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/14/ BAROMETER OF PRICES FRO CORPORATE EVENTS IN CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST EUROPE /51/ EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Peter Fuchs, President of the Management Board, Valamar Daniela Kos, Poslovni turizam


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9 771855 861009 VOLUME VII, ISSUE 4 // JULY 2013

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Our selection Page 6 In focus Experience marketing Page 10 Grand Interview Miha Kos, ph.d. “ENTHUSIASTER” FROM THE HOUSE OF EXPERIMENTS Page 14 Surveys And Forecasts Barometer of prices for corporate events in Central and SouthEast Europe Page 16 Voice from the top Tomaž Krušič, CEO Intours DMC Page 24 - 25 Global Village Young Talents Olja Zvizdić, Jan Oršič, Anamarija Portada, Nikolina Pavlek, Mojca Vidic Page 30 - 43 Fresh Meetologues HVAR, ŠIBENIK, ZADAR Page 46 - 49 Hidden Congress Guest Hotel Maestral, Pržno Hotel Ramada, Podgorica Hotel Avala, Budva Hotel Bristol, Sarajevo Page 51 Croatia Addendum Interview Peter Fuchs, Valamar Page 66 - 67 Who Is Who Tanja Žibert, Lana Mihelčič Page 70 KONGRES TOP 10 Page 74 Top 10 TITOS INCENTIVE STORIES

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CONTRIBUTORS Joanne BROOK Joanne is the Head of Audience Engagement at Universal WorldEvents. With over 20 years experience, Joanne has considerable knowledge of all aspects of event management including operational delivery of events from 10 to 2000 delegates, financial and procurement initiatives and client servicing. Joanne’s role is to promote a range of engagement tools and solutions to both new and existing clients, in the rapidly evolving digital world. DANIELA KOS Daniela Kos graduated from Zagreb’s Faculty of Business and Economics. An entrepreneur with a specific interest in marketing, after starting her career in the IT industry and culture Daniela has gone on to today run the first Croatian media for the meetings industry. Robert COTTER Alongside his work for Kongres, Rob is a regular contributor to MPI’s One+ magazine as well as MICENET Asia and MICE Japan. He attends international MICE events to seek out best practice and share this with the international meetings community.


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

Gorazd ČAD Editor of the magazine and by profession a geographer and historian. He united his professional education and love of discovering new, lesser-known convention destinations with a love and passion for the meeting industry. In Meetologues he will try to share his enthusiasm with the readers. Natalija BAH ČAD An unforgettable member of the travelogue editorial board, who at each destination adds her icing on the cake. She has insight into the soul of destinations, based on many years of practical experience with the organisation of events. She is interested in everything from the history, geography and destination marketing to taking care of the tiny little things that make the big events..

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A word from the editor


Gorazd Čad, Editor, Kongres magazine


Came, sang, thrilled. Have you ever talked with the style and energy of a stage-show that was incredible and contagious? ‘Sound is energy that propagates through space like a wave’, loosely goes the textbook definition. Like a wave it spreads like a fuzzy noise or superior tone with its height, its colour, its strength and its duration. At an event or a congress, these are the challenges that we are dealing with. We are turning this fuzzy noise into a steady tone of a suitable height, colour and dynamic. Pianissimo lectures to fortissimo parties are connected by a special congress energy, through which participants feel the sincere love and passion unique to the event. Using cheap tricks doesn’t work; a guitar is needed to play live and to the full, full lungs are needed to sing. Congress power is similar to this power of music. To reach the nirvana of jazz improvisation or top rock pleasures we have to practice a lot, so in addition to talent, experience also counts for a lot. Think then about how you feel when you enter the reception area of a conference and instantly feel the energy. Despite it being a place full of unfamiliar people, you know instinctively that you are in exactly the right place and with the right people (it’s the same with hotel lobbies – ‘old cats identify good energy intuitively’, as we say). I dare to venture that most of the communication at an event takes place on the energy level, and less so on the verbal, which makes it surprising that congress receptions are still so closed and formal. From the world-class hotel with excellent reception one can properly learn what it takes for communication to flow smoothly and more directly, yet at the other end of the spectrum, killing the flow of energy, are the classic fixed format halls. Perhaps it is precisely for this reason that time and again your editor finds himself slipping towards hibernation in these halls.

Advice on the energy levels of events is actually very simple. Despite the sometimes negative connotation of the word, we congress organisers are MANIPULATORS OF ENERGY LEVELS. Successful manipulators organise an event with a lot of love and without ill will: simple and creative, ethical and moral. It is necessary to provide for the flow of energy between organisers and participants, speakers and the audience, between sponsors and delegates.


It is necessary to arrange spaces in such a way that the energy flows freely, like at rock festivals. In doing so, we can even be inspired by some modern-day festivals, which are an elementary school of energy flow between the audience and the band. This year, in addition to the legendary Exit in Novi Sad, a whole lot of rock and electronic events flashed up on the Adriatic. Welcome to the school of Rock ‘n’ Roll energy for all event organisers. Above all, good energy we can get if we manage three basic elements of events. The first of these is the element of surprise, which some call ‘a first impression’. If we can establish a genuine relationship that is spontaneous and natural, we have solved the first part of the energy puzzle. If we are creative, we are usually full of the surprises the participants crave. The second element, very important today, is communication, which before, during and after an event generates the energy and transmits it all the way to the heights of modern hybrid social communication. Thirdly is the effective dramaturgy, which has already been outlined and includes the scenery ambiance, design of rooms, light and, for rockers, also the true rock congress riffs. The uniqueness of your event is based on the energy levels. An event can be quickly evaluated as successful if it was executed well and in line with the objectives. But only a few events are truly effective, which are those in which atomic congress energy flows to the participants who become a part of the energy. Such events raise customer loyalty and event reputation. Energy levels of an event is an important theme, so it will be interesting to hear more about energy levels from Mike van der Vijver, main speaker at this year’s INSIDE conference.

In Focus - Experience

EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING FOR PREPARATION OF PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IN EVENTS And now the participant will lead congresses? text by Gorazd Čad

And now the participant will lead congresses? In this issue of Kongres magazine we are starting from the assumption that only events and conferences will survive that will in addition to top content also sell an experience and create interaction through the personal experience of congress participants. We will try to discover the true heart of the problem through discussion with Dr. Miha Kos and expert for engagement from the Universal World Events agency, Vicky Pratt. Successful brands have for many years been using the strategy of experiential marketing, using it most in the area of corporate events. Events are one of the best selling experiences. The English agency Universal World Events has recently set up an Audience Engagement team, which consists of eight top experts. The Audience Engagement team is experiencing a real boom and need for sharing best practices. All this could be summed up with the concoction “Meetingstainment”. The combination of expert content and entertainment are found today in all kinds of key events. There is not a lot of room left for differentiation of events in the postmodern

era; we can only consider the experience and the possibility of personal communication with participants on the emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual levels. Participants may enter through the experience of active participation and communication. The events have a variety of options to create such experiences, the most common being: • Entertaining experiences which relaxes participants and prepares them to assist and network • The educational experience, like House of Experiments • The aesthetic experience, which is induced by the use of specific sites with high aesthetic value-added • The escape experience from everyday life in the form of various teambuilding programs All kinds of experiences trigger emotional reactions. Most events are used as a hybrid combination of different stimulations. It is important that they are genuine, as only in this case can we earn the trust of the participants.


Using elements of experiential marketing at events is today a paradigm for the future and the foundation of differentiation of your event, mainly because it is based on communication, which is not intrusive, but authentic, and it interacts with the participants, only when they really want this. Therefore you have to encourage dialogue, choose unobtrusive communication and enable participants to co-create your event. In this summer issue of Kongres magazine, we confirm that the experiential events have become a way of life and thinking. It has to be based on a good story. Events have to encourage thinking, sharing, interaction and engagement. Only when your participants find themselves in your story and identify with it, then they will become your loyal followers and co-creators of events.

In Focus - Experience

LIFETIME EXPERIENCES Making the impossible event possible Interview with Antonia Radić. EX ALTO d.o.o

text by Špela Jeruc

Could you explain to us the concept of experiential marketing from your point of view? Lifetime experiences result in a customer devotion to the product the experience is associated with. The essence of the experience has to match the one the brand is designed to achieve by translating the 6-dimensional impact (5 senses + spiritual) to targeted audience senses and consciousness, perhaps sub-consciousness as well. The closest concept to experience producing marketing belongs to tourism. In Croatia the link between the two related professions somehow seem to sometimes be lost, but the secret is in applying both in the same goal. Providing lifetime experiences is the key to success in both.

ANTONIA RADIĆ Daily work in tourism and in destination marketing, continuous improvement, frequent business and study trips allow me daily track of the latest global trends in tourism, the constant changes in the general development and the needs of tourists of a new era. Long-term cooperation and work with international companies in the field of events and experiential marketing helped me become aware of the importance of a positive attitude and to develop and adopt a positive and proactive business philosophy in general. I have learned about tourism, hospitality and experiential marketing in a dynamic, multilingual and multicultural environment, and thus realise the importance of personal experience and perception. Today I share experience, associated with tourism and marketing with clients, employees, colleagues and students as a guest lecturer. Formal education has even further shaped my previous study and work experience in this, above all, dynamic business branch. Experience, unique and attractive is what I consider my daily mission both in business and private life.

What is the importance of experiential marketing as a medium of communication for events? Producing unique, individual, lifetime experiences is the most efficient and convincing media of delivering a message to consumers. Impressions printed into the minds of consumers must be permanent, always desired and addictive. The message of the brand or the concept has to be holistic, overwhelming, the messenger an empathy driven maniac obsessed with details… How best can you “wow” conference participants? By providing the electric feeling of goose bumps, by tantalising and mesmerising the audience. Ideas are bulletproof; unexpected, incredible, fascinating, concerning all the senses and uniting in a single place and moment regularly incompatible concepts. Our clients, Homo Ludens and Homo Turisticus, both desire excitement, thrills, news, education, fascination, emotions, driven satisfaction. Nowadays technology exceeds our recent expectations and our audience expects nothing less: HERE, NOW, ALL OF IT! Match that, and only then a good job has been done. What are some of the greatest challenges when conceiving and staging a successful event for a brand? Making the impossible events possible. Courage. Who dares wins. To be a revolutionary in producing emotions by providing experiences of extraordinariness. The most incredible ideas put to life produce the most powerful impact. Ideas 7

are bulletproof, but to recognize and catch the moment of fascination is a skill of the profession. To know how to grasp the moment before it is gone in a flash. Each never-seen-before, a brand new event concept and idea are ever more exciting to produce. The audience is more mobile, faster, ever well educated and experienced. To match the modern era fascination for challenges is more demanding than has ever been. The human component of the event or the experience producing concept is in my opinion the key. Humans are social beings depending upon each other. The key instrument is to involve total consumer attention. The most complex and sophisticated emotions-producing marketing messenger that ever existed is a real person in action. Entertainment, performers, hosts, hostesses are the brand ambassadors, in their very essence producing the experiences. That is what I am dedicated to: to produce the perfect match of individual, human interactions can only be achieved by engaging the proper team of co-workers and performers. What do you see as the future of experiential marketing right now? Marketing (Promotion) will start by a first, superficial, but fast impact; digital media being the perfect platform to provide the engagement. Today, without the credibility, vivid colors, fullness of aromas, sounds, flavours and touchable senses of the targeted experience, no essential impression or drive could be delivered. Expectations are high and brands need to provide experiences or access that can’t be found anywhere else. Here are some tips for experiential marketing in practice: Keep it simple, you have less than 10 seconds to attract, engage, educate, discover emotional trigger, be authentic, entertain, create a relationship with your client/consumer. People bearing the message, real people, are the future. Leading by an example, people are the key to success. Teams of professionals delivering the most precise message including self devotion, emotions and fascination in the experience they share. Body, mind and essence alike.

In Focus - Experience

AUTHENCITY Event organisers are the creators of the SIMULATED AUTHENTICITY

text by Gorazd Čad Photo credits: Srce Slovenije


ltimate rock’n’roll bands are marked by authenticity, by the use of instruments for their performance or the basic idea of the band. Fakes do not work - browse through your musical memories. Do you still remember the fake German duo Milli Vanilli? Throughout their careers all the great musicians have been genuine and generally modest. In difficult times, it seems that people want to resort to the good old days. Positive memories outweigh harsh realities, and the genuine is all that is authentic. This nostalgic search for authenticity is also interesting for meetings participants. We all like to look for and invent unique experiences that are nothing other than the authentic with slightly nostalgically spiced stories. Authentic cuisine, authentic music, special historical sites and cultural history are at the core of any good event, from incentives to large conferences. Participants like returning to nature, and will be happy to pay for learning about an authentic way of life, those feelings, smells and places. Event organisers are the creators of the SIMULATED AUTHENTICITY. Most often we try to conjure it up through the use of space that is evoking positive nostalgic feelings. Special venues are great added value to meeting destinations. Sometimes we do not even see them all at all and they have to be invented. Such cases are often abandoned industrial facilities. With simulated authenticity at events, moreover, it is possible to use a wide range of positive stimuli. Some are indispensable. In the first place are the various culinary stories that go back to different historical periods. An excellent example is the Tastes of Slovenia project, based on ancient recipes and allowing us to learn about traditional food and Slovenian culinary diversity. During coffee breaks we can play with a variety of retro products that are an integral part of the service. For example, to drink Cockta in SE Europe is a typical retro product that exudes authentic nostalgic feelings. As part of the scenery many organisers use objects from the past and memorabilia with which the community was once connected. This may also be photographs of important events of professional associations or key personalities,

and everything triggers a positive collective memory. This could, for example, be a reception under haystacks in the original hayracks museum in Šentrupert in Dolenjska. The most basic element, however, is definitely music. If you know how to capture the spirit of the participants, then only with music can you conjure up a special atmosphere. It is important to catch the spirit of the times in which most of the participants grew up. The ideal is to create events that are genuine in their own right, those that trigger intense positive experiences. For this we need firstly to be very familiar with our audience. Car artefacts and TOP GEAR stories are more likely to positively affect men. If we build events on authenticity there is a good chance that we will initiate positive emotional reactions. But here we also have great responsi8

bility. We must when we can provide evidence or concrete historical sources with which we can corroborate our story. We can only refer to the stories that are true, verifiable and relevant. The biggest mistakes are fictional historical characters or events that only pretend to be genuine. Case study: Rolls-Royce race Apenfahrt Race Alpenfahrt was the first sports motoring event, which took place over the territory of Slovenia. Among the participants of the first race in 1911, there were five silver ghost Rolls-Royces. Without any major problems they travelled a 1,820 kilometre long route. This year, the Slovenian roads once again hosted the vintage Rolls-Royce, and alongside the promotion of the new Ghost an alpine trial collection was hosted. This event is a great example of placing products on the basis of the authenticity of the experience and nostalgia.

In Focus - Experience

AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT Focus has to be on the content

text by Joanne Brook, Universal world events

AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT To achieve a return on investment from an event the focus has to be on the content. Technology provides tools that enable us to engage with audiences long before an event starts - to build anticipation, to involve audiences in selecting content and enables delegates to network with each other. So with ever more tools at one’s disposal where does the process to deliver the optimum meeting start? Setting the Objectives. The Phillips Methodology Return on Investment model requires that objectives be set at 5 levels. Focusing on the first 3: Level 1 is about the perceptions we want to create amongst the attendees, level 2 is about learnings: what the learning objectives are that should be conveyed and level 3 is about actions - specifically in relation to applying the learning objectives into the delegates organisational roles.

You then invite small groups of the audience to rotate amongst the tables to allow them a more intimate interaction with the table hosts. e) Another simple idea is to break your audience into small groups, ask them to identify key issues on certain topics. They then interact within their groups with a view to presenting back to the whole audience. This is engaging and leads to a high level of cascading of the information, as there is a high sense of ownership. Use of technology in the meeting Technology should not be used for technology’s

Meeting Format. A single presenter standing up and delivering a PowerPoint presentation is unlikely to result in maximum message retention and engagement. To follow are a number of options for consideration: a)  A traditional debate is an effective way to engage audiences in discussions in a lively way and shift opinions. Speakers raise their game and the audience is more involved. b) Presenting a case study can be engaging when brought to life by asking the audience to provide their views at key times when decisions were made. The use of more than one speaker can also help in this respect. c) If you have a guest speaker who could talk on numerous topics of great interest to your audience, the question is which ones should be covered? The simple answer is let your audience decide. This way you are engaging them before the content has even started. d) Another option is to take some of your key stakeholders and ask them to host a table.

sake. It must be there to enrich the experience for the audience and not simply to make the company seem leading edge or because other people are doing it. Used inappropriately it will be distracting, waste time and money and not help you to achieve your objectives. Ideally it needs to add to the engagement by increasing the audience’s involvement and enriching their experience so they retain more of the key messages. Looking at some of the ideas above, the use of interactive technology such as tablets, apps, mobiles etc. would work well as you can record the interest levels in each of the topics and use this for follow up purposes. A confident presenter can ask further questions around the chosen 9

topics and use the feedback to hone the content further. Once this repartee has started the flow of interaction can be high. Audiences can use interactive technology to record information they have learned and will be sharing with the broader audience or their colleagues and teams. Pre- event Communication Event websites and apps are a vital tool in today’s world and provide a key role in the communication process. The more one can involve audiences in the build- up to an event, the better; providing it is relevant and going to add to their experience. For example, you can ask them to post a short video about a topic they would like to discuss that their fellow attendees will vote on to see if they are given airtime. As the meeting host you can use this information to plan and enrich your content further as well as being confident that your audiences are going to receive content that is of utmost interest to them. On-going Communication There was a time when everything was focused on the live event itself with little attention to the pre or post communication; this is a huge opportunity lost in terms of using all available channels to achieve a ROI. To maximise the value of your event, it is important to develop a communications plan encompassing pre, post and on going communications. One example can

In Focus - Experience


In Focus - Experience

‘Enthusiaster’ from the HOUSE OF EXPERIMENTS Grand interview MIHA KOS Ph.D. text by Gorazd Čad photo credits: Hiša Eksperimentov

We talked to Miha Kos Ph.D., Head of the House of Experiments in Ljubljana. For many years he has been the ‘enthusiaster’ of the young and the not so young for science and an advocate of the promotion of knowledge and science. With a Ph.D. in physics following professional development in the United States he chose the path of inspiring other people to learn. Dr. Kos is a big proponent of the idea that knowledge belongs to everyone and is open source. Such is it also with his house experiments, with tests outside opening hours also available on the internet. From Miha we meeting organisers can also learn a lot, as he is himself attending various conferences and congresses. Your ‘Sciencetival’ (Znanstival) has recently concluded. How satisfied are you with its implementation and results? This was the fifth consecutive Sciencetival and I am very pleased. Maybe a little less so with the weather. Sciencetival is an event that is strongly dependent on the weather. The highlight of the festival was a spectacle in which we designed a special bicycle for an equilibristic ride over Ljubljanica. Due to this event, I can say that this year’s fifth run of Sciencetival was a big turning point in its profile. Despite the fact that we had 2 days of bad weather, there were only slightly less visitors than last year. Last year there were 14,000 visitors, this year there were 12,000 and this event gave another message: Bicycles could only be driven by older than 18 years and we thus gave a message that science or the House of Experiments, and in particular continuing education, is meant for everybody, especially the elderly. What is the mission of the House of Experiments? ‘House of Experiments’ is a nice name, very plain, but when many people hear such easy words they think this is for the kids. If the word does not include dissemination and knowledge-based society, then it somehow seems that it is not serious. We ourselves insist that we are a very serious institution for the promotion of education. My opinion is that people only know what they themselves learn through the sweat of their brow or rather through the sweat of their own brain. Everything that anyone else has told them has

gone in one ear in and out the other, or they were able to say it in such a way to impress us that we ourselves learned that we are taking things into our own hands and we actually own the things we processed. This is also a cancer of education systems around the world, as well as ours, that we have teachers ... no! We should have ‘enthusuasters’, because teachers do not teach you - a good teacher inspires you to learn yourself.

Humour is a kind of lever that helps to move stones in the form of problems or dynamite to help blow them up or like a spring that helps to skip them... But humour is also a very powerful tool for creating enthusiasm, something that opens people’s hearts, which opens communication. How do you think it is possible to encourage an interest in science? First, you have to stimulate an interest in learning - the interest that I take things into my own hands, that you take things up and are digging deeper, looking into these questions that have arisen and that you have energy and stamina for looking for answers, that you are not happy with the first answers and you are happy to go further. It is important that you doubt the fact that new discoveries - innovations - are created only from the fact that people are questioning what exists. Thus, new things are created. If you simply believe, then you will soon grow wool over your skin and begin to “bleat”. How to impress this for science, so that you enthuse to learn, so that you show science in some way, when learning becomes fun, is through learning becoming a hobby, science here and there a game when you have already learned a lot, a lot revisited when you may have specialised and discovered something new... For detection there is always time; very few things have been so far already discovered. A lot of things can still be found, but there are different 11

approaches and if we look at the activities of the House of Experiments, we already provide some tools on how to impress for science. However, these are not all the tools, but if we want things to move or if we want to reach the goal, we must take the first step. What are visitors to the House experiments usually most enthusiastic about? When people come to the house experiments for the first time, they are inspired by the experiments, all of which are in turn built safely, yet strong enough to be put through a lot of hands, small hands... Then, of course, such that when someone stops to handle with them and ‘brain’ with them they are ready for a new visitor. You like to stress the role of humour as a didactic tool. How to use it in practice? Humour is a necessary thing in life, especially if you want to get through. I take life as a series of problems. We always have problems, you never get to a situation where you do not have any problem, or if you get to such a situation already Murphy says that something is always wrong, the problem is probably in the background. It is important that problems are of various sizes and classes, we need to determine whether the problem is the size of Triglav or the size of a pebble in the sand box. And when we realise this, and when we realise that life is actually just a series of problems... when we accept it as a fact, and when solving problems slowly becomes first a challenge, then a kind of a routine, because of the challenges that we have overcome so far, we have learned something, and when problem solving becomes a hobby, then life becomes something pleasant. Maybe we are even looking forward to the next problem, because it will teach us something new ... then it is easier to start solving things. Humour is something that helps us to diminish these problems, so that we know how to grab the problem from other end. Humour is a kind of device that helps us move stones or the dynamite to make them explode... or as a springboard, which helps us to skip them ... But humour is in itself a very powerful tool of enthusiasm, something that opens people’s hearts, something that opens communication. If people, like in many countries in the world, were able to walk and smile, and smile when they

In Focus - Experience

look at the other fellow, life would be automatically much easier. What can we event organisers learn from the house of experiments? Some thing which can be learnt in the House of Experiments is definitely teamwork. I think that every successful company, every successful institution, must have a successful team behind it. One thing is the leader that someone has to be, but following discussions someone has to say let’s take this way… but the team is very, very crucial. Teamwork means that the team has as many possible colours that it can, consisting of both men and women, consisting of people of different religions (or atheists), people coming from different backgrounds ... As you start to experience problems, various elements of the team will tackle the problem from different angles, which means ‘the ideal’. A team also means more listening and less talking and we will continue to think of it; what you said is also good for your colleague in another team. If this works, I think it is an open flow of ideas, innovation, since this is what gives you the energy to make your heart beat. What programmes of the House of Experi­ ments can be prepared for closed groups? The flexibility of the House of Experiments is important. If, of course, the event has been planned

for long enough, as conferences usually have to be, and if we have enough time to prepare the topic from any theme a science show can, maybe an experiment… there is no field from which an experiment cannot be prepared, only the team must be the right one.

Congresses, despite all manner of social media, e-mail, Skype and so on, are still a face to face conversation, from gesture to gesture, from ear to ear; they are still the best way of contacting, maintaining contact and communication itself. The characteristic of our team is that it is open. When we for example were doing an experiment in Slovenian dialects, we needed an expert in Slovenian dialects and we turned to a college from the faculty of philosophy and got Vera Smole, who is a master of this. When we worked on a geographical experiment, we again got the experts in this field... One should not do things one does not know. One must do things one knows and the saying “everyone knows everything” is a saying that applies to 12

a team, but if we think of it as “everyone knows everything”, then this certainly will not work. How can you adapt to large congresses? If this is a Congress with a thousand people, then they are hard to be all at once placed in the House of Experiments, at least to date. Once the appropriate house of experiments will be built - I hope it will be in this century - then we will have better spatial possibilities. But for now we can accept 80 people in the house for an hour and then serially continue to accept a large number of people. Another thing is, as I said, the science shows are our speciality, interactive adventures, or in other words ‘to jazz the science’, because it is known that if you want to play improvised music, then you must first damn well know how to play following notes. Our experts are highly trained and know how to react when they find themselves in difficult situations, and do not teach but rather inspire and, in particular, they say ‘I do not know’ when they do not know some things, as it can be the case that an expert is in the audience and will help or come up with a new idea, or the truth. Then there are certainly also workshops where from simple objects interesting wonders can be created, interesting magic... What about teambuilding programmes? Science is nothing but magic that you know how to explain, and this is certainly something. We

In Focus - Experience

Teamwork means that the team should consist of as many colours as possible, that it consists of both men and women, that it consists of people of different religions or atheists, all kinds of people, it is composed of people coming from different backgrounds. As you start to experience problems, various elements of the team will tackle them from different angles, which means is ideal. started with teambuilding activities. We organise teambuilding events in the House of Experiments for companies. For now these events occur once a month, but I think this will soon be weekly and it will be very soon 4 times a week, not more often, because we do not want inflation of teambuilding. Likewise we organise birthday parties in the House of experiments only on Fridays and only 2 birthdays a week. And because of that parents – and I’m not saying just parents, because this would be a mistake, we also had 90-year-olds celebrating their birthdays here… - in short, those who are celebrating their birthday, should, like organisers of congresses, think in advance when they have their birthday, because we are usually booked about 4 months in advance. What is your crisis advice for meeting planners? Which companies thrive in the world? Those who invest a lot in their development. If you lag behind and think that you’re going to live forever with a product, this is a great big illusion. Your product must be refined, you must clearly examine the competition and always add extra value to your product, invent new things... and this is only possible if you have a good research team and if you have a good head of the business. The company needs hands, needs legs, needs a body, needs nerves, needs muscles… it needs all that. It is true that in crisis situations we may be able to lose a finger and still live on... no one would want that, but sometimes it is just so. Even a fox when caught in a trap will sometimes bite off its foot to be able to come out of it... it will be of lesser quality, but still it will live on. If you’re biting off your head or if you cut it off then it is the end of the story. And that goes for the country, this applies to business and this applies to the House of Experiments. So invest in the heart of innovation in thinking, in doubt, in questions in resolving issues and in asking for advice, communication. You do not fit the stereotype of the scientist why do you think that is? I think I correspond to the stereotype of the scientist. For example, what is now a stereotype… a stereotype is a bad word, but I do consider myself to be a scientist, and I consider a lot of people to be scientists. Even those who have never been in any laboratory, and have never studied physics, chemistry, biology or geography. If you think, if you have doubts, or if you ask yourself questions,

if you are happy to search for answers to these questions, if you are not afraid of mistakes, errors, if you are taking positive steps in your own education, if in other words you know how to learn something from your mistakes, you pose hypotheses and are checking up on them and then and are improving your life, you are a scientist. If someone thinks that a scientist is someone that is locked up in a laboratory, someone that has at least 10 dioptres and is blending tubes and where things are constantly detonating, he or she has the wrong idea about the scientist. Is there any thing else that you would like to communicate to meeting organisers? I think that congress programmes are always overcrowded. It is clear that one comes to the Congress once a year and then everyone wants to pass on messages on what they did, and each would like to know what everyone else did. Congresses, despite all manner of social media, email, Skype and so on, are still a face to face conversation, from gesture to gesture, from ear to ear, they are still the best way of contacting, maintaining contact and communication itself. For this reason, I always suggest as many social events at conferences themselves, starting with coffee breaks, then the areas where people can sit down where several people may sit at the same time, but not to review their e-mails, but because they found one man, be it for the common European project, or to share some ideas, either because it’s a soul mate, maybe even love... if we allow this networking at the Congress, then this is a good Congress. Could hybrid technologies replace meetings and events? A video conference can perhaps be 10% of the event within the conference. In a video conference especially, since this is not the native language, not the natural language and often we do not really know what the “poet” wanted to say, so there may be lack of understanding, and sometimes even resentment, although all this was not intended. It is possible that there are two persons physically present on the one hand, then there are 5 on the other. These two can wink at each other, show something with hands that others cannot see, and are already in an unequal position. Therefore personally I swear on “face to face” communication.


Surveys And Forecasts

BAROMETER OF PRICES FOR CORPORATE EVENTS IN CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST EUROPE Sofia and Belgrade the cheapest, whilst a corporate event in Vienna or Graz is the most expensive.


t the start of the summer the Kongres magazine editorial board sent inquiries to key Southeast European destinations, asking for the price of an international corporate event in September or October and using a standard questionnaire divided into two parts: conference and accommodation. The price of the conference part included hiring a conference room for 100 people and: • classroom set-up for 100 pax • LCD projector, screen, laptop, speaker’s lectern, speaker’s podium, 4 microphones, AV technician • 2 standard coffee breaks (0,2l water, 0,2l juice, coffee/tea, pastry) • 1 buffet lunch (prices without drinks)

• Cocktail party for Welcome Reception (prices without drinks) • Farewell dinner, served, 4-course (prices without drinks). The accommodation part included a bed and breakfast in 4 star hotel. The prices returned were highest in Graz, Vienna and Warsaw, and least expensive in Belgrade and Sofia. The most expensive accommodation was in Vienna, with the cheapest in Sofia, Zagreb and Athens. Bringing all the data into a daily cost for an event, the least expensive cities are Sofia and Belgrade.


Single room / night

Conference room

F&B: Coffee break

F&B: Buffet lunch

F&B: Cocktail party

F&B: Farewell dinner


Conference part (without accommodation)




































































































NOTE: The editorial board is not responsible for the accuracy of the data received from the destinations included in the Congress barometer. Prices are in EUR, for 100 participants.


Voice from the top

VOICE FROM THE TOP Have you always wanted to work in the meeting industry? Not really. When I was kid I wanted to be a fireman or football player, but when I got poisoned with hospitality business, the story was as it shoud be: first working as a guide, than as tour leader, than as representative for a big tou operator on destination -something completely different tha thoery, which we were absorbin at the university. But a must-do for everyone who wants to work in the hospitality business. Experiences with the meeting industry came in the late 90’s when the situation in the Adriatic region calmed down and when the first meetings and incentives started to be organised in the region. Now I am happy to be part of this special »movement«, because I am sure it’s the most complex, interesting, challenging and demanding segment of the hospitality business.


Why is your destination/country the best in the world? It offers a huge variety of high level services in a small area, value for money is good, it’s still new and an undiscovered destination. A big positive surprise for most of people from our business who come for the first time. What would be the first thing you would show every visitor to your country? Ljubljana and the vibrant atmosphere along the river banks is unique. A world top class wine and culinary experience in the Brda wine growing region or the Vipava valley is also something special, even for the most “spoiled” visitors. Canyoning in the river Soča valley is something to remember – because of the adrenalin, the natural beauty and an after party with the local guys. What has been your star moment so far and your favourite project with which you would praise yourself? The biggest one was a world press launch of a new car model – we did a great job and we got lots of compliments for creativity, more than professional services and excellent prepared routes. And journalists were also so happy that finally they were invited to a new, small, quiet, picturesque destination, because most of them are already fed up with traditional car launching locations like Spain, France or Portugal. It also feels good when experienced incentive planners and participants after the event honestly say to you that for them this was best ever experience so far, knowing that in previous years they visited some top world destinations. It happened this year on the island of Hvar and it shows that also less expensive events on less known destinations can


be a big success. It’s all in the creativity, the passion, the right feeling and fair communication. What motivates you the most at work? It’s the passion to convince the agent or client that our destination could offer better value for money and more intense experiences than competitive destinations, that participants will go home happy and full of positive impressions and that the client will definitely fulfill his mission. Of course, another issue is putting together a really interesting program, using all the local expertise we have. Nevertheless, working in and for the meeting industry means also getting in contact with so many different and interesting people from all over the world, which gives you a chance to learn from case to case and to gain skills and experiences which no university can offer. In what way do you deal with stress? Sport is the best stress killer. Many times also culture fills my brains with positive energy. And family and kids, now both sons are already at an age when they could be together than the toughest business partners. When were you last angry / disappointed and why? This spring, when a client did not recognise the benefits offered to them. But later participants rewarded our efforts. What will be new in your business in year 2013? New markets showing an interest for our region, new approaches from the operational side. What have you learned last week? Weather cannot be regulated – stay calm and think positive even in pouring rain and hurricane winds. At the end it’s all about good experience. Where will you spend this year’s holiday and why? On an island, in a small village with no hotels, with two small local inns, with a different way of life. And with crystal clear sea, a totally relaxed atmosphere and enough time and opportunity to do nothing but enjoy genuine food and have fun with kids and friends. If there were no time and financial constraints, where would you go? Not to Shanghai or Dubai, but for heli-skiing to Alaska or Canada. Perhaps also exploring New Zealand, or trekking at Kamchatka, or for a true Photo Safari. Back to the roots. What would be the title of your life autobiography? Titles are given after books are written, so no title yet.

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Been There

EXPERIENCE SLOVENIA IN ITS BEST Slovenia in a flash from 5 to 7 July 2013 text by Gorazd Čad Photos: Azra Botonjič


lovenian Convention Bureau with SPIRIT Public agency, Intours DMC and selected members hosted a fam trip for clients coming from eight European countries. The two and a half day trip included the major Slovenian meetings industry destinations. In search of its favourite locations and country’s diversity participants were able to experience three geographic and three climate regions over a weekend. The whole fam trip was organized as an incentive without hotel site inspections but with the idea to experience Slovenian services and FEEL the vibe of the country. The fam trip programme started with welcome lunch at the enchanting Brdo Estate surrounded by old parks and forests. After lunch we continued to the Slovenian coast, where our first stop was old Mediterranean town of Izola. After short stop in one of the local restaurants participants had a chance to explore Slovenian coast from the sea. On the boat they discussed with Slovenian suppliers about their properties and different destinations. Next stop was Piran, the medieval fisherman town with narrow streets and rich cultural heritage. The coastal host was Kempinski Palace Portoroz, one of the finest in the region. The dinner followed with wine tasting at one of the finest wine cellars in the coastal region, Santomas.. The cuisine was prepared by one of the best Slovenian catering companies Jezeršek. Next morning the action continued underground. Postojna caves belong to the largest underground cave system but are easy accessible by an electric train. The highlight of the second day was the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. Guests had a chance to experience the city by bike. Everyone was amazed how easy it is to explore and enjoy one of the safest European cities, internationally awarded and marked by architect Joze Plecnik. The day was completed by a warm welcome of The Art Noveau Grand Hotel Union, who was overnight host. On Sunday the fam trip we headed to the Alps. Lake Bled is the flagship of Julian Alps in Slovenia. With over 1000 years of history the place is filled with stories and scenery that took participants’ breath away.

Some thoughts from participants: “I really appreciate the organization and the concept of the fam trip with European participants and suppliers staying in touch 3 days long. BRAVO Further to my “Slovenian experience” I would say that I sincerely trust in the MICE potential of the destination for the French market: eco friendly geography, quality of food and wines, top class hotels and last but not the least, I observed great professionalism: Slovenian Convention Bureau, Ljubljana Convention Bureau and all the suppliers we met: DMC, hotels, team building, activities.. I’ll do my best for turning back to you with good business.” Didier J.Andrieu Senior Consultant Twim Events

“First of all it was truly a pleasure to meet you all. I thank you and all your providers very much for this beautiful and highly interesting familiarization trip. I appreciated a lot your concept of educational tour with partners. Everything was perfect! Congratulations for you high professionalism, your warm welcome and your kindness. You show us that Slovenia is a wonderful destination for both Incentive and convention. And perfectly adapted to the French market.” Pascale Le Borgne MICE Consultant - Senior Project Manager

“I would like to thank you for the very nice and well organized trip. It was a very good opportunity to see so much in such a short time frame. I have a very good impression of all possibilities in the country.” Dennis Valk American Express Meetings & Events

“Big thank you for the perfect organisation and for guiding us around your beautiful country. It was a pleasure meeting all of you” Grtz, Ilse, MVG, Ilse


Been There



03 01 Coming to Piran by boat 02 B  reakfast at the Grand Hotel Union 03 Exploring Ljubljana by bike 04 W  ine tasting at San Tomas Wine Estate 05 Team activity at Bled Castle 06 Dinner at San Tomas Wine Estate 07 Team building at Bled island




08 On the boat in the Piran bay 09 Lunch at the Duck island, Brdo Estate 10 L unch in Ljubljana - Restaurant As 11 Exploring Ljubljana 12 Dinner at restaurant Ĺ pajza Ljubljana








Conventa News

Creativity never ends! Photos: Tadej BERNIK


he Conventa team once again steps out of the box, leaving behind formal invitations and coming up with a creative way to invite hosted buyers to the show – an ode to hosted buyers. We thought it was a cool, fresh and creative approach! Conventa offers all you need, One2one meetings are the best indeed. Never ending business opportunities arise, Visit the best South East European destinations and be surprised. Education, entertainment and experience is the key, Numerous hosted buyers do agree. Taking advantage of hosted buyer benefits is a thrill, Application form is the only thing left to fill.

Introducing Hosted buyers help desk A brand new on-line Request for Proposal (RFP) form helping meeting planners search for suppliers in the SEE region has now been added to the long list of benefits Conventa offers to hosted buyers. The RFP will help all those who are planning to organise an event in the South East Europe region, but don’t know whom to contact. By filling in and submitting the form, meeting planners will receive an e-mail from the organisers of the trade show, helping them with suggestions of suitable suppliers in the region. The RFP form will be an additional year-round service offered to meeting planners in search for meeting providers, adding to the one-to-one meetings conducted at the trade show. Looking for the perfect venue and services for your next event has never been easier! More at hosted-buyers/request-for-proposal Conventa extends a hand to emerging meeting industry providers from the SEE region Meeting providers coming from countries with a lower trade per capita have a chance to apply for Conventa wild card, a “helping hand” programme giving them the opportunity to exhibit at Conventa 2014 show free-of-charge. The Conventa wild card programme is designed to help new or emerging meeting providers to enter the global meeting industry market and therefore increase the competitiveness of the entire region of South East Europe. The Conventa free wild card grants the meeting industry providers coming from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Turkey, who had never before exhibited at Conventa, an opportunity to present their offer at the Conventa 2014 show free-of-charge. Each winning exhibitor will receive the Black Sea package complimentary. The winners will also benefit from marketing support to assist them in presenting their product/ offer to the audience of international buyers before and at the show. Despina Kozarovska from Exploringmacedonia. com, one of last year’s winners, remembers winning: “Conventa, as the leading business-to-business event in the area, is a valuable opportunity for every business tourism oriented company from the region. We are glad that Conventa supports and gathers industry professionals at an event that is building tradition, know-how and expertise for a global competence of the South East European region on the busi20

ness travel world map. We perceive the Conventa Wild Card Programme as an outstanding possibility to increase our brand awareness, not only to as a tourism portal, but in general for Macedonia as the unexplored MICE destination in the region.” Eligible applicants should submit the application form by 5 November 2013. Decisions will be announced by 20 November 2013. More at exhibitors/conventa-wild-card Eco providers will again be raising their visibility in the meeting industry world Eco village presents Conventa’s inspired initiative to raise awareness of the importance of environmental protection and social responsibility in the growing meeting world of South East Europe. Exhibitors in the Eco village will again be able to build or enhance relationships with potential clients. Eco providers are thus invited to register and present their eco products and services for hotels, eco products for event planners, eco tourist products and services and other environmentally friendly products and services at the 6th Conventa. Early Bird registration is possible till 30 September 2013. More at exhibitors/eco-village-package Conventa welcomes technology providers The ‘Meetings Services’ spot gives providers of information technologies and systems, technical equipment, congress and promotional materials and marketing and event production a unique opportunity to reach and develop personal relations with new clients from South East Europe’s meetings industry. Presenting to an expanding market, providers will be able to develop the positioning of their brand, products and services in South East Europe and generate new business leads. This year Start-ups have a 50 % discount on registration fee. Deadline for Early Birds is 30 September 2013. More at meetings-services-spot


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


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

22 - 23 JANUARY 2014, Ljubljana—Slovenia

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





HUMAN issue: we are going to shed light on new needs and changes in the habits of congress participants, which will affect the future of the industry.


SUMMER ISSUE July 2013 EXPERIENCE issue: The central theme is going to be all aspects of experiential marketing with a focus on ways to involve event participants in experiencing brands.

FALL ISSUE September 2013 EMOTIONAL issue: The success of events depends on the emotional transaction between participants and organisers. Only if the meetings industry finds a way to address the emotional side of participants, it will be successful.

WINTER ISSUE November 2013 COLLABORATIVE issue: What will social networks of the future be like and how they will affect the meetings industry, what will be innovations and what the future of the industry, all is going to be disclosed in the last issue of 2013.


Inside Conference

Inside conference will look into The future of meetings design From 30 to 31 August 2013, the beautiful city of Rovinj will host the second Inside Conference. Delivered in partnership with IBTM Global Events, Conventa trade show and Convention Bureaus from Slovenia and Serbia, the conference will look into the future of the Meetings Design and will bring new content to the countries in SEE by combining training, teasers and practical examples.


nside will offer an intriguing conference programme with several opportunities for networking with meeting professionals from the region. The conference will explore all aspects of design in relation to meetings. A threepart Meeting Design workshop led by Mike van der Vijver, Managing Partner at MindMeeting BV, promises a great learning experience. Mike will answer questions such as “What are the characteristics of meetings as a form of communication” and “What distinguishes them from other forms of communication”. Delegates will be able to experience how Meeting Design works in practice, while the “Solution Room”, a peer-topeer and participant-led session, will put them where meeting participants during meetings should be - in the driving seat. How to design a successful international event in always a burning question asked by clients as well as meeting planners. The representatives of Belgrade Design Week, an international conference famous for its workshops, master-classes and exhibitions, will reveal what makes their event so successful. The International Herald Tribune declared 2007 Belgrade Design Week one of the most important and singular creative events in the world, while the Turin world festi-

val ranked it among the world’s five best design weeks in 2008. How to stand out from the competition? Maybe the key lies in creativity. Davor Bruketa from advertising agency Bruketa&Žinić, the agency that is ranked second most efficient independent advertising agency globally, will present the idea behind the visual identity of the exceptional Inside venue and a unique design hotel in Croatia. Hotel Lone is a showcase of Croatia’s creative industry, with several of the nation’s best architects, designers and artists involved in its creation. It represents a design-focused synergy of functionality, harmony and elegance. By attending Inside, delegates will get a chance to explore the hotel facilities and meet with the creative agency responsible for the visual identity. Meeting professionals from the region that want to keep up with the trends of the ever-changing meeting industry can register for the conference at Welcome to Inside, welcome to Rovinj from 30 to 31 August 2013!

NEW KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING Event agencies and planners • Obtain know-how and tools to create more effective meetings • Gain the professional background to position yourself as a meeting consultant Representatives of Hotels, accommodations and congress centres • Obtain know-how and tools to consider your venue as a site for experiential learning, rather than as a box with square meters • Obtain know-how on how to use your available space more effectively Sales people • Obtain know-how to engage in a value-added conversation with your clients • Obtain know-how to position yourself as a seller of solutions, instead of products and services


Global Village






I am the head of sales events at Arsenal in Zadar. This year I’m celebrating my 29th birthday and adding another year of work with beautiful Arsenal, otherwise a heritage monument built in the Venetian Republic and now under the direction of Ilirija d.d. By profession I am a graduate Tourism communicologist from the Department of Cultural Tourism, University of Zadar, who is in love with a unique life and business environment.

It has been four years since I joined the Ljubljana Tourism / Convention Bureau, prior to which I was working as a freelance local tour guide for eight years, which gave me valuable practical experience. To take my mind off work I love travelling as far, free-diving as deep and making music as loud as I can.


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

I’m following a Historic Conference Centres of Europe marketing organisation, which presents superb historical monuments as venues for conferences and other events. It shows a series of valued cultural and historical buildings from the EU, which is actively in the function of MICE tourism. 2:

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

The bravest thing I’ve ever done is to accept responsibility for a demanding job that I did at a relatively young age. More about the other “brave” ventures on another occasion. 3:

If I didn’t work in my profession, I’d like to be a writer and painter with a permanent residence in the middle of pure nature. 4:

With progressing the quality of tourism in the Zadar region, with additional personal education and motivations, and of course with selling events at Arsenal in 2014. 5:



Ljubljana- A Cool Capital for Great Meetings! If I focus on other destinations there are many fantastic examples, but I would say Lyon is at the top of my list for being out of the box, yet aesthetic and very efficient in their campaigns. I find also that Korea and Australia are doing some incredible stuff and we can learn from their example. 2:

Most often when you do something brave, you don’t feel courageous at that very moment and after you feel happy that all went well, only to start looking for a new challenge. I would say diving to 34 m on a single breath of air is at the top of the list, but now I want to go deeper. 3:

I could find nothing more interesting and exciting than travelling to distant and unknown locations, so to be an astronaut would be my choice. 4:

As I found this to be the industry I enjoy I have stared PhD studies focusing on destination marketing. I guess that is my obsession right now. 5:

Global Village




Sales , HOTEL LEV, Ljubljana

Terme Tuhelj, Croatia

Greater Houston Convention and Visitor Bureau

Since May 2009 I’ve been representing Hotel Lev as the conference manager. I gained my first experience in tourism as the receptionist at a Spa hotel. As a postgraduate student at the tourism faculty I joined the Slovenian Convention Bureau, where I had the opportunity to cooperate with the professionals at the first Conventa show.

Nikolina Pavlek from Zabok, 25 years old and graduated in the field of tourism management from the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management Opatija in 2011. I’ve worked in the sales department of Terme Tuhelj for 5 years, and the last few years as a sales representative in the field of business tourism and team building.

My name is Olja Zvizdic and I am from Serbia. I live in Houston, Texas, USA and I hunt alligators for a living. Just kidding! I work for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Department of International sales.

Since my professional career in MICE started on Conventa, I still feel bound to it and support the project. In the MICE industry we have many different brands, but the real reason why MICE has grown in my heart is the constant contact with MICE professionals, making good relationships and new friendships, no matter where a show takes place, be that in Germany, Spain or at Conventa in Ljubljana.

I would have to highlight the hotel »Well« - Terme Tuhelj, where I work! Last year, with the opening of the new part of the hotel and convention centre with 4 stars, we got a brand new look. So, Terme Tuhelj became the right destination for seminars, events, promotions, conferences.



For me, I think there were many things, but this one is kind of funny as well. I had the opportunity to host the event of one European association in the hotel. As I was discussing the details with the executive director of the organisation I just could not remember the English expression for head microphone, so at that moment I just told him: “The Madonna style” microphone. We both started to laugh and we connected on that other level immediately. Being spontaneous mostly works the best. 3:

If the meeting industry falls apart – which is impossible - I will start breeding English Bulldogs. I’m just joking, but I really like English Bulldogs; it is my favorite breed, and I can imagine having at least 5 English Bulldogs. 4:

At the moment I have no specific obsession. I am looking forward to summer, a vacation and everything that will come along. 5:



At this moment I can’t single out anything in particular, but I would point out that I successfully finished college on time while I was working at the same time. This was a time when I really needed a lot of discipline, patience and perseverance, so that I could complete both sides successfully. Now, I am happy to remember those moments, which are behind me and represent a very important chapter in my life. 3:

I certainly imagine my career in tourism, because working and meeting new people completes me. I like working on the agreements, organising events and conferences, which include a lot of details, services and ideas. My desire one day is to have my own travel agency and specialize as a PCO. 4:

With preparing a project for positioning Terme Tuhelj as a business centre with a variety of features and innovations that we would like to offer our business guests. Our goal is to become a leading MICE destination in continental Croatia. Objectives and challenges are set – we have to be persevering and give our best to successfully implement our goals. 5:



There are many - MPI, Successful Meetings… However, the EIAT conference is where my ‘engagement’ with the meeting industry started. And that’s where I got my first job too. The most exciting one and the one that I am the most proud of! 2:

I’ve decided to experience the meeting industry of the other continents, so I moved to Asia, Qatar, alone, without knowing anyone there. After a while, I did the same thing again - I came to the United States, Houston where I now am. 3:

Photography. I was always impressed with the fact that photography is able to capture one moment in time and through that one moment tell the story of an entire life. It gives you an opportunity to always keep close people and things you love disregarding how far away they are. 4:

I am trying to bring more meetings from Europe to Houston. Nevertheless, I am blending my hospitality sales knowledge with the sales tools we are using in the Convention Bureau in order to make outstanding results. I am looking forward to participating in IMEX Las Vegas this October. 5:


Second Date with an Indian Beauty The top end of the Indian market text by Robert Cotter


irst dates, as we all know, can be truly daunting – am I choosing the right place to go? Am I wearing the right clothes? Am I ready to say all the right things?

Luckily, there is more often than not the chance to learn from the experience of our first date and make any changes we need to for the second date. After the meeting industry’s very own first date with the Indian beauty that is IT&CM India, the second date is now scheduled to take place from August 20-22, and it appears that the organisers have made some changes from their first encounter to guarantee the second date will be a rousing success. After the maiden event’s presence at Delhi’s India Expo Centre & Mart, a venue a little removed from the downtown area, organisers have brought the venue into central Delhi and to the city’s newest landmark hotel, the Kempinski Ambience. With a banquet hall holding up to 6000 guests, making it India’s largest, it promises to offer a resounding second date impression. This new capacious venue for 2013 offers IT&CM India the chance to blossom from the first outing, which was noted by Mr. Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media, as “small, with a focus on quality” and with “exhibitors in an

enviable position of being able to make up to a hundred appointments over the two business days.” Exhibitors who could take full advantage of the intimacy of the 2012 event – benefitting from more than 800 participants involved in more than 5,000 business appointments in a healthy buyer/seller ratio – can this year look forward to even more business taking place. As with its maiden outing, IT&CM India 2013 will also maintain its strong focus on education alongside the business activity. “Education is a key factor in a market that is growing as rapidly as India’s MICE and luxury travel market,” noted Ng. “Through India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB)’s Conventions India Conclave (CIC), and our long standing partnerships with GBTA, AuSAE and CSAE, we are confident of creating an event that is as valuable as it is relevant.” The value of the 2013 event is showing especial interest and support from three key international destinations on the exhibitor list: Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.


Carrying on the elements that made a real impression on the first date, the event will again this year offer delegates access to the ICPB’s CIC in its 8th outing. In addition to this delegates can also upskill themselves by participating in GBTA’s Fundamentals of Business Travel Management – Associate Level course as well as other partnering events, making the second date a richer experience. Further insurance that it will be properly luxurious too, IT&CM India will once again incorporate luxury travel in addition to MICE brands, offering buyers the top end of the Indian market. All in all, it looks like this fledgling relationship is set to go places. And with such an Indian beauty as its reward, it’s most certainly worth all the effort.


Twist and Shout!

text by Robert Cotter


he 7th iteration of IT&CM China, the international MICE event setting out to “Promote China to the World and the World to China”, was held from April 17 to 19 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Centre. Forming the bedrock of an expanded Shanghai Business Events Week, the objectives of this year’s IT&CM China provided a few twists in direction, as well as a whole range of new initiatives to go with them, all of which ensured there was yet again a lot for the MICE industry to shout about in Shanghai. The main twist to this year’s event was the increased focus on attracting domestic buyers, at 65% the Chinese buyers for the first time making up the lion’s share of the total buyers. “This emphasis on the Chinese buyers is what IT&CM China is about,” said Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media, co-organiser of the event. “What makes IT&CM China’s value proposition unique from the other IT&CM events in Bangkok and India, is the opportunity for exhibitors to explore business potential with the Chinese market.” With shoring up domestic buyers a new focus for 2013, a part of this twist in the event’s gaze was to exactly who they would consist of, one that took them in the direction of association and corporate buyers. “Our exhibitors tell us that they are also interested to meet with association buyers and corporate travel buyers,” explained Dake Zhu, Event Director of CITS International MICE, co-organiser of IT&CM China. “Thus, this year, the composition of Chinese buyers will have a higher percentage of [each of these] buyers.” Building on and enhancing these new directions for 2013 was the second major twist of launching the inaugural Association Day and Corporate Travel Forum. This was developed with industry partner the MCI Group and offered keynote addresses and forums by reputed experts in the fields, including from the MCI Group themselves as well as from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and other leading groups. Having ensured that the event programme topped the richness of 2012, the organisers

further ensured that other new initiatives would assist delegates in getting as much as they could from everything on offer. A key facilitator of this was the new online diary that allowed pre-show scheduling of 100% of appointments, meaning delegates could arrive and be up and running from the off. “More than 90% of exhibitors took advantage of this facility, and further, over 40% of exhibitors achieved 80% completed schedules 10 days before the event,” noted Ng of the initiative’s success. With a packed diary and an endless amount of high quality material to choose from, a further new initiative for 2013 meant that should delegates have missed something that was on their radar, there was always the chance to get a hold of it the next day. “Thanks to technology, we are able to bring video highlights of the event from the day before (on Youku - China’s video streaming site), right to our delegates,” said Ng. “These video dailies not only capture the essence of the key sessions that took place, but also give delegates, or other industry professionals who are not present, a glimpse into what took place. Complementing the existing printed TTG Show Daily: IT&CM China 2013, this is our way of taking communication with our delegates and the industry to another level.” 27

The results of all these new initiatives were reflected in the 2013 event indeed reaching a new level – 3,000 MICE professionals from sectors including DMCs, PCOs, corporate travel and associations engaging in more than 10,000 business appointments and connecting through 60 business, education and networking sessions all helped to make 2013 the best IT&CM China yet. The deluge of one-year advance booth bookings for 2014 and an uplift in buyer and media registrations are further signals of the upward trajectory of this key event, just like its host city of Shanghai, for promoting China to the world. “We are extremely satisfied with this year’s results,” said Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media. “The show’s new initiatives have proved a hit among delegates, while achieving its objectives of bringing IT&CM China 2013 to the next level. The industry can look forward to an even more compelling IT&CM China 2014 from 15 to 17 April.” As a key industry figure Kongres is one party eagerly anticipating what will be making next year’s event even more compelling, and looks forward to reporting back on what can be shouted about the next iteration of IT&CM China in summer 2014. Watch this space for some more twist and shout!

Join us at the 5th



SPA-CE taking over Hungary


his year SPA-CE, the trade show of spa and wellness tourism in Central Europe, will be held from 3 to 5 October in Hungary. The Royal Spa City Sárvár will host more than 30 exhibitors from Central Europe and around 50 hosted buyers from all around the world attending one of the most important spa and wellness events of the year. There are no boundaries for SPA-CE. Since its beginnings in 2009, the trade show has been growing every year. Interest to host SPA-CE in other European countries with a great spa tradition has made it even more attractive for spa and wellness providers from all over the world, as well as for the most serious buyers looking for new spa and wellness services to introduce to their clients. Hungary, as one of the Top 5 destinations with the most abundant thermal water resources worldwide and one of the Top 10 medical tourism destinations in Europe, with the town of Sárvár as the only Hungarian spa town that is a member of Royal Spas of Europe, are the perfect hosts for this year’s event.


“Our goal is that this year the Visegrad co-operation makes SPA-CE 2013 in Sárvár the main Spa event and workshop of the year,” said Csilla Mezősi, Health Tourism-Spa Tourism advisor of the Hungarian National Tourism Board. “We are pleased to welcome you in Royal Spa City Sárvár in 2013, at the 5th SPA-CE event.” The fifth SPA-CE will continue to offer a different boutique trade-show experience enriched with a great conference on Natural healing factors in Central Europe and Trends and tendencies in health tourism, as well as post-show tours to Heviz or Budapest. The focus of trade show will remain on pre-scheduled meetings between providers and hosted buyers. To date organisers are delighted with the results: from 30 expected exhibitors, 21 spa and wellness providers from Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia have already confirmed their participation. All interested exhibitors and hosted buyers can register on-line at SPA-CE, the best place to find ideas for relaxed and healthy way of living!






t seems that Zadar has a very specific Mediterranean rhythm and urban culture. In the morning, the old town on the peninsula is full of people who shop and fill the main street Kalelarga or a wide street. The highlight is between the eleventh hour and noon. Cafes with their specific cultural experience are filled to the last corner. Each generation and each group can find a special place in Zadar. In the afternoon, the city is completely asleep in the Dalmatian siesta and looks like deserted until five o’clock, when it is revived again. And Zadar really impressed me with something. Zadar’s waterfront is quite different from the others on the Adriatic. With new architectural installations and no mass bars it is, especially early in the morning or at romantic sunsets, a true zen experience which you will not find in other places on the Adriatic. The Croatian coast is a place of historic urban tradition. The majority of towns were created in the Greek or Roman times. Probably the oldest town in this area is Zadar, which has already developed in the Iron Age as Liburnian settlement and was the capital of Dalmatia until the Italian occupation in 1918. Recently the city has experienced a lot of transformation in the field of tourism and conference infrastructure. The most prominent are the architectural installations Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun, which were built in 2006. On the organ play waves and create an interesting harmony. Sundial is also a small solar power station. With such projects, Zadar is increasingly becoming a lifestyle destination and one of the new tourist-meetings brands. To this also contribute events such as the Garden Festival, which placed Zadar on the map of Croatian club scene and in their own way raise the image of Zadar as a cool place. In recent years, it has been waking up from the former socialist drowsiness and is becoming a young and scintillating city. For the real experience of Zadar and its soul, you need to visit the well-stocked city market and the fish market. Feast for the eyes, body and soul. Friendly atmosphere and exceptional cultural heritage create an extremely diverse experience. In the old town alone there are over 34 old churches. Thankfully, most of them survived the air raids of the Second World War. The city, which before the war, was under the influence of architecture of Venice, has received much socialist modernist buildings. The aesthetics of these buildings could be discussed. Specialty of the micro-location of Zadar are many islands that surround it, and provide opportunities for incentive trips and nautical adventures. Zadar has one of the biggest Croatian marinas; the archipelago has 24 major and about 300 smaller islands. In the vicinity of Zadar there are five national parks: Paklenica, Plitvice, Kornati, Krka and Velebit, which offer to more responsible congress organisers more active and diverse experiences. The historical tourism development of Zadar was influenced by the establishment of regular shipping lines to Trieste. Soon after the establishment of shipping, the first hotels developed. Zadar got the first modern hotel in 1890, when the Grand 31

Hotel was opened. A little later, in 1902, the hotel Bristol was constructed. Zadar and its surroundings have experienced a tourism boom in the sixties and seventies of the 20th century. The city experienced another tourist transformation recently. At the same time, the highway Zagreb Split built in 2005, which greatly shortened the journey to Zadar and literally allowed the development of congress tourism. Arrival of low cost airlines to Zadar is in full swing. It seems that the Director of the Zadar airport Katic Pupić Bakrač managed to revive the entire tourist region. But that’s not all. Planed ferry and cruise port Gaženica will release the transport from the old town and make it more attractive to tourists. Unfortunately, the project is in a slower implementation phase. Among the advantages of Zadar we can also add the fact that a large part of the city is closed to traffic, which makes it very pleasant for pedestrians. In April this year Zadar with its surroundings was the scene of the European premiere of the Chevrolet Trax car. Over 1000 journalists from 38 European countries have become ambassadors of Zadar. The focal point of the presentation was artistic presentation of the devilishly red Chevrolet Trax in coulours of Manschester United with signatures of all players in an artistic 3D instalation by street artist Gregora Wosik. The presentation took place in the carismatic Zadar Arsenal. The main locations of the event – Arsenal and the new Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera are the two key meetings engines of Zadar. Arsenal is a former Venecian armory converted in a multifunctional convention-event space. This is probably one of the most special and original convention venues of Croatia. The really special ambience is offering a large central hall, which acts as a town square and can accommodate up to 1000 participants for major concerts or events. Flagship of conference hotel offer is Falkensteiner Iadera in Petrčani. Within the resort there is a top smaller convention centre, which is among the most modern in the Adriatic. In the city centre, there are convention halls in Kolovare Hotel with the largest hall for a maximum of 230 participants. Smaller conference facilities are also in the boutique hotel Bastion. For larger events, a modern sports hall Krešimir Čošić is also suitable in principle. In addition, the city is overflowing with specific locations for receptions and other special meetings experiences. All event organisers have not yet discovered Zadar as meetings story here is relatively new and unknown. A great advantage of Zadar is that it has a University, which is the oldest in Croatia, since it was founded in 1396 and it itself generates a lot of smaller congress events. Unfortunately, Zadar is missing a convention bureau, which would greatly help in the further promotion of the whole destination. Also because of this, Zadar and its surroundings are too often an overlooked convention destination. Even the development and diversity of congress products can be currently estimated to be average.


Congress organisers will usually choose Zadar because of its location at the crossroads of the greatest natural beauties of Croatia, history and culture as well as the better overall and conference infrastructure. Zadar is becoming very advanced and viable conference city, which boasts an exceptional cultural offer. With such potential it can compete with Mediterranean destinations of Spain, Italy, Portugal and Turkey. In the future it will have to do some urgent organisational and infrastructural interventions to capture the rhythm of most of the more advanced Croatian conference destinations.

Destination grade: Quality Congress Destination

4, 06

Grading explanation: 5 excellent meetings destination 4 quality meetings destination 3 advisable meetings destination 2 average meetings destination 1 pretty OK meetings destination Individual grades: Natural and Cultural Factors


Natural geographic position at the crossroads of different regions, rich history, indented coastline and terrain and untouched nature, together with the mild Mediterranean climate and vegetation is an excellent prospect for the development of congress tourism. General and Transport Infrastructure


It seems that Ryanair transformed the tourist map of Zadar and returned Zadar among the important tourist hubs in the Adriatic. The city is experiencing a traffic and infrastructure renaissance and gives a sense of urban tidiness. Even the quality of life seems to be at a high level. 32


Tourist Infrastructure


Zadar with over 4000 beds, several campgrounds and resorts is a developed summer destination for leisure and a yachting paradise. With the advent of new air connections, construction of new and renovation of existing hotel facilities, conditions for the development of congress tourism and exploitation of the extremely rich and already-developed tourist infrastructure. Meetings Infrastructure


Zadar is an ideal destination for organisation of smaller conferences and incentives for up to 100 participants. In this area it has the greatest opportunity, as meeting planners are always looking for new attractive convention destinations. Unfortunately, Zadar is missing a convention bureau and a more targeted marketing, which affects the congress image of the destination. Subjective Grade

Comparison with the region: Conference organisers are always looking for new and different destinations. Zadar is the logical choice, as it has enormous potential of natural and cultural conditions. Moreover, it is a cool destination with a specific urban rhythm. Currently, the main drawback are congress facilities that only allow smaller events as well as congress infrastructure which is not yet built and in function. Once everything is in place, Zadar will certainly be an important congress player. Cool meetings: Maraschino liqueur is made from ‘maraska’ cherries after the original recipe from the 16th century. It is attributed with healing effects.


The charming city with thousand years of cultural heritage, the proximity of the islands, five national parks and improving flight connections. It’s no wonder that a number of foreign media see it as a cool convention destination. 33

Photo credits: Zadar Touris Board, 2013






eing the home of Dražen Petrović, the famous basketball player, is the first association that comes to mind whenever the road takes me to Dalmatia. The legendary Croatian basketball player, for many the greatest European basketball player of all time, began to hone his talent in Šibenik; he remembers it with love and pride. A memory basket is fixed in front of his birth house and soon there will also be a monument. For basketball players Dražen is eternal and still popular - basketball is written in the genes of this Dalmatian town. The city is also connected with the karst river Krka, which is famous for its majestic waterfalls, beautiful lake with an island in the estuary flowing into the sea, at which the entire town Šibenik has developed. Krka starts its journey from the town of Knin, where through a series of waterfalls it meanders to the Grand Canyon with Lake Visovac. If the neighbouring cities of Zadar and Split are said to be close to the Croatian national parks, then Šibenik is located right in the heart of the Kornati and Krka National Park. The city is in the midst of the idyllic Dalmatian towns of Pirovac, Vodice and Primošten, which form the core of the Dalmatian region. Primošten is created on the picturesque island and is today mainly a resort town; Vodice is one of the centres of entertainment and also increasingly one of a quality congress offer; and in addition to the Kornati, the Šibenik archipelago is a paradise for nautical incentive aficionados. The fairly wild islands of Kaprije, Krapanj, Prvič, Zlarin and Žirje are part of the most indented stretch of the Adriatic coast, which for lovers of sailing is known to be an outstanding area. The stone cathedral of St. James, along with the Renaissance Town Hall and the Prince’s Royal Household, form one of the most beautiful Adriatic markets. It is a joy to walk through the streets of the old city, which has developed in the shadow of Zadar, Split and under the long-term impact of Venice, but at the same time is the oldest and most Croatian city. It was created as a counterweight to Byzantine Dalmatia. The Old town and the St. James cathedral are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a remarkable architectural monument. Nowhere else in Dalmatia can you as easily relish the old city centre and Renaissance monuments. The central part of the city is closed to traffic, which makes strolling through the city on foot a special pleasure. With quick tourism development, the general urban sanitation and quality of life of inhabitants of this Dalmatian town is also improving year on year. Various tourist guides and the Top 10 somehow overlooked Šibenik. After war destruction the city needed some time to make a new breakthrough. In addition, the status of the industrial city of the industrial zone to the east of the city appeared quite unattractive. Despite this and in the shadow of more media exposed destinations it is experiencing a fast and high-quality tourism development. The centre of happening is the hotel complex Solaris, situated in a peninsula covered with Mediterranean vegetation, which comprises of thematic 35

5 hotels, apartment and villas complex with a Yacht marina and a campsite. Carefully arranged resort offers a wide range of facilities. One of the most recognizable brands of Solaris is Dalmatian Ethno Village, unique tourist attraction situated in heart of Solaris Beach Resort. Its stone cobbled courtyards and stone houses reveal on completely new world and all the beauty of the traditional Dalmatian lifestyle with its almost forgotten crafts & delicacies. It is an authentic and educational experience. In addition to Solaris major tourist resorts can also be found in Vodice, with the hotel complex Olympia and Punta. In Primošten the main provider of tourist facilities is the hotel Zora, in addition to which there is no shortage of private apartments. However, a lot of criticism could be targeted at the excessive ‘apartmentisation’ of the destination and in Šibenik some city hotels that would thoroughly enrich the tourist offer are also missing. Commendable, though, is the re-organisation of the public beach. The hotel offer is followed by numerous, perhaps even too many, restaurants and the usual tourist offer. Among other things, the region around Šibenik, especially Vodice, is the Croatian party paradise. Šibenik is famous for its Terraneo eco-festival, although visitors are usually mostly attracted by the prominent musicians on show. With the investment of the Turkish Dogus Group, which has built a marina for mega yachts, Mandalina, the image of the tourist destination may be taken to a higher level. In addition to the marina, a variety of tourist facilities are also planned, including a hotel to be opened in 2015. Congress first category of Šibenik is Solaris congress centre. 12 multifunctional congress halls in the area of 2000 m2 are sufficient even for the most demanding conference guests. The largest hall has a capacity for 500 people. The advantage of the village is a diverse hotel offer in hotels Ivan ****, Jure****, Niko ****, Andrija **** and Jakov ***. The advantage of the resort is a wide variety of thematic restaurants, beach clubs and bars, teambuilding possibilities, sport and recreation facilities, entertainment and animation programs and many other various facilities. The advantage of the village is a diverse hotel offer in the hotels Ivan ****, Jure****, Niko ****, Andrija **** and Jakoc ***, whilst the advantage of the resort is in a wide variety of restaurants, bars and places for receptions to be held in nature. The main Olympia congress hall in Vodice is multi-purpose and can accommodate a maximum 500 participants. In addition, the hotel also has the Athena hall for up to 80 participants and the Artemis hall for up to 200. A great improvement and update will be the new halls after the construction of a five star hotel. In Vodice smaller conference facilities are also available at the Imperial and at the Hotel Punta. In Primošten the congress centre is in the Hotel Zora. The largest hall, Kravata (Tie), can accommodate 500 people and the smaller one 240. Both halls have daylight.


The Mayor of the city, Franko Vidović, sees the future development of the city as a centre of green industries. Within this story we could also place the meetings industry. There is room for such development of congress tourism, just the right products and the corresponding ROI will have to be developed. There is no shortage of opportunities. The national parks around Šibenik, rafting on the Cetinje rapids, the race with old boats, all lend themselves to creative incentive programs.

Meetings infrastructure

Meeting capacities in Šibenik, Vodice and Primošten are adapted to medium-sized congresses. Virtually all of the convention centres are completely renovated as part of the strategy to fill capacities in the pre-season. In Šibenik, a common destination management - in the sense of establishing a convention bureau in order to properly position the destination among the competition of neighbouring Dalmatian cities of Split and Zadar,- means there is a significant untapped potential. Subjective grade

Destination grade: Quality Meeting Destination

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Grading explanation: 5 excellent meetings destination 4 quality meetings destination 3 advisable meetings destination 2 average meetings destination 1 pretty OK meetings destination

Individual grades: Natural and cultural factors


Because of the natural beauty, a major part of the area around the Krka is declared a national park, of which the geographical centre is Šibenik. This gives the whole area an outstanding experiential value and also numerous opportunities in the field of congress tourism. On the seaside one may wonder at Kornati, the most dynamic and diverse group of islands in the Adriatic and a sustainable paradise. General and transport infrastructure

Comparison with the region: Šibenik very rarely raises any association with the meeting industry. In the process of transition from an industrial city into a tourist destination it has not yet asserted its image among competing cities. Despite this it is a fact that it has excellent conditions and is somehow considered to be a hidden jewel of the Croatian congress offer. For ease of accessibility it may be a suitable location for small association conferences as well as a variety of incentive programmes. Cool meetings: ‘PEKA’ (BAKING): in a cast iron container, under the heated lid covered with coals, are baked meats of all kinds, which is also great with fish and octopus. Large quantities of vegetables and potatoes are required, which provide juiciness and a good taste.



The Hotel Renaissance outside the city should soon be followed by one in its very heart. Otherwise, Šibenik and its surroundings is one of the most diverse and developed regions of Dalmatia for tourists, where there is no shortage of entertainment, festivals, world-class cuisine and also offers for the more discerning guests. It’s also worth remembering the harmony singing (‘klape’), which in the area around Šibenik is also the most developed on the Adriatic.


Once industrial, military and port city, it now has a sound basis for the development of congress tourism after a period of transition. It offers a very genuine and authentic experience and a real boom. Foreign investors are coming, new tourist facilities are being built and also in the field of meeting industry, with the appropriate positioning, it promises a bright future.

The location is perfect and surprisingly favourable for congress tourism, although it is currently simply ignored. Access via the highway is elegant and simple. Nearby there are two sufficiently frequented airports, Split and Zadar. The fact that the city is located in the triangle of three extraordinary national parks - Kornati, Krka and Paklenica - and close to the Plitvice Lakes and Northern Velebit is particularly attractive. Tourist infrastructure


Photo credits: šibenik tourist board, 2013 36








vergreen Hvar is one of my favourite Adriatic islands. I no longer count how many times I have visited the island. Most of the experience is a summer-holiday - I spent several summers on the island where I cooked octopus, baked fish and enjoyed the beautiful nature. We never get bored of it. This is the life that recharges your batteries for the year ahead, where the delightful climate helps you to forget your everyday problems and, above all, the unbeatable Hvar home kitchen creates a stress-free, peaceful and delicious atmosphere. Hvar is still a quite wild and largely uninhabited island. On the beauty of the island, reminiscent of the Garden of Eden, there is no point in wasting words, since there is no shortage of various urban legends and superlatives. One relates to the singer Beyonce, who fell in love with the island so much that she gave her daughter the name of one of the island’s plants - Blue Ivy (blue ivy). When the ferry brings you closer to the island, it smells of Mediterranean plants; in the summer crickets also start with their symphony… it’s no wonder that it was given so many different names! Among other things, it used to be called Austrian Madeira. In Hvar, the urban has been coexisting with the rural for centuries. The towns of Hvar, Stari Grad, Jelsa and Vrboska and on the other hand the less touristic places of Poljica, Zastražišće and Zavala are balanced by the charm of the inland, which can be felt on the old road through Brusje, full of wonderful views of the neighbouring islands and the lavender fields. Hvar lives two tourist lives; the summer crowds and the visits of celebrities from Tom Cruise to Prince Harry is eventually replaced by the autumn-winter lull and the true Hvar ‘fjaka’. It has not always been so at the coolest Adriatic island. Interestingly, tourism here first began to develop in the winter months. Due to the mild climate, the island has been a climatic health resort ever since 1868. It also offers a lot more outside the main tourist season - world-class wineries, olive oil, rock climbing, biking and rural tourism. The island offers so much more than beaches, the waterfront with luxury yachts and the infamous parties at the club Carpe Diem. Perhaps part of the problem is also messy destination management. In terms of marketing, four destination organisations operate with the island - Hvar, Stari Grad, Jelsa and Sućuraj, which is too many for such a small and incredibly special island. On the other hand, the island receives the constant attention of foreign media and numerous awards. In 2012, Lonely Planet announced Hvar as one of the top five destinations and Conde Nast one of the top 10 islands in Europe. The visits of stars and mega yachts fills the pages of the yellow press and provides free promotion of the island. The meeting industry goes hand in hand with cuisine and oenology, which makes the island of Hvar also interesting from this point of view; it is one of the hottest Croatian wine points.


Over 2,400 years of wine-making tradition is concentrated around the ‘Stari Grad’ (the Old Town), which is now on the UNESCO heritage map. The oldest vine, plavac mali, can be found on the island of Hvar, the root of a tradition continued by famous winemakers ‘Zlatan Otok’ (Golden Island), Tomić, Carić, Plančić and Duboković. It is necessary to try the native white variety, Bogdanuša. Today Hvar is primarily the scene of a variety of events. This year the Ultra festival will be held there, which will attract over 60,000 visitors to Split, including 5,000 VIP guests in Hvar, who will be entertained at a special venue at the Hotel Amfora. The list of various convention events is also interesting. In June this year, Hvar will host a large start-up conference, with a number of smaller events also lined up, most of them to take place in the flexible convention centre of the Hotel Amfora. The hotel company ‘Sunčani Hvar’ (Sunny Hvar) has raised the quality of their hotels that now satisfy even the most demanding guests. The largest of their hotels is the Amfora, a modern hotel with a conference centre and luxurious extras; it is away from the old town, where they renovated the boutique hotels Adriana and Riva. The full offer is complemented also by hotels of lower category. Stari Grad and other smaller towns still remain, as regards the offer of accommodation, in the shadow of Hvar. Logistically the organisation of events on the island is certainly more complex than on the mainland. However, today, in addition to the quite tired ferries of Jadrolinija, you can use the more comfortable passenger catamaran, which can also be privatised. Each year Split Airport has more connections, even outside of the peak season. The number of flights during the season surpasses those of many of the South-East European capitals. Road connectivity within the island, however, requires a bit more patience, especially during the high season. Culinary gems are always a bit hidden, among them being Palmižana on the nearby Paklinski islands, but otherwise you will find authentic taverns around the island where they will prepare meat or octopus baked “ispod peke” style for you Hvar hides such gems as the village of Velo Grablje, with just seven inhabitants, which is the manufacturing centre of Hvar lavender. In the middle of summer Hvar is really overcrowded, but in early autumn and spring it is a perfect choice for organising congresses and incentive programmes, both at sea and on land.


Destination grade: Quality Congress Destination

4, 12

Meetings Infrastructure

Grading explanation: 5 excellent meetings destination 4 quality meetings destination 3 advisable meetings destination 2 average meetings destination 1 pretty OK meetings destination Individual grades: Natural and Cultural Factors


The central Dalmatian islands have been inhabited since prehistoric times. Due to the island characteristics they create a geographical and cultural-historical finished package. Hvar is now on the UNESCO list of natural heritage sites and is the main adventure pearl of the Adriatic. General and Transport Infrastructure


Since Split is now accessible from the highway, the way to Hvar is significantly shorter. Sunčani Hvar is aware of the difficult access to the island, which is particularly problematic for congress and other business travellers who come for 2 - 3 day’s events. Improving flight connectivity weighs up even in the worst case a twohour drive from Split to the island. Tourist Infrastructure

rants, bars and exclusive beaches. A well maintained walkway connects the old part with the largest hotel, the Hotel Amfora.


Sunčani Hvar took care of the cosmopolitan transformation of Hvar into one of the world’s top destinations. The renovated Riva and Adriana hotels in the old town can meet the needs of the most demanding guests, without missing good restau-


Hvar has put itself on the meetings map by building a convention hotel, Amfora, with a congress centre and two large halls. The largest one can take up to 370 people theatre-style, the other 320. Both are flexible, A/V connected and can be converted into five break out rooms, complemented by three additional ones, designed for smaller, intimate meetings. For special events and receptions, the Hotel Palace offers a wonderful ambience at San Marco terrace on the main town square. Subjective Grade


Despite the notoriety of the island and its visibility Hvar is still sweet, genuine and full of sincere, authentic Mediterranean experiences. The island culture fascinates and conquers, despite the more difficult access. It is well worth it! Comparison with the region: None of the more than 1,000 Croatian islands has such karma and recognition as Hvar. Definitely a “must” Croatian destination, right behind Dubrovnik. Distance from the mainland gives it a touch of boutique smallness. Cool meetings: Hvar wine and the island’s culinary art have thrilled the gourmet and world traveller Anthony Bourdain, who already after the first visit became one of Hvar’s chief promoters. You will also definitely be reminded of Hvar by the taste of olive oil, red wine and the fragrance of lavender. Photo credits: sunčani hvar, 2013 42



Extended stay



Noble Residence

Contact information: Strmol Castle, Dvorje 3, 4207 Cerklje na Gorenjskem, Slovenia GPS: N 46° 15.899’, E 14° 28.728’ T: +386 (0)4 260 16 82, F: +386 (04) 260 17 94 E:

This former presidential summer residence is nowadays a synonym for warm hospitality, selected comfort, timeless elegance, high-end gastronomy and unforgettable experiences. Peaceful environment of Vila Bled is particularly inspiring where one can relax and unwind. Its luxurious interior is ideal for organizing meetings, celebrations and receptions at the highest level. Just a stone’s throw away from the Vila Bled proudly stands Belvedere, the perfect location for wedding receptions and other celebrations. Vila Bled used to be the summer residence of Yugoslav president Tito. Contact information: Vila Bled, Cesta svobode 26, 4260 Bled, Slovenia T: +386 (0)4 575 37 10 F: +386 (04) 575 37 11 E:


10 kilometres from Brdo estate and just 3 kilometres from Jože Pučnik Ljubljana international airport lies a beautiful castle from 13th century. The castle was professionally renovated in 2010 – 2012 and represents a perfect location for boutique events. The elegance of a former noble residence certainly is the right choice for lectures, presentations, meetings, working groups, press conferences, signing an important document, small cultural event or smaller wedding ceremonies and receptions. They will be more than happy to take you on a guided tour of the ancient noble residence with extremely rich history, many stories and exciting adventures of former owners.


Extended stay



Garden Restaurant

5 stars luxury

The Hotel is located in a quiet part of the Ljubljana city centre. It has 194 spacious rooms in the executive part and 133 comfortable rooms in the business part, 12 suites and 16 apartments. Grand Hotel Union offers indoor swimming pool, fitness centre, sauna, massage, 21 conference rooms and a secured garage. Their culinary offer is big; from Aperitif bar, Coffee shop with a range of their sweets, Smrekarjev hram restaurant and Garden restaurant which is the perfect green getaway in city centre of Ljubljana and offers high-end classical cuisine with a Mediterranean touch. Special daily menus from 9 EUR. Dance evenings with live music every Thursday.

The 5 star Hotel Lev , located in the very heart of Ljubljana, combines classical elegance and modern minimalistic accommodation.It features 24/7 room service, exclusive restaurant “Pri Levu” , hotel garage. The modern a’la carte restaurant Pri Levu serves Mediterranean Cuisine with a special touch, whereas the Apertiiff Bar & Lobby is an invitation to a relaxing drink.

PHOTO CREDITS: Grand hotel Union, 2013

Contact information: Grand Hotel Union Executive Miklošičeva ulica 1, SI-1000 Ljubljana T: +386 (0)1 308 12 95, F: +386 (0)1 308 10 15, E:


Contact information: Hotel Lev, Vošnjakova ulica 1, SI-1000 Ljubljana T: +386 (0)1 433 21 55, F: +386 (0)1 230 25 78, E:

Hidden Congress Guest


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Photo credits: HOTEL MAESTRAL

Final Score

CATEGORY ★★★★ OPEN FROM 1971, renovated in 2004 STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities NUMBER OF ROOMS 196 rooms, 18 suites (apartments) ONLINE PRICE 162 - 179 EUR ADDRESS MAESTRAL,RESORT & CASINO Pržno bb, 85315 Sveti Stefan Crna Gora, Montenegro t +382 33 410 100 f +382 33 410 190 hotel(at) FACILITIES Casino Maestral, Wellness Centre, Lumpar Restaurant, Maestral Club, Laurus Bar, Snack bar barka, Hairdressing and beauty salon, Laguna Bar, Wellness and fitness centre, Tennis courts

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

4,90 3,92 3,87 4,02 4,16 3,86 3,28 3,72 3,26 4,16 4,08 4,67 4,86 4,06

4,06 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

LOCATION Buying the hotel in Pržno in 2001, just a hop away from the famous Sveti Štefan (St. Stephen), has proven to be a success story for the owner, Slovenian company HIT, which has successfully realised the strategy of the largest entertainment tourist complex in Montenegro. Today it has quite a lot of competition on the market, but conference guests are still attracted by the integrity of the offer and a romantic bay in the former fishing village of Pržno. Also because of this the hotel has become the centre of meeting tourism on the Montenegrin coast.

hotel of this category. The bathrooms are solid, but not at the level of competing hotels in Budva. Some hotel cosmetics are missing that you would expect in a hotel of such category. The hotel is well maintained and very clean. The convention Centre was among the first in Montenegro and with its multifunctional design it works very well. The largest hall, Bankada, takes 368 participants and has technical equipment in accordance with expected standards, as far as the height of ceilings and transparency are concerned. In addition, there are also two meeting rooms.

ACCESSIBILITY The hotel is situated half way between Budva and Sveti Štefan and the airport in Podgorica is 70 kilometres away. It is just a few minutes away from the Sveti Štefan exclusive tourist complex, one of the most attractive locations on the Montenegrin coast. Parking for guests is well taken care of, although accessibility can sometimes be spoilt by a very busy road to Budva. Guests have a shuttle bus to Budva available, which runs every 20 minutes.

DESSERT – Additional offer Friendly and hospitable restaurants in the fishing village of Pržno.

COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics The hotel is unobtrusive and placed pavilion-style in the bay of the Pržno fishing village. Green surroundings, a magnificent bay and the picturesque backdrop nicely outweigh the hotel architecture with its brick facade and terraced structure that fits nicely into the environment. The Hotel Maestral has had so much cosmetic change that it is possible to differentiate it from the competition, be it the renovated reception or the small changes in the rooms, which are already calling for a more comprehensive and thorough overhaul. WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer If rooms are the weakest part of the hotel, on the other hand the staff and culinary offer are the more powerful part of the story. The staff, with the exception of the reception, is extremely professional, which to the meetings industry above all counts a lot. They are trying hard with the cuisine, which is most evident in the richly-stocked buffet breakfast with a large selection of home baked pastries and culinary surprises. If staying in Pržno for a longer time, a more authentic Montenegrin cuisine an also be tried out in the village. MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer The rooms and the hotel as a whole appear of good quality, but not luxurious, as might be expected from a 46


FLOP – negative surprises Very unstable and slow internet, and rather tired hotel rooms.


TOP – positive surprises The congress Centre, which is in excellent condition and very functional, in combination with the rich additional offer of the resort. Final impression and credibility Hotel Maestral is a kind of crossover between the convention centre, the hotel and the casino. It can be considered the pioneer of such forms of tourism resorts in Montenegro. Soon after the concept was copied elsewhere on the Montenegrin coast. Maestral, despite the competition, managed to maintain the meetings primacy, but for perfection it still needs some improvements in hotel rooms. In any case the talent over the years matures and improves with age.

Hidden Congress Guest


3, 97


Final Score

LOCATION The newest hotel is also the first international hotel chain hotel in Podgorica. The hotel is an integral part of the Mall of Montengero shopping centre with which it shares a common parking garage. It is located in the business section of Podgorica, very close to the city centre. With the arrival of the hotel the city is enriched with a solid multifunctional congress centre, which forms the new future meetings backbone of Podgorica.

CATEGORY ★★★★ OPEN FROM 2012 STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities NUMBER OF ROOMS 110 rooms

ACCESSIBILITY Access to the hotel is easy and parking is free of charge for hotel guests. The city centre is only a stone’s throw away, and very near are also the airport in Podgorica and the bus and train station. Because of its size, Podgorica is easy for transport. The most problematic part is the relatively poor air accessibility. This is improving from year to year, but still does not allow for the rapid development in the low-convention season.

ONLINE PRICE 90 - 119 EUR (June 2013) ADDRESS RAMADA PODGORICA Blv. Save Kovačevića 74 81000 Podgorica Montenegro Tel: +382 20 622 62 FACILITIES Panorama Restaurant, Lobby Lounge Wellness centre Soko Gym Mall of Montenegro

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

to the largest shopping mall in Montenegro, with over three million visitors each year. In addition to the stores in the centre, there is also a bowling alley and a variety of services, cafés and fitness.

COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics The hotel is part of the Mall of Montenegro shopping centre and represents a typical shopping architecture. It does not meet our idea of ‘hotel architecture’, but it is in its own way very practical. It is better on the inside, which follows the classical lines of the hotel chain Ramada. This is modern and compact hotel equipment that does not stand out in any way, but at the same time it cannot be reproached for anything in particular.

3,75 3,49 3,99 3,97 4,07 4,20 4,45 4,32 3,82 3,56 3,89 4,02 3,97

3,97 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer The staff is friendly and professional and is sufficiently refined for its class to stand out from the destination average. Check-in and check-out was quick, efficient and without undue delays. The Restaurant on the fifth floor offers beautiful views of Podgorica. The breakfast is average, but if you want something more authentic the nearby offer is not lacking. MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer The rooms are spacious and solidly equipped, lacking only a few fancy gadgets that are now becoming standard, for example in the bathroom. Solid, correct and of good quality - after all the hotel is practically new - this is felt at every step. A small conference centre on the fifth floor has the largest hall for 217 persons. DESSERT – Additional offer If it can be called additional facilities, the hotel is next 47


FLOP – negative surprises Not very well organised breakfast and presentation of dishes.


TOP – positive surprises Excellently functioning Wi-Fi. Probably one of the best and fastest in the region. Final impression and credibility A classic business hotel that tries to convince its guests with functional design, timeless hotel elegance and solid hotel rooms. This makes it very useful for business people and is a pleasant refreshment to the hotel scene in Podgorica. The ‘Golden Mean’, which is complemented by favourable prices and which faithfully follows the standards of the Ramada hotel chain.

Hidden Congress Guest


4, 34

Photo credits: AVALA RESORT

Final Score

LOCATION It isn’t possible to be any closer to the centre of Budva. The hotel has acquired its pre-and post-war fame from its picturesque location near the old town. Its 1939 construction placed Budva on the tourist destination map and outlined the development of the city outside the walls of the Old Town. The modern architecture and its positioning in the environment divides opinion, but it is important to recognise that the location mixed with the kitschy views of old Budva is exceptional.

CATEGORY ★★★★ OPEN FROM 1937 renovated in 2011 STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities NUMBER OF ROOMS 303 rooms ONLINE PRICE 208 EUR (June 2013)

ACCESSIBILITY Budva is an air destination. Access to the city is easiest through the Tivat airport, which is less than 26 kilometres away, or through the airport in Podgorica. The number of airlines has increased from year to year and from this year, hoteliers can rely on low-cost carriers. The hotel is very large and orientation is sometimes slightly confusing, because of the dark corridors. Parking spaces are available.

ADDRESS AVALA RESORT & VILLAS Beppler & Jacobson d.o.o. Mediteranska 2, P.O. Box 44 85310 Budva T: +382 33 441 527 E: W: FACILITIES - Spa & Fitness Club - Casino - Beach Club 88 - Bruno Lounge Bar - Panoramic Buffet Restaurant - Own beach - Energy Clinic Spa

RESULTS OF ANALYSIS Location Accessibility First Impression Lobby Employee Attitude Reception Hotel Room Hotel Bed Bathroom and Restroom Hotel Breakfast Bars and Restaurants Congress Hall Additional Offer Total: FINAL GRADE premium hotel Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget

4,90 3,75 4,68 4,28 3,88 4,02 4,69 4,90 4,85 4,07 3,98 4,37 4,02 4,34

4,34 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics The hotel’s architecture is clear and divides into those who love it and those who hate it. In any case it remains a fact that the renovated hotel attracted a lot of controversy, with both its exterior and its interior not afraid to be special. The proportions of the hotel have been tightened and the stone facade has been spiced with black façade elements. Blackness and strong contrasts continue in the interior, which impresses with its unique and very special appearance. One man’s unusual is the next man’s excitement, and perhaps a third man’s idea of something unacceptable. We think that that is good! WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer The staff, with a great sense of detail, is otherwise a bit cold, although mostly professional. The hotel breakfast is solid, but not excellent, and the quality of service varies from time to time. A little more warmth and hospitality is missing, that a hotel of this category and with these prices should provide. From the culinary perspective the Bruno restaurant stands out, but for completeness it also lacks a more sophisticated offering. MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer Function, as with the design of the hotel this aspect does not suffer. All the spaces are luxurious and through panoramic walls offer panoramic views of Budva. The hotel rooms are stylish and functionally set. Bathroom equipment is top quality; ergonomics, 48

quality of bedding, mattresses and furnishings are also on the level. The convention facilities are smaller, so the hotel is particularly suitable for incentive groups. The main conference hall can accommodate 236 participants, and next to it there are three smaller halls available. It is a very comfortable atmosphere overlooking the sea. DESSERT – Additional offer The Restaurant Bruno is particularly impressive, probably the best club and space for organising receptions in this part of the Adriatic, a space that can accommodate up to 200 participants.


FLOP – negative surprises Payable Wi-Fi nowadays at hotels of such category is unseemly.


TOP – positive surprises Striking architecture and luxurious interior design of hotel rooms and suites. Final impression and credibility A hotel with great potential, which stands out with its appearance. It is flirting with luxury clients and tries to understand their most demanding requirements. A hotel that wants to be the best on the Montenegrin scene, but will have to continue to work hard on its ‘software’. However, it surprises in many ways and convinces mostly with its lifestyle story. With its dandy design its shortcomings are easily forgiven. It is therefore not surprising that in this month the spectacular Cavalli fashion show is being held here as well as many other events of this rank.

Hidden Congress Guest


4, 35

Photo credits: HOTEL BRISTOL

Final Score

CATEGORY ★★★★ OPEN FROM 2011 STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities NUMBER OF ROOMS Total of 186 rooms in the hotel **** Of which 16 suites (apartments) ONLINE PRICE 145 - 160 EUR (June 2013) ADDRESS HOTEL BRISTOL Fra Filipa Lastrića 2 71000 Sarajevo T: +387 33 705 000 F: +387 33 705 001 E: W: FACILITIES - News Restaurant - The Brasserie Restaurant - Cafe Bristol Coffee Shop - Convention Centre

RESULTS OF ANALYSIS Location 3,90 Accessibility 3,95 First impression 4,05 Lobby 4,20 Employee attitude 4,35 Reception 4,15 Hotel room 4,27 Hotel bed 4,95 Bathroom and restroom 4,91 Hotel breakfast 4,57 Bars and restaurants 4,05 Congress hall 4,86 Additional offer 4,30 Total: 4,35 FINAL GRADE premium hotel


Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget

★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

LOCATION For hotels we like to say that with redesign they become mature. The Bristol Hotel has had quite a long time for growing up, which after total war demolition was fully renovated and from the old one only the outside can be reflected on. The Hotel Bristol Sarajevo, on the access road near the city centre, is now a part of the Shaza hotel chain and is considered one of Sarajevo’s first class business facilities. With its turbulent history this is a hotel with a story. The renovation was led by the Al Shiddi company from Saudi Arabia, with management entrusted to Shaza hotels of Dubai. ACCESSIBILITY The hotel is situated by the road going into the city centre on the edge of the business centre of Sarajevo, with the assembly and other important buildings close by. From Sarajevo Airport it is located less than 6 km away and to Baščaršija in the city centre it takes 5 minutes. Commendable is smaller underground parking garage. The location is not the most picturesque, but it is practical enough to meet the needs of business guests, in particular because the taxi in Sarajevo is among the cheapest in the region. COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics Practically only the façade remained the same at this hotel. This is a typical modernist architecture that does not thrill at first. The interior of the hotel was thoroughly renovated. All architectural interventions have gone in the direction of the luxury experience, with fine materials in place and the space dominated by subdued warm colours, a monotony occasionally broken by interesting details. The hotel rooms are felicitous and suitable for the mark, as the hotel today embodies the quality of their hotel chain. WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer The Hotel Bristol is not only handsome and attractive, but the staff is professional and always cater to your desires. In addition, all the lobbies and rooms are very clean and well maintained. Last year the hotel was declared the best hotel in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the World Travel Awards competition. Guests accustomed to European hotels are surprised by a complete ban on alcohol in the hotel and an adaptation of halal cuisine standards. In practice, however, this is probably a smart business decision, which means the adaptation to Muslim tourists who are more and more in Bosnia. The breakfast is very good, well exceeding the level of four stars. 49

MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer Hotel rooms are a bit dark, and for this category they are relatively small, but well-equipped. When booking it is necessary to pay particular attention to this. Among the better parts of the hotel is the fast and reliable Wi-Fi connection. The whole experience of hotel rooms would near five-stars if the rooms had better dimensions, because of the luxury equipment of everything, from leather details to selected fabrics. Shortly after the opening the congress centre hosted one of the most important events in Sarajevo. Four multifunctional halls convertible into one can accommodate up to 400 participants. In addition, there are two smaller meeting rooms and a conference hall for 252 participants. All halls are equipped with modern multimedia equipment. DESSERT – Additional offer The spa and wellness centre, which is solidly equipped. Disturbing is only an awkward entrance, which is possible only through the hotel lobby.


FLOP – negative surprises Mini bar is free, but for the taste of pampered guests it is poorly stocked.


TOP – positive surprises I-pads with daily news in the breakfast room and probably one of the best beds in the region. Sleeping in such a bed is comparable to winning the main prize at the lottery! Final impression and credibility A well-managed business hotel, which to the Sarajevo market brings the experience of international hotel chains. The Hotel Bristol offers business travellers and convention guests excellent working facilities and service on a global scale, flirting with the highest quality. Smart details, fine fabrics, comfort and everything else that belongs to the top class business hotels. European guests are disturbed only by the prohibition of alcohol, which could be more clearly and explicitly communicated.

Croatia Addendum


Croatia Addendum

Croatia Addendum 1 Daniela Kos WHAT DOES THE EUROPEAN UNION BRING US? 2 Roko Palmić Croatian Business Tourism + EU = Ready?! 3 Interview Peter Fuchs – Croatia’s competitiveness lies in beautiful nature and good value for money 4 Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera – a green resort 5 Marko Bošnjak How to recognise highly professional catering & banqueting?

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


Croatia Addendum

WHAT DOES THE EUROPEAN UNION BRING US? Croatia has just become the 28th member of the world’s largest association. Whether we are going to be a star and illuminate the skies over a fatigued Europe, or just be the last star on the EU flag, depends mostly on us. text by Daniela Kos

52 Croatia today is a country torn between the dream of its own unfulfilled potential and the harsh reality that puts us at the bottom of the world scale of economic competitiveness of developed countries (according to the International Institute for Management Development - IMD), although we are ranked somewhat higher in the World Economic Forum competitiveness in tourism rankings, in Europe being 23rd out of the total of 42 tourist countries. Croatia, a country with 4.5 million inhabitants, is for the sixth quarter in a row officially in recession; unemployment is high and tourism, thanks to the Adriatic coast, for years has been playing the role of saviour of the national economy.


he 1st July 2013 is a historic date for the small Central European and Mediterranean (as we like to say) country of Croatia. After the breakup of Yugoslavia and life on our own, as an independent state for the last 22 years Croatia now joins the great world political and economic association - the European Union. What will this mean for us, its citizens, at a time when most European countries are struggling with recession, or with the protests of its disgruntled residents unsatisfied with living conditions and the decisions of their political elite? What will this mean for the development of our meeting industry and the opportunities that such a community and a new, huge common market could offer?

Does it have to be so in a country that has one of the cleanest and most beautiful coastlines in Europe, incredible natural beauty, hard-working people, a land still safe to walk the streets in? I think we’re really lucky, but that, as a result of the struggle for survival, we are not aware of this. Instead of showing Europe and the world all of the country’s beauty, being open to the various possibilities of co-operation and learning, we are closed. A number of administrative barriers and the often complicated and illogical legislation that does not exist (or is much easier) in the rest of Europe imposes this on us. Rather than taking advantage of the numerous opportunities offered by the single market of half a billion people and attracting a large number of business people, investors, and tourists right throughout the year, and not just in the summer, we are practically at the beginning - we remain in search of our own identity. Where new business is concluded and the economy is developed, there are business meetings organised, conferences, meetings. Germany is a prime example of this. The National Convention Bureau has defined six competitive areas in accordance with market trends - medicine and health, logistics and transport, chemical and pharmaceutical industry, technology and innovation, energy and environmental protection, and the financial sector. Almost 60% of all corporate events in Germany are linked to these sectors, and convention bureaus are supporting these sectors and competencies, promoting meetings in these areas and networking with the

Croatia Addendum

CONGRATULATIONS ON CROATIA’S MEMBERSHIP OF THE EU At midnight on June 30th Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union. This historical event was celebrated with 170 distinguished guests and around 20,000 people coming together at Zagreb’s central square in the centre of Zagrebbana Jelačića and took place to the sound of ‘Ode to Joy’, the main celebration performed by the HRT Symphony Orchestra and accompanying choirs. They were also joined by singers from other Croatian cities that also held celebrations. Ground-breaking night for Croatiais also important for the EU. To many congratulations also joins the editorial board of the Kongres magazine. CONGRATULATIONS CROATIA AND WELCOME TO THE EU!

53 world’s leading corporations and associations related to them. Without a strong national, export-oriented economy, without defining the most strategic sectors, and without focusing marketing efforts precisely to these sectors, there will be no success in the meeting market. In addition to defining and communicating what we are best and most competitive in, to succeed in the international meeting market a true and not just declarative co-operation of all participants in the market - from convention bureaus, conference organisers, to suppliers and intermediaries in the chain – is absolutely necessary. In recent times, it has been called co-opetition (a compound word co-operative competition). As long as everyone performs only for themselves and is looking purely from a self-interest perspective, our meeting industry will not be homogenous or strong enough to be recognised as an important part of the Croatian economy. Until then we will not have large convention centres, nor will we increase the number of flights; hotels will be interested only in profit by the number of overnight stays in the summer season, agencies will be interested only in their own commissions ... Dialogue is the key to all involved, and if nothing else, then we need to learn from Europe to lead a constructive dialogue, until we find common solutions. If Monaco, a small European principality, can unite in a joint campaign of the National Convention Bureau, the largest convention centre, hotels and DMC agencies in the destination, so can we. There is still a lot of work ahead of us. If we are going to be open to dialogue, we will find the best way to highlight the competition and attract new people and business to Croatia. If we are not, then everyone else will be blamed as being completely at ease on the wide, high seas of the European Union. The good news is that a small, export-oriented country can easily adapt itself to find a way out of the crisis. Even better news is that from 2013 to 2020 we have more than 13 billion euros available from the European funds, from which we could fund good, innovative projects and tourism. So, everything is in our own hands. On this journey, I wish us just a little more wisdom, courage and openness to others and new ideas. Everything else we already have!

Croatia Addendum

Croatian Business Tourism + EU = Ready?! Croatia’s azure Adriatic coastline dotted with over a thousand verdant islands has already won a spot on the world tourist map - will July’s 2013 EU entry of Croatia further boost the tourism sector? text by Roko Palmić



ue to its abundant natural resources, Croatia is often called a “national park of Europe”. Its accession into the EU as a full member in July 2013 is expected to induce European tourism demand on Croatia as a holiday destination. But what about Croatia as a new European Business and MICE destination? The EU entry will certainly improve Croatia’s image as a tourist destination and provides a key support for Croatia’s economy. One positive impact is definitely the unified taxation and custom rules within the EU. I am sure that every hotelier or DMC in Croatia had the experience that important conference materials for a congress or meeting were stopped at customs, as clarification was not clear, papers were missing, customs office hours….etc. – but these times are now over. EU membership might, however, have some negative impact too - Croatia has had to introduce visas for tourists from Russia, Ukraine and Turkey to comply with the bloc’s rules. These markets in particular delivered a travel increase, in the past years, to Croatia. An easy visa application process at Croatian Embassies or on airport arrival could help to keep this travel trend stable. According to ICCA the Russian market is growing fast, as approximately 73% of all Russian corporate meetings are still held outside Russia, as there are limited facilities available within the country. Croatia should not miss this potential by having strong and difficult visa regulations. But my question now is if Croatia is ready for some changes on their supplier markets – has Croatia sourced for new upcoming, expanding EU markets and has it used all the EU Tourism possibilities? When discussing the trends and skill needs in tourism, it is always interesting to start with some facts and figures on the current situation of European tourism. The general outlook for this dynamic sector is, in relation to other traditional European economic sectors, positive and quite optimistic for the coming years. Tourism is generally and globally acknowledged as being one of the (very) few economic sectors that has more than significant growth prospects and is characterised as a catalyst for peace and prosperity.

Despite the increasing competition in overall world tourism, Europe is still the number one destination. It has the highest density and diversity of tourist attractions. Tourism, however, is still an internal European phenomenon, as 87% of the tourists who visit Europe come from EU countries. Although most travel is still undertaken for leisure, 20% is for business. Certain trends in European tourism have been identified, suggesting that tourist arrivals will double in the next 25 years and that this doubling will take place in Europe – which means that Croatia will also be affected by this development. What about Congress and Business Tourism demand for Croatia after entering the EU? Congress tourism is an important part of business tourism in Europe. In recent years it recorded huge growth across the world. Congress tourism contributes to the transmission and exchange of experience and knowledge, as well as generating employment in the area of the congress site. Its development has positive influence on tourist results in the Republic of Croatia. According to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics, in the period from January to March 2013, compared to the same period of 2012, the total number of business meetings held in the Republic of Croatia increased by 15.6%. In the same period, the total number of days at the business meetings decreased by 1.3%, while the total number of participants at the meetings increased by 4.3%. Each meeting lasted two days on average. By professional organiser, 70.2% of business meetings were organised by corporations and companies and 29.8% by associations and institutions. According to type, the most meetings, 60.0% of them, were business meetings and 36.4% were congresses/conferences. As we can see, still potential for growth! The congress industry generates a number of main features. First of all, occupancy of the capacity is in the pre- and post-season. It can then also be noted that there is significantly greater consumption by congress participants than by tourists on holidays. An additional advantage is that each business meeting includes short trips, so participants have a chance to see the natural beauty of Croatia. Satisfied congress

Croatia Addendum

Roko Palmić is a hotel industry professional, specialised in overall sales and marketing, strategic planning and the execution of plans. He ahs held positions as, among others, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Sacher Hotels, Marriott Hotels, the Carlson Rezidor Hotel group and managing director at JumpUp Hospitality & Tourism Consulting. Currently he is holding the Director of Sales & Marketing position at the Westmont hospitality group. 55 and other business meeting participants are the best promoters of Croatia as a tourist, business, scientific and cultural destination. The most important factors influencing organisers when deciding in which country to host an international event are: • cost • connectivity • quality of accommodation • quality of service • quality of meeting facilities • availability of venues/hotel rooms • travel time to destination • security/safety • time of year • transport at destination • weather and range of leisure options All of above-mentioned Croatia can offer! Therefore, Croatia can expect great opportunities ahead from increasing demand for congress tourism. A significant impact on the development of tourism in Croatia is, and must be, congress tourism. Croatia is an ideal destination for this type of tourism. It has good transport links, good infrastructure and supporting content such as cultural and historical heritage and natural attractions. By following the MICE trends for 2013 – where it’s becoming more about developing instant, personalised & bookable services – Croatia should develop as the new EU MICE rising star on the blue European flag. For Croatian destinations’ MICE and tourism companies, what matters is offering customised and relevant information by gaining access to large amounts of data from multiple EU sources. DMCs and congress organisers will now get direct access to different EU Programmes, Fronds and Associations, which are offering huge potential for growing business.

Now it’s time to switch the Croatian holiday image to a Business image – so how is this possible? Let’s have a look at another well-known EU holiday destination: Cyprus. In July 2012 Cyprus took over the Presidency of the EU. The island was the venue for a large number of top line meetings and congresses during the Presidency and Cyprus used this period to perfectly promote Cyprus as the upcoming business destination. Malta is another well-known EU holiday destination. Josef Formosa Gauci, CEO of the Malta Tourism Authority, said at IMEX 2013. “We need to stay on top of our game and listen to what the client wants, in order to further grow this sector.” Despite the global economic scenario, Malta has witnessed a sustained increase in conference and incentive travel over the past three years. The gathering of people in Malta is simplified by the fact that via a three hour flight the islands are easily accessible from the main European gateways. Additionally, the smart and flexible local meetings industry is always at hand to provide solutions tailored to the needs of particular conference and incentive groups – and don’t forget, the Maltese Islands are members of the European Union, the Eurozone and the Schengen agreement. My conclusion is that Croatia, on the doorstep of the EU, has still a lot of other doors and possibilities to open – so let the EU MICE business in!

Croatia Addendum


Croatia Addendum

Peter Fuchs: Croatia’s competitiveness lies in beautiful nature and good value for money

Valamar Hotels&Resorts is the biggest hospitality management company in Croatia. They operate 23 hotels, seven apartment villages and nine campsites, mostly in two main tourist regions in Croatia, Istria and Dubrovnik. We spoke with Valamar‘s CEO Peter Fuchs, who has held this position since 2007. What are your predictions for this season in Valamar hotels in Croatia? The preparation for this season was quite challenging for us. Firstly due to weather conditions, which weren’t ideal, and secondly, due to the early Easter break this year, which correlated with the ski season. We can say June was again a challenging month for us, but we are now on track with our plans. We are constantly improving and keen to set high targets. Valamar is looking forward to nice business opportunities in autumn and, since the weather is an unpredictable factor in tourism, we hope it will continue to be in our favour. We are ambitious to set higher and higher standards every year and to continuously improve our offers and services in all possible aspects. As always, we are fully prepared for this season and expecting our guests with great excitement. Last year, as a destination we did very well and we are convinced this trend will continue for Croatia in 2013, as well as for Valamar. Valamar has recently invested around 8 million euros in the renovation of Hotel&Casa Valamar Sanfior in Istria. Are there any other investments planned for this year? In 2013 we invested around 23 million Euros in our properties. Our biggest investment was in hotel Valamar Sanfior in Rabac, in Istria, which became a four star property for leisure guests with high demands. Our second biggest investment this year went to Camping Krk on the island of Krk. This 4* eco-friendly camping, which was awarded ISO 14001 certificate and carries the Blue Flag for its beach, now offers a heated outdoor pool and the first camping SPA zone in Croatia and luxurious mobile homes with their own yard. After this repositioning, Camping Krk has become a kind of open-air hotel and one of the best 4* campsites in Croatia. Investments in Valamar are always carefully planned before they are realised, so we are proud to say that one of our projects for the next season is expansion and remodeling of Valamar Dubrovnik President Hotel to a 5* hotel offering new luxurious suites, outdoor swimming pool and an upgrade of all rooms and public spaces. The project is planned for completion in 2014, and the estimated investment level is around 20 million EUR. Also, Hotel Zagreb and Hotel Argosy will join Valamar’s 4* hotel portfolio after planned renovation and investment.

Besides investing in our facilities, Valamar is also investing in our greatest resource – the employees. This contributes to the continuously improving quality of service by introducing the highest quality standards in every aspect of operations. We have developed our own platform for training and education of key operating and management functions. Our standard operating procedures and many certificates for quality business management are at the highest international level. Since our guests are at the center of our attention, we give great importance to further development of human resources as the main factor of service quality in tourism. These investments, together with the EU entrance, make us set optimistic goals for the coming season. At Valamar we see an opportunity in the future, since we are heavily investing in our properties and quality of service. That is very important if you want to keep your guests and attract new ones. Croatia will benefit from entering the European Union Croatia has just joined the European Union. In what way will this help to improve Croatian tourism in general?  I think the European Union is a good thing for Croatian tourism. Economic indicators show that Croatia will definitely benefit from entering the European Union. This will also reflect on tourism and have a positive impact. The overall results demonstrate that Croatia is becoming more and more interesting to foreign tourists and I believe the EU entrance will help to raise awareness about Croatia as a beautiful and safe country for tourism. Tourists will be able to travel and cross borders faster and in the long-term might be able to pay in a single currency if they are coming from EU countries. Croatia’s competitiveness lies in beautiful nature and good value for money. It is not the cheapest destination, but for sure it is one with a good level of service and high-quality properties. The coast and Adriatic Sea are really unspoiled natural resorts and if we put all of that together, I am sure tourists will find Croatia a great place for a holiday and lasting memories.   Croatia has many devastated hotel properties in state ownership that are going to be privatised. Do you plan to invest in some of these properties in the future?  As a tourism company, we are actively keeping track of projects, companies and properties in the tourism sector in Croatia. We are continuously analyzing opportunities for further growth and development of our business, which also includes hotel properties in state ownership. Our interest for each case will certainly depend on tender conditions and profitability of such investment. High level of indebtedness of such


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hotel companies is very often the obstacle for realising these projects. You are German, living in Croatia for many years. Have you noticed any significant changes of the business climate in Croatia over that period? The investment climate in Croatia is getting better, but there is still a lot to be done to remove administrative burdens for doing business and for investments. We are paying many taxes and levies that are influencing our business on daily basis. All this is acting very discouragingly for investors. Valamar group is one of the biggest investors in Croatian tourism. The Croatian government made some steps in investment climate improvement and I hope that a new Tourism strategy will additionally help Croatia to become one of top 20 destinations in the world. Certainly, there is room for improvement in the current construction and land legislation. Besides this, I have to mention that some of the major issues today in Croatia are unemployment, high taxes on labor costs that cause a great problem for employers and employees, as well as inflexible labor regulations which do not ease up the process of employment, nor the mobility of employees. We all hope the government will do its best in encouraging employment by ensuring new workplaces and stimulating the overall Croatian economy. EU entrance could help speed up those processes. Valamar adopting dolphins in CSR campaign The Meetings & Events segment is very important for Valamar. What can we do as a destination to become more competitive in the international meetings market? Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik is one of the biggest congress hotels in Croatia. With a capacity of approximately 1,200 guests in our congress hall, we have the leading congress centre in the Dubrovnik region and one of the leading ones at the Adriatic coast. By definition, Valamar is a leisure tourism company. Most of our guests are families and couples but since we are building a strong MICE segment, we have many business groups and individuals that are business related. In order to become more competitive in the meetings market, our country needs stronger destination management that would provide guests with additional content and experiences. Tourists still don’t know that Dubrovnik, former Dubrovnik Republic, is the cradle of modern diplomacy and even when they come to Dubrovnik there is little developed offering about the history. Development of such products will have a strong influence on Croatian tourism in the future.

Unfortunately, Croatia still isn’t perceived as a year round destination and that is a huge challenge for Croatian tourism in general. That is also one of our priorities in Valamar. How to bring a guest to Dubrovnik or Istria outside the season and provide him with memorable experiences? I find that the public sector, especially the Ministry of tourism, must have a development strategy plan for congress tourism, which has recently occurred through the new Strategy for development of tourism of the Republic of Croatia to 2020. Croatia is lacking serious, big congress centres that can accommodate a few thousand guests, and this is where I see the strong role of the state as a partner or investor in building such a centre in one of the most attractive destinations in Croatia. The state also has to encourage the initiation of regular air lines with leading European cities outside season as well, because the short season is one of the leading problems of Croatian tourism. One of the most ideal ways of lengthening the season is congress tourism itself. Last year Valamar introduced an interesting MICE campaign called „meetINblue“. Can you tell us more about it and its first results? The Adriatic coast is by far the most popular Croatian touristic region, with 11 million tourists every year. Crowned with 1244 islands, islets, rocks, reefs and blue crystal clear sea, it is one of the most desirable sailing destinations of the world. As a leading hotel chain in Croatia and socially responsible member of the community, here in Valamar we are focused on the protection of biological diversity of the Adriatic sea. Since 2012 we’ve been supporting the Blue World Institute in protecting Adriatic dolphins. Funds gathered during the project from the area of socially responsible business ‘’meetINblue-Valamar blue meetings’’ in 2012, we have adopted 42 dolphins from Adriatic Sea, thus contributing to the preservation of this protected species. Thanks to realising the lease of our conference rooms for the events in which 100 or more people participate, by donating 700 Kunas for every lease of that type we can adopt one dolphin. Innovation and the importance of the project, which supports the work of non-government association Blue World, was recognised by the profession and meetINblue received the prestigious reward CBTour in category for the best responsible Croatian business tourism program in 2012. Interviewed by: Daniela Kos

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Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera – a green resort The Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera, located in the heart of Dalmatia, is a unique example of sustainability and ‘green hospitality’ in Croatia



ocated on the peninsula of Punta Skala, near the beautiful antique city of Zadar, the luxury Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera is a member of renowned international hotel association “The Leading Hotels of the World.” Inspiring architecture, unsurpassed design, perfect wellness experience, a first-class service, superb AlpineAdriatic cuisine and Mediterranean charm provide an exclusive holiday oasis that sets new standards. In addition to the holiday focus, the conference centre at the Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera hosts various kinds of business events, from conferences, incentives, and seminars to major conferences. But what makes this story truly unique is its location in the heart of Dalmatia and its green philosophy; sustainability is one of the key corporate values of Falkensteiner, and in the construction of the resort special emphasis was placed on the conservation of the environment and the welfare of the community. Already in the design stages of the future Falkensteiner Punta Skala complex consideration was given to the synergy of cost efficiency, high quality services, energy efficiency and independence with the environmental benefits of the houses. In co-operation with international experts a complex system was implemented to minimise the long-term effect of human “action” on the environment. Environmental protection, wastewater treatment, waste reduction and optimisation of energy consumption are the basis of this system. To ensure natural cooling, the designer buried the garage underground, lighting switches across sectors are equipped with sensors, thus avoiding unnecessary power consumption, and on top of the garage is a green area. “The issue of energy independence is very important to us,” said Georg Unterkircher, general manager of Punta Skala. “As the Zadar area is facing potential problems with water during the summer months, but also having to provide our customers with the highest possible quality of service, we have built a plant for seawater desalination. The system is supplying the Diadora and Iadera hotels and Senia apartments with drinking water of high quality.” Pipes pump sea water to the plant, where it passes through membrane filtration during which sodium and chlorine are

removed. The water is then enriched with minerals and drinking quality water is then used for all purposes in the hotel: cooking, showering, filling the pool. Waste water from the hotel is not discharged into the sewer, but is treated, processed and used for watering the green areas, with the resulting solid waste dried and used as fertilizer. In order to reduce the costs of heating and cooling (and consequently the use of fossil fuels that pollute the environment) heat pumps that use the temperature of the sea are utilised. These devices convert energy into heat energy, in turn used to heat the hotel. “Whenever possible, we also use local food suppliers,” said Unterkircher. “For example, every day we buy fresh fish from local fishermen, to ensure the highest possible quality, and also to contribute to the development of local economy.” Attention to detail can also be seen in herbs: rosemary, lavender, immortelle and other native species are not only giving a pleasant smell, but they also serve as an everyday spice to cooks. The menu is based on regional ingredients. “For cleaning we use only biodegradable products, and also another “small step” was the introduction of soap dispensers that can be refilled, reducing the amount of packaging waste,” added Unterkircher. “We are aware of pollution that occurs as a result of emissions from vans,” continued Unterkircher. “Therefore, in the resort we have two electric vehicles for internal communications. For next season, we plan to invest in solar power - photovoltaic solar cells - which would further increase the independence of the complex, achieve cost savings, reduce CO2 emissions, hire a few more workers and thus contribute to the realisation of our vision of sustainability. “Although we have already done a lot, there is still room for improvement,” said Unterkircher. “One needs to start with small steps, day by day, by which one can achieve a lot. Our desire is to be recognized as a truly ‘green resort’, so we are constantly working on improvements.” Events to remember A unique harmony of high technology and environmental principles make business events a unique experience for all participants. Thanks to the modern concept of design with its

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61 own separate entrance, reception hall with cloakroom, lobby and business centre, the conference centre is a separate entity that provides the necessary peace participants require for all types of business meetings. The Convention Centre, which extends to over 600m2 includes seven innovatively equipped conference rooms that can be rearranged as required by the organiser. From the neighbouring lobby one can go directly to the Sotto Voce Lounge Bar terrace. The business centre is fully equipped with computers, internet access, printers, phones and fax machines. The arrangement of the centre provides flexibility in combining space, depending on the needs of the organisers, from small intimate meetings to events for up to 200 participants. The rooms are air-conditioned and soundproofed, boasting excellent audio-visual equipment for conferences and presentations. “Arranging large, successful meetings and conferences is an integral part of what we love to do,” said Unterkircher. “We can arrange everything to make the stay of business guests a memorable one: the relaxing fun after work, special spa treatments for partners and groups, to exciting excursions in the beautiful countryside around the resort. The exceptional location of the hotel on the Adriatic coast and the amazing size of the resort offers a unique location for professional recording of commercials and fashion editorials, and especially for the launch and presentation of international car brands.

We are proud that our clients are Porsche, Ferrari, Peugeot and Chevrolet.” Punta Skala is located in the immediate vicinity of Zadar and Nin and national parks such as the Krka waterfalls, the Plitvice Lakes, Paklenica, Velebit and Kornati, all of which provide countless opportunities for fun, trips, team building, and a wide range of activities covering off road and cave exploring, trekking, canoeing and rafting. These can all be accompanied by enjoying the splendid Dalmatian cuisine and local wine. “Charlie Bravo” for lovers of nautical tourism The Hotel & Spa Iadera has one of the largest wellness and spa centres on the Adriatic coast: Acquapura SPA wellness centre covers an area of 6000m2. It has as many as 17 treatment rooms, a private spa suite, several indoor and outdoor pools one of which is filled with seawater, relaxation rooms where relaxing teas are served after treatment, sauna world with a unique panoramic view of the Zadar archipelago, as well as a modern interpretation of the Turkish hammam which extends over 700m2. All of this guarantees an extraordinary wellness experience. And for lovers of nautical tourism, there is something really special! The hotel offers its guests a 12 metre yacht - Cranchi Zaffiro 36 “Charlie Bravo” - to enjoy the beauty of the Adriatic coast, its hidden coves and clear blue sea.

Croatia Addendum

How to recognise highly professional catering & banqueting? What used to be considered luxury is today an integral part of business and private events. Of course, we are talking about catering.

text by Marko Bošnjak



t the outset we need to clearly define the difference between a highly professional catering & banqueting and what the law in Croatia defines as “catering facilities”. Today in the market almost every restaurant, pizzeria, bar, snack bar, tavern, etc. offers catering services as a side job, and this can be attributed to the current legislation. Before the law it is almost the same if one is organising the delivery of one pizza or a party for 200 people, as they are both business entities considered to be “catering facilities”. This allows individuals to abuse the system, leaving the organisers of business and private meetings unprotected, because they must themselves assess and explore the degree of quality of works. Unlike catering, hotels are categorised and organisers from the start know what quality of service they can expect in a hotel with three, four or five stars. How to hire a quality catering? When hiring catering services one needs to begin to take steps that can clearly indicate what kind of service one can expect: • Check whether the restaurant that offers catering services is specialised in this area or is its main activity restaurant, bar, cafeteria, snack bar, etc. As in all other industries, also here it means a lot if it is a company specialising in a particular area. Thus the activity can be performed much better and is investing a lot more effort if it is the main and only source of income of the company. • Check the capacity of the kitchen, warehouse, the fleet .... It often happens that the “paper suffers anything”, so it is impossible if you want to be sure of the safety of food and do not want to jeopardize the entire event. Getting a quote for organising a reception for 350 people from the catering facility whose kitchen has 35m2, three fridges, one person in the kitchen and food transports are done with a small van with no cooling system… in such a case our common sense dictates that a deal with such capabilities is not possible. • Check how long the company has been operating in the market and be sure to check the reference list and experience with similar projects. • If you care to make a good impression on the event you organise, certainly insist on looking at food preparation, cooling appliances in the kitchen, the fleet with which the caterer

carries out its activities, staff uniforms, big and small items (tables, chairs, accessories, cutlery, plates, etc.). There is a big difference between what you are promised in a telephone communication and what the real situation and the possibilities of performance in the field are. So you take a little time and ‘scan’ through to the end capabilities of the caterer, since your business reputation greatly depends on this. • Be sure to ask for special purposes and food tasting, but remember that for five people almost anyone can prepare a quality food tasting, so it is very important to pay attention to all the other indicators. • Check the food safety control system. According to legislation HACCP is a minimum and is mandatory for all restaurants in Croatia, while ISO 22000 is a maximum and reduces the possibility of any health defects to zero. ISO system requires significant investment in space, training, equipment ... therefore, we recommend that you seek ISO certification and be sure. • One of the most important things is to check the stability of the company. For example, if in 2013 you organise a congress for 2015, you need to be sure that the company will still exist in two years. • Care must be taken that only carrying out searches on the web site can be risky, because what looks great on the website may be far from the reality. How to send a request to a quality catering? Given that the catering is often a very complex process and requires individual application - as opposed to restaurants, hotels and other fixed locations, this is still working on some “other” location - the individual needs of the group, the improvisation, and the handling of the new space is of paramount importance. Therefore it is important to query the catering and specify these few things: • The location and date of the banquet and the number of guests • Time and duration of the banquet • Specify whether this will be a gala lunch or dinner with seating areas or stand up versions with cocktail tables

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Marko Bošnjak / Catering Favory For the last ten years Marko Bošnjak has been working in the hospitality industry, of which the last four years in the catering Favory, one of the leading Croatian highly professional caterings. In addition to standard private and business facilities, the branch Opatija is specialised in the field of business and congress tourism: they have devised special menus for events, interesting concepts with food and drink for team buildings, gala dinners, presentations, incentives, and much more. 63 • Take into account the wishes of the guests and the age of the group, sex (whether a predominantly male, female or mixed group), religion (Halal, Kosher, etc.), opportunity, language barriers (waiters and chefs who speak a certain language) • State the budget - if it is defined, it is easier to adjust and determine which direction to go in, without much loss of time Once you make the above checks and insights into companies meeting the criteria, please contact the catering and ask for a meeting with a specialist who will listen to all your wishes, will know how to advise you well, and propose a joint visit of the site ... Bids on paper in this case are just a formality. It saves your time and engagement of experts so that you can avoid misunderstandings, relax and concentrate on the rest of your project. Types serving and menu Highly professional and quality catering can offer different ways of serving, often come up with a completely new concept of lunch or dinner, set a new trend ... This can be a standard buffet in all its variants, to show cooking (e.g. preparing various pasta, risotto, stew, etc. in front of guests), prepareing grilled meat in front of guests ... all the way to Teller service, which is often the most challenging, because a quality performance requires a large number of waiters, cooks and equipment. To make the performance good, it is essential that in just a few minutes a group of 200 guests gets the food on the plate, that one waiter is serving a table of eight people, etc. There is also a more classic version of serving food on trays (very little represented in organisations, business meetings). A significant proportion have stand-up receptions with finger food menus that again can be set in the buffet or served as a flying service (the waiters are circulating with trays of food between guests), or a combination of these. So it is useful, before a concrete offer, to visit the site with a catering specialist, as it could turn out that they are offering you something impossible at this location.

Co-ordination of the event on the ground This is the stage where the days and weeks of good planning come to the fore and are reduced to a day or two-day operational activities. It is important to arrange details with other suppliers working on the project (music, lighting, tent, etc.) beforehand to prevent crowding and confusion on site. So it should be determined who is coming to the location and when, and possibly arrange to open the location a day before to prepare the space. All details should be negotiated with just one or two persons in charge of catering to avoid misunderstandings. During the event, it is best to negotiate exclusively with the head of catering, not directly and individually with the staff at the reception. Thus one avoids the destruction of already established concepts and avoids confusion of operational staff. Of course, the person in charge of catering must have at any time a concrete response to the situation and must know the potential and actual problems and situations. Mutual trust is very important for a successful business. Conclusion Given the current major disruptions in the market and the fight for every job, the organisers of events often find themselves in a dilemma as to whether to accept the best priced offer of catering. However, price-quality ratio is extremely important: in order that the value of deals can be compared, be sure to compare them using all of the above items. Price as a numeric amount is a very misleading basis for comparison. Quality is what you should take the decision on, because this is a very sensitive segment in which there is not much room for corrections.

Extended stay


In the northern part of the Sečovlje Salina Natural Park, a new and unique outdoor spa centre was opened in the spring 2013. Visitors are offered a special experience of traditional thalasso therapy in a unique natural environment amidst salt pans using natural products. Due to its sensitive location in the heart of the landscape park, special attention was given to the arrangement and final appearance. The architectural design of the facilities is visually adapted to the geometry of the salt pans since the smaller wooden facilities are designed parallel with the lines of the salt-pan worker’s houses. All the facilities are energy efficient and built in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. Contact information: Sečovlje Salina Natural Park, Seča 115, 6320 Portorož, Slovenia T: +386 (05) 672 13 60 E:

Rimske terme Business Wellness Spa Resort, Rimske toplice Rimske Terme, Slovenia Roman Spa with their rich history and beautiful surroundings is the perfect place for business meetings. Your business event will be a little different and in the middle of unspoiled nature which will give a very special charm. We offer you multi function rooms equipped with cutting-edge technology. You can still enrich your business meeting with culinary and wellness experience which won’t leave you or your colleagues indifferent. Contact information: Rimske terme Business Wellness Spa Resort, Rimske toplice Toplice 10, 3272 Rimske Toplice, Slovenia T: +386 (0)3 574 20 15, F: +386 (0)3 734 63 12, E:


Extended stay


LAGUNA POREČ Poreč, Croatia

Feriendorf, Austria Our 4-Star Resort is located on the banks of the Drava River and the perfect setting for your business event. Choose from a variety of seminar rooms or a state-of-the-art event hall and try our special seminar packages including teambuilding activities! Contact information: Wahaha Paradise Sport & Family Resort Feriendorf 1, 9181 Feistritz im Rosental, Austria T: +43 4228 377 33 502 F: +43 4228 377 33 77 E:

Plava Laguna – Laguna Poreč is one of the biggest tourism and hospitality companies in Croatia. In our 13 hotels we offer you conference halls and meeting rooms from 10 to 600 seated places with audio-visual and other equipment. You will find everything you need for Professional organizing business events and a pleasant Mediterranean climate with the natural environment. We will merge business with pleasure – and this may be the goal of our offer - to organize congresses, seminars, sport events, weddings and gala-dinners. After your regular program, we offer you the opportunity to relax with excellent sports and recreational outdoor facilities or in our sports halls, fitness, swimming pool and the wellness center. Therefore it is best to see for yourself and be sure how your stay in Laguna Poreč facilities brings you real success, because: YOUR SUCCESS IS OUR GOAL! PLAVA LAGUNA d.d., LAGUNA POREČ Rade Končara 12, 52440 Poreč, Hrvaška Tel. 00385/52/410-222, Faks 00385/52/410-412 E-pošta:


Who is Who

Kuoni Events What are you most proud of in your business and private lives? Business wise I’m most proud to have fully organised a corporate event in Fuerteventura, which hosted over 70 people and was quite a challenge to manage, due to the out of season travel date and limited flight accessibility. However I satisfied delegates expectations and ran a very successful conference with a bit of an incentive flavour, which was great fun! Personally I’m very proud to have had the courage to move abroad whilst never cutting ties with family and friends in Slovenia. Life wisdom/motto? ‘The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.’ (St. Augustine) Where are you going to spend this year’s holiday? This year my dad celebrates his 50th, so I decided to spend a big portion of my holiday time in Slovenia.

TANJA ŽIBERT Project manager Kuoni Events

SHORT CV Originally from a small village close to Smarjeske Toplice in the Slovenian southeast region, which prides itself on Thermal springs and the beautiful castle Otocec. She completed degree in Organisation and Management a year later and hungry for another internship experience landed at Angela Shanley Associates. In this multicultural and international company met a diverse range of people and gained fundamental knowledge from leisure FIT’s and corporate MICE organisation in the travel industry. Her career evolved in 2011 when I joined Today she work as a Project Manager at Kuoni Events, which is part of the Kuoni Group, one of the leading global travel and destination management services companies.

What was your favourite vacation? I just returned from a surfing adventure in the Canary Islands, which was exciting and a totally new experience. Where would you go if there were no time and financial constraints? I would definitely take a trip around the world. First time around I would travel with my friends and second with my family. What is your favourite indoor/outdoor activity? Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. What is you favourite dish and restaurant (anywhere in the world)? I enjoy a good steak at ZUMA Restaurant in London, which prepares it heavenly. They offer something completely new - a sophisticated twist on the traditional Japanese izakaya style of informal eating and drinking. They strive to deliver an authentic flavour of the east while respecting the traditions of the past. I strongly recommend it! What is you favourite gadget? I have to be a bit boring and say iPhone/iPad. Which song do you most often play on your iPod? At the moment the song “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake.


Which part of the day and of the week is your favourite? Evenings, when I can meet with friends, go to the gym, enjoy musicals and movies and other industry events. What is your favourite mode of transport? Car would be my preference. If you could return to the past or hurry to the future, how old would you like to be? Why? I would return to the past and speak to myself at 18, to take the opportunity to study abroad after Gymnasium Novo mesto. If you could witness any event in history which one would you choose? It’s a sad moment but I would love to be at the F1 race when Senna passed away. What was the best party you have attended? AN open spa party at London bridge few years ago. The set up of the stage and all the spa facilities was made by London architects in a very unique and interesting way. I got to enjoy good music, have a few drinks and swim as well as sauna at the same time. Perfect! The last film, book, concert? I just saw Superman, read a book called Love has wings and saw a Guns ‘n’ Roses concert. What fantasy character would you be? Mulan. She is courageous, self-reliant, a natural beauty that is sometimes clumsy, outspoken but also very independent and adventurous. What did you learn last week? I read this on my friend’s Facebook profile: “Did you know that Bees sometimes get drunk while out ‚working‘ and when they go back to the hive drunk, they get executed by guard Bees?” I did some research and its proved to be true. So I definitely learned something new… Did you?

Who is Who

Conferenz, NZ What are you most proud of in your business and private lives? Finding the courage to leave a good job that I had in Ljubljana, leave my family and friends who I really miss, and go to the other side of the world to live my dreams. Life wisdom/motto? ‘Save the Earth, it’s the only planet that has chocolate.’ I can’t live without chocolate… Where are you going to spend this year’s holiday? I haven’t quite planned my next holiday yet, but either it will be skiing in Queenstown (NZ), surfing in Fiji or visiting family and friends in Slovenia. What was your favourite vacation? Backpacking around Cuba, a surf trip to Portugal and living in New Zealand (I’ve been here for a while now, but it still feels like I’m on holiday).

LANA MIHELIČIČ Conference manager Conferenz, NZ

SHORT CV While studying at the Law Faculty of Ljubljana I was working as a hostess, in Cankarjev dom and in Auditoria. After graduation I worked for the Tomaz Cad Law Office, but decided to leave the job as I got a one year working holiday visa for New Zealand. As a traveller and a surfer I have always dreamt of living close to the ocean. My dreams came true in a tiny surfing town called Raglan. After meeting my partner I ended up ‘extending’ my holidays. After a year of working in local cafes I was desperate for a more challenging job. As my law degree is not valid in NZ I decided to go back to event management. I got a job at Conferenz, NZ’s leading conference organiser. My role as a conference manager is to write programmes for different conferences. As I am able to work from my home office in Raglan and surf during lunch breaks, I can say that I live my dreams J. Company web page: My email: My blog:

Where would you go if there were no time and financial constraints? At the moment, I would love to go home, to see my family. What is your favourite indoor/outdoor activity? Indoor: reading books by the fireplace with a hot chocolate in hands. Outdoor: surfing. What is you favourite dish and restaurant (anywhere in the world)? Food: My granny’s crepes; my mom’s vegetable lasagna; my partner’s thai green curry. Restaurant: Gostilna Cad in Ljubljana. What is you favourite gadget? Surfboard. Which song do you most often play on your iPod? September, Future Prophecies. Which part of the day and of the week is your favourite? Mornings. Monday to Sunday. What is your favourite mode of transport? Bike. If you could return to the past or hurry to the future, how old would you like to be? Why? It might sound boring, but I’m quite happy where I am: I look like I am 25 and I think I know as much as I would have known when I’m in my 60s. 67

If you could witness any event in history which one would you choose? First Olymics in ancient Greece. What was the best party you have attended? A house party in a barn above Ruapuke – it was just so random, in the middle of some huge farm above the ocean, and all the locals were there (from neighbouring farms), from kids to grannies. The last film, book, concert? Movie: Hangover 3. Book: Let the great world spin, Colum McCann. Concert: Fly my pretties (Womad Festival, Taranaki). What fantasy character would you be? Spiderman – I love the way he climbs the skyscrapers. What did you learn last week? A magic trick with a disappearing coin.


Anyone looking for excellence, comes to Brdo


t the Convention Centre, which was headquarters to the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union, a real difference is created by experienced organisers. The natural environment provides a memorable relaxation, and business Hotel Kokra a superior accommodation. Glass modernity in the middle of nature The Brdo Estate has historically been a venue for important governmental events. Renaissance castle Brdo, villa Zois and other attractive premises in the middle of the superbly designed park were in 2007 joined by the modern Congress Centre, which was also the seat of the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union. Behind glass fronts of the building, which in architecturally thoughtful way blends with the natural environment and the Alpine peaks in the background, there are around 9 thousand m2 of premises. Adjustable larger and smaller halls, meeting rooms, business rooms, booths and halls offer an excellent environment for large congresses and conferences and for smaller meetings and work conversations. The equipment is designed in such a way to allow for a wide variety of layouts. Superior custom-made implementation There are all devices for multimedia work, free wireless access to the Internet throughout. Interpretation booths for trans-

lators are available, workplaces for journalists are arranged. Depending on the needs of the event the Convention Centre team can arrange for any additional details. Experts, tested at events of the highest protocol level, are advising in meetings organisation - from the first talks through all the way to flawless execution and to the final thanks to participants. At any event special attention is given so that it all corresponds to the organiser, participants and content of the meeting. Staying with specific tastes During the event chefs at Brdo can provide everything from snacks, informal cocktail receptions to comprehensive entertainment both on the premises of the Congress Centre and in selected and properly arranged other facilities at Brdo. Participants can be accommodated at the Kokra Hotel, which in addition to great rooms and restaurant also offers a wellness centre. The integrity of different experiences Park Brdo, with its natural features, with lakes and a duck pond, with an elite restaurant Zois, with the cottage Jezero (lake), a golf course and many other venues, is also an excellent choice for unusual motivational meetings! For special meetings you can also select the Brdo Castle and the nearby Castle Strmol.

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


T: +386 4 260 15 01

Tips For Special Venues

LJUBLJANA SPECIAL VENUES 1. THE CEKIN CASTLE Location: Celovška cesta 23, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia If you don’t know where to take your business partners, friends or associates, there’s a possible solution concealed in the heart of Ljubljana`s Cekin Castle: the Ceremonial Hall. It is a beautiful room, quiet and peaceful, and thus suitable for a whole range of activities. Contact information: Cekin Castle T: +386 (0)1 300 96 10, F: +386 (0)1 433 82 44 E: W: 2. FOOTBALL STADIUM AND MULTIPURPOSE SPORTS HALL STOŽICE Location: Vojkova cesta 100, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Stožice Centre is Ljubljana and Slovenia’s sporting heart, where mass sport and top sport both develop. The entire complex includes a soccer stadium, a multi-functional sports hall and, soon, also external sports facilities. The centre is designed in a very modern way and with a lot of interaction between sports programmes and business, all with the intention to contribute as much as possible to a better health condition and the wellbeing of all visitors to Stožice Centre. It was opened in August 2010 with more than 22,000 visitors and has since hosted a variety of world class sports teams and musical artists. Contact information: Football Stadium and multipurpose sports hall Stožice T: +386 (0)1 431 51 55, F: +386 (0)1 231 77 84 E: W: 3. FUŽINE CASTLE Location: Pot na Fužine 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Halls with renaissance paintings, the park or the gardens offer an exceptional environment for a variety of business and social events. Fužine Castle can accommodate up to 800 guests and is a good place for business meetings, receptions, promotional events, conferences and many other events. Contact information: Fužine Castle T: +386 (0)1 548 42 73, F: +386 (0)1 548 42 70 E: W:

4. INTERNATIONAL CENTRE OF GRAPHIC ARTS Location: Pod turnom 3, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia The International Centre of Graphic Arts is a specialist museum and producer of printed and contemporary art, based on the heritage of the Biennial of Graphic Arts and 20th century art of printing. It has been their job from the outset to perform a number of activities that are interrelated and complementary in nature. It also takes care of the extensive collection of prints and artists’ books produced after the Second World War, with works available to view in the Study Room. There is also a publicly accessible library. Contact information: International Centre of Graphic Arts T: +386 (0)1 241 38 00, F: +386 (0)1 241 38 21 E: W: 5. LJUBLJANA CASTLE Location: Grajska planota 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Ljubljana Castle offers halls and premises for rent intended for various occasions in an idyllic castle environment. You can organise press conferences, presentations, fashion shows, receptions, gala dinners, weddings, diverse cultural and artistic exhibitions and more, all raised above and well away from the city bustle below. Contact information: Ljubljana Castle T: +386 (0)1 306 42 30, M: +386 51 335 654 E: W: 6. THE SLOVENIAN PHILHARMONIC Location: Kongresni trg 10, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia The Slovenian Philharmonic is the main Slovenian music institution with a rich tradition that is more than a hundred years old. The Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra plays under its auspices, as well as the Slovenian Chamber Choir. It was founded as a successor to the Academie Philharmonicorum from 1701. Contact information: The Slovenian Philharmonic T: +386 (0)1 241 08 00, F: +386 (0)1 241 09 00 E: W: 7. TIVOLI MANSION Location: Pod turnom 3, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Tivoli Mansion is the oldest building in today’s Tivoli Park. It connects to the city through the 70

Jakopič Promenade, which was widened in the 1930s by the architect Jože Plečnik, who planted a new border of trees on each side. Initially, city officials were housed in the mansion, and then tenants after the Second World War, who lived there until 1986, when renovation work began on the building for the opening of the International Centre of Graphic Arts. The Tivoli Mansion building is listed as a protected monument. Contact information: International Centre of Graphic Arts T: +386 (0)1 241 38 00 F: +386 (0)1 241 38 21 E: W: 8. NATIONAL GALLERY OF SLOVENIA Location: Prešernova 24, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia In the National Gallery of Slovenia you can rent space for your representative events in the glass entry hall. At the far edge of the city centre, but still in the heart of the city; at the junction of the gray and green of Ljubljana, between busy street and the green oasis of the Tivoli Gardens; the National Gallery can host the perfect event for 500 invited guests. Contact information: National Gallery of Slovenia T: +386 (0)1 241 54 00 E: W: 9. OPERA HOUSE Location: Župančičeva 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia The central Slovenian Musical Theatre boasts a wide repertoire of operas, ballets and concerts that derive from both modern and classical creativity, as well as around 150 season and off-season repeat performances on stages at home and abroad. The Slovenian National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana has been successfully staging its own productions as well as cooperating with various international and Slovenian co-producers. Contact information: Opera House T: +386 (0)1 241 59 01 E: W:

Photo credits: Visit Ljubljana, 2013

Tips For Special Venues











Tips For Special Venues

10. AUERSPERG PALACE – CITY MUSEUM OF LJUBLJANA Location: Gosposka ulica 15, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Just a few steps away from the Ljubljanica riverbanks in the Old Town, the modernly renovated Auersperg Palace is becoming an increasingly popular special venue for the organisation of receptions, banquets, smaller conferences and other events. Contact information: Auersperg Palace – City Museum of Ljubljana T: +386 (0)1 241 25 21, F: +386 (0)1 241 25 00 E: W: 11. CENTRAL POST OFFICE Location: Čopova 11, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia The building features a particular function space – the Atrium, which is an attractive setting for receptions, banquets and other events. Its style slightly resembles the atrium of the National Museum, as the two buildings were created at about the same time. Contact information: Central Post Office T: +386 (0)1 243 16 20 E: W: 12. FESTIVAL HALL – PIONIRSKI DOM Location: Vilharjeva cesta 11, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Throughout the year, the Festival Hall hosts a number of local and international dance events and balls, concerts, fashion shows, wedding parties and other social function. Recent refurbishments have made this venue even more attractive as a special location for meetings and events. Contact information: Festival Hall – Pionirski dom T: +386 (0)1 234 82 00 E: W: 13. VIBA STUDIO Location: Stegne 5, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia The Viba Film Studio has been the venue of numerous social and business events demanding a larger and very flexible custom-designed setting – from cocktail reception during the NATO Parliamentary Assembly to a BMW car launch. Contact information: Viba Film Studio T: +386 (0)1 513 24 08 E: W:

14. ZRC SAZU – RESEARCH CENTRE OF THE SLOVENIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES AND ARTS Location: Novi trg 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia The ZRC Atrium is used for promotional activities and often hosts events, meetings and presentations that focus on art and science as well as on the research work. The Research Centre also attracts the general public, especially by holding cultural events such as literary evenings and classical music concerts. Contact information: ZRC SAZU T: +386 (0)1 470 64 16 E: W: 15. KINO ŠIŠKA, CENTRE FOR URBAN CULTURE Location: Trg prekomorskih brigad 3, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Kino Šiška, Centre for Urban Culture is the central Slovenian institution for contemporary and urban culture, visual and performing arts and also for business meetings, press conferences, and a wide range of seminars, lectures, articles and promotional events. Contact information: Kino Šiška, Centre for Urban Culture T: +386 (0)1 530 30 00 E: W: 16. KRIŽANKE Location: Trg francoske revolucije 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Festival Ljubljana produces the oldest summer festival and one of the most important in the region. It is located in Križanke, in the ex Teutonic Knights monastery that was renovated by one of the most important Slovenian architects Jože Plečnik. He transformed Križanke into a very special venue for different kinds of events and in the unique tourist attraction. Contact information: Festival Ljubljana T: +386 (0)1 241 60 00 F: +386 (0)1 241 60 37 E: W:

17. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SLOVENIA Location: Prešernova 20 and Maistrova 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Covered patio can accommodate up to 600 standing and 200 seated guests. It is suitable for gala events, parties, concerts and entertainment. The National Museum of Slovenia – Metelkova offers a conference room for 60 guests and a terrace. Contact information: National Museum of Slovenia T: +386 (0)1 241 44 39, F: +386 (0)1 241 44 22 E: W: 18. LJUBLJANA PUPPET THEATRE – STAGE UNDER THE STARS Location: Krekov trg 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Hall the size of 19 x 19 m accepts 300 visitors and has all the necessary offices, from the changing rooms to the lobby with restaurants facilities. With the system of shading, exclusive location and flexibility of installing the stage and auditorium, the stage is becoming the most popular among the organizers of cultural, protocol and business events. Contact information: Ljubljana Puppet Theatre T: +386 (0)1 300 09 74 E: W: 19. NEBOTIČNIK SKYSCRAPER Location: Štefanova 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Dating from the 1930’s, the then first skyscraper in Ljubljana, which now displays a fusion of the old architecture and new aesthetics, has been a meeting place for generations of Ljubljana residents and visitors alike. Since a few years, it has come back to live with a renewed content and a fresh approach to creating a flexible venue for multiple generations and a variety of occasions. A special mention goes to the stunning view of the city and the Old Town that unfolds from this venue, which lends it a special atmosphere Contact information: Nebotičnik Skyscraper T: +386 (0)40 233 078 E: W:

Photo credits: Visit Ljubljana, 2013


Tips For Special Venues











Top 10



hirty three years after his death, opinion on Tito remains divided. Undoubtedly, it is difficult to put it in black and white, but he definitely left a mark in the history of the South Slavic peoples. However, he was a master of self-promotion, which today has become a trademark. We believe that this is an interesting piece of history for a variety of incentive programmes. It is a fact is that such programmes reap success abroad. Unfortunately, today the potential is relatively underutilised. In the editorial board, we have looked at where one can or will in the future meet with the marshal’s legacy.

4. BLUE TRAIN Belgrade, Serbia

8. SCHOOL SHIP GALEB Rijeka, Croatia

Tito’s Blue Train is again on the tracks since 2006, when it was launched for incentive programmes. The former special train of Marshal Tito was for those times luxuriously furnished in the style of art déco, and today it is an authentic incentive experience with its base station in Belgrade. Once transporting crowned heads and world leaders, today you can learn all about the history of Yugoslavia and its President.

School ship Galeb (Seagull) is today despite the fact that it has the status of cultural heritage, in a rather sad state in the port of Rijeka. Today the ship is owned by the city of Rijeka and they intend to turn it into a museum and gallery. This year you can see on the ship avant-garde art exhibition and feel a part of the former luxury of the yacht, with which Tito spread around the world ideas of the Non-Aligned Movement. An interesting additional offer of Rijeka and the Kvarner with Opatija as one of the centres of Croatian meetings.

5. BRDO CASTLE Predoslje, Slovenia 1. BRIONI ISLANDS Fažana, Croatia Tito’s Brioni, as we used to call the islands, are now a national park and a memorial area. Today the islands have beautiful nature, but the hotels are in much worse condition. Tito spent nearly half the year on the Isles, often in the company of the world’s greatest stars of politics and film. The famous Brioni Declaration of non-alignment was signed on the islands. The old glory still attracts and offers excellent opportunities for a variety of incentive programmes on the magical islands. 2. TITO’S DOUGLAS DC6 Salzburg, Hangar 7, Austria This unique aircraft was built in 1958. The real beauty has been thoroughly restored and since 2004 it flies in the Flying Bulls fleet, which was dreamt up by Red Bull owner Dieter Mateschitz. The aircraft was built according to Tito’s wishes. In 1975 it was sold to Zambia, until it sadly started to decay. Today it is completely restored and offers a genuine adrenaline experience. 3. VILLA BLED Bled, Slovenia Right at the top of Tito’s Slovenian destinations. As the summer residence it hosted Nikita Hruščev, Indira Gandhi, Emperor Akihita and even North Korean Kim Il Sung. Today, as part of the Slovenian protocol it re-opened as a hotel in the middle of our most renowned Alpine resort. Tito was known for his cosmopolitan attitude towards good food and even today at Villa Bled they know how to conjure up a part of nostalgic culinary atmosphere. He even had his own cinema there.

Brdo Castle was nationalised in 1947 and belonged to the then Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito, who used it until his death for summer and protocol residency. Tito has hosted a numerous of foreign statesmen and diplomats, Slovenian and federal officials and various delegations at Brdo. Among other things he had at the Brdo estate his hunting log cabin. Brdo Castle was the last residence of President Tito - from there in January 1980 he went to the University Medical Centre in Ljubljana, where on 4th May he died. The castle today is in excellent protocol condition with a modern convention centre, suitable for all types and forms of meetings. 6. TITO’S BUNKER KONJIĆ Konjić, Bosnia and Herzegovina This underground atomic shelter is located 280 metres underground, and measures a luxurious 6500m2. A long kept secret, in case of atomic attack it would guard Tito and about 350 leading politicians. It was built over 25 years and has been designed for six months of life outside of civilisation. The bunker is now perfectly preserved and offers an insight into one of the most closely guarded secrets of the former Yugoslavia. An ideal environment for spy games. 7. KARAĐORĐEVO Bačka Palanka, Serbia Forested complex with picturesque lakes on 436 acres, located 130 km from Belgrade. Until January 1980, Tito regularly travelled to this protocol facility, where he acted as a hunting guide to top world leaders. Today, the facility is operated by the military of RS. The building is today completely in the style of the seventies and is in need of renovation. From the former opulence was left only the luxury of nature. 74

9. KUMROVEC ETNO VILLAGE Kumrovec, Croatia A place that was once besieged by hundreds of believers, is today transformed into an ethnological museum the Old Village (Staro selo). Within the village is also the birthplace of Broz which is a unique Croatian Skansen. It consists of the originally preserved houses from the passage of 19th to 20th century, showing traditions. The highlight, of course, is Tito’s birthplace. An ideal setting for themed incentive programmes. 10. MEMORIAL CENTRE JOSIP BROZ TITO DEDINJE Belgrade, Serbia House of flowers, where Tito at his own request was buried in the former winter garden is an integral part of the memorial centre near all important stations in Belgrade of Tito’s history. Nearby is the White Palace, where Tito received the highest statesmen and many other ceremonial objects.

This is only part of all the facilities. In Belgrade there is no shortage of various programmes and practically in every capital city of the former Yugoslav republics there is at least one object from that period. Cities that once proudly wore Tito’s name are now a bit embarrassed of the past. But the image of Tito refuses and to fade away and it is time for you to also offer it to your meetings guests who want to experience different incentives and feel right ‘TITOSTALGY’.

Photo credits: Archive KONGRES MAGAZINE

Top 10












Adrenaline Parks



drenaline parks are very common in team building programmes due to their numerous possibilities and safety. The participants are faced with new challenges and issues they are not used to from their everyday life and can be successfully solved only with the help of team work, communication, leadership, cooperation… And that is the aim of all team building programmes – getting to know the advantages of your team through games. To all of you who never faced this kind of adrenaline or never before tried a team building programme in an adrenaline park, I suggest you carefully read the next pages presenting the parks from region and conquer your fears. More on

1. ADRENALIN PARK BOHINJ, SLOVENIA The High ropes course is an obstacle course built on wooden pillars 8 m above the ground. Under the supervision of our experienced and professionally trained High ropescourse trainers, the participants will have a chance to experience totally new and extraordinary situations. Name of the park: ADRENALIN PARK BOHINJ, SLOVENIA Location: Hostel Pod Voglom (Bohinj, Ribčev Laz) Contact: + 386 (0)4 5723 461 Website: Special features: Located directly on the shore of the lake Bohinj 2. ADRENALIN PARK BOVEC, SLOVENIA In 2012 the Soca valley got another adrenaline attractions. Zip-line, flying fox, kenopi…whatever we call it, our park is really! Park is big, worth a visit and plans that will grow. Name of the park: ADRENALIN PARK BOVEC Location: Bovec Contact: + 386 (0)4 5723 461 Website: Special features: Biggest zip line park in Central Europe 3. ADVENTURE PARK BETNAVA Pustolovski park Betnava is set in a forest on the outskirts of Maribor. It has seven different courses set on trees from 1 to 8 meters high. Name of the park: ADVENTURE PARK BETNAVA Location: Maribor – Tabor Contact: +386 (0)31 787 425 Website: Special features: 7 courses, appropriate for children over 3

4.ADVENTURE PARK GEOSS, SLIVNA, SLOVENIA In The Adventure Park Geoss you can pick up from the ground to the treetops and experience the real adventure. They offer five climbing routes of varying difficulty for children aged 4 years of age and adults. Relax in nature. Name of the park: PUSTOLOVSKI PARK GEOSS Location: Vače - Slivna Contact: +386 (0)30 332 332 Website: Special features: Relax in nature. 5. AREA 47, AUSTRIA Rafting, canyoning and more outdoor-adventures, events and water fun at the outdoor park in Tyrol. Name of the park: AREA 47 Location: Ötztaler Achstraße 1 A-6430 Ötztal Bahnhof Contact: +43 5266 8 76 76 Website: Special features: European leading adventure park Outdoor Area, Water Area, Event Area, Living Area 6. ADVENTURE PARK BLED, SLOVENIA Adventure Park Bled is a climbing park set in a forest containing 5 different climbing courses with different difficulty levels. The park is aimed at individual visitors, suitable for families as well as larger events. Name of the park: ADVENTURE PARK BLED Location: Bled Family Adventure Park Bled is located on the peak of the skiing area, Straža Bled. Contact: +386 (0)31 761 661, +386 (0)31 513 645 Website: Special features: Top-notch location above Bled provides for interesting team building experiences. Besides the park they offer a summer adrenalin slide. 7. GLAVANI PARK Barban, Pula, Croatia Newly built high ropes climbing park complete with 11 metre high swing and “devil’s causeway” suspension bridge across the valley. 10 zip lines, the longest 120 metres, 20 metres above valley floor. Park is open every day including weekends throughout the year from 9.00 to 20.00h Name of the park: GLAVANI PARK Location: Glavani, Barban; 52207, Istria, Croatia (20 km from Pula) Contact: Nigel Simpson 00385 (0) 91 896 4525 Nevenko Bulic 00385 (0) 98 224 314 Website: Special features: Open two years. Won TripAdvisor’s „Certificate of Excellence“ 2012 and 2013


Adrenaline Parks









Adrenaline Parks

8. HORNPARK TREETOPS ADVENTURE, TIROL, AUSTRIA The biggest adventure park in St. Johann in Tirol in the Kitzbühel Alps allows an exciting experience for the whole family, company and friends. With 8 different courses, 14 zip lines (Flying Fox) and 88 stations ranging from 2 to 21 metres above the ground, there’s something for everyone. Name of the park: HORNPARK TREETOPS ADVENTURE Location: St. Johann in Tirol Contact: 05352 / 63063 Website: Special features: The Hornpark provides a great day of thrills, laughter and adventure and is an unforgettable experience. 9. POLETNI PARK KRVAVEC, SLOVENIA From the beginning of July Krvavec will be the home of a Summer park offering different games, activities and open air fun to people with healthy ideals. A varied selection of activities includes a climbing adventure park, cycling park, mountain maps, mountain scooters, climbing tower, trampoline, archery firing grounds, motion skills course, frisbee golf and tuba downhill. Name of the park: POLETNI PARK KRVAVEC Location: Krvavec, 1,500 above sea level, 8 minute ride with a cable car Contact: +386 4 25 25 911, +386 4 25 25 930 Website: Special features: 10 activities suitable for all individuals and families with children 10. LJUBELJ, SLOVENIA The first Slovenian Adrenalin park set in the beautiful surrounding of Karavanke. Try yourself at multi-level climbing park and try courage on a Pillar of courage and Giant swing. Name of the park: ADRENALINE PARK LJUBELJ Location: Podljubelj 297 SI4290 Tržič SLOVENIA Contact: +386 4 59 22 700 +386 31 513 645 Website: Special features: Giant swing, the pillar of courage + well equipped to carry out team building programmes. 11. ADVENTURE PARK PETER KLEPEC, SLOVENIA Adventure Center is located in the beautiful surroundings of the hotel Kolpa Valley Farrier. It was built in 2004. Name of the park: ADRENALINSKI PARK PETER KLEPEC Location: Sela pri Osilnici Contact: +386 (0)1 8941 508 Website: Special features: Entirely built from local materials and family friendly.

12. POHORJE ADRENALIN PARK, SLOVENIA Adrenalin park on Maribor Pohorje offers numerous activities. Unforgettable adventures in unspoilt nature among the forests of Pohorje and at the same time near the city. Name of the park: Adrenalinski park Pohorje Location: Trikotna jasa clearing, Maribor Pohorje (120 km) Contact: +386 (0)5 925 90 23 Website: Special features: High above sea level, in the immediate vicinity of Maribor 13. ADVENTURE PARK POSTOJNA, SLOVENIA Pustolovski Park Postojna is a climbing park set in a forest containing 5 different climbing courses at different difficulty levels. The park is aimed at individual visitors, suitable for families as well as larger events. Name of the park: ADVENTURE PARK POSTOJNA Location: Postojna - At the park Postojna cave, right next to the Hotel Jama Contact: +386 (0)40 567 046 Website: Special features: Great location with conference facilities and the proximity of the Postojna Cave 14. ADRENALINE PARK TUHELJ, CROATIA Visit the adrenaline park near Zagreb, park with a healthy dose of adrenaline and entertainment. Name of the park: ADRENALINE PARK TUHELJ Location: 40 km from Zagreb to Tuheljske Toplice Contact: Terme Tuhelj, Ljudevita Gaja 4, 49215 Tuhelj +385 49 203 000 Website: Special features: Problem solving activities, corporate Olympics 15. OTOČEC ADVENTURE PARK, OTOČEC, SLOVENIA The Otočec Adventure Park is an adventurous trail along the forest, but not on the ground! Visitors are lifted up into the treetops where they commence their exciting climbing journey among the trees along the range made up of bridges, ladders, nets and other props. Name of the park: OTOČEC ADVENTURE PARK Location: Grajska cesta 2, 8222 Otočec Contact: Terme Krka, d.o.o., Novo mesto +386 (0)7 38 48 600 Website: Special features: The activities at the park are exciting for children as well as grown-ups, individuals as well as groups, families and also work teams.


Adrenaline Parks










Special venues


1. OTOČEC CASTLE Location: Grajska cesta 2, 8222 Otočec ob Krki, Slovenia Otočec Castle, a jewel rising out of the mists of the Krka River, is the only water castle in Slovenia and the wider region. Otočec Castle has a special position, situated halfway between Ljubljana and Zagreb. It provides rooms for ethnological events, sports events and business and promotion exhibitions. Contact information: Otočec Castle T: +386 (0)7 384 89 00 E: W: 2. SEA STAR Location: South Adriatic, Croatia One of DT’s unique selling points comes through a partnership with the event ship Sea Star. This multipurpose ship with a capacity for up to 400 people adds a mobile dimension to congresses, presentations, meetings, exhibitions, seminars, workshops, weddings, entertainment, expeditions and fine dining experiences. Based in Dubrovnik, MS Sea Star is available for departure from different Adriatic ports, upon request, thereafter sailing along the whole coast. Contact information: Head Office Obala Stjepana Radića 25 20 000 Dubrovnik, Croatia T: +385 20 313 555, M: +385 20 313 550 E: W: event-ship-sea-star/

4. VILLA POLESINI Location: Obala maršala Tita 15, 52440 Poreč, Croatia Villa Polesini is a classy event venue on the Poreč waterfront with great gardens and an extensive wine cellar, perfect for celebrations. Up to 300 people can be accommodated at a cocktail garden party and from here you can take in the many marvels of this fascinating region, including the magnificent 6th century Euphrasian Basilica, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Contact information: Valamar Riviera Hotel & Residence T: +385 52 408 052, F: +385 52 451 331 E: W: 5. THALASSO SPA LEPA VIDA Location: Sečovlje Salina Natural Park, Seča 115, 6320 Portorož, Slovenia In the northern part of the Sečovlje Salina Natural Park, a new and unique outdoor spa centre was opened in the Spring 2013. Visitors are offered a special experience of traditional thalassotherapy in a unique natural environment amidst salt pans using natural products. Due to its sensitive location in the heart of the landscape park, special attention was given to the arrangement and final appearance. The architectural design of the fa-

cilities is visually adapted to the geometry of the salt pans since the smaller wooden facilities are designed parallel with the lines of the salt-pan worker’s houses. All the facilities are energy efficient and built in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. Contact information: Thalasso Spa Lepa Vida T: +386 (05) 672 13 60 E: W: 6. WAHAHA PARADISE SPORT & FAMILY RESORT Location: Feriendorf 1, 9181 Feistritz im Rosental, Austria Our 4-Star Resort is located on the banks of the Drava River and the perfect setting for your business event. Choose from a variety of seminar rooms or a state-of-the-art event hall and try our special seminar packages including teambuilding activities! Contact information: Wahaha Paradise Sport & Family Resort T: +43 4228 377 33 502, F: +43 4228 377 33 77 E: W:

3. ARSENAL ZADAR Location: Trg Tri Bunara 1, 23000 Zadar, Croatia Arsenal is a renovated heritage monument and an atypical space for organizing various MICE events, which is interesting for organisers who want to impress their clients. Arsenal is certainly one of those environments that inspires and provides great opportunities to realise extraordinary event ideas. Their organisation team will help you to make your ideas become reality. Contact information: Arsenal Zadar T: +385 23 253 821, F: +385 23 253 830 E: W:



Special venues










News from Malaysia 7 - 12 May 2013 at the prestigious Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (The Centre), welcoming more than 3,000 delegates including 500 international delegates. With the theme “Synergizing Practice Excellence with Modern Technological Advances”, APDC 2013 featured international keynote speakers from various specialisation in the different areas of dentistry. Apart from its overwhelming response in attendance, APDC 2013 also featured an exhibition with 240 booths with approximately 3,500 visitors from the public.


Malaysia was selected for the fourth time to host APDC 2013 due to the strong support by the authorities in the country’s healthcare system especially The Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) in providing healthcare facilities such as well-equipped hospitals and stringent training policies for medical practitioners.

As the first South East Asian country to host the conference, MEA will be taking place in the country from 15-17 May 2014 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The MEA conference was first held in 1975 and has become the pre-eminent meetings industry conference in Australia. The main objective of the conference is to gain invaluable knowledge and improve the understanding of future business directions in the meetings industry. MEA also presents new trends, benchmark service delivery and new technology, which aims to refresh and motivate participants through experiences and knowledge sharing. MEA 2014 in Malaysia is set to bring Asia’s and Australia’s meeting industries closer together. The supporting partners that will be working together with MyCEB in ensuring the success of the Conference include Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia Airlines and Radius Malaysia.

MALAYSIA WELCOMES DENTAL EXPERTS FOR THE FOURTH TIME The 35th Asia Pacific Dental Congress (APDC 2013) arrived to the Malaysian shores again for the fourth time in two decades. Supported by the MyCEB, the APDC 2013 was held from the

MYCEB LAUNCHES BUSINESS EVENTS MOBILE APP In view of the growing demands for Malaysia as the preferred global meetings destination, MyCEB recently launched its new Conference Mobile Application and Delegates Privilege Card. Both products which form part of the Delegate Welcome Kit aims to provide destination information to further facilitate business events delegates as well as to award international delegates with special privileges. Applicable to conferences which involves more than 500 international delegates, users will be able to obtain information on the conference they are attending including schedules, conference speakers, surveys and announcements. The



mobile app also comes with a destination feature which guides delegates on attractions, shopping and dining options around Kuala Lumpur. In later development stages, MyCEB will be expanding the mobile app to feature other states around the country. As an added attraction, delegates will also be presented with a Delegates Privilege Card which entitles them to redeem discounts and privileges at selected food & beverage, retail, entertainment outlets, attractions and transportation services.

MORE BID WINS: MALAYSIA PICKED AS FIRST ASIAN HOST FOR OTC 2014 The Offshore Technology Conference OTC Asia 2014 (OTC Asia) will take place from 25 - 28 March 2014 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. OTC’s flagship event is held annually in Houston, Texas, U.S.A., and OTC Asia is an expansion of this successful conference, which will target more participation from the Eastern Hemisphere. The conference will be attended by experts and professionals including engineers, technicians, executives, scientists and managers from all fields in the offshore exploration and production industry. The aim is to promote and further advance the scientific and technical knowledge of offshore resources and environmental matters in the region through this gathering. According to Mr. Stephen Graham, Executive Director of OTC, “Malaysia is an obvious choice as our first Asian host as many of the world’s most well known international oil and gas companies are present. On top of that, the support which we have received so far from local organisations such as MyCEB has been tremendous.”

MALAYSIA TO WELCOME 55TH ICCA GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN 2013 The Sarawak Convention Bureau proudly announces it latest bid win, which is the 55th International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Annual Congress (ICCA 2016). Organised annually by ICCA, the event will take place in year 2016, attended by industry professionals for five days of education sessions, chapter meetings and business exchange opportunities. ICCA 2016 is expected to bring over RM 2,000,000 (Euro 556,000.00) to the local tourism and hospitality sector as well as opportunities for Sarawak’s growth in the business events industry. The event expects the arrival of between 700- 1,000 leaders of the business events community.

RAWR AWARDS TO RECOGNISE EXCELLENCE IN BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) and the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) recently announced the launch of Malaysia’s inaugural business events awards named the RAWR Awards 2013 which will take place this September. This collaboration between MyCEB and MACEOS as joint organisers aim to recognise excellence, leadership, professional standards, innovation and best practices within the industry. It is also to further establish Malaysia as Asia’s premiere business events destination in line with the country’s mission under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).





hy wouldn’t you come in a hotel where Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Mickey Rourke, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt spend the night?

Hotel also has a conference hall with a capacity of 50 seats. The hall is ideal for seminars, conferences, workshops and private meetings.

Europa d.d. is a group who owns 4 hotels: Hotel Europe, Hotel Art, Hotel Astra and Hotel Astra Garni.

Hotel Astra is a modern, luxurious European hotel with optimum air-condition and double bed luxury rooms and suites (Jacuzzi, mini bar, TV, telephone, Internet, music on demand, lift, etc.). It also has a gallery and restaurant with national and European cuisine.

Hotel Europe was built in 1882, at the crossroads of the Oriental and modern style, Hotel Europe is imbued with the best attributes of both worlds. Positioned in the heart of the Sarajevo city, just a few steps away from the tourist Old Town core, this Austro-Hungarian building with its external splendour alone will have you captivated. Hotel Art was opened in 1998 and it is a business hotel. Business success is reflected in the modern facilities of the hotel, as well as an individual approach to each guest. The Art

Hotel Astra Garni is an oasis of tranquillity, comfort and good taste. After first moments spend behind always open doors, you will notice a dedication to every detail. We will invigorate your soul and make your stay in Sarajevo a genuine experience you will always remember with a smile. Hotel Europe Sarajevo Vladislava Skarića 5 Sarajevo 71000 Bosnia and Herzegovina


INSIDE CONFERENCE 2013 HOT SPOT for Meetings Professionals • TOP International and local speakers • Experiental Learning • Guided Networking

Hotel Lone, Rovinj, Croatia, August 30 – 31, 2013

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Conventa 2014


Prostor raznovrstnih doživetij A place of diverse experiences

Dobrodošli, veselimo se vašega obiska vse dni v letu We look forward to your visit any day of the year! Ljubljana Castle, Slovenia, T: +386 1 306 42 93,

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Conventa 2014

Soča Valley, where you can.... JUMP into the emerald river Soča * CROSS the Devil’s Bridge and discover hidden treasures in the depths of the Tolmin gorges in Triglav National Park. * TAKE the Walk of Peace and listen to its story * Find the beauty of nature at Kozjak Waterfall. VISIT the outdoor museum of World War I.* TASTE Cheese Tolminc in one of the mountain pastures or in the Planika Museum. *FEEL the beat of the traditional Carnival in Drežnica village. * MAKE a stop in one of the local restaurants and feel like at home! Simple but comfortable, in the center of local life but quiet, not much but everything you need. www.visit-soca-com;



BEST WESTERN PREMIER HOTEL LOVEC BLED 4* - 61 rooms and suites - indoor pool, massage tub - Grill Restaurant, Lovec Pub - meeting room for up to 140 participants and two boardrooms

HOTEL KOMPAS BLED 4* - 95 rooms and suites - indoor swimming pool - sports massages and lymphatic drainage massage - squash court, - café with panoramic terrace - five meeting rooms



Conventa 2014

A COASTAL JOURNEY AWAITS In Le Meridien Lav Split everything comes with a view, including meetings, conferences and events. State of the art conference facilities on single ÔffiZfe]\i\eZ\Z\eki\%

DISCOVER EUROPE’S HOTTEST NEW DESTINATION For more information or to make an enquiry please call +385 91 4444 379 or e-mail

Are you organizing a congress? CONTACT US! Plava Laguna – Laguna Poreč is one of the biggest tourism and hospitality companies in Croatia. In their 13 hotels you will not only find conference halls and meeting rooms with up to 600 seated places, but everything you need for your business events in a pleasant Mediterranean climate. Business with pleasure. After your regular program, there is a plenty of opportunities to relax at excellent sports and recreational outdoor facilities. Your success is our goal! PLAVA LAGUNA d.d, LAGUNA POREČ,



N 43° 3’ E 16° 32’ T +385 21 500500

SLOVENIA MEETINGS Feel the people. Taste fresh ideas.


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EXperience issue: The central theme is going to be all aspects of experiential marketing with a focus on ways to involve event participants...