Page 1

/06/ IN FOCUS Measuring the Effectivness of B2B Events /39/ MEETOLOGUE Goriška Brda - Colio

/20/ EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Jerneja Kamnikar - Interview At 20 Years Of Vivo Catering

/53 - 57 / THREE DESIGNERS Jovan Jelovac / Davor Bruketa / Mike Van Der Vivjer

/96/ KONGRES TOP 10 TOP 10 Meetings Innovations in 2013

ISSN 1 8 5 5 - 8 6 1 5

9 771855 861009 VOLUME VII, ISSUE 5 // SEPTEMBER 2013

diversity for meetings & events with character


S ab more r U O g I a SER ostin ts/ye


abo RING ut re latio ns

en E, h MIC 350 ev than

FOC abo USE w ud w D

LE SIB N PO ture S E R t na

e de hat liver

u abo

Sava Turizem d.d., Dunajska cesta 152, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija •

Our selection Page 6 In focus Measuring the effectiveness of B2B events Page 16 - 17 Voice from the top Mag. Andreja Sajben, Manager Steirmark Convention Andrea Leitner, CEO, Conventionland Kaernten Page 20 Exclusive interview Jerneja Kamnikar, Grand Interview at 20 years of Vivo catering Page 24 Telescope Land of the rising event: Interview with Riki Tanaka by Kongres Telescope Editor, Rob Cotter Page 33 Exclusive interview TONE MATJAŠEC, Panoramic Travel Page 39 Meetologue Goriška Brda - Colio Page 43 Meetologue Nova Gorica - Gorizia Page 53 - 57 Three designers Jovan Jelovac / Davor Bruketa / Mike van der Vivjer Page 70 Hidden Convention Guest CANKARJEV DOM, Cultural and Congress Centre Page 72 Hidden Convention Guets SAVA CENTER, Congress, Cultural and Business Centre Page 96 TOP 10 Meetings Innovations in 2013 Page 98 TOP 10 Destinations to watch in 2014

kongres magazine is media partner of

CONTRIBUTORS Silva UŠIĆ has been with Atlas DMC Croatia since 1987. Silva lives Atlas; her devoted work is well recognised, and she held the prestigious American Express Great Performer Award from the very start of her career during her time at the Atlas American Express Travel Service Inbound to ex Yugoslavia. Silva knows the industry from top to toe and is well-known for her charming and hearty approach to business.

Aleksandra UHERNIK ĐURĐEK Meeting and motivational event professional. Business meetings, educational programs, conferences, congresses, motivational events are her profession and everyday life for more than fifteen years.


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 Kerschoffset, Zagreb 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

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.

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 September 2013 For the content reproduction it is required to get the written editorial consigment.

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.

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.

Official magazine of the Slovenian Convention Bureau Member of

A word from the editor


Gorazd Čad, Editor, Kongres magazine



he hustle and bustle on the Baščaršija on an early summer’s day is reminiscent of the old times. The multiculturalism of Sarajevo is mixed with the multiculturalism of its visitors, with a predominance of organised groups from the former Yugoslavia and Asia. From the tourist perspective a positive Olympic spirit has returned to the city that once exceeded all stereotypes of the Balkans, leaving the impression that the Winter Olympics in 1984 were the best ever. The legendary Vučko is omnipresent at jewellery stalls, where you can also find other Yugo-nostalgic souvenirs. Sarajevo is the heart, the soul, and every other kind of Balkan stereotype concentrated 100% into one place. When a colleague and I returned from a business trip through South-East Europe, a positive feeling came over me. More than a few years ago the head was filled with the image of a stereotype-burdened region but this simplified negative - and even contemptuous - view of the region is being supplanted by positive feelings at the sight of the beautiful nature and immensely hospitable people, far from the images of fanatical tribal warriors of the nineties and the stereotypes of the antipode of developed Europe. ‘The Wasteland of Europe’, the ‘European periphery’, a ‘caecum of Europe’, the ‘region of mythical tribal conflict’ - these and other fatalistic imaginations might today impart it with a touch of mystery, where you can experience a variety of bizarre situations, a true European adventure-safari where only Indiana Jones and his friends could be happy. But in reality, after 20 years of bloody conflict it seems that life is slowly returning to normal and with this the infrastructure is also getting better. Even in Bosnia the highways and high-rises are built at a speedy pace, despite the crisis.

Wherever you look there are disasters, protesters clashing with the police, the global banking system’s malaise, the state shifts, the fight against tycoons. This all sounds and reads like a real Balkan novel, but against this the Balkans now looks surprisingly calm. The war of the mid-nineties retarded the development of the region, and although it sounds cynical it ensured an authenticity that in the West was rejected a decade or more ago. The region is once again exciting and in a tourist sense very desirable. As a result of this tourist-congress optimism returned to the region. If we ignore all the new state capitals of the region, the congress heart of the region has always been Dubrovnik. The spirit of the medieval Republic, which in terms of trade dominated a large part of the Balkans, is back in terms of tourism. The “Gosparski” entrepreneurial spirit has brought world-class conferences and events to the region and players from the premier meetings league. Dubrovnik represents a civilised European part of the meetings offer whose antipode is captured in the wild interior of the region; one cannot exist without the other. Compared to other regions the region has exceptional cultural and natural potential.

After returning home from the trip, it seems that the current state of the world is more in the style of the Balkans than in the heart of the region, especially when you get back to Slovenia and after a week away a lot has happened, including the conviction of the former Prime Minister.


On the other hand, however, accessibility remains the main problem and some cities of the region lack a proper convention infrastructure, although the situation has radically improved. This is provided by private investors, which in turn are opening up new hotels - international hotel chains are coming and the region is being discovered by both regular and low cost air-carriers. This dualism of Europe and the Balkans, with all its antagonisms, is a part of the European identity, which fresh and full of new energy is now inviting conference organisers to rediscover it. The more we run away from that identity the more it is returning also as an interesting motif of convention and tourist travel. It seems that congress organisers and ordinary tourists have once again learned about this motive, following in the footsteps of the rockers and celebrities who have known this for a long time and who live well from this, such as our own Balkan Madonna Severina.




n the area of participation at congress trade shows and exhibitions measuring of profitability is one of the eternal and always topical questions. To paraphrase one of the greatest experts on measuring the ROI of meetings and events dr. Elling Hamso it is a prerequisite for profitability, “exhibitors have to do something at the lowest possible cost,” to create and justify the added value of the trade show-exhibition appearance. Often this is not so and the exhibitors are betting all their expectations on organisers of trade shows, or they do not at all have clear expectations about the co-operation. Despite the fact that there are a variety of methodologies and techniques of measurement, it all starts with the decision on the evaluation mode and decision of the stakeholders, the effects of which are the most important to organisers and exhibitors. As a rule, they can be divided into three effects: 1. Short-term selling is still the predominant criterion for the evaluation of return on investment of participation at a B2B event 2. Brand development and customer loyalty is another criterion with strong long-term effects. Only after several years of continuous implementation of the trade show from the perspective of the organisers or participation in terms of exhibitors brings tangible results. 3. Networking and influencing key stakeholders is also a long-term activity, which can greatly enhance the marketability of your brand.

These effects may be combined with the now legendary ROI pyramid, which greatly helps to understand and to also evaluate the ROI effects of trade shows and exhibitions. Measuring the effects is not as easy as it seems at a first glance. It is very difficult to assess whether on short-term sales affected the participation at the trade show, exhibition or some of the other activities in the area of consolidation of the brand or networking. On the side of the participants it all starts with clear goals and expectations. If there are no goals, everything can be good. Setting of goals is in the first place, because only then can we measure what we have really achieved. Immediately after the event, the fundamental question is whether a participant has his or her own CRM system developed, that also over longer time period helps him/her to answer the question of where he established the first, second or key contact. Key criteria are certainly potential buyers or sales leads and cost per contact. Once you start evaluating the participation at trade shows from this perspective, it quickly shows that you save a lot of valuable time with trade shows.

ROI Pyramid, European Event ROI Institute,



Prior to participation at the trade show layout clearly defined marketing and sales objectives that should derive from your business goals. They should be defined quantifiably and in a time frame.


In addition to short-term goals we must be able to measure the long-term ones such as loyalty, awareness and brand loyalty.

3. 4.

Do not measure only the immediate response, take a look and evaluate a longer period of time. After the trade show conduct a survey to check the response according to contact databases. With the survey responses you will find answers to the question of what effect your communication has had on those who did not respond and those with whom you have at the event established a business contact.


Follow indirect effects because participation at the trade show could cause an increase the sales through other channels, such as for example a positive PR in the trade show catalogue or other channels.

6. 7.

Measure your feedback at the trade show through contests and other marketing innovations. Measure the effects of trade shows quantitatively (number of contacts with buyers) and qualitatively (one good contact can be worth more than 10 trivial ones)


Building a customer database and comparing the quality of contacts in individual trade shows is the key for the selection of good B2B events and poor ones and for implementation of after-sales activities.




A true gold mine are existing customers, that we can also meet at trade shows or we can take an advantage of trade show and invite them there for an appointment for consolidating relations.



Trade show Pareto principle: 20% of trade shows are worth 20% of our attention.

Satisfaction and Planned Action



Some summaries from the research CUSTOMER ATTAINMENT FROM EVENT ENGAGEMENT, Exhibit & Event Marketers Association (E2MA), 2013

dr. Elling Hamso, managing partner, European event ROI institute

The E2MA report — conducted in partnership with the CMO Council — is based on a survey of 260 brand marketers, as well as interviews with 21 senior brand marketers and 11 meetings industry experts. Among its key findings: • Eighty-nine percent of marketers say events still hold some level of importance and value for their organizations, with 31 percent considering them essential.

Dr. Elling Hamso, Managing Partner of ROI Institute

On the side of the organisers of trade shows there is a fundamental difference between the organisers from public and private sector. The smaller the share of public funding of trade shows, the greater the concern for ROI of the trade show. Finally, for measuring the profitability of trade shows there are in place clear and accurate financial indicators. It is more difficult to measure the lower part of the pyramid. Despite the skeptics trade shows and exhibitions as part of direct marketing are still one of the most effective tools, as we can clearly define the objectives and can easiest measure them through for example, the number of meetings conducted, or the number of acquired business opportunities. In the editorial board of Kongres magazine we have therefore analyzed several international trade shows and have conducted interviews with numerous participants and organizers of trade shows. On that basis, we are listing some advice and recommendations for more objective evaluation of the profitability of participation at trade shows and exhibitions. Participation at trade shows is under scrutiny, marketing budgets are shrinking and directors require a maximum ROI. Therefore, it is really important that, in accordance with trade show – exhibition Pareto principle you are choosing the right trade show, which will follow your business objectives. 7

• Events are primarily viewed as revenue-driving opportunities, with 64 percent looking to source new prospects; 62 percent hoping to gather and cultivate leads; and 61 percent seeking face-to-face meetings with clients and prospects. • While marketing still finds value in events, 40 percent are cutting back on big shows in favor of more targeted gatherings, and 44 percent are choosing to host their own events. • The top challenges faced by marketers with respect to events and trade shows are making a business case for investment (45 percent) and managing the escalated costs associated with them (39 percent). The reason that marketers struggle to measure trade show ROI, the survey shows, is that they lack visibility into the conversion pipeline to determine how events are impacting sales and revenue. Although 42 percent of marketers are happy with their CRM systems, the primary metrics that are being considered — referrals/introductions, leads and deal closures — aren’t tracked by them.

In Focus - ROI


Answers by Natalija Bah ÄŒad, Head of Sales, Conventa

ABOUT CONVENTA Conventa is a Central and Southeast European trade show for meetings, events & incentives. The Conventa way of doing business is based on the simple concept that face to face business interaction is the most effective way of imparting information, learning about the objectives of the planners, events and providing the platform for discussing the best way of concluding business.

Q: How do you measure ROI - return on investment for B2B Trade Show Conventa? Measuring the profitability begins with the selection of target groups. More we are precise at this, better the return on investment. Another element are clearly defined goals, which each year we communicate very clearly with all stakeholders of the trade show. The return on investment is ultimately decided by the exhibitors and our key strategic partners. Given the continued growth in the number of exhibitors and an extremely low fluctuation, profitability of the trade show is satisfactory. Co-operation at Conventa is according to surveys that we do every year, an investment that exhibitors get back in the form of actual business. It is impossible to accurately measure the volume of these transactions and according to our information this is not measured by any trade show in the world. In addition to the business dimension we are also creating ROI through brand visibility and brand awareness for which we find that it is very well received in the market. Q: How do you measure the satisfaction of key stakeholders in the trade show? What you can not measure, you can not manage. Therefore, through targeted surveys among hosted buyers and exhibitors we are regularly checking satisfaction of key stakeholders. Over the years, they have become a trusted and valuable source of information for improving the quality of the project. The set of criteria has not changed and it allows us to track trends over time. In our experience on the satisfaction and measure of the performance of our trade show affects a whole chain of factors, but the most important fact is that the trade show is a space for the establishment of personal contacts. If we look at the statistics, only via one2one system at every Conventa some 2.800-3.200 meetings took place, lots of meetings also take place in informal meetings. This is certainly one of the key factors of satisfaction of stakeholders. Q: What is the share of public funding of Conventa trade show and what is the participation of the economy? The share of public funding of the trade show is just 8.7%. The trade show is mostly financed 8

by the economy. Because of this the success of the trade show is crucial to provide an added value for the participating companies. One of the ways to ensure the stability and profitability of the project is to develop long-term relationships with key partners. It covers a variety of strategic partnerships, building of informal networks and co-operation with important partners in South East Europe. All this contributes to the improved performance of the project. Q: In what way do you perform quality control of implementation of the project? First, we try to provide a suitable environment for B2B communication. This includes little things such as ensuring an appropriate and pleasant booth for establishment of a personal relationship at the trade show. At the trade show we are creating business opportunities and because of this we are very carefully choosing the suppliers. We are devoting a lot of attention to this. Quality control is carried out throughout the preparation of the project through personal meetings with suppliers and through a survey of all stakeholders. After the project we complete personal meetings with about 50% of all exhibitors, where through conversation we are looking for solutions to improve as much as possible and we try to take into account the wishes of the exhibitors. To strategic partners each year, at a joint meeting we present the objectives and progress of the organisation of the event. Q: Do you use independent auditors for the evaluation of the project Conventa? Not yet, but we are planning in 2014 as one of the first trade shows in the world to have ROI measured by external auditors.


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

In Focus - ROI

Meeting specialists were again nicely surprised Conventa 2013 participants satisfaction survey

The Conventa trade show is the most important meetings industry event in Southeast Europe. We are introducing some of the most important findings from the survey conducted after the event with both hosted buyers and exhibitors.

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


One to one meetings between exhibitors and buyers


The level of satisfaction with the fam trips Hosted buyers attending Conventa most certainly get plenty of possibilities to explore this region. Not only did they get to know South East Europe by meeting with key meeting industry suppliers from this region at the trade show, but had also the possibility to attend Conventa fam trips that offered them a first - hand experience of the following destinations: Ljubljana, Portoroz & Piran, Lake Bled, Bohinj, Maribor & Međimurje, Opatija and Zagreb. All the destinations scored highly and achieved at least an average level 4,4. In Slovenia, Bled was a stand out, with an exceptionally high mark, as was Opatija in Croatia. (Rating marks: 5 – Excellent, 4 – Good, 3 – Adequate, 2 – Poor, 1 – Very poor)





Ratings of the following aspects of Conventa The hosted buyers rated all the aspects of the trade show as good. The quality of the exhibitors and networking opportunities stand out on the positive side. On the negative side we find the education programme, one that is slowly developing at Conventa but still can’t be compared with larger trade shows. The organisers of the trade show don’t focus so strongly on this aspect of the trade show, as the exhibitors and hosted buyers consider it of lesser importance. Exhibitors feel this is not an important reason to visit Conventa. Overall reputation


Quality of companies exhibiting


Quality of educational and events programme


Networking opportunities


Conventa sustainable measures


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

Effectiveness and timeliness in communication


Friendliness and effectiveness of the show organiser


Registration procedure at the show


Quality of trade show layout and booth location


Overall satisfaction with the show


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


Possibility of placing future business in… We can assume the destinations which reached the highest marks had the best presentation and offer and that the infrastructure in the region is still slightly worse than other conditions for the development of the meetings industry. The destination 


The hotel/s


The venue/s


The activities


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

“CONVENTA exhibition and trade show is one of the best organized and very usefull among MICE meetings, not only in Europe, but in the whole world.” Andrey Kozlov, S 7 Tour, Russia “It was really a pleasure to attend the Conventa trade show and meet lot of nice people with usefull contacts. The trade show and the social events were organized very well.” Hana Deakova, American Express Czech Republic

In Focus - ROI

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


One to one meetings between exhibitors and buyers




Education opportunities

difficult to please in the area of hosted buyer quality. Parallel to the world trends also Conventa results confirm the difficult challenge in convincing hosted buyers to attend the meeting industry trade shows. Conventa organizers are proud to share the new date of the 6th edition of the leading meetings industry event of South East Europe. The meetings floor will be hot again from 22 to 23 January 2014.


Conventa itself being a ‘must attend event’ for the meeting industry of Southeast Europe The majority of the exhibitors perceive Conventa as a ‘must attend event’. A bit smaller average rate 3,6 was given to objectives 'Conventa is very important to my business' and to 'Conventa has the right visitors for me'. This leads us to believe that Conventa is growing in the right direction. (Rating marks: 5 – Excellent, 4 – Good, 3 – Adequate, 2 – Poor, 1 – Very poor)

The level of exhibitors satisfaction Friendliness and effectiveness of show organisers and registration procedure stand out in this section. In general we can conclude the exhibitors are very happy with the work of the organisers. The years of organiser working experience show is the rise of custumer satisfaction results. Overall reputation


Relevance of visitors to your business


Quality of visitors


Quantity of other companies exhibiting


Quality of educational and events programme


Networking opportunities


Conventa sustainable measures


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

The exhibitors rated most highly the networking and sustainable measures of Conventa, with lowest ratings going to the quality and adequacy of the hosted buyers. These results can be explained in exhibitors being 11

In Focus - ROI


Asnwers by Graeme Barnett, EIBTM senior exhibition director

About EIBTM EIBTM is one of the largest events organized exclusively for the events and meetings industry. The city of Barcelona plays host to this international trade show where leading professionals and decision makers from the industry gather for a period of three days to meet and network with other players, participate in informative seminars and discussions and interact with each other in a business environment which is dynamic and focused.

Q: How do you measure ROI for B2B exchange at EIBTM? There are a number of ways in which we can measure and monitor the ROI for exhibitors taking part in EIBTM. Firstly, each year we conduct post show qualitative research with all of our exhibitors, to gain a clear understanding of how the show helped them meet their business objectives. We also delve deeper, by asking exhibitors what they would like to see and what they would change. This information allows us to evolve the show in such a way that it continues to meet the growing demands of meetings industry suppliers from across the globe.

We also measure ROI through the level of quality Hosted Buyers we achieve on the show floor and the number of pre-scheduled appointments which are generated. Ultimately, suppliers are there to do business and so the more relevant meetings they can have, the better. We also pride ourselves on the powerful EIBTM network, which we have worked to build across the globe. Each year, the show attracts no less that 15,000 meetings industry professionals. Q: How do you measure stakeholder satisfaction in the B2B exchange at EIBTM? Our stakeholders are one of our biggest assets and we work to do everything possible to make them feel valued and appreciated, because without them, EIBTM would not continue to evolve and be regarded as one of the leading events in the sector. We work very closely with the likes of Barcelona Convention Bureau, Pacific World (our DMC), Fira de Barcelona, Barcelona City Government, Gremi d’Hotels and numerous other partners who help us to maximise Barcelona as a destination, which in turn enables us to offer the best environment possible. The local stakeholders combine to form our Executive Council which meets twice a year to ensure the planning process is as detailed as is possible and ensure the stakeholders are part of our extended family. We also have an Advisory Board, which is comprised of a number of senior industry figures who represent key areas of the industry. The Advisory Board provides valuable insight about many aspects of the event, including their own and the organizations for which they represent satisfaction. Mr. Joan Gaspart, President of the Barcelona Tourisme Convention Bureau (who are the lead stakeholder from the city’s perspective): “Barcelona as a European city has a lot of promise for the future, both in terms of the meeting industry and the tourism industry, as many have discovered the potential of the Catalan’s capital. Our continued involvement with EIBTM helps us to reinforce our assessment”. Q: What is the level of public funding for EIBTM and what is the local economic participation? It is not possible to comment on the share of public funding EIBTM receives but it is fair to 12

say that Barcelona and its stakeholder partners support us in our efforts to deliver a highly successful event for all. In turn, it is estimated that EIBTM generates over €50million annually for the local, regional & national economy, which is a significant ROI for any public funds used to help deliver EIBTM Q: How do you implement quality control of the project? We work very closely with all the organisations involved in delivering EIBTM, from travel and hotels to the show build, furniture and logistics, all of whom have service levels and quality standards to adhere to. A good example of this is with the Fira de Barcelona . Our Operations Team work very closely with the in-house venue management team and the multitude of contracted service partners to ensure every aspect of EIBTM is planned with the customer in mind and to the highest specification levels possible. In the same way, our Hosted Buyer team works with a selected number of travel and accommodation partners to ensure the quality of experience provided is seamless and of a very high quality. We rely heavily on many service partners to deliver the EIBTM service and it is important those service providers are treated like part of the family – that leads to ownership and high levels of customer care, something we pride ourselves on. Q: Are you in favour of using independent auditors to evaluate EIBTM? Absolutely, each year we have the trade show figures independently audited by ABC (http://, which then allows us to produce a report and certificate, highlighting the exact number of unique attendees who were present at the show over the course of the three days. We ensure the event is independently audited, as we believe this enables us to be completely transparent to all of our stakeholders and attendees. As a result, it allows all attendees the opportunity to make informed decisions about the benefits and value that EIBTM can bring to businesses, and in fact, the wider meetings industry in general.

In Focus - ROI


Asnwers by Karmen Novarlič, SPIRIT SLOVENIA

About SIW - SLOVENIAN INCOMING WORKSHOP The Slovenian Incoming Workshop (SIW), organised by the Slovenian Tourist Board is the country’s premier annual tourism trade event showcasing the entire array of the tourist offer to potential partners from abroad. It is organised as B2B event, which is complemented by study tours for foreign hosted buyers.

Q: How do you measure ROI (return on investment) for a B2B trade show organised by Spirit agency? It is difficult to calculate the return. We lack the information on how many participants in the event sell packages in Slovenia. We only have data for the section of participants who have completed the survey on customer satisfaction; for the rest we don’t. Q: How do you measure stakeholder satisfaction at the SIW B2B trade show? At SPIRIT Slovenia, the Tourism sector, after each trade show we carry out a satisfaction survey for the event among the participants. As already mentioned, we have for SIW 2013 results available of the performance analysis (surveys of participants), from which I below provide key findings: – 88% of the participants were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the participation (7% more compared with last year’s event). – Participants were most satisfied with the “friendliness and professionalism of the SIW team”. – Participants were least satisfied with the “suitability of halls” and “price of the registration fee”. – A ll the participants had prescheduled meetings. At last year’s event, 97% of those surveyed. – 54% of the surveyed participants responded that some of the companies did not attend the prescheduled meeting (5% less than last year).


– 70% of the surveyed participants were “very satisfied” (11%) and “satisfied” (59%) with foreign participants. – 90% of the respondents replied that they are going to take part in the next year’s SIW “definitely” (44%) or “probably” (46%). Q: What is the share of public funding of the SIW trade show and what is the contribution of the wider economy? The Slovenian economy participates through the fee that we charge for event participation. The proportion depends on the number of participants. In the adopted work programme and the public agency SPIRIT Slovenia financial plan, for the implementation of the SIW 2013 event 160,000 EUR was made available (funds from the relevant ministry). During the implementation of SIW 2013 event we created 50,250 EUR of own funds. Q: In what way do you carry out quality control of the implementation of the project? On the one hand quantitatively, with surveys on satisfaction, and then also qualitatively, in contact with the event participants. Q: Are you using independent auditors for the evaluation of trade show projects? No.

In Focus - ROI


Asnwers by Naomi Joyce, AIME PR Account Manager

About AIME The Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) is owned by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), a notfor-profit organisation that markets Melbourne and Victoria nationally and internationally as a premier business events destination. AIME brings associations and event planners from around the world to Melbourne annually, for a two-day networking event where the best meetings and incentives destinations and products are showcased to the industry. The show is managed by Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE). RTE is part of Reed Exhibitions.

Q: How do you measure ROI for B2B exchange at AIME? Measures of success for B2B exchange at AIME includes reaching objectives for meetings between attendees and the overall satisfaction of buyers, visitors and exhibitors. From a B2B perspective, the success was measured by: • The satisfaction of attendees is measured with a post show survey distributed via email to Hosted Buyers, visitors and exhibitors. • CAB audited visitor number: 3,241 attendees in total • Number of new visitors at AIME in 2013: 40% of visitors were new • The number of Pre-Scheduled Appointments made between buyers and sellers at the show: 12,470 • Number of attendees at networking events: 2,500+ • Potential estimated Hosted Buyer and Visitor expenditure at AIME 2013: USD$259,025.25 • Post show survey results: 98% of Hosted Buyer respondents were satisfied they met their objective of finding a new supplier, an increase on 2012 • Growing number of new exhibitors: 26% of exhibiting companies were new to AIME in 2013 Q: How do you measure stakeholder satisfaction in the B2B exchange AIME? The satisfaction of stakeholders is measured by


an annual, post show survey which reviews the experience of exhibitors, buyers and visitors. Areas covered include satisfaction with the quality of exhibitors/buyers, likeliness to attend AIME again, number of meetings conducted, business expected to take place as a result of the show and whether they have attended before. Q: How to implement quality control of the project? The use of the aforementioned post-show survey is our key tool in monitoring feedback about the show and these results are then used to take AIME forward, developing with new concepts and initiatives on the basis of what our attendees want to see. We also use the independent auditors CAB (Circulation Audit Board) to ensure our numbers are accurate and reliable, giving all attendees the confidence that they are investing in an event that is reputable. Q: Are you in favour of using independent auditors for the evaluation of AIME? We are definitely for the use of independent auditors, which is why we insist on the CAB audit each year. It is these independent audits that stand us apart from competitors who don’t use an independent evaluator and instills confidence in everyone who works with us that AIME is the leading show of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region.

Surveys and Forecasts



he International Congress and Convention Association released a fascinating report that looks at convention trends not in terms of year-over-year, but in terms of generations. “A Modern History of International Association Meetings: 1963-2012” is part of ICCA’s 50th anniversary year, and reveals some very promising patterns: Looking at aggregated figures for each five-year period (to remove annual fluctuations), the number of regularly-occurring, internationally-rotating association meetings is increasing by 100 per cent every 10 years, and has been consistently doing so for the last half century, with no signs of a slowdown. “Half a century is a long period over which to collect detailed and consistent information on any subject,” ICCA CEO Martin Sirk acknowledged, “and in the world of international meetings, where most countries are still struggling to obtain even a partial picture of the current size and impact of this complex and fragmented industry, it represents a monumental achievement.” ICCA analysts studied data obtained over the past 50 years, and Sirk says that the figures prove what he and the organization have long believed: “Our world is undergoing a truly revolutionary period in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and innovation, and that association meetings provide an excellent insight into this dynamic, worldwide process.”

And while there were many changes over the decades reflected in the report, Sirk noted that some things remained the same, as well: “The timeless element is the basic human need to physically meet, to discuss, argue, share insights, and to create new knowledge from that interaction. Older association executives often talk about friendships made and the sheer intellectual enjoyment that is generated at their meetings. That isn’t going to disappear any time soon.” ICCA conducted this study of 50 years of association meetings data as the centerpiece of its new publication, “A modern history of international association meetings,” launched this month as part of ICCA’s 50th anniversary year. ICCA asked its members and friends to share their insights into both the past and the future of this sector, and agreed a policy to allow anyone to download and use it. ICCA plans to proactively promote it through every channel at its disposal, worldwide. Looking at aggregated figures for each five year period (to remove annual fluctuations), the number of regularly-occurring, internationally-rotating association meetings is increasing by 100 per cent every 10 years, and has been consistently doing so for the last half century, with no signs of a slowdown.

ICCA 50 statistics

A modern history of international association meetings: 1963 - 2012 60.000 50.000 40.000 30.000 20.000




international association meetings taking place between 1963 and 1012*


The curent ratio of members vs. meetings compared to 1:3 in the 1970s












ASIA & LATIN AMERICA Asia and Latin America are on the rise in terms of meetings per region

56.4 billion USD

The aggregated estimated total expenditure on all meetings in the ICCA Association Database taking place in the last 5 years


* As Included in the ICCA Association Database which only Includes association meetings taking place regulary rotating between at least 3 different countries and with >= 50 participants.


Voice from the top

VOICE FROM THE TOP Have you always wanted to work in the meeting industry? I always wanted to work in the tourism sector. That’s why I’ve done my best to gain experience in a number of different fields: I worked in Banquets & Sales in the Viennese hotel industry, and was the marketing manager at Hotel Das Weitzer – one of the leading private hotel chains in Graz. My duties as marketing manager at Steiermark Tourismus also enabled me to discover the other side of the coin – the non-profit segment. Given that 60-70 percent of the city’s hotels earn their livelihood from business tours, the meeting industry was particularly important. I thought that the conference sector was important for the whole of Styria, so I set up Steiermark Convention in 2003.

Mag. ANDREA SAJBEN Manager Steirmark Convention

Why is your destination/country the best in the world? Styria offers visitors distinctive diversity. Within a radius of just 190 km, Styria offers outstanding natural scenery and landscapes, starting from the Dachstein at some 3,000 m above sea level right through to the capital of Graz with its enchanting architectural highlights. Then there’s southern Styria, where you can walk from one vineyard to the next, or the beautiful thermal spa region where you can relax in one of the spa hotels after a productive day at a seminar. Styria’s USP resides in the superb quality and diversity of its cuisine. That’s why Steiermark Convention is proud to present “Making Meetings a delight”. For conference guests this means regional and seasonal delights during their entire stay! Starting with sparkling Schilcher wine from the wine region in western Styria for receptions right through to Styrian pumpkin seed oil on salads and unique chocolate tasting as a special programme at the Zotter Chocolate Factory – conferences in Styria are quite simply a delightful experience!  A further distinctive feature of Styria is its wide range of authentic, sustainable and regional products and services in the tourism sector. What would be the first thing you would show every visitor to your country? We’re always delighted to introduce visitors to the City of Graz, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s the cultural nerve centre of Styria. The capital of culture, gastronomy and design is where the old meets the new – where you’ll find historical structures and buildings such as Schloss Eggenberg and the Old Town juxtaposed with modern architecture, of which the Mur Island and the Kunsthaus are prime examples. What has been your star moment so far and your favourite project with which you would praise yourself? I’m particularly pleased by the way Steiermark Con16

vention has always continued to develop and grow ever since it was first founded in 2003. Our 10th anniversary this year and our 53 members clearly demonstrate just how successful we’ve been! What motivates you the most at work? I feel motivated each day by the fact that we can offer valuable assistance to establishments in the field of successful marketing activities. This gives us the opportunity to get to know the stakeholders at a personal level and to build up a successful, professional network with them. In what way do you deal with stress? I list the tasks I need to perform in order of priority and work my way through that list from one moment to the next. Stress is a relative thing, so I compare my own situation with that of others. I also think that it’s important to reflect on all of the things that I’ve successfully achieved at the end of each day and not to go to bed with a negative feeling about the things which are still left to do. When were you last angry / disappointed and why? Anger and disappointment don’t fuel the way I go about doing things: I tend to regard critical situations as challenges that give us the opportunity to enhance the system. What will be new in your business in 2013? We’ll be focusing much more on online marketing and social media in 2013. Other priorities for us are internal networking, benchmarketing with conference providers and organisers as well as further training in the form of seminars and workshops. What did you learn last week? I learned that it’s important to look beyond the end of your nose! I recently discovered this at a study trip which gave me the opportunity to get to know the destination with its conference hotels, convention centres, event locations and excursion destinations. Where will you spend this year’s holiday and why? This year I’ll be spending the first part of my holidays on a motorbike tour of the Austrian mountains and the most beautiful regions with mountain lakes – and using the opportunity to rediscover the delights of the authentic, regional cuisine. For the second part, I’ll be travelling to Liguria in Italy to enjoy some Mediterranean lifestyle and to take in the local culture, cuisine, customs and traditions. If there were no time and financial constraints, where would you go? If I didn’t have to think about time and money I’d really like to travel around the world. What would be the title of your life autobiography? “Everything is possible!”

Voice from the top


Andrea Leitner CEO Conventionland Kaernten

Have you always wanted to work in the meeting industry? I always wanted to work in Tourism. Starting at 14 years old I attended the Hotel business school, Klessheim in Salzburg, Austria. After several experiences in Hotel business (New York, Munich, Cairo, Vienna) where I worked in the Conference & Banqueting department I realized that this industry is very interesting and special.

“I can be disappointed, but I don’t have to be!”

Why is your destination/country the best in the world? Smile, because nowhere else do you have this quality of life. More than 200 warm, clean swimming lakes, the mild climate on the sunny southern side of the Alps, the mountain and lake scenery, the wide variety of leisure options and the cultural variety of the Alps-Adriatic region make Carinthia unique. Carinthia stands out from all other destinations due to its special feel for life, this mixture of the South and the Alps, of lightness, serenity and happiness: hearty living and easygoing enjoyment create the special holiday feeling which marks the holiday atmosphere in Carinthia.

What have you learned last week? I had a very nice appointment with a client, Ms. Beatrice Achaleke, who is the managing director of Diversity Leadership. Believe me in regards to Diversity Management - we all have lots to learn!

What would be the first thing you would show every visitor to your country? I would take them up to Lake Weissensee and just let them listen - listen to nature. Weissensee is a beautiful car-free region - they really care about sustainable tourism. What has been your star moment so far and your favourite project with which you would praise yourself? Here in Carinthia?  I would say the ATB Experience -  a totally new fair arranged and organized by the Austrian Tourism Board. Carinthia was the first region in Austria that got the opportunity to host this fair in June 2013. I was the major organiser for this event. More information at http:// What motivates you the most at work? The people I work with. We have so many partners (hotels, event locations) that are so creative and motivated to be different. In what way do you deal with stress? It is important to find the right balance. I always try to spend my spare time in the mountains or with my horse. Breathing fresh air and listening to flora and fauna makes me relaxed. When were you last angry / disappointed and why? I am very rarely angry at something. My motto is


What will be new in your business in year 2013? We focus very much on quality. Within several workshops we worked out special quality criteria for our partners. So we can guarantee high quality meetings & incentives to our clients within our partner hotels and locations. Also our new USP is sustainable programs for incentives and groups.

Where will you spend this year’s holiday and why? Mostly we spend our holiday at home or in the surrounding area (Slovenia, Italy, Croatia). We like to hike, to go on bike tours or just simply spend time with my family. If there were no time and financial constraints, where would you go? I guess I would buy a beautiful sailing ship and hire a crew. Together with my boyfriend I would love to sail around the world. What would be the title of your life autobiography? Yes, I can!

Been there







01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11







Hotel Lone Lobby Hotel Lone Restaurant View from the room Mike Van der Vijver Inside Logo Team 1 designing a meeting Team 2 designing a meeting Speakers answering questions Learning about the future of meetings Discovering how design works Davor Bruketa


Hosted buyers will be able to explore a broader meeting industry offer at Conventa


onventa 2014 will be broadening hosted buyers’ horizons by offering them a small taste of the meetings industry offer beyond the borders of SEE. Continuing with the show’s core focus on the meetings and incentive offer of the South East European region, Conventa has now opened the exhibitor floor also to selected exhibitors from Central Europe. For the past five years Conventa has been growing and expanding the meetings territory. Each year the show has welcomed exhibitors from new countries; Turkey making its debut last year. This year organisers have also decided to open a small exhibitor space to Central European Countries. By expanding its borders, Conventa offers an additional benefit for hosted buyers. While the meetings offer of SEE presented at Conventa will remain at the highest level and set to grow further, South East European exhibitors will now also be accompanied by selected exhibitors from across the border. Conventa E-Magazine, a great way for exhibitors to get noticed A brand new Conventa E-magazine, the freshest magazine introducing South East Europe to meeting planners all over the world, will be launched this October. The magazine will present the potential for meetings, congresses, events and incentives in SEE to get hosted buyers excited about the region and advise them about the diverse meetings offer available. A rich content consisting of exhibitor’s inside stories, Conventa news, important deadlines and additional meeting industry news will present an interesting read for every meeting planner out there. With sustainability in mind, the magazine will be issued in an electronic form. New knowledge, new opportunities! Conventa has always followed meeting industry trends and has dedicated a great deal of attention to professional education, trying to transfer new knowledge to meeting professionals and students every year. The sixth edition promises a revised educational module; a variety of topics and tailor-made lectures for buyers as well as exhibitors. To keep hosted buyers and exhibitors in the loop and introduce them to the latest trends of the meeting industry, from marketing and sales to supporting technology and creativity, Conventa’s organisational team will carefully put together different educational modules for buyers and exhibitors. Moreover, some lectures will be conducted in English while others will be intended for Slovenian audience. For the occasion, the Conventa team has already conducted a survey to see what the “hot topics” are that meeting professionals would like to hear about and who the people are that they would like to learn from. 19

Exclusive interview

SPECIAL QUESTIONS Favourite drink? Champagne, wine, cognac Favourite food? Pates and terrines Favourite meetings location? The nicest and safest city in the world - Ljubljana J


Exclusive interview

GRAND INTERVIEW AT 20 YEARS OF VIVO CATERING JERNEJA KAMNIKAR Text by Gorazd Čad Look at the 20 years of Vivo Catering today? The beginnings were simple and modest. But I was happy because it was the one job that I loved and I focused all my energy into it. Goethe said that distinguishes us what we love. The art of setting goals is to start with small steps. As the old saying says: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” What has changed in the field of catering from your beginnings to today? The first years of my entrepreneurial path catering activity in Slovenia was unknown, I still remember the questions what it Vivo catering means. With today’s lifestyles we are used to different forms of catering at every turn, so there is also more offer. The market is becoming more demanding, both in terms of national cuisine and world cuisines. Also there has been a great progress in technology. Otherwise, today innovation, creativity, boldness and following of trends are increasingly important. Therefore, it takes a lot of practice and continuing education. How do you remember the days when you started your catering path? In my childhood and my youth, I regularly followed my mother on her work travels related with culture, education and tourism. Hard work and entrepreneurial-ship were placed in my cradle; my parents were professors, and grandparents entrepreneurs. So it is no coincidence that I offered myself as a student, to our dear, now unfortunately deceased, a long-time family friend Olga Markovič, for a holiday job at the Ljubljana Castle. I soon found that the secret of happiness is simple, work that makes you happy is work that one does with joy. Work organization and interpersonal communication during studies as a challenge have taken me to set up own company. This launch was a challenge. With my colleagues we have worked dedicated, persistent, with love, and were, from the outset striving for excellence. We have started with smaller orders that have soon turned into larger projects. So mastery has become our way of living. Who was at the beginning of your business path your business angel? My business angel was my mentor, the great master and author of many cookbooks, Mrs. Olga Markovič. My faithful angels, who give me the flight and

power, are my family and my mother who is with me at all the ups and downs with.

desire for progress and teamwork and interconnectedness and trust.

If you would not deal with the catering, what do you think you would be today? In all probability, I would deal with education in the field of tourism and hospitality. Education is my eternal challenge, teaching is my hobby. Years ago I got my Master Degree the field of tourism, today I am a lecturer and associate professor at the high and higher school.

What are today’s major innovations in the field of catering? Among the most important are certainly conveying cooling and heating boxes that allow us to flawlessly transport food from the kitchen to the location of the event. One of the most important innovations, particularly in the development of meetings industry are transportation convection ovens with which we can transport a small kitchen practically to the location of the catering. In terms of design it is certainly an inventory for entertainment.

What kind of a challenge is it to be a woman in a senior position? What is your experience? For a woman with clearly defined personal, professional and spiritual goals, with enough courage, energy, good will and heart culture a management position is a real challenge. What were your biggest and most memorable events? Trust of the Queen Elizabeth II. to Vivo Catering to carry out the banquet on her visit to Slovenia is certainly the largest international reference for both Vivo as a company and for the staff who took care of the queen and her guests. In the meetings industry, we were most marked by the autoimmunity congress of organisers Kenes International, and in the media world catering at the visit of Kevin Costner, Monica Belucci, David Guetta and Bill Clinton. In addition there were a lot of memorable events both at home and abroad. What do you think about the quality of Slovenian catering compared to the European level? According to European standards, the quality of Slovenian catering is excellent, in many areas we are innovators. We work a lot in Europe and the response of guests shows that our service is of the highest quality. Vivo Catering has won a number of medals and awards in the field of business excellence, attitude towards employees. What motivates you for progress and success? One of the prizes, which I and also my colleagues are most proud of is three times award for the Best Employer Golden Thread. The main motivation for our work is quality service. Cuisine is creating, which includes personal talents, the secret of success is desire for excellence and perfection, which is also the 21

Your special future is affection for younger people. You have educated many and trained them for the job. Why? Constant concern for the education Vivo staff. We are transferring the knowledge and culture of event catering to generations of students and students of catering and tourism and with our scholarship fund we are achieving superior results and are thus shaping the world of culinary excellence for the most demanding guests. We realize that only by co-creating we can create excellence at all times, so we see our young scholars as central a rising stars of catering. We involve them in the functioning of Vivo catering with the goal of common successful trip in the future, different, fragrant, delicious and friendly cuisine. I see a particular challenge in the intergenerational knowledge sharing and creation, which will be developed through IMI. We want to continue to expand our operation also outside of Slovenia. What will be in the future, that you feel as a risk or an opportunity for Vivo catering? 20 years ago Vivo chose its own path, followed own goal with the same principles as today. We risked and we succeeded. This was the only way for us and will be. We know that food is a medicine, so we want to pay more attention to healthy, organically grown food, traceability of food, locally sourced food, right food combinations and healthy food preparation. The risk, professionalism, ethics and morals was Vivo’s opportunity 20 years ago and the same principles will also be recorded in the next 20. Welcome!

Global Village


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



Katija Ljubimir, Adria Congress Ltd., Dubrovnik

Hosted Buyer Manager at Conventa Toleranca marketing, Slovenia

My name is Katija, and I am 26 years old, born and raised in Dubrovnik, Croatia. I attended Tourism and Catering school after which I graduated on University of Dubrovnik, Department of Economics and Business Economics. After that my father and I started our own conference and convention agency.

I’m 22 year old Špela Jeruc, born and raised in Ljubljana. I’m a graduate student and I work for Toleranca marketing (it’s more than just an agency that carries out projects for their clients, but also helps to develop them). I would say I’m someone who always thinks positively and can execute difficult tasks. I am determined to do well in my job and have a successful career, as well as to make the company I work for more competitive. I like to have fun, I am always smiling J and I talk tooooo much!


One conference I keep in nicest memory ever is EABCT conference, European conference where 800 psychologists met in Dubrovnik to share their experience. Engineers are also very interested to work with since their business is quite popular today also they are quite precise to work with. 2:

I would like to say there is something braver, but all I can remember is a recent visit of Adrenalin Park where we climbed to a two level high pentagon. It did not seem so hard in the beginning but the height was pretty scary - at least for me. 3:

Definitely, babysitting or being a kindergarten teacher because I adore kids, but not in school, only kindergarten. Eventually I would like to be a pilot because I adore flying, airplanes and traveling. 4:

Forever will be traveling, traveling, traveling… Only music (but the pop one) can compare with traveling and journeys. 5:


The one and only Queen Conventa. If you don’t know what Conventa is, you are living on another planet. 2:

Bungee Jumping…just kidding! Honestly though, my actual answer is probably simply working in the field I work. I could say that I’m in training to be a Professional Congress Organiser. I still get scared asking certain questions or dealing with certain issues. But the fact that I have to appear confident, under control and competent while I’m terrified adds to the amount of courage. 3:

If this doesn’t work out for me, I would like to work as a Radio host. Nevertheless I’m still young and I go with the flow. Plus I’m a Gemini; I change my mind a hundred times a day. 4:

With SPA-CE, Natour Alps, Conventa and Kongres Magazine. Busy, busy, busy. This is why me and my colleague Polona are young talents…we multitask, but still do everything on time. 5:


Global Village

GORANA IVANIĆ Group & Events, Hotel Lone, Rovinj I was born in Split 28 years ago and spent most of my life between Dalmatia, where I graduated Sociology and French  in University of Zadar, one of the oldest in Europe, and Moscow where I lived for quite some time. Three years ago I got my first job in the Lone hotel. I worked as the Guest Relations officer and then got the amazing opportunity to work in the Groups and Events department.   2: To be honest, the Lone Hotel is now a real brand in this industry! It is the perfect venue for conferences and congresses, incentives, promotions and other types or receptions and events. Moreover it is a cool and stylish place. It offers a lot of other facilities like a huge SPA  which covers area of 1,700 square meters, great bars and restaurants each one with a concept of its own.   1:

Probably moving from a big city and leaving everything behind to come to Rovinj for love. It was also the most rewarding thing I have ever done since everything turned out great, a part from love I now have a great job. In the end, in order to achieve great things you just have to risk it. 4: Considering the degree that I have got one can say my planes were a little different at first. I wanted to work as a professor surrounded by kids and young people. However, I love the industry I am working in, meeting and working with different people from all over the world is great.   5: Getting as much business as I can in this hotel. In other words to prolong the high season. Rovinj is still a summer destination and we in Lone want to change peoples’ pers­­­pectives. 3:



Land of the Rising Event text by Robert Cotter

With the recent awarding of the 2020 Olympic Games to Tokyo, Japan, the world’s mega-event is on its way to the world’s mega-city. Scooping the games will be a boost for the event industry, with the government set to invest heavily in new facilities and infrastructure. Kongres took the chance to talk to Riki Tanaka, International Affairs Editor at Tokyo-based Exhibition and MICE, about how Japan is faring in a competitive region and what the years ahead hold for the industry. Interview by Kongres Telescope Editor, Rob Cotter.

(which means ‘hospitality’ in Japanese) became a keyword. Omotenashi is not only hospitality, but also how best to treat people, meaning for us in the industry always considering everything from a client’s viewpoint. “If I were the client, what would I want….?” - customer satisfaction is always considered first. Presently our main competitor to achieve the number one slot of Asian congress destinations is supposed to be mainland China. However, China and Japan are very different in size, economic growth and reasons why an organiser holds meetings. When associations want to go to China, they are looking at the potential of the market. For Japan, it is because they need a mature business market or academic community. Therefore people in the Japanese event industry probably consider Korea and Singapore as the main competitors. With a specific focus on congresses, Australia can be seen as a competitor too.

Japan is a known around the world as a premium destination for events, but the competition in the region is getting stronger and stronger. What is the Japanese industry doing to retain its competitive edge and which countries in the region do you see as the main competition? In terms of congresses, Japan showed overwhelming strength in Asia until the 1980s, because of its background in areas such as the advanced medical/academic fields. Nowadays, however, it has been losing its previous stature due to China’s burst of economic growth and other Asian countries’ aggressive invitation style with the strong support of government, or due to new mega facilities, such as those in Singapore and Korea. The Japanese event (congress) industry nonetheless remains very proud of its high quality operation and logistics. A Japanese PCO can deliver an event without any mistakes, stress, delays or complaints from the organiser or participants. Also hospitality is one of Japan’s strengths. At the presentation for the Olympic games at the IOC congress in Buenos Aires, Omotenashi 24

Japan is also known as the world leader in technology - what are the main technological innovations that the industry is embracing and how do you think they will improve it in the coming years? Firstly, we had to look at the diversity required to host the Olympic Games and how the industry would need to re-consider the diversity of events. From this, welfare can be one of the especially key features: barrier-free facilities, signage, transportation… everything shall be re-considered from the viewpoint of diversity. Sustainability is another factor to be improved. As with the London Olympics, Tokyo has also considered applying event standard ISO20121. Even without the Olympics in Tokyo, most events operate with a sustainability concept for client CSR, especially corporate meetings and congresses. As for new technology, 3D mapping (Project mapping) is highlighted for this year, such as Tokyo station, Tokyo tower etc. It was beforehand used only for outdoor events, but it is now being used for indoor events too. It makes an event dynamic without the need for any construction. Also augmented reality (AR) is a spotlight technology for the event industry. There are a lot of types of AR, such as wearing a helmet, using a smart phone, etc. Currently the technology is ready, but there is still the question


of how best to use it in events. Probably a lot of ways will be created in the next years. Like AR, GPS, APP, and linkage of SNS are also ready, but the technology is still waiting for the innovation on how it can be best used. What would you identify as the core strengths of Japan’s event industry and which event markets do you find are most attracted to these strengths? In addition to the points address in the previous question, from the long history of the advertisement business, most of Japan’s events are considered to excel in their performance as a marketing tool. Economists always survey the economic ripple effect of even sports events or association meetings. For example, the economic effect of the Tokyo Olympic games are calculated by many economists to have an impact range as wide as ¥3 trillion to ¥150 trillion yen. Companies and government also calculate how much the effects to their business will be before they decide on their budget. There are some huge ad agencies in Japan, such as Dentsu, Hakuhodo, ADK, who study people’s behaviour during events in order to measure actual ROI, ROO, instead of just counting the number of participants. Japan is also an experienced and well-developed event industry. There is the Japan Association for promotion of Creative Event (JACE), established in 1989; the Japan Institute of Eventology (JIE); the Japan Event Director’s Society (JEDIS); the Japan Event Produce Association (JEPC) etc. all of whom are organisations with great support from huge ad agencies, event companies, organisers etc. They are very much experienced and generate a strong network of collaborations.

There is also a strong background for entertainment, sports, academic and business (manufacturing - engineering) content in Japanese events. They have a lot of content; for example there is a big market for comics, animation, video games and girls idol groups that has been exported around the world. These kind of cultures are strongly related to B2C events. The huge participant expense means big investments in event rendering, such as large-scale visual screens, high quality computer graphics, detailed construction, etc. Of course, for B2B events, background is the most important factor for attracting exhibitors, participants and sponsors. The investment and requests from participants shines through in the quality of events. In the opinion of a foreign event company manager, Japanese events’ major good points are the cleanliness of the halls and the hard work of workers, including part-timers. Management of part time worker is an especially key factor to achieving success in events. The Japanese are very proud of our hard work ethic, even in parttime jobs; it is one of Japan’s strong points. In recent days, Tokyo has been awarded the 2020 Olympic Games. What effect do you think this will have on the event industry and the facilities it currently offers? Has the government committed to any specific new infrastructure investments that will build on the current offer? As host city, the Tokyo Metropolitan government is planning to invest ¥153.8 billion to build ten new sports arenas or renovate several facilities (even though a “Compact Olympic” was mentioned as the concept). Under economic analysis this figure has doubled, due to construction material price increase. 25

Obviously this causes a booming economy in construction and other business fields. It has already affected the stock market, with the total market value of the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange increased by ¥13 trillion in one week. Japan’s biggest exhibition centre, “Tokyo Big sight”, is also planned to be expanded by 44,000 square meters to a total size of 124,000 square meters. From the candidate file, a new 3-storey building is to be constructed as the Media Centre for the Olympics, which does not seem suited to exhibitions or events. The expansion of Tokyo big sight has been argued for a long time, and the Tokyo metropolitan government always signaled a positive opinion, but never yet approved the budget. The Olympics solved this long-pending conundrum - maybe it is a good opportunity to argue for further expansion. Being awarded the Olympic Games does not only attract public investment, as the private sector also build related facilities, such as hotels, shopping centres, integrated resorts, event halls etc. This in turn can affect the invitation of MICE or increase domestic events. The software side of the industry is also touched, such as the development of legal systems, human resource development, industry re-organisation, etc. It makes people paying attention to event industry quite a booming business at the moment! From your exposure to the industry, what do you think are the most important ingredients for remaining at the top when the level in the region continues to rise? I think the ways of increasing or maintaining a high presence cannot only have one perspective. Every destination has different characteristics that they can find, help to grow, and then use to promote their destination to the world.


In Japan’s case it is hospitality, high quality operation, a safe destination, a clean destination. However, it can sometimes seem that Japan is not good at promoting our good points to the world. Sometimes a destination can shout “We can do everything”, but everything can turn out to mean nothing. In order to properly promote a destination, it can need the viewpoint of foreigners instead of their own people. As part of the Olympic invitation, Tokyo had a contract with a British consultant for its campaign strategy. This led to changes in Tokyo’s invitation activities. There is also the need for human resource development at both management and staffing level - events are a labour-intensive business. How committed is the Japanese industry to sustainability and can you point to any best case examples of where this is being achieved? From the results of our survey, in total 37 fairs in the eco- or environmental business field were held in Japan last year. It is the second most common business field after IT (and with the same number as food). And this number has been increasing for several years, based on the social needs of sustainability. The “Eco Products” event, which is organised by leading newspaper publisher Nikkei, is one of the biggest sustainability trade fairs. Nikkei works to make the event itself eco-friend-

ly, such as waste re-cycling programme for booth constructions, advanced trash classifying system in the exhibition hall, CO2 calculation of emissions and reduction programme, encouraging exhibitors to reduce waste and creating guidelines for sustainability. Consequently, after evaluation of their efforts they won the Japan Exhibition Association Award for sustainability achievements. The industry has also just begun to focus on ISO20121, due to the Olympic Games. This will become more common in the Japanese event industry in the years ahead. With an eye on South East Europe from Japan, what advice would you give to industry professionals to make their country the best in the region? I am not quite sure Japan is in the position to advise other countries, as Japan faces its own difficult situation of acute competition. However, I can say that we can study and learn lots of things from each other. Probably there are plenty of points to learn from Japan, such as the smooth and accurate operation of an event, etc. From Japan a lot can also be learnt about lobbying, global communication, marketing, etc. With this in mind, I would like to establish a network (partnership) association to share information and know-how between South East Europe and Japan. Information skills can be strong weapons in this competition! 26

Another thing that is worth recommending is building up promotion with the highlight characteristics of the country/cities. For example, Paris is well known for fashion and food, the U.K. for heritage and architecture. I have seen destinations that offer too many things during the promotion stage, but too many things can make it not something memorable for the planner and participants. I would suggest considering how planners make a proposal to their boss, clients, or participants to decide on a destination: they probably make a report or proposal sheet highlighting the major characteristics of each destination, which means preparing good information with clear and quick reference data to their report. It is also important to get the viewpoint of participants, even though they are not your direct clients. Destinations should provide something special as an experience to participants. That means providing a ‘tailor-made’ service. Tailor-made services begin with hearing individual customer needs and considering the best ways to entertain participants. Actually, “Omotenashi” (Japanese hospitality) is based on this mentality – spending the main effort on how to make guests feel welcome…. I do not think “Omotenashi” is the best way forward for all destinations, but it certainly offers something that can be useful.


Bangkok O’Clock text by Paul Broderick


iming is everything, as the old adage goes, and as Bangkok revels in the news that it has trumped world hotspots such as London, Paris and New York for total international visitor arrivals, the 2013 edition of IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific could not have arrived at a sweeter moment. Joining the 16 million visitors who have ensured the city’s new found status amongst the world’s most popular destinations will be a record number of exhibitors and delegates attending the world’s only Doublebill Event in MICE and Corporate Travel at the largest show to date this October (1st – 3rd). Delegate numbers for this year’s show are expected to exceed 2,800 in addition to 35% new exhibiting organisations – strong figures that ensure both the city and the event continue to power forward.

this new initiative, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media, Darren Ng, said: “We are confident that IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific will also benefit from greater business generation as delegates are able to maximise the outcome of their participation.”

Also moving forward at a serious pace is MICE tourism in Thailand, which is up 12% in the first three quarters of the 2013 fiscal year with just under a million MICE travellers expected by the year’s end. A strong ASEAN market and returning visitors from Europe are cited as the major contributors to this growth spurt. With the introduction at this year’s event of the first-ever Luxury Travel Programme post-show tour geared at showcasing Thailand’s appeal to upmarket tastes, these strong figures are only likely to improve.

“Associations and Corporates are important segments of the MICE buying industry,” explained Ng. “Our collaboration with MCI Group to launch a dedicated education-led Association Day and Performance Improvement Forum enables the show to cater to a larger proportion of these professionals respectively. Our exhibitors now have the added advantage of reaching multiple niche buyer segments at a single industry event, which equates to greater opportunities for business generation.”

In light of such exciting new initiatives and positive growth figures, fittingly this year marks the 10th year of IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific co-location and the tenth consecutive year of Thailand as the show’s host country. To consolidate its position this year’s show will see several new initiatives intended to ‘harness opportunities for business generation’. One such implementation is the Online Diary facility which will enable delegates to complete up to 100% of their business appointments before their arrival in Bangkok and ensure they maximise opportunities for new business. Speaking of

With Bangkok now seated at the top table of world cities and a record-breaking event on the horizon, there promises to be much positive energy in air around this year’s show. It’s Bangkok O’Clock…

Building on the impressive sales figures of last year’s show (USD 45 million after 6 months and expected to rise above USD 120 million) should be possible from a strong platform of increased participation, a more diversified buyers profile - one that includes a higher percentage of Association Executives and Corporate professionals – and the launch of a dedicated Association Day and Performance Improvement Forum.

Paul Broderick is a published author and freelance journalist based in London, UK.





uala Lumpur, or widely referred to as KL, is the capital of Malaysia. As Malaysia’s economic and business centre the city is rapidly undergoing industrial and economic development. Known not just for being a melting pot of culture where modern city living meets old world charm, KL is gaining a reputation as a hotspot with impressive shopping districts and, most recently, as one of the world’s most preferred destinations for business tourism. Indeed, Malaysia has been making great strides in the business tourism market, especially since the formation of the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) in 2009. Last year alone it won 26 bids for international and regional conventions until 2015, mostly reflecting the emphasis it is putting on medicine, science and technology. While MyCEB’s remit is to promote the growing number of destinations hosting business events across the country, Kuala Lumpur, the capital, is still its star performer. In 2012, KL as a convention city was ranked 31st in the world by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and 8th in Asia Pacific – maintaining its position in the top ten. The city also hosted 69 international meetings, including the 43rd Union World Conference on Lung Health and the 25th World Gas Conference (WGC 2012). Recently, KL also witnessed the hosting of global conventions such as the Women Deliver 3rd Global Conference (WD 2013) and 7th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2013), which collectively welcomed more than 10,000 delegates and approximately RM 87.9 million (Euro 20.7 million, USD 27.2 million) in economic impact. KL’s focus point for attracting business events into the city is its development of modern infrastructure. One of its most prominent features are its purpose built convention centres and meeting venues. The renowned Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) is the leading convention centre in KL, with cutting edge technology and impressive services and facilities. A perfect fit with 3,000-seat plenary, 9,700 sqm exhibit space and ample breakout rooms, the Centre is currently undergoing expansion to meet the demands for larger space by acquiring a 10,000 sqm boost in meeting space. It is expected to generate a 40% increase in revenue when completed by end of 2013. An additional 12,500sqm of meeting space will also be due for completion in 2017 – enabling it to handle events in excess of 6,000 delegates. Envisioning KL as a highly developed city under the nation’s progressive Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), the Greater Kuala Lumpur plan was initiated, which includes the development of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Extension of the Light Rapid Transit in KL. The MRT project is the largest infrastructure development ever undertaken by Malaysia. Expected to be completed by 2020, the project would cover a radius of 20km from the city centre and will

increase connectivity and accessibility to, from and within the city. Also under the Greater KL Plan is the construction of the Pedestrian Walkways, a series of walkways (total 42 km) linking the retail and tourism trail between Bukit Bintang and Kuala Lumpur City Centre, which will provide convenience and flexibility for both city-dwellers and visitors to the city. It is being developed in phases whereby the 562-metre long elevated and air-conditioned walkway has been completed and already being used by some 3.3 million people each month. Apart from its infrastructure, Kuala Lumpur is known for being the home to world-class meeting venues, event spaces and accommodation facilities, equipped with up-todate business events technology. As one of the world’s best value-for-money destinations when it comes to accommodation, event managers will find a wide range of international and local hotels. These include Doubletree by Hilton, InterContinental Hotel, Le Meridien, Sunway Resort & Spa, Royale Chulan, and The Majestic Hotel as just some of the hotels available. A new addition to the city’s landscape, the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur is ideally located in the city centre adjacent to the Centre and surrounded by the lush gardens of KLCC Park. It features luxurious and spacious guestrooms that include 370 guestrooms and 42 suites – all with the benefit of floor-to-ceiling windows to best capture the magnificient panoramic views of KL or the iconic PETRONAS Twin Towers. New properties are also in the pipeline – among them, the 6-star St Regis with its planned 208 rooms, which is set to open in 2014. The Globe Shopper Index for Asia Pacific has recently ranked Malaysia second as the best shopping destination in Asia Pacific, whilst KL was ranked fourth by CNN Travel as the best shopping destination in the world! This is supported by the fact that Malaysia is ranked third as the Most Price Competitive Country in the World for Travel 2011 by Travel & Tourism Competitive Index of the World Economic Forum. Apart from offering value for money to meeting planners, delegates will be spoilt with the wide selection of international brands and local productions in world-renowned malls such as the Pavilion KL and Suria KLCC. As the city develops and undergoes many changes, KL in the near future will be looking forward to welcoming more conferences. Some of the prestigious business events that are coming include Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) 2014, Offshore Technology Conference Asia (OTC) 2014, Human Genome Meeting and IEEE International Conference on Communications 2016 (ICC) over the next three years.




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

Case Study



alaysia, well known for its highly developed healthcare policies as well as a strong advocate of women’s rights, has recently demonstrated its commitment in hosting The Women Deliver 3rd Global Conference 2013 (WD 2013). Organised by Women Deliver, New York and strongly supported by the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), WD 2013 was held at the prestigious Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (The Centre). Conducted for the first time in both Asia and Malaysia, WD 2013 was overwhelmingly received, the conference welcoming more than 4,500 delegates and advocates representing over 2,200 organisations and 149 countries - the highest attendance of leaders and media members for the conference so far! As a sign of the country’s strong support, the conference was opened by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Najib Razak, accompanied by First Lady Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Dato’ Rohani Abdul Karim. Speaking of the event, Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver, said that “we wanted to host Women Deliver 2013 in a place where we could engage new champions, celebrate regional successes and address ongoing challenges. Kuala Lumpur fitted the bill. Malaysia is a shining example of what smart investments and political will can do for the health and well-being of girls and women. Malaysia’s reduced maternal mortality rates - more than 45% - are a truly remarkable achievement. This is the first time one of our conferences will be in Asia, in a predominantly Muslim but truly multicultural society. We hope to share Malaysia’s lessons globally.” WD 2013 was attended by various parties, including healthcare professionals, policymakers, government leader and many more. These authorities aim to address women deliver issues and ensure that investments in girls and women remain a global priority for authorities around the world. With the theme ‘Invest in Girls and Women - It Pays’, WD 2013 focused on a broad range of critical issues related to women’s health and mortality. These issues include addressing the unmet need for family planning, women’s education, empowerment and rights as well as a post-2015 development framework. The conference also looks forward to exploring how the global community can address and decrease the unmet need for modern contraception through the developed Millennium Development Programme 5 (MDG 5). Key influential speakers featured at the conference included Melinda Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; HRH Crown Princess Mette Marit of Norway, Zainah Anwar of Global Movement for Equality and Justice in the Muslim Family, Malaysia, and many more. More than 1,000 participants were sponsored to attend the conference, which featured 61 donors and sponsors and 119 exhibiting organisations from government, companies, and civil society. More than 800 speeches and presentations were given at the six plenaries and 120 breakout sessions. 31

The conference featured several key highlights, some of them for the first time in Women Delivers conferences. One of the key highlights included the debut of ‘The Girl Tree’, a component of the Foundation’s Girl Effect project that displayed hanging messages of the aspirations of girls from seven nations, hand written on wooden tablets. Some of the tables glow with lights and shares each story aurally by the recorded voice of the girl behind the dream. The Girl Effect is driven by the idea that “girls are the most powerful force for change on the planet”. Through the Girl Tree placed at the exhibition hall, the conference hopes to use storytelling to enhance awareness of global need to empower girls. Other highlights of WD 2013 include the Cinema Corner, which was curated by Lisa Russell, an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker who has produced films on issues such as maternal health, youth in conflict zones, the HIV/ AIDS pandemic and food insecurity. The focus on Youth movement is also an interesting element of WD 2013. Active concurrent sessions were conducted to inform the Youth movement as well as various activities, such as the e-course prior to the conference for the 100 Young Leaders, a pre-conference to bolster advocacy and communications skills, a Professional Allies program and several key advocacy opportunities throughout the conference. Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), Mr. Zulkefli Hj. Sharif also commented, “MyCEB is very supportive of this WD 2013 Conference for several reasons. Other than the high traffic of international delegates that is beneficial to the country’s economy, it is also an opportunity for Malaysia to showcase its capability to host large events such as these. The conference will also facilitate the opportunity for professional developments, knowledge exchange and best practices in the local and regional health sectors, particularly in maternal mortality and morbidity. This in turn will impact positively on Malaysia as a model champion for women’s well-being.” Datuk Dr. Raj Abdul Karim, Women Deliver Asia Regional Director and MyCEB’s appointed Kesatria said, “WD 2013 highlights the tremendous progress that Malaysia and other participating countries have made on the issue of women’s health and rights, as well as the challenges that remain.” She continued, “This conference provided a platform for national, regional and global leaders to share lessons learned and strategise new ways to drive continued progress.”

Exclusive interview


Exclusive interview

TONE MATJAŠIČ, CEO, Panoramic Travel NO FASHION WILL CUT THE STANDARD VALUES Partner’s trust is not obtained from the activity on social networks nor through internet sites. Text by Gorazd Čad

Who is Tone Matjašič and what would he be doing if he didn’t land in tourism? After 37 years of working in the tourism industry, this is a very difficult question to answer. I think that a man does not wander into a working area just by accident. Never in those years did I even think about anything else, and certainly I do not want to do anything else. Sadly, I am now more concerned with matters that I do not look forward to: finance, human resources, but this is a necessary and inevitable part of life. What is the status of meetings industry in the region of South-East Europe today? Is this still one of the most promising sectors of tourism? I certainly believe that meetings industry is one of the segments of tourism in the region that has great potential. The state of the facilities is improving, the recognition and visibility of the region grows, and also increasing is the number of excellent event organisers. Have you recently noticed something around you that has inspired you or upset you in the tourism sector? The feeling of satisfaction was most recently at its greatest at the end of August, when we successfully completed this year‘s second charter from Japan to Ljubljana Airport, and of course the whole travel programme for guests. Sad at the recognition that when the state years ago subsidised the arrival of the same charter flight there was a press conference at the airport with the minister at the helm. Now that this is done in our company we have not even received souvenirs from anyone (city of Ljubljana, Spirit Agency) that would remind the guests of our country. The exception, as usual, is Bled, which greeted the guests with a folklore programme. In your opinion what will the future bring for tourism? Even greater globalisation, or on the contrary will those who will be able to offer local specialties be successful? In any case, a combination of both. Attractive local tourist attractions in conjunction with a good range of shopping of prestigious brands, or local cuisine with a lively evening life in the city. Combinations could be enumerated, but pledging allegiance solely to globalisation, or to the local offer, is not good for the marketing of the tourism product. In today’s multimedia and interactive tourist world is it easier or harder to work? Again, it is difficult to answer unequivocally. I am afraid that we have started to drown in the flood of media of all kinds, we are losing focus, we are developing a complete range of fronts, which are short-lived and have no future, they live only in the present. Personally, I think that no „fashion“ will cut the standard values. A partner‘s trust is not obtained from

the activity on social networks, nor through internet sites. All this is necessary, but to find the right dosage is a challenge that we are dealing with every day. How is meetings industry positioned in your strategy? In what direction will you develop it in Slovenia and in the region? In our strategy, meetings industry is one of the emerging products. We have organised a number of very successful events in the region and in Slovenia and we will continue to do so. Of course, if we had the resources for the development of products and to support a necessary team all together, it would be easier. Funding a presence in foreign markets, opening up new markets and yet at the same time new products is a mouthful, so we have to stop moving and sadly look at how opportunities are passing us. At such moments I wish I lived in a regulated country that wants to have successful businesses, companies, creative entrepreneurs and smiling citizens. What is the style of the Panoramic agency in the meetings industry? What do you think you are recognised for? To our customers we want to offer the PANORAMIC service throughout South-Eastern Europe. At this I should also mention that we have two offices in Japan and in September we opened a representative office in Taiwan. Thus, we are approaching a comprehensive marketing of our products and our growth proves that it is a good strategy. With our companies in the region: Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia, of course, we act with one voice and on individual markets separately. This year we have organised events in every of the above listed countries, the year will end at the end of November with a four-day Congress of 300 French cardiologists in Belgrade. What differentiates a good convention event from a truly great one? Is this subjective or are there rules for this? Probably there are rules for those who are evaluating the organisation of the event. I would say that it is a really successful event when all the partners do their part perfectly. A great organiser of the event is useless if he or she has poor partners in the project, be it accommodation, dining, transportation .... The organiser is not really so great anymore if he or she can not choose the partners. How satisfied are you with the activities of the Slovenian Convention Bureau? What do you miss? Given that I‘m not a very active member of the Slovenian Convention Bureau, I cannot complain about its activities. I can say that my colleague Kovačič is very responsive to any 33

Exclusive interview

initiative, he is hardworking and congress tourism is running through his veins. Personally, to me, any such integration raises many questions. All bidders are also competitors, and here is a very thin line between partnership and competition. In recent years I have tried very hard to make Slovenian tourism-related workers agree and co-operate. Unfortunately in doing so I feel relatively unsuccessful, so I instead dedicate myself to the business of our companies. Who is to blame for the eternal lack of recognition of Slovenia and how could it be improved? It‘s hard to look for guilty ones for the poor visibility, what I worry about at this time is the bad image of our country, for which I certainly blame our politicians. The President of the Republic shoots a private spot for the EC in basketball and when he goes abroad he does not speak a word of invitation to foreign guests who visit our country. Of course, it is the same with all the other politicians. I‘m always „raised“ when I hear about who our ambassadors are for tourism around the world, from sportsmen to cultural figures ... On the profile of the country it affects the whole „look“. This means an orderly

political system, a prosperous economy and, consequently, that such a country is friendly and recognisable to tourists. What was this year‘s tourist season like? Are you satisfied with the results? This year‘s season was 40% better than last year’s, but of course this does not mean satisfaction because we are present in 38 markets around the world. First and foremost is not the imperative of revenue growth, but expansion into new markets, an increase of the share in existing markets, and in particular to be recognised as a great DMC in Southeast Europe. Is being one of the main players of tourism in the region a responsibility, a burden or pleasure? To feel like one of the main players of tourism would be too confident and probably also a burden. In fact, I really enjoy what I do and I try to create a team that will be responsible and work for the satisfaction of our partners, a major player on this parquet.



Anyone looking for excellence, comes to Brdo


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

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

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

The true difference is in details Actually, everything starts and ends with a cup of coffee. In-between your wishes are revealed, plans and possibilities discussed, detailed organisation of the event set, and perfect performance carried out. Our experienced team guarantees your event in the Congress Centre Brdo or in the recently renovated Strmol Castle will not only meet your expectations but leave an impression. Welcome drink awaits you at Brdo! 35

T: +386 4 260 15 01

Good practice case

Grand Hotel Union co-hosted the “BEST OF SLOVENIA” fam trip Event Title: Welcome reception for the Italy, Germany, Austria, France, Benelux and UK key clients Client: Slovenian Convention Bureau (SCB) Contractor: Grand Hotel Union, d.d. On July 5th 2013 the Grand Hotel Union co-hosted a familiarisation event in Ljubljana with the Slovenian Convention Bureau (SCB). The “Fam trip” in the Grand hotel Union was designed as a visual, musical and culinary intertwining of Grand hotel Union services. The emphasis was put on welcoming and familiarising the guest with the hotel and its vibrant past. The welcome reception was in the Grand Union Hall, built in a beautiful Art Nouveau design. The Hall, with all the adornments of a classical theatre, was beautifully arranged as for a gala event – the “grand breakfast” was accompanied by a pianist on stage throughout the entire breakfast. The guests saw this introduction of the hotel and its services as both creative and inspiring.


Good practice case

LARGEST SLOVENIAN TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE IN BLED Event Title: NT CONFERENCE 2013 Client: Microsoft Slovenia Contractor: Sava turizem For 18 years the NT Conference has been the largest Slovenian technology conference at which various experts get acquainted with the latest services, devices, solutions and trends in the field of information technology. It is not only professional and educational event, rather the NT Conference is also recognisable for fun and relaxed note. Key highlights of the NT conference implementation in Bled in April this year: • Team-performance of the client and the contractor (weekly co-ordination, known parameters of communication) • “Non-invasive branding”, which is listening to the basic message of the destination (green - blue colour/ water-nature) • Connection of hotels within “walking distance” • Exploiting the given potential - Welcome party at Kavarna Park (coffee shop Park) and central party at the platform of the Park Hotel: • Locations with the most beautiful vistas • Locations within walking distance • Reducing the logistics costs (transportation) • Consequently - an additional budget for F & B programme • Integrated green component – locations are within walking distance, the focus is on local / domestic • Tradition in a modern way • Synergy with the local community: catering team - students from the catering school are helping, the presence of the mayor and the participation with the VIP group to visit Bled • Part of the lectures is carried out at IECD Bled – a known brand in the field of management • The green aspect is exposed, which was as a red note presented in the first stage - the preparation of the offer • Post-effects: The conference represents a comparative advantage, a reference, together with the organiser we have exceeded the established limits under SHB (quantitative and numerical limitations)







t is widely known that if you marry a ‘Brika’ (a woman from Goriška brda), you do not need a dog, as is sung by the well-known singer-songwriter Iztok Mlakar. How much truth is in this I haven’t tried, but the locals are known for being persistent, fearless and hard working people. Think of the top Slovenian winemakers, who are almost as a rule of Goriška brda or Collia Movia: Klinec, Bjana, Kabaj Morel, Gravnar, Primosic, Radikon, Keber, La Subida, Il Giardinetto are but a few of the wine and culinary names that can leave nobody indifferent. Wine growing Brda is not only a land of wine and fruit, but a region in the ethnic, economic and cultural crosswinds. In its bosom are hiding a number of cultural attractions, both in the administrative centre of Brda - in Dobrovo, which boasts a Renaissance castle from the 17th century - as well as in Vipolže or Števerjen in Collio (San Floriano del Collio). Almost at every Brda hill, in the middle of a tight village, you can find a church. Church steeples attract the eye, as some resemble small fortresses. Brda is also interesting architecturally because of the preserved medieval architecture of many of the old houses. Most of them are in Šmartno, one of the most beautiful villages, with a monumental fortress with defence towers and walls from the 16th century. The old fortified Mediterranean villages and wine-growing hills, from which there is view over the Friuli and all the way to the Venice lagoon, make the landscape extremely varied. The experiential value is complemented by the reputation of the land of cherries and wine in combination with the Mediterranean climate and vineyards on terraced ridges. After the Second World War, two-thirds of the territory went to Yugoslavia and one-third to Italy, the Italian part of Goriška brda becoming known as Collio. Throughout the Middle Ages Brda was demarcated between the Austrian provinces and territories of the Venetians. Therefore, numerous forts, castles and fortified villages were created. Castles in Dobrovo, in Vipolže, Cerovo and Kojsko are from those times. The defining feature of Brda are the large clustered villages on the slopes in authentic Mediterranean disarray and compressed into a small space. They share a market in the village centre. Perhaps the most remarkable jewel is the fortress town Šmartno, or ‘village of seven towers’, which has a surprisingly respectful attitude towards its cultural heritage. In Brda you will not find an urban centre, with local residents frequenting Gorizia and Udine. Interestingly, a similar appearance of Brda has been maintained on both sides of the border. In both parts the cultural landscape is dominated by large terraced vineyards. The main activities in Brda are agriculture and tourism, but not just regular tourism, rather eco-tourism, onto which they have focused intensely in recent times. It should be noted that this is a young industry, as a tourist information centre was established in 2000 and the Consortium Brda in 2003. The tourist offer is almost entirely related to agriculture and most of accommodation capacities are on farms. A typical example is Medana, where such an offer is virtually availa39

ble at every homestead. The excellent promotion of wine and fruit also attracts many visitors, especially daily tourists. The basis for the development of convention tourism, in addition, are the cultural and entertainment events in Brda: the locals are great hosts. The prerequisite for the development of tourism are accommodation facilities, for which only a decade ago there were only a dozen, but today in Brda there are more than 467 beds in some hotels and 15 farms with accommodation. Under construction is a hotel in Šmartno. In addition, on the Slovenian side of Brda there are 54 ‘open door’ farms and 38 taverns and restaurants with indigenous Brda food. The main accommodation facilities are in two smaller hotels in Kozana and Neblo. The largest tourist centre, Venko in Neblo that in a typical castle-style, offers a hotel with 32 rooms, a restaurant and a gaming lounge. In Kozana, in a pleasantly converted old school, there is hotel Kozana. In Collio is the luxury hotel Castello di Spezza in a renovated mansion. Recently they have renovated a lot of the apartments to the highest quality. Otherwise, in Brda there is no shortage of different pearls, such as the Briška butiechia shop opened this summer with Souvenirs at the Castle Dobrovo. In Šmartno guests can be impressed by the Marica house behind the mighty walls within the picturesque medieval village. There is also no shortage of boutique hotels, such as Gredič hotel with its superb restaurant in a former Codelli family villa. The hotel is beautifully renovated and could easily be placed among the design hotels. If you want to feel some prestige, the right address is the legendary restaurant La Subida in Krmin, which is crowned with a Michelin star. The hedonistic Kingdom of the Sirk family includes a riding centre, tennis courts, swimming pool and a range of forest houses with sleeping facilities. In the Šmartno hotel San Martin is going to open this fall with an innovative wine wellness, winemaker Simčič has opened a brand new tourist facility villa Alma Vista. You can also discover Brda in an original way on electric scooters and electric bicycles. Roaming around on both sides of Brda is particularly interesting with legendary yellow scooters. Brici (as the locals are called) are not running out of ideas for tourism development. Brda is not designed for mass meeting tourism; it is a boutique destination that also actually functions. It has started with wine and culinary tastings. Today, however, they offer everything from incentives on electric Vespas to jeep safari among the picturesque vineyards. In addition to the meetings hall at the Hotel Venko, the largest hall is in the largest Slovenian wine cellar, Goriška Brda, in the heart of the Collio Brda wine production. A prestigious conference room is also in the wine house Bjana and House Iaquin. With a little imagination you will be able to arrange and reorganise smaller rooms at virtually all Brda tourist farms, with special meeting adventures popular in Medana, such as meeting with a beautiful view of the Belica garden farmhouses, or across the street at the Klinec farm. An ideal place for seminars and

guided tastings of wine is the Brdo winery on the premises of Dobrovo castle. There is a lot on offer in Brda, but it is necessary to insist on local particularities and quality of supply - Brda is known for tourism, less as a convention destination. Brda attracted conference guests with its rich oeno-gastronomic offer, and in addition with cultural-historical sights and unique landscapes. The Brda border region has an extraordinary meetings industry potential, which is powered by three important factors: tradition, entry into the EU, and good examples of neighbouring Friuli. The destination is lacking a slightly better convention image, which would immediately improve its competitiveness.

Destination grade: quality meetings destination



Brda is synonymous with an attractive and picturesque hilly landscape, where one brings his or her conference guests for nature, food and wine. A combination of these three elements gives Brda a special charm, which together with the Mediterranean climate is reminiscent of Tuscany. General and transport infrastructure 


Tourism in Brda is based on unspoiled nature, food and drink. Brda is known for its affordable accommodation options in tourist farms, which are highly fragmented and scattered in the surrounding hills. The lack of accommodation could be addressed by converting a number of unused objects with a sense of proportion and sustainability. Meetings infrastructure 


Meetings capacities in Brda are boutique and highly dispersed but impress with their authenticity and genuine convention experience. The entire destination as something special is calling for greater connectivity and integration, as it is an exceptional convention product focusing on incentives, which is completely unused. It is necessary to make an inventory of the offer on both sides of the border and introduce common and more targeted marketing. Subjective grade 


In recent years Goriška Brda has gained recognition as a tourist destination. It is also suitable for small conference groups looking for an authentic experience. More and more congress organisers are looking precisely for this.

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

Tourist infrastructure 


Brda has a good strategic location, just an hour from Venice. Goriška brda were once geographically remote, but today the closeness of the motorway infrastructure allows easy and quick access and is bringing the area closer to ‘air guests’ through the nearby airports of Ronchi and Venice. The relative isolation has largely retained the traditional settlement and originality, which the locals are eager to maintain through the cultural landscape.

Comparision with the region: A number of the features of Brda make it special and unique in the wider area. In the first place is its openness to the sea, creating a pleasant Mediterranean climate, followed up by its natural beauty with rich cultural heritage and eco-preserved countryside with exceptional culinary and wine offer, unrivalled in the region. A panorama of hills with a cluster of agglomerations and subdivided farmland and countless terraced vineyards is certainly one of the most beautiful Italian-Slovenian landscape-aesthetic experiences. In the field of tourism-convention offer, Brda is perhaps the future formula of tourism development: “less is more”. The convention fate of Brda and Collio is in co-operation and joint promotion. Cool meetings: Frtaja is fried omelette made with beaten eggs, flour and a little milk, into which locals mix a blend of fresh, finely chopped spices: cabbage heart, chives, green baby fennel, “madrjalca” (‘white gate’) and sage. 40







ecause of the political decision to forcibly break the administratively, physically, geographically and economically rounded region into two parts in 1947, Nova Gorica (New Gorizia) was formed to compensate for the lost city. That is why disintegration of the border in 2004 is important in the symbolic sense and represents an important case model and an example of the new united Europe. Nevertheless, the two cities live their lives; the real treasure is hidden precisely in their diversity. The old lady Gorizia and a young untamed Nova Gorica. A short distance apart there are two completely different stories that come together at the Europa Square or Piazza Transalpina, with a symbolic mosaic floor of the New Europe. The region set in the far east of Italy and far west of Slovenia is geographically very diverse and varied. The main water artery, Soča, has created a picturesque landscape that from the hilly Goriška Brda (Gorica Hills) descends towards the Friuli plane. Soča itself is to blame for the emergence of the Gorizia plane, which is fully exposed to the effects of the Mediterranean. This makes it sub-Mediterranean warm and attractive for living and socialising. The Adriatic sea is only a stone’s throw away and it only takes a step up to the Alpine peaks. Perhaps Gorizia is the real heart of the Alps-Adria region. The old Gorica appears in historical sources as early as the year 1001; for the entire time it has been graced with a cosmopolitan, multinational spirit. The symbol of the city is the imposing Bastione castle, which is located within the walls of the old castle of the village. Within the castle there are the amazing special venues of Counts Palace, Palace of Estates, Venetian Palace and the War Museum. This, together with beautiful mansions, charming squares, streets and old monuments makes it attractive and culturally very interesting. On the other hand, there is the story of modernist architecture and rebel urbanism of the garden city, as it was conceived by the architect Edo Ravnikar. If we ignore the border between the two countries, it is about extreme adventurous variety, which is unequalled and which only a few people in the meetings industry really know about. Both Goricas have always been an important transport hub for both rail and road traffic, connecting the Soča valley and the Karst and Vipavska valley with Italy. Throughout history Gorizia was an important craft and trade hub at the junction of European regions, the Alps and the Mediterranean. Nearby lie cities such as Trieste, Monfalcone, Udine and Venice, with popular tourist spots Lipica, Devino castle and Miramar also very close. The nearest airport is Ronchi, which is only 22 km away, and the major regional aviation hub of Venice is just 131 km away. The quality of life is precisely in the diversity of both cities. Youthful Nova Gorica (New Gorizia), marked by a lively beat and a rich tourist offer, which is complemented by the old Gorizia, with typical Italian markets and numerous parks. Thanks to the company HIT the region is synonymous with gambling tourism that for a decade has ravaged Nova Gorica. Masters of entertainment and gaming have recently lost a little breath, and thus again ideas of linking the two 43

Gorizias in tourism terms are coming to life. Within the HIT there are over 440 rooms available in four hotels and numerous restaurants. Two of the hotels - Perla and Park are gaming and entertainment centres. Sabotin and Lipa are only a few kilometres away from Nova Gorica. On the Italian side the main hotel is Best Western Gorizia Palace, with a small convention centre. For conference guests the Grand Hotel Entourage is also suitable. In connection with congress tourism it is necessary to mention the well-developed product of wine and cuisine. Nova Gorica is in the heart of three wine-growing areas of the region - Goriška Brda, Karst and the Friuli plain, and is the epicentre of the best wine and food offer. Tourist attractions in the area do not run out. Finally, you can also use the original steam train ride out to Bled or explore the historical heritage of the Soča Front. Although HIT has been developing entertainment tourism all these years, without a doubt the best complementary activity in both cities is the meetings industry. With the total number of rooms the place is suitable for medium to large conferences with up to 500 participants. The heart of the congress offer is a spacious conference room at the Perla hotel with the possibility of subdivision into three parts and a smaller meeting room. Gorizia offers a range of fun, games and culinary experiences that can satisfy all kinds of convention guests. The region is also ideal for teambuilding and incentive programmes in the slightly cooler months. The weakest part is relatively poor branding as a result of the division and the direction of gambling tourism. Both Goricas can only win when united on the congress parquet. A common convention bureau would help a great deal; it would take care of the branding, relevant international promotion and give the direction and orientation to the meetings boat. Meanwhile, meetings in Gorizia will be left with ingenuity of individual providers. Concrete incentive offers and programmes to participate in the international market are missing and could be connected by a local DMC, event or PCO agency. Due to its location between the Alps and the Mediterranean and at the ethnic junction of Roman and Slovenian population the Gorizia region is a particularly rich and attractive place. An excellent location at the crossroads of the CEC road and rail networks in the relative vicinity of airports makes it recognisable as a conference destination. The abolition of borders has created conditions in which it has become practically impossible for the Slovenian and Italian side to remain isolated from each other. Time will be needed in order to create the right trust. Convention tourism could be one of the biggest accelerators of cross-border co-operation and the future of tourism, sspecially given the fact that it is close to one of the strongest European convention markets in North Italy, and that a university centre is being developed that is also able to generate conferences of international associations.


Destination grade: quality meetings destination



In the transport sense it is a very easily accessible region with a high quality of living and excellent infrastructure. With its location is an excellent starting point for discovering hidden gems in the area. From here it is just a jump to the unique Posočje, to Karst, the green Vipavska valley and Brda wine hills. Only about an hour’s drive separates you from the world famous Venice, the Slovenian capital Ljubljana and other attractions.

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

Individual grades: Natural and Cultural Factors

General and transport infrastructure

Tourist Infrastructure 4.10

Gorizia and Nova Gorica are the heart of the sunny and verdant Goriška plane. Due to its interesting position between the Alps and the Mediterranean and the junction between the Roman and Slavic it forms a historically attractive space with high experiential value and preserved natural and cultural landscape.


Both Goricas will delight lovers of gastronomy, entertainment and gaming. This is with good restaurants the most populated part of Slovenia. In addition, it is an excellent starting point for the region with really rich tourist offer in the surrounding Goriška Brda, Vipava, Sveta gora (Holy mountain), Trieste, Miramare ....



Meetings Infrastructure 


In 2006 a modern conference centre at hotel Perla was created, which along with several smaller halls in hotels in Gorizia and a series of special venues forms the backbone of the congress offer. The final grade is reduced because there is no local convention bureau and because of the lack of co-operation between providers on both sides of the border. Consequently, the image of the destination is also worsened. Subjective Grade 


It seems that the preference for the meetings industry is currently more of a declarative nature and that no one has really capitalized on the potential of the merged city. What is also problematic is the dominant image of a gaming destination, which is not helpful to the development of meetings tourism. Everything else, especially the hospitality of the locals and the competitiveness of the destination, is placing Gorizia on the top of young, fresh, undiscovered convention destinations.

Comparision with the region: Conurbation, which because of its diversity has an amazing meetings potential, has not yet fully realised its potential and mission of connecting the two cities. It is because of this, combined with an excellent transport position and an offer in the vicinity of both cities, that it is of interest to the international meetings market. The limit is still the psychological barrier. Both Goricas have a historic opportunity to appear on the international meetings scene united and together in the style of one of the tourist campaigns Play together. If you are looking for an original conference destination that is not yet completely besieged, the two Goricas are a perfect choice. Cool meetings: Jota is the Karst and Friuli national separate dish or casserole. Today in Friuli it is hardly known any more, while it has domesticated around Gorica and throughout Primorska. Only the name is derived from the Friuli word Jota, which derives from Gaelic word for soup. The basic ingredients are beans, potatoes, sauerkraut, dried pork meat and spices.


Venue of the Month


State Protocol Services of the Republic of Slovenia Brdo – the Domain of Delights Inside venue: Highest state protocol meetings, exclusive congresses and conferences, exquisite formal and informal solemnities, and other luxurious events take place in the natural environment of beautiful mountain scenery at Brdo pri Kranju. With almost 500 hectares at the doorstep of the Alps, the Brdo estate boasts a rich natural and cultural heritage where you can admire thousands of plant and animal species and their numerous habitats, unique beehive cultivation, scattered hayracks, former castle stables and an orangery, the open-air sculpture collection and the most prestigious building on the estate: Brdo Castle. Brdo estate also offers various activities in its park, including wellness, fitness, golf, horse riding, a fish smoke-house, guided tours (castle, park, hunting area), horse carriage or sleigh ride, observing wildlife and much more.

Contacts and Capacities: Hotel category: 4 star hotel Open since: 1975 Standard: 4 star hotel, mainly a business hotel number of rooms: 60 twin rooms, 3 single rooms with French bed, 12 suites, and 3 single rooms adapted for disabled persons. Internet prices: • single rooms: from ¤45 economy single room, from ¤65 standard single room, • double/twin room: from ¤70 economy double room, from ¤102 double/twin room. Address: Brdo Estate, Hotel Brdo – Predoslje 39, 400 Kranj, Slovenia, EU Facilities: Lobby, Bar, Restaurant (also a la carte), Free Wi-Fi, Air conditioning, Wellness Centre, Fitness Centre, Garden, VIP Parlour, Gallery with paintings, photography and other exhibitions, Free Parking, wide range of freetime activities in the Brdo Park (walks, guided tours, golf practice, horse carriage or sleigh ride, horse riding, observing wildlife, sport fishing, boat ride)


Specials: various activities in park, wellness, fitness, golf, horse riding, fish smoke-house, guided tours (castle, park, hunting area), hunting area, horse carriage or sleigh ride, observing wildlife. Special offer: Lying at the foothills of the beautiful Alps, with its own carefully nurtured park Hotel Brdo assures tranquility and complete comfort not far away from the daily buzz. Natural beauties alongside artificial lakes, thousands of plant and animal species, and rich examples of cultural and artistic heritage together create a vivid atmosphere. The hotel is suitable for everyday social gatherings as well as for organising different types of events, meetings, and solemnities – business or private. Links: Web page: FB:

SLOVENIA MEETINGS Feel the people. Taste fresh ideas.


Exclusive interview


Exclusive interview

MARTIN JEZERŠEK, CEO, Jezeršek Catering Eurobasket 2013 - Playing in the best culinary team of slovenia

Text by Gorazd Čad

Q: Is being one of the major players in the organisation of EuroBasket a responsibility, a burden or a pleasure? In fact, all the aforesaid. During the preparations for the championship the event demanded a lot of invested work and effort, with no immediately visible results. Many of our employees have been engaged over the past few months only with the EuroBasket project, which is an additional burden for the entire company in a variety of ways. When the championship was beginning, especially us, the leading ones, have felt very great responsibility. To prepare and serve 70,000 meals at five locations in Slovenia is no laughing matter, and in the last month this responsibility has led to much grey hair. But when, after 14 days of championship you walk around the Stožice complex and watch how 150 people are completely rehearsed in how guests are satisfied, when international guests are commenting that the catering is the best in the history of EuroBasket Championships, then the whole thing turns into an intense pleasure that outweighs all the previous concerns. Q: How would you evaluate the results and significance of EuroBasket for your company and the Slovenian meetings industry? Months ago, we the Jezeršek family have decided that the project will not be undertaken solely with the objective of maximising earnings. We wanted to exceed guests’ expectations and to use this event as a springboard for the future. How will the Slovenian meetings industry take advantage of the Championship is another question, which I cannot answer. Surely we could use it more with more active involvement of all stakeholders of the meetings industry. From first hand I can tell you that at the championship there was a great number of individuals who could bring to Slovenia both sports and sports-related events, such as congresses. The question is if we were able to present Slovenia to them as a meetings destination. Q: What kind of organisational challenge was the Eurobasket for the Jezeršek catering? In the past, we have already implemented major one-day events similar to EuroBasket, however, this was the most complex project in organisational sense. In the project, we have invested months of effort, planning of recipes, logistics, contingency details, investment in equipment, personnel ... The project has claimed almost 30,000 hours of invested work and this number is sufficiently eloquent. Q: To whom were the banquets intended during the EuroBasket? Did the athletes also have the opportunity to try your food? Banquets were designed for different groups. Our food was tried by the volunteers, the media, judges, personnel of the championship, FIBA personnel, FIBA Europe staff and guests in the VIP lounges, guest at the Super VIP lounges, VIP guests in the Corporate Hospitality, where FIBA Europe hosted its sponsors. Only athletes had their food arranged in the hotels where they were staying, but some were occasionally invited among the VIP guests, and so also we had the opportunity to meet our own and foreign heroes.

Q: Do participants at sporting events distinguish between the good and the bad? What convinces them? What is good and what is bad is relative and depends on one’s expectations. The aim is always to exceed expectations of the individual. The fact is that our guests were people who in their life have seen many things, and thus their expectations were subconsciously high. We did everything to understand their expectations before the championship. We have made a survey of the most important guests, so our bartenders also knew their favourite drinks or what kind of coffee a few dozen of the most important guests would drink. I estimate that we have exceeded the expectations of many, but unfortunately it is never possible to satisfy all. Q: Do you expect Eurobasket to cause an increase of interest in Slovenia? Slovenia has certainly gained some visibility, but it is difficult to assess or quantify how much it will increase interest in Slovenia. According to my information, the first estimates show that the investments of the state and cities have returned and that the project will be financially positive, which is the most important thing. There are many companies that because of the championship have one way or another created business which otherwise would not have happened. This also solves the crisis, so we must encourage new candidacies for major sporting events. Q: What is the biggest challenge for Jezeršek catering in the future? Our main goal is to break through in the field of catering in international waters. For this purpose, in the context of the EuroBasket Championship we presented a new brand name - SORA Catering - with which we are already present on the Croatian market. Our biggest challenge is thus a successful breakthrough in the segment of international catering and expansion of business to neighbouring countries. Q: If with ‘basketball logic’ you had to assemble a Slovenian culinary team, who would you pick as your the top five, and why? I am currently playing in the best culinary team of Slovenia. We have a long bench, good replacements for players of all positions, technically profiled knowledge, talent ... With hard work and a little luck we can win it all. Our team consists of: Martin Jezeršek, Jure Jezeršek, Luka Jezeršek, Rok Jezeršek, Primoz Križnar, Ana Šušteršič, Aljaž Toplak, Kristina Jurjevec, Polona Rihar, Helena Režek, Mojca Kosec, Blaž Starman, Primož Plešec, Ivan Stipič, Luka Rusić, Ivan Jager, Anže Pavlin , Danila Jereb, Peter Jereb, Andrej Hribernik, Uroš Kordež, Alja Kolar, Andrej Mis, Špela Triler, Klemen Maletič, Tomaž Bergant, Dejan Požaršek, Vida Kopač, Ines Perger, Zinka Bajrektarevič, Matej Radeljak, Jakob Knific, Gašper Škerjanec, Jernej Čarman, Mileva Grobin, Justi Grobin, Ana preklaj, Nada jovanivič, Lidija šebrek, Cilka Brankovič, Dragica Ajdovec, Martina Šerjak, Martina Jezeršek, Alenka Lipovec and, of course, Sonja and Franci Jezeršek.


Good practice case


Good practice examples Event: INSIDE 2013 - THE FUTURE OF MEETINGS Date: 30th August 2013 Location: Hotel Lone, Rovinj, Croatia Partners: Serbian Convention Bureau, Slovenian Convention Bureau, EIBTM Trade Show, Conventa Trade Show Execution: Toleranca marketing / GO.MICE ABOUT THE EVENT: The second conference on the future of meetings in Rovinj impressed participants with the selection of the main theme Meeting Design and top lecturers THREE DESIGNERS

of one of the most creative advertising agencies of the region, which now also organizes daring events. Mike van der VIVJER is one of the pioneers of a new profession of meeting designers. AFTER THE EVENT: According to the results of the survey all the participants were excited about the content and the event and we managed to create a ‘meeting chemistry’. The INSIDE conference will continue each year and in 2014 Novi Sad (Serbia) will be the host.

CHALLENGES: How to demonstrate to participants through practical examples and interactive experience how they will need to adapt to the new paradigm of future events in which the participants are at the forefront. We set ourselves a goal to get under the skin of the participants with premium content. SOLUTION: The combination of at first glance incompatible designers has proven to be an excellent solution. Jovan Jelovac is the father of Belgrade Design Week and innovative designer of one of the most important global events in the field of creative industries. Davor Bruketa and Nikola Žinić in 1995 opened their own design studio and began the story

EIBTM was partner again with the  Inside Conference. The conference, also supported by Slovenia Convention Bureau, Serbia Convention Bureau and Conventa, Eventex Awards, Hungary Convention Bureau and the City of Athens Convention and Visitor has been designed to drive the development of the meetings industry in that region.


Three Designers



ounded in 2005 as a true rarity in the world of festivals - as a non-profit NGO -Belgrade design Week is the premier festival of creative industries and modern business in Serbia and the South East European region, covering an area home to more than 100 million people from Milan to Istanbul. For eight years now, Belgrade Design Week has successfully forged intercultural and business connections between the global design scene, the regional creative industries and the city of Belgrade.

BDW reinvents the tradition of grand international festivals of culture in Belgrade such as Bitef, Fest, Belef and Bemus, within a new, contemporary design contest. We firmly believe that design today is much more than just a tool for the achievement of profits and economic success. We see it as a carefully crafted methodology for the introduction and realization of new ideas to our own society. The list of esteemed participants of Belgrade Design Week in the past eight years, lecturers at our conference, includes more than 200 leading creatives, artists, architects, designers, branding and advertising experts, curators, publishers, entrepreneurs, critics, in one word - the greatest creative minds of the 21st century! Some of the world’s superstars who were guests of Belgrade, the Belgraders and Belgrade Design Week are Ross Lovegrove, Daniel Libeskind, Karim Rashid, Peter Saville, Luigi Collani, Patrizia Urquiola, Droog Design, Askan Mergenthaler of Herzog&Meuron, Juergen H. Mayer, Bjarke Ingels of BIG, Ola Rune of CKR, Jaime Hayon, Marti Guixe, Mario Nanni, David Linderman of Hi-ReS!, Nika Zupanc, Jacob van Rijs of MVRDV, Tony Chambers, Marcus Fairs, Konstantin Grcic, Patrizia Moroso, Shin Azumi, Paola Antonelli, Eugenio Perazza of Magis, Patrizia Moroso, Hella Jongerius, Gaetano Pesce, Ora Ito, Arik Levy, Javier Mariscal, Dieter Meier, Patrik Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects... To most of them the participation at Belgrade Design Week was at the same time their very first visit to Belgrade, Serbia and the whole region, but also a unique chance for the local and regional creatives and professionals to get

introduced with their work and ideas live from the first row.

The importance of Belgrade Design Week is recognised by many world-leading opinion-makers and media in the fields of design and creative industries, which results in the fact that BDW each year generates international media value of more than 1 million EUR, combining the word “Belgrade” with keywords like “design, progress, innovation, knowledge, freedom, quality…” in global and local reviews. Belgrade is a city of great festival culture, equally grand festival expectations, nurtured in the golden age of socialism. Based on this rich heritage, we at BDW try to provide the framework only, the inspiration, and let everything flow thereafter as organic, as spontaneous as possible. Perhaps this really marks the key difference between us and other important global festivals. Namely, after leaving behind all logistical, technical, financial and similar aspects, the whole know-how revolves around the CHEMISTRY of the festival – taking care of the question: “Is everyone getting the proverbial buzz from the excitement at BDW or not?”

Like with a good movie: expensive effects, animation or camera trickery stay in the shadow of that special feeling, whether you follow a film BREATHLESS from the beginning to an end, swallowing scene after scene as soon as the lights go off. For this accomplishment, only one thing bears responsibility: the good old story and the master craft of the story’s guide - the director. That is more or less the situation with BDW: something inexplicable happens each year, and then the whole world talks again with excitement about Belgrade and the festivities of Belgrade Design Week.


Three Designers

MIKE van der VIVJER DEFINING MOMENTS Craziest destination: Any destination can be made sufficiently crazy Craziest event: Holding a grown tiger in my arms Historical event: The speech of Martin Luther King: “I have a dream!� Hotel to return to: A tiny hotel with a garden full of orchids bordering Lake Toba on Sumatra Concert: Could that be a pop concert? The Beatles playing in the Yankee Stadium in 1964 Best rock band: Gentle Giant


Three Designers


If you were not a meeting designer what would you be dealing with? I would probably have become a paediatrician or a neurobiologist. What is the foundation of a good meeting design? - In a proper understanding of how the meeting content should develop in the course of the meeting. - In knowing the expectations of the meeting participants. And - In working out the true objectives for the meeting together with the meeting owner. How do we measure a good meeting design? What are the criteria? This is very simple: if the meeting has achieved the three things mentioned in the previous question: allowing the content to change in the desired way; satisfying (exceeding!) the expectations of the participants; and achieving (exceeding!) the objectives of the meeting owner. What connection has a classic design with the meeting design? They are both applied arts. This means that each design is unique, while at the same time having a practical application. So not art for art’s sake, but art that has a direct impact on people’s lives. What is actually the difference between traditional project planning of events and the meeting design? Traditional meeting planning tends to focus on logistics, organisation and project management. Vital issues for successful meetings, but not what meetings really ARE.

Is the future of the meetings industry in that it brings added value for organisers or for participants? For both. With MindMeeting, we honour the principle that we work for the participants and that the meeting owner pays us, ha, ha! In meetings that deserve to exist, both the meeting owner and the participants have a vested interest in achieving their objectives. What is essential for building the reputation of conferences and events? Making sure that meeting owner and participants have a worthwhile experience related to the content. No Content, No Meeting! Where should event organisers look for inspiration? This is different for each individual. Some people find their inspiration in sport, others in sports, yet others in theatre or in the beauty of their home village. Anything that arouses strong and contradictory feelings can serve as a source of inspiration. What do you think the future holds for the meetings industry? I hope a lot of change! And the main change for me would be the awareness that meetings are not about hospitality or tourism, but about knowledge and change management! The common question: The best event of all time in your opinion? I guess the birth of my daughters…  

What is in your opinion a good creative event? Are conference organisers born creative or do we learn this? Actually, I don’t think an event needs to be creative AS SUCH. Often, events can be creative while not being good, or well-designed events. Creativity is a tool, not an end in itself. A meeting is held for a purpose and it is the task of the meeting designer to ensure that the programme achieves that purpose.


Three Designers

DAVOR BRUKETA DEFINING MOMENTSÂ - The craziest destination: Iceland - The craziest event: Landing on the moon - If you could be present at any event in history, which one would it be? The Big Bang - Hotel to which you like to return? Lone - Rock concert that you would like to see: Nick Cave


Three Designers



avor Bruketa is the Creative Director of Bruketa & Žinić OM advertising agency, the firm that he co-founded with Nikola Žinić in 1995. He was the first creative from SE Europe to preside over the London International Awards jury. He was also a jury member of the Art Directors Club New York, D&AD London, NY Festivals, Graphis, MIAF-Moscow and is a permanent member of the Cresta Awards Grand Jury. Bruketa & Žinić OM is The Best International Small Agency of the Year (AdAge 2013), The Second Most Efficient Independent Advertising Agency Globally (Effie Index, Cannes, 2012) and one of the most award-winning design and advertising agencies in Southeastern Europe with over 400 international awards. What do you say to fact that you are marked out as the star of regional advertising? No one in our agency feels like a star. Both Žinić and I are hard workers who love their job (sometimes not so much J ). Žinić is writing e-mails at midnight and I answer them at 5 AM. In our business you are as good as your last project and anyone who thinks that’s not true should change their career.   To refresh the memory of our readers, and respond to those who do not know you yet, what does the Bruketa & Žinić agency do? Bruketa & Žinić OM is a group of agencies that deal with marketing communication, with offices in Austria, Croatia, Serbia and Azerbaijan. The agency has been awarded the best international small agency of the year 2013 by the Advertising Age and the second most efficient independent agency globally by the Effie Index 2012. We deal with the entire brand from its positioning, visual identity, graphic and packaging design, to communication strategy, advertising in all offline and online media, retail design, product design and architecture.   From the numerous awards for creativity and for your originality, do you have a basic recipe formula for success? First, only efficient creativity is the right creativity in our business. It’s important to listen to your client, develop mutual understanding and communicate as much as possible. With a good brief, research and analysis comes good insight. Then creativity comes in. You should be prepared to defend your best ideas and stand by them, and try out new things where you don’t feel safe.   How can you be faithful to both your own need to create and the actual needs of the client? To every person in our business the need to create

should be equal to the need of solving clients’ problems and needs. That’s advertising! What is advertising like during an economic crisis? Can it still exist and what does the future hold? Advertising in the time of crisis means being creative and efficient with less money. It can be frustrating, but inspiring if you look at it that way. The future brings even less money, but more precise targeting options and more innovative channels to use. But the content will always be in the centre.   What would your ad for promoting the Croatian meetings industry look like? It would not be an ad in the classic sense, but a news story that would travel to its target audience through different channels, coming from someone they personally trust the most. If you could work for any brand in the world which one you would choose? A brand of Croatian electrical car.   We have heard the arguments of your compatriot Jovan Jelovac that design is omnipresent. How important is that in the meetings and event industry? Extremely important. The meeting and event industry has a lot to do with storytelling and visual experience. It’s what the designers and advertisers are best at.   How creative are the many advertising festivals at which you are picking up your awards? What is the thing that makes festivals as events important? They could do better J  Location, location, location, plus a story that evolves around it in the smallest details – I think that’s important.   Your agency is the license holder for the Pecha Kucha events? What kind of events do you feel are the most attractive? Is the content or the form more important? A smart combination of both – that’s exactly what PechaKucha is. Sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees. I hate it when content without meaning is piled up just to satisfy a form.   The common question: The best event of all time in your opinion? The landing on the Moon.



MAISTRA CONVENTION CENTRES CAP AUREO AND ADRIS MEETINGS INDUSTRY IS ONE OF THE CRUCIAL LINKS FOR YEAR-ROUND BUSINESS OF MAISTRA HOTELS Maistra’s convention offer in terms of space can be divided into the two convention centres of Cap Aureo and Adris.

have convention facilities - Istra hotel on the island of St. Andrija in Rovinj and Hotel Pineta in Vrsar.

Cap Aureo Convention Centre - the central MICE product of Maistra and the best-equipped convention centre in the region consists of four hotels - Hotel Lone, Hotel Monte Mulini, Eden and Park. With the opening of the design hotel Lone (2011), the entire convention centre now comprises 20 halls, the largest of which accommodates up to 650 participants, all halls in total having a seating capacity of nearly 1,600 participants. A wide range of multi-purpose halls, combined with excellent service and the latest technology, provide the conditions for the flawless organisation of the most demanding congresses and conferences. Located by the sea and the Zlatni rt (Golden Cape) forest park, is just a 10-minute walk along the promenade from the central town square.

References: • 1 0th International school of biophysics | organised by the Institute “Ruðer Bošković” • BD Biosciences | conference of distributors of central-eastern Europe •W  eekend Media Festival | regional festival of communication industry • Proto/e/co/logics | international symposium of architecture • International fair and conference on licensing in the New Europe •4  2. expert-scientific symposium MAZIVA 2009 • CORESTA 2009. | Agronomy & Phytopathology Joint Study Groups Meeting • 5th Croatian congress of osteoporosis • 1 4th Conference of the Croatian association of Oracle users HrOUG 2009. • WALA | 3rd conference of world association of airport lawyers • CISCO VIP Partner Summit • I AEA | Regional conference of the international atomic energy agency • 1 6th International conference of the Zagreb Exchange • Sybase | meeting of university professors and mentors of Central and Eastern Europe • International conference on child protection and their rights •A  EMA seminar | European Association of Municipalities With Marina/yachting Harbour • Regional symposium of electro-chemistry (SE Europe) •8  th Congress of the Croatian association of family doctors | Croatian Medical Association •B  entley international event | launch of the new model

Convention Centre Adris is located in a former tobacco factory in the centre of Rovinj. The complex covers an area of 30,000 square meters and consists of a modern concert hall and galleries, a tobacco museum and exhibition space perfect for the organisation of large events and conferences. The main hall has a maximum seating capacity of 1,500, and the second largest hall has seating for 1,000. In addition to this, at the centre there are 10 separate halls of various capacity available, including a separate area for the registration of participants, press, numerous offices and conference rooms, a large banquet hall which can serve dinner for over 1,000 people, the possibility of setting up a lounge terrace, bars and various entertainment areas. Added value of the Maistra convention offer, in addition to the aforementioned convention centres, is through the other hotels that also

•R  enault regional event | launch of the new model Clio • International conference “Innovative medical initiative” •C  hallenge of change: the future of financial markets in organisation of the Zagreb Exchange and association of societies for the management of retirement funds and retirement insurances •A  dris RC44 cup Highlights: •T  here were over 70 MICE events held in Maistra facilities in 2012 •T  he average duration of a conference is 2-3 days • The average number of delegates at a conference is 200 •C  ongress held in Maistra with the largest number of participants in 2012 (over 2,500 participants) was the Weekend Media Festival, followed by Microsoft Windays, the most important business-technology conference in the region, with nearly 1,300 participants. • The largest number of conventions and congresses organised in Maistra is in the field of medicine, telecommunications, IT technology, science and finance. • To date Maistra has invested some 2.2 billion kunas in the development of content that is directly or indirectly related to convention tourism •A  key milestone for the MICE offer of Maistra, and of the Croatian and wider region, took place with the opening of Hotel Lone (2011.) •S  ince 2008 Maistra has been a member of ICCA •M  aistra attends all major convention trade shows, fairs and workshops worldwide (EIBTM, IMEX, Conventa)

Rovinj, blue pearl of the Adriatic, city of romance and art, is one of the most picturesque towns in the Mediterranean. For more than 500 years it was a part of the Venetian Republic, the old city on a high peninsula, is surrounded by Venetian terracotta-roofed houses and crowned by the St. Euphemia church from 18th century whose tower dominates the skyline of Rovinj. Old stone streets in the old town invite visitors to walk around and explore colourful galleries and shops filled with local arts and crafts. On the open market, visitors will find fresh foods such as asparagus, olives, tomatoes, spices and herbs, figs and cheese. Italian influence is much stronger here than anywhere else in Croatia, and the main square is surrounded by lively cafes and restaurants that stretch all the way to the charming harbour filled with sailboats and fishing boats. Visitors from all over the world spend their holidays in Rovinj for its lovely climate, colourful history, hospitality and picture-postcard scenery - dense Mediterranean macchia and pine forests, and 22 islands along the coast, which form the largest protected area of natural heritage of the city.


LONE HOTEL – THE FIRST DESIGN HOTEL IN CROATIA Lone is a five star design hotel, which apart from its premium service and unique atmosphere offers many other amenities, such as fine dining restaurants, bars, night club, conference facilities, wellness and sports centres, thus representing a year-round destination for leisure and business travel. For the construction of the hotel some 350 million Euros was invested, making it one of the largest green-field investments in Croatian tourism in the last few years when it opened on 24th June 2011. Lone’s goal is to be a showcase of local creativity and a showcase of inspiration of the best Croatian architects, designers and contemporary artists of the younger generation. In 2009, still just a project, Lone became the first Croatian hotel member of Design Hotels AG, an international lifestyle brand that over the last 15 years has been synonymous with excellence in the hotel’s architecture and design and the balance of functionality and outstanding service. With membership of this consortium Lone became a part of the collection that counts projects architects and designers such as Philippe Starck and Jean Nouvel. Today, Design Hotels has more than 200 members of hotels in 40 countries around the world. Lone, the newest Rovinj hotel and the most original hotel destination in the region, with its concept is intended for a guest who wants to be inspired, and for whom a normal standard and the known just does not satisfy, only the authentic and the unique. Meetings offer Hotel Lone represents the core (heart) of Maistra’s conference offer. The hotel has 10 multipurpose halls, of which the largest one has a capacity of 650 seats. All rooms are equipped with the latest technology, immaculately maintained and suitable for the most demanding business events. (When it comes to the conference content, Maistra has 30 multipurpose halls, capacity of 3,000 hotel beds, of which almost 60% are in hotels of category 4 and 5 stars (Lone Hotel, Monte Mulini, Eden and Istria), and the space of the former tobacco factory with a range of exhibition space and multi-purpose halls, of which the two largest ones have a capacity of 1,500 seats.)

Maistra d.d. is the leading hotel company in Croatia and part of the Adris Group. Maistra tourist facilities are located in prestigious locations in Rovinj and in Vrsar. The Maistra mission is to become a firstclass distinctive brand of hospitality at the international level, with a strong reliance on the destination brands, providing an authentic Istrian, Croatian and Mediterranean experience, highly personalised services, and to develop innovative and competitive products and services. In this the company focuses on the development of luxury tourism and the introduction of its hotels and the resort to the category 4+ and 5 stars, which will be the basis for the market positioning of destinations, but also the company itself. To date Maistra has invested nearly 2.2 billion kunas in its tourism product and destination, which also makes it the most ambitious tourism investor in the region. In addition to developing content for holiday tourism, the strategic plan places a particular emphasis on the development of complementary content (convention facilities, sports facilities, wellness facilities and other facilities intended for special interest segment) that will enable the development of new market segments and a year-round intensive tourist activity in the destination.




Capacity building of the balkan region in tourism and hotel industry


his year, Serbia is bringing you the 6th annual edition of EIAT (Education and Industry Advancing Together), which will be held 11-13 October, in Hyatt Regency, Belgrade. Since 2008, EIAT organisers have had the vision to create the synergy between global leaders in the tourism industry and the best young leaders in the region of South East Europe. With 12 participating countries, 25 tourism faculties, globally recognised speakers and key industry stakeholders who participate in the total of up to 250-300 delegates, EIAT is an internationally recognisable brand and a “must attend� event for the year of 2013. The participants will have the honour to share their experience with industry experts, such as Mr. Rob Davidson from the University of Greenwich, London; Former president of MPI, Mr. Bruce MacMillan; the General Manager from Barbican Business Events, London, Mr. Anthony Hyde; General Manager at the German Convention Bureau, Mr. Matthias Schultze and many more.

This year, with two parallel sessions, EIAT is addressing issues such as Destination management planning, MICE Industry Trends and Markets, Modern Reservation Systems, Modern Technologies in the Tourism and Hotel Industry and many others. The Ministry of Finance and Economy of Republic of Serbia, National Tourism Organization of Serbia, Tourism Organization of Belgrade, have all once again supported the EIAT organisers - Centre for Tourism Research and Studies, in creating this important event. For further information, please visit our site


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


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

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

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

EIBTM. Create your meetings and events here.

Register to attend or apply to be hosted at

Hidden Congress Guest




Photo credits: HOTEL LEV

LOCATION Hotel Lev is in a dominant position at the entrance to the city on the Celovška road. The location in the business centre of Ljubljana and just on the outskirts of the city centre is ideal for accessing the city and all of its top spots on foot. The hotel, which was renovated for the Intercontinental chain that was then followed up with a glass facade and a red glass extension, has for many years been one of the icons of the Ljubljana hotel landscape, since its opening playing host to many famous guests. The hotel is now associated with the recognisable Grand Hotel Union, with which they sit at the top of Ljubljana hotel offer.

CATEGORY ★★★★ OPEN FROM 1964, renovated in 1999 STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities NUMBER OF ROOMS 173 rooms ONLINE PRICE 109 - 119 EUR (August 2013) ADDRESS Hotel Lev Vošnjakova ulica 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia T: +386 (0)1 433 21 55 F: +386 (0)1 230 25 78 FACILITIES - A la carte restaurant Pri Levu (at Lion’s) - Aperitif Bar & Lobby - Fitness - Casino - Parking garage - Business centre

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

Final Score

4.85 3.95 4.05 3.99 4.86 4.92 4.02 4.19 4.36 4.58 4.65 4.82 4.39 4.43

4.43 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

ACCESSIBILITY The hotel was built on the site of the former Pri Levu (‘at Lion’s’) inn, after which it took its name. It is situated at one of the city’s most important intersections on the edge of Ljubljana’s inner transport ring. This means very easy transport accessibility and frequent public transport, as it is next to one of the public transport hubs in the city centre. Very close by are also railway and bus stations, in fact everything is very close making all of the key points accessible on foot. For hotel guests or conference participants there is also hotel parking garage available and in addition there are also two large public parking garages available in the local vicinity. COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics Hotel Lev was the first more ambitious post-war hotel building in Ljubljana, built in what was then a modernist style. The hotel renovation in 1999, for the Intercontinental chain, was not revolutionary, but was in fact very classic and in the manner of the Intercontinental standards. This is not bad, as the design is good, functional and enables the utilisation of space. This approach is continued in the interior, with its simple design, elegant and subdued and with the use of premium materials. Architecturally the most striking aspect is the Lev business centre at the foot of a tall building within a printed glass envelope of the building in which the convention centre is located. After leaving the hotel chain Intercontinental, there now remains a very functional hotel product in Ljubljana. WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer At the Hotel Lev everything is about convenience and usability, which business guests are looking for. To this the most professional and very friendly staff contribute, who build on a personal relationship. The smiling staff 62

are there to help you learn first hand about anything you want to know about the hotel and the destination. Even breakfast is tailored to the needs of business guests and caters to a very wide range of European and American flavours. Pri Levu is a nice restaurant, offering exciting daily menus that attract a wide business audience. The offer is based on fusion cuisine and for Ljubljana the hotel is at the top for its creativity, supplemented by a relatively extensive wine list. MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer The hotel rooms are nicely decorated, albeit not amongst the largest or most modern in the city. They are, however, very precisely and carefully maintained and the upper floors offer wonderful views of the city. The convention Centre is a modern designed centre of medium size, complemented by seven smaller conference rooms on the 13th floor. Very positively surprises are with the flexibility and professionalism of the staff that is in all areas the red thread of the hotel. DESSERT – Additional offer A la carte restaurant ‘Pri Levu’ is one of the best hotel fusion restaurants in Ljubljana with a very creative selection of dishes.


FLOP – negative surprises Smaller lobby than one would expect in a hotel of this category (5 *****). The space is too small, especially when the entire Karantanija hall is being used.


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

Hidden Congress Guest




CATEGORY ★★★★★ OPEN FROM March 2009 STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities NUMBER OF ROOMS 105 rooms and 15 apartments (suites) ONLINE PRICE 431 EUR (September 2013) ADDRESS A. Smareglia bb HR-52210 Rovinj, Croatia T. +385 (0)52 636 000 F. +385 (0)52 636 001 E. FACILITIES - A la carte restaurant Mediteraneo - Fine dining restaurant Wine Vault - Banquet hall - Lobby bar - Pool bar - Wine cellar - Wellness & spa Centre - Beauty centre - Sports and fitness centre - Boutique

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

4.99 3.10 4.85 4.69 4.98 4.57 4.95 4.99 4.98 5.00 4.99 4.90 4.88 4.76

4.76 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

LOCATION Rovinj is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful and romantic Mediterranean cities. This boutique hotel is located on Rovinj’s most beautiful bay, just off the city centre along the main pedestrian promenade. Croatia’s leading tourism company in the Zlatni rt (Golden Cape) protected forest park created a top tourist area with different category hotels, which in addition to the hotel Monte Mulini includes design hotels Lone, Eden and Park. The most prestigious Maistra hotel is, due to its exclusivity, involved in the chain of The Leading Hotels of the World, which since 1928 has been bringing together the world’s 430 most luxurious hotels with very strict entry threshold and quality standards. ACCESSIBILITY The hotel is located by the sea and just a 10 minute walk away along a well maintained and decorated footpath from Rovinj’s central town square. Otherwise, Rovinj is considered one of the closest Mediterranean congress destinations for Central and Western Europe in the northernmost part of the Mediterranean. The main advantage is the high-quality road connections. A bigger problem is air accessibility, but in the context of the position near six international airports, this is improving from year to year. Guests arriving by car are well taken care of with an underground garage and outdoor parking spaces. COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics The architecture of the hotel is refined, modern and somewhat conservative. It is characterised by a high lobby with a glass facade and overlooking the bay. Hotel designers from the well known British Bureau Wimberly Allison Tong & Gooo were working on the model of creating luxury hotels with a touch of prestige, which was tested in a number of the world’s top hotel chains. In practice this means a powerful lobby, spacious rooms and superior horticultural landscaping of the hotel surroundings. There can be no complaints about the look of the hotel; it is different enough to attract some more glances and unique enough to distinguish itself from the nearby more daring Lone Design hotel. WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer The joy of living in and comfort of the rooms has been placed in the appropriate form. This is also followed up by the personnel who are at the top level of friendliness and professionalism and have a personal approach to guests. 63

Final Score

The main part of the hotel luxury is in the extraordinary gastronomic offer in the Wine Vault and Mediterraneo restaurants, where renowned chef Tomislav Gretić operates. Many come to Rovinj because of its culinary arts. The spirit of French and the tradition of Mediterranean gastronomy is also present in excellent and diverse breakfasts. We especially appreciate seasonal adjustment of the dishes and superb local ingredients. MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer Hotel rooms are at the top, if not at the top of comfort, luxury and pampering accessories. For a hotel of this category, it is clear that they have taken care of a number of gadgets that make the stay at the hotel pleasant. Hotel Monte Mulini has two luxury convention halls for receptions, banquets and other events for up to 250 participants. An integral part of the resort is the Monte Mulini convention centre, with facilities scattered across nearby hotels Lone and Eden. In total it combines 30 halls, the largest one in the hotel Lone holding over 700 participants. DESSERT – Additional offer Superb cuisine of the chef Tomislav Gretić in the Wine Vault restaurant.


FLOP – negative surprises Price in high season. We recommend a visit outside the peak season.


TOP – positive surprises Free bicycles for hotel guests.

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

Hidden Congress Guest




CATEGORY ★★★★ OPEN FROM Predecessor 1854 – hotel from 1931 – renovated in 2002 STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities NUMBER OF ROOMS 87 rooms ONLINE PRICE 190 EUR (August 2013) ADDRESS Grand Hotel Toplice Sava Turizem d.d. Cankarjeva 6, 4260 Bled, Slovenia T: +386 (0)4 579 16 00 FACILITIES - Julijana Restaurant - Grand Restaurant - Winaret wine bar - Spa Studio Luisa

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:

5.00 3.90 4.20 4.25 4.56 4.19 4.39 4.68 4.12 4.72 4.37 4.06 4.14 4.35

FINAL GRADE premium hotel


Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget

★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

LOCATION The most recognisable Bled hotel has always been inextricably linked to the development of tourism in the area. Even before the hotel was built, hot springs with healing properties were popularised and written about by Janez Vajkard Valvasor as early as at the end of 17th century. At the site of the former Hotel Lousienbad a hotel was created in 1875 with its own swimming pool, boathouse and hotel annexe. The hotel was richly furnished with treasures from around the world. Along with the development of the hotel Bled was also becoming a fashionable resort, so the Hotel Toplice (Spa hotel) is more than just a hotel - it is a proper institution, that in its long history has been visited by many celebrities. In 1931, the local Jula Molnar completely renovated it and thus built the most modern hotel in the then kingdom, of which the exterior has since remained virtually unchanged. ACCESSIBILITY The construction of the railroad in 1870 gave greater access to Bled, with visitors arriving as far as Lesce. After this period, a rapid tourist development of the town began. Bled is located in the north-western part of Slovenia, 47 km from the border with Austria and Italy. Today, you can access the town by highway and rail, with railway stations at Bled Jezero (lake). The Ljubljana Jože Pučnik International airport is 36 km away and only 4 km from Bled in Lesce is a sports airport. Around the lake there is an arranged footpath, which is 5.5 km long. There are also other walking paths and bike trails around the town and its surroundings. COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics The hotel is classic, sophisticated, restrained and elegant. During construction they really knew how it should be done and were able to make a charming hotel at the best location on the lake. For over 80 years the hotel has been synonymous with luxury, prestige and quality. Although the glory days may have long gone, it is still a concept of a classic historic hotel. It is therefore also included in the Historic Hotels of the World and Small Luxury Hotels of the world chains, where it rightly belongs. WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer The hotel belongs to the top of the Sava offer and throughout its history has trained many of Bled’s tourism workers. Its employees have for many years kept it on an upward trend and brought it its fame. 64

Final Score

A part of that spirit and charm has remained at Toplice to this day, the staff being extremely friendly and professional. There is a very diverse range of dishes for breakfast, with an interesting story of green food breakfasts with a traceable local origin. The offer is complemented by the top restaurant Juliana. Probably the most special place of all is a cocktail bar with one of the most beautiful views of the lake, which is also suitable for smaller, more intimate receptions. MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer The hotel rooms are arranged in the hotel’s spirit of grandiose and famous times. This means that in the rooms there is historical furniture, classic parquet flooring and a range of interesting ‘nostalgic’ furniture pieces that were restored in the recent renovation. The congress centre is appropriate for Slovenia’s most demanding protocol events. Events are mostly held in the multi-purpose Grand and Panorama halls, and particularly sympathetic are the Presidential Lounge and Bridge Room boardrooms. DESSERT – Additional offer Special meeting rooms with beautiful views of Lake Bled and Bled Island, which you will not find anywhere else in Slovenia.


FLOP – negative surprises Location by the main road to Bohinj. We are waiting for the promised Bled bypass…


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

Hidden Congress Guest



Photo credits: NOVI SPA HOTEL & RESORT

CATEGORY ★★★★ OPEN FROM 2009 STANDARD Congress hotel NUMBER OF ROOMS 129 rooms (all with a view to the sea ) ONLINE PRICE 208 EUR (June 2013) ADDRESS NOVI Spa Hotels & Resort 51250 Novi Vinodolski, Croatia T: +385 51 006684-00 F: +385 51 996684-00 E: FACILITIES - Enjoy Restaurant with panoramic terrace - NOVISPA centre, 10.000 m2 - SKYBAR with a view to the sea - SPLASH Pool & Lounge - 1,5 km beachw

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

4.00 3.72 4.12 4.26 3.22 3.84 4.08 4.79 4.15 3.83 3.98 4.32 3.11 3.96

3.96 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

Final Score

LOCATION The essence of resorts is the integration of various elements of the offer in an attractive tourist product at a picturesque location. This ambitious project in one of the most beautiful Adriatic locations overlooking the island of Krk and by the 1.5 kilometre long beach includes 336 apartments in 35 apartment buildings, a five-star hotel with 129 rooms and a modern wellness and spa centre. This is one of Croatia’s most exclusive hotel resorts, which after a turbulent start came under a new ownership and hopefully it now expects a positive future.

MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer Hotel rooms are fully equipped without any defects in terms of materials and equipment. The emphasis is on spaciousness and usability. The hotel complex is not without reason called ‘The View’; almost all rooms have a beautiful view over the Kvarner bay and the island of Krk. The Convention Centre is one of the largest in this part of the Adriatic, as the main reception hall Grande can accommodate 1,800 participants and the middle multifunctional Golden hall room 270. At the conference centre there is a total of 6 halls suitable for ???

ACCESSIBILITY The hotel is situated on the Adriatic motorway, about two kilometres from the town of Novi Vinodolski. It is accessible primarily by car through the nearby highway connections. The infrequently serviced Krk airport is located some 30 km from the hotel, with Zagreb airport 180 kilometres away. Novi Vinodolski is primarily an automotive destination due to accessibility being suitable for regional and local event organisers.

DESSERT – Additional offer Interesting and attractive spa & wellness centre with beautiful views of the Kvarner.

COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics Among the details that make this hotel a different one is a powerful first impression. It is a modern architecture typical of resorts of this type, which works somewhat coldly and soullessly. This trend can be followed through the powerful hotel lobby with a few selected pieces of designer furniture. At a second glance the close eye notices that the complex has not been fully completed. Here and there some little things are missing, a part of the inventory is damaged, maintenance is not the best. The resort is superbly designed, but for a top-notch experience it should also be in a top-notch condition. Hopefully, in the future, it will be completed in accordance with the original plans. WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer Unfortunately, the staff is the weakest link of this hotel. It is obvious that a lot of the staff is temporary, and that they did not get proper training. The staff appears to be disorganised. It is very difficult to accept this at relatively high prices and it is lowering the quality of hotel experience. The hotel breakfast was satisfactory, but not at the level of comparable five-star category hotels. Hotel restaurants are average, so it is better to find some authentic restaurant in the area.



FLOP – negative surprises Payable garage at considerably high prices of the hotel accommodation. Slow Wi-Fi internet connection.


TOP – positive surprises In the resort there are no cars. All communication and logistics are done with electric cars. Beginnings of a sustainable resort. Overall impression and credibility A resort with outstanding potential and unfortunately the hand in management appears semi-organised. The design is at the level of the best centres in the Adriatic, comfort is commendable, the concept thrills, less so the final implementation where spoiled congressmen are missing a lot, but those who are happy with wonderful views and comfort will be satisfied.


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

GREYP BIKES Urban living gives you a great excuse to ditch your wheels and start taking advantage of your proximity to everything — but often you’re not willing to rely entirely on the power of your legs to get you where you need to go. Greyp Bikes give you a choice, letting you use them as a bike when you want it, or a motorcycle when you need it. With a maximum speed of about 40 mph, and a range of almost 75 miles, it’s the perfect vehicle for getting around the city, whether you choose to pedal, use battery power, or both.

THE PIXMA MG7150 The Pixma MG 7150 is a premium All-In-One printer with touchscreen operation from Canon. Premium 6-ink All-in-One has touch control, cloud and mobile printing. It offers professional results at home. Stylish and easy to use with intuitive touch control, it offers advanced connectivity for printing from smart devices and directly from the cloud. It’s also Wi-Fi enabled, and that means printing direct from tablets, laptops, smart phones and even from Facebook and other cloud image sources too.


Voice from the top


Nike MARUŠIĆ Head of MICE Department Adriatic Luxury Hotels

Have you always wanted to work in the meetings industry? Organising meetings and conferences has always been my passion, ever since I started working in the sales department. Working in the events industry, and I’m positive that every other event organizer would agree with me on this one, is one of the most challenging and stressful jobs. However, if you love it, it’s the most inspiring and exciting job in the world. Like with any other job, when you love what you do, that’s no longer a job, but life’s passion.   Why is your destination/country the best in the world? There are many stunningly beautiful destinations in the world - I’ve had a chance to visit many of them - but every time, after every business trip, I say to my colleague and partners: there’s no place like Dubrovnik. Its long history, cultural heritage, monuments and unique events sites, that all makes it special and incomparable.  But it’s the people that make the difference. The lifestyle, strong dedication to our guests and clients, a unique ‘laid back’ way of living –all that makes it remarkable.  Guests and clients of Adriatic luxury hotels, who often return, confirm this to us, and that’s something that makes us proud and work better and give our best.   What would be the first thing you would show to every visitor to your country? That’s a hard one, as there are so many spectacular sites, attractions and events to choose from. But I would say that Croatia, with its rocky, indented shore and more than a thousand islands, boasts one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline that Europe has to offer. In addition, many of Croatia’s coastal towns and cities have a fascinating history and are filled with the historical remains of Roman and Venetian times, like Dubrovnik, my hometown.   What was your star moment so far and your favorite project with which you would praise yourself? There are so many projects and dear partners that I have met over the years that it makes it completely impossible to single out the favorite one.  It’s such a difficult question!  Some were small, but special and memorable, while others were big, exhausting, but at the same time challenging and exciting. I’ve learned a lot from every event, different situations and sometimes even impossible requirements by our clients. But there’s no impossible request, every situation can be resolved, and I’m really proud that I have a great team who help me reach the impossible for our clients.   What motivates you the most at work? Rewarding work matters the most.   To see my clients satisfied is what fulfills me the most.


In what way do you deal with stress? Laugh really helps me manage stress. And little things, such as long walks after a challenging day, a good book and dinner with friends and family.   When were you last angry / disappointed and why? Unfortunately, as in any other job in the world, event organisation has a few downsides. It’s a stressful job; however, I learned that it’s important not to take it personally, and always try to resolve nerve-wracking situations with a constructive overview and pro-active proposals.   This approach has helped me a lot. It’s always about people, and with the right approach there’s no situation that cannot be resolved.   What will be new in your business in year 2014? Conference and event planning industry changes, develops and grows every year. Clients and agencies are always searching for new venues and destinations, in order to create truly remarkable events and meetings. That’s what we strive for here at the Adriatic luxury hotels. It’s all about clients and their wishes, so we’re always at their disposal, promising to organise a conference that they will remember for life. As for news within Adriatic Luxury Hotels, we will focus on presenting our clients our hotel products which will this winter undergo complete reconstruction and a makeover to be ready for the 2014 season – Hotel Kompas as a new 4 star hotel in Dubrovnik, perfectly located in Lapad bay, and our Hotel Dubrovnik Palace – Dubrovnik’s finest five-star resort and conference centre and the most awarded hotel in Croatia.   What have you learned in the last week? I’m privileged that every day I learn a new lesson, and have an opportunity to learn a lot from daily situations and challenges.   Where will you spend your next holidays and why?  I always go on a holiday to a new destination, as I love to meet new people, get to know new traditions and new places.  This time, as I can only take a short vacation, I plan to visit nearby island of Mljet, a peaceful oasis and the national park of Croatia.   If there were no time and financial constraints, where would you go? It is a difficult question; there are a lot of places where I would like to go and visit. However if I can choose one place and the ideal vacation I would definitely go to Bora Bora. What would be the title of your life autobiography? No autobiography planned at this stage

Voice from the top

VOICE FROM THE TOP Have you always wanted to work in the meetings industry? Yes, absolutely. In my opinion the meeting industry is an extremely exciting, challenging yet rewarding industry. This is exactly what I want to do and Hilton is exactly the place where I want to carry on with my career. Hilton’s know-how, when it comes to the meeting industry, is huge and I keep witnessing my knowledge progress ever since I joined the chain. Why is your destination/country the best in the world? Croatia has it all. I know it is a cliché to say it, but the beauty of our country is beyond belief. From the continental Part of the country, which still needs to be introduced to a wider audience, to the peninsula of Istria, Plitvice National park, Zadar, Hvar and Dubrovnik, which needs no special introduction. I love my country and it excites me every time I go to a corner that I haven’t been before.

Ana FIRST Cluster Sales Manager MICE DoubleTree by Hilton Zagreb & Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik

What would be the first thing you would show to every visitor to your country? I must say Dubrovnik, and not only because that is my home town. Dubrovnik is much more than a magnificent walled city. It is a perfect example of amazing Croatian heritage, balanced architecture, natural beauty and traditions that despite the challenges of modern world, are still very much vividly alive among locals. What was your star moment so far and your favourite project with which you would praise yourself? I would rather talk about star moments of the team to which I belong. I am extremely proud and delighted to be part of Hilton Cluster Sales Team and to belong to both Hilton hotels in Croatia; Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik and Doubletree by Hilton Zagreb. Our GM in Dubrovnik, Ms. Ruhsar Eryoner, this year won an award of the best GM of Hilton hotel in Europe region and the hotel itself was listed among the top luxury hotels on the World. Our GM in Zagreb Ms. Karin van den Berg has successfully opened the DoubleeTree brand in Zagreb in a record time and run it with great results ever since. I call all of those star moments in which I do take part as well. What motivates you the most at work? I am motivated by client’s feedback. When feedback is good I want to challenge my own ways and make it even better. In different situations I am motivated to make things right and provide value for client’s money. This is why I like hospitality and the meeting industry. Feedback is immediate and you know where you stand. My intentions are always to exceed expectations.


In what ways do you deal with stress? Firstly I don’t talk about stress. I’ve noticed that people tend to talk too much about stress, which inevitably makes them more stressful. I work out, hike almost every weekend, read and meditate, but most of all I always keep a positive attitude towards all challenges coming my way. When were you last angry / disappointed and why? I rarely get angry, but have to admit that I do get disappointed when business goes somewhere else. I rationalise and understand that no person closes every inquiry, but I still have a hard time to accept that something might be lost. What will be new in your business in 2014? Hopefully many things: new clients, new tasks and new goals to reach them. And many new contracts signed….that helps a lot too. What have you learned in the last week? Not so much learned, as reminded that assumptions cannot lead us to a success. Rather than assuming the needs or requirements, one should qualify and be confident about them. Where will you spend your next holidays and why? My next short holiday will be Tuscany, but a big voyage that I will be taking with my friends will be India. Why? To celebrate the fact that I live a happy life surrounded by amazing colleagues at Doubletree by Hilton Zagreb and Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, that my family is well and that I am grateful for the things coming my way. I believe India is a great place to celebrate all of the above in a ceremonial way. If there were no time and financial constraints, where would you go? Definitely to a number of places...I would probably take a trip around the world and it would be longer than 80 days. On a serious note, traveling is the most rewarding activity one can imagine. I believe St. Augustine said the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. What would be the title of your life autobiography? It would be a paraphrase of a great novel: Laugh, Eat, Love and then Laugh again......

Hidden Convention Guest

CANKARJEV DOM, Cultural and Congress Centre ★★★★★ LUXURY 4.85

Photo credits: Cankarjev dom

CATEGORY E-convention centre OPEN SINCE 1980 fully renovated from 2006 - to 2013 NUMMBER OF HALLS 22 CAPACITY OF HALLS Number of seats cinema: 2,000 Number of seats classroom: 560 Number of guests reception: 1,000 Number of guests banquet: 600 Surface area (m2): 36,000 ADDRESS CANKARJEV DOM, Prešernova cesta 10, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia T.: +386 (0)1 241 71 22 E.:, FACILITIES – Gallus hall – the largest plenary auditorium in Slovenia – Linhart hall – 562 seats – Štih hall – amphitheatre with 253 seats – Kosovel hall - 204 seats – Meeting rooms from E1 to E6 and from M1 to M4 – The first and second lobby for exhibitions and fairs – Large reception hall for gala events – Club CD with a view of the city SPECIALS – Own in-house PCO agency – Professional technical team

Final Score

INTRO For Cankarjev dom, it seems like it’s been here since time immemorial. For 33 years the legendary institution has been a synonym for cultural and humanistic activities and meetings industry tourism in Slovenia. The most impressive aspect is that the original programme vision under leadership of the legendary director Mitja Rotovnik has been completely fulfilled. In Cankarjev dom the cultural-artistic programme and congress activity have been excellently complementing each other at all times of operation - a paradigm, which is particularly of interest today. All this places Cankarjev dom among one of the higher-quality and more interesting convention centres in Europe. LOCATION Cankarjev dom is located in the centre of the city within the main modernist square and neighbouring all the major institutions of the Slovenian state. Square of the Republic, where it is located, is important for Slovenia in urbanistic, architectural and symbolic terms. It was conceived as a political centre of the state and it actually transformed the image of the city. On a symbolic level it is associated with events that have transformed the history of Slovenia during the struggle for independence. From the perspective of the meeting industry it represents a meeting focus for Ljubljana. ACCESSIBILITY The administrative centre in which lies Cankarjev dom lies makes it easily accessible on foot, by car or by public transport. Under the Square of the Republic there is a large parking garage, and the latest one is just a stone’s throw away under Congress Square. Both are sufficient to cover the needs of motorised conference guests. A great advantage of the location is that all the city’s attractions, and especially the key hotels, are within walking distance. In these terms Cankarjev dom is a very friendly and nice location for conference guests. COLD APETIZER Architecture and Aesthetics Cankarjev dom is the work of architect Edo Ravnikar and is an integral part of his design for the Square of the Republic. It was created in the era of modernism and is considered a key example of monumental architecture, comparable with achievements of Alvar Aalto in the Finlandia convention centre. A number of smaller details are surprising, the most astounding the fact that the architecture of the building has preserved its value. With the current renovation, which has trig70

gered heated controversy, the convention centre acquired more elegance and a contemporary feel with more natural materials. Above all, some of the original planning errors were removed, such as a relatively low ceiling in the lower lobbies. The exemplary building maintenance is particularly impressive, as it is a rarity in comparable centres in Europe. WARM APETIZER – Staff and customer service Without Cankarjev dom and their team the Slovenian meetings industry would probably not be what it is today. Many personnel have formed in Cankarjev dom. A large number of specialists for individual segments provide a superior execution of events. Above all, one of the advantages is the connection with culture. For this reason, in production terms, this opens up completely new possibilities. MAIN COURSE – Quality of facilities Cankarjev dom boasts 22 multi-purpose conference halls and represents the largest purpose-built convention centre in Slovenia. A big advantage is the diversity of spaces for different convention needs. The largest hall, Gallus, with 2,000 seats, is still today the concept of extraordinary acoustics and is the only hall of this type in Slovenia (Auditorium). The venue’s total surface of 36,000 m 2 can accommodate up to 5.000 visitors. With extensive lobby exhibits it has already carried out a number of conferences with large accompanying exhibitions. This year’s renovation now completed, all spaces will be adapted to modern technological requirements, making them more useful, more comfortable and more beautiful. DESERT – Catering and additional offer Cankarjev dom is the culprit that catering has established itself as a concept and type of service in Slovenia. For many years the main protocol events in the country were held at Cankarjev dom. It is not surprising that this part of the offer is exemplary, arranged with an excellent centre for the production and distribution of food. It seems that together with the institution two of the largest Slovenian catering companies have also grown - Jezeršek catering and Vivo catering.


FLOP – negative surprises Due to the complexity of the architecture it takes some time for orientation.


TOP – positive surprises A sustainable approach, with bees on the roof in the middle of the city, its own crop of honey and an environmentally friendly business philosophy. Final impression and credibility The cultural and convention focal point of Slovenia and a place where Slovenian history is happening. One can not imagine Ljubljana today without Cankarjev dom; it and the Slovenian meetings industry were created together. On top of that Cankarjev dom is a perfectly oiled congress machinery, which does not show its age and which after recent renovations is in excellent condition.

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


4.95 3.90 4.90 5.00 4.98 5.00 4.89 4.92 4.97 4.95 4.76 4.95 5.00 4.92 5.00 5.00 4.83 4.72 4.85 4.57 4.85

4.85 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

Hidden Convention Guest

SAVA CENTER, Congress, Cultural and Business Centre ★★★★ BUSINESS - PREMIUM 3.66

Photo credits: SAVA CENTAR

CATEGORY E-convention centre OPEN SINCE May 1977 NUMMBER OF HALLS 16 CAPACITY OF HALLS Number of seats cinema: 3,672 Number of seats classroom: 960 Number of guests reception: 420 Number of guests banquet: 160 Surface area (m2):69,000 ADDRESS JP Sava Centar Kongresni, kulturni i poslovni centar Milentija Popovića 9,11070 BEOGRAD T: +00381 220 60 00 E: MAIN FACILITIES - Exhibition space, 3.330 m2 - Grand Blue Hall, 3672 seats - Grand Blue Hall - Foyer, 4000 participants - The Amphitheatre, 515 seats - Conference Hall 1 - multifunctional hall for 1006 participants - Room 2/0, 214 seats - Room 3/0, 162 seats - Open air exhibition space, 29,000 m2 SPECIALS - Own in-house PCO agency - Professional technical team - Own catering

Final Score

INTRO Belgrade’s largest convention centre, once Europe’s largest, is a living encyclopaedia of the city’s modern history. It was built in a record time of 6 months for the needs of the OSCE Conference 1977, which lasted a marathon eight months. Almost by chance, and then under the command of Tito, did Belgrade come to get the most modern and largest convention centre in Europe. It was considered to be a technological marvel, and followed the first wave of construction of convention centres around the world and at home. With its design it is topical even today, but also because it urgently needs a thorough renovation. LOCATION Novi Beograd (New Belgrade) is an authentic space that was entirely built in the socialist era. With striking administrative buildings it became a symbolic centre of the former state. Sava Centre represents a kind of centre – the landmark of this part of the city represented a symbol of economic and political power of the former state. Today, Sava Centre is surrounded by new office buildings, but that does not diminish its architectural strength, which with its ultra modernism and giant glass surfaces consistently defies time and demonstrates that the spatial planning in those days was original and ambitious. ACCESSIBILITY Sava Centre is located just off the main road to the city and is easily accessible by car and public transport. It is five minutes from the city centre and from the airport less than 15 minutes. A huge parking lot is sufficient for the needs of congress events. The low quality of public transport in Belgrade is at least partly solved by numerous and relatively cheap taxis. In the immediate vicinity are the Hyatt Regency, Continental and Holiday Inn hotels. COLD APPETIZER Architecture and Aesthetics In record time the architect Stojan Maksimović designed a functionally timeless minimalist project with a huge glass area of 8,500 m 2 and the adjacent hotel, which was once part of the Intercontinental chain. For his postmodern work he has won numerous international awards. Convention Centre was a pioneer in design, a trendsetter and the source for many centres to later evolve in Europe. Unfortunately, the superior design also has major drawbacks, which at that time and with the technology of that time they didn’t know how to solve. Large glass areas are wasteful and very demanding in terms of energy and maintenance. 72

WARM APPETIZER – Staff and customer service Employees in the Sava Centre are ‘old school’, who know how to extract the maximum from the dated centre. 135 reliable professionals remain a major asset for the centre, which with its current physical condition is no longer competitive with similar centres throughout the world. Therefore, the organisation of an event takes a lot of improvisation and good will. The general conditions of the centre are also reflected in the quality of service, which varies and is not the most convincing. MAIN COURSE – Quality of facilities At the time of construction, the centre was a prime example of the concept of multifunctional convention centre, to which functionality was to a very large extent outlined by the marathon OSCE conference. The three main conference halls in the middle of the building are surrounded by a series of smaller rooms for sessions. The main multifunction hall in this part of the building can accommodate 1,006 participants and can be partitioned into three smaller spaces. The largest concert-congress Blue hall can accommodate 3,672 participants. Also very interesting is the Amphitheatre hall for 515 participants, which is located next to the Great Hall. The centre also offers indoor and outdoor exhibition space. A part of former halls are now converted into a business centre with shops. DESSERT – Catering and additional offer As part of the story of the centre the restaurants and catering also appear a bit dusty and from some other era. If you are satisfied with a classic Serbian offer, the restaurants will satisfy you. More demanding congress organisers will have to look around for a bit more innovative catering providers in Belgrade. To those accustomed to similar centres, the business centre with numerous boutiques, where one can dress in the latest fashions, will appear strange. It is an understandable business move of the managers, but in the global context it is rather unusual and more resembles some airport shopping area than an eminent convention centre.

Hidden Congress Guest


FLOP – negative surprises Lack of maintenance is evident at every step, both in the interior and to the exterior of the building.


TOP – positive surprises Timeless quality functional design of the centre. Final impression and credibility Once the most technologically advanced centres is now in need of renovation. The centre is energy-consuming and extremely expensive to maintain. Investment in the renovation of the centre is estimated at 5 million Euros. The first part of the renovation is already happening in the related hotel Continental, which may encourage the urban elite to be more active. Nevertheless, it is still a vital part of the Belgrade conference scene. Per year, on average, they organise 350 conferences and a number of concerts. With new international hotels and better air connectivity of the Serbian capital it is high time that those responsible also undertake renovation of the Sava Centre, which is crucial for the Serbian capital to finally break through to the top rankings of the international meetings industry. RESULTS OF ANALYSIS Location 3.45 Accessibility 4.05 Overall impression at arrival 3.21 Quality – entrance hall lobby 3.49 Quality – conference space 3.98 Quality – conference inventory 3.12 Quality – lighting 3.90 Quality – acoustics and sound system 3.87 Quality – multimedia system 3.87 Quality – internet connectivity 3.65 Employee behaviour 3.82 Access to power and com lines 3.88 Business centre 3.35 Customer service 4.12 Safety 3.98 Security and emergency 3.98 Additional offer 3.45 Catering 3.46 Sustainability practices 3.05 Communication & marketing 3.49 Total: 3.66 FINAL GRADE Premium-Busines hotel Luxury Premium Business Economy Budget


3.66 ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★

Hidden Congress Guest


CANKARJEV DOM GRADE 3,97 PREMIUM LOCATION Ljubljana, Slovenia CATEGORY E-Convention Centre NUMBER OF MEETING HALLS 29 halls LARGEST HALL Gallus hall 2000 seats

How did two convention centres, constructed in the same era and with a similar basic concept, fare in our evaluation? At the time of construction both centres represented the avant-garde in architectural and thematic (content) terms. Both centres are considered to be originators of congress tourism in their countries. The main difference is in the spatial placement. Sava Centre has developed into a space practically without limitations, which makes it more airy and spacious. Cankarjev dom is in the centre of the city and is spatially more limited, but it is perfectly utilised and placed in the architecturally whole and comprehensive area. ‘LIKES’ Temperament Architecturally the Sava centre is more impressive and original. Cankarjev dom, reminiscent of the Finlandia convention centre, is inspiring with its timelessness. The final impression is much better in Cankarjev dom because of sensitive renovations, which included all the halls and the lobby of the centre. Comfort Cankarjev dom is more convenient, quality maintained and friendly to use. With its location in the heart of the city it is also easily accessible. The interior of the Sava Centre is calling for urgently needed renovation, with quality standards have changed radically since the seventies. Sava Centre is still a very popular, although obsolete centre.

SAVA CENTAR 4,41 PREMIUM Belgrade, Serbia E- Convention Centre 16 halls Modra (blue) Hall 3.672 seats

Image Cankarjev dom convinced us more with their service and confirmed the reputation of a top convention centre. Nevertheless, it is necessary to praise the Sava Centre team, which despite difficult operating conditions maintains a solid image that is much better than the actual state of the centre. Overall quality of service The congress experience is much better at Cankarjev dom, which will help their congress clients to fully express their style. At the Sava Centre they are trying, but the centre suffers from its poor financial situation, which affects the overall quality.

Below the line Both centres were created in the period of socialism and share a common historical experience. The list of major events and personalities in both cases is almost infinite. Cankarjev dom has won the advantage with excellent management, the immaculate condition of the building, a world-class staff and a comprehensive service that is successfully defying the latest Ljubljana competition. Cankarjev dom, especially in terms of image, is far in the lead, as it has gotten rid of the reputation of an Eastern European Convention Centre from a bygone age and in fact it offers better service. In the event of a thorough renovation Sava Centre would become more competitive and more attractive than it is today.

And what do you think? Write to us at



Croatia Addendum


Croatia Addendum


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

Croatia Addendum

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE IN THE ORGANISATION OF EVENTS Connecting with people using emotional intelligence competencies

text by Aleksandra Uhernik Đurđek



o you remember Tina Turner’s classic ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It?’ Do you ever wonder how much love is in our business? Should we care about emotions in business and how it might increase our motivation, encourage our performance, affect our productivity? How it might influence overall business satisfaction? Emotional intelligence (EI) is by definition the collection of human behaviours or skills that can be developed by an individual and is typically separated into four quadrants: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social management. In short: it teaches us to be aware of our emotions and the emotions of others, it teaches us ‘people skills’. What about emotional intelligence among the business community, especially in the meeting and event industry? Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management, even empathy rather than just pure performance outcome (facts, figures, statistics), are becoming of special interest for experienced industry professionals. Here are some behind the scene secrets and methods to become an EI event professional: Preparing the winning proposal definitely requires the ability to recognise the emotions of a potential client and respond accordingly, interpret some hidden messages between the RFP lines. It is perhaps not always just about the fees and budget, especially when developing motivation & incentive travel programmes. Listen to your clients instead of talking about yourself, ask them meaningful questions and be sincerely interested in the answers. That way you will provide the client with the benefit of your experience and it would be hard to reject your proposal. Organising events in multicultural settings is always a special challenge, whether working in another country or organising an event for clients and participants from other cultures. A good example is working with Japanese clients - you might never truly know or understand why they do the business the way they do. When working internationally there is no right or wrong way, only differences. So none

is more important than controlling your own emotions and accepting others. New trends, new technology, new generations could be your frustration or a step forward in your career. Even very experienced professionals don’t know it all. One of the most powerful statements is “I need your help”, even when addressing juniors or competitors. Most professionals are afraid they will appear weak, but actually people appreciate honesty and are eager to be helpful. But don’t forget they expect the favour might be returned when needed. Organising events for clients that have seen it all is becoming more often our reality and I thank God for that. Fees are one of the least discussed parts; the real challenge is to meet the expectations of both the client and the guests, to “wow” them. Sometimes elegant and sofisticated, sometimes high-tech or adventurous, but always with real meaning and context. Each and every performance has to be unique. To make that happen have self-confidence, work in a team, give people a challenge to achieve and expect the best from them. Communicate ideas clearly, respect the influence of others, recognise your own strengths and weaknesses, pack it with professionalism and creativity and it will always lead to great event design and perfect event execution. Behind the scene situations, when a client insist on last minute changes, suppliers are late, everyone needs something at the same time, the weather suddenly changes, the power supply collapses… seems like horror stories. Organising events means working in a stressful business environment, but is it really worth stressing over every single detail. The ability to recognise the situations that can provoke stress can have a very positive impact on resolving them quickly and smoothly. Use your creativity to overcome obstacles, to manage people and resolve conflicts. Event business gives you great opportunities to meet new people, get to know them. It may become difficult to keep business and personal lives separate, but I personally don’t see this as a threat. In my opinion it is an advantage. If we

Croatia Addendum

79 don’t have a relationship with our clients would we win the business? Would we operate smoothly without friendly suppliers? Relationships are definitely precious in event business, as in life generally. Daniel Goleman, internationally known psychologist and emotional intelligence expert, once wrote: “Vitality arises from sheer human contact, especially from loving connections. This makes the people we care about most an elixir of sorts, an ever-renewing source of energy. The neural exchange between a grandparent and a toddler, between lovers

or a satisfied couple, or among good friends, has palpable virtues…the practical lesson for us all comes down to, nourish your social connections.” I also truly belive that being aware of our emotions and the emotions of others makes us a good professional. It makes us also a good person. Personally it makes me feel good. So, do you still wonder “what’s love got to do with it”? Aleksandra Uhernik Đurðek Meetings & Events Professional, Freelancer Croatia & Adriatic Region

Croatia Addendum


Croatia Addendum

Tomo Ricov: Informal atmosphere is the secret of the success of the Weekend Media Festival

small advertising agency, I began to work in event marketing professionally. At the time this part of marketing was a great novelty in Croatia and clients had to be persuaded to organise events. However, with the advent of larger clients, the market developed and began to work professionally. Later, I founded an event agency DA! We have organised more than 1,500 different events for clients. With the onset of the recession business experienced a decline, so we started to think about creating our own events. We established a new agency, Peppermint, that is dealing only with our own projects. So we organised the first Weekend Media Festival in September 2008, a few months before the official start of the recession in Croatia. Later we started other projects: D-Day for designers, Blue Tooth film festival, Dancing in the street, Dolce vita vintage festival. However, the WMF was and is our biggest project. Given the economic crisis, are these projects profitable? Each project that we start has to be, in terms of marketing and economically viable. In the first year it does not necessarily make money, but ultimately it must be positive. It is about a good and profitable business. Of course it will be, if well organised. Before you lies the 6th edition of WMF. How did it all start and why have you chosen Rovinj as the destination?


he Weekend Media Festival, the regional festival of the communications industry that takes place at the end of September in Rovinj, is making its sixth edition. This is the largest event in the region that regularly attracts around 4,000 media, marketing, PR professionals and the general public, and is touted as “the place where one must be”. We talked with the organiser and experienced event manager Tomo Ricov, director of marketing agency Peppermint, about how they succeeded in creating and maintaining such a “buzz”. How did your love for event management and organisation of events begin and how has it developed? I somehow started working in events already in high school together with friend and set designer Davor Antolić Antas, with whom I still co-operate today. We organised rock’n’roll parties with videos and we had a band, posters - all the elements of a real event. I later continued to organise club events through my DJ gigs. Arriving at Digitel in the late 90s, then a

At the time I ran multimedia production company Ring within Digitel, I visited various TV festivals and realised that in our region there is a great need for bringing together people from the industry. People want to socialise and share experiences. At the same time I was unhappy with the way they had previously organised marketing and PR events. So I did what I always do when I do not like something: I decided to do something in my own way and realise my ideas. With WMF things coincided very well, so we were able to achieve a win-win situation for all. For media and marketing agencies it was a gathering that they needed, because they lacked a meeting place, and Rovinj was ideal for several reasons. One is emotional, because this town in the former country was known as artistic, which has helped to attract media professionals from Belgrade. We found the convention potential of Rovinj, for which not even the owner of the old tobacco factory, the Adris Group, did not know existed. Since the Adris Group also has hotels in its offer at its disposal, we developed Rovinj as a destination for conventions and festivals. Frankly, the success of the first edition surprised me. We were expecting 300 to 400 people, and in the end 1,400 came, which only confirmed my assumptions.


Croatia Addendum

How did you manage to achieve the popularity and attendance levels of the festival you have today?


By a combination of good circumstances, we connected with the right people in the region, and we managed to organise the first WMF, although we began to work only three months beforehand. We encountered a lot of understanding and interest of the media, they were all very positive and supported us from the beginning. Despite the recession and the difficult state of the media industry in the region the number of visitors has steadily increased. Three years ago, we reached 4,000 participants, and this year we will probably exceed this figure. Despite the excellent and varied program, from pop to highly specialised topics, I think that people come primarily because of mutual encounters. It is about networking, people are connecting and a lot of business is concluded at the WMF. Internet and social networks can not replace live meetings. One of the secrets of our success is the informal atmosphere of the festival. All supporting events, such as parties and cocktails, serve one purpose: to get people to connect better. How can event managers avoid the risk of events becoming repetitive? In what way do you ‘innovate’ the programme? Yes, it’s a trap into which it is very easy to fall. That’s why every year we try to introduce something new. This year it’s SoMo fighter, awards for social media campaigns. We have also introduced a new format ‘view over the fence’, or 20minute presentations of the marketing and media scene. Last year we launched BalCannes, at which the best works and productions of marketing agencies in the region were presented. Every year we try to expand the interest of people to other industries, and this year the banking sector is very present. We do not want to limit ourselves to the professionals from the media or marketing, rather there are also politicians, businessmen and others. Each one of them in the programme can find something for themselves, and the programme is held in parallel in four halls of the old tobacco factory. It is necessary to constantly think about the concept of the festival and to be creative and innovative.

business trip as best of the cultural life of Belgrade, and at the last moment we included in the programme also a panel on Sarajevo. Our guest is Ivan Tasovac, director of the Belgrade philharmonics, who recently became the Serbian Minister of Culture. In addition, I would point to strong financial and PR panels with participation of the leading names of these industries. At your events music is always present. How does it contribute to the atmosphere? Ever since we started to organise events, entertainment and partying has always been very important to us. I think that if people are not having a good time, the event is unsuccessful. This is why music matters. Up to now, we have had performances of the strongest regional bands at the WMF. However, classical concerts are no longer a good option for festivals, because too much is happening. Thus we are returning to our traditional parties. How is emotional intelligence and emotional recognition of participants important for event managers? I think this is a very important element because it is not just about the content or presenters. To us the atmosphere is more important, we call it ‘vibra’ (the vibe), and it is the WMF speciality. The first year we were afraid that people will not want to sit in class, but rather at coffees in the city, as happens at some other events that take place by the sea. However, people here are on the one hand relaxed, on the other hand very pumped up and want to keep track of all this tremendous content of the programme. Lectures are very intense, and yet everything is very casual. It is an ideal combination. How logistically challenging is it to organise an event for 4,000 people? We have a very good and established team. The narrowest organisational core consists of three people, but with the event approaching, 30 people are working every day for the festival. To me every year it seems too easy, because we do not have major problems. We already are such a well tuned orchestra.

What is the focus of this year’s conference? Interview by: Daniela Kos This year we have some themes that have imposed themselves, such as the European Union. A lecturer from London is going to explain why we really made a mistake with the entry into the EU. Danis Tanović, Bosnian director, will reveal how it is possible to make a good, award winning film with a small budget. We are working on the programme Belgrade on a

oglas Kongres



11:11 AM

Croatia Addendum










Croatia Addendum

Food at events - an experience for all of the senses

text by Daniela Kos



he Esplanade Zagreb Hotel has for many years, in fact since it was built, been synonymous with fine cuisine, a high quality of food and ingredients used and exceptional service. The Hotel Esplanade is today also known for its culinary delights and is, I dare say, always a step ahead of the rest. In preparation of delicacies that connect Zagreb with Mediterranean and continental Europe I try selecting and combining flavours that are fresh and creative. In addition to the preparation of meals in restaurants, at the bar and for the room service, as the main chef I am in charge of creating the menus for smaller and larger events, conferences, seminars and weddings. This is comprehensive business that is very demanding and responsible, but it really is a delight to make guests at events happy. When guests are happy, the greatest satisfaction is actually seen on the expression of the event organiser. Months of organisation, stress and sleep deprivation, immediately disappear. We propose different food choices to event organisers, depending on what type of event we are talking about, but of course always in accordance with the wishes of the organiser. There are many factors that influence the creation of menus. For example, if the event is taking place in the morning, it is always good to have a supply of freshly squeezed orange juice to awaken the participants, then sliced fresh fruit, yogurts and cereal to promote energy and better efficiency. What we put into the body quickly reflects on us, so if you are planning to resume the conference or meeting, you should not overdo it with heavy meals, because then the body focuses on digestion and concentration trails off. Generally I am a supporter of not exaggerating with the food, but it’s always good to have a diverse range that can satisfy all tastes. The selection of ingredients depends on the season and availability in the market. Of course, one can always find strawberries in winter, but we certainly suggest them in any combination in May and June when they actually ripen and when they are most delicious and full of flavour, vitamins and minerals. I am very picky and I always choose only fresh and healthy ingredients, because there is a drastic difference in the quality of dishes if the food is prepared with lower

quality ingredients. It’s one of the reasons why some menus, restaurants and hotels are more expensive than others, and the guests have to choose. The offer of ingredients and spices is getting more varied in the domestic market. There is a great competition and everyone is competing to offer something new, because with a little imagination it is always possible to serve something special to the guests. For example, for those who are coming back and have been holding meetings continually we always suggest some different themed coffee breaks or something tailored to their needs. But lately healthy, and only healthy, has been on the top of demands that we receive, and of course I gladly support this. Awareness of healthy eating with foreign guests is still more noticeable than with domestic guests, but the situation is changing for the better. In creating the menu, in addition to the above, it is very important to follow global trends, especially if you work in a high-class hotel, where the guests’ expectations are much higher. There are many guests who come from world capitals and are familiar with what is currently ‘in’. I could have summarised it in a few words - simplicity (in the serving and in the use of ingredients), freshness, seasonality and creativity. Following global trends does not only include innovations in the use of ingredients or in the decorations, but also means adapting to guests and their lifestyle. As guests today are coming from different parts of the world, it is important to be flexible and offer them meals acceptable to their culture. So the hotel a few years ago invested in a Kosher certificate, which for Jewish guests provides meals prepared according to their customs and standards. Given the increasing number of visitors from Arab countries, a Halal certificate is also secured. For those who opted for the vegetarian, vegan or macrobiotic diet, we can always easily offer this option and personalise the menus.

Offer guests a culinary story!

Besides blindly following trends, it is very important to listen to guests, who with their praise and criticism can greatly

Croatia Addendum

At only 32 years old Ana Grgić is already head of the kitchen of the prestigious hotel Esplanade, responsible for ‘Zinfandel’ and ‘Le Bistro’ as well as Esplanade catering. She came to this position from being deputy chef of a hotel where she began her career immediately after completing catering school. Ana continues to follow the Esplanade tradition of haute cuisine, but with her selection and combination of flavours in creating menus she gives her own signature to dishes on a daily basis. 85 affect the quality of the food. Of course, tastes differ and you will not always be able to satisfy everyone’s palate - but tasty food is a unique experience that can cheer you up, or spoil your day if it is the reverse. I believe that one should invest in a quality selection of food at the events, whether it is food that is served, food on the buffet table or at coffee breaks. Today’s guests are very educated, they travel a lot and have the money and will easily notice if you try to ‘prank’ them with something inappropriate. They expect a lot, and with good reason. In a sea of similar conference catering offers guests have to be offered something different, something that will intrigue them and something they will remember you by. Value for money is not enough anymore, it is necessary to exceed the expectations of our guests and delight them with a new idea. We can not all be like Heston Blumenthal and perform miracles in the kitchen and in front of guests, but there’s always something special that sets you apart from the rest - a short course in preparing a specialty in breaks between meetings or conferences, for example, or courses for making your favourite cocktails with a jolly bartender, premium wine tasting with a short course by a sommelier, the story of gingerbread, tea, or your favourite coffee, little secrets of cooking, dinner with a fun quiz or theatre ... there’s a lot that from our perspective may seem common, but to the guests it can be offered as something interesting to make their work become a pleasure. With a little imagination a room lamp, a special picture frame, or a designer mirror from an empty room or a remote hallway placed among the dishes on the buffet table can act very effectively. Interesting signs next to dishes, the nutritional value of the food or some nice wishes and sayings can further freshen up dishes. Beautifully preserved and quality cookware and cutlery, cloth napkins, clean tablecloths and carefully selected music give food an added value and a better taste.

Croatia Addendum

86 It is very important to also offer to guests some story and connect it with the destination or the tradition, since the guests will then know to appreciate what they are served. The Hotel Sacher in Vienna is a very good example of this and it excellently flagged its yummy chocolate cake as their specialty and a must-try treat. From this fact we can conclude that a good part of what guests want to experience and try out is in marketing, which of course must monitor the quality of the product. Speaking of stories, I cannot not mention what the Esplanade has managed to achieve with the famous ‘Štrukli’. This traditional specialty of Croatian Zagorje, derived from the hilly region of picturesque fields and pastures, took an important place in the hotel offer from the first day, especially at events and conferences. ‘Štrukli’ were launched back in 1951, when they were found on the hotel menu for the first time, which to this day has kept the tradition of preparing and serving this irresistible delicacy. The idea that this traditional - and maybe someone would think quite simple - delicacy is served in a top hotel was inconceivable. However, gastronomic gurus back then already recognised the importance of national dishes and of the maintenance of their traditions, because this is the most beautiful invitation for guests who want to enjoy culinary magic. Most interestingly, ‘štrukli’ still receive the greatest fame and popularity ahead of all the other delicacies - the majority of event participants immediately rally toward them and they disappear in a flash. It is really nice to hear how the guests are delighted and they are returning to the Esplanade precisely because of ‘štrukli’. Although ‘štrukli’ are almost always presented, be it to the organisers or to guests, as the best and most delicious part of the event, there are a whole host of other treats and delights, which with their taste and smell affect the participants of meetings and conferences. Food is not only a physiological need, it is much more - an experience for all the senses. Dishes must be tasty, attractive, must smell good and be fun and memorable to the taste-buds, because only then will guests remember and recall your event long after its completion.

Esplanade Štrukli

Recipe for 50 pieces of ‘štrukli’ Dough: Filling: 500g plain flour 2.5kg of fresh cow cheese 500g flour 3dkg salt 1 dl oil 5 eggs 4 eggs Water as needed From the flour, eggs, oil and warm water knead smooth dough. Shape it into a ball, coat it with oil and leave it to sit at room temperature for about 20 mins. Cover the table with a clean cloth, sprinkle it with flour and place the dough in the middle. With palms stretch the dough across the table, so that it is very thin, no thicker than a few millimetres. On one side of the table (length-wise) deploy a mixture of cheese, eggs and salt. Spread the mix evenly over the dough to obtain two strips (length-wise of the table), at a height of about a centimetre, cut off the edges of the dough that are falling across the table and roll the dough on each side toward the centre of the table, so that the mixture is found in the middle of the dough. Using a saucer cut ‘štrukli’ to dimensions around 5 centimetres so that the edges remain sealed. Put the ‘štrukli’ in water to cook, to which is added a little vinegar and salt. When they rise to the surface, remove them, arrange in a baking pan and pour over cooking cream. Bake ‘štrukli’ in preheated oven at 195 *C for approx. 25 min.

Croatia Addendum


Croatia Addendum


text by Silva Ušić, Atlas DMC



n business for more than 90 years, Atlas travel agency has been a pioneer in the MICE business for more than 40 of these. The first incentives done for American trademark firms some 40 years ago, the first costumed medieval dinners in Dubrovnik, dinners with a Roman Emperor in Split as well as many other numerous and WOW! events are testament to the highly dedicated Atlas MICE employees. As a Senior Event manager at Atlas DMC, being 25 years with the company, I can share my positive experiences attending important MICE travel fairs, as the company’s main objective is to increase MICE business. Atlas has always had approximately 45 requested meetings at the exhibition booth with agencies and direct clients who are trying to learn more about destinations they have not yet visited. Those one-to-one meetings, even 20-minute ones, are offering a chance to present the company’s profile as well as the MICE department itself. We are not doing just talking there, we are showing what we have done so far for certain clients who have entrusted us with their company meeting, partner summit, incentive or congress. It is always good to ask the colleague whom you are talking to what companies their clients usually are and then you find a parallel client among the Atlas clients. I offer to show photos from an event, a cost sheet and a function sheet. This is the best way to present yourself and what you do. Follow up after a travel fair is important, as well as sending an e-mail before the fair asking the colleagues you are going to talk to if you can prepare something in advance. This can result with a confirmed event, because you can do the offer ahead, or just have ready information about the availabilities in hotels. Immediate reactions are important in our line of business; speed is a virtue, but it has to be quality as well, not only speed. I will never forget a reaction of one dear colleague from the industry after I presented what I had in those 20 minutes: he took a long look at me, from head to toe and said – ‘yes, you can definitely meet my client’. Another important thing is to give your colleague or client a positive CAN-DO attitude - a comment coming from them like “you clearly enjoy your job“ is more than a compliment, it is obliging. Being so long in the industry is recognised, because you have an answer to every question. Honesty is

very important here, you can’t promise something you can’t deliver. As for the follow up, it is nice to refresh everyone’s memory by sending a short e-mail after the travel fair saying ‘here is what you asked me to send you’. If you have a personality, it happens that you are remembered a couple of years after and you get a request for proposal beginning with –“Hi, we met at IMEX and I have a client interested in Croatia...“ If you want to stick to the MICE industry, you must maintain good relations with hotels and other vendors in your destination, so it is crucial to convey that information to clients, for it makes them feel secure and in good hands. Transparency in reporting is one more thing to point out. All this leads to more requests and lets the best DMC win! If you realise just two events out of the requests for proposals coming from IMEX or EIBTM visitors, you have paid off your investment. For example, one agency having 30 branch offices throughout their country had their logistics manager talk to me. After that meeting Atlas was put on the intranet pages of this agency, thus resulting in many incoming and confirmed events. I was invited to present in that country and we had an internal educational meeting about Croatia. You never know where exhibiting at those specialised fairs will take you, just like you never know when you see people standing near your exhibition booth whether they are direct clients wanting to assess which DMC of us all would be their choice. So sometimes looking a bit older, meaning you are long in the business, might be a help. It means you can answer all the possible questions on the spot without having to say ‘I must come back to you later on that’. It is important to convey to colleagues from various countries who are not familiar with Croatia that they cannot just copy-paste events done in their country into Croatia, as Croatia is unique for its venues, for its tradition, good food and wines, and when all that is put together with an innovative idea it will end up with huge congratulations for a memorable event. Very often you are stuck with travel agent colleagues who cannot accept that a local DMC knows better what is on offer in various destinations within Croatia, they claim to better know their client and choose for themselves what to offer and what not to offer to clients, forgetting that you always need to offer

Croatia Addendum

Silva Ušić has been with Atlas DMC Croatia since 1987, taking on various roles within the organisation. Silva lives Atlas; her devoted work is well recognised, and she held the prestigious American Express Great Performer Award from the very start of her career during her time at the Atlas American Express Travel Service Inbound to ex Yugoslavia. Silva knows the industry from top to toe and is well-known for her charming and hearty approach to business. 89 your client several options and let them choose what they prefer the most. You can’t be the judge for your client - it is teamwork and we are all a team: the agency, the client and the local DMC. Atlas is both a DMC and PCO, which means in our department we have the experience and long tradition of congresses as well as incentives. At the Croatian stand there are DMCs, PCOs, hotels as well as Tourist boards and Convention bureaus. We are all supporting each other, as we all try first of all to incite visitors think about Croatia as WOW! destination. Hotels like to present themselves of course, but DMCs are also supporting the hotels. The importance of Convention bureaus is to get important international congresses into their

county like Zagreb, Rijeka, Dubrovnik or others. They represent the destination and congress venues in the region. PCOs are familiar with all the venues and hotels in all the Croatian counties and with local airline companies and of course are equipped to organise congresses in all the segments. I think that the joint exhibition of Croatia as country of lots of possibilities can bring us more clients who have never been to Croatia, while at the same time the fact that fellow colleagues from neighbouring countries are not familiar with their first neighbour country’s beauties is not encouraging. I remember while I was talking about Dubrovnik to a gentleman during a Radisson party in Frankfurt – he said ‘TEASE ME’.

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


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

SPECIAL ISSUE January 2014

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

SRING ISSUE March 2014

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


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

SUMMER 2014 July 2014

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

FALL 2014

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

WINTER 2014 November 2014

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

Who is Who

SLOVENIAN CONVENTION BUREAU What are you most proud of in your business and private lives? In the business sphere I would definitely highlight the people I have met over the past years through B2B and educational events abroad and in Slovenia, since cooperation and/or the joint planning of activities creates bonds. With some of my colleagues the business relations have even developed into what I believe is a life-long friendship, so this is a valuable addition to what my job has given me and one of the advantages of the events industry. We are privileged to meet lots of great and open-minded individuals and we can learn a lot one from another. In my private life I would point out my family, which supports me in good and bad times and believes, like I do, that no matter what happens you always have to get up and continue your way. Everything happens for a reason, even if you don’t see it now, it will come out later.

Azra Botonjić Slovenian Convention Bureau Marketing Manager

Azra Botonjič obtained her experiences in tourism during her study years as a representative of the Crystal Holidays Tour operator from Great Britain, at the Globtour tourist agency as well as in other tourist companies. Her first full-time job was that of a project manager in the developmental department of the hospitality consulting company Hosting. Her career led her to Zagreb in Croatia, where she worked on the hospitality projects of the Spanish and Croatian consulting company HMS-International for three years. Upon returning to Slovenia and working at the Austria Trend Hotel Ljubljana in the sales and marketing department for a few months, she found a new challenge in the marketing activities of the Slovenian Convention Bureau. She successfully finished the ECM Summer School and DMAI Sales Training I & II and gained Destination Pro certificate. Working in a small team, she is involved in all development projects of the Slovenian Convention Bureau.

Life wisdom/motto? Do the best you can do in whatever you’re trying to do and never give up. Success is not by Chance, it’s by Choice. There is always a rainbow at the end of every rainstorm. Where are you going to spend this year’s holiday? I’ve already spent a part of it this summer, however I plan to “escape” another time during the wintertime. I would like to go somewhere warm, and the perfect scenario would be: after one week of trekking and exploring the nature, one-week of relaxation on the beach, diving and enjoying in a nice company, possibly somewhere in Latin America or Thailand. What was your favourite vacation? Actually, when I look back it does not matter where and how far I have traveled, as I have always most enjoyed holidays spent with my friend near a village in Istria (Croatia), named Ližnjan. There is no better way to recharge the batteries than a “Robinson environment”J. Keep it simple - in a camping caravan, with no electricity and gsm signal, let alone Internet, but just good company, seafood, sea, sun and stars. Bottom line: we don’t need much to be happy. Where would you go if there were no time and financial constraints? Since I was a small child, my dream has been traveling around the world, spending time with locals from different continents, being in touch with their authentic culture, interacting with them. Since my secret hobby is photography, 92

I would like to catch images of their life and present them in a photo reportage. What is your favourite indoor/outdoor activity? I like dancing, different kinds of aerobics, yoga and mediation. I also love books, so reading is one of the things I enjoy doing in the evenings. Since I love nature, mountaineering is very high on my list, followed by cycling and swimming (in the sea, of course). I am definitely open to new challenges and trying some more adrenaline sports would be interesting. I’ve been tempted by kiting for a while, so maybe it’s time to take a step and give it a try… What is you favourite dish and restaurant (anywhere in the world)? I love food in general. It’s hard to choose, one as I have quite a few favourites. I especially like Bosnian, Italian and Thai cuisine. In general, I am always curious to try something new. Still, the best restaurant is my mum’s kitchen. Following a step or two behind, shells at the konoba Lokanda-Peskarija in Dubrovnik and an exquisite tuna steak at the restaurant Blu in Rovinj (both Croatia). What is you favourite gadget? Ok, I confess it’s my smart phone, sad but true. Which song do you most often play on your iPod? David Guetta – She Wolf (Falling to Pieces) ft.Sia. Which part of the day and of the week is your favourite? I like mornings, I think we are more productive then. Evenings can be great because of sports activities, socialising with friends or just reading a nice book and relaxing. Every day in the week can be special, it mainly depends if you succeed in doing what you plan / wish to do. Yet weekends are my favourite time, particularly when they bring the prospect I will do/try/explore something new/different. What is your favourite mode of transport? Well, it all depends where I am going. Definitely I spend the most time in my car, although I prefer walking and cycling. If you could return to the past or hurry to the future, how old would you like to be, and why? Honestly I am satisfied with my current age and the era in which we are living. I have learnt a lot

Organizers Dairy

from the past and I know I will be able to best use my experiences in times ahead. Therefore I am looking forward to the future with no rush or big anticipation, as everything happens when the time is right. We should just learn to enjoy each day and be capable of finding beauty and happiness, also in short moments or small things.

Ms Heather Sheppard (MCI Geneva Office), Pres 2013 Project Manager:

If you could witness any event in history which one would you choose? It would be interesting to live in the time of ancient Egypt. Since I’ve traveled there, I was and still remain impressed by pyramids, sarcophaguses, pharaos and the mystique of ancient traditions.


What was the best party you have attended? Summer Solstice at Stonehenge, Great Britain.

he 20th European Paediatric Rheumatology Congress was held between 26 and 29 September 2013 at Cankarjev dom, Cultural and Congress Centre Ljubljana. The Paediatric Rheumatology European Society PRES chose Slovenia and Ljubljana based on thorough selection criteria which were as follows:

The last film, book, concert? Already for at least 5th time - Gladiator. A very interesting recent reading is “Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of The Wild Woman Archetype” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I have attended a couple of outdoor concerts in downtown Ljubljana this summer, either in the frame of the Ljubljana Festival, or going to events staged in the public areas. Our capital city is really smashing in the warm season!

– S  trong scientific personality with a good network in Slovenia and Europe – A competitive selection process based on opinion of scientific community of the venue proposed, of the accessibility of the destination, the city, and the fact that the country is a member of the Schengen zone and has a EURO currency. After strongly considering all data Ljubljana emerged as the right choice for the Pres 2013 congress and defeated two other bids. Our decision was a right one since the largest PRES conference so far had 870 participants – in Ljubljana, 900 attendees were registered and their number could have increased up until the event. The Cankarjev dom premises are ideal because the event can still grow up to 2,000 participants. The scientific programme was in the hands of the scientific paediatric community that here operates smoothly, while MCI handled the logistics. Our task was well supported by Cankarjev dom’s in-house PCO team, which is very straightforward and easily deals with last-minute requests. They helped us greatly with the visa-handling procedure since our event recorded quite a few attendees in need of that service. As Ljubljana is definitely a participant-friendly city where everything is within walking distance, where prices for venue, food, beverage and social programme are very convenient, I have no hesitation in warmly recommending it to our clients.

What fantasy character would you be? I can imagine myself as Catwoman. What did you learn last week? How to prepare the best omelette…. How to deal with fear in the rocks. ….At the end, it’s all in the head, however you try to explain it…. Only those people that really care stay in your life forever, no matter what happens along the way. And we should just let go the rest ….


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 saltpan 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:


Top 10



he year 2013 has brought an amazing amount of technological and other innovations that the meetings industry has not yet witnessed. There is practically not a day that goes by without a new app or other solution appearing that facilitates the organisation of events. All of the solutions coming to the market on a daily basis are different to the complex systems and software support of the past because of adaptability, concrete solutions to the problems of meeting organisers and reasonable prices. They are created in basements and in the minds of young start-ups that are changing the traditional principles of the event organisation. We have selected a few innovations that will, according to the opinion of the editorial team, have a significant impact on the way of organising an event.

1. EVENTWITH A tool for the fun planning and organising of events within the group. Project management in a simple, fun and interactive way. 2. GROUP MEET Takes care of a great first impression upon participant arrival at the airport. The system has built in the most advanced technologies, such as flight tracking, GPS and geo-location, and was created as a tool for DMCs with which your guests will not be wandering around lost at the airport and that they can also use to have fun. 3. SOCIAL POINT Tools for interaction with your participants on platforms that they prefer to use. To list just a few of the ideas: Digital photo wall, Twitter wall, Challenge Bar, Social media hub, Social Concierges, Facebook RFID... all this and much more is made possible by social point. 4. HAIKU DECK Forget power point - Haiku Deck is a free app for inspiring presentations that from its 2012 launch until today some half a million users have already downloaded. An ideal companion for aesthetes and lovers of design, with the help of which you will no longer make a messy or tedious presentation. 5. MEMORY MELD A tool that solves the problem of individual participants having to store massive amounts of photos at events. With a simple application event photos and impressions are stored in one place. 6. EVENT SNEAKER If you want to manage your event from one location, sell registration fees through Eventbrite, build a Facebook profile, event website or even direct online sales then Event Sneaker it is the right solution. 7. LIVETWEET APP A simple and effective tool for moderating and managing tweets on big screens, and one that also improves social interaction at your conferences.


8. BOOMSET Mobile application to easily manage admission to events. With mobile plates you can control guest lists, inform the staff on the current situation and wirelessly print name badges. 9. PRESERIA Solves the problem of the collection of scientific papers through the costly and inefficient speakers’ corners. The tool saves a lot of time and hassle, and above all it allows for easy execution of conferences without clashes and complications. On top of everything else the system arranges all the presentations in PDF format suitable for print. 10. PEECHO A tool that facilitates the printing of electronic documents at events. With a generated user profile you can upload electronic documents onto the website and allow their worldwide sales. It’s about printing from the cloud anywhere in the world. More ideas can be found in the MICE GADGETS section on the Kongres magazine website, where every day we publish interesting apps and technological innovations for the meeting industry.

Top 10












Top 10 Regional Meetings



e predict the top 10 hottest new and fresh meeting destinations in SEE for 2014. In addition to the most popular convention destinations in the region, which in the international meetings market are already well established, we announce some destinations whose time is still to come. Some are entirely new convention players such as Goriška Brda (Gorizia Hills) or Umag, and some of those who were already representing large and developed destinations and are now slowly picking up and are redeveloping their meetings product. Some were chosen for you in the editorial board of the magazine.

1. NOVI SAD Vojvodina and its main city is a way of life and thinking. A multicultural city, where they have always lived well, it also boasts excellent convention and exhibition centres and solid hotels. A true antipode to Belgrade, it is more reminiscent of Vienna as the Serbian metropolis. 2. UMAG AND NORTH-WEST ISTRIA North-western Istria offers a genuine and very active conference experience. Options for activities with which you can fill up the schedules of your conference guests are countless. In Umag and its surroundings there is a very special spirit of sport in the air. It is an interesting and attractive meetings destination, also because of its proximity to major convention markets in the region. 3. SARAJEVO Sarajevo as a brand is one of the strongest in the region. The main character gives it a very dramatic encounter between East and West. In the meeting industry, the brand and the destination are completely unused, despite the spectacular potential. With appropriate positioning and investing in the meeting industry Sarajevo could quickly come to its peak of regional conference fashion. 4. GORIŠKA BRDA (GORIZIA HILLS) Brda is not intended for mass meetings industry, it is a boutique destination, which actually functions this way. Panorama of hills with in cluster agglomerations and subdivided farmland and countless terraced vineyards certainly is one of the most beautiful Italian-Slovenian landscape-aesthetic experiences full of wine and food surprises. 5. TRIESTE Today Trieste is known more as a city of coffee than for convention tourism. Its geopolitical position allows Trieste the leading position among Adriatic convention destinations that it is slowly recuperating. A solid infrastructure is a good basis for further development, and when the potential of the city will be realised by all the key players on all sides of the borders it will soon become a much more important player than it is today. 6. MALI LOŠINJ Lošinj and Cres is the only Adriatic archipelago that has focused on responsible and sustainable tourism. It differs from the more notorious Dalmatian islands of Hvar and Brač because of the systematic concerns for sustainable development and cultural heritage. Islands of Cres and 98

Lošinj are uncut diamonds of sustainable and incentive potential. Among the official 1,244 Croatian islands they have great natural conditions for this. 7. OHRID With the announcement of new air connections, a meetings revival of the most beautiful Macedonian city and a pearl of the Balkans is promising. The city and the lake were given UNESCO status for their rich cultural heritage. If you want an authentic Balkan experience and extremely hospitable hosts, hurry before it is rediscovered by regional and international congress organisers. 8. ZADAR Congress organisers will usually choose Zadar because of its location at the crossroads of the greatest natural beauties of Croatia, the history and culture, as well as because of the better general and conference facilities. Zadar is becoming a very advanced and viable conference town, which boasts an exceptional cultural offer and an ideal destination for smaller conferences and incentives for up to 100 participants. 9. SUBOTICA It is the third convention destination of Serbia. The offer is united in the hotel-convention centre Galerija (gallery) and Palić and with a pleasant urban atmosphere reminiscent of Budapest, mainly due to nouveau architecture. As a convention destination Subotica attracts with the accompanying offer, most notably with the Paličko lake, with a large park for a ‘meetings disconnection’ from the nearby city. 10. ROGAŠKA SLATINA With the renovation of Rogaška Slatina hotels eminent guests from all over the world are again returning. The outstanding architecture of the spa complex with a park surrounded by secession palaces is rounded off by the luxurious Crystal Hall ss one of the most beautiful congress halls in Slovenia. An endless choice of wellness programmes and the mandatory Donat Mg mineral water ensures the well-being of convention guests.

Top 10 Regional Meetings














Gery Keszler – Surprise guest at access 2013 and participant in a discussion panel on charity events

Two sought-after tickets for the Life Ball to be raffled “Knowledge lies with the audience – energise, share, profit!” – so reads the motto of access 2013. Nevertheless, on the 10th anniversary of access, the maxim “Learn from the best” still applies. And from whom could one learn more in the field of charity events than from the founder of the Life Ball himself, Gery Keszler. For more than 20 years, Keszler and his team have been responsible for organising one of the world’s largest and most unconventional AIDS charity events. At access, Keszler will relate fascinating examples of best practice from his long personal experience during a panel discussion on “Charity events in Austria – On the difficulty of doing good and organising well”, to be held in the emba (Event Marketing Board Austria) Event Cinema on 8 October. access academy – the Wisdom of the Crowd In 2013 access is focusing on both innovative and interactive event formats and for the first time offering visitors the opportunity to experience the phenomenon of “swarm intelligence” in a playful way. “Out of the lecture rooms and into the heart of the trade fair” is the guiding principle.  A summary of the sessions: Session 1: Fit for Future – Is participation a relevant factor for the success of a conference? Session 2: Living Transformation – How will knowledge transfer take place at the conference of the future? Session 3: Community Networking – What role do conferences play in the development/cohesion/maintenance of your organisation? Session 4: The Human Factor – How can the diversity of participants be exploited to best effect?    Panel discussions in the emba Event Cinema – experts in words A regular feature of access is the high-level discussion panels, which are once again being held in collaboration with emba. On the first day of access, the theme “Austria, land of festivals – festivals to the point of cultural fatigue and financial exhaustion” will be discussed by renowned singer Dagmar Schellenberger, Director of the Mörbisch Lake Festival, Renate Loidolt, Director of the Reichenau Festival, and Julia Flunger-Schulz, Head of Marketing for the Grafenegg Festival, together with Prof. Martin Schwarz of SchwarzConsult. The discussion will be moderated by Oliver Kitz, events professional at Casinos Austria and board member at emba. The second discussion panel will take place on the topic “Charity events in Austria – On the difficulty of doing good and organising well”. This discussion will be led by Wolfgang Peterlik, managing director of pi-five DialogFeld GmbH and emba board member; participants will include Life Ball organiser Gery Keszler, Monica Culen of ROTE NASEN Clowndoctors, Hannah Neunteufel of Hannah’s Plan and Yvonne Rueff (“Dancer Against Cancer”).

In addition a 30-minute film entitled “A Spark in the Dark” will be shown in the Event Cinema, showcasing the diverse achievements of creative event agencies and their largest shows and successes. In brief: Live communication at its best in an entertaining and compact form. The event stage and “Product Experience events” raffle This year the event stage is again offering trade visitors the possibility of experiencing live artists. The spectrum ranges from comedy and business cabaret through tasteful jazz to pop. Excitement will mount on 8 October when, at 12.30, the “Product Experience events” raffle is held. In addition to the two Life Ball tickets*, donated by Copaloca Catering, various other prizes will be drawn, including vouchers for “Le Grand Bal” in the Vienna Hofburg and for “Dinner & Casino” in Casino Baden. After the raffle, the representatives of the sponsoring organisations will share with visitors a toast to access on its 10th anniversary.  Last but not least: a special live experience will be offered by SEGWAY within the framework of access: Trade visitors will be able to test ride Segways in front of the Hofburg in order to gain inspiration for their forthcoming events.   access 2013 at a glance: Monday, 7 October 2013 – 11:00 to 19:00 hours Tuesday, 8 October 2013 – 10:00 to 17:00 hours Location: Vienna Hofburg, 1010 Vienna Visitors: 1,800 international and Austrian trade visitors and representatives of the trade press Exhibitors: More than 200 exhibitors, within an area of 3,000 square meters, from all sectors of the Austrian events and conference industry





IBTM recently announced that 75 new Hosted Buyer groups have signed up to attend the show, which will take place in Barcelona from November 19-21. Joanna Warr, Reed Travel Exhibitions, Hosted Buyer Manager, EIBTM commented, “We have seen a huge increase in new groups coming on board from Europe, with 53 signed up to date. Our team has also recruited an additional 22 long haul groups for the show this year.” In terms of long haul buyer groups, Warr noted that EIBTM will have its first group attending from  Japan:Marriott Japan. The team has also recruited a further four groups from Brazil and three new groups in fromRussia, who will attend in addition to the 26 groups the show already accommodates. EIBTM has also established relationships with a number of new groups participating from the UK, including those attending buying on

behalf of Angela Griffin Associates, Corinthia UK Liverpool, Hilton UK, Hunt & Palmer and Morgans Hotel Group. For the 2013 show, Dolce Hotels will be bringing an additional five European groups to the show. Kuoni have also confirmed they will be bringing additional groups from Europe and Brazil and Marriot will extent their reach to Japan. Hosted Buyers who are successful in the application process for the EIBTM 2013 will receive: • A personalised diary of pre-scheduled appointments with international exhibitors of their choice • A tailored professional education programme suited to individuals needs • Complimentary return flights from an extensive choice of airports

• Complimentary accommodation in one of Barcelona’s best four- or five-star hotels •A  n invitation to the EIBTM Forum •A  ccess to a number of networking even • Complimentary transfers to and from the exhibition, networking and events • Access to VIP lounges situated on the show floor. For more information about the Hosted Buyer Programme, visit



nother generally positive performance by association meetings in 2013 has created the foundations for significantly stronger future growth, according to respondents to a survey carried out by IMEX and ICCA amongst the attendees from this year’s IMEX Association Day in Frankfurt. The results from the latest annual survey jointly carried out by ICCA and the IMEX Group into how major international association meetings are faring, continue to paint a very positive picture for this most resilient sector in the meetings industry, despite economic pressures. 92 international association hosted buyers who attended the recent IMEX trade show in Frankfurt responded to the survey, over 77% of whom organised or will organise meetings for more than 500 delegates in 2013, and more than 17% of whom organise events for over 5,000 delegates. These numbers increased slightly compared to previous years. Increased attendance figures Over 32% of the 92 respondents reported higher attendance for their 2013 events than in previous years (4% more than in 2012 and 2011); 37% indicated no change (compared to 38% in 2012); 24% reported slight reductions (compared to

31% in 2012) and less than 7% reported a “significant” fall in numbers (compared to 3% in 2012). Still tough financial pressures When asked if the continued global economic turbulence had any negative impact on their association and/or events in 2013, almost 57% answered “yes”. When this question was asked in 2012 this percentage was almost 60%, which means the international association meetings sector has definitely been impacted, but is still showing growth; and slightly more growth than in 2012. Positive future projections  This trend is also illustrated in respondents’ projections for 2014: almost 30% of associations will be running more meetings in 2014 than in 2013 (compared to 22% in 2012), while less than 7% plan to organise fewer meetings (this percentage was 11% in 2012). Almost 47% are projecting higher attendances than in the previous year (40% in 2012), compared to almost 9% who expect their delegate numbers to fall (10% in 2012). With all of the main indices showing a year on year rise, the regular survey suggests a positive forward forecast despite continued challenging economic conditions. 101

This trend was confirmed earlier this year with the release of the 2012 ICCA rankings for cities and countries, when ICCA reported another year of continued strength in the international association meetings market. Association Focus – Las Vegas The next opportunity for association meetings executives to come together for professional education under the IMEX banner will be at Association Focus (14 October) taking place the day prior to IMEX America (15-17 October) in Las Vegas. ICCA Congress 2013, Shanghai, China-P.R. Meetings industry leaders will also discuss the state of the international association meetings market during the 52nd ICCA Congress taking place 2-6 November.

ÂťYour reliable support for quality translations into SEE and other European languagesÂŤ We provide reliable support for translations between major global languages and languages of Western Balkans and SE Europe. If you need to have translated any kind of business documentation or you would like to have your web presentation, any kind of promotional content, article or even book in any of the languages of Alpe-Adriatic region or Western Balkans, or in any other language within our range of competences, it will be our pleasure to take over the task(s) entrusted, since we are inspired by translation challenges.

Contact person: Slobodan Vinulovic´ 386 31 549949 Skype: slobodan.vinulovic

Delaj dobro, d. o. o. Radvanjska c. 87, SI-2000 Maribor, Slovenia

BLED Inspiration in all seasons

Sava Hotels Bled: Modern and diverse in superb harmony with nature 634 rooms with over 1000 beds in six hotels of different categories, from 3* to 5* 26 conference facilities with a total area of 3,100 m2 12 restaurants and cafes with varied menus in different surroundings Thermal water pools and relaxation centres The Grand Hotel Toplice is the only 5-star hotel in Bled and a proud member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World The Bled Golf Course is one of the top 100 golf courses in Europe Camping Bled on the shore of Lake Bled is one of Slovenia's most awarded campsites, offering the unique experience of glamping in the Gozdne vile eco-village

Each event has its own unique story. We are here to listen closely to your wishes, offer advice, remind you of the smallest details and find the best solutions. Sava Hotels & Resorts: A trusted partner for successful events Sava Turizem d.d., Dunajska cesta 152, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija •

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,

dt-conventa.indd 1


10.5.2013. 10:47

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


N 43° 3’ E 16° 32’ T +385 21 500500


Join us at the 6th


From 23 – 25 October 2013, Radenci, SLOVENIA

ca ee pi tin ta gs l

ol fo


re at m

co A


September 2013