anniversary of the ECM Summer School which is a very relevant educational platform for the European meetings industry. In these 30 years we have educated 1,600 people. The participants are mostly young professionals but this year we had a major challenge because, among the students, we also had general managers of hotels and older professionals who wanted to upgrade their skills and to learn how to be proactive in today’s international market, how destination marketing operates and how to attract new customers. This proved to be a perfect formula as they had the opportunity to meet their clients: association directors, PCO’s, corporate organizers, etc. The secret to success of this seminar is in the composition of the lecturers who are the world’s top professionals in the sector with years of experience in the meetings industry and include Christian Mutschelechner who worked for many years for the Vienna Convention Bureau, Anne Wallin from Oslo and this year, Christine Shimasaki from the USA who is among the top 25 influencers of the world’s meetings industry,” stated Pier Paolo Mariotti, lecturer and program manager for the ECM Summer School.

A DIVERSE PROGRAM AND EXPLORING ZAGREB The event program which included plenary sessions, group work, networking and socializing, allowed for maximum interaction between seminar participants and experienced professionals from the industry. The program was designed so that participants could learn everything from the basics and origins to the contemporary context of the meetings industry (key players in the industry, fairs, media, social media, sustainability, customers, mediators, requirements/inquiries and decision-making processes), with a focus on the best European and international practices. In addition to the lectures, socializing and networking, group work was organized for the participants through which they were acquainted with the congress offer of Zagreb. Participants were divided into several groups and given the task to present Zagreb as a meeting destination to the organizers of the International IT conference, EuroPAR 2016. To achieve this, groups undertook site inspections, visiting several hotels in Zagreb as possible event locations. Each group then presented their offer for Euro-PAR 2016. When asked whether the participants had the opportunity to see other segments on offer in Zagreb, Pier Polo Mariotti said: “The social events within the school included visits to locations that are significant for the industry itself, such as the Palace Dverce which we visited the first night before a stroll through the city. The vast majority of students prolonged their stay in order to visit some attractions such as museums. For example, I personally like the Museum of Contemporary Art and will certainly visit it! ” PARTICIPANT IMPRESSIONS Participants at this year’s ECM Summer School in Zagreb arrived from 17 countries including Lithuania, Estonia, Norway, Italy, Spain, Austria, Great Britain and even from the USA. With new knowledge and experiences, the participants also earned 17.75 points for the CMP certificate and a number of professional acquaintances. They also did not hide their satisfaction with the summer school! Enrique Garcia Rios, an international leader in the promotion of the Barcelona Convention Bureau, was surprised by Zagreb which he visited for the first time for this course

Croatia Addendum

and he pointed out that Zagreb is much closer to Barcelona than he thought. Although Zagreb has Slavic origins, he was thrilled by the Mediterranean climate and the atmosphere of the city. He found his participation in the ECM seminar to be a very useful experience. “It was very intense. In the last few days we gained a large amount of knowledge, shared knowledge and it was very useful to see some of the concepts and instructions on how to work and how to present your destination in the meetings industry. The group work was very challenging since the groups were made up of individuals from different countries, cities, companies and organizations, all of whom have very different methods and ways of doing business but, because of that, our work was more interesting and very useful as we were able to look at our own business from different perspectives.” Five participants were from Croatia including Iva Puđak Mihajlović, Head of PPS, PCE+ and EU funds of the Croatian National Tourist Board. “The school was excellent, the lecturers were great with years of experience and most importantly, there was time for interaction! We had the opportunity to ask many questions. We also had group workshops and had the chance to talk almost one on one with lecturers about how to gain experience and plan activities in the business, which was priceless since I work in the destination management department that supports the offer; we work on the promotional activities and development of the meeting offer. Networking at the event was very high quality and contacts in this industry are very important, probably more than in other branches of tourism.” We asked the main lecturer and program manager, Pier Paolo Mariotti, his message to young professionals from the meetings industry: “First I would like to tell them to learn and then to immerse themselves in this very serious industry and to be prepared since the competition is very strong. Customers are always seeking more and more. It is important to be ready for this rapidly evolving market. Considering that a large number of participants come from destinations that do not have their own Convention Bureau, I would tell them that Convention Bureaus are, in fact, very important, the center of the nuclear system, customers look for help and the participation of the city when organizing their event. The offer therefore needs to be simplified, all suppliers must be in one place; there should be a one-stop-shop. We can see examples from the world that show that where there is a strong Convention Bureau, there is a strong congress industry!” Mariotti concluded.


Croatia Addendum

TURN ON OUTOFOFFICE. TURN OFF YOUR WORRIES ABOUT DIGITAL MARKETING! New service from com – the digital OutOfOffice – for all those who do not have time to manage their digital communication channels. text by Daniela Kos



f you think that you do not have enough time to carry out operational marketing activities, do not worry, you are not the only one! In the last few years, there has been a series of new digital communication channels, but to exploit their full potential we need something that we are often missing – time! The growth of media and communication platforms is often not followed by an increase in employees in the marketing department and existing staff simply do not have the time to pay adequate attention to new media. Customer expectations are, however, increasing and those who want to stay competitive in this new digital environment cannot afford failure. Digital marketing in the meetings in-

dustry and tourism has become too important to only deal with occasionally and/or superficially, it requires a systematic approach. The solution is here: OutOfOffice - your outsourced digital office! Could you use some help with operational marketing activities? Consider outsourcing the digital marketing tasks that you do not have time for! Regardless of whether promotional texts need writing, newsletters sent or Facebook applications created, our team will do the job professionally and on time so that you can devote your time to the strategic aspect of your job.

Croatia Addendum


WHO’S BEHIND OUTOFOFFICE DIGITAL OFFICE? The outsourced digital office, OutOfOffice, is a new service from / Years of experience in web marketing, Croatian tourism and the meetings industry, gives us the insight into the challenges that many colleagues often meet and so we decided to form a team and offer services that will help you with your daily work. Our team is composed of excellent marketing and digital experts who are ready for any challenge. The internet is our natural environment and therefore we are able to improve your digital marketing - from the production of websites, content marketing, e-mail marketing etc… We can help you with: • Content marketing – creating the strategy, content, production and distribution of content • E-mail marketing – creating the strategy, segmentation and updating the database, production of newsletters • Social media marketing – management of profiles and campaigns on social networks • Production/website maintenance – design, production, updating, technical maintenance • Design - creation/production of web and print materials • Other services - SEO, SEM, PR and events, digital strategy and advice WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF ENGAGING THE OUTOFOFFICE DIGITAL TEAM? Engagement of the OutOfOffice digital team has a number of advantages over alternative solutions, such as hiring additional staff or specialist agencies for specific aspects of marketing. More cost-effective than hiring – the average marketing specialist costs a company approximately €1,500 per month - by employing the digital OutOfOffice team you will achieve significant savings! Experience guarantees quality – our team members are professionals with an average of 7–10 years of experience in the digital marketing environment, providing high quality implementation of every task! Team instead of individuals - with the OutOfOffice digital office, not just one marketing specialist but a whole team of

digital experts will be at your disposal to manage your requests in the shortest possible time. If you find the OutOfOffice digital office services interesting and you feel we can help you then please let us know! Free analysis of your digital channels – request a free analysis of your digital channels and a proposal with the basic measures / activities for improvement. Two month trial period – if you want to try our services and to test OutOfOffice, we will provide you with a two month trial period. More information about OutOfOffice services can be found at


SKOPJE vs. TIRANA A current comparison of the closest competitors on the 2015 ICCA scale following the Kongres travelogue methodology – meetologues.

*Numbeo Quality of Life Index 2016 3,20 / 83,30

Population: 506.926

Population: 610.070

Numbeo Quality of Life Index 2016 3,40 / 108,23

Sunshine hours: 2.339 per year

ICCA Country and City rankings 2015 373th place, 5 meetings

ICCA Country and City rankings 2015 NA, NA

Sunshine hours: 2.526 per year

Global peace index:: 2,94/ 1821

Global peace index:: 3,10 / 1944

✚ As the capital of Macedonia Skopje is at the crossroads of international paths and has all the predispositions to develop the meetings industry. It still has a long way of investing into infrastructure. In Skopje event or meeting can be organized with some effort, yet for a serious breakthrough it needs to look to its neighbours for a model of successful development – the Thessaloniki Convention and Visitors Bureau. The culinary and night life are among the best in the region. The food is simply divine. In this area Skopje breaths in the rhythm of larger metropolises and can be compared to Belgrade in many aspects. The hospitality and kindness of the Macedonians is unbeatable.

✚ Despite the chaotic first impression, you can organise your event in Tirana without any problems and to the satisfaction of your congress participants. Albanians are in fact extremely proud, friendly, calm, excellent hosts, which outweighs any weaknesses in infrastructure. They like to help, are very sociable and stick to their words and promises, expecting the same in return. Tirana has enormous meetings potential, which could be improved with investment in hotel infrastructure. Due to their beautiful nature there are also untapped opportunities for incentive programmes, today marketed by only a few DMCs. For a faster breakthrough they will have to connect and establish a congress bureau.

Skopje meetings flashpoints: 1. Skopje Marriott Hotel - in the heart of Macedonia’s capital city with 9 meeting and conference halls 2. Aleksandar Palace Hotel - conference center consists of multifunctional Conference halls with capacity of 1800 seats 3. Skopje Fair Congress Centre - the integral part of Skopski fair and it presents place specialized exclusively for promotions and events 4. The Hunters Lodge Kamnik - Special venue with an exclusive restaurant and enoteca where you can enjoy relaxing atmosphere 5. Macedonian Opera and Ballet - hđHighly distinctive and prominent building in the Skopje’s urban fabric with openspace hall for different theme events for 500 guests

Tirana meetings flashpoints: 1. Tirana International Hotel & Conference Centre - with 170 rooms and the biggest conference centre in the city 2. Rogner hotel Tirana - A very nicely furnished hotel with a smaller congress centre for a maximum of 150 participants. 3. Sheraton Tirana - With seven congress halls of a capacity for up to 380 participants. 4. Tirana Expo centre - Located on the outskirts of the city, the expo centre offers comprehensive, multi-functional conference rooms. 5. Dark tourism incentives -Walking through the former “Blloku” (‘block’) – the part of Tirana that used to be completely out of bounds to ordinary Albanians, since it served as the residential area for the party elite during the communist era.

STAY: Skopje Marriott Hotel

STAY: Rogner Hotel Tirana

3.58 / 5


 tuality of Life Index (higher is better) is an estimation of overall quality of life by using empirical formula which takes into account purchasing power index (higher is Q better), pollution index (lower is better), house price to income ratio (lower is better), cost of living index (lower is better), safety index (higher is better), health care index (higher is better), traffic commute time index (lower is better) and climate index (higher is better). e.g. Vienna index for 2016 is 195.97






Inside Ljubljana


Photo by: Alan Kosmač


he results of the Eurostat (European statistical office) survey regarding the satisfaction with the quality of life in European cities for 2015 show that as many as 92% of residents of Ljubljana are satisfied with the quality of life in their city. The positive attitude of Ljubljana residents towards their own city is also reflected in their feeling of pride when welcoming foreign leisure and business visitors, which is an added value to the overall quality of the guest experience, with a stress on the local hospitality. The survey was conducted in 83 European cities, among them 28 capitals of European Union countries. The high score that Ljubljana obtained ranks it among the top ten European capitals. It is also gratifying that the share of satisfied residents has increased by two percentage points in comparison to 2012. The Eurostat survey covers various areas of life, including satisfaction with public transport, cultural and sports infrastructure, educational institutions, public services, the living environment and the attitude towards foreigners. The survey also touches upon the satisfaction with the environment in which we live, including

air quality and cleanliness of the city, and the feeling of safety in the city. The data for Ljubljana show that as many as 86% of residents are satisfied with public spaces (squares, parks, pedestrian areas), which positions Ljubljana at the top of the list of European capitals, more accurately, in fourth place. Ljubljana holds the excellent fourth place also in the category of satisfaction with schools and other educational institutions, namely, as many as 79% of residents are satisfied with them. In the area of satisfaction with the environment the results are remarkable: 76% of residents are satisfied with the quality of air in Ljubljana, and it has to be stressed that the share of satisfied residents increased by as much as 15 percentage points in comparison to 2012. The cleanliness of the city completely satisfied 88% of residents, putting Ljubljana in the third place among European capitals, and 88% of residents are satisfied with green surfaces. Ljubljana is also at the top – in the third place – of the list of cities which are, in the opinion of the respondents, most committed to the fight against climate change.


75% of residents are fully satisfied with public transport, 69% with health care services and sports facilities (Ljubljana holds the sixth place in the field of sports), 82% with cultural facilities, and 76% of individuals surveyed are satisfied with the state of the streets and buildings in their neighbourhood. The results also confirm the fact that Ljubljana is a safe city: as many as 91% of its residents feel completely safe, whereas the number with regard to the feeling of safety in neighbourhoods is even slightly higher – 92%. 81% of residents of Ljubljana generally trust other people in their neighbourhood, 77% of individuals agree with the statement that the presence of foreigners is positive in Ljubljana, and as many as 68% of respondents are of the opinion that foreigners are well integrated, which puts Ljubljana in the second place among European capitals. The survey states that the highest level of satisfaction in European capitals was recorded among residents of Vilnius, Stockholm and Copenhagen, while residents of Athens, Rome, Bucharest and Paris are among the least satisfied.

Inside Ljubljana

New congress wins for CD Congress Centre Ljubljana


lovenia and its capital, Ljubljana, are seen as increasingly appealing and competitive congress destinations. As a result of continued activities set in the right direction, CD Congress Centre Ljubljana’s in-house PCO is delighted to announce that a number of bids presented this summer were successful for Ljubljana / Slovenia. As many as six international meetings ranging from 500 to 1,500 delegates have been confirmed in the last days of September 2016. All of them will take place in Ljubljana, at the venue itself. • LUX EUROPA Conference, 19 to 23 September 2017, 500 delegates • UNESCO 2nd World Open Education Global Congress, 18 to 20 November 2017, 500 delegates • IEEE International Conference on Harmonics and Quality of Power – ICHQP 2018, 13 to 15 May 2018, 500 delegates • CIRED - International Workshop on Electricity Distribution, 13 and 14 June 2018 in Ljubljana, 600 delegates • 15th International DOCOMOMO Conference, 28 to 31 August 2018, 500 delegates • The annual scientific congress of the Federation of European Toxicologists & European Societies of Toxicology, 12 to 15 September 2021, 1.500 delegates. We are keeping our fingers crossed for this trend of success to continue, as there are more bids in circulation, to bring in new knowledge and business networking to Ljubljana, as well as potential future ambassadors of our destination.

Four Points by Sheraton UNESCO 2nd Open Edu­ cation Global Conference Ljubljana Mons now to take place in Ljubljana part of the biggest name in hospitality, Marriott lovenia is quickly becoming one of the forerunners of open educational resources International, Inc.


(OER). OER are invaluable tools that are useful for freely-accessible teaching and learning. Slovenia has systematically funded OER since 1994, fostering production of openly licensed and accessible documents and media. 10 million EUR has been invested into multimedia and interactive educational e-materials as well as the Opening Up Slovenia initiative between 2006 and 2010. To Slovenia, this represents a formal acknowledgement and strategically important national, economic and developmental position. UNESCO (represented by its Director General, Irina Bokova) supported the initiative and proposed Slovenia to host the 2nd Open Education Global Conference. In September 2014 Director General of  UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and Director of the Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS), Prof. Jadran Lenarčič, PhD, signed an agreement on the establishment of UNESCO Chair on Open Technologies for Open Educational Resources and Open Learning, based at the IJS Ljubljana. This is the leading Slovenian scientific research institute, covering a broad spectrum of basic and applied research, whose staff of more than 960 specializes in natural sciences, life sciences and engineering. The event, which will take place from 18 to 20 November 2017, will run as a Category II Conference - an intergovernmental conference including participation of high-ranking ministers or their deputies in partnership between the Republic of Slovenia, UNESCO and some prominent foundations and institutions involved in OER. It will furthermore bring together researchers and various scientists from diverse disciplines who will address the issue from their respective angles. CD Congress Centre Ljubljana will act as the venue and PCO of this global conference. They report that the event has garnered a lot of attention, and Ljubljana looks forward to hosting approximately 500 high-profile guests from abroad. Apart from working out good logistical solutions the rules of professional and political etiquette will also have to be followed.

The Four Points by Sheraton Ljubljana Mons, thus now a part of the largest global hotel chain, Marriott International Inc., expects that this merger will strengthen its competitiveness on the international market and also give a further boost to the hotel industry in Slovenia. At a time when travelers place even greater emphasis on enriching and personal experiences, they can now choose from the most diverse selection of hotel brands ever and expanded loyalty benefits. With more than 5,700 hotels and 1.1 million rooms in over 110 countries across the globe, guests now have access to the best hotels and resorts wherever they travel. Marriott International’s portfolio now includes a series of quintessential luxury and lifestyle names. The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, JW Marriott, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels and EDITION define a new era of luxury travel, with dynamic brands such as Westin, Renaissance and Autograph Collection occupying an evolving lifestyle category. Premium brands like Marriott Hotels and Sheraton anchor the portfolio and provide a broad array of choices around the world for business and leisure travel. And new, fun, accessible experiences at Moxy Hotels, AC Hotels and Aloft add to the portfolio, ensuring our guests have whatever they want, wherever they are in the world. “The marriage of these two leading hotel companies means Marriott will deliver an unparalleled guest experience with more hotels in more global destinations, an unrivaled range of comprehensive accommodations to suit every traveler, and the industry’s best loyalty programs,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International.

Photo by: Tadej Bernik


The most iconic and visionary name in hospitality, Marriott International, Inc., recently expanded to include 30 of the most desirable and prestigious hotel brands with the addition of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts portfolio.

Inside Ljubljana

Ljubljana resounded to the beat of the Golden Drum Festival


rom 18 to 21 October 2016 Ljubljana has hosted the 23rd Golden Drum International Festival of Creativity that, under the motto “Inspire to be Inspired”, awarded the most creative works from the New Europe while sharing fresh advertising knowledge. Over 40 international guest speakers took the stage, while 1.215 entries from 26 countries were registered for the revamped competition, with around 1.000 delegates attending this annual creative festival. The Golden Drum, organised by the Slovenian Advertising Chamber, has over the years developed an excellent reputation in the creative advertising sphere both for the quality of the competition and its legendary parties and award shows. After residing for years at the coastline, the festival has moved to Ljubljana, with its landmark, the Ljubljana Castle, serving as the main venue. Some of the events in the Festival’s programme took place at two other locations, the Grand Hotel Union and the GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre. Golden Drum was welcomed also by the Mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković: “I am pleased that the venue for this year’s festival has moved after 22 years to the most beautiful city in the world –Ljubljana, right to its highest

point, Ljubljana Castle, from where the view of the city is simply charming. I am confident that participants will easily find inspiration for their creations, as Ljubljana with its friendly inhabitants offers numerous interesting places that are worth exploring. I wish organizers and participants of the Golden Drum Festival a pleasant and creative stay in this year’s European Green Capital 2016, which is the most important award that a city can receive!!” The change of location was not the only novelty that the 23rd Golden Drum brought. The achievements from the region were put in the spotlight with the new Best Capture of Local Spirit and Golden Drum Adriatic awards. The Golden Drum Festival and the City of Ljubljana also invited young creatives under the age of 30 to participate in the Ljubljana Poster Award Contest for the best and most creative poster, based on the theme: The City of Ljubljana is Green For You. Get Active, Get Fit! The main awards were received by: McCann Worldgroup – Golden Net Award for the most successful agency network at the festival; Publicis Romania/Publicis One – Golden Rose Award for the most successful

agency; Voskhod from Russia – the Tartini Award  for the most successful independent agency and Ural Music Night – Golden Drum Brand Grand Prix Award. Next to a strong competition and excellent festival programme featuring stars like Cindy Gallop, Founder & Chief Executive Officer at IfWeRanTheWorld / MakeLoveNotPorn from New York City and Emma Wilkie, Managing Director of The Gunn Report from United Kingdom, the festival was enriched with evening social events, including national parties organized by Hungary and Slovenia and Golden Drum’s opening and closing parties. Golden Drum has once again lived up to its motto: “Sharp competition, good school, crazy party and devilish challenge”. 

Tips for Incentives from Ljubljana

An incentive tip for autumn days… Team spirit at the House of Experiments


he warmer months and sunny weather make us immediately think of the great oudoors, which allow a wide choice of programmes in the city or the nearby natural surroundings. Yet, as days get shorter and colder, here‘ an idea for a fun and playful activity in the centre of Ljubljana. The House of Experiments (Hiša eksperimentov) is a highly interactive “hands-on” Science Centre. Surely you must have visited a museum and now imagine coming into a museum where you may study every piece of art on display not just by admiring them. The big difference is that the exhibits in the House get their real value only when you touch them. By moving, changing, squeezing and playing you get to know something new every time, often awakening a childlike curiosity in adults. Visitors guide themselves through the venue and decide along the way what they wish to do first, what next, what they want to visit again or prefer to skip. Demonstrations of experiments, like Soundology, Gasology, Pressureology or Eggology, can be tested in person.

This institution has adopted an interesting motto that is true indeed: “Having read, I have forgotten. Having seen, I have remembered. Having made it myself, I know!”. With this in mind, the House is an attractive place to visit not only for those who are fans of science shows, but also to many who can discocer the endless boundaries of science!


Hiša eksperimentov, Best time of the year: All year round (except 15 July - 15 August ) Minimum / Maximum number of participants:         20-50 (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays for group appointments) Duration: 2 hours

Photo Credits: Žiga Intihar

Flash Foto


Kongres Magazine

22 – 24 February 2017

Istanbul Congress Center – ICC & Istanbul Lutfi Kirdar – ICEC

Don’t Forget to Take Your Place at AME 2017!

AME 2016 In Numbers Exhibition Area of 6.246 m2

750 Hosted Buyers

14.496 Visitors

9.843 B2B Meetings

339 Exhibitors

62 Speakers at 25 Sessions for 3 days

This fair is organised with the permission of TOBB in accordance with the law No: 5174



HEROES OF EX-YUGOSLAVIA 2 Night incentive / the 48 hours that made history Overview: Experience socialism as a bit of European exoticism! If you have never experienced socialism first hand, this incentive programme offers you the chance to see and experience Slovenia in a completely different way. The journey will reveal some of the most typical features of the socialist period, during which you will be able to admire its architectural styles and see the way of life once lived behind the Iron Curtain. You will experience the 25th May, the Day of Youth, and will be introduced to the highlights of Yugoslav design as well as culinary, lifestyle and motoring fads. 1. Moments of Zen: Visit to Vila Bled, Tito’s former residence 2. Quality time: Walking tour through Ljubljana’s modern architecture 3. Must see: Brdo pri Kranju, Tito’s former residence 4. Must do: Admission to Pioneers into Juniors in Velenje 5. Our pick: Miracle of Socialism, Tito’s Velenje - life in the period of companionship and “rebellion”

ITINERARY DAY 1: Socialist realism 10:00 Arrival at Ljubljana airport 11:00 Bicycle tour of modern Ljubljana An exploration of the urban streets, places and buildings that reveal Ljubljana’s modern architectural character. It is Edvard Ravnikar to whom Ljubljana owes her modern look, as he was the first to apply Le Corbusier’s architectural and urban-planning principles to the city. You will learn about the basic elements of modern architectural aesthetics. 13:00 Rally of the non-aligned We will then take our journey into old-timers to set off on a historical drive to the Technical

Museum of Slovenia, where we will admire the collection of Tito’s protocol vehicles. You will also get a chance to personally see the Yugo, a car that was derided by the entire Hollywood scene, but that was actually a real “people’s” car. 16:00 Tito’s residence - Brdo Our rally tour continues on to Tito’s most favourite residence, Brdo. The property, where he hosted politicians from all over the world, was also Tito’s last residence - in January 1980 he went straight from there to Ljubljana’s Medical Centre, where he died on 4th May. 20:00 Dinner at Vila Bled At Vila Bled you will experience a wine and culinary evening as it was experienced by all the political guests Tito hosted in his favourite residence. After dinner we will watch the legendary movie “Battle at Neretva” in a room where Tito watched movies with his guests. DAY 2: Non-aligned movement 08.00 Breakfast at Vila Bled A typical breakfast as Tito would have preferred it is an excellent introduction to exploring the hidden corners of the estate that lies on the shore of the most beautiful lake in the world. 09:00 Made in Socialism The most famous Slovenian trademarks blossomed during the socialist period. We will take you to the birthplace of one of the most renowned trademarks in the world, the Elan skies, after which we will continue our journey in an old-timer bus to visit Tito’s Velenje, a monumental city that best represents the former Yugoslav economy and vision. 11:00 Velenje - Experience socialism The city built by the graft of hard working men will reveal itself to you in a very unique way and you will be a unique part of creating a complete impression of it: if you belong to the younger generation you will acquire important knowledge in better understanding socialism’s heritage, whilst for others it will revive memories of the days growing up either in a socialist society or in a world with socialism as a big part of it. 14:00 Underground adventure After this we will for a short time put on a mining helmet and delve beneath the surface of the earth to set off on the interesting path of the once active galleries of the Škale cave, which are today part of the museum. As part of a teambuilding programme you will learn about the traditional mining values of comradeship, solidarity and unselfish aid. 17:00 Socialistic foodism Tito was considered a great esthete and indeed some kind of a “socialist foody”. He admired the beauty of the Logarska Valley and therefore loved staying at Pension Plesnik there. He espe139

cially appreciated the famous local sausage that kings, presidents and former political elite have also loved for its exquisite taste. On arrival to the Logarska valley we will treat you to the legendary sausage, “the Savinjski želodec”, and prepare you for the evening teambuilding exercises. 18:30 ‘Slovenia, my country’ We will then continue the evening with the photo safari, where you will look for the traces of marketing history. You will shoot a continuation of the famous advertisement, “Slovenia my country”, which was recorded right in the picturesque Logarska valley. 20:30 Nostalgic Cockta bar in Hotel Plesnik We will end our tour with a cold buffet, introducing you to some typical culinary and some food and drink brands that continue to impress consumers in the region, a typical example of one such socialist brand being Cockta, in which you yourself will have to prepare your own winning cocktail. DAY 3: Departures 09:00 Transfer to the airport, with the possibility to extend the stay in the wellness centre. Getting there: Airport Jože Pučnik Ljubljana Accommodation: Boutique hotels: Vila Bled in Hotel Plesnik Eat and drink: Brdo estate, Vila Bled, Hotel Plesnik, different locations on the road as well world-class culinary strongholds. Gateways: The programme includes visiting some of the most beautiful tourist icons of Slovenia, which in the past delighted both visitors and the top politicians of socialism. We start in the European Green Capital, continue in the Alpine pearl, experience a plot in the currently most beautiful Slovenian town of Velenje and witness a disentanglement in the picturesque Logarska valley.

CONTACT US: Blue Ljubljana Office, Štihova ulica 4, SI1000 Ljubljana, T: +386 (0)1 430 51 03, F: +386 (0)1 430 51 04, E:, W:



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Ibtm world 2016 – your international industry event What’s new this year?

Why ibtm world? What’s in it for me? Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in Europe and some say, the world. It’s trendy, modern and also traditional and it’s home to ibtm world. Every year some 15,500 meeting professionals make it their home for the week, so we asked Graeme Barnett, Senior Exhibition Director ibtm world, what’s new and what’s in it for you in 2016. How can I attend ibtm world? Depending on whether you want to apply to be a Hosted Buyer or register as a trade visitor, both are easy to do via www. Once again the Hosted Buyer programme is tailored to your needs. As a Corporate Buyer you will have access to a variety of invitation only events, and for those from an Agency we are working to your agenda too, with flexible attendance options, access to VIP lounges onsite and networking opportunities. Unique to the industry, for Association Buyers we also have My Association | My Club, which offers a range of benefits that include your own hub hotel, and the exclusive Associations Connect event. For those wanting to attend on their own, follow their own agenda and make their own plans, then choose the trade visitor option. Simply register online and take advantage of all the travel and accommodation deals.

With innovative technology, a packed Innovation Zone with new exhibitors showcasing the next generation of technology for events, plus real handson demonstrations and networking, it’s not just the sheer diversity of thousands of international exhibitors inspiring the meetings professional. The Knowledge Programme is bursting with education, and this year it’s been created by the industry for the industry so topics and themes are what you want to hear about, current and on trend. Check it out at www.ibtmworld. com and see for yourself. We have a special surprise for you… the design of the ACS Knowledge Village will be themed like a circus – yes we are in the business of creating impact at our events as well! What’s in it for you?

We could meet suppliers from 5 continents in less than 3 days… you can’t beat that! Bouchra El Bacha, Omni Destination Management, United States, Hosted Buyer

We will get you from the airport to the venue in the quickest time yet due to the new Metro Station opening at the Fira Gran Via. The journey from the airport to ibtm world is just 19 minutes, making your connections as fast as the onsite wi-fi! We have a full diary of events starting on 29th November with the Welcome Reception, celebrating Catalonia’s European Year of Gastronomy and enticingly called “Deliciously Barcelona”. It’s all about the region’s wines, food, and culture, from the sea, land and countryside. The following night exhibitors will hold events on their stands from 18.00 to 19.00, giving you even more networking and fun. For those who want to continue on, Club Night becomes Rendezvous, hosted in partnership with the MPI Foundation and Holland, creating the party of all parties. New this year, attendees are asked to purchase entry tickets to this exclusive party. Entry includes open bars, entertainment and dancing while connecting with industry friends and it’s all for a good cause, the MPI Foundation.

incentives, business travel & meetings expo |

1 – 4 February 2017



Explore the emerging destinations of Europe over a cup of coffee

THE BOUTIQUE MEETINGS MARKET IS BACK AND THIS TIME IT’S PERSONAL Once you’ve seen what CONVENTA can do for you in two days you’ll never want aything else.


18 - 19 JANUARY 2017, Ljubljana—Slovenia

Conventa Addendum

CONVENTA EXHIBITION FLOOR IS FILLING UP FAST A Boutique show format gives exhibitors the opportunity to stand out


The numbers show that the interest in exhibiting at Conventa is now bigger than ever. Almost 70 percent of the available exhibitor stands at the trade show have already been booked. Conventa’s organizers are especially excited to welcome new meeting providers making sure hosted buyers attending the trade show truly get acquainted with the meeting industry offer of the entire region of New Europe.


onventa 2017 will remain a boutique trade show offering only 140 exhibition stands. Meeting industry providers from New Europe that intend to exhibit at Conventa 2017 don’t have a lot of time left for registration. Stands at the upcoming trade show are selling out quickly. EXHIBITORS 2017 The statistics show that the first to re-book their stand after Conventa 2016

was the agency Tunes Travel from Istanbul.

New among the exhibitors are Convention Burgenland, Hotel InterContinental Wien and Aqua Dome from Austria, Insight Events from Bulgaria, Hotel Paka from Slovenia and Agency Emerge from Slovakia. The largest portion of exhibitors that have already confirmed their participation comes from Austria, followed closely by Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Turkey, Serbia, Italy, Hungary and Slovakia.

Meetings providers looking to exhibit at Conventa can choose among different exhibitor packages and book their stands on-line at www.

Miha Kovačič, Director of Slovenian Convention Bureau and Conventa organizer: “We are excited that in eight years the Conventa show has earned credibility and recognisability to attract an ever increasing number of meeting industry providers from the entire region. This truly makes Conventa the prime marketplace for the meeting industry of New Europe.”

Conventa Addendum

EXPERIENCING THE DESTINATION AND ITS MEETINGS OFFER AT FAM TRIPS It’s all about the first-hand information and experience Hosted buyers attending Conventa 2017 will again have the opportunity to attend fam trips to selected destination in New European region and thus experience the meetings offer also first-hand. Based on the results of satisfaction surveys, Conventa fam trips are rated with the highest scores and present a great added value to meeting planners attending the show.


his January, meeting planners accepted as hosted buyers at Conventa will have the possibility to choose a fam trip of their preference and complete their Conventa experience with a congress road trip. The congress destinations the organizers are considering at the moment for fam trips are in Slovenia: Ljubljana, Bled, Kranjska gora, PortoroĹž & Piran, Maribor and Brdo Estate. In Croatia the destinations invited to participate are Zagreb, Opatija, Rovinj and Split. Serbia was invited with a proposal of a trip to Belgrade, Hungary with Budapest and Montenegro with Tivat. The most attractive destination of the carefully prepared list will be selected and announced in the beginning of October. Already confirmed hosted buyers will have their chance to apply for the trip of their choice. Since the attendance at fam trips will be limited, meeting planners interested in applying for hosted buyers status at Conventa have to act soon to ensure their place.


Hosted Buyers at Conventa are fully hosted. Apply now at www.conventa. si and ensure yourself a full Conventa package. Remember, only at Conventa an investment of 25 EUR brings hosted buyers a VIP treatment worth 1.200 EUR!

Conventa Addendum

“TO BE, OR NOT TO BE” IS NOT A QUESTION Why participating at Conventa is a smart marketing decision


DISCOVERING NEW DESTINATIONS Conventa opens your meetings horizons. The trade show introduces you to around 15 different New European destinations, 140 meeting providers and offers a personal experience of one destination of your choice at a fam trip.

MEETING CHERRY-PICKED BUYERS Around 90 % of meeting planners are new to the show each year and they all have to meet the organiser’s strict criteria in order to acquire hosted buyer status.

ALL EXPENSES COVERED The hosted buyer programme includes a complimentary economy return air ticket from selected destinations, local transfers, accommodation, meals, evening receptions and a fam trip.

NETWORKING EVERY STEP OF THE WAY Conventa is the only trade show that organises joint social events, making sure exhibitors and hosted buyers can continue networking beyond the trade show hours.

PERSONAL ITINERARY OF APPOINTMENTS You get access to the online hosted buyer zone, where you can schedule one-to-one appointments with the exhibiting companies of your interest.

MARKETING THROUGH CONVENTA CHANNELS Conventa continuously communicates with more than 50,000 meeting professionals. Promoting exhibitors and your stories is what we do successfully 365 days a year.

VIP TREATMENT You will feel like Royals with the 24/7 support of the Conventa team, enjoying great hospitality and positive energy in a relaxed atmosphere all packed into a one-ofa-kind Conventa experience.

GAINING NEW KNOWLEDGE It has always been important to offer free of charge professional education to you as part of the Conventa experience and on the other hand also give you a chance to educate others about what you do best during the show at our Experts’ corner.

GAINING NEW KNOWLEDGE Conventa offers several educational modules discussing relevant topics, following trends and answering burning questions. All free of charge and led by the best meetings industry professionals!

The 9TH Conventa will be held from 18 to 19 January 2017 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.



SAVING TIME AND MONEY In just two days you have the chance to meet around 170 international and more than 100 regional and Slovene buyers, all in one place. What will impress your financial department most is that at Conventa you pay for a lead only one-tenth of the price you pay at other trade shows.


Conventa Addendum

CONVENTA BEST EVENT AWARD CALL FOR ENTRIES IS NOW OPEN Mind-blowing events will be awarded at Conventa


xcellence will be highlighted again at Conventa 2017 as Kongres Magazine in collaboration with Conventa trade show open submissions for the Meetings Star awards category – best event. Organizers of mind blowing events from New European region are invited to enter the competition that will for the second year in the row acknowledge the best in the event business. The winner will be announced in January 2017 during Conventa trade show. Since 2009, Conventa organizers are together with the editorial board of Kongres Magazine selecting the best meeting destinations, hotels and convention centers. The Meetings Star Award is the oldest such recognition in the field of meetings industry that will in 2017 be granted for the 9th year in the row. For the second year in the row after announcing the first ever winner of the award - TEDxLjubljana Saloon in the air, winner of the best event will join the rest of the Meeting Star winners on Conventa Stage. The best events will be selected by a competent jury comprised out of selected meetings professionals. The most important evaluation criteria will be innovation and creativity of the event. The expert jury will also take into consideration the execution, results of the event, excellence in communication and sustainable policies. The award for the best event will be given to the entrant with the most points received by the jury. HOW TO ENTER: Meeting organizers can submit the event they are most proud of by filling out the on-line form available at Entry is free of charge. The deadline for submissions is 15 December 2016.


By participating in the competition all meeting organizers get The Conventa VIP status that grants them free entry to Conventa (for 2 people from the same company), free of charge publication of their good practice case study on the Conventa web site and promotion in scope of Conventa media partners. The winner will next to the grand prize and the recognition of the meetings industry get also a whole page good practice case study presentation in the Kongres Magazine. The winner will be announced and awarded during Conventa trade show, held from 18 to 19 January 2017 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

TOPICS AND DATES / Published  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 the meetings industry audience. Because we know what meetings industry payers really need and how to ensure their long-term loyalty, we can make above-average, high-quality, relevant, independent, in-depth and interesting meetings industry stories. In 2016 they will be dedicated to you and your customers even more.





Daily newspaper, which will be released during the Conventa trade show and which brings to exhibitors and hosted buyers daily news from Conventa.

SPACE CLOSE: 11.12.2015

MATERIALS DUE: DELIVERY: 18.12.2015 20. - 21.01.2016





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 Central and Southeast Europe.



In Focus: TASTE - five senses

Participants will always remember an event by its sensory, gastronomic experience. It is well known that humans can remember almost everything, if they are able to hear, see, touch or taste the information. Like nothing else food can ignite truly nostalgic feelings. In the spring issue we will present a number of ways to create different impressions at events, everything from those connected with time (traditional, futuristic) and technology (natural, organic, artificial) to those geared towards sophistication (exclusive, grand). Hot Spot: EVENT CREATION How to create creative experimental events Themed supplement: CATERING SURVEY 2016

SPACE CLOSE: 12.02.2016

MATERIALS DUE: 19.02.2016

DELIVERY: 26.03.2016



SPACE CLOSE: 11.12.2015

MATERIALS DUE: DELIVERY: 18.12.2015 20. - 21.01.2016


THE POSITIVE PATH TO THE PARTICIPANT’S MIND TAKES US THROUGH OUR SENSES In Ancient Greece Aristotle outlined the 5 senses that we all now and understand today. The coming year will be dedicated to those senses, which are also the biggest amplifiers of emotional experience in your event. With the proper use of our senses we can establish either a positive or a negative attitude towards events. This important subject will be founded on a scientific as well as completely practical viewpoint, through best advice on how to set off the right set of stimuli.



Since 2010, Kongres magazine has been publishing CONGRESS TRAVELOGUES, which were renamed MEETOLOGUES. International meeting planners 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: 09.04.2016

MATERIALS DUE: 16.04.2016

DELIVERY: 14.05.2016

KONGRES MAGAZINE Stihova 4, SI-1000 Ljubljana, T: + 386 (0)1 430 51 03, F: + 386 (0)1 430 51 04, M: +386 (0)40 530 112, E:,


TOTAL AUDIENCE of 60.700 readers:


meeting planners

------------29,65 % of total number





Meeting planners wish for something new. You would like – for the same or lower price – to see the yet unseen places, taste un-tasted delicacies, unknown wines and experience undiscovered experiences. Central and South East Europe offers numerous pleasant incentive secrets in the worldwide meetings industry, waiting to be discovered.

SPACE CLOSE: 14.05.2016

MATERIALS DUE: 21.05.2016

DELIVERY: 18.06.2016



In Focus: SIGHT - five senses

Colour, light, darkness, design and unusual imagery that reach out beyond the regular boundaries can arouse your curiosity and have a direct effect on your emotional sensors. Today, technology offers unlimited visual solutions that can be used at events, but we will also point out the problems with an overload of visual images. Today images also aren’t enough in themselves, so we must keep our participant’s nostrils and ears open at the same time and receptive to new smells and sounds. In our summer issue we will also cover the important role of branding and creating the perfect event.

Hot Spot: EVENT PRODUCTION How to organise viable events

MATERIALS DUE: 25.06.2016

meeting planners

34.000 meeting


------------1,98 % of total number

(e-magazines and e-newsletters)


In Focus: TOUCH - five senses

If you want to showcase a new product, you have to make sure that participants can feel it and get familiar with its texture. If the presentation is about services, you have to have the right marketing materials, as well as the social networks to generate the right experience. Getting to ‘touch’ a brand is only possible through the use of good materials, varied surfaces and interesting shapes. Touch not only has a physical effect, but also a big mental one, as it creates memories and stirs personal emotions. Hot Spot: EVENT MARKETING How to make desirable events Themed supplement: INNOVATIVE PEOPLE & EVENTS

SPACE CLOSE: 20.08.2016

MATERIALS DUE: 27.08.2016


DELIVERY: 23.07.2016

In Focus: SOUND - five senses

In the auditory sphere humans are highly affected by different sounds and particularly by music. Music is a way an artist expresses himself and his emotional body language, and it has an extraordinary power of stimulating our sensations. How to create the best musical atmosphere, make an event jingle with excitement and bring a personal musical signature to an event will all be revealed in the winter issue of Kongres Magazine. Hot Spot: EVENT DIFERENTATION How to stand out from the crowd

SPACE CLOSE: 15.10.2016

MATERIALS DUE: 22.10.2016

appr. 7.500

meeting planners

------------12,36 %

------------56,01 % of total number

of total number




Based on more than 100 hidden guest’s ratings, which have been published in the Kongres Magazine.

SPACE CLOSE: 11.11.2016

MATERIALS DUE: 25.11.2016

DELIVERY: 15.12.2016


DELIVERY: 17.09.2016





Themed supplement: ADVENTURE PARKS 2016 OUTDOOR VENUES 2016

SPACE CLOSE: 18.06.2016


FALL 2016




DELIVERY: 15.11.2016













KONGRES MAGAZINE Stihova 4, SI-1000 Ljubljana, T: + 386 (0)1 430 51 03, F: + 386 (0)1 430 51 04, M: +386 (0)40 530 112, E:,

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12/11/14 14:33


October 2016


October 2016