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100 Meetings of Seoul

Brand management is out, because today it is simply unmanageable

The perfectly organised congress - from a hotelier's point of view

KME 2012 promises to build on everything achieved in 2011 and follow the road map for the industry’s future

Ivan Tanić

Roko Palmić

Robert Cotter

SOUTHEAST EUROPE MEETINGS INDUSTRY MAGAZINE, VOLUME VI, ISSUE 2, APRIL 2012 www.kongres-magazine.eu OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE SLOVENIAN CONVENTION BUREAU www.slovenia.info

ISSN 1 8 5 5 - 8 6 1 5

87 Business guests want it all

9 771855 861009

36 The Telling of a Good Story


diveRse exPeRiences at meetings & congresses at sava Hotels & Resorts • • • • • • • •

Proud keeperers of slovene greatest water treasures the most beautiful destinations within slovenia Memorable experiences and unique surprises creative & stimulating environment combining tradition and modern trends Recognisable & reliable quality Professional and experienced team our partners are our friends experiences that will be forever engraved in your heart

sava turizem d.d., email: kongres@shr.si • tel.: +386 4 579 1607, +386 2 512 2281, www.sava-hotels-resorts.com


Contents

Our selection

5 6 7

Page 37 In focus:

A word from the editor Column by Rok Klančnik Column by Viljam Kvalić

News: 10 News from SouthEast Europe 14 Slovenia to host IMEX Challenge 2012 16 Conventa News, Diary 18 Photo sessions Interview: 30 Barbara Vajda 28 32 33

In focus - EPK: Suzana Žilič Fišer and Mia Miše Mitja Čander Darja Slivnjak

34 36 38

In focus - Marketing: intervju with Rolf Jensen The Telling of a Good Story Neuro-linguistic programming?

In focus - Events: 40 Kamenko Kesar, Phenomena of TEDx Events 41 Event 3.0 – How generation Y & Z are re-shaping the events industry 42 What is the real communication power of events? In focus - Publishing: 44 The Cost of Knowledge 46 Preserving conference knowledge for the next generations Surveys: 50 Conventa 2012 Visitor Satisfaction Survey 52 Aslight downturn in overall attendees Gastronomy: 54 Are congresses an opportunity to introduce and assert culinary trademarks? 56 The Three Tenors (Chefs) of Bled 58

Kongres at the Keyhole

Kongres travelogue: 62 Lošinj and Cres 66 Bled 72

Kongres personality: Enfant Terrible, Nikica Žunić

Examples & advice: 72 Good practice examples 73 Gadgets 74

The Best of ... Special venues in south east europe

Croatia Addendum: 79 A word from the editor 80 Creativity - key to the successful organisation of meetings and events 83 A New Era for Adriatic Luxury Hotels 87 Business guests want it all 90 Medical and pharmaceutical congresses - the most demanding events 92 Croatia – a significant partner of the European Society of Cardiology 94 The most enjoyable way to do your job. 96

Agency presents: Atlas DMC, Looking for the perfect Partner?

100 102 104

Kongres telescope Meetings of Seoul Maureen O’Crowley IT&CM 2012: Skywards in Shanghai

106

The last word, Change is the Universe’s only Constant

FIRST SOUTHEAST EUROPE MEETINGS INDUSTRY MAGAZINE Editor-in-Chief: Gorazd Čad; Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief: Jan Klavora; Editor of Croatia Addendum: Daniela Kos; Editor of Kongres Telescope: Robert Cotter; Associate Editor of Kongres Telescope: Artemis Skordili; Editorial Board: Renata Balažic, Gorazd Čad, Anuša Gaši, Miha Kovačič, Viljam Kvalić, Srečo Peterlič, Tatjana Radovič, Maja Vidergar, Rok Klančnik; Editorial Board of Croatia Addendum: Daniela Kos, Aleksandra Uhernik Đurđek, Roko Palmić; Photographer of Croatia Addendum: Ana Šesto; Design and AD: Andreja Martinc; DTP and prepress: Premedia, Andrej Juvan; Translation: Nina Polak, Robert Cotter; Printing: Kerschoffset; Circulation: 6000 copies; ISSN Number: 1855-8615 KONGRES magazine is media partner of:

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The Telling of a Good Story

Brand management is out, because today it is simply unmanageabley Ivan Tanic Page 74 The Best of ... :

Special venues in South East Europe Page 87 Croatia Addendum:

Business guests want it all The perfectly organised congress - from a hotelier's point of view Roko Palmić Page 90 Croatia Addendum:

Medical and pharmaceutical congresses - the most demanding events What makes the organisation of medical congresses so specific? Sanja Vukov-Colić Page 100 Kongres telescope

Meetings of Seoul

KME 2012 promises to build on everything achieved in 2011 and follow the road map for the industry’s future Robert Cotter

The Kongres magazine is entered into the media register under sequence number 1423. Magazine issued in: January; April; July; October; December 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, E: kongres@go-mice.eu Issue date: April 2012 For the content reproduction it is required to get the written editorial consigment.


Go smart. Go creative. Go mice.

conGress and

marketinG aGency

www.go-mice.eu


5

A word from the editor

Gorazd Čad

Striking a Chord Congress Music Lessons by Gorazd Čad

e all know that music is the universal language; I can’t imagine a world without music. In music the same rules apply as for events – you need to know the chords to make a harmony. My own musical experiences helped me realise that you need years of practice and a lot of craftsmanship to succeed at both. After you have mastered the basics, you can then make the same relaxed jazz improvisation at your own event.

W

For each event three elements are required: an idea, space and the audience. When we bring them together we get a congress chord, just as a musical chord requires three notes. There is an infinite number of combinations; the structure can be loose or very formal. By changing the chord we can completely change the nature of the event. From a melancholic minor chord to a happier, loud major. It always begins with the content. Often the basic idea or the concept of the event is

already set. A new IDEA or original idea sets the basic tone to a good event. The idea is important and so is creativity, which brings the idea to realisation. An event fuelled by a story touches the hearts of your guests much more quickly. This requires a heart-storm, which is an upgrade of the brainstorm.

Good ideas come from emotion, passion, love. Such ideas create a dialogue with the audience and a spark that leads to a connection. The idea is a tool to communicate with the participants. Almost every musician claims that the energy they feel on stage is like a drug. If the frequency of idea and the audience are in tune, the event is going to be successful. Firstly, you need the chemistry between the musicians or the team organising the event and the spark will quickly spread to the audience. What the instrument is to a musician, the venue and location are to the meeting planner. The chosen location is the interpreter of the emotions and ideas of the organiser, the point being that the chosen venue fits the idea and pleases the participants. The choice of location says a lot about the organiser.

The perception of non-musicians who see music as perhaps some kind of unstructured messing around is simplified and wrong.

If you are in any kind of a band, rules and set relationships apply. Your ego needs to be put on ice. Events cannot be forced. Every participant must become a part of the sound or the event. The most thrilling moment is when as a meeting planner you manage to create your own sound and your own style at events. Calculation and manipulation is death; remember, on stage or when the first participants arrive at the venue the moment of truth arrives. Your audience can feel and see everything. The contact you establish with your audience is key. Many organisers hide behind masks, but they should be truthful to themselves and the participants. In the next issue we will tackle RHYTHM: “Music is the only noise for which one is obliged to pay.” Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870).


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Column

Icarus flies towards the sky There the sun will melt the wax holding their wings together. And then they will fall, and fall, and crash into the sea. Rok Klančnik

Malév (Magyar Légiközlekedési Vállalat), the Hungarian national air carrier and pride of Hungarian tourism, has been consigned to history. There is no more. Köszönöm, Jó éjszakát (thank you and good night). When two airports - one in Israel and one in Ireland - refused to give permission to fly because of unpaid debt, Prime Minister Viktor Orban was left with nothing else to do but to lock the company’s doors and switch off the lights. Peter Urbanyi, Hungarian Tourism representative for Benelux and a good friend of mine, says that this decision did not come as a surprise. “The European Union demanded a return of some ohoho millions of Euros of state aid at the beginning of the year.” EU rules forbid this kind of state aid. Hungarian tourism thus expected the bankruptcy of Malév and also anticipated it in its business plans.

However, it doesn't mean that it wasn’t big news. The news was as pleasant as a jump into Balaton Lake in the middle of January. So what brought about the bankruptcy of Malev? First of all, it terminated the employment contracts of some 2600 employees, which means social difficulties for at least some seven to eight thousand people who need to eat every day. Then came the conflict between the Hungarian state and the German company Hochtief, which owns the Ferenc Liszt international airport in Budapest and will be losing approximately 1,5 million passengers, representing half of total passenger numbers. Next, the sky over Puszta is a witness to a true air battle between low-cost airlines Ryanair and Wizzair. The pervasiveness and success of low-cost airlines is threatened by the success of ‘normal’ airlines, not other low-cost ones, SN Brussels Airlines for instance. In February of this year, the number of passengers between Brussels and Budapest has declined for some

30%, which lead to cancellations of numerous conferences, congresses and incentives. And finally, Hungary has lost a part of its valuable ‘family gold’. Malév planes – previously Tupoljev, more recently Boeing 737, Dash 8 and Fokkers – have been flying since 1946. The wings of 22 Hungarian Icaruses have been broken. The Hungarian meetings industry is also facing difficulties. It would be wrong to think that the company was state owned. After the fall of the socialist system from 1990, the company has changed various owners, and in 2010 the government has finally stepped in on the ownership structure and nationalised up to 95% of the company (the remaining 5% remaining in hands of the company AirBridge). By doing this, they tried to help it and prevent potential serious problems, but the European Union was not happy with this and initiated an investigation into illegal state financing of the company. This lead to an order from Brussels that the state had to recoup the funds invested between 2007 and 2010, something Malév could not do.

The flyers became parachute jumpers on 3rd February. The Question was over some 130 million Euros, which amounted to the entire 2010 budget of the company. Air Berlin, Lufthansa, Ryanair, SmartWings and Wizzair are of course content, as a new market with some 1,5 million people has now opened to them and, like vultures, they can now demand a share of the carcasses. There are even more casualties. Only a few days prior to this (27th January of this year) Spanish air carrier Spanair, and a week before that Cirrus Airlines as well. Directors at Air Malta must be having troubles sleeping, as well as Serbian Jet. Croatian Airports have

seen strikes, and notably Indian Kingfisher is also facing problems, not to mention numerous loss makers across the United States. Apart from the low-cost airlines (EasyJet announced increased profits, despite crisis as well as an increase in business passengers) practically all of the civil aviation is in crisis.

IATA (the International Air Transport Association) data shows that the industry will lose some €6,5 billion this year. Now ex-boss of IATA, Giovanni Bisignani forecast that some ‘dramatic measures’ will need to be taken in the civil aviation sector. Because he is retiring he feels he has nothing to lose and openly criticised governments and their ‘micro regulations’, ‘crazy taxation’, and ‘abuse of monopoly by individual air companies’. “Our industry is fighting for survival,” he said. “Independent of the time the crisis will take, the world is changing. Even if we can reach an agreement on what we can expect after the crisis, we have to admit that the business will be taking a different course than before.” Insiders say that it is all about consolidation of the European airlines market. Thus they will be like Icaruses, flying into the sky, wax melting in their fragile wings – and other airlines are sure to follow. Which ones? Or if we form the question slightly differently: which are the most important ones for the Slovenian meetings industry and tourism in general? Are they also in trouble? Can we help them? Maybe with the quotation from the Bible: God helps those that help themselves.


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Column

Special Venue for Special Value Surplus is the most important component for a successful ‘special venue’

Viljam Kvalić

After graduating from the Faculty of Tourism Studies –Turistica, Viljam began his career as a Sales Executive at Kompas, where he is still employed today. He is now leading the Incoming department and, whilst still working at Kompas, has managed to complete post-graduate studies at the Faculty for Management (‘Management in European Environment’). ‘Special venues’ - no recipe, no universal rule. There can't be any rule, as this is something ‘special’, something specific and unique! I often ask myself if all creators of programmes with added value understand the meaning of the term ‘special venue’ in the same way. I think of the true meaning of the word and the real product and actual activities. It is about special stories at special locations and they have various objectives; they are important for visibility of a state, region or towns, something different, attraction, or it can be all about objectives of a company that wants to find its own recognisable expression. All of these stories are prepared with people in mind, for guests and their well being, when they are deciding for a product or service.

Let’s admit it that all producers like to be good, better and of course even the best and often we all understand and know everything. Our web pages, exhibition stands, USB keys with copyright protected content and information leaflets and brochures are full of superlatives and of words on added value. However, often when words need to be transformed into actions something goes wrong. We all believe that we understand the meaning of individual terms and that we know what it is all about, but often it is not so.

Taking things for granted is, according to my experience, one of the biggest dangers and the point where companies and organisations differentiate.

In our company we have organised numerous successful events with added value, from events where our guests were getting to know Slovenian towns with all five senses. They were thrilled about it - we were driving around Slovenia over 5 days and learned about it on tractors. Also interesting is the experience when preparing an exclusive event for a smaller group, that can include events in various towns and cities, from Minsk, Belgrade, Budva, Dubrovnik, Ljubljana, to Venice, where we have not been restricted by budget. I often note that when organising special events, companies tend to limit themselves to a single country, which is a pity, as we live at a crossroads of cultures, in an exceptional geographic territory. We are privileged to take the best from all, to combine gastronomy and school of mosaics, for instance at Furlanija we can enjoy the colourful Istria, include activities at the mountains of Kärnten and ‘re-discover’ Prekmurje. There is also Venice, the eternal ‘hidden weapon’ that has often aided us in getting business against the competition, where bigger and more visible destinations compete for business. We also have great potential in our historic towns. Kompas is the official agency that markets this product at various levels. We have great reserves here. I would point out some historic towns where beautiful stories can be implemented: the astle in Škofja Loka, Ptuj castle with its wine cellar, the castle at

Bled with the reception by the Lord of the Castle and a medieval feast, Ljubljana castle, where we can create almost anything with sound and visual effects. There are truly numerous options.

The old salt warehouse can be turned into an exclusive fashion show location, where guests become models and stars. We have already organised a cocktail party at Tartini Square in Piran, where guests arrived aboard a boat, wearing medieval clothing and masques. Always interesting are team building sessions and seminars aboard the Prince of Venice catamaran, travelling from Venice to the Brijoni archipelago. Then there are our priceless natural attractions, like Postojna Cave, where we already combined the natural habitat with musical additions, with history and knights in Predjama Castle, sports activities in the cave itself, always stories with a happy ending.

‘Special venues’ are a challenge for the market, for producers and for suppliers of tourism services. They are also potential and possible steps towards creating true added value for all stakeholders. Recognising the needs and expectations of a certain client and offering them what they want is the key for success. A special event should in most cases be balanced, like a chemical formula. It is not important if it is about simple or complex product. Besides


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basic components like accommodation, transportation, guides, food, viewing of tourist attractions, the offer should increasingly include events, experiences and stories that are abundant in Slovenia. However, when we are creating the end product, balancing all of the above can in practice be quite difficult. Clients’ expectations are great, as they have seen numerous special and unique events, also in cities and countries that have an effect on clients just by being what they are. With their history, attractions and pace of life. How to compete against Paris, London, Tuscany, Prague? Why would they come to us at all? Why would they want to work with us? Can we really answer these questions and convince the client to decide for us?

There is simply no space for an average service, we need to find excesses everywhere and those who succeed could be called artists and winners. Yes, I can say that surplus is the most important component of a successful ‘special venue’. A demand for special products and events come in various shapes and various extents in quality. Choosing the right services can become a lengthy process with an unsure ending. With the right knowledge solutions can always be found and true solutions can only be found by the right people working with the right partners - this is another key to success. Also awareness that we cannot know everything independently and that we know how to find help can lead us more quickly to the desired objective. Our partners and suppliers are key, as everyone is a specialist

in their own field and everyone has their own priceless experience. Organising a special event and recognising the right location for it has to be based on a good story. It all starts with an idea from which a story is developed, then the script, and last but not least, the concept of the event. A luxury hotel is not always the only right choice; maybe somebody else would prefer a hostel with prison cells. Maybe dining in the dark is a daring enough choice for dinner, or maybe team building in the snow the same morning in the mountains and a dinner at the coast, which guests are driven to in oldtimer cars? Or what about taking part at a ballet performance, or opera? Or sightseeing from a hot air balloon? Catering in the middle of a field? Maybe an event in some long forgotten castle, where we create an atmosphere from the past, making the castle lively for a certain client and a certain event only. Clients are special, special each in their own way. They are aware of this and they demand a ‘special venue’ just for them, today and maybe never again. Imagination in combination with a realistic offer is what moves the boundaries.

Each ingredient has to be carefully and individually chosen, adapted, there has to be just the right amount of it and then we have a formula for success. A basic criterion is always set by clients. Life is made up by special moments and we want to live it like that, today and tomorrow. We are less and less interested in compromises. In fact we would like to lead a life that would be one ‘special venue’.


10 News

News from SE Europe

How to understand and distinguish the buyers This year, during Academy Conventa (23.-24. April 2012), we will host a lecture by Linda Pereira that will count towards gaining ‘CDMP’ / Certified destination meetings professional accreditation. The participants at last year’s two day lecture, entitled the ‘Bidding Academy’, already gained 9 points. This year’s lecture, under the title of ‘Understanding and distinguishing the buyer’, provides for a further 10 points. In 2013 we plan to carry out the final two-day lecture before the written exams to acquire full title of ‘CDMP’.

Ljubljana strategic bidding team All congresses are carried out at the destination level. Participants consider the entire experience and organisers choose destinations that work as a whole. In comparison to other competing countries, this area is underdeveloped in Slovenia, which is holding us back. Stakeholders from the private and public sector in well-rounded congress destinations cooperate and know how to successfully approach a buyer and introduce the destination. With this goal in mind, the Slovenian Convention Bureau started developing a strategic cooperation of congress stakeholders at the Ljubljana level. We formed a team called ‘Ljubljana strategic bidding team’, which includes directors of congress suppliers in the Ljubljana area. The original members of the team are: Barbara Vajda – Tourism Ljubljana / Ljubljana Convention Bureau, Breda Pečovnik – Cankarjev dom, Iztok Bricl – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, Bogdan Lipovšek – Grand Hotel Union and Hotel Lev, Gregor Jamnik – Best Western Premier Hotel Slon, Youssef Medhat – Austria Trend Hotel Ljubljana, Irena Grofelnik,

Sandi Kovačević – Hotel Cubo, Katie Smirnina – Antiq Palace & Spa, Aleksander Valentin – Plaza Hotel, Peter Sušnik – City Hotel, Bojan Velkavrh – Hotel M, Mateja Valentan – Ljubljana Castle, Gorazd Čad – Go.Mice, Simona Mele – Kompas, Tomaž Krušič – Intours, Boštjan Horjak – Liberty Slovenija, Gregor Levič – iDMC, Jerneja Kamnikar – Vivo, Jure Jezeršek – Culinary House Jezeršek. By creating this group, stakeholders recognised the importance of cooperation and interdependence. The first meeting was organised during the visit from Israel of Mr. Dan Rivlin of the Kenes Group, who took up Mayor Zoran Janković’s invite to visit Ljubljana, with two further meetings following. The Slovenian Convention Bureau has placed the leadership of the team in the hands of Ljubljana Convention Bureau, with the basic aim of ensuring that Ljubljana wins more international scientific and professional congresses with 500 and more participants. By cooperating they will achieve this goal much more easily, with first instances of success already becoming evident. Similar cooperation also makes sense in other destinations, since this will make them more competitive and recognisable, not only on the international market, but also the domestic. We are happy to hear similar steps have been taken in Bled to ensure its development in the meetings industry.

tion, which has helped secure large international congresses. The basic aim is to ensure Ljubljana wins more international scientific meetings with 500 and more participants. By cooperating this goal will be achieve quicker and much easier.

Bled Convention Bureau Bled is regarded as the most recognisable Slovenian tourist destination. Even in the former Yugoslavia Bled was one of the most famous congress destinations, which continued in independent Slovenia. But other destinations have overtaken Bled in the last ten years and its fame has faded. The more competitive international environment played a role in this, because other countries paid more attention to developing proper support and marketing for the meetings industry. With the cooperation of private and public stakeholders at destination level, the Convention Bureau Bled has been established. Under the umbrella of ‘Tourism Bled’ a strategic document on the development of congress and incentive destination Bled up to 2020 has been prepared. The entire meetings industry of the Bled municipality was actively involved, with professional assistance and support coming from the Slovenian Convention Bureau. The Convention Bureau Bled was also the coorganiser of the Slovenian Convention Bureau Annual Assembly, a big opportunity for the destination and its suppliers. At the same time the event brought together the suppliers at destination level, which will benefit suppliers as well as the destination in the future.

CIRED / WECAI With the formation of the ‘Ljubljana strategic bidding team’ a public-private partnership was formed at city level with the aim of securing more international scientific and professional congresses. This cooperation facilitates the preparation of bids, which require higher stakeholders investment at destination level. We have already noted the first successes of the coopera-


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News from SE Europe

8. Annual Assembly of the Slovenian Convention Bureau (Bled, 29 and 30 March 2012) The Slovenian Convention Bureau hosted its 8. Annual Assembly between 28 and 30 March 2012. The sponsors and hosts of the largest annual event of the Convention Bureau were Sava Hotels Bled and Tourism Bled with partners. The annual report of Slovenian Convention Bureau for 2011 was presented as well as a draft programme for 2012, followed by a presentation of international businessman Marko Podkubovšek from MP Global Consultants titled: Slovenia as a MICE destination – a view from a global perspective and a roundtable titled Slovenia – Congress destination, moderated by Vito Avguštin from Dnevnik. The roundtable hosted the opinions of: Marjan Hribar, general director of Directorate for tourism and Internationalization at the Ministry for the Economy, Robert Vuga, executive direc-

News

tor of Adria Airways Tehnika, Bogdan Lipovšek, director of Grand Hotel Union and Hotel Lev, Tomaž Krušič, director of Intours and Marko Podkubovšek, MP Global Consultants. The opening address was delivered by Fedja Pobegajlo, executive director of Sava Hotels Bled, Janez Pfajfar, Mayor of Bled and vice president of the SCB Council Gorazd Čad from Go.Mice. This year the Convention Bureau enriched the programme with a brainstorming workshop “How to make successful stories”. On the second day of the assembly the participants had the possibility to shape incentive products, congress events and scientific – professional meetings in groups. The stories were all about Bled as an alpine MICE destination. The starting points for the creative workshops were introduced by Eva Štravs Podlogar, director of Tourism Bled. This year’s meeting was enriched by a fun relaxing afternoon activity which took place in Straža na Bledu. The participants got to know the

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culinary delights of Sava Hotels Bled and enjoy an evening event at Bled Castle. At the same time the event was an amazing opportunity for networking of over 60 members of the bureau and other guests. At the assembly the election of six new members of the Council of the Slovenian Convention Bureau from 2012 to 2014 were carried out and certificates awarded to the members who finished their re-certification.


12 News

News from SE Europe

Mr. Marjan Hribar introduced the opinion of the government to the resolution “Congress Slovenia” which was prepared by Slovenian Convention Bureau and its members. He highlighted the importance of the meetings industry for the Slovenian economy. As one of the conclusions of the round table we can highlight the establishment of a group, which would influence the development of this important industry in Slovenia. The steps will be defined at the next meetings of the SCB Council. The members had the opportunity to deepen their relationships with the colleagues from the meetings industry, establish new friendships and get to know Bled as a congress and incentive destination. At the assembly the formation of the Congress Destination Bled was formally introduced. The sponsors Sava Hotels Bled and Tourism Bled with local partners made sure that the participants got to know Bled in a new light and remember it as a wonderful congress destination.

‘Green for Tomorrow’ & the Slovenian team at the 13th Alternative Energy Rally

Dubrovnik Travel opens Zagreb office under the new name of ‘DT Croatia’

Bled’s Hotel Golf hosted the presentation of the Slovenian team, which competed in the 13th Monte Carlo Alternative Energy Rally for cars running on alternative energy sources. The team, consisting of Primož Lemež and Borut Mavsar, competed with the Citroenom C Zero in the ‘electric cars for everyday use’ class. This is the most prestigious category, since it also counts as a special FIA cup. The company Sava Tourism is also one of the sponsors of the team. “Alternative energy vehicles are in tune with our ‘Green for tomorrow’ story, within which we are developing sustainable products, such as green meetings,” said Fedja Pobegajlo, executive director of Sava Hotels Bled. “This is why this project quickly captured our interests.”

Dubrovnik Travel DMC recently opened the doors of their third Croatian office, located in Zagreb, to cover continental Croatia, Zagreb and Istria and extend the provision of their quick and affordable services and wealth of new ideas for corporate event organisers. Dubrovnik Travel is simultaneously launching its new marketing name of ‘DT Croatia’, merging the decade long tradition of Dubrovnik Travel (DT) with Croatia to create a fusion that allows for better destination recognition and promotion. The name change is a natural progression that draws on DT’s extremely successful project history in the Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar area and now takes the DT Croatia brand nationwide.

Sava Turizem becomes the largest tourism company in Slovenia With the beginning of 2012, five companies operating under the Sava Hotels & Resorts brand at six tourism destinations in Slovenia merged to become the Sava Turizem company, making it the largest tourism company in Slovenia with 13% of total market share. The company will continue to focus on leisure and spa tourism, health tourism, golf, family breaks and MICE. Bled will strengthen its role as the main MICE destination within the group, having the best infrastructure and a long tradition of successful events. Other thermal spa resorts will follow in complementing their offer with incentive programmes. Terme Ptuj, for example, is well-known for its Roman tradition and the Roman themed programmes combined with the broad offer of spa services make for an attractive all-round package for incentives.

New congress centre opened in Zagreb

Serbia is the fastest Growing Destination The Serbia Convention Bureau (SCB) takes great pride in the fact that Serbia is the fastest growing meetings destination in Europe, as per latest ICCA statistics. The figures show that Serbia has made a tremendous jump in terms of the number of events organised, taking into consideration three main criteria: number of participants, rotation and regular occurrence. This sharp increase, especially in Belgrade as the major congress destination in Serbia, is mainly through the common efforts of all industry partners who have been united in one common goal – the promotion and marketing of the destination.

Zagreb has recently acquired the new ‘Forum Zagreb’ congress centre within the Green Gold business complex, a facility run by the Hrgetić family, who also run the Foro XXI convention centre in Caracas, Venezuela. Forum Zagreb has 9 halls, with the largest room capacity for 375 delegates in a theatre layout. This high quality and attractive new venue is perfect for organising all kinds of events: seminars, business workshops, promotions, conferences, meetings, receptions and much more. Forum Zagreb will definitely add more value to Zagreb’s MICE offer.


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News from SE Europe

News

Skål International meeting in Opatija

International Tourism Fair CroTour 2012

From 19th to 23rd April 2012 Skål International Kvarner in Opatija will host a midyear meeting of the Skål International Council and Skål International Executive Committee. The hosting of this event was confirmed at the 72nd Skål International Congress, where Mrs Katarina Hauptfeld, President of Skål International Kvarner, presented Opatija’s bid and bid candidacy of Izmir and Istambul. The Kvarner presentation was supported by Nikola Račić, Director of the Croatian Convention and Incentive Bureau, and Dr.Sc. Zlatan Fröhlich, member of the Skål Council. More than 100 participants are expected to attend.

This year’s CroTour international tourism fair will take place from the 9th to the 12th of May in Zagreb’s Zagreb Fair, with its main objective of providing support to all those involved in the planning, preparations and realisation of the next tourist season. With its exhibition element added to with current professional and accompanying programs as well as entertaining events for the general public, CroTour is an important marketing tool for presenting and offering tourist destinations and services. During the event special B2B workshops will be held - meetings between tour operators and tourist companies on ‘Last Minute Booking’ for 2012 and negotiations for 2013.

News from Opatija Opatija is soon to get two new special venues, as two of Liburnia Riviera Hotels are set to undergo a real renaissance this spring! Hotel Kvarner, Opatija’s most historic hotel, will open a newly restored terrace together with a fresh gastro concept, both of which will add value to your events. In addition to that, the technical equipment in the Crystal Hall has been upgraded to meet the highest standards. And if you’re looking for a place to organise your special event, look no further: the private rooftop terrace with spectacular views over Kvarner gulf is the ideal spot. The Hotel Ambasador, LRH’s leading business hotel, is also opening its terrace and a garden restaurant, Hortenzija. The top floor of the hotel is also being refurbished to become an ‘executive floor’, with special facilities and services for business guests.


14 News

News Slovenia to host IMEX Challenge 2012

“After considering a wide variety of CSR proposals”, says Ray Bloom, IMEX Chairman and Founder, “IMEX judges and staff voted to invite industry volunteers to join them in building a bee colony in Ljubljana”. The results of this vote set Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana on its path to hosting the second edition of IMEX Challenge from 2 to 4 July 2012. The biennial IMEX Challenge is a three-day, humanitarian event at which a team of meeting industry professionals gather with the goal of making a positive impact on the lives of others - in particular, the lives of children. The ‘IMEX Challenge Slovenia’ will strive to blend environmental objectives with social causes and leave a sustainable legacy for the host community. The idea for the 2012 event is to build a beehive within the grounds of an institute for mentally and physically disabled children and adults, the CUDV Training, Occupation and Care Centre in Draga. Valerija Bužan, Director of CUDV Draga, believes that the “IMEX Challenge will help mentally and physically disabled children and adults to expand their horizons and come to know new activities”. Anton Tomec of the

Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association supported this view in adding that “by keeping bees and protecting the environment, protégés of CUDV will gain self-confidence and creatively integrate into society. Beekeeping will not only present a form of self-confirmation, but a way of life for these children and adults.”

A 24h smile for the IMEX Challenge The Slovenian meetings community feels especially privileged to be able to host an event of such importance, one that touches the lives of people with disabilities at CUDV Draga and the wider community. Many destinations can boast an excellent, easy to reach location, state-of-the-art infrastructure, professional services, and other factors required to host the challenge. “We believe our advantage in Slovenia is the people working in our industry and wider, the often neglected but very important human factor,” says Miha Kovačič, Director of the Slovenian Convention Bureau. Indeed, Slovenia won the bid to host the IMEX Challenge 2012 in Ljubljana by revealing the five main elements of our meeting industry offer:

Slovenian energy, team flexibility, a 24h smile, the personal touch and our natural charm. “IMEX Challenge presents a new opportunity for the Slovenian meeting providers to act as a team in developing new ideas on how best to enrich the project,” says Gorazd Čad, Director of Go.Mice agency. The ideas, synergies and partnerships can move the boundaries of the IMEX Challenge Slovenia so that the meeting industry professionals, media and general public can all engage and take part in enriching the lives of mentally and physically disabled children and adults. For more information visit en.challenge.sloveniagreen-meetings.si.


15 News

pre-register now imex-frankfurt.com

MAKE THOUSANDS OF

NEW CONNECTIONS AT THE HEART OF THE MEETINGS WORLD

There can be no better date to put in your diary than IMEX 2012. For this is when you’ll meet and connect face-to-face with some of the most influential people and ideas in the meetings industry. We’re expecting over 3,500 exhibitors and 14,000 industry professionals – including nearly 4,000 hosted buyers – to gather in Frankfurt for our 10th anniversary, with an unrivalled chance to liaise with top decision-makers from across the world.

For three days, the show floor will buzz with energy and excitement as buyers and visitors get down to business with a host of global suppliers. And with around 200 occasions for networking – cocktail receptions, champagne toasts, lunchtime receptions, destination and business presentations, award ceremonies, dinner events, meet and greets and business breakfasts – there’ll be plenty of opportunities to meet everyone you want to meet, and even more besides. TO MEET THE BEST PEOPLE IN THE BUSINESS, COME TO FRANKFURT IN MAY FOR IMEX 2012. CALL:

+44 (0)1273 227311

E-MAIL:

IMEX-FRANKFURT.COM

The essential worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events.

INFO@IMEXEXHIBITIONS.COM


16 News

Conventa News DIARY Kristina Jurjevec

Monday: Conventa 2012 recap Being a part of Conventa between the 18th and 19th January was pure pleasure. The Conventa organisers are actively involved in the execution of the event, which gives us an opportunity to sense the mood of the participants and the vibe of the trade show. After a year of communicating with exhibitors and hosted buyers by phone or email, a handshake brings a whole new experience. It gives us a feeling of friendship and trust, despite meeting for the first time. We were very pleased that the Southeast Europe region got the opportunity to present itself to our colleagues and our very important clients.

Tuesday: A New Beginning The 16th and 17th January 2013 are the dates for the next edition of Conventa, revealed at the past event. We believe it has already been marked in the calendars of all our partners and representatives of congress providers of Southeast Europe. The colour scheme for the event will focus on red, like the www.conventa. info webpage. Any changes made will only be done to ensure the continued improvement in quality of the event. New trends were guided by our participants, who gave us feedback through the Conventa surveys after the event - satisfied participants are our main benchmark of the event’s success. We will certainly follow global trends and introduce novelties to the event. A lot of attention will be paid to eco-guidelines for the next events.

Wednesday: Southeast Europe under one roof When representatives of congress destinations, capacities and services in southeast Europe meet at Conventa, we feel like we’re meeting with dear old friends. The business in our region is very closely linked, which is how we’ve managed to form special bonds. Conventa is also a wonderful opportunity for newcomers, since they can learn the specifics of the meetings industry by following clear guidelines and preparing for successful presentation to the global market. At Conventa we wish to highlight that the Southeast Europe region offers a number of excellent business opportunities and that it

strives to achieve the highest international standards.

Thursday: Getting to know the destination first-hand It is evident that meetings planners also attend fam trips in our region alongside the trade show. This year Conventa partner destinations upgraded their programmes, reflected in the increased business interest and the feedback they received. Soon we will once again start the process of selecting partner destinations, while increasing the standards in accordance with the wishes of our clients. The aim of a fam trip is to introduce the destinations in a true and unforgettable way.

Friday: Business opportunity We feel very privileged that many important meeting planners from across Europe gave their attention to Conventa over the last four years. The trade show strives to live up to their expectations and investments of time into our region and our partners. Gaining the trust of our clients is the driving force of our work throughout the year. Our biggest challenge at Conventa is to attract hosted buyers with real purchasing power. We wish to show them the diversity of our region, our creativity and professionalism. We are happy that interest in participation at Conventa 2013 is already high, even before the beginning of the application process.


5

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

www.coNveNtA.iNfo

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

16 - 17 JANUARY 2013, Ljubljana—Slovenia


18 News

Photo session

Kongres Magazine after party at Conventa For the second year in succession Kongres Magazine threw an after party at Conventa and, once again, a lot of guests attended. The group of meeting professionals was entertained by two excellent bands at a party that will go down in the meetings industry history, as it was the premiere of rock group ‘Good Mood’, a band made up of only meetings professionals. We hope the pictures will tell you a bit more about the atmosphere at the party.


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Photo session

Travel Zoom conference 2012 On Friday, 23rd March, Travel Zoom, the second international conference on Strategic and Creative Marketing in Tourism being held in Bled, came to a close. Over the 3-day long conference more than 70 speakers from 15 different countries shared their knowledge and ideas with the 186 delegates from 8 different countries attending tourism’s biggest marketing event. The organisers, the Faculty for Tourism Studies – Turistica and marketing agency Go.Mice, were satisfied with the outcomes of the conference and have already begun planning for next year.

News


20 News

Photo session

CONVENTA 2012 Between the 18th and 19th January 2012, for the fourth year in a row Slovenia was the hub of SE Europe’s meetings industry wheel. After an initial three years of sustained growth and strengthening of profile, Conventa entered its fourth year with a new focus on quality, bringing 245 hosted buyers from the corporate sector and organisers from both agencies and associations who were to appreciate this new shift. The strength of the business model and the success of previous editions convinced some 142 exhibitors to present their offer to a carefully selected audience at this year’s event. Despite Conventa 2012 attracting the largest number of exhibitors to date, the organisers noticed a certain reluctance of tourism services suppliers when it comes to the implementation of marketing activities.


21 News


23 Interview

BARBARA VAJDA

Foto: Stane Jeršič

Ljubljana – a Cool Capital for Great Meetings!

Barbara Vajda

Could you briefly outline your career path for us?

percentage of overnight stays generated by this sector?

My work has always been linked to tourism. I started in a tourist agency, then for a good ten years my path was closely linked to the creative industry (I established and led an agency for marketing communication, specialising in graphic design), and in 2001 I again returned to tourism, this time in the public sector, as the director of Ljubljana Tourism. The destination marketing organisation of the capital since last year also embodies the region of Central Slovenia. My job combines everything that I like: working with people and achieving noticeable results. Usually the effects of our activities are visible quickly and accepted positively. It is true that without a team of good and experienced co-workers these results would not happen, so they deserve most of the credit.

Ljubljana is a relaxed place for meetings of all kinds, of course also business and scientific. The meetings industry has a high added value and that makes it important for the city. Our estimate is that out of approx. 800,000 overnight stays (data for 2011) in Ljubljana, almost a quarter are generated by the meetings industry sector.

Is there a city in the world that would be a template for what Ljubljana should aim to become? What should Ljubljana look like in 2020? What is your vision? If Vienna and Prague had a daughter it would definitely be Ljubljana. That’s what they say... I like cities in the north of Europe that literally reflect a collective creative charge (I sometimes miss that here). I also like Barcelona, because of the temperament and the vision of the city. Again, creativity is visible everywhere you go there. The year 2020 is just around the corner. The direction Ljubljana is heading in is clear – it changed for the better in the last years, it got revamped and more attractive, younger and friendlier towards us, its residents, and visitors alike. It’s a safe city with quite a high standard of living and a lot of potential. I wish we would continue on this path, maybe with just a little more courage.

How important is the meetings industry for Ljubljana? Could you estimate the

Ljubljana is losing its leading position in SE Europe on the ICCA international association meetings statistic rankings. Belgrade, Zagreb and other cities are quickly closing in. What needs to be done at state and city level to keep Slovenia and Ljubljana buoyant? For starters: better air access. Mid and longterm: increase congress and hotel capacities for congresses of at least 2,500 delegates, create a research and innovation-friendly environment, encourage the professional development of top-notch scientists and carry out the policy “Congress destination Ljubljana 2020”, which has been adopted last autumn.

How important is a convention bureau for a destination? It is very important, especially for the capital city. The Ljubljana Convention Bureau, in cooperation with the key local partners, often contributes to creating competitive bids for international events in the initial or destination selection phase, and offers its support also at a later stage, if the bid was successful for Ljubljana.

What specifically can Ljubljana and the Slovenian Convention Bureau do to bring more events to Ljubljana and Slovenia? The most important part is the cooperation


24 Interview

of all the relevant stakeholders. To this end, we took a big step forward at the end of last year, when the ‘Ljubljana Strategic Bidding Team’ partnership was established. Based on the cooperation of all meeting solution providers in the chain some quality bids are already being produced. If we want to be competitive we must figure out what kind of added value Ljubljana can offer meeting planners (for example city incentives) and how to divide the burden, or rather the investment, among the suppliers and the city. In order to help generating more bids for the destination, the Ljubljana Convention Bureau needs to increase its marketing activities, which requires an increase of resources. We are preparing a programme of additional activities that will soon be presented to our LSBT partners, anticipating they will regard it attractive and convincing enough for us to obtain their cooperation and support.

At the Conventa Trade Show cooperation among different suppliers of the meetings industry was excellent. How do you think this cooperation might be improved even further? Most importantly we have to keep Conventa in Ljubljana. That Conventa takes place in Ljubljana should not be taken for granted, since the potential competition in the region is strong. Ljubljana Tourism has been a partner and co-organiser of the Conventa Trade Show since its first edition, and every year we contribute a sizeable amount (taking in view of our entire budget) of funding for this project. Our common interest is to ensure Conventa attracts quality hosted buyers and continues to improve in this area, which is connected to additional funds and to strengthening the business network and personal contacts with international meeting industry professionals.

What do you think “congress destination Ljubljana” is lacking? The best answers can be given by our

potential clients, and some have already shared their views with us: - Even stronger connections to the University of Ljubljana and R&D institutions; - Conference ambassadors programme; - Better access, especially by air; - More personal contacts with existing and potential clients; - City “incentive packages” for congress organisers. I believe we are on the right path to addressing these, as our partnership has already addressed most of these issues.

Over the last few years Bled has taken many steps to reboot its meetings industry. Considering the motorway to Bled is now complete, do you see it as a competitive destination? Which destinations do you think are competition for Ljubljana? What are Ljubljana’s USPs? Despite the motorway and proximity of the airport and a very inviting panorama, Bled is still at a disadvantage in comparison to Ljubljana and Portorož in the area of congress infrastructure. However, Bled has always been and remains a very attractive and competitive congress destination. In Ljubljana we rather see Bled as a partner and realise it is unique, yet at the same time Slovenia has only one capital. The existing synergies are stronger than competition. This is most evident in the case when Ljubljana can’t offer enough hotel capacities for a large congress – then we also propose accommodation in Bled. We also recommend Bled for pre- or post tours, and as a picturesque setting for social functions. Due to geographic rotation criteria of congress bids we often compete against capitals of Central and Southeast Europe as well as, somewhat surprisingly, the Baltic States. We can expect a further accelerated development of Zagreb and Belgrade. USPs? In global competition it’s hard to stay unique. For now we can only talk about

advantages, which are not necessarily unique. Some of them are: - Micro accessibility – everything we need to execute a successful meeting is nearby and well connected in compact Ljubljana; - Authenticity and diversity of experiences the destination has to offer; - High levels of ability in the professional arena, and by the inhabitants of Ljubljana in general, to communicate in foreign languages, - The dedication to excellence of all suppliers in the meetings industry chain.

What is your message to the readers of Kongres magazine? visitljubljana.si


25 Interview


26 In focus

Suzana Žilič Fišer and Mia Miše ECC has brought numerous conferences and other meetings to Maribor

How would you evaluate the start of European Capital of Culture (ECC)? What kind of challenges have you faced? Suzana Žilič Fišer (SZF), Ph.D.: “I would say that the start of ECC has been very successful. Through the massive turnout at the opening events, citizens of Maribor and other partner towns have shown that they care about culture and that they also see in it possibilities for the future. Every day big and small stories of the capital have started to weave a mosaic of the whole year. Photo: MP Production

Suzana Žilič Fišer, PhD, has been the Director General of the Maribor 2012 Public Institute since spring 2011, whilst at the same time continuing to work as a professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Maribor. Previous to this, she collaborated with the Expert Committee of the Ministry of Culture involved in the preparation of Media Law, the Managing Director of the Slovene National Theatre Maribor, and also the President of the Expert Committee in evaluating projects proposed for co-financing programme content as developed by the Ministry of Culture. Her past roles include being a lecturer at the University of Westminster as well as at the European School of Economics in London and she has undertaken journalistic and other work at a number of Media Houses: the newspaper Večer, RTV Slovenia and Pro Plus. Suzana’s international credentials are underlined in her pathway of having graduated in Slovenia, completed her MSc in Budapest and then her PhD in the UK. On top of all this she is also author of the book Managing Television and the co-author of a number of other books in the Media field.

An important and telling piece of information is the fact that the TIC (Tourist Information Centre) Maribor has seen some 40% increase in visits and demand for cultural events in the realm of ECC. Visits to information points 'Maribor 2012' that were opened last December, both in Maribor and in Ljubljana, was also substantially increased. In January information points were visited by more than 2,200 people, and in the opening weekend alone we have seen over 700 visitors. Some 75% of the visitors are Slovenians, they have shown the biggest interest in buying souvenirs and season tickets for Terminal 12 and tickets for other events within the ECC programme. Increased numbers of visitors are an encouraging fact, as getting visitors to Maribor and other partner towns both from Slovenia and abroad is one of the important goals of ECC. We shouldn't forget all the other positive effects of the project on the city, the region and for Slovenia. The ECC project strengthens the profile of Slovenia on a global scale while bringing positive effects for culture and general development of the society. The internet page ‘Trip Advisor’, the busiest for booking trips, has reported at the start of the year that interest in Maribor as a trip destination has seen an increase of as much as 547%.

The project itself is extremely complex, however expectations about ECC are rather vague, as no model exists on how to make the project outstanding. Based on professional guidelines we perfected our concept of communication, and together with financial resources and a quality programme this can allow for short-term and long-term effects. Only successful realisation of upperend events will meet the expectations of the general public. This is the basic pre-condition for achieving the project objective, which is the transformation into a city with a positive perception of culture. Last year our basic goals were to raise awareness about the ECC project, establishing partnerships with various institutions and firm bases for choosing the programme, which we managed to achieve despite the dynamic nature of the environment we worked in. In less than a year we managed to catch up on the delayed work and numerous postponed decisions of previous years. Business, programme and accounting objectives were realised. Today we stand on firm ground and on a successful way of implementing the ECC project.”

What is the magnitude of the project and what influence will it have? SZF: “The ECC project brings an outstanding opportunity to the city, the region and the country. Through the work of the Maribor 2012 Public Institute we are trying to encourage as much potential as possible, both artistic and others, to participate. The ECC project brought outstanding profile to cities and states where it has been held with the positive reference brought by the ECC brand. That is what makes it an opportunity that looks out for synergies between various players in the environment. It is also one of the communication goals that we would like to point out, the concept of communication built on 3 Cs - connect, content, community. These are key elements that give us local,


27 In focus

national and international profile. By connecting we would like to involve every citizen in the project. They are involved as observers, or even better as content contributors. In terms of content we would like to offer and present superior artistic material, key to the ECC programme. Outstanding artistic content represents an important base that enables us to recognise ECC as an outstanding, creative, and superior artistic event. The idea of the community in communication means that we would like to express the importance of common action of the city and all the partner towns, the state, citizens and institutions. ECC is an important common story. Long-term we aim to see the positive effects that the changes of development can make on the city, with increased creative and positive image. After all, development of education in art through the Academy of Arts, linking various cultural players, both existing and new, will no doubt bring new value to the city. The goal of the project is to achieve superior effects through the common involvement of various institutions, various areas, the city and the state. This is extremely difficult, nevertheless it is of great importance for the long-term success that being ECC can bring.”

In your opinion what will be the main tourism effects of the project? Mia Miše (MM), M.Sc, who co-ordinates work with the Slovenian Tourist Organisation, believes that the ECC project pursues broader goals, not only economic ones, one of which is tourism. “We can definitely see more effects: the active co-operation with foreign artists, not only in Maribor but rather in the whole North Eastern region of Slovenia, and hotels and restaurants have seen greater numbers of visitors. The city definitely has a different life through cultural events.

Effects of the work of the Maribor 2012 Public Institute done in 2011 have laid the foundation for implementing the project. Through the exceptional magnitude of the project it enables new impetus for development in the city, partner towns and the state. We have seen an increase of 57% of domestic tourists over the previous year, and some 29% more of foreign guests. Slovenians represent 45% this year and foreign tourists 55%. We are seeing the greatest demand on ECC. The effects of promotional activities on foreign markets will be seen in the years after 2012. Intensive promotion of the ECC event on foreign markets and fairs have positioned Maribor and other towns as a new and attractive destination for shorter or longer European tours. Other cities that have also been ECC are becoming increasingly attractive destinations for Slovenians.”

Are any direct effects being noticed of ECC on congress tourism in Maribor? MM: “Occasionally we receive demands from Maribor's tourism suppliers for events at set dates, who compete for organising events at their hotel. ECC has brought numerous conferences and other meetings to Maribor and other partner towns from the areas of architecture, medicine, literature etc. To name just a few: - ‘Who does history belong to?’ (an international conference) - ‘La rencontre de Maribor’ Conference - Legacy of Socialism - 7th international ‘Social Responsibility and Challenges of Our Times 2012’ conference - International conference ‘History of the Future’ - International conference ‘EUROPHRAS 2012 MARIBOR’

How do you co-operate with the Slovenian Tourist Organisation (STO)? MM: “STO is the key institution with which we co-operate in international promotion of

Photo: Marko Pigac

Mia Miše, MSc, works as a collaborator on various aspects of promotion for the Maribor 2012 European Capital of Culture Public Institute, having already laid the foundations for the event’s promotion to the international audience. Before that she worked as an independent consultant in the field of international business, tourism, PR and marketing. She has also worked for the Slovenian Tourist Board in China and lead on Marketing Services at Raiffeisen Bank and NKBM Bank (Nova Kreditna banka Maribor).


28 In focus

the ECC. The effects of this synergy are great and results of co-operation are already greater than might be perceived in Slovenia. We began to co-operate in the autumn of 2010. As it is well known, the cycle of decision making in tourism is long. Nevertheless we are convinced that Maribor and other partner towns will take a new position as a destination worth visiting because of the current activities; positive effects will be seen for years to come. The promotion of the ECC project in co-operation with STO is ongoing and with the maximum use of the most important marketing tools and activities. Institute Maribor 2012 uses all the infrastructure and knowledge that has been developing for many years at STO: we co-operate on preparation of promotional materials and we are proud on our co-ordinated co-operation on the internet. We implement study visits of foreign journalists and tour operators and ECC is also included in the various newsletters for foreign media and other targeted public bodies. We make sure we are present at important global trade shows and the ECC project is also included in promotions at trade show events (for tour operators and media). On a daily basis we also co-operate with Local Tourist Organisations (LTOs) of partner towns, where I would like to especially emphasise our cooperation with the Maribor Tourist Board.�

has huge potential both in research and at the educational level. As one of the key stakeholders the University is one of our key partners of the ECC project, which is why we ardently support the development of the Academy of Arts and all branches of art which we would like to see developed through ECC. This is important for the future of the city and partner towns and the state as a whole. We have to bet on strengthening the potential of future generations and ECC is a good starting point for such actions.

The ECC project is a project of integration, cultural institutions, linking of cities, and co-operation. Of course this is extremely difficult, especially in Slovenia, however we do believe that long-term we will reap awards. Only through co-operation can we achieve complementary effects and new values. Often our work is pioneering, as we link various towns that are all special and extraordinary in their own right. Well, moving heavy rocks has never been easy!�

What do you think Maribor will be like when the project is finished? SZF: “Through a range of dynamic cultural activities Maribor will see an acceleration in development on all levels, carriers of which will be creative citizens. Maribor and its partner towns, the cohesive north-east region, and the Slovenian state will all be more successful because of it, the economy will be more innovative and the self confidence of individuals will be greater. The society as a whole will have a more pervasive openness and creativity. One of the important starting points is co-operation with our University, which

Cabaret New Burlesque_ www.visiteurdusoir.com


30 In focus

Mitja Čander Tourism is of extreme importance to Maribor

How is Maribor today, now that its European Capital of Culture (ECC) wheels have started to turn? The programme was prepared to reflect with dynamics of seasons and Maribor is becoming increasingly lively. A special atmosphere has been created, a positive one that is a pre-condition for any kind of creativity, be it artistic, scientific or in business.

What is the main emphasis of the ECC programme?

Mitja Čander graduated in comparative literature at Ljubljana’s Faculty of Arts, joining the Slovenian literary scene in the 1990s. He began working as an editor of various publications whilst a student, a profession he continues to this day (Tribuna, supplement of Maribor’s Dialogues, Beletrina Academic Press), including from 2000 being the President of the Expert Council and currently Editor-in-Chief of the Beletrina Academic Press. From 1992 onwards he published many critical texts and essays about Slovene and world literature, Mitja then becoming one of the architects of the World Days of Slovene Literature major initiative. From 2011 he has been the Programme Director of the Maribor 2012 Public Institute – European Capital of Culture. For all of his endeavours he has received a number of prizes: the Stritar Award, the Glazer Charter, the award of the Slovenian book fair for being best newcomer, and he has also been nominated three times for best essay book. Besides literature he has also been involved with youth culture, is still active as a playwright, is a column writer as well as managing to find the time to be a scenario writer for documentary films. Mitja is a member of the National Council for Culture of the Republic of Slovenia (since 2004) and so far in his career has published four independent books.

The programme was prepared under the vision of a complete reanimation of the city through the possibilities of creativity. You can see international artistic excesses and numerous projects that unlock the known but almost forgotten stories of the city. Special attention is given to social and ecological themes and we are ambitious in using the internet. We would like to demonstrate a model of creative society - local and global are two vitally connected terms today.

To be a part of a lively, special and at the same time cosmopolitan city is definitely interesting and attractive for any organiser thinking of a meeting destination.

What are the broader tourist aims of the project? Nowadays we are all looking for interesting things to do and in this sense the ECC is a good magnet, one of a few ‘weapons’ that smaller towns and cities can use in the cogs of the global tourism industry machine. If people say to themselves ‘let's go and see it’ and are happy with what they have seen, they will return. Tourism is of extreme importance to Maribor.

Do you believe that the new infrastructure created through being the ECC will also be beneficial for the meetings industry? Questions on the infrastructure and its use come under the realm of the Municipality of Maribor and not the Public Institute Maribor 2012, so they are better placed to address this.

What connection do you see between the ECC and meetings industry?

DanceOpen2010_za Gala vecer baletnih zvezd_Foto_by_Gene Schiavone11 (2)


31 In focus

Darja Slivnjak We are expecting an increase of at least 50% in the number of overnight stays for individual guests

What kind of challenges does being the 2012 European Capital of Culture (ECC) bring for Maribor’s Tourism industry?

What do you think will be direct and indirect effects of being the ECC? We will be analysing these at the end of 2012.

The ECC title definitely poses the challenge of lifting Maribor’s profile as a destination. At the same time it is an opportunity for linking different European cultures and increasing cultural creativity. From the regional point of view it also presents an excellent opportunity for linking municipalities and fostering their mutual co-operation. This sort of an event can increase the profile of the city of Maribor and offers the opportunity for local cultural workers and performers to present themselves to a much wider audience. The cultural scene that is a main part of the project’s framework is another reason for increased numbers of tourists visiting the town.

Darja Slivnjak graduated in Economics before becoming responsible for public relations as assistant Chairman of the Board for tourism and marketing, a tourism role in Terme Maribor that has lasted for 13 year and now encompasses membership of the Board of Tourism and membership of the council of Public Institute for Tourism in Maribor.

In terms of hoteliers and as a tourist destination, how did you get yourselves ready for the event? The company Terme Maribor, d.d. has been preparing for the ECC event by offering various tourist packages, promotions on the website, distributing promotional materials to different European towns and cities, PR articles and many more initiatives. We also formed a project group that is in constant contact with the Public Institute and their marketing team. In addition to that we also put together a special brochure covering our complete offer of various types of accommodation available and different packages that have been developed especially for the ECC. Alongside this we have also been implementing various sales activities for specific target groups at home and abroad: foreign universities, schools, student clubs, associations, institutions and so on, for which the ECC programme can be a motive for visiting the town of Maribor and we are in a position to offer them our services.

After the first two months can you tell us of some tangible results? How many congresses and other events have already been generated by the ECC? City hotels Uni, Orel and Piramida have seen some increase in overnight bookings thanks to various events connected to the ECC, like Carmina Slovenica, choir Choregie, the Lent Festival, the Borštnik meeting, the chess championship, la Folia orchestra, the Swedish choir, the international choir competition and other events. In total we have recorded some 4,000 overnight stays so far, which only includes organised groups of performers, whereas we are expecting an increase of at least 50% in the number of overnight stays for individual guests. We believe that at the end of the ECC event we will have seen an overall increase in our city hotels because of the increased number of cultural events, with some 10% to 20% increase in the number of overnight stays generated by cultural groups and individual guests.

What will remain in Maribor when the project comes to an end? Lots of memories of a lot of excellent shows and events: Festival Lent, Borštnik ... and Maribor having been a European Capital of Culture!


Prešernova cesta 10 SI–1000 Ljubljana Slovenia E congress@cd-cc.si W www.cd-cc.si/congress

CONGRESS AND EVENTS MANAGEMENT

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120

68

64

106

M1

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117

100

54

36

30

58

M2

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52

40

30

20

M3

-1

74

60

30

28

24

M4

-1

92

60

40

28

24

reception

ŠD

214

40 40

50

banquet

theatre

38

30

616

reception

area sq. m

44

40

1545

880

double U shape

level

60

72

2000

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banquet

120

116

0

LD

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name of hall room

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165

0

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DP

GD

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area sq. m

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P2

level

name of hall room

KD

100 70 50 70

270

180

1127

800

550

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997

600

400

-2

1350

700

500 100

GC

0

364

200

MG

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303

150

* BOARDROOM


34 Interview

Rolf Jensen was born on the 21. of february 1942. Chief imagination Officer, Dream Company A/S. He incorporated Dream Company on the 2. april 2001 -on the famous danish writer H.C. Andersen’s birthday. He has written the bestsellers “The Dream Society” (translated into 10 languages) and “Heartstorm”. The next book is called “The Future Makers”. Rolf Jensen is a frequently used advisor, author and lecturer. On subjects within the future and corporate storytelling. He is currently on the boards of Børnefonden (The Childrens Foundation), Foreningen FAIR and Byprojekt Tordenskiold. Fellow at the Royal Geographical Society.


35 Interview

Rolf Jensen Story-telling is well illustrated in any good film

We noted a comment somewhere that your book, ‘The Dream Society’, is a book about business but also about life in general, life as it is today and as it will be in the future. Can our future be predicted with the help of the book? What is going to happen to us in the future? I think ‘The Dream Society’ can be used to predict our future. It is about small, gradual changes each year but in the long term it adds up to a real transformation. Gradually, we buy products with our heart, with our emotions – not our mind. Just two examples: the price of a t-shirt is determined by what is written on it, not the quality. Quality is taken for granted or is seen as irrelevant. How much money can the Slovenian mountains generate in the winter? A lot - you can go skiing and have a drink or two afterwards. Furthermore, we have more and more companies seeing themselves as part of society, not just as money-making machines. But it is a gradual process, it moves like a glacier, slowly but surely.

A society of dreams, as you say, is the next stage of humankind’s development and we are now living the transition from an information society to a dream society. Do you think that recurring global crises and the recession in Europe has slowed down or even stopped this transformation? What is the precondition for the transformation from the material to the emotionally rich society? When the material dream has been fulfilled – more or less – for the majority of the population something new happens. The extra car, the holiday in Thailand – yes, we want it, but not as fiercely as when we were poor and it was the first car. We start to think about shorter working hours, more leisure time. This is certainly not an issue in China. They have a material dream to be fulfilled and they are ready to work hard to achieve it. Slovenia is – like South Korea – entering this era. Slovenia is fulfilling the material dream but is waiting for the next

dream, and the next dream must be emotional, non-materialistic. The definition of the good life changes from money to happiness, to thriving, to family life.

Marketing and advertising are relying less and less on tangible advantages of individual products and increasingly relying on feelings. Can we deduct from this that globalisation also provided increasingly similar products with the only difference between them being the emotional component? Yes, most products are the same, take the t-shirt or the sneakers, the watches. Made in the same factory in China. The difference in price comes from the brand, the story, that’s what we pay for.

Europe is full of tradition and history. Do you believe that we will start to revisit the past in order to get good stories or maybe even values? Europe has a lot of ‘gold’ – their history. Companies and artists are digging as much as they can – for good reason. Next month we will read about the sinking of Titanic and the courage and cowardice in this event, about human hubris, about blind faith in technology. In my forthcoming book, ‘The Gateway to the Future’, I am suggesting a second renaissance. The first one happened 600 years ago. It was about setting people free – free to form their own opinions and ideas. I think the same is going to happen some time soon, although in a more comprehensive way. Let the first renaissance teach us what to expect.

Why should we be using story-telling in business communication and also in our personal lives? How do stories affect the listener? What is this process like? We are moved by stories, we have no defence against a story well told. The strongest stories are about the nation and about religion.

Many people are prepared to die for them. The company story is much weaker. Are you prepared to die for your company? (don’t answer if the boss is listening :). Story-telling is well illustrated in any good film. First everyting is fine, then something terrible happens. The film is started – the hero has to overcome the difficulties. In the end he/she succeeds and we have a happy ending. Normally the hero wins because of honesty, love and compassion. The villian is just after money.

How would you prepare or tell a good story that would also interest potential buyers or listeners? OK! Thank you for the question. A true story: “My good friend was in the countryside in a small cottage with his wife and their teenage daughter for just a few days. After 24 hours the teenage daughter said: “Let’s go to the city and do some shopping.” My friend answered (stupidly): “What do you need?” The daughter said: “How would I know, I am not there yet!” OK, what did we learn from this true story? That shopping for young people is a leisure activity. For older people it is about alleviating a need.

Do certain differences (rules) occur in story-telling across various industries and various cultures? Have you perhaps already identified them? Basically, we are all human. We do have cultural differences, though. A us/me product (like My Nike, - the Nike brand but with a personal and individual statement about the owner) could sell in the West, but not in Asia. They are less individualistic.

Do you already have an idea what might follow the dream society? I guess the Dream Society is the end. In 100 years time we are mostly spiritual and artistic– talking values and enjoying the beauty of the lily in the field – to quote the famous Lord Keynes on his own prediction.


36 In focus

The Telling of a Good Story Brand management is out, because today it is simply unmanageable

Once upon a time advertising was a serious business. Serious people worked in serious offices. They seriously studied consumers so that they could make serious 30-second commercials, and seriously integrated advertising campaigns. They took their work seriously because they seriously believed that they can make a serious impact on the consumer. Actually, when we think about it, this time is now. We all do that today, don’t we? So what are we doing wrong?

Today the advertising industry has come to the point of inflection. Ivan Tanić is a strategic planner in the advertising agency Bruketa&Žinić OM, one of the most highly-awarded agencies in SE Europe. He is a postgraduate of Bournemouth University, a leading UK Media School, holding a Masters Degree in Marketing Communications, and has substantial work experience in the marketing and advertising industry.

It is a point in the life of an industry when its fundamentals are about to change. It is a full scale change in the way the industry does its business. This inflection point has been reached because of technological change and competition, as well as a few other things. These few other things are the fragmentation of media and audiences.

Today, everything is media and the number of audiences is growing at the speed of a planet’s growth rate. Democratization of creativity empowered everybody to be creative. The 99% movement that is now threatening to bring down Wall Street already brought down Madison Avenue without anybody knowing. Cheap and instant production made all the prices drop. Today you can get everything cheaper. Online integration and digitalization made everyone connected and informed. And finally convergence! Convergence is bringing every devices into one, and it will continue to do so until every device disappears except one - an extra small media

implant that will do everything for us and connect us directly to anything we imagine. The point is that there are so many things happening that the industry cannot manage all of them any more, nor should it. Consumers can manage them on their own. A decade ago this ‘managing’ was still possible. At those times you had two or three TV programs and all of them had 99% reach. Any message you decided to place on the air was destined to reach your audiences and target groups.

However this ‘shooting blind’ approach does not work any more. Today audiences have an infinite number of places to go to. Agencies replaced the old-school, serious mass media model, in which brands used agencies to communicate via mass media to the consumers, with the even more serious fragmented media model. And this model is simply impossible to handle, because of the infinite number of media and audiences. You simply can’t handle something that is infinite. That’s why brand management is out, because today it is simply unmanageable.

What we need to do is replace brand management with brand advocacy and come to terms with the personal media model. And it is a simple model! Today there is no media, there are just audiences - and they are our media. Every single consumer is a permanent billboard or a life-long TV advert. That is why today the only important message is the consumer experience. And it’s not only the brand experience, it’s more


37 In focus

than that, it’s the-being-a-part-of-a-brandexperience. Brand advocacy means that today the main role of an advertising agency is to create and empower fans, so that they can do the same to their friends. The best examples of the brand advocacy approach can be seen in the tourism and leisure industry.

Many tourist destinations and locations stopped focusing on the plain branding approach and made storytelling the basis of their communication. Travellers need to be able to connect emotionally with the location and find it relevant, not just beautiful. Today even the locations that are not the most beautiful, picturesque or natural, can be a perfect holiday destination for people. It is this way, because people today are not just looking for the beautiful locations of their dreams, but locations that can be relevant to their lifestyles - these are the locations that tell stories that can be told to other people. A perfect illustration of such storytelling is the campaign by the Peru tourist board. The campaign revolved around the story of a Peruvian tourist board bus visiting a town in the USA. With the bus came the entire cultural experience, which overwhelmed the residents of the small town in Vermont, USA. (http://www.peru.info/) To put it simply, agencies today don't need to tell advertising messages, they need to tell stories. Seriously :)


38 In focus

Neuro-linguistic programming? Useful tool for effective communication and better business co-operation

Would you like to effectively communicate with your co-workers and other involved parties and create a positive connection? Recognise the states other people are in and all those small details in relations with others that we often overlook? Communication is an extremely important factor of success, as we communicate not only when we do it verbally.

Urša Eva Pucelj is the Editor-in-Chief of E-neo, the biggest student subscription magazine, a journalist and film critic as well as the author of expert articles in the field of neuro-linguistic programming, psychology and marketing. She is currently preparing a PhD, in which she is carrying out an in-depth investigation into the field of neuro-linguistic programming in connection with marketing communications.

Neuro-linguistic programming is a relatively young science, having its roots in the early 1970s as the result of collaboration between Dr. John Grinder, a linguist who worked as an assistant at California University in Santa Cruz, and psychologist Richard Bandler, who was interested in psychotherapy. Grinder and Bandler decided to study and identify communication and behaviour patterns of the three most prominent therapists of the time: Fritz Perls (Gestalt therapy), Virginia Satir (family therapy) and Milton Ericson (hypnotherapy). Their detailed breakdown of patterns of work by all three therapists lead to the formation of the foundations of NLP (an abbreviation of this complex science). Numerous disciplines and sciences have contributed to the development of neurolinguistic programming that are based on its foundations, namely: neuro-linguistics, studying how language appears in the human brain and how the brain transforms it; cognitive science, science on learning and thinking; psychology and psychology neuroimmunology, that studies the interdependence of emotions, feelings, thoughts and bodily processes. NLP was thus primarily intended for use in psychotherapy, with techniques of the mentioned model subsequently used and applied to various fields such as: leadership, sales, organisation, management, teaching, law, consulting, education and effective interactive communication.

NLP – Science on Personal Excellence Neuro-linguistic programming thus

represents science on personal excellence and is at the same time founded on studies of successful communication patterns and the extraordinary achievements of individuals in various fields. In the language of NLP this is called ‘modelling’, which was emphasised by O’Connor and Seymour, who studied various aspects of NLP in their work Skills of communication and influencing: an introduction to neuro-linguistic programming.

It is important that we are aware of the fact that body language is a mirrored version of our thoughts and feelings. The complex phrase neurolinguistic programming is in fact in its essence ‘language of the brain’ and is composed of three words, each of which has its essential meaning. Neuro means that all our behaviour stems from neurological processes of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch; the word lingustic means that we use language to arrange our thoughts and behaviour, with the purpose of communicating with others. Language also stimulates activity in our neurological systems, while word programming refers to the ways we choose for efficiently organising our thoughts and behaviour, with the purpose of communicating with others. Language also triggers and stimulates activity in neurological systems, the word programming referring to ways we choose for effectively organising our thoughts and actions and for achieving specific objectives.

Efficient communication and business success with NLP techniques When acting and communicating we sometimes forget basic foundations, as these often seem to us too obvious and self evident to think of. NLP assumes three factors: well


39 In focus

assumed objective, training in sensual acuity, and flexibility. Here we need to emphasise that when forming objectives we need to be careful that they are clear and specific, positively formed, with firm time frame, achievable with our own abilities, emotionally and rationally in line with personality.

Flexibility is of extreme importance, because of the fact that we can be quite limited in our personal or business actions. If we only offer ourselves one option how to react to a certain event this can lead to great rigidity in business relations, and at the same time it emphasises the idea that various alternatives are always needed on how to approach a problem, relationship or communication.

The third factor for successful actions of an individual in the field of NLP is called training in the sensory sharpness, which means a conscious development of perceptions with all the bodily senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste, i.e. where to focus on how to change or train the sensory filters, so that we could notice what we didn't notice before. By doing this we will consciously switch from autopilot, or so-called unconscious training, and we will see small but crucial signals, nuances which are a good indicator of how we ourselves and others react. Taking into account and integrating all of the three above mentioned factors can lead to a more effective level of communication and to more effective personal and business actions of an individual.

Everything communicates! Business relations of any kind demand

well developed language skills, which is why understanding the components of communication is of utmost importance. It is ever possible to be in the state of non communication, as we also communicate when no verbal expression is used. Albert Mehrabian conducted an interesting study into the effect of facial expressions in communication. The findings of his research show that the body language of a speaker represents 55% of the impression – posture, movements, eye contact; 38% tone of voice, and only 7% the contents of our presentation. So the main difference is in how we tell something and not so much what we tell.

Mirroring and making a good connection As we can see from the above diagram, non verbal communication is of extreme importance for making a good connection. Researchers and authors of books on NLP, such as Heap, Dilts, O'Connor and Seymour, assume that by mirroring our client’s (‘co-speaker’s’) verbal and non-verbal behaviour, which encompasses posture, mimics, movement (and connection) with eyes, adjusting our breathing rhythm and adjusting rhythm, tone, pitch and speed of speech, we can be in tune with the client’s representation of the world, where a rapport or quality relationship, trust and effective communication develops. This technique recommends reacting to speakers’ movement with similar movement. Here it is advisable that we adjust to the tempo of the speaker's speech; while visual types of people speak fast, audio types are more medium speed and the kinaesthetic types operate more slowly. The NLP model assumes that rapport (good relationship) and effective communication with the use of this technique will definitely be achieved. Communication thus always means a relationship, and is never just a oneway information flow.

Words: 7%

Voice 38%

Body language 55%

Source: O'Connor and Seymour (1996, 42).


40 In focus

Kamenko Kesar, Phenomena of TEDx Events The best ones in the world are happy and fast in sharing knowledge

How would you evaluate creativity in Slovenia, judging from the results of TEDx projects? Judging from my feelings and the feedback at events the level of creativity is very high, in all areas and across all age groups. The difference from the rest of the world’s events is maybe in the fact that our most creative individuals prove themselves abroad and are almost hiding at home. I would not like to speculate about the reason for this, but the pattern in practice is large and obvious.

Kamenko Kesar found his first serious job at a mixing desk at Radio MARŠ. He continued working with radio at MM2, again at the mixing desk, until October 1997, when he hitchhiked from Maribor to Ljubljana. There he landed at Publicis Virgo and found his first real mentors in his first serious business, the Simobil start-up which turned out to be short but sweet. Eight years then followed at Microsoft in PR and as Director of Marketing. In June 2007 he founded an event organisation and PR-focused agency called Adrema. Its advantage? ‘We know heart and soul of the business’.

How did you get the idea for organising TEDx? Four years ago we were preparing a similar story for our clients. Connecting points with TEDx were so obvious that we decided to try out the model under the license TEDx. Which contents do you place emphasis on for your organisation events? Any content that puts a spark in a lecturer’s eyes is the right one. It has a story, it has energy, it has a wish to tell and share. Everything else is either just basic hygiene or of secondary importance. How do you go about getting lecturers? Which themes are you personally most enthusiastic about? The range of colleagues, co-workers, event participants, friends and business partners has become so large that the range of lecturers is becoming increasingly large as well. Choosing the right filter is the hardest thing. The best lecturers are usually the easiest to contact and the easiest to agree things with. Personally I am enthusiastic about themes that force me to re-think my habits and opinions, to re-open them and think about them again. It’s irrelevant which field the theme comes from. In your opinion, is the liberal practice of knowledge transfer in the form of videos accessible to everyone going to change

a rather conservative world of scientific publishing? Scientific publishing hasn't been as it once was for years now. The best and biggest scientific, university etc. institutions have their own web portals with video lectures and web books and are all focused on open knowledge transfer. The best ones in the world are the happiest and fastest to share their knowledge. They know that you cannot become the best based on only one lecture, one book. You need the right mentality, the right idea, the stubbornness of a donkey or rather the persistence needed for implementing and ..... balls. If you have all that, you will usually connect with the best ones in the world. The circle is thus complete. At the last event in Maribor you had over 400 participants. How was the audience reaction? The audience reaction was one of enthusiasm, after some 12 hours of the event even getting standing ovations. Energy was at such a high level, something I've never seen before in the many years of my career. The extent of praise and congratulations exceeded all expectations. Judging from this reaction we conclude that we did our job. Everyone did - participants, lecturers and organisers. Which lessons could event organisers learn from this project? The greatest lesson was the fact that every event has its own 'life', energy, and personality, which is created by participants, lecturers and the leader. And if an experienced organiser has a free hand he can ride the wave of energy of such an event and fly high above the clouds. Or he can also crash because of a lack of knowledge. And the difference shows on the participants’ skin. He or she can be tired after 4 hours or regenerated and full of ideas and adrenaline after 12 hours. And tired if I'm honest :o).


41

Event 3.0 – How generation Y & Z are re-shaping the events industry

In focus

The format of the meetings industry will be entirely different to what it is now

Meshulam “Shuli” Golovinski is the founder and CEO of Newtonstrand Innovations Limited. Born in 1975, Shuli has spent 15 years working to revolutionise the way events are organised. After a successful career at Microsoft, and twice the winner of the Bill Gates Innovation Award, Shuli created Newtonstrand 10 years ago and has continued to develop it into a successful software solutions company in the events industry.

The future of the events industry is NOW! Generations Y & Z, otherwise known as tomorrow’s leaders, will not only be attending our meetings and conferences over the next ten to twenty years, but will undoubtedly play a major role in re-shaping our industry as we know it. In the same way as the Internet has progressed from web 1.0 with a mass of information available but as a one-way street, to web 2.0 where we started to see social media, blogging and more interaction, meetings and conferences are also progressing in a similar way. Events 1.0 were our first form of meetings and conferences with expert speakers talking to a mass of people and the whole event thoroughly planned out along an education format. For a previous generation of individuals, this was ideal, as they were used to having information spoon fed to them by authoritative sources of information. Over the years we have come into Events 2.0 where we have encouraged more networking between delegates, providing a balance of education and networking at an event. However, as we try and cater for the current and changing needs of the younger generation already in our industry - Generation Y (born between 1981 and 1999) – we then come upon a whole new generation, who are not yet of age to be attending business events: Generation Z. Also known as Millennials, Generation Z were literally raised on technology and were often playing computer games before they could pronounce the names of what they were playing. For Generation Y and Z there is a need to progress to Events 3.0. For example, structured networking is becoming increasingly important to Generation Y and will play a major role in events for when Generation Z become active participants. Typically at a normal conference or event, delegates go to different education sessions, with coffee and networking breaks throughout the day. Although these breaks allow people to move around they are far too

short to allow delegates to have meaningful conversations. With a structured networking track delegates can use technology to start to network online prior to the event and preschedule meetings for during the event. There should be adequate time during the event for 1-1 meetings to be held, which the delegate has set up before to meet with industry colleagues and not just with suppliers. Another example is the change in the education format of an event. In addition to a formal content at the event for learning from industry experts, there needs to be a chance for all delegates to have the chance to speak up at an event.

With new scheduling technology, an openstage format allows all delegates the chance to book a speaking slot in advance and present on an industry topic of their choice. Colleagues can decide for themselves which subject they want to hear about, who they want to listen to and have the chance to voice their own questions and opinions. It is no longer about just listening to known industry experts. If we work to correctly address all the ‘wants and needs’ of Generations Y & Z, the format of the meetings industry will be entirely different to what it is now. It is up to us in the industry now to help develop the future of the meetings industry. For more details on “Event 3.0 – How Generation Y and Z are re-shaping the events industry” go to www.newtonstrand.com Shuli Golovinski If you would like to take part in these interviews, contact Shuli Golovinski on shulig@newtonstrand.com


42 In focus

What is the real communication power of events?

Number 93 is the key! Uroš Zajec, General Manager, PRO FIT d.o.o.

communication the guest can experience at the event, and if the organiser of the event only pays attention to written and auditory communication, they only take advantage of 7% of the communication with the guest. The key 93% of the communication touches the area of the other senses in combination with the guests’ mind. The guests first have to be attracted to the event, then they have to be relaxed and persuaded to cooperate. This is the basis for efficient communication.

The key to success is innovation and imagination Kaja Gabrijelčič, Project Manager, Studio 37 d.o.o.

Even though communication, PR and marketing experts keep inventing new and progressive communication tools, a well executed event is still the strongest, most efficient and cheapest communication tool that has ever existed, one that exists now and will continue to exist into the future. The event is the most complex simulation of life, which makes communication more efficient. The guest is present with his whole body, his senses, emotions and mind. That is what makes communication spontaneous, using all kinds of communication channels – more than in any other written, auditory or electronic communication. The event always features written (brochures, PowerPoint presentations, notations) and auditory (moderators, sound recordings, performances) communication, but both together represent only 7% of the

We encounter events all throughout our lives. We usually celebrate important milestones with them, starting off with birthdays, then holidays, moving on to weddings and many other events which mark and enrich our life’s journey. It’s due to the uniqueness of each

individual event that the professional path of event planners can be pretty thorny and full of obstacles to overcome, but the flowers at the end of each thorny stem that becomes a successful project are what gives us renewed strength and the will to carry on. This is the force driving us forward in this unfavourable business environment, to try to stay ahead of the competition and greet the guests with special events, ones that will leave a mark on the individual, educate them and bring them together with their colleagues, or convince them to realise their commercial goals. The key to success is definitely in innovation and imagination, in content itself as well as location, equipment, technical sophistication and novelties, which are a necessity in this innovative and quickly developing society. Sometimes these ideals do not survive financial scrutiny, but it is important that the foundations stay firm and the goals clearly visible. For an hour, a day or a week, make the experience unforgettable for your guest.


44 In focus

The Cost of Knowledge I expect publishers to change, because the world is changing

About 350 years ago, Henry Oldenburg thought of a new business idea - academic publishing. He was the secretary of the Royal Society, and negotiated the right to keep any profits he made publishing the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, the first publication devoted exclusively to science. Unfortunately for Oldenburg, the journal was not a financial success in his lifetime. Since then, at least two major changes have taken place.

Tyler Neylon received a PhD in applied mathematics from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences in 2006, specializing in machine learning. He worked as a software engineer for Google from 2006 until 2008, when he founded Bynomial, Inc. In January 2012, he created The Cost of Knowledge website to promote open access publishing.

First, academic publishing has become a lucrative business. Elsevier, for example, received $3.2 billion (US dollars) in revenue in 2010, with a 36% profit margin. Second, and at odds with the first change, it has become incredibly easy for researchers to publish papers on the Internet so that anyone with a connection can read them, essentially for free. Historically, publishers provided the dissemination of knowledge that researchers could not easily provide on their own. That is no longer the case, and we must reconsider why publishers are still the dominant distributors of articles.

Modern academic publishers own two core values that readers and researchers want: they own the copyrights to essentially all the articles they’ve published, and they own the names – and thus the

associated stamp of high quality – associated with their journals. The badge of honor bestowed upon an author in a well-regarded journal such as the Lancet is not just a boost for the ego, but is more importantly a way to get tenure. Thus researchers who want their work to be freely available are willing to, and even obliged to, forego the free availability of their work in favour of their own career. So publishers continue to own and sell genuine value. Yet there has been a growing sense of unrest among researchers with the business practices of major publishers. If they provide value, why are researchers unhappy?

The problem is that what publishers now sell are things that are primarily created and maintained by researchers themselves. In other words, if academic publishing were a new idea freshly created in the context of modern technology, it’s a fair guess that high-profit publishers would be put out of business by open access alternatives. In that hypothetical world, journals would have to earn their prestige by appealing to authors. Open access journals would be more attractive to the best editors and authors alike, and requiring the transfer of a copyright would be terrible for business. An alternative perspective is that publishers now seem to have a conflict of interest. They are a business, and they’d like to make money. Their stated mission is to disseminate knowledge. The conflict is that it is now virtually free to disseminate knowledge. Maximising profits is clearly not aligned with maximising availability.


45 In focus

To further the breach in trust between authors and publishers, a tone of insincerity has crept into the messaging and behaviour of major publishers. Perhaps the most obvious example of this is Elsevier’s official support for the Research Works Act (RWA), a US bill that would have disallowed requirements that US taxpayer-funded research be made freely available to read.

In other words, if the RWA had become a law, it would negate attempts by agencies such as NIH (the National Institutes of Health) from requiring that the work they fund be published without a paywall. Elsevier’s support for this bill – viewed by many as similar in spirit to ACTA, SOPA, and PIPA – helped lead to the creation of The Cost of Knowledge boycott. The Cost of Knowledge is a site I created based on a suggestion of Timothy Gowers, a well-known Cambridge mathematician. On 21 January, Professor Gowers publicly declared on his blog that he would no longer be working with Elsevier, and asked for others to join him. As a reader of his blog, I volunteered to facilitate a community of international researchers who would voluntarily refrain from working with Elsevier. Within 24 hours, the site was up, and names began pouring in. In less than two months, over 8,000 researchers have pledged to avoid either publishing, reviewing, or editing for any Elsevier journals. This number continues to grow. About a month after The Cost of Knowledge was created, Elsevier announced they would no longer support RWA. That same day, the congressional sponsors of RWA reported that they would not be taking any further action on RWA, effectively cancelling the bill.

ACTA, SOPA, PIPA, and RWA are all pieces of legislation which aim to hinder the rights of individuals for the benefit of big businesses. As technology evolves, companies may interpret a changing market as a threat to be protected against. But it is a mistake to legislate outdated business practices back into relevance. A better long-term attitude is to understand technology and the market as it evolves, and to add value in that setting. Embrace change. Businesses can ask themselves: “If we were starting from scratch, how could we contribute something new and valuable to our field?” We live in a world where a high-quality open access journal can be effectively run at a cost of $10 per article . In some fields, editorial work, refereeing, and typesetting are all done voluntarily. Authors can create and post an article online, inform their colleagues, and be discovered by search across the world in a split second. The world is changing. I do not expect a large multinational publisher to radically change their practices because Tim Gowers asks them to, or because I ask them to – or even because thousands of prominent researchers ask them to. I expect publishers to change because the world is changing. I can introduce you to 8,000 people who are changing with it.


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Preserving conference knowledge for the next generations Put your conference videos online and provide additional value to your customers

Presentations at conferences have great professional, technical and educational value. The problem is, when the conference ends, this value disappears. And so do the revenues from that conference. Imagine you could capture and retain that value? You could turn it into new revenues and a powerful marketing tool.

Lightning talks and carefully prepared conference presentations, if not recorded, are just transient knowledge being forgotten a few days later. Peter Keše is the founder of Viidea, a company with a mission to make online knowledge preservation ubiquitous by offering a turnkey solution and a novel business model for conference organisers to turn knowledge preservation into revenue generating business activity. For many years, Peter has been focusing on generating, collecting, preserving and sharing educational knowledge. Since 2006 he has built an online video hosting technology which, among others, has powered the VideoLectures. Net web portal to become world’s largest independent knowledge repository with more than 15,000 hosted educational videos.

Indeed! With the enormous technology expansion in the digital age, everything is being recorded, stored and put online. You are using Facebook to keep in touch with your friends, follow their activities on Twitter and read their opinions on their blogs. But when you go to a conference, you have to carefully choose which parallel breakout session you want to attend or whether to continue a coffee break discussion with a colleague while the next lecture is about to begin. Because you just can’t make-up for the talks you have missed. Conference talks haven’t entered the digital era yet. Why so? The technology is here and available! There are several companies that are recently building wonderful web services offering high quality online lecture playback experience, including seamless video, presentation slides and multimedia support. But conferences often operate with closed budgets, while online video hosting may result in recurring costs. And besides, streamlined web video technology itself does not solve for the conference organiser’s problems related to on-site recording, video production and publication. Accepting that there’s no way to publish conference talks online without some extra costs and effort, let’s evaluate the benefits and

opportunities arising from these extra activities to find the point where they start making sense.

A sound implementation of a conference video archive can not only cover for the extra production costs but even turn it into a profitable asset. It is easy to imagine that being able to see the missed parallel breakout sessions is a great benefit to conference attendees. However, providing online access will also drive other people’s attention and awareness to your conference, which will consequently result in more tickets sold next year. Online talks may also benefit conference sponsors. In-video advertisements that are placing your sponsor’s brand next to sparkling conference content by well known personalities are an extremely valuable marketing space reaching a far bigger audience and having a far longer lifetime than other in-conference advertising activities. Many additional benefits can be reached by choosing a video hosting platform with content protection and configurable access restriction. Such a platform will let you set the separate access policy for each individual video to be promotionally available to everyone for free, access-limited to conference attendees only, or commercially available to a wider audience through an integrated online payment system, thus transforming the initial investment into a recurring revenue stream.

Once the reasoning is done and things start making sense business-wise, preserving conference knowledge and building online talk archives can start becoming a reality.


47 In focus

The only thing you will wish for next is having someone to take away the stress and untangle the complexity of having to hire a video crew, dealing with new technologies and making everything fit together. This is what Viidea, an online video technology enterprise, is solving for you by integrating recording service with web technology, while at the same time solving the accompanying business aspects of online

conference publishing. Approaching the problem holistically, Viidea is offering a turnkey service that will bring a recording crew to the conference, publish videos online and build each conference its own customisable and brandable video web site ready for public dissemination or commercial exploitation. You can get your conference recorded by contacting Viidea at http://viidea. com/ .


Discover our secrets! We are proud - proud of our tradition, our people and of our clients, who vary from organisers of meetings to organisers entertainment events and concerts. The multifunctional Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre – GR and its friendly, experienced staff again and again surprise event organisers with the ease they make their events come to life!

The 7th International Congress on Autoimmunity (May 2010) Organized by: Kenes International, 1500 participants “The organization of the congress was excellent and the event will be remembered by all participants. We received very positive reactions from our committee members, host lecturers and students. The congress was excellent, with excellent cuisine, good audio-visual support and enjoyable social events. Your responsibility and support contributed greatly to the success of this congress. We look forward to future successful congresses here.” Prof. Yehuda Shoenfeld, president of the Congress

Gala reception with celebrities - Diners Club Slovenia (2007, 2008, 2010) Organized by: Diners Club SLO d.o.o., 1200 participants “The Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre is a centre for cosmopolitans. We come back because the Centre always confirms the correctness of our choice as the events are organized in a responsible, sparkling, prestigious and refined manner. Its advantage isn’t only an excellent space for events but mainly its highly professional staff and its dedication to work.” Tomaž F. Lovše, owner of Diners Club Slovenija

Business negotiations with Derek Arden (October 2011) Organized by: Academy Panta Rei, 150 participants I would like to thank you for your excellent cooperation and organization of our seminar “Business negotiation with Derek Arden”. I would particularly like to point out excellent work of your technical support department. Throughout our years of experience, we have not had the pleasure of working with such a responsive and friendly technical team. Next time we organize a seminar of such scope, you will definitely be our first choice. Vesna Benkič, Head of Akademija Panta Rei organisation

GR - Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre Dunajska 18, SI-1001 Ljubljana Luka Zajc T: +386 1 300 26 39 E: luka.zajc@gr-sejem.si www.ljubljanafair.com


50 Surveys

Conventa 2012 Visitor Satisfaction Survey Visitor Satisfaction is getting better!

The Conventa Trade Show is the most important meetings industry event in Southeast Europe, therefore the editorial board of Kongres Magazine have decided to introduce some of the most important findings from the survey the organisers conducted after the event with both hosted buyers and exhibitors. 5 - Excellent, 4 - Good, 3 - Adequate, 2 - Poor, 1 - Very poor

Hosted Buyer Response

How likely are you to place future business in We can assume the destinations which reached the highest marks had the best presentation and offer and that the infrastructure in the region is still slightly worse than other conditions for the development of the meetings industry. The destination

4.3

The hotel/s

4.1

The venue/s

4

The activities

4

Main reasons for attending Conventa As the main reason for attending the Conventa Trade Show the hosted buyers listed ‘one to one meetings’ and the presentation of Southeast Europe’s meetings industry offer in one place. We can conclude that hosted buyers perceive Conventa as a trade show representing and presenting the offer of the entire region. Presentation of Southeast Europe’s meetings industry offer in one place

28.0%

One to one meetings between exhibitors and buyers

29.8%

Networking

22.4%

Fam trips

18.0%

Other

1.9%

Please state your level of satisfaction with the fam trips All the destinations scored highly and achieved at least a 4. In Slovenia, Bled was a stand out, with an exceptionally high mark, as was Dubrovnik in Croatia. Ljubljana, Zagreb, Portoroz and Piran, Lake Bled, Opatija and Rijeka, Dubrovnik, Montenegro

4.4

Please rate each of the following aspects of Conventa The hosted buyers rated all the aspects of the trade show as good. The quality of the

exhibitors and networking opportunities stand out on the positive side. On the negative side we find the education programme, one that is slowly developing at Conventa but still can’t be compared with larger trade shows. The organisers of the trade show don’t focus so strongly on this aspect of the trade show, as the exhibitors and hosted buyers consider it of lesser importance. Only 7 % of exhibitors feel this is one of the most important reasons to visit Conventa. Overall reputation

4.4

Quality of companies exhibiting

4.5

Quality of educational and events programme

4.2

Networking opportunities

4.5

Conventa sustainable measures

4.3


51 Surveys

Exhibitors Answers Main reasons for exhibiting at Conventa Here the biggest stand out are the ‘one to one meetings’, the anticipated response, as it is the main goal of the trade show. We have also noticed that the exhibitors increasingly recognise Conventa as a regional trade show. Presentation of the offer in one place

27.3%

One to one meetings between exhibitors and buyers

45.5%

Networking

20.0%

Education opportunities

7.3%

Conventa is a must attend event for the meeting industry of Southeast Europe 96 % of the exhibitors perceive Conventa as a ‘must attend event’. This leads us to believe that Conventa is growing in the right direction. Agree completely

258%

Agree strongly

516%

Agree to some extent

194%

Disagree to some extent Disagree strongly

32% 0%

Please state your level of satisfaction. Friendliness and effectiveness of show organisers and registration procedure stand out in this section. In general we can conclude the exhibitors are very happy with the work of the organisers. Effectiveness and timeliness in communication

44

Friendliness and effectiveness of the show organiser

47

Registration procedure at the show

47

Quality of trade show layout and booth location

46

Overall satisfaction with the show

44

Please rate each of the following aspects of Conventa Overall reputation

44

Relevance of visitors to your business

40

Quality of visitors

40

Quantity of other companies exhibiting

42

Quality of educational and events programme

42

Networking opportunities

44

Conventa sustainable measures

44

The exhibitors rated most highly the networking and sustainable measures of Conventa, with lowest ratings going to the quality and adequacy of the hosted buyers. These results can be explained in exhibitors being difficult to please in the area of hosted buyer quality. We can also point out that compared to Conventa 2011, the satisfaction with hosted buyers jumped from 3.7 to 4.0, indicating that the organisers spent a lot of time on inviting the right hosted buyers.


52 Surveys

a slight downturn in overall attendees The number of corporate meetings organised fell by (-)8.45%

The total number of participants managed by IAPCO members during 2011 increased from just under 2,250,000 to over 2,285,000; similarly, growth was experienced with the amount of exhibition m2 handled, from 546,000 to 632,000. When comparing the equivalent 2010 and 2011 returns, excluding the new members/growth in membership, the figures paint a different picture. There was 4.49% drop with the total number of participants reaching just under 2,219,000 as compared to 2,245,994 in 2010. However, considering the economic climate this small percentage drop is far less than might have been expected.

500 500

451 451 381 381

375 375

368 368

345 345

300 300 200 200

142 142

100 100 0 0

71 71 2006 2006

1.8 1.8 1.6 1.6 1.4 1.4 1.2 1.2 1 1 0.8 0.8 0.6 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.2 0 0

Billion Euros Billion Euros

The drop in attendance size continues to fall, from 486 participants per event in 2006 to 345 in 2011. Exhibition space remains reasonably consistent at between 80-100 m2 average per event over the past 5 years, currently at 95 m2 for 2011.

www.iapco.org

486 486

400 400

Comparing like with like, the number of corporate meetings organised fell by (-)8.45%, the number of association meetings rose by a mere (+)3.72%, but the number of governmental meetings increased by a staggering (+)22.69% reflecting the shorter lead times, and the continual need for politicians to meet!

Taking the total number of meetings managed by IAPCO members during 2011, and utilising the same benchmark figure of €1620 spend per participant, the economic impact of the 6621 meetings organised represents some 3.71 billion euros to local economies, and continues to grow year on year.

Average Number of participants per event Average Number of participants per event Average number of exhibition sqm per event Average number of exhibition sqm per event Average number of events per IAPCO member Average number of events per IAPCO member

600 600

4 4 3.5 3.5 3 3 2.5 2.5 2 2 1.5 1.5 1 1 0.5 0.5 0 0

123 123 87 87

82 89 82 89

98 90 98 90

2007 2007

2008 2008

2009 2009

89 95 89 95 2010 2010

95 97 95 97 2011 2011

Managed Budgets Based on average delegate feeManaged of €550 & Budgets average exhibition rental fee of €500 Based on average delegate fee of €550 & average exhibition rental fee of €500

2006 2006

2007 2007

2008 2008

2009 2009

2010 2010

2011 2011

Economic Impact Economic Impact Based on average delegate spend of €1620 Based on average delegate spend of €1620

2006 2006

2007 2007

2008 2008

2009 2009

2010 2010

2011 2011


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54 Gastronomy

Are congresses an opportunity to introduce and assert culinary trademarks? The catering staff should undo their bow-ties, loosen up and start telling stories about the dishes and drinks they are serving

Prof. Janez Bogataj, PhD

Four years ago I participated in a meeting for the global day of tourism and the awards ceremony for EDEN (European Destinations of Excellency) in Bordeaux. I was most surprised by the so called ‘coffee breaks’ and other refreshments which helped shape the event. All of them were made up of dishes and foods which are European Trademarks and part of the ‘Protected Designation of Origin’ regime. Put simply: everything was centred on these foods and all the menus were made with ingredients from that list. The Gourmand in Paris international meeting does a similar thing every year.

Some prestigious European culinary publications build their profile by introducing local, regionally specific and protected foods. The story of Slovenia is something special, since the presence of our dishes and foods is very modest, despite the number of trademarks, which is substantial. Actually, the existing dishes could already make up interesting and diverse feasts and other forms of catering, which is a necessity of every congress. Not for the free food of course (this is for the undeveloped), but because this is the easiest way to get to know the nature and culture of a country or a city hosting the congress or meeting.

Therefore it is no surprise EU countries are intensely working on protecting their typical local and regional foods, dishes and drinks. Our case is even stronger, as some of our ‘neighbours’ have already tried to take over some of our original foods and culinary specifics, claiming they belong to their cultural

and geographic environment. In the future people should become more aware of this important ‘ingredient’ of every culinary culture (also in other regions where they read Kongres magazine) and take care to protect their local and regional culinary identity very early on.

For catering the visual effects aren’t the key aspect: the attractive attire of the catering staff, unusual flower arrangements and special efforts at decoration cannot replace the tastes of prestigious dishes and the quality of the ingredients and their preparation. The catering staff should undo their bow-ties, loosen up and start telling stories about the dishes and drinks they are serving. I often feel embarrassed after asking the waiter for the third time which wines are on offer. “Hold on, let me ask” is a frequent answer. I often find the head of catering quickly listing what is in specific dishes to the catering staff just as the first guests are beginning to arrive. Of course there are information cards for individual dishes, some even translated into one or more foreign languages, but this won’t do, especially if the cards are too small or poorly translated. The catering staff, even if borrowed from catering schools, come with a very limited knowledge and often haven’t heard of certain trademarked and other foods they should know about. Only one company that I know of organising receptions in Slovenia and abroad carries out regular training for chefs and the catering staff on foods and drinks they serve to their guests at receptions, congresses and other meetings. Why then is including trademarked foods and drinks into catering for meetings such an


55 Gastronomy

important aspect? There are many answers to this question. After all, culinary art and gastronomy covers a wide palette of economic, social and even spiritual questions. They offer an insight into the widest field of culture of a (hotel, catering) house, a city, a region or an entire country.

To mix trademarked ingredients and combine them into dishes is the most honest and unobtrusive way of highlighting the health and authenticity of a region or country. In Slovenia we always talk about being a green country, how much drinking water we have, how we clean up illegal dumping sites once a year etc. But all this is just talk, until we take action at every level. One of these levels is certainly the reception event at various congresses, conventions and meetings.

At the two or three latest editions of ‘Days of Slovenian Tourism’, the Slovenian Tourist Board demonstrated how to successfully incorporate this segment into preparing the catering and other content at the event. It would be interesting to find out how many attendees followed this advice and started doing similar things in their own (congress) environments. Maybe they didn’t even notice it, which is no surprise considering the fact that every tourist event in Slovenia ultimately turns into a gabfest, so even the front rows have a hard time hearing the speakers. Yes, this can also be a part of the green way of thinking. The way towards values the caterers put on their tables is very short, we just need to find it.


56 Gastronomy

The Three Tenors (Chefs) of Bled A Common culinary project of Vila Bled, Hotel Triglav Bled and Gourmet restaurant Promenada is connecting the three chefs of Bled’s best restaurants.

They say that all good things come in threes: three unique hotels, three top restaurants, three young chefs with extraordinary talent and culinary expertise, all three of whom have some three decades (and a little more) of age... Three times three and the story of a unique culinary journey showing you Bled in a new light can begin. Vila Bled, Hotel Triglav and the Gourmet restaurant Promenada, working under the company framework of Sava Hotels Bled, have prepared a ‘Three Chefs’ common culinary project with the aim of promoting their restaurants, for which they have designed a series of joint culinary evenings and a culinary package including accommodation. Restaurants at Hotel Vila Bled, Triglav Hotel and Gourmet restaurant Promenada are increasingly cementing their position as Bled

Igor Jagodic – Vila Bled Igor Jagodic sees the common thread of his plates in classic French cuisine, to which he adds a touch of modernity with a lot of imagination. The menu is prepared in line with the seasons and with fresh ingredients, which he is happiest to find close to home. A journey through his culinary offering On his culinary journey a mix of cosmopolitan guidelines in preparation of dishes and sophisticated tastes is combined into a harmonic whole.

institutions with the best culinary offer. All three of them are led by the young chefs - Igor Jagodic, Uroš Štefelin and Bine Volčič - who are representatives of the new Slovene cuisine. Tourism companies to which they belong decided to prepare a joint promotion as part of the ‘Three Chefs’ project, devising a series of three culinary evenings where lovers of highend cuisine will meet with all three chefs. “With the joint appearance of three of our best chefs we would like to draw the Slovene public’s attention to the fact that Bled has made a giant leap forward with the arrival of the new generation,” explained Mr. Fedja Pobegajlo, Managing Director of Sava Hotels Bled, in cooperation with Sava Turizem d.d., responsible for Gourmet restaurant Promenada. “The old conviction that Bled doesn’t have good restaurants isn’t true anymore. At the same time we would like

Bine Volčič – Gourmet restaurant Promenada Bine Volčič calls his cuisine ‘internationally mixed’. As a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu school, he adds influences from the worlds cuisines to the solid basics of French cuisine, all with a large dose of intuition and a continuous search for new tastes and combinations.

to also attract lovers of good food from abroad, which we will achieve more easily by working together, not by everyone working independently.” Together with the series of culinary evenings, participating companies have also prepared a common culinary package that includes two days accommodation at Vila Bled, Grand Hotel Toplice or Triglav Hotel and two dinners at any of the three restaurants of the guests’ choice. An internet page presenting the three chefs and the restaurants is being prepared to help promote the project.

Uroš Štefelin – Restavracija 1906 Uroš Štefelin looks to his childhood for inspiration, when the home kitchen was full of the smells of Slovenian dishes being made from buckwheat, beetroot, cabbage, beans, and the preparation of home made sausages sweetened with dried pears. The influence of these dishes and ingredients of his childhood are prepared in a modern way and seasoned with a philosophy of French and Mediterranean cuisine.


Hiša kulinarike Jezeršek - catering Sora 1a, 1215 Medvode T: +386 (0)1 361 94 13 F: +386 (0)1 361 36 31 E: info@jezersek.si W: www.jezersek.si

Dvor Jezeršek - Brnik 1768 Gostilna, restavracija, hotel Zgornji Brnik 63, 4207 Cerklje na Gorenjskem T: +386 (0)4 25 29 400 F: +386 (0)4 25 29 431 E: info@dvor-jezersek.si W: www.dvor-jezersek.si


58 Kongres at the Keyhole

HOTEL & SPA IADERA ★★★★★

LUXURY

FACT FILE CATEGORY

★★★★★

OPEN FROM STANDARD NUMBER OF ROOMS ONLINE PRICE ADDRESS

FACILITIES (pictograms)

FINAL MARK

2011 HOTEL WITH CONGRESS CAPACITIES 210 rooms and suites 162 € - 398 € (March 2012) Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera, HR-23231 Petrčane Zadar, Croatia Phone: +385 23 500 911 www.falkensteiner.com/ en/hotel/iadera 2 restaurants, 1 spa bistro 1 bar, 1 cigar lounge Aquapura spa, 6000 m2 Gym, Pool, 24 h service, 5 meeting halls, Free wifi 4.52 – LUXURY

LUXURY ★★★★★ PREMIUM ★★★★

ECONOMY ★★

BUSINESS ★★★

BUDGET ★

LOCATION The hotel, which is managed as a resort by the Falkensteiner group, is located on the Punta Skala private peninsula near Petrčane. Within the complex you can find the Diadora family hotel, an apartment complex, and the luxury Hotel Iadera. The building is located directly by the sea and blends beautifully into its surroundings. It is one of the Adriatic’s best kept resorts, with fine architecture enhanced by fine landscaping and beautiful Mediterranean vistas wherever you look. ACCESSIBILITY Punta Skala is located 15 km from Zadar,

which has great motorway connections, although the hotel signposts following the motorway exit could be improved. Air access is constantly getting better, however most business guests rely on road access.

with light coming through round windows and a cold stream runs along the entire feature, through the grounds and on into the sea. The exquisite earthy sauna with a view of the sea is unforgettable: pure zen!

COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics The cold appetiser at Iadera was prepared by the renowned and charismatic architect Boris Podrecca, who carefully selected every detail in designing this modern, snake-shaped hotel and set it prominently on the Punta Skala peninsula near Zadar. The colours of the sea and the landscape blend with the complex and the glass panel facades that change colour at different angles are striking.

FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES Relatively speaking, the weakest part of the hotel offer is the staff, still needing some training and coordination to offer a truly topnotch product. Having said that, comparatively the staff are still at a higher standard than many of the hotels in the region.

WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer The personnel are clearly stringently chosen, being mostly smiling, orderly and professional in their jobs. You are made to feel welcome by the friendly, communicative and polite staff, although some extra practice in solving issues and complaints would be beneficial. The culinary offer is well considered. The breakfast is based on the principle of ‘enough of everything for a great start to the day’. The bar by the pool fulfils the afternoon needs of the guests and the hotel dinner consists of an attractive range of self-serve cold appetisers, menu warm appetisers, and main courses. MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer The smaller congress centre is located on the ground floor, its five halls with lobby being suitable for a maximum of 200 participants. The hotel is brand new and therefore with modern technical equipment. The centre is functional and cleverly designed with warm colours and daylight, offering all you need for a great incentive programme. The rooms are intelligently situated, almost all of them having a sea view, and under the eye of star interior designer Matteo Thun have been furnished in a modern Mediterranean style focussing on lots of light, clean colours and lots of detail, using the warmth of walnut in Mediterranean style furniture set against intensely pleasant colour combinations. DESSERT – Additional offer The focal point of the offer is the ‘futuristic’ spa and wellness complex, designed as a kind of ‘camera obscura’. The black interior plays

TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES The Falkensteiner Resort is very serious about green tourism and ecology - the hotel is heated by geothermal energy, it has a built in water treatment plant, and the technical and drinking water are taken from sea water. There is no visible traffic in the resort - all vehicles are parked in subterranean garages. OVERALL IMPRESSIONS AND CREDIBILITY The overall result of the new resort is extremely good. The hotel follows the known standards of the Falkensteiner group and is an excellent choice for incentive and product launches and smaller conferences. It is important to avoid the high tourist season and go for less frequent dates, carefully planning the arrivals logistics. From what we saw and experienced we can only give a firm nod of approval.

RESULTS

MARKS

1. LOCATION

5.00

2. ACCESSIBILITY

3.50

3. FIRST IMPRESSION

4.15

4. LOBBY

4.20

5. EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE

4.05

6. RECEPTION

4.10

7. HOTEL ROOM

4.90

8. HOTEL BED

5.00

9. BATHROOM AND RESTROOM

5.00

10. HOTEL BREAKFAST

4.90

11. BARS AND RESTAURANTS

4.20

12. CONGRESS HALL

4.50

13. ADDITIONAL OFFER

5.00

TOTAL:

4.50


59

Regent Esplanade Zagreb ★★★★★

Kongres at the Keyhole

LUXURY

expansion of the airport implies that more and more air carriers will be choosing to fly to Zagreb.

FACT FILE CATEGORY OPEN FROM STANDARD NUMBER OF ROOMS ONLINE PRICE ADDRESS

FACILITIES (pictograms)

FINAL MARK

★★★★★ 1952, reconstructed in 2004 HOTEL WITH CONGRESS CAPACITIES 208 rooms and suites 135 € - 249 € (March 2012) Hotel Regent Esplanade Mihanoviceva 1 10000 Zagreb Phone: +385 (0)1 45 66 666 www.regenthotels.com/ EN/Zagreb Zinfandel restaurant , Le Bistro, Esplanade 1925 – lounge bar, Oleander Terrace Wellness club 11 meeting halls 4.78 – LUXURY

LUXURY ★★★★★ PREMIUM ★★★★

ECONOMY ★★

BUSINESS ★★★

BUDGET ★

LOCATION The last Orient Express passed through Zagreb in 1977. The legendary train, which travelled between Paris and Istanbul, is the main reason for the development of Hotel Esplanade near the Zagreb Train Station and the centre of the city, with a view of Zrinjevac Park.

ACCESSIBILITY With its central location the hotel is easily accessible and it offers all the comfort of a top-notch hotel. Air access to Zagreb is constantly improving and a planned

COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics The elegant and recognisable hotel building is one of Zagreb’s secession icons. Since its opening the hotel has been a centre of social life and the most luxurious hotel in the region. In 1964 it became part of the Inter-Continental chain, keeping its charm after the 2004 renovation as part of the Regent Chain, which gave it back its original secession spirit. The hotel lobby is glamorous, conjuring up images of stars walking around it, and the hotel was named as Zagreb’s most luxurious, not a year passing in which it scoops more important tourist awards. After setting foot in the lobby you are transported to a new world, one that even smells expensive. WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer The Zinfandel Restaurant located within the hotel was named after the Californian red grape variety, which actually originates in Croatia (kaštelanski crljenak), and it’s the Zinfandel vine that has become the trademark of the hotel staff. Among the hotel’s culinary offer the legendary “Le Bistro” is a standout, where guests can try the famous and instantly recognisable ‘Esplanade Štrukli’. The staff are superior in service skills, pleasant and always professional. MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer The legendary Emerald Ballroom, which can host up to 280 participants, is unique and possibly the most exclusive congress hall of the region, alongside which are seven smaller halls. The catering, with the slogan ESP-erimental, ESP-ressive and ESP-ert, is world-class. The air-conditioned rooms are impeccably furbished and include free newspapers, and you will find designer cosmetics in the bathroom. The rooms are generously spacious, the smallest measuring 32 m2. DESSERT – Additional offer A SPA and HEALTH club with a fitness centre, a private secretary should you need one, a personal shopper and stylist, special scented baths, tours of Zagreb on Segways, maps of jogging trails in Zagreb, and much more.

FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES Some of the technical equipment in the rooms is outdated and in need of updating (the TV set, for example). TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES The 250m2 presidential suite named after Orson Welles, who once stayed at the hotel, and the sheer number of tiny surprises and pampering at every step. Chef Jeffrey Vella, who excellently combines Mediterranean and continental gastronomy, guarantees a special experience. OVERALL IMPRESSIONS AND CREDIBILITY The hotel is an excellent choice for business and congress guests and is probably the regional flagship in terms of service quality, customer care, prestige and image. Staying at the hotel is a special experience, with a package that gives you a feeling of luxury.

RESULTS

MARKS

1. LOCATION

4.50

2. ACCESSIBILITY

4.00

3. FIRST IMPRESSION

5.00

4. LOBBY

5.00

5. EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE

4.95

6. RECEPTION

4.95

7. HOTEL ROOM

4.70

8. HOTEL BED

4.90

9. BATHROOM AND RESTROOM

4.90

10. HOTEL BREAKFAST

4.80

11. BARS AND RESTAURANTS

4.80

12. CONGRESS HALL

5.00

13. ADDITIONAL OFFER

4.60

TOTAL:

4.78


60 Kongres at the Keyhole

Hotel Golf ★★★★

PREMIUM

for larger events parking can be arranged in nearby parking spaces. The access to the hotel is clearly marked.

COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics The building itself is unexceptional in the aesthetic sense, but it is nicely intertwined with the park and the imposing trees around it. To the guest accustomed to prestigious architecture and design hotels the hotel looks unimpressive, however most functional requirements are handled in the spirit of the time that the hotel was built in.

FACT FILE CATEGORY OPEN FROM STANDARD NUMBER OF ROOMS

★★★★ Renovated in 2003 CONGRESS HOTEL 150 rooms and suites

ONLINE PRICE

55 € - 249 € (March 2012)

ADDRESS

Hotel Golf Cankarjeva 4 4260 Bled Phone: +386 (0)4 579 17 00 www.hotel-golf-bled.com

FACILITIES (pictograms)

2 restaurants, 1 spa bistro, 1 bar, Wellness Živa Gym, Pool, 24 h service, 8 meeting halls, Free wifi

FINAL MARK

3.78 – PREMIUM

LUXURY ★★★★★ PREMIUM ★★★★ BUSINESS ★★★

ECONOMY ★★ BUDGET ★

LOCATION The hotel is located above the centre of Bled on the rise overlooking the lake, Bled Island, the castle and the Julian Alps. Bled is among Slovenia’s most famous tourist draws, with its beautiful Alpine surroundings. It is an excellent starting point for trips into Slovenia’s only national park, the Triglav National Park. ACCESSIBILITY The hotel is located in the centre of Bled with easy access to all the main tourist attractions. It is 49 km from Ljubljana and only 36 km from the Jože Pučnik international airport. For air access it shares the fate of all other Slovenian destinations. A nice parking lot offers enough space for smaller events, and

WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer The personnel fulfil the expectations for a hotel of this category, with a few remarkable individuals who exceed expectations. The hotel bar is somewhat cold, so is the hotel dining room. The self-service breakfast is satisfactory, the kindness and efficiency of the personnel, however, is outstanding. The surprise is the pool bistro, encouraging the healthy lifestyle with clearly marked calorie counts on their menu and a broad food selection. The quality of catering services is appropriate and in line with customers wishes. MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer The congress centre surprises with what must be one of the world’s best views. The hotel rooms are well furnished and clean. In some details they are slightly tired contrasted with the expected standard of congress guests. The price to quality ratio is appropriate. All areas offer free wireless internet, which functions seamlessly. DESSERT – Additional offer The main added value of Hotel Golf is the Živa Wellness Centre. Its ambience is attractive, the water is clean, and the staff are friendly and efficient. Close to the hotel you can find even more incentive infrastructure, including the Adventure park Bled, a number of playgrounds and, most of all, heavenly nature. FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES The culinary offer sometimes seems below the expectations of congress guests. The atmosphere in the main dining hall seems somewhat Eastern European.

TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES Friendly and dedicated staff who take care of their customers’ well being. The project “Green for tomorrow” is gradually being introduced, one that encourages guests to be responsible during their hotel stay. When organising events they strive to produce as little greenhouse gas emissions as possible. OVERALL IMPRESSIONS AND CREDIBILITY At first glance the hotel doesn’t evoke any special emotions, but in the end it’s obvious that you can't go wrong with a classic approach when trying to cater for the entire spectrum of hotel guests. The hotel is comfortable enough and is currently the best choice for mid-sized events in Bled. What makes it stand out are the additional offers and a really well developed congress centre with one of the best views in Slovenia. The low point of the congress offer are the rooms, which will soon find themselves in need of a renovation.

RESULTS

MARKS

1. LOCATION

4.00

2. ACCESSIBILITY

3.90

3. FIRST IMPRESSION

4.13

4. LOBBY

4.71

5. EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE

4.00

6. RECEPTION

3.73

7. HOTEL ROOM

3.25

8. HOTEL BED

3.67

9. BATHROOM AND RESTROOM

3.00

10. HOTEL BREAKFAST

3.15

11. BARS AND RESTAURANTS

3.17

12. CONGRESS HALL

4.40

13. ADDITIONAL OFFER

4.05

TOTAL:

3.78


62 Kongres travelogue

Lošinj and Cres

Low-carbon incentive islands

Mali Lošinj and Cres, the fragrant islands, are as magical in the winter as they are in summer. Viewed through the car windscreen, the gentle slopes towards the ferry port may seem innocuous, yet I remember how I once had to fight hard to conquer them on my bike with my ex-girlfriend and current wife. The special scent of the islands is also deeply embedded in my memory, the distinctive smell and variegation of the islands something that is always with me and always draws me back.

Today, Cres and Lošinj are no longer only sun, sea and sand, but of late they have also been developing into a very interesting and sustainable incentive tourist destination. This has been the main reason to introduce the islands and their characteristics into this travelogue. The islands of Cres and Lošinj used to be one land mass, but were separated into two

islands by a man-made canal at Osor. Their oldest settlements are Lubenice, Beli and Osor. A long and turbulent history has left numerous traces on both islands. I spent several summers in the Juna Tavern, under the famous Valun Tablet, or rather its replica, where the first written words of the Glagolitic alphabet are carved, and cast my thoughts on the ancient Croatian culture. Lošinj was settled in mid 13th century, developing into a leading regional naval force, navy captains from Lošinj still having a special reputation today. Their memory is preserved in the numerous historic buildings along the Lošinj Riviera. Lošinj has its favourable climate to thank for its tourist development, which first attracted Austrian pulmonary experts in the 19th century. In 1892 Lošinj was declared a climatic health resort, concrete proof of this status through the more than 1,200 plants on the island that have soothing effects on the respiratory system, scientifically proven way back in the 19th century. Soon after, a number of bed and breakfasts, sanatoriums and spas were constructed, and last year Lošinj celebrated its 125th anniversary as a health resort.

Cres and Lošinj have the most Karstic features of all the Croatian islands. They differ from other islands by the huge natural fresh water reserve at Vransko jezero. As a geography student the lake fascinated me, as it is an indigenous crypto-depression, the bottom of which reaches down to 61 metres below sea level. A tour of the lake and the nearby postcard village of Lubenice was a must for all curious geography students of the region. Geographically, the islands are heterogeneous, with a distinctive Mediterranean climate and a statistically-proven 60 cloudy days annually. The sea defines the islands and their natural characteristics: the eastern coast of Cres is an ornithological reserve where you can find the Eurasian Griffon near Bela and around Lošinj there is a protected area for dolphins. The underwater world around Unije and Susak islands is among the best preserved in the Adriatic. The decision for sustainable tourism, for which Lošinj has received numerous awards, is therefore logical and based on the established sustainable products, preserved natural environment and concern for sustainable development.

The conditions to develop sustainable and classic incentive programmes are extraordinary and offer numerous possibilities. Beautiful nature is everywhere and the commitment of the locals to sustainability is striking. This decision has been rewarded many times over and is fully justified, given the latent capabilities and potential of the islands. The sea surrounding the islands both divides and connects. In terms of traffic, the biggest issues are ferries and other connections. Those through Valbiska and Brestiva are satisfactory, albeit infrequent during low season. By road,


63 Kongres travelogue

the network throughout the 99km islands is predominantly upgraded and only in a few sections does it still remind me of the narrow, stone wall-lined roads of my youth. For sustainable travellers the only rail alternative is through Rijeka, which isn’t known for having the greatest connections to Europe. The islands have a small airport (with plans for an extension to the landing strip) where smaller propeller planes can land, an option suitable for smaller groups arriving via charter flights. If arriving by air you will also need to use imagination and ingenuity and consider connecting via nearby Rijeka and Pula, as well as Trieste, Ljubljana, Zagreb ... - the islands are not easily accessible, however well worth the visit. Perhaps this symbolic isolation of the islands can preserve their sustainability and exclusivity, the islands only welcoming those who consider the voyage worthwhile. Tourism is today one of the most important industries in Lošinj. High seasonality is the biggest issue: in the nineties a trip to Lošinj or Cres was a wonderful experience, as there weren’t many tourists.

Intensive development started after 2001, which has now been reined in by sustainable strategies. The main tourist provider is the company Jadranka d.d., which currently manages seven hotels and five campsites. The other driving force of development is the main Lošinj ship-owning firm, Lošinjska plovidba, also active in tourism. A large proportion of tourist capacity is still absorbed in private apartments. While in the highseason and pre-season the island is full of excellent culinary and entertainment offers, in the low season it’s important to know the right spots and to arrange dining and entertainment in advance. Across all the tourist spots the offer of sports and recreation is plentiful. The island is also known for its cultural festivals,

all of which is wonderfully connected by the local Lošinj tourist organisation under the slogan “Island of Vitality”. Since the renovation of the hotels on Mali Lošinj, the summer season-oriented facilities are now turning towards the meetings industry. The island remains relatively unknown in the field, despite the extraordinary natural conditions it offers

for the meetings industry. The Čikat and Sunačni Bay areas hold almost all of the Lošinj congress capacities, the flagship of the offer being the renovated congress and wellness hotel, ‘Aurora’. The multi-function hall, with its view of the pine tree forest, can seat up to 400 people. Besides that it also offers several smaller meeting rooms and an additional hall for 110 people in the adjoining Hotel Vespera. The hotels have a combined 797


64 Kongres travelogue

rooms, complemented by a rich culinary offer. The ratio of congress capacities to rooms is suitably and sustainably balanced, with most of the congress offer managed by the company Lošinj Hotels & Villas. Further congress capacity is available at Hotel Bellevue, its largest hall accommodating 220 people, with the same owners facilitating the organisation of events. The personnel of these hotels are very hospitable and strive to ensure that guests are satisfied with all aspects of their service. Next year the renovated Hotel Punta will open under the new name ‘Club Hotel Punta’. With this well rounded and renovated hotel offer, Lošinj is well positioned to become one of the boutique and sustainable congress and incentive destinations in the Adriatic.

The strongest elements of the congress offer are nature, climate and the energy of the location, one that offers numerous possibilities for sustainable incentive programmes.

The island is a true epicentre of possibilities, many of which are still unexplored. A journey through these can start in the north, at the ‘Eco’ research-educational centre in Bela, where you can learn about preserving natural and cultural heritage and protecting the Eurasian Griffon. Congress guests can become volunteers and help out at the centre. Nearby there are the Osiris, Lada, Tara and Ishtar labyrinths. The historic ‘Valun’ can be the venue for a treasure hunt and there are culinary stories to be told at Toš. Lubenice, with its history and wonderful architecture, is now like a labyrinth, almost deserted. Around Cres there are a number of condensed olive plantations, which can play a part in incentive story-telling. Osor is called a ‘museum city’, lending itself to cultural incentive stories. The climb to Osorščica can become an orientation trek for a smaller, adventurous group. You can paddle a sea kayak from Lošinj to the nearby islands of Ilovik, Srakane or Silba. In Veliki Lošinj you can become familiar with the project protecting Lošinj dolphins in the Maritime Educational Centre. Lošinj and its surroundings are the ideal starting point for thematic, historical, adrenaline-filled and eco

team building as well as the classic, waterborne team building activities.

The current disadvantage of the island is its lack of specialised congress agencies. Only traditional tourist agencies deal with the meetings industry and, occasionally, the hotels themselves. This is a major unexploited business opportunity. As a result, incentive programmes are developed mostly for the leisure tourist and haven’t reached the level of a highly developed product, yet all other support services are developed and can certainly facilitate the organisation of events. Also, due to a lack of suppliers and development there is no Convention Bureau, its function being carried out by the small team of TZ Lošinj. In this area the island certainly needs a strategy and targeted marketing, because this is one of its opportunities in the low season.


65 Kongres travelogue

Spiced up by the long years of tourist tradition and solid business-mindedness, the renowned hospitality of the locals is a good starting point for the development of the sustainable meetings industry. The ratio of quality to price is excellent in comparison with other more famous islands.

The island’s weakness, however, can be ascribed to its non-existent image to the meetings industry, something that can be a huge opportunity for all wishing to take advantage of its immense potential. The personal experience is certainly positive; I am a fan of autumnal serenity, when the islands breathe and seem more peaceful. Cres and Lošinj are the perfect islands for all seasons. Comparison to the Region: Lošinj and Cres are the only Adriatic islands that successfully deal with sustainable tourism and are amongst the more eco-friendly islands of Kvarner. They differ from the more famous Dalmatian isles, such as Hvar, Brač and Krk, with their nature preservation, systematic sustainable development and cultural heritage. All these activities are well managed and present a huge opportunity for the development of a limited and exclusive sustainable meetings industry in harmony with the capabilities of the islands. The key challenge is the invisibility of the islands’ image on the meetings industry radar, lacking the recognisable incentive brands to build the high quality boutique and intimate stories that can raise its profile. If local suppliers can develop from these points and their programmes can continue to be socially responsible, they will be able to benefit from the current trends in the industry. I am certain their first clients will be the existing loyal guest of Cres and Lošinj. With a high added value the islands can also become the ecoincentive oasis of the Adriatic.

Cool meetings: Healthy Mediterranean cuisine pervades Cres and Lošinj - fish from the baker's oven; brodet with polenta and other sea food with fresh ingredients; baked lamb from Cres that is equally as good as anything in Pag. Everything is available in typical taverns, alongside the few top restaurants at the upper end of the Croatian offer. The spices and herbs are a symbol of the islands, so a visit to Lošinj’s Miomirisni vrt herb garden is highly recommended.

Destination mark: 3.35 – RECOMMENDABLE CONVENTION DESTINATION

Tourism infrastructure

3.8

The tourist infrastructure of Lošinj and Cres has been developing for 125 years and is of a great standard. The offer of recreation and sports is extraordinary, as well as the culinary offer and destination management. The islands are missing some boutique offers for the more demanding guests, the existing hotel offer could also be complemented with some high-level hotels. Congress infrastructure

2.9

New congress capacities at the Aurora and Vespera hotels lifted the potential for organising congresses. In general, the product lacks the developed incentive programmes carried out by specialised agencies. To date the offer is disconnected and would benefit from strategic, coordinated action.

Marks: 5

excellent convention destination

Subjective assessment 

4

quality convention destination

3

recommendable convention destination

2

average convention destination

1

passable

The islands of Lošinj and Cres are sustainable diamonds amongst the coal. Of the 1244 officially recognised Croatian islands they possess excellent natural conditions and are authentic and packed with diverse adventures, all of which contributes to a positive personal experience. The meetings industry is not in a prime position yet, but I am certain it will soon become a part of the sustainable strategy of the islands’ tourism.

Individual marks:

Natural and cultural factors 

4.5

The diversity of the islands, the climate, vegetation, culture, architecture and the incredible marine areas are ideal for incentive and congress products. The natural environment is very well preserved, dolphins living in the waters around Lošinj are a clear testament to this. The natural and cultural factors are ideal for incentive programmes. General and transport infrastructure

2.9

The general accessibility of the Kvarner Bay has improved in the last few years. Access to the islands is still problematic, even though they are not quite as isolated as other Dalmatian islands. The entire Kvarner area has bad air connections and the renovation of the airport on Krk is a precondition for intensive development of the meetings industry.

3.6


66 Kongres travelogue

BLED

The image of heaven

Bled is among Slovenia’s top tourist icons: the lake with the island, Bled Castle, the legendary cream cakes, traditional pletna boats and the alpine setting are all a part of this truly beautiful Slovenian tourist city. Assessing an icon is not an easy thing to do, as it’s sometimes hard to separate the myth from the reality, especially if some of the old charm has been lost. So let’s see how closely Bled really resembles the romantic photos and nostalgic memories of days past.

Bled is one of the oldest Slovenian tourist destinations - Bled Castle celebrated its millennium birthday last year. In the realm of tourism it went from being a pilgrim destination to a spa to a resort. Officially, the catalyst of Bled’s ‘organised’ tourism is Arnolda Rikli, who started his therapies in 1855 and took Bled to world renown during his time, although resort tourism and pilgrimage to the island church existed long before Rikli. The cosmopolitan period after the First World War, when it became the summer residence for the

Karađorđević family, was briefly interrupted by the Second World War, after which Bled became a protocol destination and a city in which Tito liked to visit his new villa. From this golden age of Bled’s tourism stems another gem: the classic golf course, one of the oldest in Europe. Tourism in Bled started off as a result of its unspoilt nature, pleasant sub-alpine climate and natural thermal springs, all of which offer a genuine alpine experience, supplemented by an incredible cultural and architectural heritage. The picturesque hills of Jelovica, Pokljuka, Mežaklja and Triglav round off the extraordinary setting and beauty of Bled and the lake, regarded as one of the warmest, contributed immensely to the city’s glorious image. Yet water analyses of Lake Bled indicate that not everything is so rosy: the environment needs to be managed more carefully and the lake should not be so heavily burdened, especially given the current obligation and direction towards sustainable development and the city’s location at the edge of the Triglav National Park. Around 36% of the Bled municipal area is protected by the Natura 2000 regime. Bled is the symbolic seat of the Triglav National Park,

a symbol and our most recognisable alpine tourist destination. In terms of accessibility, Bled is relatively well served, albeit somewhat worse off for air access, as is the case in the rest of Slovenia.

The Brnik Airport is only 36 kilometres from Bled. More eco-minded tourists can arrive in Bled by rail - the historical driving force of tourism - to both Lesce and Bled stations. Bus connections through regular lines are also very good. Among the transport issues are the traffic jams in high season, which could be addressed by the long expected bypass set to alleviate the noise and pollution that have no place in a tourist resort. The city occasionally experiences a lack of parking spaces during larger events, an issue occurring mostly during the summer. A lot of work still needs to be done in the area of communal infrastructure if Bled really wants to make progress in the area of sustainable tourism. Otherwise

Bled is manageable and friendly to congress participants. The safety of Bled is another advantage, since it can host the highest protocol events. Tourism is the major economic activity of Bled, yet despite the numerous investments in wellness centres and supporting development its character remains seasonal. Bled offers adequate hotel capacity for the meetings industry - 45% of a total of 1389 hotel beds are in 4 to 5 star hotels. A more detailed look at the structure of accommodation capacity indicates that a good half of them are aimed at the middle or budget bracket tourist. Bled’s restaurant scene has advanced greatly, the city becoming the first with at least three leading young Slovenian chefs providing a fantastic culinary offer. The young Bine Volčič, with a diploma from the Cordon Bleu academy, leads the kitchen of the Promenada restaurant as well as the food provision at the Sava Hotels.


67 Kongres travelogue

Igor Jagodic is the chef at Vila Bled and a member of the Slovenian national cooking team. The innovative Uroš Štefelin takes charge of the kitchen in Hotel Triglav, where congress participants can even take cooking classes with him. These three star chefs make sure that a trip to the hotel restaurants is a necessary schedule slot for visiting food lovers. The remaining restaurant offer is satisfactory and mostly adapted to the current tourist profile. The city does, however, lack the typical Slovenian ‘tavern’, which should take some inspiration from the Gostilna Slovenia project. For that sort of experience one should visit Lectar in Radovljica or Avsenik in Begunje. A quick look at the way of life in Bled gives the impression of a sleepy destination. The legendary casino is struggling and is far from its former glory. Only a few bars are open after ten at night and it’s hard to find anything more than a quiet drink with some friends. What is missing is a developed nightlife scene with a comprehensive programme catering for different age groups and with the possibility of live music.

For the more demanding congress guests who want to socialise after parties, such events have to be specially arranged. One of Bled’s notable weaknesses is the shopping offer, which is currently targeting the less demanding guest and day tourists - boutiques and high-end shops are notably absent. The stronger part of the tourist infrastructure are the numerous events and international exhibitions at Pristava, which attract many visitors to Bled and nicely round off the tourist offer. The meetings industry has been a key strategy in mitigating the distinctively high summer season of Bled’s tourist industry. A rich congress history is testament to that. For one of the largest events, the 1961 Chess Olympiad, Bled was honoured with the construction of the Festival Hall, which gave

its meetings industry a significant boost. The hall has since played host to a number of important Slovenian events and congresses. Even though it was built in record time and not to the greatest design standards, it quickly

became the backbone of Bled’s meetings offer. Since a 1989 renovation, the otherwise well maintained hall has become outdated and out of touch with the needs of the times. The main hall can seat up to 512 participants and


68

the complex includes three smaller halls and an exhibition space in the lobby. The Festival Hall, managed by the municipal Bled Cultural institute, was operating at its peak at the end of the eighties.

During the latest stages of Bled’s destination development, the entry of Sava and Sportina onto the Bled tourism market have seen a large concentration of hotel congress capacities become available. Sava’s congress hotel Golf offers the Jupiter Hall, a comparable size to the Festival Hall, which can host up to 350 participants. The advantage of the hotel is its additional wellness offer, making it currently top-ranked for being the best congress hotel in Bled. The charismatic Grand Hotel Toplice celebrated 80 years of business last year, during which time it has hosted a number of famous people and events across its offer of five smaller halls with lake views. The hotel,

which was completely overhauled in 2002, is a common venue for congress social events or protocol meetings. Hotel Park is at the bottom end of Sava’s hierarchy and offers eight smaller, multifunctional congress halls. Sava offers over 600 rooms and is effectively self-sufficient in the congress sense. Best Western has two hotels in Bled - the Hotel Best Western Kompas mostly hosts business events, which take place in its five halls, the largest of which can seat up to 150 delegates. The Best Western Lovec, the most recent addition to Bled’s hotel scene, has one hall.

The flagship of Sportina Bled is the Vila Bled hotel, the former residence of Tito, which is a member of the prestigious Relais Chateaux chain. The hotel offers two very special congress halls, both appropriate for protocol receptions, with an even more attractive option available in the nearby Belvedere, with its view of the island.

Smaller congress capacities are also available at hotels Jelovica, Astoria, Krim and Ribno. The structure of the offer clearly demonstrates that the city desperately needs a better, more flexible and sustainably managed congress centre that can fuel further congress growth for the destination. The surrounding environment offers numerous possibilities for original and interesting incentive programmes. Bled was among the first batch of meeting destinations to develop sustainable incentive programmes. They offer a number of sports facilities, adrenaline parks and the recently opened Adventure Park Koren. The list of options for the active side of events is very long: from the pletna boat ride and trekking in the local countryside to learning about the beekeeping tradition or organising a golf tournament. Since last year visitors have been able to walk through the Bled maze – a fun, educational park made from a corn, forest and grass maze and lying under Bled castle. The leisure offer is broad but unconnected, and often overlooked by congress decision makers.

The city is full of special events venues. The cream of the crop is Bled Castle, which is a unique place for a reception, especially in the warmer months. The ‘culinary journey’ programme throughout the castle offers a complete experience in terms of content, location and uniqueness, and is based on the so called ‘moving dinners’ idea, where each course is served at a different location while the participants get to learn about the building’s rich cultural heritage. Beyond the castle, with a little luck you can also hire the romantic little island from the Church. The legendary golf course, with the royal golf house, can host golf tournaments and there is the Belvedere pavilion, with its wonderful view of the lake making it appropriate for smaller receptions. Yet another wonderful venue is the renovated rowing centre.


69

The establishment of the Convention Bureau in Bled in 2011 is a very important milestone, as in the future it will facilitate the marketing of Bled’s meetings industry. Most of all it will ensure coherence and systematic communication, which is currently the weakest link in a place full of attractive congress stories. The overall personal experience in Bled is a positive one, despite the feeling of low season sleepiness. The ratio of price to quality is mostly good. The low competitiveness level of the destination is influenced by the disconnectedness of both its offer and congress marketing. A different understanding of the quality of congress suppliers and their uncoordinated work are the main reasons Bled’s image has suffered slightly. The solution lies in an excellent congress product, promoted under the destination slogan ‘The Image of Heaven’.

Bled is becoming one of the more attractive and world famous Slovenian meeting places with a known brand, which in itself summons quality. In the past it hosted numerous important congresses and other important events. Based on its tradition and profiled offer it can clearly compete with more world-renowned alpine congress destinations. It is important to follow the policy of sustainable development, which needs to be taken into account for any consideration of the renovation of the convention centre and the individual marketing activities of the convention bureau. The natural environment of the destination calls for this, which can become one of Bled’s future competitive advantages. I am certain that Bled will quickly catch up with the

competition and regain its former, famous congress identity. Comparison to the Region: As a recognisable brand Bled stands out among other congress destinations in the region. It most closely resembles Dubrovnik, which caught up with the pre-war congress tempo by taking the right steps. Currently the biggest disadvantage is the lack of a clear focus towards quality rather than mass tourism. This is most clearly seen in the restaurant, night life and shopping offer. As a result the current perception of quality is lower than with largest competitors. In Bled the saying ‘Less is more’ is very true. The potential for the meetings industry is immense, it just needs to be harnessed in the right way.

excellent convention destination quality convention destination

3

recommendable convention destination

2

average convention destination

1

passable

Congress infrastructure Individual marks:

Natural and cultural factors 

4.4

Bled can thank its environment and rich cultural heritage for the development of tourism. The place is linked with its green hinterland, which offers a variety of additional activities with high experiential value. General and transport infrastructure

3.6

The hotel infrastructure of Bled is satisfactory, yet not adapted to the needs of demanding congress guests. The entire tourist offer is differentiated by quality and image. Bled is becoming the new culinary capital of Slovenia. Activities and recreation are well developed. The weakest part of the offer is nightlife and entertainment as well as shopping. Tourist infrastructure needs some polish and development of the soft part of the offer.

Marks: 4

Cool meetings: The legendary Bled Cream Cake is the symbol of Bled’s culinary offer. The Cream Cake, made from pastry and filled with vanilla and whipped cream, became famous after the Second World War. To date more that eleven million have been sold in Bled.

Tourism infrastructure

Destination mark: 3.88 – QUALITY CONVENTION DESTINATION 5

On the domestic market Bled lost most ground to Portorož, which on average hosts larger events with higher added value. Its advantages were traditionally built on congresses and conferences of international associations, which can once again fuel its development. It just needs to adapt to change faster.

4.0

Bled’s location is favourable, being near the central Slovenian airport and having good road and rail connection to other congress markets. This is a big plus for Bled, besides safety and tidiness.

3.6

Bled offers numerous congress halls and venues for smaller congress events. The weakest link is the outdated Festival Hall. Many years of congress tradition are evident in a broad palette of congress suppliers and support services. Subjective assessment 

3.8

Bled is definitely among the leading Slovenian congress destinations. Tidiness, wonderful nature and entire infrastructure are ideal bases for development. Unfortunately, Bled lost some trust of its loyal customers. The newly established Convention Bureau indicates a new era and promises to restore Bled to its former congress glory.


70 Kongres personalities

ENFANT TERRIBLE

Nikica Žunić

He was born and raised in Zagreb, Croatia. After finishing high school he opened small company with his school mate which successfully runs today in hostels business. During study he worked on several IT projects and start-ups. After college Nikica started working full time in Penta PCO d.o.o. and now he works as a project manager.

Introduce yourself to us in two sentences – one as a private and person and the other as a public person? I am an almost 30-year old guy living life to the fullest. I have been addicted to tourism since my teenage years, which reflects both on my private and professional life.

Which are your favourite magazines in the area of tourism? Definitely one of the best SEE industry magazines is the Kongres magazine that you are reading right now, and UT. Regular newsletters from PoslovniTurizam.com are also helpful and one of my favourites too. Which was the last book you read and which book would you recommend to our readers? Since I read a lot there are always a few books I read at the same time. So, the last one was a special present at a special moment – Jorge Bucay’s ‘Let me tell you’. At the moment I am reading Slavoj Žižek’s recent work and I would also always recommend one of the best travel books – “U potrazi sa staklenim gradom” written by Malnar and Bebek. Alain de Botton is a nice and light read for those long travelling hours.

Which was the last event you attended? It was the 5th Croatian congress of hematologists and transfusologists, which we organised a couple of days ago. At the moment I am sitting in the middle of a psychiatry seminar that I organise, so that cannot be counted.


71 Kongres personalities

Which was the last movie you saw? It was the first cartoon movie that I’ve ever watched in the cinema - Puss in Boots. It was quite inspiring though. Usually I’d rather go for a book than a movie, but this was an really exception made for the great company that I had. My 14 year old TV that hardly works proves to me that I am not big fan of TV.

How many foreign languages do you speak? English is definitely the language I use the most and know the best. My spoken English is probably better than my written, as you can see. I know basic German and Italian, just enough to survive with my basic needs while travelling.

Who were your idols when you were growing up and who are they today?

inbox, meetings and briefings. It’s a great start to the day.

What has been the greatest influenced on your life? Has it been a person or an event? It’s really difficult to say, there are many events and people that have or had influence on my life. But for sure the most influence has come from my great family, their support and their obsession for travelling. Exchanging thoughts and talking with so many people is truly inspiring, so every congress, event and travel experience inspires me in a way. Also playing rugby was a great lesson for team work, coordination and human relations.

Could you highlight your best and worse life experiences?

them, but still unknown to the general public. Picking olives, riding a donkey, collecting salt, making sculptures out of straw - and selling that as a wrapped package experience is great, particularly from the cost/benefit perspective.

What do you think is most lacking in the Croatian and SE European meeting industry? More conferences ... that would bring professionalism and education. More details would mean a lack of planning and preparation and just too much improvisation, which is not bad in the end, but only when really needed, but not as the only solution.

Would you share your favourite places to visit in spring, summer, fall and winter?

My best life experience was the day I was born ... joking! I can’t really ‘highlight’ anything, since I enjoy my life fully and trying to live it that way every day. My worst experience was the loss of a close family member, and professionally all bad situations are part of the job, so therefore cannot be taken into consideration. Every compliment and handshake with congratulations counts as a good experience and that is probably the best motivation we all have.

London at any time of the year. As I am a passionate skier I adore the Alps during the winter; for me there is nothing better than spending the day in high mountains with fresh air and sun, especially in good company. Spring and fall are our high season, therefore I don’t have a chance to travel privately as the destination is defined by the conference. During the summer I really like to travel abroad or rest on our beautiful coastline - I really like Paklene otoke, Korčula, Zadar and Dubrovnik.

Which was your first job and what is your current job?

What are you most proud of?

What do you do in your free time?

My first job was carrying boxes filled with materials for our congresses when I was about 14 or 15 years old. After that I was finally promoted to technician in a lecture room dealing with slides and speakers. After driving speakers to the airport, working on a registration desk, and sorting out delegate badges for years, I finally got the chance to work full time and now I am in the position of project manager.

I could say there are two things: firstly working on a job that I like, going to work every day with a smile on my face, and working with a team of great and supportive colleagues on whom you can always count on. Secondly is that I am successfully juggling all my business and private needs and sorting things on time and I still manage to have free time for me and my family, which I truly enjoy.

In my free time I read a lot, travel and in between I run, play squash and go skiing. But most of my free time I spend with people I truly love and friends, which is the best way to enjoy it.

What is the first thing you do when you come to work?

Which success story in the tourism field would you like to mention?

Have small talk with the whole team. Nothing specific, just a short chit-chat and a good laugh before checking all the e-mails in my

There are very often some original ‘small’ ideas produced by complete tourist amateurs that I find really superb. There are plenty of

My father was and still is. He founded our company more than 20 years ago and now we work together. He has been in tourism since his very early teenage years and he has done his best to make this happen for me as well. After years of helping and now working with him I still get surprised how much he knows about the industry.

Your life motto? Don’t really have one, but this one is the closest – ‘The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.’


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Good practise examples

Conventa takes the right steps towards sustainable development at Cankarjev dom Contractor: Cankarjev dom Client: Conventa Trade Show Date: 18th January 2012 In addition to engaging the basic guidelines of sustainable development, Cankarjev dom has also applied a number of guidelines in terms of energy saving measures: automated switches for lights and water, LED lights, waste management systems, less paper consumption, use of environmentally friendly cleaning products, primary use of local suppliers and their products as well as the use of catering services offering local and seasonal produce.

On top of all this they have also taken another measure that appears sustainable - participants at the after-party in Club CD, following the official reception in the impressive Large Reception Hall, were invited to make their way to the party on foot instead of using the elevator. This is obviously an energy saving initiative, isn’t it? Well, let’s have a closer look at the calculations* and see if it is. The average person weighting 75 kg and making their way to Club CD climbs a height of 28.07m over 169 stairs, for which he or she uses 21,000 Nm or VAs. All participants (for our calculation 300 participants were estimated) use 3,5 kWh for walking up and down. Time required to get to Club CD is 85 seconds and uses 250W of energy, which is quite substantial. The easier option of taking the elevator, on the other hand, offers a carrying capacity of 1,000

kg or 13 people. One ride in one direction in the elevator takes 22 seconds. If we take into account both the up and down rides, we get a result of 0.1 kWh. One full cycle of up and down and the entering and exiting of those eager to get to the dance floor takes approximately 88 seconds, which is more or less the same time it takes to walk. For taking the 300 participants up in the elevator, at least 23 runs need to be taken. The final time for taking all participants is thus 1 hour, with an energy use of 4,6 kWh. For smooth functioning the elevator also requires energy for its doors, lighting and controls, which over 8 hours amounts to 5,3 kWh. Following from all of the above, the elevator represents a larger cost when it is not running than when it is running. Let’s now return to the staircase; this needs to be lit when actively used by participants. The lighting takes some 16 kWh, much more than the elevator’s lighting needs. When walking, participants are releasing heat, valued through the calculation at 3,5 kWh. The effect of this heat release needs to be regulated with air conditioning and ventilation. Taking the stairs also causes an additional 588 m2 area to be used (in addition to the hall where the event is taking place), which will require cleaning afterwards and all of the materials necessary for this. From a safety point of view walking the stairs is also a critical point, as participants are using the emergency evacuation route. So, when accounting for the alternatives is balanced, the exact calculations have shown that energy in our largest Congress Centre cannot be saved by walking rather than using the elevators. It was clearly demonstrated that taking the staircase does not represent lower energy use, and that elevators are placed where they are with a certain logic and clear purpose. Taking the right steps in sustainability can sometimes be as much about burning off some of your calories before you hit the dance floor as straightforward energy savings. Let’s apply

sustainable guidelines with common sense and not just blindly and without consideration. Vinko Sever, Maruša Rosulnik, Maja Vidergar * the data is purely technical, without prices. (Price of electric energy is 0,075 €/kWh. Calculation: 1 kWh = 860 kcal) www.cd-cc.si/congress

‘Feel the Charm of Slovenia’ at the Grand Hotel Union Event Title: Welcome reception for German clients Client: Slovenian Convention Bureau (SCB), Slovenian Tourist Board (STB), DMC Intours Contractor: Grand hotel Union, d.d. On 22nd October 2011 the Grand Hotel Union, in collaboration with the Slovenian Convention Bureau (SCB), Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) and DMC Intours, helped to host a familiarisation event in Ljubljana. The ‘Feel the Charm of Slovenia’ fam trip was designed as a visual, musical and culinary melange of Grand Hotel Union services, with an emphasis on a warm welcome and familiarising German-language visitors with the hotel and its vibrant past. The welcome reception was held in the hotel’s beautiful, Art Nouveau-design Grand Union Hall. The Hall, with adornments typical of a classical theatre, was beautifully lit as for a gala dinner, complete with a pianist on stage accompanying the entire reception, ensuring the guests enjoyed a creative and inspiring introduction of the hotel and its services. www.gh-union.si


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Gadgets

The King of Furniture Also to be seen at New York’s Modern Art Museum MOMA Renowned Slovenian designer Prof. Niko Kralj ('kralj' meaning ‘king’ in Slovenian) designed his now legendary REX (Latin also for 'king') chair in 1952. Inspired by Scandinavian minimalism and taking a lead still followed today by some of the largest furniture makers for mass consumption, the design centres on technical simplicity and ergonomic design perfection. The REX Chair is a part of the REX folding furniture collection that includes an arm chair, rocking chair, lounge chair and a folding table. Kralj was a visionary in his prediction that folding and lightweight products are advantages that will be increasingly important for the global market and internet sales. The REX chair quickly became very popular all over the world. When it was included in the collection of the Modern Art Museum MOMA in New York it also quickly became an object of desire. With its harmonic shape and design the REX chair can happily exist in any space: as a comfortable living room armchair, a practical kitchen chair, be a source of inspiration in the working area or a rocking chair when the baby needs putting to sleep. Or it can simply be a kingly art work to adorn your apartment or office. More at www.rex-kralj.si


74 The Best of ...

SPECIAL VENUES IN SOUTH EAST EUROPE

An event organiser, or more specifically his or her client, wants participants to remember the experience as much as possible for all the right reasons. So isn't this first step in achieving this by using a venue that is special in itself, an experience that we cannot have every day? What are these venues for truly special events? Firstly, they can be any location that has the potential for hosting larger groups of people and also that for implementing technical programme, in most cases also organising catering for participants. Limits on the numbers of participants that can be accommodated are usually determined by the latter. The venue for special events also has to have outstanding cultural, historical, technical and architectural value, and to help you select the right one we analysed special venues in the region and divided them into smaller ones - with capacity for up to 100 people - and larger ones, which can accommodate more than 100 participants. A pre-condition for being listed as a special venue are adequate indoor space and basic convention infrastructure with cloakrooms, toilets and technical equipment.

2. REVELIN AND LOVRIJENAC FORTRESS, Dubrovnik, Croatia Dubrovnik’s old town centre still has its historic wall, one of the few originally walled cities in the world. For a real experience of historic Dubrovnik there is the possibility to organise an event at the Revelin fortress, guarding the town on the eastern side, or Lovrijenac fortress to its west. The large space behind the wall and the outdoor terraces caters for events and offers a magnificent view over the town. Rank: IRRESISTIBLE

3. THE WHITE PALACE AND THE ROYAL PALACE, Belgrade, Serbia The Palace complex on Dedinje, surrounded by English and French parks and home to Serbian Crown Prince Alexander II and his family, is one of the most exclusive special venues in the region. Another feature is that you will make arrangements for the event directly with the Prince’s family, who live in the Palace.

SPECIAL VENUES 100+ participants

Rank: SUPREME

1. POSTOJNA CAVE, Postojna, Slovenia

4. LJUBLJANA CASTLE, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The world renowned Postojna Cave is a natural phenomenon and one of the most unusual locations for organising events. The experiential value of the cave itself is complemented by the quality congress infrastructure of Mansion Jamski dvorec. This makes Postojna Cave one of the most unique and special congress venues in the world.

Ljubljana Castle is the symbol and most recognisable feature of Ljubljana. The 11th century castle is an important event venue and most of the events take place in its Stanovska Hall, however smaller halls are also available. For protocol receptions the castle is one of the most attractive points set in a picturesque environment. Rank: STRONG

Rank: TRANQUIL


75 The Best of ...

5. MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, Zagreb, Croatia

8. BRDO ESTATE, Brdo, Slovenia

Located on one of the main roads between the new and the old part of Zagreb, the largest Croatian cultural investment since independence was finished in 2009. Designed by architect Igor Franić, the building respects the tradition of functional architecture and includes exhibition space that extends over three floors, allowing for the realisation of complex events.

Brdo is known as an excellent host and contractor of business and congress events: conferences, seminars, and both governmental and diplomatic protocol meetings. Halls can accommodate from 10 to 550 participants, and out of doors the ancillary facilities and parks have been walked by kings, presidents, ministers and other nobility and dignitaries for some 500 years.

Rank: FLUID

Rank: EXTRA

6. ARSENAL, Zadar, Croatia

9. TARTINI THEATRE, Piran, Slovenia

Zadar’s old military warehouse was built by Venetians in 16th century and has had a successful revitalisation into a centre for public, cultural, leisure and congress functions. Over 1,800 m2 of space offers a high degree of functionality and flexibility. The warehouse has a very urban feel.

The theatre in Piran is set on a picturesque location and is over 100 years old. It is a fantastic example of secession architecture through the way it is painted and fitted out. Following its most recent renovation in 2000 the hall is once again shining in its former glory. Together with the nearby coffee shop this is one of the most interesting venues on the Slovenian coast.

Rank: GROOVY Rank: ADORABLE

7. CROATIAN STATE ARCHIVE, Zagreb, Croatia The archive is one of the most beautiful secession buildings in the region that offers space for up to 900 participants in its main hall. With its setting in the middle of a park and rich interiors full of precious paintings and furniture, it represents one of the most interesting venues for events. Rank: ACADEMIC

10. OLD TOBACCO COMPANY ROVINJ, Rovinj, Croatia The Croatian town of Rovinj is one of the the country’s most beautiful. At the site of the old tobacco factory, which was once the largest tobacco factory in SE Europe, a number of various events and festivals have taken place, the most resounding of these being the Weekend Media Festival that since 2009 has been taking full advantage of the large factory complex. This represents an excellent case of regeneration of an old industrial legacy to the benefit of congress tourism. Rank: FLASH


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SPECIAL VENUES - up to 100 participants 4. MOKRICE CASTLE, Mokrice, Slovenia

1. BLED CASTLE, Bled, Slovenia Bled Castle is undoubtedly the symbol of Bled and Slovenia. It is a remarkable venue for protocol events, ceremonial receptions and anniversaries. The image of the castle set above the lake with a romantic island in the middle is one of the most recognised in the world. Rank: EMOTIONAL

Mokrice Castle, renovated and transformed into a high category hotel, is located at the base of hilly Gorjanci and is hidden in the silent midst of the Castle Park. In the castle’s renovated granaries is the modernly equipped Barbara Hall and beneath the medieval wall is the leisure offer of an 18-hole golf course, spreading over an area of 70 hectares. Mokrice Castle is a popular venue for protocol meetings. Arhiv Terme Čatež

Rank: SECRET

5. VILLA POLESINI, Poreč, Croatia

2. SAINT STEFAN, Montenegro

This finely renovated 19th century villa surprises with its elegance and superb location. Especially impressive is the garden that allows for accommodating larger groups and the 4 halls available for events.

One of the main tourist attractions of ex-Yugoslavia is today in the hands of Singaporean luxury hotel chain Aman Resorts. The island, with its Villa Miločer, is closed to the public, however events can be organised on it directly through the chain.

Rank: INNOCENT Rank: MINT

Web: www.villa-polesini.com, Email: events@valamar.com Contact person: Leo Urlić, T: +385 1 6312 777

3. CONFERENCE SHIP SEA STAR

6. PRINCIPOVAC, Ilok, Croatia

Dubrovnik Travel owns the first modern ship especially designed for events on the Adriatic. The ship MB Sea Star has an open deck and internal space of three air-conditioned saloons. MB Sea Star is the largest multifunctional ship of this type on the Adriatic and is equipped with all the top of the range navigation instruments. It is ideal for medium sized groups, however it has the potential to accommodate up to 400 passengers. Rank: BLUE

The renovated Principovac Mansion is at the top of the list for Croatia’s most beautiful vineyard locations. Owned by Iločki Cellars. there are wonderful views of Ilok, Bačko and Srem in the midst of 125 hectares of vineyards. The manor also had a name for superior oenogastronomy. Rank: HARMONIOUS


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7. ZEMONO, Vipava, Slovenia

10. OTOČEC CASTLE, Otočec, Slovenia The renaissance manor Zemono, renovated in the late 1970s, is located on a small hill in the vineyards with one of the best view points in the Vipavska Valley. The central hall is appropriate for events, and one of Slovenia’s best culinary houses – restaurant ‘Pri Lojzetu’ - can take

care of your guests’ culinary requirements. Rank: IRRESISTIBLE

The medieval Otočec Castle is located on an island in the middle of the Krka river’s green waters. The castle offers 16 rooms of the highest calibre, of which two are royal suites with rooms for receptions, consultations and a saloon. Masters of culinary art at Otočec serve their creations in the larger Castle Restaurant, holding up to 50 people, as well as in the smaller halls – Knightly Hall and Hunters’ Hall, which have a more intimate, fireside atmosphere. Rank: PEACEFUL

8. VILA ANGIOLINA, Opatija, Croatia Villa Angiolina, reminiscent of the golden Austro-Hungarian era of Opatija Tourism, is located at one of the most beautiful protocol spots in Croatia. The villa is used as a representative space for receptions, congresses and protocol events.

Rank: DIVA

9. VILLA BLED AND BELVEDERE, Bled, Slovenia Villa Bled, once Tito's residence at the elite location on the shore of lake Bled, definitely has a name that is carried from its past to the present. The Villa was visited by nobles from the worlds of politics, economics and art – from Prince Charles through to Paloma Picasso. Rank: MINDFUL

8222 Otočec, Slovenija Kontaktna oseba: ga. Vida Trenz tel: +386 7 38 48 909, mob: +386 41 348 229 e-mail: vida.trenz@terme-krka.si, web: www.castle-otocec.com


.com

Croatia Meetings Special addendum for Croatian meetings industry  ALEKSANDRA UHERNIK ĐURĐEK

CREATIVITY - KEY TO THE SUCCESSFUL ORGANISATION OF MEETINGS AND EVENTS KATIJA JERKOVIĆ

A NEW ERA FOR ADRIATIC LUXURY HOTELS ROKO PALMIĆ

BUSINESS GUESTS WANT IT ALL SANJA VUKOV-COLIĆ

MEDICAL AND PHARMACEUTICAL CONGRESSES - THE MOST DEMANDING EVENTS PROF. DR. SC. DAVOR MILIČIĆ

CROATIA – A SIGNIFICANT PARTNER OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIETY OF CARDIOLOGY

Editorial Board: Daniela Kos, Aleksandra Uhernik Đurđek, Roko Palmić; Photographer: Ana Šesto

No1 04/2012


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A word from the editor

Croatia Addendum

Daniela Kos

Croatia - a Rising Star of the European Meetings Industry Croatia becomes the 28th star of the European Union

hat is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of Croatia? Is it the sun and the sea with beautiful beaches? The mediterranean as it once was? Dubrovnik? Maybe Split or Hvar? Croatia is much more than that. From the very beginnings of tourism in Croatia, in the mid 19th century, a strong connection between tourism and business was established. This long lasting tradition in leisure tourism was also a great starting point for the development of the MICE offer.

W

Today Croatia is a safe and stable country with beautiful nature and a rich cultural heritage. If you are meetings professional in search of a new and exciting destination, Croatia could be the hidden treasure you’ve been looking for. Whether you are organising a small/ medium sized convention or incentive travel, Croatia has a lot to offer: from premium hotels with state-of-the-art meeting rooms to special historic venues. Of course, our experienced DMC and PCO agencies will help you with their knowledge and expertise. Croatia is new and fresh, still undiscovered, a business destination that offers numerous opportunities. It is close to major European metropolis, so hurry up and discover it!

From now on, in every issue of the Kongres magazine you will have the opportunity to read news from the Croatian meetings industry. Also, we will write about our experiences in meetings I’m sure that Croatia’s time organisation and about is yet to come. In a little hardworking individuals over a year we will join that prove Croatia is a the European Union, as county of successful and the 28th member country. creative people. Meeting professionals Finally, I would like to use this opportunity to in Croatia believe that thank all the authors who have shared their this will open new thoughts and ideas in this issue. opportunities, and they are determined to seize them! Daniela Kos Being fresh, however, also means that there are still some challenges that we have to deal with on our way to becoming widely recognised as a competitive MICE destination. A recently held public discussion, organised by Croatian Meeting Professional Association, Croatian Chamber of Commerce and PoslovniTurizam.com, was one of the first steps in that direction.

I’m proud to present to you a special Croatian addendum in this respectable regional MICE magazine, Kongres. This addendum is, in a way, one small step in our integration into the EU business environment.

PoslovniTurizam.com CroatiaMeetings.com


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Column

Creativity - key to the successful organisation of meetings and events Is budget the only limitation or main challenge? Aleksandra Uhernik Đurđek

Aleksandra Uhernik Đurđek is the Meetings and Events Department Manager at Atlas, Croatia’s leading DMC. Planning and organising important international events from high-level incentive programs and various corporate meetings to international scientific congresses is the everyday job for Aleksandra and her team. She graduated from Faculty of Economics at the University of Zagreb with a specialisation in tourism industry and has been in the business for 18 years.

When planning or organising a business meeting or event several important questions arise right at the start:

– The costs of the venues (rent) and equipment – Purpose of the event.

– What is the purpose of the event? – When is it taking place? – Who are the participants? – What kind of venues do we need? – Have we started to plan on time?

A story about creativity would not be complete without some examples of good practice.

A quality first briefing with the client will furnish the majority of answers, yet an extremely important and delicate topic is often avoided: the budget. Available funds play an important role in achieving the goal of a meeting and have a decisive impact on the way the meeting is organised. The question should not be looked upon negatively or restrictively. The recession years have created new challenges – how to offer a real experience on limited funds. From planning to execution the growing role is that of creativity, which also gets a new dimension. Experience is an equally important factor. “What can go wrong will go wrong!” To be an experienced organiser means to have a back-up plan for each step. Regardless of the possible risks, by organising meetings and events we often create an experience that will be remembered forever, truly influence a company’s image on the market, launch a new, advanced idea, and directly affect sale figures.

In order for a meeting to be an amazing experience for the participants and guests, one often employs the so-called WOW! factor. Let your imagination soar… but always have in mind: – The profile of the event and the profile of participants / guests – Availability of the venues and infrastructure in place

Venues challenge – often during the final stage of an event organisation there is a need for some additional rooms for several simultaneous meetings or workshops. We often solved the shortage of standard meeting rooms by adjusting hotel rooms, especially suites or the hotel’s catering facilities. While we were organising a very challenging meeting of managers of an international corporation in Dubrovnik, at the last moment a need arose for several simultaneous meetings at which the company’s different divisions would be revising their business plans. In the end the meetings were held in the salons of a neighboring residential villa as well as on the terraces, in under the cover of sunshades. We believe that the view of Lokrum and the old city had a positive effect on the participants’ creativity. Time challenge – while organising numerous meetings on the coast, evening events are often planned to take place in beautiful outdoor locations that have no adequate alternatives in the event of bad weather. In the case of an unpromising weather forecast it is difficult to persuade a client to give up the original outdoor location. Rain just before or during the event puts us in a stressful and challenging situation. Creativity, but also good logistics, are important for making quick decisions. During an award-giving ceremony, which we organised for a Scandinavian company and which was taking place on the square in front of the city council in Šibenik, we were suddenly threatened by rain at the start of the ceremony (a black cloud with the possibility of a local shower appeared literally out of the blue). Instead of the planned bus transfer we took a little bit longer time and transported the guests to the town from


81 Croatia Addendum

the nearby hotel by boats. With music and aperitifs the guests enjoyed the view of the sea and the islands, arriving at the center of Šibenik right after the rain had passed and with everything ready for the gala dinner.

facts from the company’s history, which they received written down in several versions on cards left on their tables. Given the great media interest, the banquet was financially supported by additional sponsors.

Budget challenge – especially delicate are the cases of an abrupt budget cutting. The concept was already completed and the organisation begun when the celebration of a large anniversary almost came under threat. The elaborate scenario for a journey through a company’s history included the appearance of several famous presenters, a choreography of the topic, a musical program from various historical periods, gifts, and an expensive and elegant banquet. In the end we used a similar concept, but the event was hosted by the editors of professional publications and other media (for which it gained professional recognition and provided good topics for further analysis), the musical journey was successfully guided by a D.J., while the guests also had a lot of fun discussing interesting

Evidently, the organisation of professional and business meetings is becoming more and more complicated and increasingly demanding. It is important to have an experienced and professional partner that can easily address organisational dilemmas, make quick decisions and find an optimal solution within your budget.

With true professional help and adequate logistics, a host can properly relax and enjoy the company of colleagues and business partners.


Katija Jerković is a hotel industry professional specialised in overall sales and marketing and MICE industry. She is currently the Director of Sales and Marketing at Adriatic Luxury Hotels, leading luxury hotel management company in Croatia.


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A New Era for Adriatic Luxury Hotels

In September of last year, one of the most significant hotel acquisitions in Croatian tourism took place. The Dubrovnik Adriatic Luxury Hotels came under the new ownership of the Lukšić Group, which is also the owner of the Excelsa hotel group. This kick-started a process of connecting and restructuring the two largest hotel companies in the Dubrovnik area, which since February have been working under the single banner of Adriatic Luxury Hotels. The process was finalised with the centralisation of a series of administrative services, including sales and marketing. We talked to the director of this new department, Katija Jerković, about the changes within the company and the new branding.

How did the process of connecting the hotels flow and what new initiatives in the business activities of Adriatic Luxury Hotels came about with these changes? After the takeover and restructuring, the two management companies, Excelsa and Adriatic Luxury Hotels, were connected under the mutual name Adriatic Luxury Hotels (ALH). The new management of the company manages the hotels in the Dubrovnik area: Hotel Excelsior, Hotel Bellevue, Grand Villa Argentina, Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, Hotel Croatia, Hotel Kompas, Hotel Odisej and Hotel Supetar. The existing mutual services were centralised, including sales, marketing and public relations, finances and controlling, accounting, corporate development and investments, human resources and legal matters and procurement and IT support. I would also like to mention that only the administrative services were incorporated in this process, while the operative part of each hotel in the group continues to function independently, so that that quality of services does not diminish. Our mutual goal is to connect the strongest values and practice of the current management of the company and to optimise the business activities of the company in all segments.

You came to the Director of Sales and Marketing position at this new company from the same position at the former Adriatic Luxury Hotels. What goals were you given and what goals have you set for yourself? One of the first goals was the integration of sales and promotion under the unique brand of Adriatic Luxury Hotels. The first step in this was to adjust the existing sales-marketing strategies to the new circumstances and to create a new branding strategy. Our greatest challenge is to reduce as much as possible the competition among the hotels by identifying the segments in which they are different and to promote them in very specific and mutually different marketing niches. We have divided the hotels into three collections in accordance with their unique characteristics: Dream, Escape and Unwind. With the integration of sales we would also optimise results on the company level. My personal goal is to succeed in all of this, in which I deeply believe, because we went through a very similar process in Adriatic Luxury Hotels during centralisation in 2010. At that time we joined four hotels (Excelsior, Bellevue, Palace and Kompas) into a mutual brand and by concentrating on marketing and sales we managed to reposition the hotels and optimise the results of the company. My personal challenge is to be successful this time as well, only with a larger number of hotels.

As part of your career you’ve worked as a MICE manager in the Dubrovnik hotels - in you opinion, what pre-conditions must a hotel have to be able to market itself as a congress hotel? I started my career in the hotelier segment in the operative, as a Hilton meetings manager. Regarding pre-conditions that a congress hotel must meet, this basically means adequate congress infrastructure and sophisticated logistics that are up-to-date with the highest

Croatia Addendum

demands of organisers. No less important are also additional contents and activities, such as wellness centres, F&B services, special events and other high-quality activities, with which the congress guests will be able to pass the time between business meetings. However, what really gives quality to a congress hotel is the experienced staff who care for every detail and have as their priority making each meeting and congress flawless. We ourselves are aware of how many ad hoc situations there are and what a demanding segment it is. It is impossible to predict each situation in detail, therefore the hotel staff must be prepared to react quickly. Regarding the ALH group, the carriers of the congress segment are the Dubrovnik Palace and Croatia hotels. Hotel Croatia, with its long tradition in congress tourism, has obtained all of the necessary experience, and Dubrovnik Palace, with prestigious awards and a large number of high-level congresses, has justified its expectations and made itself one of the leading congress hotels in the region.

The development of the internet has brought a revolution in the way tourist products are sold. What portion of ALH sales come from online booking? This depends on the product: in the segment of large congresses that percentage is insignificant, while the individual segment is constantly growing. For example, our hotel Bellevue realises 75% of sales through the internet, while the average online sales on the level of the ALH group are 10-15% of total rooms sold. The revenue management within the sales department deals intensively and on a daily basis with the optimisation of prices according to occupancy. In any case, this channel of sales is very important to us and we believe that it will continue to grow in the future. On the other hand, it is important that while creating sales policies other segments are not ignored, such as tour operators or the congress segment. The online channel can never jeopardise the stated segments, but


84 Croatia Addendum

actually it is necessary to carefully balance it among all three channels.

Social networks have become an inescapable channel of direct communication with guests. How much time do you devote to the building of your brand through social networks? Last year we intensified promotion through social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube - and this year we have significantly increased investments in online promotions, where basically I mean investments in Google Adwords and the Facebook campaign. We believe that this is the future, not only in the individual segment, but on all levels, including the segment of congress groups. Only recently we received a request for an incentive through our official profile on Facebook. This year we have invested additional funds for the USA market, where arranged partners with their experience and resources will intensify promotion through the most active social networks and the most influential travel portals on the American market.

What is the communication strategy for the new, mutual brand, as each hotel has its own story and target market? As I have already mentioned, that is our greatest challenge: promoting the hotels in a way that we can distinguish them through their specificity, offering at the same time an equal standard of the quality of the AHL brand in the complete collection. Therefore we have decided to divide the brand into three collections: The Dream collection is made up of hotels Excelsior, Bellevue, Villa Ĺ eherezada, Villa Agava and Villa Orsula; The Escape collection is made up of the hotels Dubrovnik, Palace, Croatia and Grand Villa Argentina; and the Unwind collection are the lower category hotels Kompas, Odisej and Supetar. Since the beginning of February we have started with the redesign of the corporate visual identity

as well as the visual identity of the hotels, and because of this we are also preparing changes to all pertaining visuals, from web pages to collateral. The company logo was slightly modernised and the logo of each hotel was adjusted with the main brand in order to achieve continuity in the visual promotion and to strengthen the affiliation to the ALH brand.

Should hotels be carriers of quality congress tourism in their destination, or do you think that Dubrovnik needs a large polyvalent congress centre which would then increase the occupancy of hotel capacities? I would say that Dubrovnik needs both. Hotels should definitely be carriers of quality and luxurious tourism, but we should continue to develop in that direction all together as a destination; one does not eliminate the other. Dubrovnik needs a congress centre. If we plan to compete for congresses that amount to several thousand people, we need to have quality congress infrastructure. But Dubrovnik as a destination should first of all define a direction in which it will continue to develop and clearly define who is a benchmark and who the competition is. I personally believe that our benchmark should be Cannes and Monte Carlo. Cannes has Palais des festivals et des congress, where last year 39 large meetings were organised. If we wish to develop in that direction, a congress centre is a must. We have all of the pre-conditions necessary in order to compete with the stated luxurious destinations. Concerning Turkey, Tunis and Morocco, we cannot compete here because of the prices, but we do have an excellent cultural-historical heritage and numerous other advantages we should use.

ALH manages the largest number of 5 star hotels in the Dubrovnik area. Dare we at all speak of the existence of elite tourism in Dubrovnik?

I hope we can, because ALH has been working hard on that matter for years now and we are investing in the promotion of Dubrovnik as an elite destination. In the year 2008 we changed our strategy by trying to reposition the destination with contracting luxurious partners and tour operators, targeting the press of the leading international media and bringing groups of agents who deal with elite tourism. We believe we have succeeded in this, and this is shown by the average prices we realise in hotels Bellevue and Excelsior, which are our premium objects.


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87

Business guests want it all

Croatia Addendum

The perfectly organised congress - from a hotelier's point of view

While we, the hoteliers, find the leisure guests somewhat ‘easier’ as a case or a project, but equally as precious, business guests, especially business groups, are the most complex projects for hotel personnel. These guests are there and they want it all: good food, good coffee, a room with a view, tip-top fitness centre and, of course, the perfectly organised congress. They require a flawless M&E (Meetings and Events) service. And from all M&E segments (board meetings, various business presentations, seminars, interviews, wedding receptions, various celebrations, dance parties etc.) organisation of a congress is the most complex that there is, the biggest challenge for a hotelier.

Roko Palmić is a hotel industry professional specialised in overall sales and marketing, strategic planning and the execution of plans. He has held several profile positions, including Director of Sales and Marketing for Hotel Sacher Vienna & Salzburg and The Regent Esplanade Zagreb. He is currently the Managing director/owner at JumpUp Hospitality & Tourism Consulting.

Organisation of a congress is a carefully led and very complex project that involves, depending on the size of the hotel, but not on the size of the congress itself, at least 20 employees. It is a combination of work of several hotel departments, careful planning and brilliant execution. Let's start at the beginning. A decision about a congress is made. The venue is needed. Representatives of the company that will hold a congress decide on the venue. The decision is also a result of the hotel’s M&E sales team efforts. After that a contract is prepared, with all the details that a congress will require. And then the real ‘push’ starts: from the first meeting with everyone involved, over various preparations, combinations, negotiations with several departments, till the final product is made – the perfectly organised congress. It is hard work and careful planning that involves also an F&B team that will prepare

snacks and food for coffee breaks or lunch/ dinners, and serve whatever needed during the congress; an IT department that will ensure that all the audio visual equipment is installed in a proper and timely manner; a technical department that will ensure that the heating, lighting, air conditioning etc. is according to guests’ wishes; a reservations department that will handle the reservations for lodging; the reception and housekeeping that will prepare room allocations and the rooms for the guests; the security department, which takes care that everything related to the safety of guests is taken with the utmost care; the purchasing department which orders everything the guest can imagine; an administration office which takes care of the print material needed for the congress; the florist who will discreetly decorate the congress room and pre-function rooms; and finally, the finance department in charge of the careful and accurate checking of all costs for the congress and for the final bill. We can truly say that there is an army of employees who are involved in numerous congresses that occur in business hotels on daily basis, usually a couple of congresses occurring in one day, so without any exaggeration we can conclude that the organisation of a congress presents an extremely challenging task. It has to be a brilliant coordination of all resources, material and human, of all efforts, plans, energies, personalities and ideas...and usually, it has to be done fast, but also correctly, and of course, as this is tourism we are talking about, handled with a smile and the notion that the guest is always right. It is a stressful job, but a guest cannot feel that, not even a hint of that. The guest has to experience an immaculate service: from the arrival to the hotel, when she/he sees the info board and the set-up of the congress venue, through the perfect audio visual experience during the event, with a high quality F&B service, to finally


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the post-congress leisure offer that includes fitness/health club facilities, a cocktail bar to unwind and, of course, a beautiful and comfortable room which will guarantee a good night’s sleep before getting back for the second day of a congress or getting back home or to the office.

The perfectly organised congress is a mixture of a tangible and intangible service, and the larger the number of the stars of the hotel, the emphasis will lie more on the intangible service, as this kind of service is the magic factor that differentiates one hotel and one event from the other. Being a participant of many congresses, but with a professional eye for the congress industry, I have seen and experienced some great examples of a perfect service during the congress; a neck massage offered to participants during the break to slightly relax and unwind, essential oils that should encourage concentration during the event; hula hoop corner for the participants to activate their energy during the event; and, naturally, some more typical examples: a high quality AV system, well equipped info board with the hosts, natural daylight in the congress room, experienced and polite F&B staff, good insulation from the noise outside and sounds inside the hotel, parking space at the hotel, good quality writing pads, pens and memory sticks for the participants etc. When it comes to good example of a bad service, there are several that every hotelier should check twice before the event starts; unprepared staff, too warm/cold in the

congress room, bad lighting, malfunctioning of projectors, screens, microphones, uncomfortable chairs with no space to leave your bag, food not prepared for the occasion (too high in calories), no soundproofing in the rooms, tardiness with the coffee breaks... I hope these examples will help my colleagues’ hoteliers in the future, with the organisation of congresses. If I would have to name the best hotels, my personal top 3 hotels in the world, these would be: 1. Mandarin Oriental Bangkok - http://www. mandarinoriental.com/bangkok/ - absolutely perfect service. 2. The Oberoi Udaivilas – Udaipur - http:// www.oberoihotels.com/oberoi_udaivilas/ index.asp - service, nature and history felt everywhere. 3. The Plaza New York - http://www.theplaza. com/ - an absolute classic.

Top 5 congress hotels/centres: 1. Grosvenor House, London - www.marriott. co.uk/hotels/travel/longh-grosvenor-house-a-jwmarriott-hotel - the historical venue. 2. The Dolder Grand, Zurich - http://www. thedoldergrand.com - History, design, style and nature all around…. 3. The Ritz Madrid - www.ritzmadrid.com - on each corner, something to discover and absorb the history. 4. Mediterranean Conference Centre, Malta http://www.mcc.com.mt - perfect combination of heritage and the 21st century in the Mediterranean. 5. Qatar National Convention Centre - http:// www.qncc.com - the absolute star!

In conclusion I can say that the guests experience a highly personalised, tailor-made service during the congress, but not many are aware that they see only the tip of the iceberg. The entire army that carefully organised and executed this event happily acknowledges that everything went well with a congress that the guests will probably remember for a long time. The army, on the other hand, simply moves on, usually during the same day, to another project/congress... and another...and after that one another... creating a perfect service all day, every day.


Business Class M E ET I N G S EV E N TS T E A M BU I L D I N G

Congress Office t + 385 51 710 304 e kongresi@liburnia.hr w www.liburnia.hr


90 Croatia Addendum

Medical and pharmaceutical congresses - the most demanding events What makes the organisation of medical congresses so specific?

Sanja Vukov-Colić is Deputy CEO at Zagreb’s SPEKTAR PUTOVANJA travel agency and is the agency’s leading MICE manager. She graduated in Tourism at the Faculty for International Trade and worked for the Generalturist agency for 11 years, part of more than 30 years experience she has in tourism.

It is well known that the medical/pharmaceutical industry is among three most important industries worldwide when it comes to the number and size of organised meetings and congresses. Medicine itself is the heart of the development of new technologies and therapy procedures, and new efficient medicaments for various diseases are being put on the market almost every day. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for medical/pharmaceutical professionals to meet as often as possible. Knowledge exchange and continuous education is also important, due to strict medical associations’ rules that members must meet in order to get their licenses prolonged. Medical associations’ conventions and symposiums are in fact so important that they became global events that strongly connect local science with latest international breakthroughs and achievements.

organisation of medical congresses different from organising other events, but I would like to highlight these three as the most important:

The best medical experts in Croatian medicine are also well known and appreciated among their international academic and scientific peers, which has brought some of the big international congresses to Croatia. One such event is the international educational meeting ‘Cardiology Highlights - An ESC Update Programme in Cardiology’, which is regularly organized by the European Society of Cardiology. Managing Director of this congress is Prof. Dr. Davor Miličić, President of Croatian Cardiac Society.

Size and variety of a venue’s congress capacities In Croatia congresses and conventions are mainly being held in hotels that have (smaller or bigger) meeting rooms/halls. The challenge that we face in these venues is that meeting rooms’ capacity is often inversely proportional to the size of an exhibition area for pharmaceutical industry marketing activities. Interaction between conference delegates and related industries is extremely important, and the exhibition area must be easily accessible to delegates. For that reason it is unacceptable to dislocate it to other parts of the hotel, break out rooms or tents.

Despite our experts’ scientific achievements, further development of the Croatian meeting industry is limited, and the reason is well known - Croatia lacks specialised convention centres, which are necessary to host medium and large scale (medical) conferences. Until this infrastructure issue is solved we will not be able to bid for such events that are organised by big European and international associations.

Where and how to organise a medical congress There is a series of factors that make the

Transport connections to the destination Quality and attractiveness of the event for the most part depends on the agenda and speakers, who in the case of medical events are mainly internationally acknowledged experts. Their availability is limited, so their presence at the event must be planned very, very early. Since the duration of their stay in the destination is on average only 1.5 days, their schedule must be precisely planned. Therefore transport availability to the destination has a very important role in organising medical events. One should also have in mind that travel costs can significantly affect the overall budget, which can in return lead to other issues.

Code of conduct in the pharmaceutical industry In the last few years the pharmaceutical industry's marketing activities are being subject to ever more strict rules and regulations when it comes to exhibiting at medical conventions and events, which can affect not only choice of venue, but even destination and determination of the time of year in which medical conventions can take place. In Croatia there are two pharmaceutical


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products manufacturers associations that formed their Codes of conduct: • Croatian Association of Research-based Pharmaceutical Companies - CARPC • Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations within the Croatian Employers’ Association Those codes clearly define and regulate all interactions between pharmaceutical companies and medical staff, and define what can and what cannot be financed. Codes are harmonised with European codes, such as Code of Conduct/Code of Practice/ Code of Ethics/Code of Professional Conduct, and the name of the code is to be determined by the pharmaceutical industry regulatory bodies of each country’s European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) member. These codes have also a number of rules that affect the organisation of medical congresses. For example, such events cannot be organised in destinations that are mostly known for having an entertainment/leisure offer. They also cannot be organised in hotels that have more than 4 stars, or in ‘Resort/SPA’ hotels. When it comes to airplane travel, business class is out of the question, and economy is the only way to go. Pharmaceutical industry associations and pharmaceutical companies in each country can independently establish their own codes that can be even more restrictive than EFPIA’s Code of Conduct. Some pharmaceutical companies’ codes even limit the period of the year in which they can take part in medical congress, and that often excludes high season (whether summer or winter, depending on destination). Some pharmaceutical companies are not allowed to exhibit (or in any other way take part) in medical congress, even if the hotel has 4 stars, but its characteristics do not meet the company’s Code of Conduct.

There is also a growing number of cases where the congress agenda determines whether a pharmaceutical industry can or cannot participate in the event. If in the event agenda is filled with leisure and entertainment activities, and if those overlap with the scientific program, a pharmaceutical company may not be allowed to finance such a congress or in any other way take part in the event itself.

Large international PCOs, companies that manage the organisation of congresses specialised for certain professions, (such as, in our case, medical) are more and more involved in association management.

In the end, it is also important to emphasize the significance of the standard of technical equipment and technical staff, which must be top-end in order to deliver a first class experience to speakers and delegates. Besides that, some medicine branches (for example radiology or nuclear medicine) have specific requirements, so technical aspects must be tailor-made to meet their needs. Having noted all this, I have to mention the leading role in the organisation of a medical congress, and that role is played by the PCO agency. It is the agency that leads an organiser through the whole process, one that includes: destination and venue selection, organisation of leisure and community activities, financial construction and marketing/promotion of the event. In short, the role of an agency is to create such an environment where the organiser will be able to focus on his core, scientific activity: the selection of themes and lecturers for the event.

They connect with associations through outsourcing of their meeting planners during event planning and organisation, in order to reduce overall costs of preparing and organising and to develop new strategies for increasing profit. One of the most important measures of congress success is achieving the balance between the prestigious scientific level of a congress and the controlled costs of its organisation. As for the most important prerequisites to successfully organising a congress, I would like to highlight the following: - carefully selected, actual themes that will motivate a large number of scientists to propose their works/papers/projects - announcements of renowned and respected lecturers - positive feedback of the pharmaceutical industry - an attractive destination - well planned timing of the event that does not clash with similar events in the region. In today's times of economic crisis, when many pharmaceutical companies are cutting their budgets for supporting medical congresses, a real success is to attract a sufficient number of attendees. Therefore, I conclude that, in spite of the difficult economical situation and the small pharmaceutical market, Croatian medical congresses still have quite a high number of delegates per event. Despite the many difficulties, with the persistent work of all the industry members we have achieved satisfying results in the promotion of Croatian medicine, and positive financial results.

Measurement of Congress Success There are many companies that offer their services when it comes to measuring the success of an event. They include various evaluation methods, from basic ones like polls and interviews with delegates to more sophisticated ones that include advanced technology solutions. They will also often offer their know-how on how to increase the number of attendees, or how to measure the impact of an event to the sale of pharmaceutical products (regionally or globally).


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Croatia – a significant partner of the European Society of Cardiology

Congresses are opportunities to position Croatian science on the international market

To date he has performed more than a hundred times as an invited lecturer at foreign congresses, meetings and universities and he is also a member of scientific boards of a greater number of respectable international congresses and symposiums. Additionally he has organised four national cardiology congresses and several international meetings, since 2009 being is the director of the ‘Cardiology Highlights – an ESC Update Programme in Cardiology’ congress of the European Society of Cardiology.

What is most important to you when organising medical congresses?

Prof. Dr. sc. Davor Miličić is one of the most important people in the world of Croatian medicine: he is the President of the Croatian Cardiac Society and the Head of the Clinic for Heart and Blood Vessel Diseases – the leading Croatian cardiology institution – as well as the dean of the University of Zagreb’s Medical faculty.

The organisation of a medical congress is exceptionally demanding and this is especially so concerning professions such as cardiology. Cardiology is a part of medicine that is developing very dynamically and is dependent on the most advanced technologies – devices and implanted material, and medicine in cardiovascular medicine, other than easing symptoms, preventing and decreasing the flow of some diseases, they can literally save lives. Modern cardiology is made up of sophisticated diagnostic methods and a series of interventional procedures. Therefore there is no quality cardiology congress without original professional and scientific announcements, reviewable lectures that show the newest guidelines and accomplishments from certain parts of the profession, and also pertinent exhibitions, which should offer a review of actual accomplishments of pharmaceuticals as well as diagnostic and therapy technological innovations. If you are a member of a lowly populated nation, then it is your professional and patriotic duty to invite as many foreign experts as possible to national congresses – and if possible, the most respectable representatives of the profession and science, in order to establish a dialogue with local experts, to show global progress in their more narrow area, which they have basically created themselves. This enables not only discussions regarding the development

of the profession in these types of meetings, but also positioning the local profession and science in the international context. Until now I have chaired four national cardiology congresses and have tried to realise a high standard and made each successive congress better than the one before. I have also organised a few important international meetings – Mediterranean Congress of Cardiologists and Cardiology Surgery, Alpe-Adria Annual Cardiology Meeting, and scientific meetings such as the Meeting of Cardiologists of Turkey and Croatia, the European Cardiology Conference for cardiologists, internists and general practice doctors, and ‘Advanced Topics in Cardiology’, as a mutual meeting organised by the University of Zagreb and the Mayo Clinic, USA. The greatest acknowledgment, and also the most demanding task, was given to me in 2009 when I became the director of ‘Cardiology Highlights’ – a professionalscientific congress of the European society of cardiology, which is held every two years. In October, 2011, the aforementioned congress was organised by me for the second time, and my function as director is not limited with a mandate. From this, Croatia became significant, acknowledged as a permanent partner of the European Society of Cardiology – the leading international society from cardiovascular medicine. Even though it may seem unusual, I have organised all of the above stated congresses with a very small number of colleagues who were ready to sacrifice a lot of private time, at the same time demonstrating extraordinary enthusiasm and loyalty to the mutual cause.

In what way is the PCO agency helping you? Organising such congresses is possible only through the top-quality technical organisational support of a PCO (Professional Congress Organiser). For example, at the last ‘Cardiology Highlights’ congress held in


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Dubrovnik, there were 65 invited lecturers, among whom 54 were foreign. You can imagine how perfect the organisation must be for their airplane flights and transfers to a congress, which during its three and a half days needs to offer a preview of everything that is new and important in the world of modern cardiology. There are more than 600 participants here, more than two thirds of them foreigners. Nothing can be late; the programs do not allow for improvisation. The auditoriums need to be technically perfect as well as the organisation of exhibitions of the pharmaceutical and technological companies, satellite symposiums, coffee breaks, work lunches, and social events. Most of the congresses of the Croatian Cardiac Society were organised in cooperation with the travel agency ‘Spektar putovanja’, which is today the leading Croatian medical PCO. ‘Spektar’ has proved itself to be a flawless partner, alongside whom we can peacefully devote ourselves to the professional-scientific organisation of the congresses and completely ‘forget’ all other organisational and technical problems. Personally I owe them a huge debt of gratitude, not only for their excellent organisational skills, their understanding and cooperation, but also for their unbelievable adjustability to last-minute changes and my sometimes capricious demands with the goal of ‘polishing up’ the quality.

How much has the economic crisis influenced the organisation of medical congresses? The future of medical congresses and meetings also depends greatly on sponsors. The financial crisis is deeply felt and funds are more and more difficult to collect for scientific and professional events. Also, the rules for sponsorship have become stricter; so-called ‘conflicts of interest’ need to be avoided and any type of return relationship with a sponsor, for example preferring his medicine or devices. I personally support the insistence on honour and the elimination of all possible

corruptive connotations which could come out of sponsorships.

How do you see the role of sponsors from the pharmaceutical industries? Sponsors need to participate in their support through so-called ‘unconditional donations’ to professional societies, which then on the basis of professional, and in no way commercial, criteria, financially support their members to participate in professional meetings, for subscriptions to scientific magazines, for membership fees of professional societies and such like. Finally, there is fear that medical congresses and meetings in today’s form will in time die out and will evolve to become interactive teleconferences through the internet and other virtual media communication. I believe that this is possible only partially, because nothing can replace personal contact, meeting with colleagues and the exchange of professional opinions, which continues also in informal circumstances throughout the congress. If ad hoc is also added to the agreements through future mutual cooperation, projects, registries, guests, scholarships and so on, it is clear that the medical congresses and symposiums will live on regardless of the temptations of modern times.


94 PR

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96 Agency presents

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100 Kongres telescope

Meetings of Seoul KME 2012 promises to build on everything achieved in 2011 and follow the road map for the industry’s future

Welcome to the first edition of the new Kongres Telescope section, and what better way to kick off this new section than with something utterly Seoul-ful. The South Korean capital, one of the world’s mega-cities, celebrated a double success at their 2011 Korea MICE Expo (KME) and Seoul MICE Forum. The event itself was a great success and the entry of Seoul into the top five MICE destinations according to UIA rankings gave it further cause for celebration, especially coming as it did four years ahead of the original 2015 target set to achieve this goal. The reasons for Seoul’s top-five entry become clear with a quick look at the results the city has been achieving and the back-room industry of the Seoul Convention Bureau (SCB), the MICE engine of the Seoul Tourism Organisation. The city recently announced that it has won 100 major international conferences between 2012 and 2018, 32 of these secured through SCB assistance in 2011 alone and many of these being international conferences and events. The World Congress of Dermatology in May 2011, drawing 15,000 attendees from across the globe, is a recent example of Seoul’s current status as a destination attracting high-profile international events, for which it can now look forward to a increasing number in the pipeline. So just how has Seoul been able to leverage itself so quickly into the top five destinations, especially in what has become such a competitive and dynamic region? Firstly, Seoul has been aggressive in marketing itself both regionally and internationally, engaging in a range of initiatives to bring profile to the city. One example of this at KME 2011 was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau. “Signing this MoU, the STO will work to expand the presence of Seoul in the Thai MICE market,” said Hong Heegon, President and CEO of the Seoul Tourism Organisation. Beyond the Asia-Pacific region, for which Japan and China have been identified as

the main priorities, the city has put itself higher on the international agenda with its participation in the Future Convention Cities Initiative (FCCI), an eight-city collaboration that offers both knowledge transfer and mutually beneficial exposure. “Our activity in FCCI provides hard facts on how the industry operates and generates revenue,” said Maureen O’Crowley, VicePresident of the Seoul Convention Bureau. “The industry is big business and opens huge potential for new markets that might otherwise have remained untapped.”

In order to take a ‘polished product’ that is Seoul to the wider international audience, SCB has ensured that there is industry-wide involvement and city buy-in by setting up the Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA), a partnership of over 70 key professionals from all corners of the industry who have a solid understanding of its synergistic benefits. “We founded it and we still guide it today, in strong partnership with the Korea MICE Alliance (KMA),” said O’Crowley. The involvement of the Alliance is a simultaneous assurance of political support for the cultivation of the MICE industry in the city, the Chairman of SMA also being the Mayor of Seoul, all of which helps enormously in making the city a strong, coherent and comprehensively supported MICE destination. “Our strong relationship with the city’s major meetings industry organisations is essential,” said Jin-Hyeok park, Senior Director of SCB. “This, together with the expert services we offer and a highly competitive financial support package, makes us an irresistible draw for buyers and event organisers.”

Robert Cotter, Editor of Kongres Telescope

With the organisational fabric being of a strong weave, the MICE industry hardware of Seoul is making the city stand out too. The COEX centre, although a few years old now, was a standard-setting venue when it first opened and is still a major venue in the region. To support it, there are also a number of high-end venues under development, such as the Seoul Station Convention Centre, which when complete will be the largest convention space in the city; the Han floating island venue, a unique location for hosting events set in the Han river; and the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a state-of-the-art venue designed by world famous architect Zaha Hadid, the building set to be a draw in itself and a winning addition to the city’s conferencing portfolio. “These big pipeline projects will help call international attention to Seoul and the rest of Korea,” said O’Crowley.

Seoul is also calling attention well beyond the meetings arena: it is recognised in the region as a design mecca and also for the quality of its music, TV shows, high end cuisine and medical excellence. There are a huge number of positive pull factors for the city, but as always there are a number of challenges for the industry too. “Korea is focusing heavily on the international market, but it has a ready-made market within Korea itself,” noted Pieter van der Hoeven, former ICCA President and Partner at PG Consulting Pty Ltd. “Korea could take advantage of current global challenges by better targeting and understanding its own product.” Neighbouring country and MICE giant China identified another challenge, President of CITS International M.I.C.E. Zhuyuan Li stating that the demands of China’s outbound market


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might struggle to be met by current facilities in Seoul and Korea, with two or three tour teams alone consisting of 10,000 or more people, highlighting the increasing scale of the industry in the region. In addition, for the Chinese outbound market, hotel prices were also identified as a potential sticking point.

With Seoul having sprung up the world rankings to settle itself into the esteemed company of the top five MICE destinations, the dedication of SCB to taking the industry forward means it is becoming increasingly well-equipped to deal with any such future challenges and can look forward to greater success and recognition. An exceptional 2011 for Seoul was ultimately crowned by TTG awarding it ‘Best BT-MICE City’. KME 2012, now the 13th year of the event, promises to build on everything achieved in 2011 and follow the road map for the industry’s future, a map whose destination may be number one in world rankings. “With this kind of growth,” said van der Hoeven, “Seoul will one day be number one on the world.” The 200 exhibitors and 300 local and international buyers are expected to attract more than 3,000 visitors over the three days of July 3-5. With the additional educational and networking opportunities of the third Seoul MICE Forum functions (on the 3rd July) as well as the Destination Presentations, Seoul MICE Youth Challenge and other seminars in partnership with ICCA, MPI and IMEX, the event is continuing to support its position as a top calendar highlight at a top destination for the international meetings and business community. For this the first run of the Kongres Telescope, we also managed to put some questions to Maureen O’Crowley, one of the masterminds behind Seoul’s ascent. Have a read at what she had to share with Kongres!


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Maureen O’Crowley For now, we will stay on course and keep the momentum moving forward

Maureen, in your post of Vice President of the SCB, you had an original target to be UIA top five ranked by 2015, for which you jumped the gun and already took fifth place by 2011. What made this happen so quickly and how significant an achievement was it for you? We’ve long believed Seoul had the infrastructure and attractions to compete with the top cities in the world. The ranking affirmed this; hitting our goal early was a testament to our aggressive marketing abroad. After the Seoul Tourism Organisation (STO) was founded in 2008, the SCB began regularly attending major regional trade shows. These initiatives, combined with a series of recent high-profile events (the 2010 G-20 Summit in Seoul and the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit), have helped to secure even more bids for the years to come.

In the midst of a hectic schedule ensuring that Seoul maintains its place amongst the leading world MICE destinations, The Kongres Telescope managed to coax Maureen O’Crowley, Vice President of the Seoul Convention Bureau (SCB), away from her duties for a few moments, letting us focus our lens on her insight and experience. Here’s what she had to share with us:

What are the SCB's plans to retain and improve on this ranking and are you able to stick broadly to what was in the original plan to 2015? If not, what have you had to change as a result of moving so far so fast, and what would be your learning experiences from this? Considering the rapid growth of the meetings industry in Asia, we’re very proud of our progress. For now, we will stay on course and keep the momentum moving forward.

Are there any particular initiatives you can share with us that demonstrate how the SCB works with the local meetings industry to promote Seoul to the world? In 2010, the SCB launched the Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA) with the city government and several members of the city’s MICE industry. The partnership was formed to enhance the city’s global meetings industry competitiveness, and also aims to better promote the city’s convention infrastructure and advantages to buyers around the world. Currently, the group is made up of 72 members that include the city’s top hotels, travel agencies and professional convention

organisers to the convention centres themselves, transportation organisations, theatres and unique venues where events may be held. In 2012, we are targeting to expand the alliance to 100 members.

Can you tell us about some of your recent wins following your UIA ranking success and of events won beforehand that can look forward to a destination growing in UIA esteem? There are quite a number of major events in the pipeline, with highlights this year including the Nuclear Security Summit this month (with 10,000 participants), the 12th International Congress on Mathematics Education in July (5,000 participants), the 16th International Congress of Oriental Medicine in September (16,000 participants), and in October we will host the 73rd Skal International Congress (1,000 participants) and the 43rd World Intellectual Property Congress. Significantly, all of these events include large percentages of foreign participants, up to 80%, giving you an indication of our outreach.

To stay at the top you need to constantly improve and adapt. The current facilities in Seoul - convention centres, hotels and hospitality facilities - are high end, but can you tell us a little about some of the city’s recent infrastructure additions and pipeline developments that you believe will help keep Seoul on its new perch? Some of the more recent additions to the city’s hotel landscape include the Sheraton D-Cube City, the Stanford Hotel Seoul and the Conrad Seoul. The Sheraton D-Cube City is a 5-star hotel with 269 guest rooms and 12 meeting rooms that is well-equipped to hold large meetings. The meeting rooms include the Grand Ballroom (able to host up to 900 persons), two boardrooms, and several other meeting rooms for functions involving anywhere between 15 and 140 attendees. The mega-complex D-Cube City is attached to the Sheraton, and features a department store, a multitude of brand stores and restaurants, an amusement park, musical theater facility, spa, offices, residences, and more.


103 Kongres telescope

The Stanford Hotel Seoul, located in the Digital Media City (DMC) area, is 45 minutes from COEX (Convention and Exhibition Center) and 30 minutes from Incheon International Airport offers 7 banquet/event rooms, 2 meeting rooms and 239 guest rooms with an executive lounge, fitness center, swimming pool and restaurants. The hotel’s Grand Banquet Hall seats 350. Lastly in terms of hotels is the Conrad Seoul, scheduled to open in late 2012, with 3 towers dedicated to business needs alongside the upscale 446-room hotel. These new facilities will help service the increasing convention centre floorspace in the city, with a number of upcoming projects set to double the existing meetings capacity.

At Korea MICE Expo (KME) 2011, former ICCA President Pieter van der Hoeven proposed that if the SCB continue on their trajectory, Seoul would be the world's number one MICE destination in the near future. Does such praise bring extra pressure by way of industry expectations? We appreciate the vote of confidence, and will continue striving towards realising his prediction. That being said, there are several long-established cities that regularly place in the top 5, and many more that are gunning to make it there.

In a region that is growing rapidly and dynamically in terms of the number and quality of meeting destinations, what have you been doing to actively increase your global profile and competitiveness? In 2010 the STO spearheaded the launch of the Future Convention Cities Initiative (FCCI). The FCCI is a group of member cities - Abu Dhabi, Durban, London, San Francisco, Seoul, Sydney, and Toronto - that collaborates to shape and accelerate the strategic development of their business events industries. Our members could be described as the 'new generation' of convention leaders: we aim to use the latest technology, innovation and research to increase the economic benefits of business events for their cities, and the industry as a whole.

Within South East Europe, Serbia is significantly on the up in ICCA rankings. From your knowledge of the region and from your own experience of rankings uplift, what advice would you offer to make sure expectations can be managed, that growth can be sustained in the medium to long term, and that the destination can continue to deliver and evolve? Vienna, as an example in the region, is a meetings powerhouse, and has historically

been famous for hosting high-profile international congresses. This has given the city’s meetings industry an established brand identity that helps it to continue securing hundreds of conferences each year. Other meetings destinations in South East Europe should continue developing their own distinct brands – ones that not only distinguish themselves from competitors in the region, but also from competitors around the world. A strategically formed, unique identity will help ensure sustainable, long-term growth.

How is this year's KME shaping up compared to 2011? Can you share some of the planned highlights with us? Over the last 3 years that KME has been held in Seoul, the event has grown each year. The 2012 event will be the biggest one to date, and we are expecting 200 exhibitors, 300 buyers, and over 3,000 visitors. This year will see the return of our educational programs for youth, such as the IMEX Future Leaders Forum and the Seoul MICE Youth Challenge. This year’s KME will take place in COEX Seoul from July 3rd to 5th.


104 Kongres telescope

IT&CM 2012: Skywards in Shanghai IT&CM China is offering a 30% larger MICE exhibition showcase Artemis Skordili, Associate Editor of Kongres Telescope

Swept along by a seemingly unstoppable rate of growth that has completely transformed the city’s image, it seems that there is no end in sight for what the limits of Shanghai might be. The shape of the city moving ever skywards, always faster, rather than longing for the past Shanghai is driving forward in its role as one of the main pillars of the Chinese economy. Reflecting the momentum of Shanghai’s continuous development, one that is directly proportional to its building heights, IT&CM China 2012, the sixth and largest edition of this international MICE exhibition to this year be held from 17 to 19 April in Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center (SWEECC), aims to ‘Promote China to the World and the World to China’, with its main theme being ‘Advancing MICE and Business Minds’.

Increasing Showcase and Stands Following the success of IT&CM China 2011 in attracting more than 2,000 delegates from 43 countries, 2012 is offering a 30% larger MICE exhibition showcase. More than 300 international and Chinese exhibiting companies will participate in an exhibition area of more than 6,000 m2, with 50 new international and domestic companies representing more than 25% of the total showcase, offering buyers a greater range of new procurement opportunities. One of this year’s new entries to the event is the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a global hotel brand making its impressive debut with the largest booth in the exhibition, covering a space of 120 m2. “China is our second largest and fastest growing market globally, with nearly 150 hotels - that is over 50,000 rooms - in the pipeline,” said Mr. Nick Barton, Vice President - Sales & Marketing of IHG, Greater China. “In the next three to five years, one out of every four hotel rooms that we will open in the world will be in China.”

Alongside the growth of the exhibition showcase, the event signals a shift to an increasing size of exhibitor stands, on both the domestic and international fronts. China’s own Sanya Tourism Bureau are confirming their confidence in the event through a 20% increase of their destination pavilion stand. Other return destinations, such as Seoul with their 84 m2 booth, have further underlined the clear value of investment in their own special stand.

Growing Domestic Demand The expansion of IT&CM China 2012 is also reflected in the representation of buyers delegation, registrations having crossed the 400 mark and recording first time participation from countries such as the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Morocco. At the same time, the advent of the China International Travel Service (CITS) as coorganising company for the sixth edition is a clear statement to interested exhibitors on the quality and the number of Chinese buyers that can be expected. This is a move set to enhance the quality and reputation of the show to both the international and the domestic market, as 77% of the IT&CM China 2011 exhibitors had requested to meet with even more Chinese buyers at the event to be held in 2012. “CITS International M.I.C.E. is proud to collaborate with TTG Asia Media and MP International,” said Mr. Ike Zhang, General Manager – Shanghai Branch & Partner Relations, American Express China of CITS International M.I.C.E. “IT&CM China is the country’s leading International business platform to promote domestic, inbound and outbound MICE travel for China. The event has immediate relevance and benefit to many of our existing business partners and we are optimistic about being able to enhance the quality of the event’s Chinese participation.” “IT&CM China 2012 marks a lot of firsts for us,” added Mr. Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media. “It is the first year of our strategic alliance with CITS, a partnership we are very excited about. We look forward to

working with them and long-time partners MP International to make this event truly world class. This is also the first year that the event will be held at Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center. We are confident that these new elements will go a long way to elevate the event for all participants and stakeholders.” These new elements also include a number of strategic alliances with leading International and local MICE organisations for the provision of content, both educational and networking, all of which will contribute to what guarantees to be a compelling program at IT&CM China 2012, a year that is marked in the Chinese calendar as the ‘Year of the Dragon’. In the west the Dragon often symbolises destruction and evil - in China, it has traditionally been seen as a symbol of prosperity. As the dragon flies higher and higher into the sky, the ‘Year of the Dragon’ might be the best omen for the success of IT&CM 2012.


www.itcmchina.com IT&CM China 2012

17 - 19 April 2012 | 2012年4月17-19日

Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center 上海世博展览馆(世博主题馆)

Advancing MICE

and

Business Minds

推动商业意识与中国MICE产业共赢 Bringing Together Chinese and International MICE Exhibitors & Buyers In One Dynamic Marketplace

Quality Leads

86% of 2011 exhibitors expect to receive orders over the next 6-12 months

质量领先

86%2011年大会展商预计在接下来的6到12个月内收到来自 大会买家的订单

汇聚全球以及中国MICE供应商和买家共同打造一个瞬息万变的市场

“The networking sessions were very constructive. I made several potential business contacts.” Chong Yong Fee I Singapore Alive Pte. Ltd., Singapore

参加了三届中国(上海)国际奖励旅游大会,感 觉都非常不错,很实用。了解到了很多需要的信 息,并与很多卖家展开了合作。谢谢为我们构建 了一个平台!

New Participants

50% of the buyers were new to the show

新的参会者

肖羽 | 商务会议部经理 | 四川省中国国际旅行社

50%的买家首次参展

“I met my objectives. Very well-focused show! The appointments were almost all good matches.”

The Right Choice

Exhibitors choose IT&CM China to • Generate New Sales Leads • Promote company, products and services • Network • Stay Competitive And IT&CM China delivers!

Kevin Mead I IGAF Worldwide, United States of America

非常感谢这次展会为我们提供了一个开拓业务并与 买家沟通的良好契机,期待在未来的一段时间内大 会给我们带来的显著效果与收益。 聂家晶 | 皇家加勒比游轮公司 |会奖旅游销售经理

正确的选择

展商选择参加中国(上海)国际奖励旅游及大会博览 会的目的: • 增加销售 • 推广公司、产品和服务 • 拓展社交网络 • 保持竞争力 一切期待尽在中国(上海)国际奖励旅游及大会博览 会中得以实现!

Registe!r Last Chance To Participate At This Event 请速赶上这最后的参展机会 Online 网上注册!

Exhibitors | Buyers | Media 展商 | 买家 | 媒体 Hosting Programme For Buyers and Media Available. 为买家和媒体特设的招待计划现在开始申请。

FOR INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITORS, BUYERS AND MEDIA 国际展商、买家和媒体,请您联系 TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd TTG亚洲传媒有限公司 Tel 电话: (65) 6395 7575 Fax 传真: (65) 6536 0896 Email 电子邮箱: itcmchina@ttgasia.com ORGANISED BY

SHANGHAI

BUSINESS EVENTS WEEK

FOR CHINA-BASED EXHIBITORS, BUYERS AND MEDIA 中国展商、买家和媒体,请您联系 CITS International MICE 国旅(北京) 国际会议展览有限公司 Tel 电话: (86) 021 3304 9999 Fax 传真: (86) 021 6350 9030 Email 电子邮箱: itcmachina@cits.com.cn

FOR CHINA-BASED OPERATIONS 展会现场运营,请您联系 MP International (Shanghai) Pte Ltd 中新会展(上海)有限公司 Tel 电话: (86) 021 6295 9990 Fax 传真: (86) 021 6270 6030 Email 电子邮箱: info-shg@mpshanghai.com

SUPPORTED BY

IT&CM China 2012 is proud to be part of the Shanghai Business Events Week.

Where The MICE Industry Comes Together In Shanghai. In An Exciting Week Of Business, Education and Networking Events.


106

The last word

Jan Klavora

Change is the Universe’s only Constant The editorial board of Kongres magazine believe that cooperation is the key to our development

n its five years of existence, Kongres magazine has become one of the more recognisable magazines in the field of business tourism and the meetings industry. Lately, the editorial board has focused predominantly on content, as our Editor-in-Chief Gorazd Čad likes to say: “Content is king, readers are queen”. In the future we wish to expand our content and become even more credible in the meetings industry. We believe SE Europe is a new and attractive industry destination and with the help of our medium we can deliver this message to foreign meetings organisers.

I

To accelerate the recognition of SE Europe in the meetings world, this year we are introducing a number of new features. Among the most important is our partnership with International Meetings Review, which will dispatch our content to over 700,000 recipients, meetings organisers from all over the world; a new web site which is due to launch in early May; a new Croatian Supplement edited by Daniela Kos of Poslovni

Turizam, who ended a successful 2011 with a Meetings Star at the last Conventa; and a new international section, Kongres Telescope, edited by Robert Cotter and in which we will present congress destinations, themes, and personalities from all over the world. The editorial board of Kongres magazine are committed to cooperation as the key to our development, as this will increase our content and offer Croatia the more visible spot it certainly merits, given its existing offer and rapid business tourism development.

Poslovni Turizam and Kongres magazine go hand in hand towards new common goals, which will provide more exposure and profile to our partners and to us. We all believe we will be stronger together. The Editorial Board of Kongres magazine wants this magazine to primarily represent SE Europe as a rising congress destination, one

that is appropriate for smaller and mid-sized congresses. At the same time

we wish to present other emerging meetings destinations, since we see a lot of parallels between the development of SE European meetings industry and those of the BRIC countries and other countries with similar characteristics in highly competitive regions. We invite all interested parties to join us in this journey and help us achieve the desired results together. We are flexible and open to all proposals - we will always be happy to hear from you.


SLOVENIA MEETINGS Feel the people. Taste fresh ideas.

www.slovenia.info

www.slovenia-convention.com


108

Meeting services spot

CVB (National, Regional or Local CVB (CVB - Convention and Visitors Bureau) Zagreb Convention Bureau Kaptol 5, Zagreb Croatia +385 (0)14 898 555 info@zagreb-convention.hr www.zagreb-convention.hr

Kongresno-turistični servis Albatros Ribenska cesta 2 4260 Bled Slovenia +386 (0)45 780 350 Info@albatros-bled.com www.albatros-bled.com

DMC (Destination management company

Ljubljana Tourism / Convention Bureau Krekov trg 10, Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 306 45 73 convention@visitljubljana.si www.visitljubljana.si

DUBROVNIK TRAVEL Obala S. Radica 25 20 000 Dubrovnik Croatia +385 (0)20 313 555 croatia@dubrovniktravel.com www.dubrovniktravel.com

Slovenian Convention Bureau Dunajska 156 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 569 1260 info@slovenia-convention.com www.slovenia-convention.com

KOMPAS DMC Pražakova 4 1514 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 200 64 09 viljam.kvalic@kompas.si www.kompasmice.com

PCO (Professional Congress Organiser)

®

LIBERTY INCENTIVES & CONGRESSES SLOVENIA Robbova 2, 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 232 11 71 info@liberty-slovenia.com www.slovenia-dmc.com www.liberty-incentive.net

Congress & Exhitbition Centre

GO®MICE d.o.o. Štihova ulica 4 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 430 51 03 info@go-mice.eu www.go-mice.eu Cankarjev dom, Cultural and Congress Centre Ljubljana Presernova cesta 10 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 2417 122 congress@cd-cc.si www.cd-cc.si/congress

Cankarjev dom, Cultural and Congress Centre Ljubljana Presernova cesta 10 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 2417 122 congress@cd-cc.si www.cd-cc.si/congress


109 Legend

CVB (National, Regional or Local CVB (CVB - Convention and Visitors Bureau)

Congress & Exhitbition Centre

PCO (Professional Congress Organiser)

Congress Hotel

DMC (Destination management company

Hotel with conference facilities

Event agency

Other Congress Services

GR - Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre Dunajska cesta 18 1001 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1300 26 00 info@gr-sejem.si www.ljubljanafair.com

Congress Hotel

Hotel Lev Vošnjakova ulica 1 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 231 77 97 Info@hotel-lev.si www.hotel-lev.si

Hotel Lone, Rovinj Luje Adamovića 31 HR - 52210 Rovinj Hrvaška +385 (0)52 632 000 lone@maistra.hr www.lonehotel.com

GRAND HOTEL UNION Miklošičeva 1 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 308 12 70 hotel.union@gh-union.si www.gh-union.si

Sava Hoteli Bled, d.d. Cakarjeva 6 4260 Bled Slovenia +386 (0)4 579 16 07 info@hotelibled.com www.hotelibled.com

Terme Maribor d.d. Ulica heroja Šlandra 10 2000 Maribor Slovenia +386 (0)2 234 43 20 marketing@termemb.si www.termemb.si/EN

MILENIJ HOTELI d.o.o. V. Cara Emina 6 51410 Opatija Croatia +385 (0)51 278 004 +385 (0)51 278 024 kongresi@milenijhoteli.hr www.milenijhoteli.hr

Thermana d.d., Hotels and Resorts Zdraviliška c. 6 3270 Laško Slovenia +386 (0)3 423 20 00 info@thermana.si www.thermana.si

Hotel with conference facilities

Other Congress Services

Adria Airways Zgornji Brnik 130h 4210 Brnik Slovenia +386 (0)4 259 4555 events@adria.si www.adria-airways.com

Falkensteiner Club Funimation Borik Ulica Majstora Radovana 7 23000 Zadar Croatia +385 (0)23 206 630 ana.belamaric@falkensteiner.com www.borik.falkensteiner.com

CATERING Jezeršek Jezeršek gostinstvo d.o.o. Sora 1a 1215 Medvode Slovenia +386 (0)1 361 94 21 www.jezersek.com info@jezersek.si


Order form So get your own copy of Kongres magazine and find out what is going on in meeting industry in Europe! Please complete the following questions to order the Kongres Magazine. Title & First name Last name Institution or Company Name Address City

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Fulfill order form and send it to address bellow: Toleranca Marketing d.o.o. , Štihova 4, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Invoice will be sent to the given address. After the payment has been done, Kongres Magazin will be sent to the given address. Postal costs is included in the price. You can also order your own magazine here: http://en.kongres-magazine.eu/order-kongres-magazine/order-form. For more information you can contact Jan Klavora: M: +386 (0)40 598 005, T: + 386 (0)1 430 51 03, E: jan.klavora@go-mice.eu


Špičnik

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SLOVENIA. Green. Active. Healthy.

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Kongres Magazine Spring Issue