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23 Interview with Roger Tondeur

29 Hybrid Event

Big business goes to big companies

Colja M. Dam

The Current Trend in Live-Marketing

85 Adrenaline parks in Slovenia and Croatia A place to face your fears



Our selection

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A word from the editor Column: Aleksandra Uhernik Đurđe Column: Rok Klančnik Column: Paul Kennedy News: News from Slovenia News from Europe Conventa Academy EIAT Photo session - IMEX Photo session - Congress Pecha Kucha evenings Interview: Roger Tondeur Didier Martin In focus: Colja M. Dams Matej Bajželj Judit Sinko Michael Gates Tatjana Radovič Philippe Fournier Anuša Gaši Rob Davidson Wojciech Romaniuk Gastronomy: Bine Volčič Ana Roš Surveys: Nada Nasr Bechwati JWT Union of International Associations Conventa 2011 and IMEX 2011 - survey Slovenian Convention Bureau presents: News from Slovenian Convention Bureau List of members of Slovenian Convention Bureau Introduction of F and G standards of the Slo. Convention Bureau Congress travelogue: Skopje Congress personality: Uroš Zajec History/Future - Grand Hotel Toplice Examples & advice: Good practise examples Gadgets Congress locations: Adrenaline parks in Slovenia and Croatia PR: AIPC ECM Summer School Sava Hotels Bled Bohinj Park ECO Hotel Terme Maribor Bernardin Group Resort & Hotels Ljubljana castle Steiermark Convention The last word Meeting services spot

FIRST SOUTHEAST EUROPE MEETINGS INDUSTRY MAGAZINE Editor-in-Chief: Gorazd Čad; Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief: Jan Klavora; Editorial Board: Renata Balažic, Gorazd Čad, Petra Čuk, Anuša Gaši, Miha Kovačič, Tina Možina, Srečo Peterlič, Tatjana Radovič, Darja Slivnjak, Mirjana Sušec, Maja Vidergar, Paul Kennedy; Design and AD: Andreja Martinc; DTP and prepress: Milana Veselinović; Translation: Nina Polak; Proofreading: Metka Golčman; Printing: Kerschoffset Zagreb d.o.o.; Circulation: 3000 copies; ISSN Number: 1855-8615 KONGRES magazine is media partner of:

Roger Tondeur Big business goes to big companies

Page 29 In focus:

Hybrid Event The Current Trend in Live-Marketing Colja M. Dams

Page 40 In focus:

In-sourcing or Out-sourcing your conference management? Associations, these days, need to evolve constantly and conferences are one of their main revenue streams Philippe Fournier

Page 56 Surveys:

Conventa 2011 and IMEX 2011 participant satisfaction survey Both trade shows reach comparable results Page 85 Surveys:

Adrenaline parks in Slovenia and Croatia A place to face your fears

The Kongres magazine is entered into the media register under sequence number 1423. Magazine issued in: January; April; July; October; December Publisher, Production and Marketing: Toleranca Marketing d.o.o., Štihova 4, SI-1000 Ljubljana, T: +386 (0)1 430 51 03 , F: +386 (0)1 430 51 04, E: Issue date: July 2011 For the content reproduction it is required to get the written editorial consigment.






A word from the editor

Gorazd Čad

EPPUR SI MOUVE It might move at last

long with key meetings industry stake holders we are preparing a strategy for development of the meetings industry in Ljubljana till 2020, which will clearly demonstrate the future of Ljubljana meetings industry and how it should be organized to be successful, inventive and innovative. It is one of the first bold and clear city development plans in the area of SE Europe, which attracted the entire meetings industry into the decision process.


When asking about the future of congress Ljubljana one must also ask about the current and past state. If we consider the key development and growth indicators we can assess that

Ljubljana's development has been stagnant in the last decade especially due to a fast growth of competitive destinations and poor destination cooperation. Everyone including the largest actors agree with this statement. Short term interests usually prevail – their nature and their multiplicative effects show they have no place in the meetings industry mind set.

The meetings industry of Ljubljana was spared the plundering logic, which contributed greatly to the current economic crisis. Our industry, mostly marginalized, was pretty autonomous throughout the decade, yet somewhat closed and mostly concentrated on finding own development potential. Corporate management quality was questionable especially in public companies of the Slovenian meetings industry which used to represent the driving force of development. At the same time there was no development aid truly aimed at the meetings industry. Quite the opposite –

existing institutions got new competition with governmentally funded Brdo Congress Centre. All of the above, mostly the extraordinary proactivity of competitive destination turned out to be the weaknesses of Ljubljana’s meetings industry. It is getting clearer and clearer it is time for new congress chapters in Ljubljana. I’m glad lately all of the key stake holders wishing for a faster and bolder progress came to similar cohesive conclusions. Competitive destinations develop so quickly and aggressively the consequences of our inactivity are unimaginable.

New congress architecture will try to manage the relationship to fundamental meetings industry values, which have never been clearly and consensually written down. These are among other the care for the environment, encouraging social responsibility, human resources management and development, originality, partner and buyer-orientation and respect and trust among stake holder in the meetings industry market. Only this value based architecture will enable our differentiation from the competition. It will be based on development and growth projects with clear and measurable goals. The role of all us stake holders is to implement these projects. We are connected by the diversity of our partners and buyers with different experience, knowledge and skills. The carriers of the development are individuals and companies from our industry. That is why the editorial board of Kongres magazine will continue to analyze, monitor and comment on important events shaping the future of the entire meetings industry.



“Present and future trends of incentive programs in Croatia/SE Europe” Croatia is becoming the “trophy” value for international incentive planners Aleksandra Uhernik Đurđe A reward for business performance as well as the opportunity for powerful bonding experience is the reason for planning an incentive travel. To organize an effective incentive travel, selecting the right destination is one of the most crucial tasks. Both meeting planners and destination management companies keep on asking themselves what makes a destination the right one. Several basic criteria must be fulfilled like safety, convenience and easy access to the destination, but various additional features of the destination should also be considerate, like the variety of offer, overall attractiveness, local lifestyle…Incentive planners strive for programs and destinations that result in a memory which will last long after the awardwinners return to their home. Focusing on hopes and dreams is always positive, but the real limit is the budget. Quality services at acceptable prices are an important advantage that should be always considered. When it comes to selecting the destination, big-name places are still on the top of the “wish lists” and their overall attractiveness seams very hard to beat. However, Croatia is rising in attractiveness as an incentive destination gaining “trophy” value for international incentive planners and something to talk about for incentive participants after they return to their homes. Main reasons seem to be the allure of a new destination and off-the-beaten-path destination image. Surprise level of the destination is still high.

The ecological image of the destination, nowadays very trendy, has to be communicated better. Beautiful beaches, crystal clean sea, forests and mountains as well as other ecological wonders attract the interest of incentive groups. Croatian coastline together with its 1244 islands, islets, cliffs and reefs ranks among the most indented coastlines in the world and therefore attracts many adventurous and yacht programs.

Landmarks, museums and institutions like castles, forts and other historic sites make unique event venues. Venues like Revelin fortress and Rector’s Palace in Dubrovnik, Dioclecian’s Palace in Split, Brijuni islands or Opatija’s Aristocracy Villas are just some of the nice sceneries for events. Attractiveness of those special venues often influences the final decision about a destination. Wonderful spas are becoming a necessity appealing not only to female groups. If local elements are combined in a spa offer, it becomes even more appealing – like on the spa island “Island of Vitality– Losinj”. Quality gastronomic tradition combined with lots of fun in a typical fiesta, an ecologically preserved land that produces healthy and genetically non-modified food, excellent wines and numerous tasteful specialties, a first class „chef“ as a moderator of the programme – this concept very often meets the expectations of incentive planners as well as the audience. Location specific culture or tradition is very valuable and incorporated in themed events. Some of its interesting facts are becoming themes of successful incentive trips: - The dog breed Dalmatian originates from this area. In a small Franciscan monastery in Zaostrog, there is a painting from 1724 which depicts a Dalmatian dog for the first time. - The famous scientist Nikola Tesla (1856– 1943), inventor of the alternating current was born in Smiljan, Croatia. - In 1906, a Croat Slavoljub Eduard Penkala applied for a patent for a ballpoint (penkala) and a holder for a fountain pen. - It is rarely known that the inventor of the parachute, Faust Vrančić, was born in Šibenik. People like stories – the following one is an interesting theme for an event or even the whole trip: “... Around the year 1635, some six thousand soldiers and knights came to Paris to give their support to King Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu. Among them were a great number of Croatian mercenaries led by a ban, or Croatian viceroy. The traditional outfit of these Croats aroused interest on account of the unusual and

picturesque scarves distinctively tied about their necks. The scarves were made of various cloths, ranging from coarse material for common soldiers, to fine cotton and silk for officers. This elegant "Croatian style" immediately enamoured the French, who were delighted by the new article of clothing, which had been previously unknown in Europe." Around the year 1650, during the reign of Louis XIV, the Croatian scarf was accepted in France, above all in court, where military ornaments were much admired. The fashionable expression, ’a la croate’, soon evolved into a new French word, which still exists today: la cravate. This innovation symbolized the height of culture and elegance. Since that time in the 17th century, derivatives of the word croata have been present in many languages, (i.e., English, German, French, Portuguese, Italian), meaning cravat or tie. It follows then that Croatia is the mother country of the necktie.” When adjusting the tie prior to attending an important business meeting, or when signing a business contract, does anyone think of Croatia (before visiting)? Creative use of local stories like the Croatian story about the tie significantly improve the image of the destination and affect the decision makers – meeting planners to include your destination on their “wish list”.



Primičeva Julija The solution for seeking and finding new market niches

Rok Klančnik

Incentive trips are like Primičeva Julija. According to chroniclers of her time, she was a wealthy, good looking yet presumptuous wench, desired by many, yet only a few ever managed to bask in the sun of her attention. They wanted her for her money, which she had to spend, yet where there’s money there’s envy. Whoever found himself in her favour, had to consider the pride, boredom, new and new demands... The ultimate goal was hear satisfaction and the repayment for all the sweet troubles. The same is true for incentive programs, where we mostly highlight (most of us coming from the supply side of the market) incentive or promotional (and similar) trips. Why do we want them so badly?

Because they’re not free. Because we don’t need to sponsor them since their aim is profit and benefits for all those involved. Incentive trips are the opposite of mass tourism and are therefore growingly financially attractive. The participants need to be well taken care of down to the last detail, even though they are not paying for the trip themselves (pecunia non olet, event the old Latins knew that). Their satisfaction is not only repaid to the sponsor of the trip, but nonetheless also to the destination. In what way is a different question hidden within the character of “VIP” guests. Perhaps new business partners can be gained; some participants might return with their family members, friends etc. Incentive trips are not merely a marketing tool. They are a complex net of relationships which require a lot of strategic communication done by the management – actually two managements: first the management of the firm paying for the trip and then also the organizers of the trip. Here a number of questions arise, from purely financial ones (how high can we drive the price before it’s too much and the clients decide to take their employees to Turkey?), to ethical (is it even moral to pay a "wine and dine" trip to a certain segment of people, especially during the times of slow

recovery from the claws of the recession or if the company or organization is receiving governmental financial aid as way the infamous case of American Insurance Group in September 2008). And finally: there is no such thing as a free lunch. The participants of incentive trips will get their bill sooner or later. In the world the conditions in the area of incentives started settling last fall, which means the summer stopped the decline of this important activity. One of the instruments of crisis management in this case was the dismantling of incentive packages, which means the incentive offer didn't automatically include the entire spectrum of services but for example just the plane tickets and accommodation. According to the data of the IRF (Incentive Research Foundation, theirf. org) from last October roughly 45 per cent of companies and organizations would carry the entire costs of incentives, yet almost a third would cover only the plane tickets. The organizers can save some money by not taking the trip abroad and keep it domestic, or the other way around (if it’s cheaper), not use cruises anymore etc.

Moreover, the economic crisis inevitably causes new trends which help the sector to survive: shortening the duration of the trip, decreasing the size of the group, reducing the party and gift programmes. You won’t believe it, but most participants would rather take part in a poorly planned incentive trip than stay at home. The least of the changes appear – which seems a bit funny, aren’t food and drink one of the central entertainments on a trip? – in the area of alimentation. According to the IRF survey more than the half of those questioned doesn’t foresee any changes or plans to “slightly” or "appropriately” decrease or increase the meals or their number. More optimism comes from the information that the organizers of incentives will increase their budgets by a

third in 2011 and 2012, those who are saving will be a minority. Over 68 per cent thinks the conditions are more favourable this year, next year this percentage will rise to 77. The survey was taken in the USA, yet the trends tend to hit the old continent and us sooner or later. So, if suppliers and other believers in incentive trips as a sort of Holy Grail of the meetings industry want these so badly despite the organizational strains, what are we to do? As always...some more creativity won’t hurt and also try to offer a drink or two for free. Mostly I think the solution is in finding new market niches. The meetings industry consists of more than just doctors and pharmacists. In the area of technology (mostly information, "green" or energy) there have been many advances in the last few years and with that new, younger human resources are successfully taking the rains into their hands. Did anyone ever think of farmers and food manufacturers? Many of the above mentioned aren’t even aware they can upgrade their business performance – on trips with their business partners or where they could learn something. If a trip like that is well organized and doesn’t scare off the buyer with oversized prices, the spoilt Primičeva Julija becomes a gentle calf we could have eating from our hands. Well, that brings us back to strategic communicating.



Fam trips Highly effective business development or a waste of money?

Paul Kennedy

Following Conventa 2011 a number of destinations in Slovenia and Croatia offered fam trips to hosted buyers. The results were mixed but some buyers were left wondering did the destinations really want them to visit. Some of the feedback from buyers included stories of ill thought through itineraries, poor or inadequate catering and one explanation that it was not appropriate to serve hospitality! Others buyers were impressed with the destinations but some transfers were time consuming. In one instance several buyers failed to turn up for a tour which is incredibly unprofessional. Why bother then with post trade show fam trips or those specially arranged by or for a destination. Well the answer is really easy and given this form of live marketing is an example of precision marketing, providing the buyer research is carried out well and by those who know the target market and the itinerary is well thought through to create a memorable experience the ROI can be huge. One of the challenges for a venue, hotel, DMC or destination is to effectively research the target buyer markets. The reality is that this is a big task – within the region of 100,000 professionals in the business of planning meetings just in the UK, how do we know which buyers are interested in our part of the world. The answer is not just to accept first come first served – some destinations still do this (really stupid!) but to define what type of business you are looking for (and saying all and any is also unwise) and then set down how you will select the applicants – this applies even if you have a representational company or buyer database research company working for you. It’s vital you check the credentials of the buyer and their organisation including event history, frequency budgets and crucially, does the applicant have real decision making authority. If agents apply research who their end clients are – this is important in the case of venue finding/site selection agencies. In terms of the itinerary it’s important to remember that it’s the meetings product which is the cornerstone of the offer – its quality and how it’s serviced and its price competitiveness. A careful balance has to be struck with the duration of site inspections

(and someone very senior should ALWAYS meet and greet) with the hospitality elements.

Timetabling of refreshments breaks and the presentation of marketing materials and corporate gifts again needs to be balanced (always offer to send brochures after the visit and do not give corporate gifts which are really not very useful – you can’t really use dozens of soft toys in a professional environment! And believe me; international planners really don’t need to see every local church but do want to see authentic offerings which their delegates can subsequently enjoy. On the other hand if you get the itinerary correct (the easiest part by far) it is important not to get carried away with concern about having a big group – quality is key. Sarawak in Asia offers fam trips for groups of just five or six. Easy to manage, easier to plan something memorable, easier to show round a property. You are trying to impress, and not only earn their business but get them to become your ambassador. Linda’s Pereira’s highlight of her 2011 visit to Slovenia was a private tour of the Lipizzaner stud farm and during Conventa week the tea and Almond refreshment break at the Hotel Lev – both relatively low cost but truly memorable which she still tells people about. Face to face business development is the most highly effective form of business development and in our world rarely is a venue or destination chosen without some form of previous visit. Investing into fam trips as a business development activity can bring significant new and repeat business. With the supply chain working together the cost of fam trips can be spread between local

partners who need to commit fully to the venture, particularly when using the services of a representation or recruiter company which although fee based ensures a significant degree of quality control. It is always a matter of choice about where a company places it marketing expenditure but in a business where destination choice is based on personal experience of a destination and its supply chain, then your marketing mix surely should be geared to meeting your clients face to face in an environment you can truly influence – your own destination. If you don’t do face to face business development you can be assured your competitors will.


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News from Slovenia

International conference ADIT comes to a close

Hotel Wellness Park Laško**** gains 4* Superior category

Austria Trend Hotel Ljubljana – soft renovations

The ADIT (Advances in Diabetes and Insulin Therapy) conference, a scientific event organized by Slovenian experts ended on 22nd of March in Ljubljana. Symposiums, case studies and this year's novelty the ADIT forum served over 600 participants from 31 countries with the newest scientific discoveries from the area of diabetology and ways to use these discoveries in practice.

Hotel Wellness Park Laško**** has gained the 4* Superior category therefore it now offers a higher standard of accommodation than required for the 4* category. Wellness Park Laško****superior is a modern, comfortable and accomplished hotel. It offers 181 modernly furbished hotel rooms and 7 sweets in the 4* superior category. Within the Wellness Park Laško, which fully fulfils the standards of a congress hotel prescribed by the Slovenian Convention Bureau and in line with international standards, also features a Congress Centre for up to 1,100 participants. The visitors will be able to choose among eight modern convention halls and three conference rooms on 3,700 m. The largest hall can seat 490 people.

Austria Trend Hotel Ljubljana 4* superior has just done a soft renovation in conference rooms as well as in Presidential Suites. They renewed the technical equipment and now have brand new LED Projectors and in all 8 conference Rooms in the hotel. In Presidential Suites they completely renewed the wooden floor, ceilings and walls. Due to the fact that they hosted Slovenia Top model last year and that they had a few top celebrities in their Hotel continuously, such as Mr. Kevin Costner and Mr. Jose Carerras last winter, their highest category rooms must be on the highest level to meet guest expectations.

FIJET Academy in Portorož The international academy FIJET for young travel journalists ended in Portorož on 3rd of June. The Academy was carried out by the Slovenian FIJET Association in the name of the international FIJET Association. 13 journalists from 9 countries attended. The project was partially financed by Snovalec tender, as well as Turistica – Faculty of Tourism Studies Portorož, Slovenian Tourist Board, Ministry of the Economy and numerous other organisations, companies and smaller tourism service providers from the coast and its surroundings as well as Kras, Nova Gorica and Vipavska dolina.

Maribor`s Oldest Vine on CNN In May, one of CNN’s most prominent and popular iReporters, Percy von Lipinski – “a globe trotting, one-man storytelling machine” from United States – paid a visit to the Guinness Record holder, Oldest Vine in Maribor, Slovenia. Check out the great result of his visit, the “Incredible Story of the World's Oldest Grape Vine”, on CNN`s iReport:

ADRIA AIRWAYS – it is 50 years since Slovenia acquired its first airline Today the majority of Adria Airways business is in scheduled flights; its network links Ljubljana with more than 25 cities throughout Europe and offers excellent connections to South East Europe. Adria Airways offers around 250 scheduled flights each week. In December 2010 Adria Airways set up scheduled connections from Prishtina, flying to Munich seven times a week, to Frankfurt four times a week, twice a week to Brussels and once a week to Copenhagen, Duesseldorf and Paris.

Kompas DMC – more than 60 years of experience Kompas is the leading destination management company in the Adriatic region with 60 years of experience and innovative forward-thinking practices. What really makes a difference is that

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Kompas takes its variety of tailor made services, including incentives, company meetings, promotional events, individual and group travelling to the next level.

centre, is scheduled. After the Second Foyer and Grand Reception Hall, the First Foyer is due for renovation. This area, which serves as the main logistics centre between the Maximarket Passage, main CD halls, Small Gallery and CD Club, will thus be given an opportunity to function as a venue for social events. The renovation, which will take place between June and September 2011, is estimated to cost 1,670,000 €.

World champion's catering Jezeršek Catering is discovering new dimensions of catering with Esimit Europa 2 – the best maxi class yacht in the world. The world's sailing elite gathered in Trieste to meet the Esimit Europa’s crew formed by the world’s best professional sailors. For this special occasion Jezeršek Catering launched a new product »Catering Deluxe«, developed especially for this event. Oysters, truffles, foie-gras... accompanied by sparkling wines Medot – the official sponsor of Esimit Europa 2. Best of the best, for the best!

“Pri Levu” restaurant awarded by city’s mayor The Pri Levu restaurant has won a City of Ljubljana award in the category of Superior Restaurants. The city’s Commission on Quality as part of the “Quality Selection 2010” campaign decorated the restaurant for its high quality of menu, service and facilities. The restaurant boasts exquisite Mediterranean cuisine, served in a friendly atmosphere suitable for all occasions. It also features a stunning fireplace and aquarium. The Ljubljana Quality Badge is much deserved!

New! Hotel City Maribor**** On a unique location at the bank of the river Drava and within a short walking distance to the old town core, the new 4-star business hotel offers (superior) rooms and apartments not only ensuring a wonderful view on the river but also telling a photo story about Maribor – the second largest city in Slovenia, a home to the oldest grapevine in the world, and the European Capital of Culture 2012! Among others, there will also be a conference hall, a business restaurant with a terrace on the rooftop, and the hotel`s fast food restaurant.

“Jump to Portorož” – a new video of Portorož and Piran A new promotional video “Jump to Portorož” is breaking records on the World Wide Web. Six days after it was published on YouTube it gathered over 68,000 views from Slovenia. The video was made in cooperation with the production house Snaut and agency AV Studio, featured over 150 people and was made in the air, on the ground and under water. Besides the main character, the lovely Eva Jurca, we can see numerous famous personalities in the video.

Renovation Proceeds at Cultural & Congress Centre Cankarjev Dom In 2011, a partial makeover of Cankarjev dom (CD), the main Slovenian cultural and congress

12 News

News from Slovenia

Bled is celebrating a millennium This year Bled castle is celebrating a 1000 years of its first mention in written accords and has so far hosted 66,858 visitors, 45,405 foreign and 21,453 domestic. The high number of visitors is a reward for the efforts of Bled Culture institute, which is preparing numerous events until December and plans many novelties and renovations of the castle.

brand 2864, is taking an innovative approach to spreading their philosophy: with a retrospective film ( where the managers of the hotel climb snowy rocks. The name 2864 represents the altitude of Triglav. The vision of the eko resort shares the values of four brave men, who climbed the mountain first: perseverance, ecology, authenticity, courage.

Eko hotel in Film 2864 The Bohinj Park EKO Hotel, which tells the story of building an eko ski slope through the

roof of the Paris Opera House. Three families of Carniola bees are buzzing in their beehives on one of the terraces of Cankarjev dom’s variegated roof. Located in the very centre of Ljubljana, the country’s capital city, Cankarjev dom is the principal congress and cultural centre of Slovenia.

BEES ON THE ROOF OF SLOVENIA’S MAIN CONGRESS CENTRE Yes, it’s true. The idea was dreamt up while coming across scientific articles on urban beekeeping in London and the beehives on the


News from Europe

EMIF 2011 plays the “quality” card EMIF 2011 reached its goal and has set the standards for a new future as an important European networking platform in the meetings industry. There are plenty of positive developments to be seen from the latest edition of this Brussels-based meeting fair. With 2,365 unique visitors over two days and 158 exhibitors, EMIF experienced a ratio of 15 visitors to each exhibitor. Immediately after the show, many exhibitors expressed their satisfaction with the quality of the visitors. The strong partnerships with the Belgian and European association markets open new perspectives for the future (please delete that sentence). So save the dates for 2012: the next edition of EMIF will take place on March 13 and 14, in the Tour & Taxis Exhibition Centre in Brussels.


Tourism Board. With the agreement, ECTAA pledges to promote Croatia as its preferred destination among the 77.000 travel agents and tour operators across Europe.

OVATION GLOBAL DMC NAMED ONE OF THE WORLD'S TOP DMC NETWORKS Ovation Global DMC has once again been recognised by ‘’Special Events Magazine’’ USA as one the top Destination Management Companies in the world. This prestigious listing which annually profiles the dominant players in the meetings industry has been published for the past seven years and Ovation is honoured to have been included each year. Previous listings have showcased Ovation as one of the top 25 DMCs worldwide, this year Ovation’s growing global presence is recognised as the company is named one of the world’s top DMC Networks ‘’the biggest of the big, the networks that bring local expertise around the globe’’.

Croatia as ECTAA Preferred Destination ECTAA formalised the agreement reached with the Croatian National Tourist Board promoting Croatia as its Preferred Destination for 2011–2012. The agreement will bring mutual benefits to both travel agents and tour operators regrouped within the European umbrella organisation, ECTAA, and the Croatian National

is now on the cusp of another economic revival. As a result of these changes Ireland was recently named one of the top ten places to do business by the World Bank.

Ireland Open for Business Ireland is open for business once again. It was a downturn that hit the tourism industry early and hard but the country has now used the recession to dramatically improve its competitiveness for those wishing to do business in Ireland. Boasting the cheapest hotel rates in Western Europe, a new integrated public transport system, easy accessibility from all over the world and a world class convention centre capable of hosting major international events, the Irish tourism industry

New Chair for the IAPCO Training Academy The IAPCO Training Academy has a new Chair following the IAPCO General Assembly in Quebec in February, with Susanne Kostka, Managing Director of AIM Group International Vienna Office, and formerly Vice-President of AIMS International before the merger, stepping down after six years in the role.

Small business takes out national event management award Creating events beyond their clients’ dreams is the goal of The Forum Group, winner of the prestigious Meetings & Events Association (MEA) 2010 National Award for Best Event Management Organisation. Winning this award, a new category introduced by MEA this year, signifies national recognition for The Forum Group’s dedicated team of six, who have shown that a small business can make a big impact in the meetings and events industry.

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News from Europe

THE ITALIAN ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT COMPANY PLS ENTERS “GEM” GROUP (GLOBE EVENTS MANAGEMENT) PLS, one of the leading Association Management Companies in Italy has recently joined the three other companies within Globe Events Management (GEM). GEM was structured around a 21 million euro agreement in 2009 consisting of Fonema, Jumbo Grandi Eventi and CCI from the meetings industry sector, along with the private equity fund, Orlando Italy Sicar, comprising the other partner. Following the entry of PLS into the group, bringing with them an annual turnover of 15 million euro, the annual sales potential of GEM will exceed 80 million Euro, engaging a workforce of over 160 employees. GEM is based in Rome, Milan, Turin, Genoa and of course PLS’s home city of Florence.

OVATION GLOBAL DMC ANNOUNCES 11 NEW OFFICES Continuing its global expansion Ovation Global DMC has announced offices at 11 new locations across Asia, Europe and Latin America. The new offices will provide destination management services to Ovation customers in the Baltic States, Chile, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia, Romania, Serbia, St Lucia, Taiwan and Thailand. At each location Ovation services will be provided by exclusive Strategic Partners who have been selected by Ovation according to strict criteria including industry reputation and operational excellence.

Numbers of international association meetings continue to increase significantly This year the ICCA Data researchers have identified 9,120 events which took place in 2010, 826 events more than were identified last year and an all-time record! Partly this reflects the strength of the association meetings market despite the recent economic downturn; partly it is thanks to a record number of ICCA members sending their calendar information to help identify new events.

Bill Clinton visits Montenegro in May 2011 for Balkans networking conference Bill Clinton, 42nd US President, was the keynote speaker at the Inaugural Conference Balkan Networking for Social Empowerment of South-Eastern Europe organised by the Atlas Foundation and the Government of Montenegro. The Conference comprised of two panels: 1. Two Decades After – Lessons Learnt, New Ideas and Shared Values and 2. Public Private Partnership – Investing Into a Common Future. The Conference goal is to establish a publicprivate network that will work on finding a cross-border model of sustainable social empowerment. It gathered distinguished guests, including Montenegro’s Prime Minister Igor Lukšić, former President of Slovenia Milan Kučan and Croatia Stjepan Mesić and former PM of Montenegro Milo Đukanović.

Euromic Signs Sales Joint Venture with HPN Global The alliance will facilitate shared opportunities for HPN’s associates and euromic’s worldwide membership and was officially announced in Frankfurt, Germany at IMEX ‘11, the worldwide exhibition for the incentive travel, meetings and events industry. As HPN’s associates around the world book business across borders in unfamiliar destinations, the new formal agreement will allow them to consult with and refer clients to a reputable DMC with the local knowledge euromic is known for. As the two organizations grow, they will mutually benefit from the sharing of information and will focus on finding creative ways to secure business together.

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PRAGUE APPROVED MEETINGS INCENTIVE SUPPORT Prague City Council approved an incentive for congress organizers in the form of free public transport for congresses with more than 500 participants. Prague Convention Bureau as an association of more than 60 subjects active in the meetings industry and a member of the working group led by the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations and Tourism of the Prague City Council, Mr. Jan Kalousek, very much welcomes this step.

Opatija’s Grand Hotel Adriatic celebrates its 40th jubilee of providing services in congress tourism As sacred queen of Croatian tourism, Opatija has been attracting guests from all over the world for more than 160 years with its accommodation, historical heritage and mild climate. One of the sectors in which Opatija certainly takes a leading role is its rich and excellently organised congress offer. Opatija’s Grand Hotel Adriatic, the hotel with the longest congress tourism tradition on the Croatian Adriatic coast, this year celebrates its jubilee 40th anniversary of providing services in congress tourism.

The Italian Incentive Revolution runs on the Web Italy Destination is a New Web Portal with the first search engine of tailor made programs for the MICE Worldwide market. Thanks to a great expertise of the Incentive Power & Events Group, event farm on the MICE market for over 10 years, Italy Destination manages all the aspects of the event: from the logistic service to the communication strategy, from the design of the project to the implementation of innovative solutions, from teambuilding programs to video and multimedia production.

ACC Liverpool receives a double win at the TMP Tourism Awards The Mersey Partnership (TMP) Tourism Awards 2011, which took place on Thursday 26th of May, saw ACC Liverpool achieve the award for Sustainable Tourism and the BT Convention Centre – part of ACC Liverpool – win the award for Excellence in Business Tourism. Following this year’s earlier announcement of the development of a £40 million exhibition and events complex, the two awards mark another major step in the city’s recognition of the effect that ACC Liverpool, home to Echo Arena and BT Convention Centre, is having on the events industry in the region.

Thessaloniki will host ICCA Joint Mediterranean and UK/ Ireland Chapter Summit for 2012

2011 JMIC Unity Award Goes to Luc Maene Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) President Leigh Harry has announced the winner of the 2011 JMIC Unity Award as Mr. Luc Maene, Director General, International Fertilizer Industry Association and President, European Society of Association Executives. Maene formally received the award at the IMEX Awards Banquet in Frankfurt, Germany May 25. The Unity Award is made annually to an individual who represents the best qualities of Meetings Industry Leadership and who has devoted major efforts to creating stronger relationships and a greater cohesion for the industry.

Thessaloniki, Greece, has officially been announced as host of the ICCA Joint Mediterranean and UK/Ireland Chapter Summit for 2012 during the ICCA Mediterranean Chapter Meeting which was held on 23 May in Frankfurt. As a result of the successful cooperation of the two ICCA Chapters in Nice, France, in February this year around the issue of "Harnessing City and Country wide events for Developing Meetings Industry Business", the cooperation will be repeated in 2012 and more European-based Chapters have expressed interest in joining in.




“When we meet at Conventa show, the cup of coffee is on us!”

18 - 19 JANUARY 2012, Ljubljana—Slovenia


Conventa Academy


Delete bad karma – insert action!

Knowledge is no longer a privilege, yet a necessity to ensure success and growth of a company. This is most of all true for a developing field like the meetings industry. Academy Conventa therefore offers up-to-date knowledge in the area of the meetings industry, following the principle of active learning. It thus stimulates the companies to invest in knowledge and ensure constant development and progress. After the successfully carried out modules last year the participants expressed a desire for new content. “The seminar can be described with a very simple combination of words: delete bad karma insert action! These were the thoughts I took with me!” Tanja Božič, Terme Ptuj Satisfied participants were the reason for the new content available since January. For a shot of inspiration in the new year we hosted the Irish sales guru and internationally renowned motivational speaker Kevin Kelly in Maribor. Kevin Kelly is an internationally renowned motivational speaker and expert in the area of business leadership, sales and determination. His lecture focused on new foundations of sales management. In the area of the meetings industry unique experience of the clients and the motivation of the sales teams which make it happen are key. We found out how to make the move from client to friend, which philosophy leads your sales team to fulfilling their dreams and how your congress, location or destination can be made unique. At the end of March we met local tourist organization leaders responsible for promoting the destination Bled and Bled hotels. At the Destination module of Conventa Academy we got to know our role in making a successful destination in the area of the meetings industry. Miha Kovačič, the director of the Slovenian Convention Bureau and guest lecturers highlighted the importance and advantages of destination cooperation in the meetings industry: “The role of a destination is key. The local tourist organization has a connecting role and represents the interests of the local tourist economy at the destination level.” “The modules of Academy Conventa are an

excellent opportunity to gain new knowledge for all the young professionals in the meetings industry. The lecturers are professionals in their field and by sharing their knowledge and experiences through good practice examples, they really help us newbies.” Bernarda Karo, Destination Maribor – Pohorje The Marketing Communication module in Portorož brought together all of those eager to improve their sales activities and looking for new marketing ways leading to efficient differentiation from the competition. We got to know the best conceptual marketing of hotels, congress centres, agencies, destinations and events. The module was led by Gorazd Čad, director of Go.mice and supplemented by other professionals. You can reserve your spot at the Basic, Destination and Marketing module as well as the Congress Practicum in the fall, at the website

Before the fall modules our working processes will be aired out by Linda Pereira, owner and executive director of CPL Events at the module Bidding Academy. Considering her long term experiences and incredible success in acquiring international meetings, successful practices will be presented. For a successful bid commitment, knowledge and a lot of effort of all the partners is required. For more information visit

18 News

News eIat

EIAT – from a student network to a cutting edge educational event

It was not too long when Milan Culic cocreated and initiated an event aimed at starting meaningful dialogue between the sector of academia and industry professionals in order to create a platform of best young leaders in the industry and to provide a platform to build capacity of the region of South and East Europe. The Kongres Magazine was one of the few who believed in this project since its beginning and supported this idea. EIAT was established under the Patronage of HRH Crown Prince Alexander II and under the support of the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development but it would never succeed if there were no quality behind the scene. Since its beginning it evolved from an event which would bring together key players from academia, public and private sector to an event sending a clear message to the industry: this is where education happens! EIAT organizers realized there is a gap in the market. After talks with key industry professionals it has become evident that a majority of them seeks the opportunity to upgrade knowledge, gain new skills and broaden their network of personal contacts. All of this was already set: globally recognized speakers from academia and industry gave necessary input to EIAT and the result was immediate: three parallel sessions targeting Students at Novice Track, Industry Professionals at Executive Track and PhD candidates at Scientific Track. Today there is a partnership of the IMEX Trade Show and MPI in organizing the Future Leaders

Forum SEE along with 25 tourism faculties from 12 countries in the region of South East Europe. EIAT is taking it one step ahead of the delegates’ expectations: on its platform it will start to create a Regional Tourism Initiative – a modern association formed on four pillars: academia, public sector, private sector and young leaders’ network. The idea of its existence will be the need for education and a model of lifelong learning. This year EIAT will take place in Belgrade from 23 – 25 September and it will be our best organized event so far. The maximum number of delegates is kept to 250 in order to keep the quality, many prominent speakers confirmed their attendance among them Patrick Delaney – an icon of the global meetings industry, Rick Taylor who just won the IMEX Africa & Middle East Academy Award, Pauline Sheldon – one of 8 UNWTO Ulysses Award recipients and 13 more who are true industry and academy leaders. They will all shape their presentations according to the structure of the delegates and their expectations. Above all and beside educational sessions, EIAT will host an outstanding networking evening at the Grand Casino Belgrade on the theme of 007 called Grand Casino Royale. Shaken not stirred cocktail reception, 007 movie music themes and Bond hostesses will send a message of this cutting edge educational event and Belgrade as a future destination of education in the industry.



imex america 2011: the pulse of the meetings industry. IMEX sets the pace for doing business, learning and networking in the industry worldwide—and it’s coming to America in October. Make sure you’re in step with the show the industry’s been buzzing about. Tap into a steady stream of opportunities. Meet industry movers and shakers face to face. Revitalize your career with education from major industry partners. Accomplish a year’s worth of business in just three days. REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN AT IMEXAMERICA.COM. Take advantage of our special IMEX accommodation rates available now!

20 News

Photo session – IMEX

The Kongres magazine was once again a media partner of IMEX in Frankfurt, one of the leading trade shows of the meetings industry. The tradeshow was eventful. Our camera caught a few interesting moments on the floor. We witnessed some unusual occurrences when the company iDMC from Slovenia teleported the visitors of the Slovenian stand to a few well known tourist attractions in Slovenia. Interested visitors could thus take excursions around Slovenia without much effort.


Photo session – Congress Pecha Kucha evenings

The editorial board of Kongres magazine decided to organize a series of Pecha Kucha evenings aimed at educating, socializing and relaxed conversation. The first one was carried out in Ljubljana, the second in Bled. Our idea was to organize this kind of events all over Slovenia and abroad. If you want a congress Pecha Kucha in your city email us at . The pictures seen here are from the second Pecha Kucha in Bled. The event took place at the Velika Zaka beach. We were invited to Bled by Sava Hotels. The atmosphere was pleasant, a lot of interesting topics were covered and there was also some rowing. The topic of this session was “Green meetings”.



Interview with Roger Tondeur


Big business goes to big companies

Is size important in the meetings industry? Yes, size is very important. More than 60 % of our clients are corporations or associations that outsource their meetings to event services in our company.

It’s very simple – big business goes to big companies. For example, we just won a contract for a major worldwide pharmaceutical company, which is outsourcing all of their European meetings to us. We will have 80 people working for this client. They are actually closing their in-house meeting services and outsourcing their business to us. Today MCI has over a thousand employees, together with our partners over 2,000. The deal with this pharmaceutical company will represent 8 % of our business. The reason this company is outsourcing their business to us is because we can do it cheaper and better than they can do it themselves. If our competition doesn’t have the resources we do and they have for example 100 employees, a deal such as this one could represent 50 % of all their business. In the European Union there is a law regulating outsourcing, stating a single deal cannot exceed 25 % of the suppliers business. So, to answer your question again: if you want big business you have to be big. 50 % of the global spending in the meetings and event industry, both in association and corporation markets is generated by the world’s top 500 companies. That’s where the big money is. If you look at advertising, there are 6 big groups who manage 60 to 80 % of the world’s communication budget. Are there any emerging markets or regions that have caught your attention this year? There are three very important emerging markets: China, India and Brazil. These are three markets that MCI invests in; in those three countries we have large operations. Eventually each of these markets will be as big

as the entire European market, which means we expect to have 300 to 500 MCI employees working in several big cities in these three countries. We already have 125 people from MCI in China. These destinations are exploding.

This isn’t business going from China to France or from Brazil to Spain. This is business going from Brazil into Brazil. Nowadays there’s big business in national congress markets, not international. We already organize congresses for 8,000 Brazilian cardiologists, eventually there will be 30,000 Brazilian cardiologists attending these congresses. This is the reason companies are investing a lot into these markets – because they are so big. What do you see as a major trend for this year? The mayor trend I see this year is that people are very budget conscious. Because of the recession everyone is very careful about spending their money.

This year the economy is doing much better, but luxury is out, any five-star spending is out as well. We had a client who had to choose between a really nice hotel in Monte Carlo and a hotel in Bordeaux where prices were higher. They did not want to go to Monte Carlo because it has the image of a luxury destination. This is a trend that many destinations have to struggle with.

The second biggest trend is associations, struggling with social networks.

Social networks are taking a huge place in people's lives, so associations have to create much more value to be successful. Do you think South-Eastern Europe offers good and suitable locations according to the criteria of MCI?

SE Europe offers good value for money and there is some nice infrastructure. So my answer is yes. But I have a problem with locating SE Europe; I do not know which countries represent it. In the region of SE Europe our number one destinations are Istanbul and Athens.

The rest of the countries you mentioned are not so hot in the international market. SE Europe has an image problem because even I, being well travelled, don’t know which countries represent SE Europe. I think what you need to do is a lot of image building and a lot of marketing if you want to be visible in the international congress market. Are you planning to further expand your network in SEE and Eastern Europe? Yes, we are planning it, but it’s not on our list of top priorities. We intend to do that in the next two or three years, not before. The first country to open an office would probably be Turkey.

We have a business plan tracking ICCA rankings and we intend to open offices in the top 20 countries and top 20 cities.

24 Interview

What do you think about the Conventa trade show? I don’t know what Conventa Trade show is. I never heard of it, so I never googled it. I believe I was also never invited there. We definitely have to invite you to Conventa 2012. I hope you will be able to come. How does a global agency manage relations with clients in the new economy? We use something called key account management. Global clients have a key account manager within our company, so the key account manager handles the relationship with the client. What is the biggest challenge for MCI these days? How do you overcome these challenges?

Our biggest challenge is the war for talent. There aren’t enough trained people with experience in professionally organizing and handling large events. There are a lot of young professionals, but without relevant experience. In order to handle large client accounts you require seven to ten years of experience in this business, you already had to make all kinds of mistakes. We call that a war for talent and it’s about find the right people wishing to work in our industry. The other challenge is finding the people willing to give up a lot of their social time. I believe you are on the road at least 50 % of the time. It’s a challenge finding people who are willing to lead that kind of life. What impact will virtual meetings have on the meetings market? They will have a significant impact. Virtual meetings are very important, so we need people who are not only skilful in logistics but also very good at handling new technologies.

My answer is that virtual meetings will not reduce the need for face to face meetings.

me is focused on Brazil, India and China – the potential there is much bigger. SE Europe needs to make a huge effort to get back on the map otherwise the gap will get bigger instead of getting smaller.

Nowadays we see corporations and associations using virtual meetings technology, yet they still require a lot of face to face meetings. Some virtual meetings will replace face to face meetings, but those are smaller meetings. A few large clients tried to organize a 40,000 people meeting online, but it didn’t work. They spent millions of dollars, but it didn’t work. Virtual meetings are changing the way the meetings room is organized, they’re changing the way registration is done, changing the way communication is done etc. So there is a lot of interesting development and it’s a huge opportunity for our industry.

With your knowledge about the meetings industry, would you have chosen it again?

For MCI it’s the most beautiful thing – the clients now need us more than ever to organize their meetings. What is your piece of advice for meeting professionals from SEE? My biggest piece of advice is that they need to join the international world of the meeting industry and become a part of it.

The largest opportunity is to become a member of associations such are MPI and SITE. Those are the best two international meeting industry associations. I feel that chapters of these associations in SE Europe are much too supplier driven today. So they are not really growing in the right direction. Ten years ago when Europe was expending to Eastern Europe my top priority was the expansion towards the east (Prague, Budapest, Warsaw), but today all the attention from people like

Definitely yes. I love it. I was born into this business. My dad was already in this business, I started with MCI 24 years ago and my son is a CEO of this company today.

I love this industry. I think it’s a very important industry and I like the people who are in it. A lot of my friends are from the meetings industry, so I would have chosen it again.

25 Interview


Interview with Didier Martin


Eastern Europe is a particularly exciting area of development for us

Currently Mr. Martin is responsible for the successful operation of 20 hotels. His area has the largest pipeline of new openings, across the European region for Hilton Worldwide. Based in Vienna, his position covers all aspects of hotel operations, from new openings to delivering returns to the hotel owners and Hilton Worldwide. He leads a team of 26 General Managers and 12 area specialists in all hotel fields. More than 30 hotels are currently under development in his region, with multiple new property openings in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Romania, Russia & Israel. Didier joined Hilton Worldwide in 2001 as Vice President Operations in the Africa & Indian Ocean region. Prior to this he was the Area General Manager for Le Meridien Caribbean Hotels, St Martin & French Antilles. Didier worked for Le Meridien Hotels between 1990–2001 in senior positions in Paris and Melbourne.

Do you have any plans to open new hotels in Europe, especially SE Europe? If so, could you please explain where? Hilton Worldwide currently operates over 200 hotels across Europe, with more than 90 hotels in the development pipeline. Our growth in the region continues to gather significant momentum – we recently announced that Hilton Worldwide has achieved the largest active pipeline of hotels in Europe, with STR Global research showing that we are ahead of our main rivals with 15,411 rooms in the active pipeline and 8,643 rooms under construction. Eastern Europe is a particularly exciting area of development for us; we currently operate four brands across ten countries with Turkey, Russia, Poland and Romania nominated as strategic development markets. Additionally, we have hotels under development in Croatia, Bulgaria and Montenegro; and slightly further afield in Azerbaijan and Ukraine – all of these markets have Hilton Worldwide development resources dedicated to opening news hotels. To highlight some examples: In Turkey we expect to open 11 hotels in 2011, with the portfolio more than doubling in size within the next two years. We have opened our second Hilton Garden Inn in Turkey, in the historic city of Konya, this followed our first in market, Hilton Garden Inn Kutahya. In the next few months we will open further Hilton Garden Inn hotel’s in Sanliurfa and Mardin. Also in Turkey, we now operate three DoubleTree by Hilton hotels – DoubleTree by Hilton Ankara Kolej; DoubleTree by Hilton Avanos Cappadoccia and DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul Old Town. These new hotels join our existing portfolio of 13 Hilton’s and our luxury branded property, Conrad Istanbul. Looking to Romania, we expect to open three hotels in the coming year, DoubleTree by Hilton Oradea, DoubleTree by Hilton Bucharest and DoubleTree by Hilton Ploiesti. These hotels will join our Hilton Athenee Palace Bucharest and Hilton Sibiu. In Bulgaria we have recently opened the conversion DoubleTree by Hilton Varna Golden

Sands, and we will welcome a new build Hilton Resort in Varna, joining Hilton Sofia. In Russia, our current portfolio consists of three hotels, across our Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn brands. We recently announced that we have signed nine new hotel deals in the last six months with a development pipeline of 13 hotels across Russia. New additions will include three hotels in Moscow: DoubleTree by Hilton Moscow Leningradsky Riverside; Hilton Garden Inn Moscow New Riga and Hampton by Hilton Moscow Strogino. We will also welcome hotels in key regional locations such as: Astrakhan, Kazan, Omsk, Krasnador, Samara, Perm, Ulyanovsk and Sochi. Finally, we have two superb additions to the Hilton portfolio under development in Croatia. Hilton Marjan Split, Croatia will be our second hotel in the market, joining Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik. We also have Hilton Pogdorica which will be our first hotel in Montenegro. What are the reasons for you to open new hotel in one destination, city? Which criteria must be fulfilled? In Eastern Europe we are seeing a strong appetite from development partners to invest in our portfolio of brands. Hilton Worldwide’s brand portfolio includes luxury Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts; full service Hilton Hotels & Resorts and DoubleTree by Hilton; and focused service Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton. On a general basis the attractiveness is often in the low base of internationally branded accomodation in a particular location, which provides us with a compelling growth opportunity. Owners and developers are increasingly looking to align themselves with strong, well established brands and our investor partners benefit from Hilton Worldwide’s significant ‘performance advantage‘. We work with both the managed and franchise business models, and will consider both new build and hotel conversion opportunities.

28 Interview

If it’s not a secret could you please let us know the percentage of your income generated by congress tourism? As a private company we cannot disclose financial information. However, we can say that we are ahead of our market share in terms of occupancy and RevPAR and remain cautiously optimistic about the rest of the year. In terms of meetings and convention business encouragingly we are seeing strong pick-up in these segments across Europe heading into Quarter 2. Are you satisfied with the income of your hotels in SE Europe? If you compare results (income) of your hotels in SE Europe with the rest of your hotels in Europe and the World, are you satisfied? In 2010 there was a strong recovery in occupancy in all markets. RevPAR growth demonstrates that Hilton Worldwide is keeping pace or ahead of the market in key countries and cities such as Germany, London, France and the Benelux. In each of these markets we were able to yield rates from a strong transient/corporate market. However this rate of recovery is not universal with southern and eastern Europe still weak. We are optimistic that 2011 will be another year of growth for the European hotel sector, although there will remain significant variations across the region. What do you think about SE Europe as a congress destination? What are its advantages and disadvantages? We believe South Eastern Europe provides an excellent place to conduct meetings and convention business. The Hilton Worldwide portfolio of brands across Europe, which includes Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts, Conrad Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton – offer state of the art facilities and world class, flexible spaces to accommodate events of all shapes and sizes. Within Eastern Europe we offer a range

of banqueting and convention suites, boardrooms, meeting rooms and break out areas, our event spaces can be adapted to meet different client needs. Key conference and events hotel within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio include: Hilton Istanbul, which offers extensive meeting space with 27 meeting rooms and a dedicated conference centre for up to 3,000 delegates; Hilton Prague, which offers meeting space for up to 1,500 delegates across 33 meetings rooms; Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik which is located at the gateway to the old town and offers a selection of meeting all with natural daylight; Hilton Garden Inn Konya which offers meeting space for up to 400 guests for a dinner, with the largest event area measuring 500 square metres. The format of congresses and events is changing. Technology and social media are playing a more important role. How will Hilton Hotels adopt to those changing? In terms of meetings and convention, we offer a range of online tools to support event organizers. Our brands are actively engaged with various social media, including Facebook and Twitter – communicating to the consumer via these channels. Hilton Hotels & Resorts has the highest Facebook followers out of all global hotel brands. We also offer Personalized Online Group (POG) pages, where organizers can create a webpage unique to their event. Tailored to requirements, the POG includes details on the event, hotel and destination – so that attendees can easily access all the information they need. Attendees can also view and book rooms at pre-secured rates their chosen hotel. Available for groups requiring 10 rooms or more, your POG is fast to set up at no charge, and is available online 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Another area of technology where we are leading the field is branded mobile technology – we first launched a series of branded iPhone applications in November 2009 which included a portfolio of chain-specific apps, and more recently we launched our seventh app for our luxury Waldorf Astoria Hotels &

Resorts brand. Do you have a final message for our readers? My final message to your readers would be consider the Hilton Worldwide portfolio of hotels for your future meeting and convention business. With more than 200 hotels across 30 countries in Europe, and a further 90 hotels to open in the next three years, we can provide multiple quality solutions for meetings of varying sizes and requirements.

Hybrid Event The Current Trend in Live-Marketing

Colja M. Dams is president / CEO of the VOK DAMS GRUPPE since 1998. Since the foundation in 1971, the agency has been one of the international market leaders in Live-Marketing and Events. Graduated as an economist at the University Witten/ Herdecke in Germany, he early recognized the importance of internationalization in the special events business.Thanks to his efforts the Wuppertal, Germany headquartered agency has established fife additional German offices in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Berlin and Munich as well as successful subsidiaries in Middle East (Dubai), China (Shanghai & Beijing), France (Bordeaux), England (London) and the U.S.A. (New York). Furthermore he establishes new standards in fields of Events and Live-Marketing, which are developed by VOK DAMS.Consulting constantly.

Event or live-marketing is indisputably the marketing measure with the greatest contact intensity. It is also indisputable that because of its media penetration, social media is the communication platform with the highest potential for brand-, product- and business communication.

Social media has become an important point of contact of businesses, brands and products with the consumer.

A study of the consultancy agency VOK DAMS. Consulting shows that 88% (and 78% for B2B) of decision-makers in marketing think that the importance of social media for business communication will continue to increase.

The internet and social media are also omnipresent at events. Tradeshows, conventions, product launches and company anniversaries will continue to take place in the real world, but they will be complemented by the internet and the infrastructure of social media applications.

The study also shows, however, that 25% (and 36% for B2B) of businesses have not used any social media tools yet (Source: VOK DAMS Institute for Live-Marketing, Hybrid Events 2011; N = 1,053). What could be more obvious than combining both channels? VOK DAMS, one of the internationally leading agencies for events and live-marketing, has coined the term “hybrid event” to denote this combination. Definition First of all, hybrid event is simply the combination of social media and event. The term has been coined to describe the integrative – not the purely additive – interplay of social media and live-marketing. In this context, the term social media is defined broadly. It encompasses not only classic social media platforms (such as Facebook, Xing, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), but also all web-based tools that can be used during an event and that can enable a genuine interaction of the visitor (Apps, QR codes, augmented reality, etc.)

Cost efficiency Live-marketing will remain the most expensive tool of the marketing mix; however, it is also the tool with the greatest contact intensity by far. By combining social media and event, a significant cost reduction per contact can be achieved because of the greater media penetration. Thus, a company’s communication measures can be very successful even on a smaller budget. User-generated event The advantages of integrating social media are obvious. The social web intensifies communication. A large number of people communicate with each other in real time, without any limits and via multimedia.

For the implementation of hybrid events, it is crucial, however, to increase the involvement of the participants – or, to put it differently: to take the step from user-generated content to usergenerated event. Thus, it becomes possible to invite participants, excite them, get them involved and enter into a dialogue with them afterwards. The physical, real event as the strong, emotional primary event is thus extended by an event on the internet, the secondary event.

30 In focus

as social media. The integration of social media makes it possible to: - communicate in real time - interact with other people - create a common sense - enable access to the event in a playful manner - make inferences about the potential target group of the event - increase the identification with the programme Thus, instead of focusing on the event, hybrid events mean that the focus is on the participants. This shift in focus reflects the paradigm shift in brand communication – the brand is placed in the domain of the user, and remains only partly in the domain of the marketing department. New rules This new form of communication also requires new rules for the hybrid event. - Simultaneity – new information has to be made available immediately via the respective social media channels - Response – contributions also require a quick response - Attention – the responses have to be oriented towards the wishes and needs of the users, not towards the intended message - Authenticity – the communication has to be honest and open, it has to match my image profile - Relevancy – the communication has to be interesting and offer added value to the user; otherwise, the user may not want to continue to interact and spread the messages Technological progress as driver The basis for the communication success of hybrid events is the growing importance of social media platforms on the one hand and the technological development of especially the mobile internet on the other. Hybrid events in practice The current event industry shows that no other communication medium is as dynamic

The hybrid event supports the trend of the democratization of business communication – shifting the influence from the company to the users. And it opens up a new dimension for achieving classic goals of an event – in-depth information, more motivation and, above all, a genuine involvement of the participants. Social media activities can be implemented in all phases of an event: 1) Before the event Integration into existing platforms - Using Facebook, Twitter or Xing for invitation purposes - Multiplying communication contents Development of individual platforms - Programming of individual microsites or a Facebook site - Asking people to get involved - Asking people to contribute contents and information about their needs and wishes - Developing games to increase contact intensity Apps for smartphones - City guides of the event location - Event guide containing all relevant information - Games to consolidate event contents 2) During the event Event walls Interactive event walls - Via a social media platform like Twitter, comments can be added and visualized in real time - Involvement of guests via opinion poll tools with immediate evaluation similar to Twittpoll Event game wall - Multiplayer games to consolidate messages in a playful manner Event info wall - Photo wall as digital guestbook, interactive

recording of news via smartphones QR codes - Application of so-called Quick Response Codes to link to further information via the internet – particularly suitable for exhibitions and product presentations Augmented reality - Smartphone applications that allow a combination of the real world and virtual information which are located directly in the real world 3) After the event Flashmob/Urban hacking - Organizing and implementing events via social networks which become part of a campaign and support the dissemination of messages or an image Documentation - Pictures or video material of the event are disseminated and commented on via social networks like YouTube, Facebook, etc. Discussion forums - Using existing or specifically created platforms for follow-up communication and as feedback channel Online games - Sustained follow-up activities to strengthen the brand image Hybrid event strategy tools Planning and implementing hybrid events within an integrated event communication requires specialists that are competent in both social media and live communication. Therefore, VOK DAMS offers the following strategic tools, which have already proven useful in practice: 1) Social media insights Social media insights offer information-, strategy- and creativity workshops to increase the success of social media communication. Thus, the topic of social media marketing can be approached progressively. Companies develop a social media strategy and campaign measures that fit their brand perfectly. 2) Social media event monitor

31 In focus

The social media event monitor is a tool used for the evaluation of C2C communication on the social web. Data is gathered on defined topics, brands, products and events. The specific focus on live communication is new. Thus, it is possible to illustrate and analyze information about the communication before, during and after an event. Based on the monitoring results, the communication can then be adjusted. 3) Social media.Content management The social media.content manager supervises and leads the company’s dialogues and discussions on the social web about brands, products and services or the company itself. The manager acts either as active participant in the discussion or as passive observer until the discussion requires him/her to become active. Depending on the goals, the social media.content manager communicates directly and professionally with the target group. The content manager acts either as private individual (C2C communication) or openly as a representative of the company (B2C communication). Case study: Swisscom A very good example of a hybrid event is the multiple award-winning project “Swisscom”. The event – an urban hacking activity – became the starting point of a very successful viral campaign on the internet. Under the motto “Wir für die Schweiz” (“United for Switzerland”), 100 actors hack into the events at Zurich’s main train station on behalf of Swisscom. The live event triggers an online campaign which appeals to the target group and adds a touch of “Swissness” – a term coined by the Swiss to refer to their laid-back national identity – to the brand. Various “scripts” were written, a “hacking team” consisting of about 100 actors was brought together and the scenes of the activity were rehearsed in a hall the day prior to the event. Then, the event began on the morning of 11 February 2010: An ordinary day at Zurich’s main train station, travellers are waiting for their trains, walking along platforms, drinking coffee. Suddenly

– out of nowhere – young people appear in droves, cheering, waving Swiss flags and embracing each other in joy while horns and rattles dominate the sound backdrop of the station. Above all, they are celebrating unsuspecting, ordinary passers-by like Olympic medallists. They disappear as suddenly as they appeared. What is left is people in astonishment. And then, suddenly a young couple walks towards each other, embraces, kisses, is joined by other young people, everybody is happy, smiling before they suddenly go each other’s separate ways as it happens every day at Zurich’s main train station. The smiles remain. At the end, there are 46 videos and one best-of of all scenes, which creates a furore on YouTube. The videos were filmed by professional camera crews, which increased the attention of the passers-by. It was never the intention to withhold the fact that the activity was a marketing campaign. The finished films were immediately uploaded onto the internet, so that the viral marketing campaign coincided with the opening of the Games in Vancouver. So-called “viral agents”, who functioned as opinion leaders, were supposed to help win over other opinion leaders on the internet. Together with the best-of video on YouTube, a competition was communicated to create further incentives. Here, users were directed to the website of the Swisscom fan book where they could express their support for the Swiss athletes and thus enter the competition. “Urban hacking” is a classic hybrid event. The media dissemination is part of the core of the live communication. In addition, platforms like YouTube and others were used, as well as a Facebook page. Only here, the information was publicized that Swisscom was the originator of the campaign.

The result was impressive. A strong presence in the relevant Swiss online media was achieved: about

2,500,000 accumulated gross contacts on Blick. ch,, and Conclusion Event and live-marketing specialists expect that in the future, social media will be an integral part of any successful event. The hybrid event is thus the most innovative trend in live-marketing.

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Marketing through email? Yes, please. Three quarters of consumers want to receive your promotion materials via email

Despite classic reservations (spam etc.) marketing via email or email marketing makes more and more sense. This includes all of our own business communication via email and advertising in email messages of other organisations. Granted, email is a mature medium already, yet the development of tools made spamming obsolete and lifted the messaging to a whole new level. Email marketing will remain the driving force of elevating the sales of your company further than other methods at minimal costs.

Matej Bajželj is the head of sales and marketing at Infonova. In the framework of the company's business (developing email marketing technologies) he studies the guidelines of email marketing and advises companies in using the system for legal email marketing This is fully a result of Slovenian knowledge and is also used at Kongres magazine.

No spotlight required The awareness of marketing through email is noticeably increasing in the business world every year. Yet we still sometimes can’t stop feeling email is not as interesting anymore. “Louder” parts of the professional public write and talk mostly about social networks and all kinds of applications, supported by smart phones and tablet PCs. Swift development and attention of the users is of course very attractive. Your business venture (with clear goals, proper accession and persistence) can truly create the right momentum and business effects therefore it certainly deserves attention.

Email marketing gets less attention, yet annual research reaffirms it is still the most efficient direct channel of marketing communication by far. Sometimes it seems it has a hard time competing with Facebook-mania, yet international research confirms there is no competition at all. Quite the contrary. With some skill, deliberate and sensible cooperation of these communication channels within a wholesome marketing strategy, it can bring forth the huge potential through synergies. The users of social networks actually far more often check their email mailboxes and also check email via phone, which is the most common online use of the smart phone.

Don’t isolate, connect When coordinating your communication efforts through many channels, simply splitting your content is not the best way to go, nor is copy-pasting. Think it through. Each communication channel has it strengths and weaknesses so they can supplement each other greatly. The users' "like", for example, can be very elegantly turned into their first and further purchases with the help of email marketing.

74 per cent of internet users over 18 want to receive your promotional messages via email. They are also willing to share the useful content of your email messages with their friends, who of course must be invited to subscribe to your messages. Modern digital technologies provide easy connecting of individual communication channels which enables you to strengthen the effects. The role of your email marketing is to keep the gained attention of individual interest groups with useful content and to support your online and offline activities. Of course a part of your email programme can be exclusive, even payable. Don’t just get permission, stir up desire To even start email marketing you need to gain the permission of the recipient beforehand. The exceptions are those who you have already done business with. By doing that you have implicitly gained their permission to receive information on similar products and services. Still, this does not mean the recipient wants to receive your messages. Don’t forget, the law requires only the minimum. For long term successful email marketing you need more. A thorough consideration of goals you are trying to reach will not hurt. Also ask yourselves why someone would want to receive your messages. What’s in it for them?

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In email marketing the question of when to send the email notices is often present. If the recipients will benefit from your messages, that is mostly irrelevant. Replace selling with giving Even though you will achieve fast results with messages containing classic sales strategies, this tactic is pretty short-sighted. An interesting characteristic of email marketing is a quick fall of active recipients if sales continue to be your only focus. What else can you offer your recipients so they will stay with you even after the purchasing process? Different discounts will not be appealing to them shortly after that. You probably don’t want to start your relationship with the client from scratch and compete with the competition every time they require your product or service. You can prevent mass unsubscribing by regularly

asking yourselves which useful or at least interesting information you have provided to the recipients who just decided to take their business to the competition. At least part of the message should consist of "non-sales" content. Added value is key. It will often help if you prepare the contents from the viewpoint of an expert and not a sales person. You have a lot of knowledge and experiences. If you share bits of your know-how with your recipients you will attract them every time. This will also build your expert authority as well as trust.

The biggest effects of email marketing will arise when you no longer focus on sales and focus on the recipients.

Of course, don’t forget to spice your altruism with an occasional “offer they cannot miss”. Personalize, test, automatise... Use the available tools offered by advanced email marketing systems. There is no reason not to improve your results constantly. Even though we no longer deal with each individual recipient, the technology enables us to send everyone a message tailored to their specific interests. By doing that you allow the recipient to develop a need to buy and when the time comes to decide on it, you will make sure this decision is right twice. For them and for you.

Preffered Method of Commercial Communication by Age



4% 4%


Text Message

5% 5%

2% 2% 0% 0%

74% 4%

78% 75%



Social Network


1% 0%




Direct mail

4% 3%




19% 27%

2% 2% 3%

18-29 30-39 40-49 50-64 65+

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From online conferences to holographic speakers: welcome to the future! The meetings industry will never be the same as it used to be

Do you remember Second Life? At the peak of its popularity, some people predicted that it would change the world of meetings and conferences forever. They envisioned avatars gathering in the virtual space to hear lectures and interact with each other during virtual coffee breaks. Although that vision did not exactly become true, the combination of broadband internet and high-definition video is changing the way people attend meetings and conferences.

Add to that the impact of the economic crisis, and it becomes clear that the meetings industry will never be the same as it used to be. Judit Sinko is Public relations manager for Cisco in Central & Eastern Europe and CIS. Before joining Cisco in 2001, she worked as Corporate Communications manager of Philips Hungary, responsible for the company's communication on consumer and professional products and solutions, as well as all industrial investments in Hungary. Judit holds a Degree in Business Administration from the College for Foreign Trade and an M.A. in Foreign Affairs from the Budapest University of Economics. Besides her native Hungarian, she speaks English, German and Spanish.

And whilst the players in this market will need to adopt to change, the usage of technology opens opportunities for new types of services. To understand the potentials, let me share with you three stories – and by the way, none of this is fiction, all three are based on real life examples. Our first scene is Slovenia, where for the past 10 years, Cisco Expo has become one of the country’s leading IT and technology conferences. Each year, some 400 Slovenian IT executives and specialists gather for a 2-days conference to hear about the latest trends in networking technologies. However, with the current pace of business life, not all participants are able to “check-out” from their offices for two full days. Using Cisco WebEx online meeting technology, attendees could join presentations real-time, even though they were not able to come in person. Cisco WebEx combines desktop sharing through a web browser with phone conferencing and video. It also has a chat box, so meeting participants can ask questions to the speaker if they don’t want to interrupt the lecture. All you need to join a WebEx session is a computer with an Internet connection, an audio connection – either through your computer or phone,

and optionally a webcam, if you would like to share your own video. Attendees to Cisco Expo Slovenia appreciated the flexibility which the technology offered to them, but WebEx is not only for online conferences and meetings. It can be used to host press conferences (yes, we practice that as well), online trainings, or to offer remote support to customers. In the case of Cisco Expo, it enabled the smooth combination of a live and virtual event in a highly cost-efficient way. My second story is about famous French filmmaker Luc Besson, whom many of you will know for his film Le Grand Bleu. For the launch of his award-winning movie “Home”, he relied on Cisco TelePresence to meet with journalists from 24 countries. In just 2 days, he crossed the globe virtually from Canada to Malaysia, in the most environmentally friendly way. It is important to note that several major hotel chains – including Marriott, Starwood and Taj Hotels, are setting up public Cisco TelePresence meeting rooms as part of their conference offering. As to TelePresence, it delivers high-quality, lifelike video on highdefinition screens and offers a face-to-face experience that makes people feel they are sitting in the same room. Our third scene is Budapest, Hungary. It was shortly after 9:00 am local time on a cold November day in 2010 when Cisco senior vice president Inder Sidhu walked out to the stage to talk about the ideas described in his bestselling book Doing Both. But, in a physical sense, he was not there. His voice and life-size image were delivered by Cisco TelePresence technology from our headquarters in San Jose, California over a distance of almost 10,000 kilometres, across 9 time zones and projected via holography on stage.

“I came to the room and it took me some 10 minutes to realize that the person talking on the stage is not actually there – what

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I see is his holographic image� an amazed visitor to the conference commented. So whether it’s the combination of a life and online conference, a TelePresence meeting which makes you feel you are sitting faceto-face with other participants from dozens of other locations, or a holographic speaker, there are bold new possibilities opening up for the meetings industry. And who knows what comes next? Cisco chief futurist Dave Evans predicts teleportation on the particle level will begin to occur by 2025. Welcome to the future!

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Building Winning Multicultural MICE Teams How to become a successful Multicultural MICE Team

Cultural differences are a fact of life in the MICE industry. Buyers and suppliers are frequently international, and you are almost certain to find yourself working in a team project with people who have different values, ways of behaving and communicating than you do. How do diverse teams perform, compared to homogeneous teams? Leading, or working in, a diverse team requires certain skills to avoid disaster. Research has – counter-intuitively – shown that the worst-performing teams of all tend to be diverse teams – if they are not managed in the right way. Yet, managed well, they can be the best-performing teams of all. (Figure 1) So what sorts of skills are needed? The research cited on the above graph has indicated the following 3 requirements: Michael Gates was a Scholar of St. Catherine’s College Oxford, where he gained an M.A. in English Language and Literature. He worked for five years in radio before moving to Finland where he helped establish the Finnish office of Richard Lewis Communications, which provides crosscultural, communication skills and business language training world-wide. He is now Group Managing Director for Richard Lewis Communications internationally, but also takes an active role as a speaker and trainer. His clients have included Nokia, Microsoft, the World Bank, Duke Fuqua Business School, Rolls-Royce, the University of Oxford, and the Central Eurasian Leadership Academy. He is a board member of the Finnish-British Trade Association, and Director of Operations of The English-Speaking Union of Finland. He has published numerous articles and chapters in books on cross-cultural topics, including in The Telegraph, La Tribune, People Management, and Management Next, the leading Indian magazine for senior executives.

1. Self-awareness and an understanding of the characteristics, values and styles of the other members of the team are a good start. In other words a clear team ‘map’. 2. The ability to build bridges. For example, if you are leading a team you may have to interpret across cultures – “Listen Jeff (American), I know when Robert (British) said at the meeting yesterday that your proposal was ‘interesting’; you thought he liked it, but actually that meant he was against it…” 3. The willingness to take the best of all worlds and integrate different approaches These skills are more in the area of relationship and behavioural skills than the skills of performing tasks. Yet there has been a clear focus on being good at tasks, over the past 50 years or so, as the key to competitive edge in the Western world. The times are changing. Cultures strong at managing relationships are over-taking and even taking over the Western economies – such as the BRIC growth economies, Brazil, Russia, India and China. And the competitive edge to be gained from ‘linear’ behaviour

is narrowing. Linearity is still important – Slovenians are predominantly linear – but it needs to be complemented with strong relationship skills and empathy. We need to be better at dealing with these softer, people issues, to really survive and prosper in fast-changing environments where employees are under stress and cling to their ‘culture’ as the last remaining thing when they perceive that everything else has gone. This should be good news for the meetings and events industry, and a great sales argument to persuade organisations to hold even more physical meetings and events. You can’t deal properly with the people issues in a team or organisation unless they are in the same room together often enough. If a key challenge for your clients in the MICE industry is to get multicultural teams to perform well, and that is a major reason for actually organising those meetings and events, then you ought to be very good at it yourselves! A model of culture Where to start? - It is important to have a model or theory of culture. You need to be able to map yourself and your target cultures in an analytical way. It is no good pumping people full of facts about a whole series of countries, or long lists of dos and don’ts. They will forget, and not be able to apply them. The bestknown models are by Geert Hofstede, Fons Trompenaars and Richard Lewis. The Lewis Model looks at linear-, multi- and reactive cultures in the form of a triangle (Figure 2) - Once you have mapped yourself and your team, you can work on bridging those skill/ attitude gaps. If there are different styles of communication, leadership, persuasion, and diverse attitudes to hierarchy, risk-taking and decision-making between you and the other culture, you need to resolve those differences. There are tools on the web, such as CultureActive, Globesmart, and others, that help you do this.

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- You may even find that learning about other cultures can broaden your own palette of skills. For instance, the Chinese are very good negotiators – is there something we can learn from them? Can we integrate new ways into our approach? Training Taking cross-cultural training can be a highly transformative experience, as people discover truths about themselves for the first time, and begin to realise why others are different, not just how, and what to do about it. Workshops will typically include a mixture of presentation, interactive sessions, video, and group exercises and may even use tools such as a Dialogue Mat to facilitate structured discussion. Establish some metrics with your training provider at the start. You don’t want to just measure how happy participants were, but also whether they remember what they learned. Has their behaviour changed? How would you like to measure improved performance?

Figure 2 Cultural Types: The Lewis Model

Italy, Spain, Brazil, Venezuela

Angola, Nigeria, Sudan, Senegal

Russia, Slovakia, Croatia, Romania

Saudi Arabia, Iraq, U.A.E.

France, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania

Bluglaria, Turkey, Iran

Belgium, Israel, South Africa

India, Pakistan

Denamark, Oreland, Australia Netherlands, Austria, Chech Republic, Norway, Slovenia

REACTIVE - courteous, amiable, accommodating, compromiser, good listener USA


Germany, Switzerlans Luxembourg



Sweden, Latvia

Finland, Estonia

Figure 3: Multi-cultural team Reactive

m atis pragmuracy acc

Diverse Teams Managed Poorly


long-te rm go als

kn ow po of ledge lite Asia sse , calm



s bo peed , driv tto e ml ine fo cus


armth nw ma s hu idea

ility xib n fle ginatio a im


de throroutails ghn es



Korea, Thailand

MULTI-ACTIVE - warm, emotional, loquacious, impulsive

Figure 1: Homogeneous vs. Diverse Teams

Diverse Teams Managed Well

Indonesia, Malasya, Philippines

LINAER ACTIVE - cool, factual, decisie planners

Ground-rules for success - Understand very clearly who you are - State objectives and roles very clearly - Define them in ways which mean something to everyone - Use diversity as an asset - Have fun!

Homogeneous Teams

Linear-active, multi-active, reactive variations

Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia

Portugal, Greece, Chile, Algeria

The successful multicultural team The multicultural team gets strengths from all cultural types, but time needs to be invested in planning the process not just plunging into the tasks (Figure 3).

Number of Teams


n visio





Taiwan, Hong Kong



Strengts - wide horizons - breadth of vision - variety of ideas and approach - stimulating interaction - regianal knowledge - balance of priorities - multi-focus - language pool

Weakness - needs time to adjust to cultural differences and to define mutual goals

38 In focus

Congress Subsidies: a competitive advantage of destinations or »bribery« of the Client? City support often entered the top five criteria

Tatjana Radovič

Over the recent years several destinations have launched »incentive packages« aimed at congress organisers – partly as a response to their higher price sensitiveness, but even more so to enhance the attractiveness of their city / country in the light of strong international competition. This question nowadays often appears during an initial discussion with a potential client, giving destinations that offer a »standardised support«, visibly communicated in all the marketing / sales tools, a competitive edge compared to destinations that provide no such solution. My most recent personal experience happened at the IMEX trade show, where the question about city support often entered the top five criteria being considered as important destination attributes by association clients. There is a clear trend showing more and more cities or countries are approaching this issue and regard municipality / government congress subsidies as a viable marketing investment and a successful tool to reinforce their own image and status. We can also define them as the added value of a destination against others on the marketplace. A recent press release with Prague in focus renewed my attention to this subject. I was therefore spurred to update myself on different models offered by destinations, two of which are not only geographically close to Ljubljana, but can also be regarded as direct competitors in the region. The Prague case: In May 2011, the Prague City Council approved an incentive for congress organizers in the form of free public transport for congresses with more than 500 delegates, and the Prague Convention Bureau very much welcomed this step. The incentive support is not intended for private entities (agencies) who realize the events, but for associations, i.e. non-profit organisations which organise the congress. The Prague City Council expects a visible return on investment, since congresses & meetings, which are ranked among the tourism segments with the highest economic impact, are also essential for the economic development of the city and state. Free public

transport is to be approved only for congresses with more than 500 participants, with at least 20% of them being from abroad and spending a minimum of 2 nights in Prague. This step - the City’s symbolic gesture of support to larger conferences, is nevertheless groundbreaking, as previously there was almost no system of support to them, while in cities around the world far greater incentives are provided as a standard. Being aware that congress subsidies stand more and more prominently among the destination selection criteria, the conclusion was that the lack of local support is one of the reasons for seeing Prague drop in the ICCA world congress destinations ranking from the 8th position in 2006 to the 19th position in 2010. Preparations of transparent rules for obtaining city funds to further support conference organisers (welcome receptions, promotional materials, partial costs of the bid process) are underway. The Salzburg case: As clearly published on their website, Tourismus Salzburg GmbH / Salzburg Congress grants subsidies on behalf of the city of Salzburg, supporting both domestic and foreign events. The subsidies are offered to organisers of scientific events (associations), travel agencies and PCOs with the aim to attract them to Salzburg Congress (city-owned congress centre). To qualify, events must fulfil the following criteria: have at least 250 international participants staying at least 2 nights in Salzburg hotels in the months of January, February, March, July, August or December. The City and Region of Salzburg invite organisers and participants of scientific conventions to a reception at the magnificent, historic prince-bishopric 'Residenz', where guests are welcomed by an official from the municipal or regional government prior to a chamber music concert. This is an elegant gesture of hospitality towards delegates and an added value to organisers. The Graz case: The Graz Tourist Association offers a financial support for conventions and meetings in Graz that correspond to a set of precisely defined criteria. The financial support amounts from 2 to

39 In focus

maximum 7,5% of the actual hotel turnover. For 5- and 4-star hotels a rate of EUR 120, and for 3-star hotels a rate of EUR 70 per room and per overnight are assumed as a basis for the calculation. The applicant for the financial support has to prove the actual overnight stays of congress participants in the city of Graz. The maximum amount of the financial support from the Graz Tourist Association per convention is 16.000 EUR . Requirements for the conference subsidy are: a minimum number of 300 overnight stays in Graz that have to be proved, or a minimum of 500 overnights for a conference series within 12 months. The organizer of the convention (e.g. PCO,travel agency, etc.), as well as the responsible organisation have to submit the application 3 months prior to the event, while the conference subsidy is paid out after the congress and after the actual overnight stays have been proved. On top of the standard of 2%, further percentage points can be granted, depending on a longer event duration, lower seasonality, weekend dates and type of venue (rental of city-owned congress centres brings the highest points in this category). The Rotterdam case: The Incentive Fund is intended for international congresses primarily focused on the harbour/industry, medical and creative sector economic spearheads. Starting in 2006, the fund has helped to draw quite a few extra international congresses to Rotterdam, which has succeeded in creating a competitive edge on other cities, both at home and abroad. Looking ahead, the medical cluster and the creative and the transport & logistics sectors are in the focus of the city of Rotterdam’s economic vision. This has led the Rotterdam City Council to create an Incentive Fund for international congresses, which is meant for initiators of international association congresses: individuals who are active in international scientific associations and engage in bringing their European or global congresses to Rotterdam. The destination’s Incentive Package for international congresses, intended for initiators and organisers, contains among other

the pre-financing fund to support the receipt of international commissions as well as the production and (co-)financing of the congress bid book. The Toulouse case: The policy for supporting conferences has been set up in order to attract the right event projects suiting the political and economic objectives of the destination. Contributing to this decision was the awareness that the meetings industry generates a significant amount of tourism business that has to be consolidated, particularly important in terms of the economic role it plays outside peak periods in Toulouse. Two main types of support – attracting new events and establishing Toulouse as a destination for regular / resident events, are being proposed. In the latter case, the goal is to promote the destination’s influence in its key areas of expertise. The “Incubator of events” supports the transfer to Toulouse of events originally set up in other destinations and their further development. The beneficiaries are: non-profit associations, groups / unions of professionals, towns and associations between municipalities which have acquired the competence in tourism certification, and regional / local tourist offices. Only one application is accepted per beneficiary and per financial year. Eligible conferences must have at least 300 participants and include at least one overnight stay. The potential grants may cover organisation costs (room hire, equipment, safety, costs for official documents, advertising and speakers’ fees), the cost of public transport by the Toulouse Convention Bureau, allocation of the "Toulouse en liberté" city sightseeing pass, etc., however excluding events taking place during the peak tourist periods. The Toulouse Convention Bureau also has a “bid aid package”, which includes creating and publishing bids, providing letters of support and their presence during the bid process, promoting the city at previous conferences to boost delegate attendance, and setting up educational tours with the

organisers. The Copenhagen case: In 2008, Wonderful Copenhagen introduced a new service programme, “Copenhagen to your advantage”. This is presented as an all-inclusive concept making life easier for congress organisers considering Copenhagen as their next congress destination. The substantial demand for Copenhagen as a congress destination has prompted Wonderful Copenhagen to create a brand new range of services. The new “Copenhagen to your advantage” programme offers among other things free site inspections; discounted public transport with the Congress Travel pass; and a complimentary reception at Copenhagen City Hall, with a welcome by the mayor. Currently, some of the services in "Copenhagen to your advantage" are offered by airline operators, hotels and venues; some are provided by the public authorities of Copenhagen; while others are supplied by Wonderful Copenhagen CVB. However, the goal is to have them presented collectively under the coordination of Wonderful Copenhagen. The project was conceived as to improve the services offered to international congress organisers regardless of whether they are considering Copenhagen as their next conference location or have already started the actual planning. The new service programme is available for international associations and non-profit organisations with conventions for more than 300 delegates and a minimum duration of two days. Finale: Six cities – from top-ranking to somewhat less established conference destinations – each one with its own subsidy or support model. That is just a selection. A special mention could go to national convention bureaus’ congress pre-financing schemes – on top.... Ljubljana may have plenty of positive qualities as a meetings destination, however the above topic, in the form of a standard city incentive, represents a major future challenge now marked in pencil on my wish list.

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In-sourcing or Outsourcing your conference management? Associations, these days, need to evolve constantly and conferences are one of their main revenue streams

During the recent IMEX show in Frankfurt, the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) held an early morning seminar on what they believed to be a truly controversial subject. The decision to debate such a hot issue emanated from a long discussion amongst IAPCO Council members about the future of the PCO business! This contentious topic of whether to in-source or out-source conference management has always been a constant dilemma for associations and a permanent nightmare for PCOs: There we are!

Philippe Fournier is a member of the MCI Group management board. He created the Paris office in 2003 although he has been in the industry since 1984, organising congresses and events in all sectors of the associations’ world, in France and all over the world. He is currently IAPCO President and also President of the French Association of Event Communication Agencies (ANAé). Philippe is a member of the IAPCO Training Academy and a frequent speaker at IAPCO seminars throughout the world.

There is a certain tendency in this global world to standardise everything and to think that we all react, think, eat, drink, etc. in the same way. But no, we don’t; humans are all different and so are associations. There are various models with their own advantages and disadvantages regarding in-sourcing and out-sourcing, and it is therefore not necessarily possible to come up with one hard and fast rule which will suit all takers.

IAPCO, however, has a strong single belief: outsourcing is, in the majority of cases, better than insourcing. But the various players in the industry had their own viewpoint on the topic which was then debated during the recent above mentioned seminar. One of the common denominators for Associations and PCOs is that of staffing; both have the same challenge: to find suitably talented staff. The success of the organisation depends on the talent of the appointed staff, their abilities and skills and also the business and the support received from the management.

In other words, all the “stars” need to be aligned to get the right outcome.

Associations by their nature appoint persons who have their own industry specific knowledge, understanding and networks to the Association but that does not necessarily imply business acumen which is today very necessary in order to organise conferences. And, as everyone knows, conference organisation can be a risky business! Associations, these days, need to evolve constantly and conferences are one of their main revenue streams.

They cannot take the risk of potentially losing money nor to be trapped in any kind of financial embezzlement! Organizing a meeting is not only choosing a venue, appointing a local committee, delegating (or not as the case may be) the programme, or indeed the risk, to the locals, implementing the political decisions from the headquarters, from top to bottom, or satisfying the members requirements for a social experience; no, it is more than that. It is managing the profit (through funding and registrations vs. expenses) and acting in the name of the Association (often assimilated to the “brand”); it is also marketing and communicating (not only promoting), and it is managing a continuity of services when it comes to regular meetings. Because Associations know of the importance of these current activities, they think, however, that outsourcing such an essential crucial activity falls in the “don’t do category” as one of my friends says. Of course, they believe, who better than their own staff to understand the priorities of their Association and its goal? Who better than the “Owner” to make the right decisions to then grow the conferences? Whilst Associations are generally smart and committed, the role of conference management requires more than a willing attitude and a ‘pair of hands’. It requires expertise across a broad spectrum, which Associations often lack. Moreover, in our ever developing world, how can in-house

41 In focus

staff organising one, or even five, conferences a year, be truly connected to this evolving environment and aware of the latest trends and technology? The out-sourced service has therefore some significant advantages for the Association to have a partnering company following the dynamics of this world, knowing the latest innovations, regulations and culture as well as the evolution of services provided and understanding of the needs.

The out-sourced service has a real value for money and keeps the Association away from day-to-day social regulations, financial burden and communication hassles. The Association is then free to concentrate on its primary goal. The PCO was born out of the need for an expertise to manage conferences, and conference management is a specific job, involving a number of different skills that are woven together to produce an end effect. Conference organising requires business management to the level required to manage the risk and demands of all the elements provided by a true stakeholder. All these skills are rarely embedded in one or two people – it takes a team and a lot of training and experience to develop the expertise. The Association, by outsourcing, has then the opportunity to choose a PCO that suits its needs the best way and to partner with a specialist who is a true commercial entity looking for, and delivering, the best out of the request. But of course, not all PCOs are matched to all Associations; the Associations even have the choice!

Last but not least, an Association does not lose control by out-sourcing to a PCO. If the partnership harnesses the combined skills of both parties, then it is a recipe for success. Working across a number of different events, building the know-how and learning curves provides the PCO with an innovative yet professional source of experience shared across many clients. It is answering the Association’s expectations which are thus met. It must be therefore recognised that PCOs increase the quality of an event, raise the bar, develop profit and deliver value for money; this is what attendees and stakeholders expect for their meetings.

42 In focus

EVEnTS REACh ThE hEARTh When it comes to relationships, saving doesn't pay off

The debate on communication opportunities, especially the lost ones is an omnipresent topic in our field. Sworn PR folk and all of us who grew up with them believe relationships should be invested in. Time, energy and money. Even more so: when it comes to relationships, saving never pays off. A minus bears a minus. One of the hesitations brought forth by the times when most economic indicators are in different shades of red, is most of all how to chose the tools from the pallet of public relations which will yield fastest and most valuable results. In the language of marketing these are (also) events: organized and planed with a specific aim.

anuša gaši, 1974, has over ten years of experience in the area of public relations. Between 1997 and 2000 she led the PR at City municipality of Ljubljana; she left public administration for a brief period to work at Publishing House Rokus, and after that at one of Slovenia’s most successful ad agencies Imelda. During her time at Imelda she cooperated with numerous Slovenian companies and led complex communications and projects outside of Slovenia. From 2005 to 2007 she was an independent PR adviser and then devoted her time to organizing events. She cooperated in carrying out several large and for Slovenian conditions complex corporative and social events. She is the recipient of one of the most prestigious awards in business communication – the Gold Quill award.

There are a lot of events happening. When I browse through the photos of a Maribor photo agency, which offers an up to date overview of social events at the sunny side of the Alps, I marvel at the many diverse events: corporate, social, star-studded, shallow, without meaning and content (the percentage of these is sometimes dangerously high). Among them I rarely spot an event clearly created for the promotion of a tourist destination or object. If we neglect the traditional ethnographic or similar events numerous in Slovenia,

each year only a handful of meetings with a clear goal emerges: to introduce the professional public the advantages and potential of a specific tourist object or destination. The reasons must be as numerous as there are numerous organizers of the aforementioned events. But let’s not dwell on that and meddle in other people’s business. However, a summary of ten reasons why if you are a professional in the meetings or tourism industry, you should enrich your business activities with a meeting aimed at

the professional public from the area of event organization, marketing and public relations is in order: 1. The people from ad, event and PR agencies have at least a considerable influence on the decisions of their clients. Often they are the sieve for information on what, with whom, how and where their clients can execute their communication plans. Therefore it is important what they think of you and how well they know you. 2. In comparison with complex communication projects events are a financially less demanding investment, which almost always returns. 3. At events you can communicate personal, direct and unfiltered messages to the people relevant for you or the organization you represent. 4. In a few hours you can achieve what you would achieve with complex communication tools in a day, two or more. 5. Instead of fighting for your position on the marketplace you can shower your potential business partners with gifts of everything you make. Use the advantage not everybody gets. A simple yet powerful example: imagine a car maker could gift each potential business partner with a car! 6. A good event is not necessarily expensive. Or put differently: the times when events were about showing of your capabilities are over. 7. An event can feed the relationships from social networks. For a longer time. 8. An event is the best platform to establish (personal) relationships. 9. Gifts given at an event are not a bribe, yet a sign of courtesy. 10. An event reaches where most communication tool hardly ever or never reach. To the hearth. The last of the given reasons does not require a subtitle. We are all well aware of the power of good experiences. And fond memories. As much as we strive for those in our personal lives, we are often aloof about them in the business world. Why is that?

43 In focus

44 In focus

THE SOCIAL LEGACY OF INCENTIVE TRAVEL Generation Y is dissatisfied with the conspicuous consumption

Rob Davidson is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Greenwich, in London. He specialises in teaching and researching conferences and events. Every year since 2006, he has featured in Conference & Incentive Travel magazine’s list of the 50 most influential people in the UK conference industry.

How are incentive programmes helping to improve the lives of the ordinary people who live in the destinations where they take place?

a way that they can make a difference and give something back to the local people in the destination.

In recent years, a growing number of incentive travel planners have focused their attention on how the programmes that they organize can leave a lasting legacy of community improvements in the destinations which host their incentive trips. This has become known as the ‘social legacy’ of incentive travel. Two principal factors have driven this trend:

At the most basic level, a social legacy initiative for an incentive trip could be raising money for a local charity, for example, at the event’s gala dinner. This is one of the most common, and most straightforward, ways of helping local people. When more time is available in the programme, a more hands-on approach to leaving a social legacy can be used: participants take a day or halfday to work directly on a project. This can range from landscaping the garden of a local retirement home to constructing a library in a village school.

Firstly, the widespread perception that companies must respect the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by ensuring that all of a firm’s activities are carried out with due concern and respect for the 3 Ps: People, Planet and Profit. Social legacy relates to the People aspect of CSR.

It involves taking into account how an incentive programme can have a positive impact upon the inhabitants of the destination where the trip takes place. Secondly, attitudes of incentive travel participants have changed, concerning the lavishly-funded, extravagant nature of many incentive trips. Incentive travel participants who are members of Generation Y (usually defined as those born between 1977 and 1995) in particular are dissatisfied with the conspicuous consumption that often characterises such events. This is particularly the case when incentive trips take place in close proximity to disadvantaged communities or in developing countries where the luxurious and extravagant experiences enjoyed by the incentive participants strongly contrast with the underprivileged lifestyle of the local inhabitants. Both of these factors have contributed to the trend of incentive trips being designed in such

Several of the winners of the 2009 Site Crystal Awards Recognition Program, an annual competition designed to recognize outstanding incentive programs, demonstrated that they had a positive impact on the local community. For example, Terra Nova, the African events company, organized a motivational hike for 160 participants through South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountain Range, for their client Reckitt Benckiser, the household, health and personal care products company. Not only did the event provide the local community with employment opportunities, through the recruiting of 16 guides and 8 translators who accompanies the participants on the hike, but also the experience provided many opportunities for the local people and the visitors to interact and for the participants to give back to the communities they encountered.

A donation was made to a local school, and the group of participants also give football equipment to players on the local team, most of whom had never even owned their own football boots.

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Reckitt Benckiser was also able to honour the local chief’s wife with the gift of a cow, therefore adding to the wealth of the herd. Overall, the incentive trip succeeded in creating a powerful sense of community between the participants and the local people, with both sides benefiting enormously from the opportunity to interact with people from a different culture. Another 2009 Crystal Award winner was Carlson Marketing Worldwide, for the 2008 ‘SunRise’ event they designed for Sun Microsystems. SunRise is Sun Micosystems’ global award and recognition program, held every year to honour the company’s highest achievers. The 3-day event, based in Honolulu, Hawaii, was designed to fit in exactly with Sun Microsystems’ own Corporate Social Responsibility principles. During the event, every effort was made to respect the principles of sustainability, by minimising the incentive trip’s impact on the natural environment. But the social environment was not forgotten either, and

after the SunRise event, many of the materials that it had utilized were donated to local organizations. For example, the furniture purchased for the event was donated to the local YMCA; the 20 chalkboards that had served as menus went to a local school and the plants and flowers used as decoration went to a local retirement home for Hawaiians. These examples of how incentive trips can leave a social legacy are part of a wider trend towards incentive travel organisers and their clients demonstrating their willingness to use these events to give something back to the underprivileged people who live in the

destinations where these trips take place. It is a welcome development, since in any destination, including in European countries, there are worthy charities and organizations that deserve the support of those who are more fortunate than they are.

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In ITSELF, MOnEy dOES nOT BRIng hAPPInESS Employee motivation is as important at a time of a crisis as it is during a period of prosperity

Wojciech romaniuk: Daily Life Products Manager in Sodexho Pass Polska. Formerly employed as a marketing expert for Avon Eastern & European Marketing for 6 years, he was responsible for marketing campaigns and market expansion.

Employee benefits serve a slightly different purpose than the regular wage. Their main role is to convince an employee that his employer wants to understand and fulfil his needs. A well-structured benefits package helps to maintain a high level of employee involvement which directly translates into the company's improved performance. Employee motivation is as important at a time of a crisis as it is during a period of prosperity. Only the reasons for launching incentive schemes differ. When the market slows down, employees may begin to feel uneasy and they have to be provided with a guarantee of employment stability. It is also a time when employees are expected to be more involved and to perform tasks that were previously delegated to a larger team of people. For this reason, benefits should also be awarded when the market is stagnant. They motivate employees to work, they are cost effective and can be flexibly managed. This dependence is popularly recognised by Polish businesses. As shown by the results of an ARC Rynek and Opinia survey carried out in December 2008 in joint effort with Sodexho Pass Polska,

Polish companies are not planning to cut their spending on benefit packages in 2009. A third of the surveyed respondents will increase their benefits budgets from 2008, while only 3% will reduce their spending. On average, the respondents are planning to increase their spending on benefits by 2% in comparison with 2008. Fear Offers Poor Motivation A common mistake made by employers at a time of a crisis is the expectation that employees who have retained their positions are sufficiently motivated to work by the fear of job loss. Layoffs lead to a trust crisis among the personnel who, by default, expect stability and future guarantees from the

employer. Worker loyalty has to be secured even on an employer market because it is their involvement, diligence and loyalty that determine the company's performance and customer satisfaction.

The most effective ways of achieving the above are suggested by the results of the cited survey in light of which, in 2008, the most popular motivation schemes among employers were subsidised worker holidays and vouchers which were selected by nearly 50% respondents. Christmas gifts, preferential loans and child support were slightly less popular options (42%, 38.9% and 33% indications, respectively). Other types of benefits listed by the respondents included integration trips (26.7%), event tickets (23.6%), health care for employees (19.9%), additional pension insurance, life policies (9.3%), lunch coupons (8.4%), company products (5.5%) and prepaid cards (0.9%). An incentive system for employees should account for benefits which are highly valued by staff members, while providing the employer with an effective and flexible motivational tool. As an additional advantage, benefits expenditures are largely covered by the Company Social Benefits Fund. Above all, the presentation of benefits is an act of giving. Benefits are not regarded as part of regular wages, but as an additional bonus or a gift from the company. Restaurant vouchers and food coupons are an especially valued motivational tool. They cover meal costs while giving staff members the freedom to choose the place, time and type of the meal. They build positive, long-term relations between the employer and the employees, which significantly contributes to work quality.



Pulse of Laško

Open – mind Creativity

Be Active New Power

Allow us to present you new facilities. You are kindly welcomed to Thermana Laško! Make an appointment: T: 00386 3 423 2480, 3 423 2073 E: Read more:

Wellness New Energy

Event Management Our Hospitality

Congress centre is beeing held by determined standards of a hotel with conference facilities according to international criteria set by Slovenian Convention Bureau. Capacity (1.100 participants): r Big Hall (490), r Gala Hall (120), r 5 Seminar Halls (20 – 220), r 3 Meeting Rooms (14 – 28), r Coctail Bar.

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Don’t keep the creativity out of the hotel kitchen Real creativity doesn’t start and finish with expensive ingredients

After 7 years of working for the National Protocol and Hotel Mons in Ljubljana Bine Volčič continued his education in France. As a successful graduate of the world famous Le Cordon Blue school in Paris he finished his internship with two top-notch Paris chefs: Alain Passard at Arpege restaurant (with 3 Michelin stars) and Jean-Pierre Vigato at Apicius (2 Michelin stars). He was later employed as shift leader at Apicius. After the 2-year education and work experience in Paris he returned to Slovenia in 2009, where he took over the shaping and managing of the culinary offer at Hotel Livada Prestige***** at Terme 3000. Since June 2011 he has been leading the Gourmet restaurant Promenada in Bled.

Hotel guests are getting more and more demanding – also in the area of culinary offer. The golden age of cheap tourism, when all of the meals had the recognizable taste of Vegeta, which ruined the taste of at least two generations, is over. Also over are the times when a hotel restaurant was seen as some sort of canteen where you could enjoy a quick and overly large meal.

Nowadays the guests in tourism are looking for authentic experiences and want to discover local gastronomy. A chef who is aware of this has infinite possibilities to thrill the guest from day to day in a simple way. It is not necessary all five star hotels offer only roast beef and expensive fish fillets. True creativity doesn’t begin and end with the most expensive ingredients, yet knows no boundaries. With daily fresh seasonal

ingredients we can create tasty menus for hotel guests, which are not necessarily expensive. The decisive role is played by relationships with local goods providers and an own herb garden.

I always follow the important principle of fresh ingredients, which did not arrive from overseas, yet were still growing in the field yesterday. When I cook I often decide in the morning what will be on the menu in the evening. I also stuck to this principle when I led the hotel restaurant at Livada Prestige. In a hotel we must not think a rich selection of dishes is more important than their quality. Seven or more menus have no added value to the guest; we rather offer them three excellent ones. Also, we should avoid buffet servings. A pile of food put in heating dishes prepared

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a few hours ago no longer belongs in the hotel restaurant. We should always offer our guest a warm meal served on a plate. This is much more personal and everyone gets a meal made especially for them. Using modern slow cooking techniques in pre-preparation all the main dishes can be made a à la minute even with a larger number of hotel guests. The “all you can eat” system should be left for fast food restaurants. The same is also true for the hotel breakfast. We couldn’t possibly digest 15 different types of salami. A breakfast buffet table should be attractive above all. Instead of industrial salami offer homemade meats and seasonal vegetables. In the winter be creative and offer something else instead of greenhouse grown vegetables. There is nothing wrong with pickled vegetables, fruit compote, apple purée, vegetable spreads, homemade jams and chutneys. Worm bread and homemade croissants are just another step towards victory. The breakfast room shouldn’t be filled with the smell of stale eggs, bacon and sausage, if possible offer these dishes on order. Other than the food the direct contact with guests should be improved, strive to make them feel special. The atmosphere in the dining room should be pleasant.

Guests entering the dining room shouldn’t feel like entering a canteen, even if the hotel has hundreds of rooms. I see the personal role of the chef in a wider sense, not just in the kitchen. He should show himself to the guests, have a chat or prepare a dish or two in front of them every now and then. Let them get the feeling the food didn’t come from a conveyer belt but was prepared especially for them with special attention and a love of cooking.

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Lately you have been appearing in the media a lot, received many awards and opened a new restaurant. What do you think is the reason for your success?

Ana Roš graduated in International affairs and diplomacy at the University of Trieste, active skier and dancer till the age of 18. Fluent in English, French and Italian, a little les fluent in Spanish and German. Passionate traveller since childhood, in love with interesting, varied and fun foods. I started seeing partner Valter Kramar during my student years; we always travelled a lot for the experiences and the food. Hiša Franko was owned by Valter’s parents at the time. 12 years ago our Franko story began – a long arduous story of renovation, accompanied by a strong desire for an own philosophy and a story.

Hiša Franko has a very clear vision and philosophy: it follows the environment and the seasons. It is very recognizable and at the same time different. When an individual is choosing a restaurant/tavern/hotel he is always looking for local specialities and traditions. People would sometimes drive 400 kilometres to dine at Hiša Franko. They are interested in the local, highly personalized kitchen, soft, actually very feminine, varied and colourful. We use a lot of herbs and spices, creating contrast and entertaining the guests. Growing herbs is also part of the tradition of the Slovenian countryside. After a tasking dinner at Franko we serve colourful Loredan teas: tea after the meal, summer tea, refreshing tea – even Italian guests, who swear on coffee after the meal, choose the local story – herbal teas. Then, there’s the local lamb, freshly picked porcino mushrooms, game, raw and wonderful dairy products: alpine butter, cottage cheese and mostly Tolmin cheese to which Valter dedicated a cheese cellar. Tolminec, bought from mountains, where cows graze on meadows over 1000 m above sea level, is matured in this cellar. Tolminc is one of three Slovenian autochthon cheeses, which tend to be unrecognizable and forgotten.

There are a few good caterers in Slovenia. How do your services differ? What separates you from the competition? Catering is a special story at Hiša Franko. We started thinking about catering from sheer need, since Posočje is virtually dead in the winter and since we still have a staff of 12 to support, despite the dead season. Sometimes the requests of our clients are nearly “impossible”, yet the beauty of our work is that we are always winners: the client, who is satisfied and the team of Hiša Franko, for fulfilling the wishes of the client.

You can’t look at catering the same way as serving food in a restaurant: you have to consider where you are going to prepare it and serve it. The pinnacle of our creativity was a wedding in the Venice Laguna last June: the clients were French, very meticulous eaters, among their guests they were even hiding a couple of Michelin inspectors. The groom insisted it never rains in Venice in June. So then we found ourselves on a small island without houses, electricity and water with a black cloud over our head and the furious sea around us. It was raining like god was crying and I was crying as well... but all is well that ends well – only our ingenuity saved the wedding, the clients were overjoyed and the guests didn’t even suspect we were cooking in an outdoors kitchen with flashlights on our heads and rubber boots on our feet... I don’t want to compare our competition to us: all I can say about Hiša Franko is that we always try to provide good and delicious food, be it at home or in the field. To me taste means distinctive and expressive taste: lamb tastes like lamb, polenta is real polenta cooked for a whole hour, the English roast beef is exactly like the one Valter’s mother used to make. And if catering is meant to be fancy, sophisticated, the same requirements should apply to all our dishes: the food needs to be good.

You come from Posočje. Do you include typical Posočje ingredients in the dishes you offer at Hiša Franko, Gostilna na gradu and your caterings? Which ones do you use? The kitchen of Hiša Franko includes all the elements of the Posočje cuisine, this year we even returned the larded p’lenta in a lighter version and concluded with crunchy asparagus to our menu. Almost every dish includes elements of our environment, be it through preparation or through ingredients and finally spices which enrich and accompany the dish. As every country house Hiša Franko has a herb and vegetable garden in the back yard, where you will find cooks picking flowers and

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herbs each morning during the warm months. Gostilna na gradu prepares basic cuisine full of Posočje, many people from Kobarid consider it as their stop, and embassy. Kobarid dumplings for Ljubljana are still made in the Franko kitchen since this is a dish Posočje is especially (and rightly) proud of and which was never written down. The recipe is passed down from generation to generation and it should be kept in our environment. Even today homemakers would fight about the true Kobarid dumpling recipe.

Where do you see the opportunities and weaknesses of MICE tourism in Posočje? Could you highlight some positive examples? The biggest issue of Posočje is that it consists of smaller accommodation capacities, like in Kobarid for example, where all the providers put together can barely manage a larger congress. I recently contacted the mayor of Kobarid, Darja Hauptman with a letter, where I encouraged her to think about how much Kobarid really needs another really good and large enough hotel, to ensure a successful congress story. We have everything the meetings industry needs – excellent ideas for relaxation (fishing, adrenalin water sports, cycling, hiking...) peace, empty roads, just the right distance from large centres and most of all fabulous food. Kobarid is most of all famous for its extraordinary culinary offer. We have available halls and lower costs as cities and larger centres. Could you highlight some positive and negative characteristics of Slovenian culinary providers? Slovenia is actually still in its infancy – there are a few good, European good stories standing above average, yet the majority is still stuck in the commercial – they sell what sells and don’t consider stories and philosophies. They may be right today, since the average eater can relate to their story more than to a

story of someone searching and thinking, yet in the long term this will turn around. The Slovenian guest is developing, travelling, seeing and is curious so he can compare – Slovenian culinary apocalypse has actually already begun. Seeing as you are one of the most original culinary service providers in Slovenia, what do you think will be the trends of the future? We are especially interested in the current and future trends in catering. Last August we opened a restaurant at the Ljubljana castle and thus alleviated Hiša Franko of the burden of sheer survival. We are happy we get to choose whether we are interested in doing catering or not, if we are able to express what we were chosen for at the event: high quality of food and services. Today we have a whole bunch of catering providers, every day I meet vans of different catering companies and different licence plates at the castle. What we should do is specialize: Hiša Franko can’t compete with companies which decided to do mass parties for low costs. Abroad specialisation is already in practice.

The development of you family business is enviable. Where do you see yourselves in 20 years? Abroad? I always say we are at a critical investment age. Valter and I want to finish the renovation on Hiša Franko and Frančeska, the future wooden beauty in the family back yard. What we need most of all is patience: investment costs are high and seasons in Posočje are still unreliable. We will travel abroad like we do now, twice a year for good a vacation or travel, to recharge the batteries and fulfil the need for adventure. We have dedicated our lives and work to Hiša Franko and Posočje. We do everything else just to be able to survive.

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Willingness to Pay for Professional Services Do I Know? Do I Enjoy?

Nada Nasr Bechwati is Associate Professor of Marketing at Bentley University in Massachusetts, USA. Her current research interests focus on transformative consumer research. Her consulting work has focused on measuring customer lifetime value. Dr. Nasr Bechwati has published, among others, in Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology and Journal of Interactive Marketing.

The purpose of this research is to build a model to help understand consumers’ willingness to pay for professional services. Landscaping/Lawn and garden services, carpentry, plumbing, vehicle maintenance, apparel cleaning and alteration, tax return preparations, financial services including investment/retirement planning are all examples of services that, in general, consumers have the choice of doing the work themselves or outsourcing them. I refer to these services as professional services. Professional services that can be produced by consumers present an interesting pricing challenge to service providers. Traditional pricing techniques have called for considering consumers, along with costs and competitors, in setting a price. However, consumers’ perception of the value of a service may have a special importance in pricing in the case of professional services where consumers have the option of producing the service themselves. While previous researchers have studied demographic and economic variables, I argue for a greater role of behavioural variables in determining the maximum price consumers are willing to pay. I hypothesize that consumers’ willingness to pay is mainly driven by two broad dimensions: (1) their ability to either do the work themselves or pay for it, and (2) their readiness to pay. A set of factors fall under these two overarching dimensions. The ability dimension has two faces. The first facet involves skill availability, i.e., consumers’ perceptions of whether or not they can do the work themselves. One aspect of subjective knowledge is consumers’ confidence that they can perform a job comparable to a service provider. Hence, a perception of a difference in quality of the outcomes between one’s work and that of a service provider is expected to affect willingness to pay. The second facet relates to the financial ability or availability of monetary resources. Hence, job security or anxiety is expected to affect financial ability.

Costs of home production are expected to positively influence consumers’ willingness to pay for professional services. Home production is not free and involves costs. For instance, one needs to possess gardening tools and equipment to do landscaping. Readiness to pay is mainly influenced by what else consumers can do with their time and by their interests and preferences. Instead of spending their time on home production, consumers can (1) work or (2) enjoy leisure activities. Opportunity to work for extra time and get paid for it may or may not be available. Moreover, individuals have different levels of appreciation of leisure time. In a broad sense, consumers’ valuation of time is expected to influence their willingness to pay for professional services. Also, consumers’ perception of the effort needed to do the work themselves is expected to influence their willingness to pay for professional services. Research in consumer decision making provides strong support for consumers’ attempts to minimize the effort they put into tasks. Personal preferences and interests are expected to influence one’s readiness to pay for professional services. For instance, consumers may enjoy performing some professional services such as landscaping. Such enjoyment is expected to negatively affect consumers’ willingness to pay to outsource professional services. Moreover, research on reference groups and normative influence lend support to the influence of social others, e.g., friends and colleagues, on one’s behaviour. Accordingly, consumers’ willingness to pay is expected to be contingent on the behaviour of their reference groups. To test my model, I conducted two separate cross sectional online surveys. Each survey focused on an industry; the services chosen for the first and second surveys were apparel cleaning and preparation of tax forms, respectively. Data were collected from 488 consumers for the apparel cleaning survey and

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480 for the tax forms preparation survey. Both samples represent a cross section of shoppers. In the survey, respondents were first asked to indicate their willingness to pay. Questions aiming at measuring the independent variables were asked then. These variables are perceptions of (1) subjective knowledge, (2) difference in quality of outcome between service provider and home production, (3) job security, (4) costs of home production, (5) opportunity of extra income, (6) appreciation of leisure, (7) value of time, (8) effort, (9) enjoyment, and (10) reference group. The last section was devoted to demographic questions including age, income, education and family size. My survey findings lend support to the importance of behavioural variables as predictors of consumers’ willingness to pay for professional services. The behavioural structural equation models had good fits and all direct effects were significant in the two industries examined. Perceptions of subjective knowledge of how to perform the service and enjoyment of doing the service were the most significant variables in my models. Interestingly, the addition of the traditionally studied demographic variables did not result in better models. In addition, for each of the data sets, I ran discriminant analysis with usage of the service (users vs. non-users) as the grouping variable. The discriminant analyses revealed that users and non-users of both professional apparel cleaning and tax preparation services differed primarily on behavioural variables such as enjoyment and reference group behaviour. Understanding which behavioural variables predict willingness to pay for professional services provide insightful marketing implications. Given the importance of perceived knowledge and the difference in quality of outcome in case of make or buy, service providers may consider stressing in their promotional messages how much better the outcome is when they (versus consumers)

produce the service. My findings also imply that making the importance of leisure activities and the related value of time more salient may lead to a higher willingness to pay for professional services.

Reference: Nasr Bechwati, Nada (2011), “Willingness to Pay for Professional Services,� Journal of Product and Brand Management, 20(1), 75-83.

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How we travel today – the newest trends in the area of travel Today’s travellers share their experiences in real time

JWT, a social network of marketing agencies, the Slovenian advertising agency Studio Marketing JWT is also a part of, published the results of an extensive survey of the behaviour of today’s travellers focused on the changes recognized with consumers and the ways and means of travel. Changed habits are mainly a result of the development of new technologies. The newest trends and changes in the way we experience and spend our vacation are based on the use of new mobile devices, real-time connectivity and social networking. The world network JWT presents the three predominant trends. Travel’s Tiny Essentials No more toting guidebooks and folding maps—the smartphone is replacing them, with its location-based services and guides, mobile mapping technologies and many available travel apps. It’s a one-stop shop that connects travellers with their surroundings, each other and travel brands better than any traditional travel guide ever could. A mobile phone as a final and constant companion is changing the landscape of travel and puts the information on the world around us in our grasp and offers a much more personalized experience. The travellers of today can plan their trip during the journey without missing a single step of the way. The reasons for the Travel’s Tiny Essential trend is in the use of a mobile phone as a multifunction device, the expectation of an immediate meeting of needs, hyperpersonalization of the digital world and blurring of lines between the digital and real world. The Travel’s Tiny Essential trend can be seen

through: - the growing number of digital guides (updated editions of printed guides, Wikitravel) - narrowly segmented guides and data (Google, Goggles, Goby, Room 77, Seat Authority) - informative/travel recommendations and advice of locals and past tourists are readily available - Entry of mobile phone makers onto the travel and vacation market (BlackBerry Travel App, Tripper, iTravel) The New Travel Currency Where travellers of old shared (and bragged about) their activities upon returning home, today’s hyper-connected and mobile-enabled vacationers are doing so in real time. Posting photos, video and text updates amplifies the travel experience, affording an opportunity to broadcast far and wide how cool, privileged, worldly, etc. the traveller is. The reasons for the trend of a new travel currency can be found in the possibility of publishing text, photos and video content during the travel, publishing details from your personal life and moments with your loved ones and the desire to stand out among the crowd of published experiences. The trend of new travel currency can be seen through: - a high percentage of following mass cultural and sports events through comments and social media, - the fear of missing an experience (published over the social media), - entry of brands into this field (American Express, “Social Value”, Smirnoff, “Be there”). Unplugged Holidays In an extension of De-Teching, one the 10 Trends for 2011, presented by the global network of agencies JWT, are vacationers

increasingly seeking refuge from technology: choosing to log off in an effort to reconnect with loved ones, fully recharge and savour real-world experiences. While many tourists feel comfortable with their mobile phone within reach, some feel restricted by constant reminders of obligations waiting for them back home. Some travellers see the complete disconnect from technology as the only means to truly leave the world behind. The reasons for a disconnect from technology on vacation can be found in a desire for experiencing the now, reviving relationships with loved ones, living in real time, a growing concern on the negative effects of the digital world, blurring of the line between work and leisure time and a wide digital coverage. The unplugged holidays trend can be seen through: - vacation resorts with a limited access to technology (Arawak beach in Anguilla, Innov isolation package, Via Yoga Digital Detox, offer of Quincy hotel – Be Unplugged), - mobile phone free areas, - entry of different supplier into the trend market (Melchers travel agency, “Windows desktop”; Copa Airlines, “Escape from the office”; Carnival, “Different; The Monroe County Tourist Development Council, “Application does not exist”); Today’s travellers are different from those even a few years ago. They’re tech-enabled, with infinite information at their fingertips, and they’re driven to share experiences as they’re having them. The countertrend is that we’re seeing more vacationers looking to get a break from technology and its dominance over their lives.

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Union of International Associations International Meetings Statistics for 2010

The Editorial Board of Kongres magazine decided to publish the UIA International Meetings Statistics for the Year 2010. In the report bellow we published top 10 countries and cities and also added statistics of countries and cities from SE Europe. For the past 62 years, the Union of International Associations has undertaken, for the benefit of its members, statistical studies on the preceding year’s international meetings. The statistics are based on information systematically collected by the UIA Congress Department and selected according to strict criteria maintained over the years, thus enabling meaningful comparison from year to year. Meetings taken into consideration include those organized and/or sponsored by the international organizations which appear in the Yearbook of International Organizations and in the International Congress Calendar, i.e.: the sittings of their principal organs, congresses, conventions, symposia, regional sessions grouping several countries, as well as some national meetings with international participation organized by national branches of international associations and with at least 50 participants, or number of participants unknown. Not included are purely national meetings as well as those of an exclusively religious, didactic, political, commercial, or sporting nature, and corporate and incentive meetings, the survey of these specific markets not being within the scope of activities of the UIA.

Top international meeting countries in 2010

Top international meeting cities in 2010


Number of meetings

Percentage of all meetings


Number of meetings

Percentage of all meetings

1. USA



1. Singapore



2. Japan



2. Brussels



3. Singapore



3. Paris



4. France



4. Vienna



5. Belgium



5. Seoul



6. Spain



6. Barcelona



7. Germany



7. Tokyo



8. Korea Rep



8. Geneva



9. UK



9. Madrid



10. Austria



10. Berlin



Countries from SE Europe

Cities from SE Europe

22. Turkey


1. %

27. Greece



44. Romania



48. Slovenia



49. Croatia



54. Bulgaria



62. Serbia



73. Macedonia



122. BosniaHerzegovina

































135. Montenegro 3


Novi Sad



151. Albania






56 Surveys

Conventa 2011 and IMEX 2011 participant satisfaction survey Both trade shows reach comparable results

The editorial board of Kongres magazine decided to conduct a satisfaction survey among the SE European participants of Conventa 2011 and IMEX 2011. We used a survey with the same questions at both events. The participants of the survey were the same in 80 %. At IMEX 35 of 67 participants took part in the survey and at Conventa 2011 47 of 122 participants answered. In both cases we gained a considerable sample applicative to the entire population we were researching. We compared 8 of the most interesting questions. The results are presented for each question separately. 1. Please list your main reasons for exhibiting at IMEX 2011/CONVENTA 2011 At both trade shows the three main reasons are: Presentation of the offer at one place, One to one meetings between exhibitors and buyers and Networking. At both shows the exhibitors placed One to one meetings between exhibitors and buyers in first place (Conventa: 48 %, IMEX: 34.5 %), in second place Networking (Conventa: 25 %, IMEX: 29.9) and in third place Presentation of the offer at one place (Conventa: 21%, IMEX: 25%). The results are expected since Conventa is much more specialized and the offer can be adapted to the needs of the buyers. IMEX is a much larger trade show therefore networking opportunities are larger. 2. To what extent do you agree with the following statements? a. IMEX 2011/ CONVENTA 2011 is very important to my business (Graph 1) The chart demonstrates almost all the exhibitors agree both IMEX and Conventa are the right fit for their business. The only difference is that IMEX has more of those who strongly agree as well as those who strongly disagree with this statement.

b. IMEX 2011/ CONVENTA 2011 has the right visitors for me (Graph 2) This chart also demonstrates most exhibitors agree both trade shows have the right visitors (buyers). The difference is again only in the percentage of those who strongly agree or strongly disagree with this statement. IMEX has more of those than Conventa. 3. Did your participation meet your expectations? 90 % of the visitors of both trade shows confirmed this statement. Conventa had a considerable amount more of those who absolutely agree with this statement, 58 % in comparison with IMEX’s 48 %. 4. Please evaluate the quality of your prescheduled appointments with hosted buyers. We used a scale where 5 means excellent, 4 – good, 3 – adequate, 2 – bad and 1 – really bad. With all of the claims Conventa had a slightly higher satisfaction level. The biggest difference is in the number of realized meetings. We can deduce Conventa offers more possibilities for meetings from the results. (Graph 3) 5. Please rate each of the following aspects of IMEX 2011/CONVENTA 2011 We used a scale where 5 means excellent, 4 – good, 3 – adequate, 2 – bad and 1 – really bad. Here Conventa also did better in all areas. The biggest differences are evident with the questions Relevance of visitors to your business and at Green measures, where the exhibitors rated Conventa considerably better. (Graph 4) 6. Did the cost of participation meet the quality of services provided? Here considerable differences among

the two trade shows are visible – 94 % Conventa visitors answered the quality was equal to or greater than the price, while IMEX got 68.6 %. The biggest difference is evident with the claim the quality was greater than the price, since 36 % agreed at Conventa and only 8.6 at IMEX. 7. Do you think that the investment in exhibiting at IMEX 2011/CONVENTA 2011 will pay off? Here both trade shows are pretty equal, since Conventa scored 87 % and IMEX 88.6 %. 8. How likely are you to exhibit at IMEX 2012/ CONVENTA 2012? Here the results were pretty equal as well – if we combine those who will most likely and definitely exhibit next year, IMEX scores 94.2 % and Conventa 98 %.

Conclusion The editorial board of Kongres magazine came to the conclusion the satisfaction survey results are similar for both trade shows. In most cases Conventa did slightly better. Conventa was especially positively rated at relevance of visitors for the exhibitors business, green measures and the claim that quality exceeds price. Considering the result we can asses both trade show are professionally organized and carried out since the grades are well above average. The results display the participants of these two trade show will return to both Conventa as well as IMEX in 2012.

57 Surveys

Graph 1: IMEX 2011/ CONVENTA 2011 is very important to my business


Agree completely


Agree completely

Graph 2: IMEX 2011/ CONVENTA 2011 has the right visitors for me



Agree strongly


Agree strongly








Disagree strongly 0





0 0



Graph 3: Please evaluate the quality of your prescheduled appointments with hosted buyers



Disagree strongly




Disagree to some extend


Disagree to some extend


Agree to some extend


Agree to some extend







Graph 4: Please rate each of the following aspects of IMEX 2011/ CONVENTA 2011

5 4.5 4 4



3,8 3,52



5 4.5 4











3,5 2,8





2 1,5




Satisfaction with the number of realised meetings

Satisfaction with the quality of appointments



Satisfaction with the hosted buyers who attended the meetings

Overall reputation

Relevance of Quality of visitors Networking opportunities visitors to your...




58 Slovenian Convention Bureau presents

News from Slovenian Convention Bureau

SUCCESSFUL PRESENTATION AT IMEX 2011 TRADE SHOW Slovenia presented itself at IMEX trade show in Frankfurt from 24th to 26th of May. The climate in the international meetings industry is positive, which was evident at the show floor. At the trade show Slovenia was represented by the Slovenian Tourist Board, Slovenian Convention Bureau, Tourism Ljubljana and 18 representatives of Slovenian tourism, which is a record number (Adria Airways, Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, Austria Trend Hotel Ljubljana, Grand Hotel Union, Hotel Lev, Hotel Mons, hotel and congress centre Ljubljana, Life Class Hotels & Spa, Bernardin Group, Intours DMC, Kompas Slovenija, Go.mice, Sava Hotels & Resorts, Thermana Laško, Cankarjev dom, Bohinj Park Hotel, Albatros Bled, iDMC). The company Jezeršek took care of the refreshments at our stand. Over 340 buyers visited our stand. Our partners carried out over 250 meetings, prepared ten group presentations visited by more than 100 foreign event organizer. Over 340 foreign event organizers visited the Slovenian stand and showed interest in cooperating, which reaffirms our belief Slovenia is breaking through on the international meetings market. A lot of interest was generated by a fresh and innovative approach and attractive animation prepared by the company iDMC along with the Convention Bureau and Slovenian Tourist Board. It was called the “Teleportation point” – it teleported visitors of the stand to Slovenia. The participants chose a destination and a representative prop. A violin represented the Tartini Square in Piran, a paddle Lake Bled, a coffee mug was symbolic of the atmosphere in Ljubljana and skis for skiing at Kanin. All the participants who visited the Teleportation point will receive their photo in memory of the experience at the Slovenian stand. During the

trade show the Convention Bureau along with Go.mice marketing agency organized a press conference to introduce the marketing campaign Push up 3.0. – BeBee. IMEX trade show noted a record visit despite the economic circumstances. Over 3,900 hosted buyers and around nine thousand visitors. The trade show noted over 57 thousand individual and group meetings, 90 different educational events and a meeting of 25 representatives of tourism industry from 16 countries talking about the true meaning and value of business events. Eva Štravs, the president of the board of Slovenian Tourist Board and Miha Kovačič, president of the Convention Bureau took part in the political forum. There was a significantly larger number of hosted buyers from new growing and important markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China as well as a larger number from Asia and the United States of America. Next year IMEX will celebrate its 20th anniversary and president Ray Bloom announced numerous business, entertainment and humanitarian plans and proudly added the IMEX Challenge will successfully continue and will be hosted by Slovenia next year.

Ljubljana chosen as host of IMEX Challenge 2012 Ljubljana was chosen as host of the international socially responsible humanitarian project IMEX Challenge 2012. We were chosen over New York in a tight race. The project is carried out by the organizers of IMEX, the biggest trade show in the world. The international meetings industry public was notified that Slovenia was chosen to host the IMEX Challenge 2012 at the press conference of the trade show director Ray Bloom. The first IMEX Challenge was organized last year in Poland, the second will be held in Ljubljana. The project of building a learning beehouse at Dolfka Boštjančič Care Centre in Draga na Igu turned out to be a winning idea. Jon Bradshaw, representative of the organizer visited the Slovenian Beekeepers Association as well as Dolfka Boštjančič Centre and talked to the people responsible for this unique socially responsible and humanitarian project. The learning beehouse will be built by 15 representatives of the international meetings market from all over the world. Besides financing their own travel expenses, they will donate at least 1,500 EUR to participate in the IMEX Challenge. All the donated means will be given to the Dolfka Boštjančič Centre. A group of foreign colleagues will construct a beehouse in the garden of Dolfka Boštjančič Centre in cooperation with the Slovenian Beekeepers Association. The pupils of the care centre will get to know the bees, their importance and some of them will learn how to harvest honey. The Beekeepers Association and the Centre will also revive the only Slovenian honey plants greenhouse. During the project the Beekeepers Association and the Centre will also contribute to a textbook on beekeeping for special needs children all over the world which will also be translated into English. On the Slovenian side the project includes the Slovenian Convention Bureau, Ljubljana

59 Slovenian Convention Bureau presents

Convention and Go.mice d.o.o and will also invite a hotel and a DMC to join the team. The hotel as well as the DMC will enjoy promotion within the framework of the socially responsible humanitarian project IMEX Challenge 2012 from June 2011 to May 2013. The logo and link of the IMEX Challenge will be included in the communication and web site of the Slovenian Convention Bureau. The IMEX website IMEX Challege page will be refreshed by the end of the month to include the data on Ljubljana. The event in Ljubljana will take place in the second half of June and beginning of July 2012 (the date may vary due to hotel room availability). The event will be covered by media. During the event Slovenian Convention Bureau will reach out to domestic print and TV media and the international media will receive detailed information on the event by IMEX as well as the Convention Bureau. The project will also be highlighted at Conventa 2012 and all other marketing activities of the Convention Bureau from July 2011 to May 2013. The choice of Slovenia as a host is also a result of successfully carried out activities during the BeBee campaign co-financed by the Ministry of the Economy and a tender of the European Regional Development Fund.

For more information contact:

New strength at Slovenian Convention Bureau

Preparation for this year’s first study visit and workshop for Belgian and Dutch clients Slovenian Tourist Board and Slovenian Convention Bureau will organize a study visit of 33 foreign event organizers from Belgium, Netherlands and UK. The entire technical organization of the programme will be done by DMC Intours, which prepared a creative programme, full of positive surprises. The programme is tailor made for the foreign organizers, includes elements of an incentive trip and will consist of visits to Bled, Ljubljana and Portorož. During the study visit Slovenian partners will have the opportunity to meet the foreign clients at a half-day workshop held at Kempinski Palace in Portorož. The members of Slovenian Convention Bureau were invited to join and will be included in the programme and most social activities during the study visit. The group of visiting congress organizers will include a representative of BBT on line from Brussels, one of the most important media portals. The Benelux market is very important to Slovenian as a congress destination. Direct flights and the number of corporations, event agencies and professional associations enable us the access to this base of potential clients.

The Slovenian Convention Bureau managed to secure additional funds through the Ministry of the Economy exclusively aimed at gaining international professional congresses. To achieve this goal the Convention Bureau gained a new co-worker on June 15th, Vesna Klemenčič, who will be responsible for international professional associations and gaining international congresses for Slovenia. Considering her knowledge of our congress product and contacts in Brussels, the Convention Bureau gained an active member in acquiring international professional events for Slovenia.

Active preparation for Conventa 2012 The Slovenian Convention Bureau and technical organizer Go.mice d.o.o. along with partners are actively preparing for the 4th Conventa trade show taking place between January 18th and 19th 2012 in Ljubljana.

60 Slovenian Convention Bureau presents

The aim is to attract 300 selected foreign congress organizers from entire Europe, who will have the chance to conduct meetings with 140 exhibitors from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Austria and Italy. Registration for foreign event organizers is already open. They will have the possibility to choose between different fam trips: Ljubljana – charming Slovenian capital, Maribor – the European capital of culture in 2012, Alpine pearl – Lake Bled, Portorož – touch of the Mediterranean, Croatian Capital – Zagreb, Pearls of Kvarner Bay – Opatija and Rijeka and Montenegro – the smallest and the youngest European country. The exhibitors are invited to take advantage of early registration discounts available until June 30th 2011. For more information visit

Slovenian Convention Bureau at SIW 2011 The 14th Slovenian Incoming Workshop (SIW) the biggest business event of Slovenian tourism took place in Terme Olimje from 26th to 28th of May. The trade show organized by Slovenian Tourist Board is the biggest meeting of Slovenian tourism supply and demand of important travel organizers on a global level. Abroad the trade show is known as Slovenian Incoming Workshop (SIW). Each year the entire tourism industry gathers to present their offer to a wider circle of partners from abroad – from travel and incentive organizers, to travel agency representatives and bus trip organizers. The entire event is organized as a business workshop where the end result is to increase the number of foreign tourists in the following seasons. This year 268 companies took part at SIW: 134 from abroad with 180 participants and as many Slovenian companies with 204 participants. Many companies took part for the first time. Numerous new companies came from Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Russia. For the first time the trade show hosted organizers from Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Kuwait, Slovakia and United Arab Emirates. This time the event's slogan was "In green shades of Slovenian waters". The event started on Thursday evening, May 26th, with an informal gathering of SIW participants. The participants got to know each other at the welcome reception within monastery walls and next day, after the whole day workshop, sealed their friendship at a Slovenian evening – a night of experiences in Wellness Orhidelia. Foreign guests discovered new tastes of Slovenia on five fam trips: a one day trip took them from Terme Olimia to Obsotelje and Kozjansko, four separate two-day trips went to Dolenjska and Bela Krajina; Ptuj, Maribor, Celje, Ljubljana; Postojna, Piran, Portorož, Bled and Terme Olimia, Dobrna, Laško and Topolšica. Source:

Slovenian Convention Bureau at French trade show Meedex The third Meedex 2011 (March 30th -31st) trade show, the largest meetings industry event in France hosted over one thousand French and foreign visitors from 30 countries along with Slovenia. At the trade show Slovenian Convention Bureau, hotel Park Bohinj, hotel

61 Slovenian Convention Bureau presents

Mons from Ljubljana, Sava Hotels Bleda, LifeClass hotels from Ljubljana, Kompas, Adria Airways and Tourism Ljubljana presented themselves. Agency Intours and hotels Bernardin took part in the trade show individually. All in all, the event gathered 1,307 exhibitors and visitors (3 % more than in 2010). Among them were organizers of corporate events and representatives of international associations and agencies. 125 international meetings organizers were invited and around 10,000 meetings were carried out during the trade show. Ambassador Veronika Stabej also attended the trade show, highlighted the importance of the French tourist market and stated Slovenia is still not a recognizable destination on the French market, during her talk with representatives of Slovenian hotels, travel agencies and airline. The Embassy of Slovenia in Paris therefore gladly supports the efforts to increase recognisability and credibility of the Slovenian meetings industry and business tourism offer and in knitting tighter alliances with French business partners. For Slovenia the French market is especially important due to easy access and a direct air connection to Paris.

Marketing and other activities of the Slovenian Convention Bureau for the second half of 2011

Destination Module – 31. March in Bled and Marketing Communications Module 14. April 2011 at Congress centre of hotel Slovenija in Portorož.

- EIBTM, Barcelona (29. November – 1. December 2011), including a business dinner for partners;

In 2011 we are planning to introduce a pilot project of certification – Certified Congress Organizer. More information at kristina@

STUDY VISITS with workshops for foreign event organizers in Slovenia (in cooperation with STB) - Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK (8.–10. July 2011), 33 people; programme by: Intours DMC - Germany, (2.–4. September 2011), 20–25 people planned; programme by: Kompas DMC - France (30. September–2. October 2011), 20–25 people planned; programme prepared by: Liberty Slovenia DMC - Strategic meeting of Slovenian Convention Bureau board members: August – September 2011 - SCB Council: November 2011 ACADEMY CONVENTA EDUCATION PROGRAMME In 2011 the Slovenian Convention Bureau and technical organizer Go.mice d.o.o. prepared educational modules in spring and fall semestres. The aim of Academy Conventa is transferring practical knowledge among its members based on the principle of active learning. The educational programme for 2011 aims to stimulate critical thinking, problem solving as well as cooperating and using gained skills at the work place. Successfully carried out modules in 2011:

More information on the modules at: Fall semester modules: - The Bidding Academy, Linda Pereira 8.–9. September 2011 - Basic module 22. September 2011 - Destination module 6. October 2011 - Marketing communications module 20. October 2011 - Congress practicum 10.–11. November 2011 For more information contact:

62 Slovenian Convention Bureau presents

List of members of Slovenian Convention Bureau We would like to introduce all the members of the Slovenian Convention Bureau along with their acquired standards and contacts. You can find more information on the Slovenian Convention Bureau and its members at the website

Name of Slovenian Convention Bureau member

Name of contact person




ABC rent a car, EUROPCAR Slovenija

Mitja Karun


Adria Airways

Alen Mlekuž


Airport Ljubljana

Janez Krašnja

Austria Trend Hotel Ljubljana

Jernej Osterman

Cankarjev dom

Dušica Todorovič

Intours DMC

Tomaž Krušič


The Slovenia Times

Brane Krajnik


Javni zavod Ljubljanski grad

Maja Pangršič

M-Tours Bled

Miro Mulej


Hotel Paka

Stanko Brunšek



Gorazd Čad


GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre

Špela Terpin


Grand hotel Union

Renata Balažic


Catering Jezeršek

Jure Jezeršek


HIT Holidays Kranjska Gora

Polonca Bačnar


HIT Nova Gorica

Nelida Nemec


Hotel Lek

Sandra Fiorelli


Hotel Lev

Saša Špolar


Rogaška Hotels & Lotus Terme

Damijan Merc


Best Western Premier Hotel Slon

Nataša Keršič


St. Bernardin, Adriatic Resort & Convention Center

Mojca Gobina


LifeClass Hotels & Spa Portorož

Marko Lenček


Kobilarna Lipica

Bogdan Capuder


Kompas DMC

Tina Možina


Koren Sports

Matija Koren


City Hotel Ljubljana

Erika Bokal



Matej Mejovšek


Hotel Mons - Hotel in kongresni center Ljubljana

Gregor Gorenc


Alkemist - European translation agency

Saša Gorše

Health resort Radenci

Miha Veberič



Robert Omovšek




63 Slovenian Convention Bureau presents

Name of Slovenian Convention Bureau member

Name of contact person



Klaro d.o.o.

Uroš Čimžar


Sava Hotels and Resorts Bled

Elvira Krupić


Slovenian Tourist Board

Karmen Novarlič

Terme Čatež

Marjanka Bužančič



Terme Krka

Renata Zorman


Terme Maribor

Darja Slivnjak

Terme Olimia

Alenka Brglez


Terme Ptuj

Tanja Božič


Terme Spa Rogaška

Katarina Abraham


Liberty Incentives & Congresses Slovenia

Boštjan Horjak


Tourism Kras

Igor Blažina

University of Primorska, Faculty of Tourism Studies Portorož

Petra Zabukovec Baruca


Hotel Astoria Bled

Alisa Cerič


Vivo Catering

Jerneja Kamnikar


Bled Culture Institute

Matjaž Završnik


Ljubljana Tourism / Convention Bureau

Tatjana Radovič


Maya Team

Borut Nikolaš


Maribor Tourist Board

Bernarda Karo


Vila Bled

Petra Čuk


Gregor Levič


Bohinj Park Eco Hotel

Nataša Andlovec


Hotel Drnča

Vesna Lešnik


Hotel Plesnik

Marjana Cvetko


Kempinski Palace Portorož

Marcos Torres Mueller


Sport centre Pohorje

Iris Kociper Haas


Terme Unior Zreče

Breda Einfalt


Thermana Laško

Mojca Leskovar


Hotel Triglav Bled

Marcela Klofutar


Event agencija Profit

Uroš Zajec

Tourism Bohinj

Klemen Langus



Srečo Peterlič


Tourist Board Portorož

Jadran Furlanič


Antiq Palace Hotel & Spa

Katie Smirnina


* in the process of standardization






64 Slovenian Convention Bureau presents

Introduction of F and G standards of the Slovenian Convention Bureau

The Slovenian Convention Bureau has prepared a standardisation for its members, based upon the existing standards and recommendations in the field of business tourism. The bureau sees standardization as a strategic tool in raising quality and recognisability of the Slovenian meetings industry. Slovenia is amongst the first countries in the world to introduce unified standards in the field of the meetings industry. The certificates of a certain standard confirm the service provider fulfils strict criteria in its category and is a reliable and trustworthy partner in the opinion of Slovenian Convention Bureau. The certificates are valid for three years so the fulfilment of criteria is constantly monitored. What do standards F and G really mean? Category F, congress hotel offers the widest spectrum of services. The main services are hotel accommodation, halls with technical equipment and catering. Congress hotels must be at least a 4 star category, the number of hotel rooms must be in proportion with the size of the largest hall. The hotel must also have a plenary hall, foyer and additional halls in proper proportion with the largest hall. Furthermore, the hotel must have its own tech support and catering for the need of the meetings, as well as sales people with experience in the meetings industry. Category G, hotel with congress facilities must have at least 3 stars. The required conference facilities are somewhat smaller – such a hotel must have at least one plenary hall and at least one more hall for parallel meetings and a proper foyer for catering, registration or a smaller exhibition. A restaurant does not count as a conference space but a hotel must have one nonetheless.

Introduction of Slovenian Convention Bureau members who achieved F AND/OR G standard

St. Bernardin, Adriatic Resort & Convention Center Mojca Gobina Obala 2, 6320 Portorož, Slovenia +386 (0)5 690 70 00

Austria Trend Hotel Ljubljana Jernej Osterman Dunajska cesta 154, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia +386 (0)1 588 25 13

LifeClass Hotels & Resorts Marko Lenček Obala 33, 6320 Portorož, Slovenia +386 (0)5 692 90 30

Hotel Lev Saša Špolar Vošnjakova 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia +386 (0)1 433 21 55

Hotel Mons - Hotel & Congress Centre in Ljubljana Gregor Gorenc Pot za Brdom 55, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia +386 (0)1 470 27 01

Hotel Slon Best Western Premier Nataša Keršič Slovenska cesta 34, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia +386 (0)1 470 11 55

Terme Maribor d.d. Darja Slivnjak Pohorska ul. 59, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia +386 (0)2 300 81 00

City Hotel Ljubljana Erika Bokal Dalmatinova 15, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia +386 (0)1 239 00 00

Thermana d.d. Mojca Leskovar Zdraviliška c. 6, 3270 Laško, Slovenia +386 (0) 3 423 20 00

Antiq Palace Hotel & Spa Katie Smirnina Vegova 5A, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia +386 (0) 838 96 700

Grand Hotel Union d.d. Renata Balažic Miklošičeva 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia +386 (0)1 308 19 58

SLOVENIA MEETINGS Feel the people. Taste fresh ideas.

66 Congress travelogue


Congress impressions from Skopje

In the last days Skopje has been filling the pages of newspapers due to 22 meter statue of Alexander of Macedonia they are planning to erect in their main square. The number of building sites in Skopje simply cannot be overlooked. Within the framework of the project Skopje 2014 they plan to build an arch of triumph, a wax museum and new governmental buildings. Project Skopje 2014 has upset the local population and reopened the ever present unsolved issue of the name Macedonia with neighbour Greece. The Greek opposition has slowed down Macedonian membership in NATO and the European Union. The dispute has been going on for two decades and represents a huge hurdle for the integration of Macedonia into the international meetings industry community. The Macedonians don’t claim to be the successors of the antique civilisation, but they did take over the name of the region conquered by Slavic tribes in the 6th century A.D. The area of the today’s Republic of Macedonia was part of the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empire and later under the authority of Serbian princes and tsars, followed by nearly half a century of Turkish rule. During the national awakening in the 19th century the Slavic people of the area started developing a national awareness. By accepting the name of antique Macedonia they distanced themselves from neighbouring Serbia and Bulgaria, their already developed national awareness and historical claims to rule over the region. Only after the Second World War the Macedonians became known as an independent nation with a recognized national identity. This is also evident in the religious area with the secession of the Macedonian Orthodox Church from Serbian church. The Republic of Macedonia proclaimed its independence on the 8th of September 1991 and started an arduous journey to join the international community. The architecture of Skopje is as colourful as its culture and national structure. The Christian and Muslim style keep alternating. Above the city on the hilltop of Vodno an 80

meter millennium Orthodox cross dominates and reminds us it is more important than the minarets in the city. The old bazaar is thrilling. In 1963 Skopje vas struck by a catastrophic earthquake during which almost 70 % of the city was demolished. The earthquake set off a modernistic renovation which was set to become a model of development of the entire socialist world. The author of the urban plan was the renowned Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. The general impression is an airy, modern and slightly outdated architectural image of the city. Despite that Skopje offers a few pearls of modern architecture which still seem futuristic. Unfortunately the project of Kenzo Tange was never finished; he would probably detest what his plans turned into today. The congress offer of the city is dominated by the Skopje Saem with the Metropolis Arena situated by the main road to the city. The majority owner is the Slovenian company Era, which developed an excellent portfolio of international fairs and successfully develops the meetings industry. From 1995 they are members of UFI (Union of International Fairs) and CEFA (Central European Fair Alliance). Annually Skopje Saem hosts over 8,000 exhibitors from all parts of Europe and over a million visitors. The main deficit of the fair is the bad shape of the closes hotel Continental, which is in need of a thorough renovation and doesn’t match the level of the fair. In the hotel scene Hotel Aleksander Palace is a much more important player with a multifunction hall and a maximum capacity of 1,400 participants, which can divide into a series of smaller halls. This is currently the best congress hotel in the city. The Holiday Inn also has congress capacities of 6 conference halls and has seen its best times during the eighties. The hotel Best Western Tourist also offers conference capacities. A number of smaller hotels offer meeting halls (Hotel Karpoš and Hotel Arka). Over 40 mostly smaller hotels in Skopje meet the needs of the current congress and exhibition image of Skopje.

67 Congress travelogue

The city has a few interesting event locations which are used randomly. There is no overview of locations for meeting planners. Among others a few museums could be used for events as could the fort Kale as an outdoor location. The biggest disadvantage is the development of the congress infrastructure. Poor air accessibility is number one, Skopje doesn’t have a convention bureau and city transportation isn't in order. The airport is in renovation. They lack in professionals fluent in the international language of the meetings industry. Other than Skopje fair there are no real PCO and DMC agencies. Skopje and Macedonia are a heaven for incentive programmes which currently don’t exist and nobody is offering. In Skopje everything happens with a bit of a delay, yet is accompanied by a feeling of relaxation and freedom. The culinary and night life are among the best in the region. The food is simply divine. In this area Skopje breaths in the rhythm of larger metropolises and can be compared to Belgrade in many aspects. The hospitality and kindness of the Macedonians is unbeatable. The dispute over the name definitely effects the positioning of Skopje’s meetings industry, which is virtually non-existing in

the international meetings market. Despite that the atmosphere is lively and the congress position of Skopje can improve immensely with the development of basic infrastructure and a convention bureau. Comparison with the Region: As capital of Macedonia Skopje is a crossroads of internationals paths and has all the predispositions to develop the meetings industry. It still has a long way of investing into infrastructure. A near neighbour is the Greek city Thessaloniki, which is far more developed and hosts up to 15 international congress annually, in comparison to Skopje which only hosts 1 according to ICCA. In Skopje a convention can be organized with some effort, yet for a serious breakthrough it needs to look to its neighbours for a model of successful development – the Thessaloniki Convention and Visitors Bureau, which combines over 100 members. Destination grade

** Marks

For more information visit: Gorazd Čad

***** **** *** ** *

excellent convention destination quality convention destination recommendable convention destination average convention destination passable

68 Congress personality

Enfant terrible Uroš Zajec

Could you introduce yourself in two words? Or – if we look carefully at your pictures – who is the rabbit and who the magician? Two words: rabbit, magician... Yet your second question is also in order! The magician is every one of us and the nature around us... we mostly bewitch ourselves! Since Rabbit (Zajec) is my last name, I’ve been doing magic on myself, one way or the other, for a few decades! Since I am so lucky to do magic at events I also have the possibility to enchant other – guests, client, the team and again.... myself. How? In the second grade of school I performed a two hour magic show or put better, illusion show. At that time I spontaneously observed and marvelled at the reactions of the viewers to the illusions. When I later finished studying photography I started to connect the experiences from the world of magic and the world of photography. In both cases we are dealing with viewers experiencing an illusion. This is how I transferred these experiences into the world of video and graphics design and started to explore their connection. Inevitably I arrived at psychology, sense organs and emotion, which opened the door to the magical world of events, where sensual and emotional excess is key. Which were your first and your current employment? 21 years ago I founded the event and marketing agency PRO FIT, which has been my only job. Within the agency I perform many functions; my favourite of these is the

production of complex events. Which was the last book you read and which book would you recommend to our readers? “The Book of Nothing” is the answer to both questions! A book about nothing? Does it even exist? Hmm, this might be a rhetorical question, but if I understand it directly, I can answer it as well. This is a book which addresses the issue of what exists, what is illusion, what is reality and what is illusion and how the human brain understands reality and illusion. Have I mentioned the book is about the perception of illusion? This is where I gathered the understanding of the illusion of an illusion. Such findings help me perform profound research on the guest’s experience and understanding of an event.

Which event in the last month or so did you find interesting? We were recommended to a group preparing prestigious events in Italy and to really understand their guests and their psychological needs we took part in their latest event. At the event they introduced three high-end brads – Aston Martin cars, Jaeger-Le Coultre watches and Venica & Venica wines. The event took place in mighty wine cellars where every corner held a showcase for prestigious products, each with its own watchmakers concierge, between the barrels 007’s cars were parked, each hall had its own culinary offer along with selected wines which can be found

in the collections of European royals. The event later moved outdoors somewhere between the hacienda and the pool, between the tennis court and the forest...and turned into a party till dawn. The next day the event continued with test drives, degustation and watches for sale. The guests were wealthy Italians and foreigners, and fitting with the scale of the event, many arrived in private helicopters. A few days after the event I took my team for a presentation of our dramaturgical and technical suggestions of upgrading such events and if the stars are on our side we will begin producing events together in October. Which was the last movie you saw? In the cinema Inception, at home Stardust. Each of them four times, so they are the last eight movies I saw. How many languages should a person, producer, organizer of events speak? One. What do you mean? There is only one language needed to communicate – the human language! Sometimes people didn’t talk as much, the less people understand each other the more we need to talk and develop more complex "foreign" languages, using which we often don't understand ourselves. Verbal communication is a skill and its first rule is to understand that people don’t understand each other verbally. Only when we realize this we can start upgrading the verbal and nonverbal communication.

69 Congress personality

At events we also communicate through writing and hearing, yet for the human brain this represents only 7 % of all communication at the event. Who were your role models in your youth and who are they today? When I was young I was quite the enfant terrible which I seem to also be today, according to your magazine. I didn’t really have any role models when I was young nor do I have them today. Wait a minute, who says my youth is already over? What is the first thing you do when you come to work? As a rule I wake every day without an alarm clock, when I have to. When I wake up I do what any of us would do...bathroom, toilet... Yes, but what do you do when you arrive to work at your company? I don’t really go to work! I do what I like to do (most of the time) and people pay me to do it (most of the time). My working hours are therefore 24/7 and at the same time never. I like to socialize, that’s why I attend meetings, receptions, events, meet people who need help in producing their events and other marketing service and that’s how projects are born. They do need to be executed after that, but that’s not work, that’s a hobby, joy, creation...something. Sometimes my “work” starts at 4 in the morning, sometimes it ends then, sometimes it doesn’t even start. What influenced your life the most? Was it a person or an event? Was it a person or an event?

That’s hard to say – a very important event in my life was definitely my birth. The second very powerful event was my rebirth. When I was trekking through the desert of Oman with Desert Soul, my ex wife “pulled” me back to Slovenia early and thus saved me of a certain death. What are you most proud of? I’m most proud when we create the conditions to please everyone at the same event, same group. Which success story from the area of tourism would you highlight? Tourism is a very old, yet ever changing industry. For me success is what the Slovenian Convention Bureau is doing – its team is helping to combine a number of key factors: suppliers, business, partly politics, entertainment, knowledge, promotion, work and most of all the region, which puts them on the world map of tourism and meetings industry. What do you miss most in SE European meeting industry? Due to a long period of non-market economy the region lost a tradition developing decades if not centuries before. This of course has positive and negative consequences we feel in this industry. I believe we would have it easier if the industry had a deep, wide and most of all a stable foundation to build our stories on. Could you share your favourite places to visit in spring, summer, fall and winter? That would be Ljubljana, from which I venture on numerous journeys and explorations of

Slovenian and world’s places, people, nature, habits, foods...yet I always love to return to my home! What do you do in your free time? I like to disappear – we seem to be back at magic again! I like to disappear in my own peace and the beauty of being with people I like. Your life’s motto? Enjoy!

70 History/Future

Grand Hotel Toplice The hotel with the longest tradition and the best view of Bled

Grand Hotel Toplice is the hotel with the longest tradition in Bled. In 1850 a postal principal Hoffmann from Ljubljana started building one of the first hotels in Bled by the warm springs restrained near the Bled lake shore in 1818. It was opened in 1854 and named Luisenbad after his wife Luisa. In 1875 it was enlarged and modernized. By that time it had three floors with 40 rooms, a bath and a boat house. In 1919 the Luisenbad was purchased by local Jula Molnar. It was renamed to the Slovenian name Toplice. The owner had a good ear for the needs and desires of the guests and under her leadership Toplice became the most modern and luxurious hotel in the country. In 1923 a roman style spa with the water from thermal springs was completed within the hotel. The owner Jula Molnar enlarged and completely renovated the hotel in 1931 according to the plans of Austrian architect Franz Baumgartner. Until today its exterior remains unchanged, a part of the interior decorations remains preserved. The new hotel had 123 rooms with all the comfort of its time and a wonderful view of the lake and the Bled panorama. Jula Molnar added the word “grand” to the hotel’s name and rightfully so. The hotel hosted the most eminent guests of Bled at the time, from politicians to diplomats and artists. During World War Two the German occupying army was stationed at the hotel. After liberation the hotel hosted wounded and disabled partisans. It reopened for guests in May 1946. In the decades after the war Yugoslavian

president Josip Broz – Tito hosted foreign statesmen and diplomats in Bled and the hotel housed many foreign delegations. After Slovenia’s independence the hotel played host to many stately meetings and hosted numerous celebrities. Among the visitors from abroad many return to Bled again and again and become valued guest and friends of the hotel. During the last renovation in 2002 the hotel was styled in the original style of the thirties. The magic of the olden days was preserved yet with new splendour and all the modern comfort. That is why Grand hotel Toplice remains unique in Bled. Since 2009 it is the only Slovenian member of international luxury hotels association “Small Luxury Hotels of the World”. The hotel still keeps a priceless guest book where the most famous guests have been signing in since 1947. Among the signatories are numerous statesmen (Husein, king of Jordan, Willy Brandt, Ban Ki Moon), artists (Arthur Miller, Pablo Neruda) and other worldrenowned guests (Simon Wiesenthal, Gari Kasparov, Paul McCartney…). On the 80th anniversary the hotel in cooperation with Gorenjska museum Kranj, opened an exhibition offering an interesting insight into the history of the hotel and tourism in Bled. Besides the picturesque materials featuring the building plans for the hotel, the visitors can also examine a part of silverware and porcelain from the period before World War Two and right after the war, brochures from different periods and a book of reservations from 1947.

71 History/Future

72 Examples & advice

Good practise examples

A modern information system to increase the quality of congress services of Grand Hotel Union Client: Company Grand hotel Union d.d. Contractor: MAiS Informacijski sistemi d.d. Location: Ljubljana Time frame: August 2010

The company Grand Hotel Union underwent a wholesome renovation in 2008 and established a modern information system Fidelity to facilitate the managing of the hotel and more efficient receiving of guests. They also wished to introduce an integrated information system from the area of banquet and congress activities, which would improve the quality of business and abolish the issues they faced in the past. Therefore the company in cooperation with MAiS d.d. established a new integrated information system “Fidelity Banquet & Event�, which covers and manages the work of all key divisions (sales, technical services, F&B division, reception and housekeeping) necessary for the execution of an event. A large benefit of the system is noticeable in better and more organized communication among individual divisions and in increasing the control over carrying out individual activities during the preparation of a congress or banquet event. The new information system manages the entire work process and

contributes to a consistency of work and work procedures. The sales team for example gained a quick access to available capacities and a faster and easier way to prepare an offer for the client as well as easier billing, since all of the expenses of the client are automatically noted down. The instructions to each individual division are also automatically generated; each division has the possibility to confirm concrete task completion with the help of a touch screen. The monitoring is carried out by a monitoring system of ordered and carried out tasks. An integrated modern information system Fidelity Banquet & Event enabled a high standard of congress services, uninterrupted managing of business processes and alleviating the staff, which now has more time to attend to our guests. At the same time all the received data on the client and their spending enable better intelligent CRM.

73 Examples & advice

A culinary – historical journey through Bled with the aim of introducing the heritage of hotel Triglav and Bled Client: Magazine Vino Contractor: Hotel Triglav Bled Location: Bled Time frame: 13th of May 2011

Hotel Triglav in Bled set a long term goal to increase culinary and wine culture. These goals are pursued through the Cooking school of chef Uroš Štefelin and house events where traditional meals prepared in a modern way are introduced. The events are enriched with commentary of beverages makers and with a musical – cultural programme. They are aware of the connection of the hotel to its history and surroundings. They aim to introduce a wholesome feeling of the destination to their guests through complex programmes.

The program was enriched by a game of the Magazine Vino on the topic of Bled with prizes contributed by hotel Triglav. The contents were upgraded by an exhibition of old hotel brochures and artefacts from the old Triglav. The guests of the Unforgettable evening are richer for an experience on key events in Bled’s history, traditional Slovenian cooking ingredients and different wine cultures in the area of Austria-Hungary.

The magazine Vino invited its readers to a series of events called “Unforgettable evenings”, which are organized with trusted partners. The event is entirely planed by the partner. The guests of the Unforgettable evening were introduced to hotel Triglav and Bled through time and space. By preparing the programme the hotel aimed at fulfilling the long-term goals of the tourist development of Slovenia. The programme was designed so it can always be offered to clients who wish to prepare a vintage experience of Bled for their guests. The programme is adjusted to the number of guests and the desires of the client. 1. Reception of the guests at Bled-Jezersko train station with spirits from Trsegvav farm from Zasip, “flancati”, “potica” and bunt cake along with a greeting of Mr. Janez Fajfar, mayor of Bled. 2. Departure of the train towards the lake, introduction of “pletnar” boatmen, a ride with the “pletna” and a meal at the other end of the lake. 3. A walk of the guests to the hotel garden and an introduction of the history followed by a meal. 4. A tour of the house wine cellar with a lecture on Slovenian wines by sommelier Damir Salkič. 5. Continuation of the evening at Restaurant 1906 at Hotel Triglav.

74 Examples & advice

In the kingdom of Zlatorog Client: Slovenian Convention Bureau Contractor: iDMC and brewery Pivovarna Laško Location: Laško Date: 17th of March 2011

During the 7th assembly of the Slovenian Convention Bureau the company iDMC carried out a team bonding for SCB members. In cooperation with brewery Pivovarna Laško they prepared a new team bonding programme, which included elements of the local environment and presented one of the oldest traditions in Slovenia – brewing beer. The trail through the brewery followed the path of the king of beer to the basement, where participants tried to taste the difference among various beers, to the filling room, where they counted bottles. The most interesting points of the trail were definitely the beer tasting and a recreation of a beer advertisement. In their photos the groups tried to capture the spirit of the king of beer and the brewery as well as the pride of the brewing tradition. At the end of the programme all of the groups gathered in the place where they took their team brewing photo and continued the party with a tasting of products from Laško brewery as well as a honey beer brewed for the occasion. With the honey beer the programme was made even more in tune with the local environment since the region is also well known for its beekeeping. The programme of the assembly concluded with a honey-inspired dinner.

Incentive meeting for trustees of www. portal Client: Slovenian Tourist Bord Contractor: LTO Sotočje – TIC Kobarid Date: 25th to 26th of November 2010

Slovenian tourist board chose the Soča valley, more accurately Kobarid as the venue for their 8th Incentive meeting of portal trustees. Over 80 contributors of the portal attended – representatives of local tourist organisations, tourist associations, public institutes, spas, hotels and other companies, involved in tourism around Slovenia, presenting their offer at the tourist portal. The professional part of the 2-day meeting took place in the morning, in the afternoon the local tourist organisation prepared a programme where the visitors got to know and experience the history, tourist offer, tradition and tastes of Posočje. The freshly fallen snow made the visit to the World War One outdoor museum Kolovrat and a military lunch at a Mediterranean terrace in the setting sun a truly VIP experience. If we add the lunch consisted of a deer goulash with polenta from the fireplace and deer salami from Jelenov breg tourist farm and was followed by a visit to the tourist settlement Nebesa (Heaven) we are not very far from the description “heavenly”. The participants got to know that Posočje offers vivid ethnological heritage daily in the cheese making museum “Od planine do Planike”, which introduces the live heritage of Tolminc cheese and other dairy products, which the participants also got to taste. The legendary owner of camp Koren, Lidija introduced the eco wooden houses by the river Soča and her experiences with gaining a European certificate of Eco Accommodation. In the idyllic village of Drežnica pod Krnom the guests witnessed a replay of the experience of Drežnica Carnival with witty comments and explanations, which made them laugh. Jelka from Jelkin hram made an excellent homemade dinner. The cheese soup was the clear winner among soups. The first day ended with music and dancing and the next day started with a visit to Kobarid museum, one of the best war museums in Europe – the contrast was obvious. After the educational part of the second day of the meeting, the awards ceremony and a lunch at restaurant Topli val the participants left the snowy Posočje full of new knowledge and experiences.

75 Examples & advice

Discover the secrets of GR - ljubljana exhibition and convention centre! Client: G3 Spirits (Jägermaister) Contractor: Pristop d.o.o. Date: 9th of June 2011

ExcessDNite was an invite-only event hosting only the chosen ones that were welcomed by the world most famous herbal liqueur Jägermaister. Light cubes, prestigious atmosphere and attractive girls with trays full of ice cold refreshments turned the ExcessDNite party in one of the most visited and popular parties of this year. Under a giant disco ball, the chosen visitors awaited the arrival of the big S who, in a more than two-hour set, lifted the spirits of everybody – the Slovene elite and other guests. Among all the lovers of good house music and the almost cult cocktails, such as Jäger Fresh and Jäger Q, ExcessDNite has been one of the most frequent used words in the last few weeks. In the new spaces of GRLjubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre that saw a successful premiere of the first event of this type, literally the whole Slovenian elite gathered and celebrated the annual event ExcessDNite Second Edition. For one night, the space turned into a spectacular scene of a hot party full of visual and sound effects. This year, the party was promising and successful in fulfilling the expectations of all those favouring the world’s most known herbal liqueur. The party was a delight also for all those eager to feel house rhythms by one of the greatest icons of house music, New York DJ Roger Sanchez – Stealth, who played a more than two-hour exclusive set for the prominent guests.

76 Examples & advice


largest restaurant in the world Client: Mestna občina Ljubljana Contractor: Culinary House Jezeršek Catering Date: 7th of May 2011

The Culinary House Jezeršek Catering was faced with a special new challenge and honour: the opening of the largest restaurant in the world. Unfortunately, only for one day, but still. For the celebration of the liberation of Ljubljana, 70. years of the liberation front, the hike around Ljubljana, Triples run and the official commemoration. All of these are the reasons the Culinary House Jezeršek Catering opened the biggest restaurant in the world for a day at Slovenska street in Ljubljana on May 7th. The preparations started early in the morning and at 1 p.m. the 17,000 m2 restaurant opened its doors in the centre of Ljubljana. The tables were covered with elegant white tablecloths and were spread from Figovec to Nama. The view of the centre of Ljubljana was splendid. The offer was magnificent yet simple; the main role was played by the well known “Kranjska klobasa”. They prepared it for 10,000 people. Hikers, sportsmen and random visitors stopped for a refreshment at the restaurant on this sunny holiday. The friendly staff of Culinary House Jezeršek Catering made sure nobody went hungry.

Dnevnik Vsak dan kakovostne in verodostojne informacije o aktualnem gospodarsko-političnem dogajanju ter z vseh drugih področij življenja – športa, kulture, zdravstva, zabave itn.

Vsako sredo PROSTI ČAS – posebne tematske strani o izletništvu, turizmu, popotništvu in počitniških avanturah.

Za vas smo pripravili tudi številne priloge

Redne priloge Oddih 25. 01. Alpe-Adria – turizem in prosti čas 07. 04. Rekreacija, pomlad 09. 06. Poletje 30. 09. Narava in zdravje 17. 11.


Izredne priloge za turizem in prosti čas v letu 2011 HRVAŠKA (poletje), TURČIJA, ITALIJA, GRČIJA, ČRNA GORA, RUSIJA, NEMČIJA, AVSTRIJA

Naši naročniki si svoj izvod časopisa lahko kadarkoli prenaročijo na počitniški naslov v kateri koli kraj v Sloveniji, v poletnih mesecih pa tudi na Hrvaško. Informacije in naročila � 080 20 07, e-naslov:

Življenje ima besedo






Examples & advice

fujitsu offers first biodegradable mouse in the world Comfort assured

Fujitsu designed the first biodegradable computer mouse in the world, made entirely without plastic and fully recyclable. The ECO mouse M440 is made from environmentally friendly materials ARBOFORMÂŽ and BIOGRADEÂŽ, plastics replacements which help to reduce the use of hard plastic and PVC. The mouse offers more comfort as the plastic models, is ergonomically shaped and suitable for left- and right-handed users. The green design stimulates environmentally friendly production, helps lower CO2 emissions and is complemented by the high functionality thanks to the 1000dpi optical sensor. User friendly properties of the ECO mouse M440: - Precise optical sensor with 1000 dpi resolution - Green design 100% bio material and PVC-free cable - the PCB component doesn't include halogen - Tailor-made shape with excellent grip - USB Plug&Play with 1-click fast connection - Customized cable length for desktop users (1.8m) - Scroll-wheel design for maximum flexibility










81 Examples & advice

kongres magazine for iPad podnaslov The editorial board of Kongres magazine always follows current trends; therefore we decided to make the magazine available on iPad. This way we expanded distribution and now offer additional possibilities of advertising. Now advertisers can add video and photo galleries to their ads. You can find the Kongres magazine App on iPad or iPhone under the name Kongres magazine. In the future we wish to enrich the Kongres magazine with multimedia content. “First data on iPad readership shows we made the right decision” said Gorazd Čad, editor of the magazine and added “we believe the future is in digital distribution, therefore we intend to invest more into this form of distribution, while maintaining the number of copies of the printed edition”. Users of iPad and iPhone can get the Kongres magazine App free of charge.











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83 Examples & advice

lighter. thinner. faster. facetime. smart covers. 10 hour battery life The difference is noticeable Due to its new, thinner and lighter shape the iPad 2 is even more comfortable to carry. With a dual core A5 chip it is even more efficient, yet the inbuilt battery still ensures 10 hours of uninterrupted activity1. Two cameras can ensure FaceTime video calls2, record HD videos and transform photos with the Photo Booth application. Also, the iPad Smart Cover3 can be magnetically attached and automatically awakens the iPad 2 when opened and serves as a frame and decoration. 1. In comparison to the previous generation of the iPad. Life of the battery depends on the use and configuration. For more information visit 2. To use it you require a Mac computer with an internet connection and FaceTime application or an iOS device with Wi-Fi connectivity and FaceTime enabled. Not available in all regions. For more information visit mac/facetime. 3. iPad Smart Cover is sold separately. During use some of the colour can rub of the leather cover.










Now in its

5th Year


Speakers from leading organisations, including: Terrance Barkan CAE Global Strat Jennifer Jones International Association of Lighting Designers Karen Conlon, President & CEO California Association of Community Managers Katja Linssen European Molecular Biology Organisation Annalisa Ponchia European Society for Organ Transplantation Jeanne Hammerstrom Legal Marketing Association Richard Guy & Giles Davy Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Adam Endacott Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists

Incorporating the 2nd



Future-proofing Your Association: Strategies and Tactics to Acquire, Engage and Retain Members, Delegates & Sponsors Unique to this event: Each year over 80% of delegates are from associations Speakers from associations - not suppliers Europe's largest conference for associations An extensively researched programme designed with your input An array of online and at-event networking: social media sites, an event networking/registration tool, Spotme event handsets, and a Meeting Zone area. � Eminent and expert speakers from leading International and European Associations � A programme focusing on growing membership, event attendance and subscriber numbers and strategic development of associations � � � � �

New for 2011: A brand new stream focused on Technology Workshops designed for both intermediate and advanced levels of association executive Expert Advice Clinics - book appointments with experts to gain one-to-one advice on issues you are facing Appointment tools - to set up meetings in advance and onsite with your peers and the speakers and get together in the Meetings Zone on site Venue & Host Sponsor

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Congress locations

A place to face your fears

Jan Klavora, Assistant to the Editor in Chief

In 2001 Mitja Koren brought adrenaline parks to Slovenia by building the first such object in Ljubelj. The idea came from abroad where these parks existed much earlier. Since then he built a total of 14 parks, not just in Slovenia but also in Croatia, Hungary, Austria and Iceland. A number of these parks are introduced further on. It’s not entirely clear when such parks first appeared in history – the ancient Greeks used similar training grounds for military training. Georges Hébert is mostly mentioned as the father of the modern adrenaline park since building the first such object in 1900 for military purposes in France. Adrenaline parks as we know them started appearing in 1980. These objects differ greatly from military ones since the first

concern is the safety of the participants and they can be used by everybody. In principle we know low rope and high rope adrenaline parks. The names are pretty self-explanatory. Low rope parks are mostly aimed at kids, team building programmes and can sometimes be used as a warm-up for the higher part of the park. Considering I was once a part of building one of these parks and spent a few years as a guide I took the liberty to write this editorial. Many people who face the adrenaline park for the first time wonder "is it safe”? My answer is “of course”, these parks could hold elephants not only tourists. The guides are mostly well educated and come from the world of climbing and other sports where rope techniques are used. So have no fear and bravely venture into one of the parks and test your limits. Everyone can find a challenge since obstacles can be conquered in different ways, limited only by the imagination of the guide and the courage of the visitor. Adrenaline parks are very common in team building programmes due to their numerous possibilities and safety. The participants are

faced with new challenges and issues they are not used to from their everyday life and can be successfully solved only with the help of team work, communication, leadership, cooperation... And that is the aim of all team building programmes – getting to know the advantages of your team through games. It is then the team’s task to transfer these skills into their work environment. What could be better to cure a lack of trust than guiding and protecting each other while jumping from a courage beam? Adrenaline parks are also very useful for solving communication, leadership and organization problems. Of course, adrenaline parks are principally aimed at visitors wishing to spend an adrenaline filled day. As a guide I saw many pale faces which turned to big smiles after the tasks were successfully finished. Conquering your fear and fulfilling a task is an unforgettable feeling. To all of you who never faced this kind of adrenaline or never before tried a team building programme in an adrenaline park, I suggest you carefully read the next pages presenting the parks from Slovenia and Croatia and conquer your fears.

86 Congress locations



Official name

Pustolovski park Betnava

Pustolovski park Bled


Maribor – Tabor

Straža nad Bledom

Short description

Pustolovski park Betnava is set in a forest on the outskirts of Maribor. It has seven different courses set on trees from 1 to 8 meters high.

Pustolovski park Bled is a climbing park set in a forest containing 5 different climbing courses with different difficulty levels. The park is aimed at individual visitors, suitable for families as well as larger events.



e-VOD Vodušek Jože s.p.

Pustolovski park Bled

High elements

Three of the courses are located at an altitude of 5 – 8 metres and contain approximately 30 high elements. Two of the courses are at the high difficulty level.

The park consists of 68 climbing elements at 5 different difficulty levels.

Other fixed elements

Four courses are positioned at an altitude of up to 4 metres and are appropriate for children over the age of 3. They contain approximately 40 different elements.

Price per participant –individuals

Preschoolers: 5 EUR, school children: 10 EUR and adults: 15 EUR

Children: 13 EUR, adults: 18 EUR


Instructors certified by Abenteuerpark, Betriebs- und Errichtungs GmbH

All instructors hold ERCA licences.

Professional teambuilding programmes

In cooperation with outsourced experts

They implement the programmes themselves and in cooperation with outsourced professionals.

Special features

7 courses, appropriate for children over 3

Top-notch location above Bled provides for interesting team building experiences. Besides the park they offer a summer adrenalin slide.

The park’s advantages

Can be used by very young children and is in the vicinity of Maribor and Pohorje

Location in Bled.


180 m from the regional road leading to the Pohorje cable car

Via chairlift.


100 m from the park

By the park.

Other sports/ entertaining activities (in a radius of 1 km)

Supervised stilt walking, jogging along forest trails, ballgames and badminton in a forest clearing, slacklining

Summer adrenalin slide, Bled lake, rowing

Tourist destinations (within a radius of 1 km)

Betnava Mansion, the Maribor Experiments Centre at the Betnava Mansion, Pohorje, the Habakuk hotel, the ski slope, etc.

Bled castle, Bled island


Poštela restaurant 400 m from the park

Brunarica na Straži directly by the park

Closest accommodation

The Habakuk hotel – 130 rooms, 1.5 km

On location – hotels in Bled.

Closest congress facilities

Habakuk hotel for up to 800 delegates (in individual halls)

On location – hotels in Bled.



Congress locations



Adrenalinski park Bohinj

Glavani park

Official name

Bohinj – Hostel Pod Voglom

Glavani Village, Nr. Barban.


The adrenalin park is situated at the shore of lake Bohinj. It consists of 13 different high elements. It is primarily aimed at individual visitors and appropriate for different fun occasions.

Family park with domestic animals, children’s' play areas and a fantastic high rope course on three levels, from easy 2 metre, to exciting 6 metres, to serious adrenaline pumping 10 metres with two goes on the fabulous 113 metre zipline.

Short description


Koren sports and PAC sports

Istra Zivot D.O.O


Large swing, high beam, career ladder, Burma bridge, pole, suspended net, suspended bridge, hourglass, etc.

Trapeze, skateboard, hanging nets, 5 zip lines 30 games taking at least two hours.

High elements

Tp shuffle

Wobbly walk, Children's net – Chill out net!

Other fixed elements

Children: 25 EUR, adults: 29 EUR

120 kuna, 16.5 EUR

Price per participant –individuals

All instructors hold ERCA licences.

All instructors hold ERCA licences.


They implement the programmes themselves and in cooperation with outsourced professionals.

Perfect team building experience.

Professional teambuilding programmes

The park is located directly beside the Bohinj lake.

Entirely built from local materials and family friendly.

Special features

Can be combined with other sports programmes (AP & climbing, AP & rafting adventures, etc.)

Istrian hospitality, high quality games, built to very high EU standards and great fun.

The park’s advantages

Directly on the Stara Fužina – Ukanc road

Easy access directly off Vodnjan – Barban main road.


Beside the park, at the Pod Voglom hostel

At least 40 cars and two buses can be parked


Kayaking, canoeing, rafting, climbing

Horse riding, 4 x 4 cars and quad bikes can all be brought on site for team building and organised full-day experiences.

Other sports/ entertaining activities (in a radius of 1 km)

Bohinj, Savica waterfall, Triglav National Park, etc.

Istria is full of tourist destinations and Glavani is located at the centre of road network.

Tourist destinations (within a radius of 1 km)

At the Pod Voglom hostel (can organise picnics, lunches and dinners per arrangement

BBQ’s and Istrian specialities on site per arrangement


On location, Pod Voglom hostel – 60 people

Local apartments available by request. Plenty of local hotels too.

Closest accommodation

On location, several hotels in the vicinity – 4 conference halls, together holding up to 600 delegates

Pula hotels.

Closest congress facilities

88 Congress locations



Official name

Poletni park Krvavec

Adrenalinski park Pohorje


Krvavec, 1,500 above sea level, 8 minute ride with a cable car.

Trikotna jasa clearing, Maribor Pohorje

Short description

From the beginning of July Krvavec will be the home of a Summer park offering different games, activities and open air fun to people with healthy ideals. A varied selection of activities includes a climbing adventure park, cycling park, mountain maps, mountain scooters, climbing tower, trampoline, archery firing grounds, motion skills course, frisbee golf and tuba downhill.

Adrenalin park on Maribor Pohorje offers numerous activities. Unforgettable adventures in unspoilt nature among the forests of Pohorje and at the same time near the city.



RTC Krvavec, d.d.

Športni center Pohorje

High elements


Other fixed elements


No other elements

Price per participant –individuals

Adults: 20 EUR, youth: 18 EUR, children: 16 EUR

Depending on the programme, all high elements in the park: 34 EUR



Certified instructors with a Faszinatour licence

Professional teambuilding programmes


In cooperation with the Teambuilding Academy

Special features

10 activities suitable for families or individuals

High above sea level, in the immediate vicinity of Maribor

The park’s advantages

Easy access, 10 different acidities, fresh mountain air, excellent catering facilities

An adrenaline-filled sports infrastructure in the immediate vicinity (Pohorje Bike Park, guesthouse near the park), a view of Maribor


With a cable car from the bottom (600 m) to the top station (1450 m).

On foot from the Arena hotel (30 minutes) or by chair lift (7 minutes)


By the bottom cable car station.

By the Arena hotel or by chair lift

Other sports/ entertaining activities (in a radius of 1 km)

Hiking and cycling courses, mountain trails

Football fields with lighting for night-time games, PohorJET (summer adrenalin slide), monster roller, XXL football, MiniJET toboggan slide, golf driving range, cycling trails, paintball course, Nordic walking, Indian village, riding, hiking, the Draš hall (badminton, volleyball, etc.)

Tourist destinations (within a radius of 1 km)

Krvavec mountain, Chappel of Marija Snežna built according to the plans of architect Plečnik in 1929

Bolfenk energy trail, keep-fit-trail beside the golf driving range, Radvanje brook, the Bolfenk Centre of natural and Cultural Heritage


Cottage Sonček, Cottage na Gospincu, Penzion Tia, Hotel Raj; Farm Planšarija Viženčar, Tourist farm Pr' Florjan - Kriška planina

Refreshment terrace beside the park (50 people), Snow Stadium hall, Arena, Bolfenk and Videc hotels, the Martin Boarding House, the Koča cottage

Closest accommodation

Cottage na Gospincu, Penzion Tia, Hotel Raj; Farm Planšarija Viženčar, Tourist farm Pr' Florjan - Kriška planina

Arena and Bolfenk hotels (approximately 120 beds) and other hotels in a radius of 1 km (a total of almost 300 beds)

Closest congress facilities

Hotel Raj, Tiha dolina, Dvor Jezeršek, Zg. Brnik; Hotel Bor, Preddvor; Hotel Creina, Kranj; Hotel Kokra, Brdo pri Kranju; Hotel Marinšek, Naklo

The Arena and Bolfenk hotels (up to 70 delegates), the Habakuk hotel for up to 800 delegates (in all the halls), within a radius of up to 1 km



Congress locations



Adrenalinski park Ljubelj

Doživljajski park Jezersko

Official name


3 minutes from Jezersko


Adrenalin park Ljubelj is situated in the wonderful environment of the Karavan Alps and is primarily aimed at groups and team building programmes.

The park is built in the natural environment. It is built around a 30 m cliff in the middle of a forest clearing. All the elements in the park are interconnected with a wooden path. The park consists of: The climb along the larch tree trail and a view of the Alps, adventure trail over a 20 m hanging bridge, avenue of two flying fox adrenalin cableways, adrenaline swing, abseiling, climb along a secured climbing trail.

Short description


Koren sports

Feel Green - Raj Jezersko d.o.o.


Large swing, beam of courage, career ladder, scales, multi-vine, Burma bridge, pole, double pole, suspended bridge, etc.

Giant swing, natural rock wall (secured climb – ferata, vertical descent – abseiling), hanging bridge

High elements

Spider web, Tp shuffle, wall, fall of courage platforms, square

Spider web, fall of trust bridge, scale.

Other fixed elements

Children: 25 EUR, adults: 29 EUR

19 EUR and up.

Price per participant –individuals

All instructors hold ERCA licences.

6 Alpine instructors, ERCA certified.


They implement the programmes themselves and in cooperation with outsourced professionals.


Professional teambuilding programmes

Well equipped to carry out team building programmes

The longest flying fox (adrenaline cableway) in Slovenia, 100 m long. The new attraction gives you the opportunity to fly below the treetops.

Special features

Vicinity of Ljubljana

A secluded location, mountain view, natural ambient (on three levels), fairly easy, near a hotel, possible picnics.

The park’s advantages

Main road Kranj – Klagenfurt

10 minutes from Jezersko on foot, 3 minutes with a car.


By the park.

In Jezersko, meeting point at Hotel Planika.


Football field, volleyball and basketball court, climbing wall, abseiling, a starting point for cycling and Alpine trips

Paintball, adventure testing grounds. Feel Green estate with the possibility of preparing top-notch business picnics with mini golf and mobile low teambuilding elements.

Other sports/ entertaining activities (in a radius of 1 km)

Baron’s Tunnels, old Ljubelj, mercury mine, Alpine dairy farms

Planšarsko lake

Tourist destinations (within a radius of 1 km)

The Koren guesthouse

From Hotel Planika or catering by order


On location, 24 beds

Hotel Planinka (56 beds)

Closest accommodation

On location: seminar room for up to 50 delegates

Hotel Planinka – seminar room for 50/30 people

Closest congress facilities

90 Congress locations



Official name

Adrenalinski park Tuhelj

Adrenalin Park Stella Maris Umag


40 km from Zagreb to Tuheljske Toplice

Stella Maris Umag

Short description

Visit the adrenaline park near Zagreb, park with a healthy dose of adrenaline and entertainment.

The first Adrenaline Park in Istria offers its visitors many different exercises that are done passing from tree to tree.

Website; Alpska Ruža d.o.o

Operator High elements


Red Course – 11 m high

Other fixed elements


Climbing Tower

Price per participant –individuals

190 kuna

Green Course: 9 EUR, Blue 11 EUR, Red 14 EUR


8 (depending on group)

All instructors hold ERCA licences.

Professional teambuilding programmes


They implement the programmes themselves and in cooperation with outsourced providers.

Special features

Problem solving activities, corporate Olympics

The park is located directed by the sea.

The park’s advantages

Position, trained personnel, large selection of extra features

Can be combined with other sports programmes


By car, by bus

Auto camp Stella Maris



Beside the park

Other sports/ entertaining activities (in a radius of 1 km)

Basketball, tennis, mini golf, volleyball, water polo, football

Water sports, Paintball, Mini golf, MTB

Tourist destinations (within a radius of 1 km)

Terme Tuhelj, Tuheljske Toplice

Istraturist Umag hotels and resorts



Closest accommodation

Terme Tuhelj,

A lot of hotels, 100 m

Closest congress facilities

Terme Tuhelj

Hotel Melia Coral, Sol Garden Istra, etc.

91 Congress locations


Adventure park Postojna

Adrenalinski park Storž

Pustolovski park Postojna

Official name

Rantovše pri Škofji Loki

Postojna cave


Adrenalinski park Storž consists of various different elements up to 24 meters in height among the treetops. The park also has a giant swing and a courage beam.

Pustolovski park Postojna is a climbing park set in a forest containing 5 different climbing courses at different difficulty levels. The park is aimed at individual visitors, suitable for families as well as larger events.

Short description


Društvo aktivnih družin Hudournik

Koren sports


25 different high elements, beam of courage (12 m), giant swing (21 m – highest in Slovenia)

The park consists of 76 different climbing elements on 5 different difficulty levels

High elements

Low elements (spider web, cross, team skis,...), slackline

Other fixed elements

Adrenaline park: adults 24 EUR, students 22 EUR, children 20 EUR. Giant swing: additional 6 EUR per person.

Children: 13 EUR, adults: 18 EUR

Price per participant –individuals

Licensed instructors of sports climbing and/or mountaineers – trained in-house to work in the adrenaline park

All instructors hold ERCA licences.


Carried out by our professional trainer

Programmes are carried out with internal and outsourced experts.

Professional teambuilding programmes

Height and size of the park among treetops

Within the tourist complex of Postojna Cave

Special features

Highest adrenaline park in Slovenia (24 m), highest giant swing in Slovenia (21 m) appropriate for all generations, rich additional offer, picnic possibilities

Easy access

The park’s advantages

From the Kveder guesthouse, 1 km left along a gravel road to the parking place

Straight from the parking lot


By the park, 20 cars, 2 buses

On location


Paintball, volleyball and football fields, cycling, hiking, skiing in Stari vrh, horseback riding, skydiving (3 km)

Postojna cave, cave trekking, Vivarium

Other sports/ entertaining activities (in a radius of 1 km)

The Rupnik Line (from the 2nd World War), a deer compound with typical Slovenian cuisine, horses and deer

Postojna cave, Predjama Castle

Tourist destinations (within a radius of 1 km)

Homemade Slovenian food and drinks are served on site in an over 200 years old farmhouse, Kveder guesthouse (1 km), tourist farms (2-3 km)

On location


The Kveder guesthouse (30 beds), 1 km away, the Stari vrh log cabin (30 beds), 3 km away, several tourist farms (2-3 km)

On location – hotels in Postojna

Closest accommodation

- 1 km – Guesthouse Kveder (20 people), - 5 km – Guesthouse Pri Birtu (50 people)

On location – hotels in Postojna

Closest congress facilities

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Column by AIPC President, Edgar Hirt Getting Greener Together

Edgar Hirt is the President of the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC); and Managing Director of CCH, Congress Center Hamburg

AIPC is the pre-eminent international association of convention centres, with a mission of encouraging, supporting and recognizing excellence in centre management. It’s global network of over 165 leading centres in 53 countries, combined with the active involvement of more than 650 centre management professionals ensures a broad and diversified level of industry knowledge and expertise, while its wide variety of program activities supports members in developing and enhancing their skills in the areas of operations, finance, technology, staff development, marketing, client relations and sustainability.

The fact that the drive toward sustainability was not deflected in any serious way by the recent global recession strongly suggests that it is a factor that is here to stay. Meetings and conventions will be affected by this, not simply because of the impacts of these events themselves but because they often involve long distance travel by delegates, which is itself a target for environmental advocates. And when sustainability concerns are combined with the lingering economic impacts left over from the recession, we get situations like those now being experienced in many areas – most notably the U.S. and UK – where cash-strapped governments are targeting reductions in meetings as a way of addressing both their financial and sustainability concerns. In this kind of circumstance, it helps to be able to demonstrate that those most directly involved in staging major events like conventions and congresses – event organizers on the one hand and convention centres on the other – are doing everything they can to minimize those sustainability impacts that they can actually control. This is clearly an area where both groups need to work together – yet a recent survey of members of AIPC indicated that while over 85% of centres had developed policies and programs to support more sustainable meetings, only 5% said it had proven to be a "significant factor" in the client decision with a further 40% saying it was a "modest" decision factor. These are hardly numbers to inspire facility managers, yet centres continue to lead the way in developing "green" programming. In one sense, it is reasonable that centres should be more aggressive in the greening of meetings, as they have a number of different pressures to respond to. Centres are most often owned by governments whose own policies encourage environmental sustainability. They are also accountable to their respective communities, who typically also want to see centres behave in a sustainable manner, and are subject to local and national building codes, many of which have very specific sustainability requirements, particularly for new buildings. But the fact that centres have had to respond to these various audiences by creating better facilities and practices should be seen as an opportunity by planners and the organizations

they represent. It means that the raw materials for creating a more sustainable event program are readily at hand – and available from the host facility instead of requiring a lot of initiative by the organizers themselves. Developing a zero-waste or energy efficient program can be a real challenge for organizers who are coming into a community without any real idea of what resources are available or what costs may be involved. But when the centre itself can supply the framework for a more sustainable program it relieves planners of a lot of work and uncertainty – making it much easier to do what most of their members would like to see them doing. The cost factor – often a concern associated with creating a more sustainable program is changing too. With many sustainability initiatives now "imbedded" in the facilities and operating programs of convention centres, costs can be spread over a wider business base and can even help lower operating costs for the centre itself. The result is that “green” programs that might have been more costly even a few years ago are now becoming just a fact of life, particularly in newer facilities where the design has been configured to accommodate them more efficiently. The bottom line is that things are changing in a way that makes it easier and more cost-effective than ever before to mount a sustainable event program – and many of the necessary resources are readily available through the host convention centre. It remains for centres and organizers to revisit the sustainability question together in the interest of having everyone pulling in the same direction – and showing why the meetings industry is one of the most responsible when it comes to managing environmental impacts. Edgar Hirt


The ECM Summer School will celebrate its ‘silver anniversary’ in Cracow Almost necessary for all the ‘up and coming’ professionals in the meeting industry The ECM Summer School meets the training and personal development needs of those pursuing careers in the global meetings industry. It is especially relevant for ‘up and coming’ professionals and those researching the economic potential of business tourism as a tool of urban economic development. Uniquely, it brings students face to face with leading industry practitioners and commentators, with the scope and content of the programme reflecting latest trends and new technologies and practices. Pier Paolo Mariotti, Meeting Manager of EURAC Convention Centre in Bolzano, Italy, hosted the 23rd Summer School in 2009. In 2010, he became the new Course Director of the ECM Summer School. Pier Paolo Mariotti

“Being the Course Director in the same year that the event celebrates its 25th anniversary is a great privilege and is exciting! To mark this anniversary, we asked former students of the Summer School to become our ambassadors – living testimonials to the uniqueness and


quality of the event. This exercise alerted us to how illustrious and diversified the current profiles of our Summer School graduates were. For instance, Meeli Jaaksoo is now the Convention Manager of the Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau, Roland Pinnel is CEO of the Luxembourg City Tourist Office, Hilda Farago is Secretary General of the National Tourism Board of Hungary, Zlatan Mufticis Product Manager of the Zagreb Tourist Board, and Krzysztof Celuch is CEO the of Poland National Tourist Office – the list is almost endless. The Summer School has now been in existence for 25 years, and this bears testimony to the enduring need it is fulfilling. We will all do our utmost to ensure it continues well into the future by maintaining the highest standard of course content, retaining and recruiting the very best of speakers, and giving up-to-date examples showcasing latest trends in the meeting industry ”, says Pier Paolo Mariotti. Further information and programme at

Atrij Hotel The new construction in Terme Zreèe Health Resort will conclude sensibly the image of the existing Hotel Dobrava 2000 to the complete architectural atrium, although the facility will consist of the two functionaly connected area: HOTEL DOBRAVA 2000**** and HOTEL DOBRAVA SUPERIOR****



 45 new rooms,  4 new seminar rooms,  173 additional seats in restaurant,  extension of wellness offer.

End of construction: autumn 2011


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Green meetings at Sava Hotels Bled

Sava Hotels Bled, the largest tourism company at Lake Bled offering a complete package of hotel, conference, hospitality, golf and other tourist services, introduced a new offer aimed at event organizers who are taking into account various environmental and sustainable criteria when planning and organising events. In the new “green conference� package, special attention is placed upon energy and resource efficiency. Regional foodstuffs and domestically grown produce take precedence in catering offers. Coffee breaks consist almost entirely of locally grown foods. Instead of water from plastic bottles, tap water is served. Ecological containers for separate trash collection are located in all conference rooms. To reduce energy consumption the conference rooms are mainly illuminated with natural lighting and the room temperature is adapted to the natural conditions, so the rooms are not

overheated in the winter or overcooled in the summer. An additional advantage of choosing Bled as a conference location is the favourable location of the hotels. Everything is located in close proximity and can be reached on foot with nearly no on site transfers required. Conference organisers can arrange airport transfers with a gas-powered car or organised group transfers.

implemented in close cooperation with local small businesses and craftsmen, thereby also contributing to the development of the rural area.

At the same time, an offer involving teambuilding programmes with sustainable components has been developed. The rich natural and cultural area of the region is particularly highlighted here. Participants either learn traditional regional crafts or experience Bled in the style of the first spa guests who in the 19th century visited the natural health clinic of the Swiss physician Arnold Rikli. All programmes are

TERME 3000 MORAVSKE TOPLICE, KranjËeva 12, SI - 9226 Moravske Toplice Tel.: 00386 2 512 22 00, 22 80


The story behind “2864”

Slovenia has a long-lasting tradition as far as environmental protection is concerned. One of the most obvious case studies for this is Bohinj glacial valley with broader Triglav National Park area. Such delicate surroundings put pressure on tourism development in general; soon the only possible form related to this particular area will be: sustainable tourism or even merely its most distinguished form – ecological tourism. Bohinj Park ECO Hotel has been built with highest awareness of the environment and is as such, at the moment, one of the most advanced and energy efficient hotels in central Europe. In May 2010 it has officially become the 1st ecological resort in Slovenia with the prestigious Green Globe certificate. Categorizing ecological hotels Green Globe estimation is based upon 5 areas of criteria: Energy (impact on the environment), water (water consumption and recycling, dealing with waste water), waste (garbage disposal and separation, recycling), eco activities (education, workshops) and nature protection (organic cleaning, use of natural materials). The extensive list of criteria must be fulfilled and re-certified every two years, which substantiates that all Green Globe members continually progress and improve their environmental sustainability strategies. When considering the comfort of business clients, the ambience of the meeting rooms is further enhanced. Not only the high-quality natural materials used for providing best energy efficiency are incorporated, but also the meeting rooms are further designed for providing the best food for the brain – fresh and clean air! Natural wood, stone and glass and a special air circulation system ensure that the attendees of any event will feel refreshed during their sessions. No doubt all of these are just few of the reasons why this venue has already been internationally awarded for

providing the possibility of sustainable events organization. Since it was built in 2009, the ecological building has been proclaimed as the most frequently awarded Hotel. Among noticeable recognitions from the general and professional public are: Green role model in tourism (STO, 2009), Turistićka prizma for innovation in tourism (Novi Sad, 2009), Energetic building and Energetic manager of the year (IJS and Finance magazine, 2010), Green Globe certificate (Green Globe Society, 2010), Zlati Sejalec (STO, 2010), Conventa Award for innovation in congress activities – implementation of sustainable events management on broader South-East European area (Conventa Academy, 2011). Bohinj Park ECO Hotel is now expanding under the unifying brand named 2864. The historical number represents the height of Triglav, Slovenian highest mountain and signifies a unique, protective, familiar path. Symbolic value of the prominent mountain peak, expressed through its altitude, serves as a lasting inspiration and incentive for a genuine, sustainable vision and philosophy, communicated by the company through a 3-minute film, starring the Hotel director Anže Čokl himself (may already be seen at On Triglavska road 17 in Bohinjska Bistrica, where Bohinj Park ECO Hotel now stans, there used to be the first Slovenian alpine hotel, named Triglav (founded in 1912). The vision of the eco resort, being fond of tradition and aiming for development with innovative spirit, shares its founding virtues with the four lionhearted men, who first conquered Triglav summit back in the year 1778: Bravery – since paving new paths is an uncertain venture, Persistence – the road to success involves pits and falls, Nature conservation – basic


surviving drive of mankind and Authenticity – only true passion creates lasting headway. 2864 is an ecological, sustainable resort. Apart from the hotel, congress centre, wellness, sauna park and aquapark with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, it has already started the project of building an eco ski-resort and bike park with the longest ski slopes in Slovenia, only 200 meters away from the Hotel. The secret behind 2864's story does not end high up in the mountain kingdom. The path is crucial. Inspired by nature's power to grow and create, they tread wisely in Bohinj: In the interest of keeping lasting memories they create transient trails in nature. The brand 2864 not only represents one of Europe's most advanced ecological properties, moreover it aims to set general foundations of sustainable development in Slovene tourism.

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Sophistication of taste ‌.. Perfection of success Terme Maribor, the perfect environment for business meetings

Spring and the approaching summer days are often the perfect setting for numerous business events. Terme Maribor and its hotels Habakuk, Piramida and Bellevue are the perfect venues for your business meetings. Sophistication with taste you will show by choosing one of these hotels; where you will find the perfect setting for your meeting, educational programs, congresses or incentives in the middle of the Pohorje woods or inside the urban environment. When organizing your events you can choose from three different locations when deciding that Terme Maribor and the location of Maribor Pohorje will be your perfect destination. The congress centre at Hotel Habakuk can host up to 830 participants on 1,600m2 in 6 different meeting rooms.

Hotel Bellevue located on the top of the Pohorje hill is the perfect setting for special events and extraordinary meetings. Hotel Piramida in the heart of the city will host your smaller events up to 100 participants in 3 different meeting rooms. Visit the perfect location for all kind of business events and give in to the experience the untouched Pohorje woods or the urban hustle and bustle of the city will contribute to your event.


Bernardin Group Resort & Hotels – place to organize your next event

Bernardin Group Resort & Hotels provide a complete range of services for those wishing to spend quality free time or organize meetings, incentives, congresses or events on Slovenia’s Mediterranean coast, in a quiet and natural environment where the blue Adriatic reaches far into the very heart of Central Europe. It comprises of 4 resorts – St. Bernardin, Adriatic Resort & Convention Centre, Metropol Resort, San Simon Resort, Salinera Bioenergy Resort and 1 city hotel – Hotel Piran with a total of 1,734 hotel rooms within five, four and three star category and a total of 3,340 seats in 31 multifunctional meeting rooms, all with state-of-the-art technical equipment and natural daylight. The largest of the convention rooms seats 1,100 delegates theatre style. Additional attractions include swimming pools, wellness centres, casinos and a private marina. Promoting Istria and the Slovene Riviera, Bernardin Group ensures the provision of services of the highest quality at some of the most attractive locations in the Adriatic – Portoroz, Piran, Izola and Strunjan. The most important player in the Bernardin

Group in the meetings industry is the St. Bernardin, Adriatic Resort & Convention, a hotel complex ideally located on the coast between the medieval Town Piran and modern Portorož. It offers three hotels, the five-star Grand Hotel Bernardin, the first and largest convention hotel in Slovenia with 241 rooms and suites, the four-star Hotel Histrion with 276 rooms and the three-star Hotel Vile Park with 239 rooms. The St. Bernardin Convention Centre at the Grand Hotel Bernardin is an extensive venue, designed to meet a variety of functions: conventions, seminars, workshops, presentations and product launches, press conferences, business meetings, elegant fashion shows and banquets. With a total of 19 multifunctional meeting rooms and divisible main hall for up to 1,100 delegates theatre style, the convention centre is the right venue for up to 2,615 delegates. The Metropol Resort is a hotel complex located in the close proximity of Portorož. With its crown jewel the Grand Hotel Metropol***** dominating atop of St. Lovrenc Hillock in the eastern part of Portorož together with the hotels Roža***, Lucija*** and Barbara*** it provides a large variety of options. The Metropol Conference Centre in Grand Hotel Metropol is the ideal venue for hosting conferences, educational and other events. The facilities comprise five stylishly equipped multipurpose halls, reception, office and a large lobby designed for exhibitors and mingling during intermissions. The Salinera Bioenergy Resort is situated between the towns of Izola and Portorož in the close


proximity of the Strunjan Nature Reserve. The Resort provides hotel and apartment accommodation as the perfect place to enjoy the tranquillity and comfort of a naturally mild Mediterranean milieu. Hotel Salinera, surrounded with Mediterranean vegetation, is the perfect venue for those who wish to carry out a meeting in relaxed and natural surroundings. The Benedikt and Nana meeting rooms feature modern technical equipment and natural daylight. The Piran Hotel is an ideal destination for those who want to organize their event just a step away from the sea in one of the most beautiful of all Istrian towns – Piran. Situated right on the seafront, just 150 metres from the town centre, the Piran Hotel boasts standard and superior rooms, suites and apartments. Situated on the ground floor of the Hotel Piran, the Piranesi meeting room is designed to cater various functions, such as conferences, seminars, workshops, presentations, press conferences and business meetings. So why choose the Bernardin Group Resorts & Hotels? Because once you found them at the Top of the Adriatic Sea, everything about them is TOP; location, facilities, people. Once you experienced it you will never forget it. And at the end they are not the only one, but one of the best.


Ljubljana castle – the symbol of the city

In the centre of the old town there is a mighty castle – the unique position has always served as a safe haven, a strategic point or a residence. Due to its dominant presence the castle quickly became a city symbol. During the middle ages the citizens valued its image and even put it on the city’s coat of arms. The golden age of its lively development happened during the Habsburg times, especially whilst it was a seat of province chiefs during the Turkish raids. After this period the castle lost its role as a fortified residence. It slowly started losing its importance as well as its glory. A bright moment in its history came in 1905 when then mayor of Ljubljana Ivan Hribar bought it in the name of the city. Since then the castle has been owned by the city, in 2010 the City municipality of Ljubljana passed a decree to establish an independent public institute Ljubljana castle. All the days of the year, all paths lead to the castle ... ... the medieval fortress with a new attractive image is a cultural centre of Ljubljana, an interesting tourist point for foreign and domestic tourists and one of the most visited attractions in Slovenia. Throughout the year the castle hosts an intersection of cultural heritage preservation and top-level modern art of Slovenian and foreign authors. Several times a year the castle offers free tours of different exhibits and thus brings its offer closer to especially domestic visitors.

The combined ticket for the Ljubljana castle offers: a ride with the funicular, a tour of the Virtual museum, where you can relive the history of Ljubljana squares from antiquity to the 20th century through a 3D presentation, the permanent exhibition Slovenian history, which leads along the trails of our country and its stories and finally you can climb the highest point of the castle, the Viewing tower and survey the surroundings. The combined ticked also offers the experience of the castle and its stories through a guided tour of the castle organized between 1st of June to 30th of September as well as all other days of the year per arrangement. For children and youngsters the Ljubljana castle organizes a special guided programme (Dragon Franc's path, the trail of emperor Friderick III. of Habsburg, the exhibition Slovenian history and Walk through time) as well as creative workshops (Creating a family coat of arms, The dragon of Ljubljana castle, Emperor portraits and Castle collages). Ljubljana castle is also home of the Mini theatre with a varied programme of puppet and live shows. One of the activities going on through the whole year is the rental of spaces for business, protocol and other events. The halls Palatium, Estate and Obhodna Hall are on offer, as well as Lady's Chamber in Frederic’s Tower, the Pentagonal Tower, the courtyard as well as

the White and Blue Halls. The castle also hosts weddings; the newlyweds can choose a church wedding ceremony at the beautiful Gothic Chapel of St. George. The wedding ceremony can continue at the castle in one of the magnificent castle halls. The Ljubljana castle offers an oasis of greenery, peace and castle goods; just a good ten minutes walk from the busy city streets to the safe haven of the castle, among the rich treetops in the castle promenade and experience a few relaxed moments. After a pleasant walk you can stop at the Castle Coffee House, Restaurant na Gradu or the Goodlife Lounge Club situated in the Rock Hall. A visit to the Castle can begin or end at the Info centre at the Erasmus Tower. There friendly employees will offer information on the Castle, Ljubljana and Slovenia. Here tickets and castle souvenirs are for sale. The sales arts and crafts gallery Rustika offers recognizable and top quality souvenirs from Slovenia. The Ljubljana Castle experienced different fates through time, its purpose was changed numerous times, yet it always was and will be the symbol of the Slovenian capital.

Photo: Miran Kambič



Steiermark Convention – bringing a burst of colour to your events!

staging your event. Our services are fast – and free! Graz – Austria’s second largest city and a UNESCO world heritage site – is at the same time a city of culture, universities and conferences. Here, unspoilt natural surroundings, mountains, ravines and crystal clear rivers turn incentive events into unforgettable experiences. Visits to thermal spas at state-of-the-art resort hotels are the perfect way of rounding off successful conferences. Delicious local wines, apples, pumpkins, Styrian cheese and traditional cold cuts beg to be sampled! This is a place where tradition and modernity combine with professional providers of superb services. Steiermark Convention is your expert service agency for any question regarding the best way to organise your conference in Styria. We and our professional, experienced partners are here to give you excellent advice and support in comprehensively planning and expertly

OUR SERVICES: - support in selecting suitable conference hotels, event locations, convention centers and event agencies in Styria - initiation of contacts to particular service providers - recommendations of incentive ideas and side programs - venue finder – search system based on the individual requirements of the organizer - accompaniment on fact-finding tours for decision-makers - free advertising materials for all of Styria - regular information in the form of free newsletters


- 4 event locations - 3 convention bureaux - 2 event agencies - 2 excursion destinations. CONTACT: Mag. Andrea Sajben Steiermark Convention, Steirische Tourismus GmbH., St.-Peter-Hauptstrasse 243, A-8042 Graz T. +43 316 4003 – 0, F. ext – 10, E:

OUR 44 SERVICE PROVIDERS: - 26 conference hotels: city, wellness, sports and castle hotels - 7 congress centres


I have had no idea how enjoyable and stimulating a meeting could be until I came to Carinthia. Having arrived I took a deep breath, viewing the spectacular lake and mountain panorama. I rediscovered my zest for life and recharged my batteries. When will you start to explore the combination of work and enjoyment? Book your next event here. WWW.CONVENTION.KAERNTEN.AT


The last word

Jana Apih

Where are we going? Tear down the fences, join together and enjoy common success

re we looking at a sunrise of our society, tourism and the meetings industry? Or is it a sunset? Despite being a perpetual optimist and not being prone to dark thoughts this question never seems to leave me alone. The members of our small congress guild have connected, sat together at many a table, brain stormed, sought solutions, planned new and new projects. We built one of the strongest trade shows of our wider area, we established an education system, set standards, shaped goals, dreamt a whole number of projects, solved a million problems together, became know in the meetings industry, introduced environmentally friendly and responsible thinking, networked, developed a magazine, managed to gain a rock band somewhere along the way, helped each other, shaped our own opportunities for socializing and built and built together.


I don’t know how many other guilds can cooperate and breathe so homogeneously despite all the issues. If we glance back at this first round of our industry I am certain we are watching a sun awaking and slowly

Sunsets are usually beautiful and promise a new day. Yet when values The environment in which we believe in are the we develop our guild is ones sinking, the vision is wider and our influence is sad, since what is really limited. We are caught in a sinking is the society we country apparently losing live in. its way.

travelling towards the zenith. If we were only dependent solely on our drive, knowledge, infinite will... yet we’re not. Unfortunately!

Only twenty years after the moment we were infinitely proud of, we are losing ourselves in provincial mentality, envy and distrust. The only formula which seems to be working today is to “fence in your garden and enviously guard it”. If you manage to pour some poison over the neighbour’s fence or send some rodents their way you can even brag about it behind their back at the local bar. The fence of our little guild isn’t always tall or deep enough to prevent a mole invasion. What can be sadder then the disappointment of lowering your fence and inviting guests who arrive with rodents in their pockets? The sun of our values is slowly sinking westwards.

This is why our Kongres garden will never have a fence; everyone is always welcome since we believe it will flourish into a sunlit garden only if we nurture it together. I told you I was a perpetual optimist!

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

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I would like to order Kongres Magazine for year 2011 at price 52,00 € (4 issues: spring 2011, summer 2011, autumn 2011, winter 2011):

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


Meeting services spot

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

sloVenIan tourIst boarD Dimičeva 13 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 1 5898 550

belgraDe conVentIon bureau Masarikova 5/IX 11000 Belgrade Serbia +381 11 3061-400

DubroVnIk & neretVa country tourIst boarD 20 000 Dubrovnik Croatia +385 20 324 999

montenegro conVentIon bureau Rimski trg 47 81000 Podgorica Montenegro +382 (0) 20 235 157

lJublJana tourIsm / conVentIon bureau Krekov trg 10 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 306 45 94

oPatIJa conVentIon & IncentIVe bureau HR-51410 Opatija, V. Nazora 3 Croatia +385 51 271 710

sloVenIan conVentIon bureau Dunajska 156 1000 Ljubljana +386 (0)1 569 1260

rIJeka conVentIon bureau Užarska 14, 51000 Rijeka Croatia +385 51 315 716

marIbor tourIst boarD Partizanska 47 2000 Maribor Slovenia +386 2 234 66 08 www.

serbIa conVentIon bureau Čika Ljubina 8 11000 Belgrade Serbia +381 (11) 655 7 102 Zagreb tourIst boarD anD conVentIon bureau Kaptol 5 10 000 Zagreb Croatia T: +385 1 48 98 555

PCO (Professional Congress Organiser)

go®mIce d.o.o. Štihova ulica 4 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 430 51 03



Meeting services spot

Cankarjev dom, Cultural and Congress Centre Ljubljana Presernova cesta 10 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 2417 122 �1�0�0 �9�5 �7�5 Kongresno-turistični servis Albatros Ribenska cesta 2 �2�5 4260 Bled �5 Slovenia �0 +386 (0) 45 780 350

DMC (Destination management company �B�a�n�e�r


DUBROVNIK TRAVEL Obala S. Radica 25 20 000 Dubrovnik Croatia +385 20 313 555

It’s a beautiful world!

Destination Destination: estination:: EARTH

Earth.indd 2

8.4.2010 10:25:56

KOMPAS Destination Management Company Pražakova 4 1514 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 2006 324 LIBERTY INCENTIVES & CONGRESSES SLOVENIA Robbova 2 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 1 232 11 71


Meeting services spot

DMC (Destination management company

INTOURS DMC Demaco d.o.o. Dalmatinova 3 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 1 430 3550

Event agency

GR - Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre Dunajska cesta 18 1001 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1300 26 00

Congress Hotel

GRAND HOTEL UNION Miklošičeva 1 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 308 12 70

MAYA TEAM Padlih borcev 1 5220 Tolmin Slovenia +386 (0)5 380 05 30

BernardiN GROUP Obala 2 6320 Portorož-Portorose Slovenia +386 (0)5 690 70 00 booking@h–

Unique Slovenia Rakovnik 132 1215 Medvode Slovenia +386 (0)1 361 62 44

Terme Maribor d.d. Ulica heroja Šlandra 10 2000 Maribor Slovenia +386 (0)2 234 43 20

Congress & Exhitbition Centre

Cankarjev dom, Cultural and Congress Centre Ljubljana Presernova cesta 10 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 2417 122

Monsadria d.o.o. Pot za Brdom 4 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 47 02 745 Thermana d.d., Hotels and Resorts Zdraviliška c. 6 3270 Laško Slovenia +386 (0)3423 20 00


Meeting services spot

Hotel with conference facilities

Hotel DrnÄ?a Dvorska vas 37a 4275 Begunje na Gorenjskem Slovenia + 386 08 200 5000

Bohinj Park EKO Hotel Triglavska cesta 17 4264 Bohinjska Bistrica Slovenia +386 (0)8 200 4000

Hotel Lev VoĹĄnjakova ulica 1 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia T: +386 (0)1 231 77 97 E:

Falkensteiner Club Funimation Borik Ulica Majstora Radovana 7 23000 Zadar Croatia +385 (0)23 206 630

Maistra Obala Vladimira Nazora 6. GRAD HR-52210 Rovinj Croatia +385 52 800 250



Perla, Casinò & Hotel KidriÄ?eva 7 5000 Nova Gorica Slovenia +386 (0)5 336 36 66

Terme Olimia d.d. ZdraviliĹĄka cesta 24 3254 PodÄ?etrtek Slovenia +386 (0)38297848

Sava Hoteli Bled, d.d. Cakarjeva 6 4260 Bled Slovenia +386 (0)4 579 16 07

TERME ÄŒATEĹ˝ d.d. TopliĹĄka cesta 35 8251 ÄŒateĹž ob Savi Slovenia +386 (0)749 36 700

Gospodarsko razstaviπËe d.o.o., Dunajska cesta 18, Ljubljana

Sport Centre Pohorje Mladinska ulica 29 2000 Maribor Slovenia +386 (0)2 614 0950

Why not try something different?

Is yours the same old story? GR − Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre Slovenia Discover our secrets.



Meeting services spot

Other Congress Services PMS 281 C PMS 131 C PMS 2603 C PMS 542 C

PartHen of meetIng essentIals Stroombaan 4 1181 VX Amstelveen The Netherlands +31 (0)20 572 73 74

PMS 315 C

aDrIa aIrWays Zgornji Brnik 130h 4210 Brnik Slovenia +386 (0)4 259 4555

restaurant & caterIng borbona Verovškova 55 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 620 77 15

alkImIst, PreVaJalska agencIJa Obirska ulica 4 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)59073273

turIZem kras DestInacIJskI management d.d. Jamska cesta 30 6230 Postojna Slovenia +386 (0)5 7000 100

DneVnIk d.d. Kopitarjeva 2 in 4 1510 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)13082150


caterIng JeZeršek Jezeršek gostinstvo d.o.o. Sora 1a 1215 Medvode Slovenia +386 (0)1 361 94 21

Fairs, trade shows and events

30 November - 2 December 2010

eIbtm Gateway House 28, The Quadrant Richmond Surrey TW9 1DN United Kingdom +44 (0) 20 8271 2127

klaro d.o.o. Peruzzijeva 84b 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 280 7770

go®mIce d.o.o (conVenta) Štihova ulica 4 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 430 51 03

meetIngs:review Hammer Hill Studios Stanbrook CM6 2NH Thaxted United Kingdom +44 1371 831555

Imex The Agora, 1st Floor Ellen Street Hove East Sussex England BN3 3LN +44 1273 227311


Meeting services spot


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

PCO (Professional Congress Organiser)

DMC (Destination management company

Event agency

Congress & Exhitbition Centre

Congress Hotel

Hotel with conference facilities

Other Congress Services


Distribution points of Kongres magazine

The editorial board of Kongres magazine is in agreement with a few congress centres, hotels and airline Adria Airways to distribute the Kongres magazine in their facilities. The points of distribution are:

Cankarjev dom, Cultural and Congress Centre Ljubljana Presernova cesta 10 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 2417 122

Thermana d.d., Hotels and Resorts Zdraviliška c. 6 3270 Laško Slovenia +386 (0)3423 20 00

GRAND HOTEL UNION Miklošičeva 1 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 308 12 70

Sava Hoteli Bled, d.d. Cakarjeva 6 4260 Bled Slovenia +386 (0)4 579 16 07

TERME ČATEŽ d.d. Topliška cesta 35 8251 Čatež ob Savi Slovenia +386 (0)749 36 700

Terme Maribor d.d. Ulica heroja Šlandra 10 2000 Maribor Slovenia +386 (0)2 234 43 20

Hotel Lev Vošnjakova ulica 1 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia T: +386 (0)1 231 77 97 E:

Terme Olimia d.d. Zdraviliška cesta 24 3254 Podčetrtek Slovenia +386 (0)38297848

Best Western Premier Hotel Slon Slovenska cesta 34 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0) 1 470 11 00 E:

Adria Airways Zgornji Brnik 130h 4210 Brnik Slovenia +386 (0)4 259 4555

Monsadria d.o.o. Pot za Brdom 4 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1 47 02 745

GR- Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre Dunajska cesta 18 1001 Ljubljana Slovenia +386 (0)1300 26 00 If your hotel, agency ore congress centre would like to become one of the distributers of Kongres magazine email us at

MEET IN SOUTHEAST EUROPE If you are a meeting planner searching for a venue, hotel, PCO, DMC or event agency from the region of Southeast Europe, we invite where you to find yourthan partner your criteria at theare www.meetinsee. Visit more 200using meeting providers presented. com online venue finder.

2010 ‡ 2011

Southeast Europe Meeting Guide is the most comprehensive internet search engine for meeting facilities and providers of Southeast Europe.

11,000 member companies 15,000 recipients of e-magazine 600 events 85,000 visitors to the building 1,000.000 website visitors per year

CCIS BUSINESS-CONFERENCE CENTRE Multipurpose halls, meeting rooms and classrooms Technical equipment and support Free parking Catering

Advertising in the building Promotion at events Online advertising Adds in CCIS’ printed media Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia DimiÄ?eva 13 1504 Ljubljana Slovenia Phone: +386 (0)1 5898 000 E-mail:



+386 4 280 30 30

080 11 56

every day from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm

vsak dan od 8.00 do 19.00

WHERE TO STAY IN SLOVENIA The widest selection of accommodation in Slovenia Hotels // Self-contained units, rooms // Tourist farms // Youth hostels // Guesthouses // B&Bs // Call centre // Affordable prices

NASTANITVE V SLOVENIJI Največja izbira nastanitev v Sloveniji Hoteli // Apartmaji, sobe // Turistične kmetije // Mladinski domovi // Penzioni // Gostišča // Klicni center // Konkurenčne cene

Carefree holidays are just a call or click away!

Kongres Magazine  

The Kongres Magazine is a leading communications medium in the field of meetings industry. It gathers and distributes know-how related to th...

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