Newsletter – January 2015
This January, the meetings industry was talking about Conventa, New Europe exhibition for meetings, events and incentives. The seventh edition that was held from 21 to 22 January in Ljubljana, brought to Slovenia the highest number of international meetings planners and meeting providers in the history of the show. Miha Kovačič, Director of Slovenian Convention Bureau and Organizer of Conventa: “The 7th edition called itself New Europe and it came big. We broke all the records again this year. More than 130 exhibitors from 15 countries were presenting their offer to more than 160 carefully selected hosted buyers from 31 countries. Although we exceeded all expectations, Conventa has always been about quality, not quantity.”
The seventh Conventa topped all previous shows. By opening the show to the meetings offer of New Europe, Conventa attracted 15 countries with great meetings offer. The exhibition floor at GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre has been occupied by 135 meeting providers, most of them coming from Slovenia, Austria and Croatia. For the first time ever organizers have welcomed also countries like Greece, Azerbaijan and Russia.
Additional 13 providers were complementing the meetings offer presented at the show this year. These were providers of incentive programmes exhibiting at a brand new Incentive valley and providers of technology and event solutions exhibiting at Meetings Services Spot.
Another number that has surpassed last year’s was the number of hosted buyers. 166 international and around 100 regional and Slovenian meeting planners, 90 percent of them being newcomers, have come to Conventa to familiarize themselves with the meetings offer of New Europe. A milestone was reached also with the number of pre-scheduled meetings reaching 3.428. Every year each hosted buyer commits to having 15 meetings throughout two days. The fact that Conventa buyers on average conduct 22 meetings per show, only confirms their strong interest in the region.
Next to business meetings, the seventh Conventa also highlighted the importance of additional networking opportunities and educational programme. Miha Kovačič explained: “Compared to other trade shows, Conventa uses a personal approach. To underline this year’s theme “It’s personal” and in order to accelerate networking, we asked Teambuilding Academy to prepare fun and energizing teambuilding activities that deepen the newly created relationships.”
He added: “Another thing we were proud of is this year’s educational programme. Top speakers and professionals provided the knowledge one needs to become smarter and to stay ahead of the competition. More than 20 speakers including big names like Martin Ferro-Thomsen (Conferize.com), Claudia Koehler (VOK DAMS) and Kevin Kelly (internationally acclaimed motivational speaker) were speaking on one occasion or the other.”
The show ended with fam trips taking meeting planners to Ljubljana, Bled, Portorož, Kranjska Gora, Zagreb and the island of Lošinj. In every aspect, Conventa was a success. Zdravko Počivalšek, Minister of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia about Conventa:“Over the past six years, Conventa has proven to be the leading business-to-business event in the meetings industry in the region, and the best event for meeting prime partners in the MICE business. Conventa is a successful example of a regional collaboration.”
“We had a great few days in Ljubljana both on the fam trip and during the networking events and convent itself. It was great to finally see Ljubljana in person and meet all of you. The service was great and we have left with a great impression of the city and the facilities. We look forward to bringing more events to Ljubljana in the future,” said Suzanne Yantin, Procurement Specialist, Hotels & Venues Sector, Kenes.
Piotr Jaworski from No Problem agency from Poland added: “Thanks to this experience I was able to feel like a client who was permanently being surprised by much more attractions than I could ever expect! I hope I will be able to bring clients to your beautiful country in future.”
Paloma Rico, Business Development Manager at Grass Roots Spain concluded: “Definitely I fell in love with the destination and I hope to see you soon with a site inspection with a group and more after that! Like the meaning of name of the city…IN LOVE… everyone including me fell in love.
For sure SLOVENIA is going to be one of the best new destinations in Europe. Its brand is more and more acknowledged each day.”
Conventa will return to Ljubljana for another edition next year. The meetings floor will be hot again from 20 to 21 January 2016.
The slogan of Conventa remains Explore, Meet, Create.
For more information please visit www.conventa.info.
Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport with traffic increase in 2014
Aerodrom Ljubljana recorded an increase in traffic in 2014. In comparison with the last year total passenger numbers were up 3, 1% and cargo tonnage was up 7, 2%. Data published on anna.aero shows Aerodrom Ljubljana has, besides Zagreb, achieved the highest traffic increase in the region, even higher than Venice.
Traffic at Ljubljana Airport is expected to increase in 2015 as well. Passenger numbers will be higher due to additional flights of some airlines. To mark the anniversary of its service to Ljubljana, Air Serbia, the Serbian national airline, has doubled its capacity in December. It now serves two daily flights between Ljubljana and Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, which is a hub for numerous excellent connections to many destinations throughout Europe and other destinations from Etihad Airways’ network of flights all over the globe.
In March 2015 Turkish Airlines will also increase a number of its weekly fights to Istanbul from 7 to 10. In March Swiss International Airlines will be returning to Ljubljana Airport, providing daily flights to Zurich.
Find out more at www.lju-airport.si
3 venues to watch in 2015
2. Eco-tourist resort Garden Village Bled
In the close vicinity of the world famous Lake Bled, a luxurious eco-tourist village opened its doors. Enchanted tree houses, glamping tents, a restaurant with a stream flowing through it, adventurous pier tents and sauna in a shape of a bird nest are just some of the attractions of the Garden Village Resort. With its scenery and attention to details, this eco resort offers almost a dream experience. The Garden Village Resort is suitable for smaller groups, seeking an exclusive retreat, and of course the eco-conscious guests.
2. Lepa Vida Thalasso Spa
In the Slovenian Salina Nature Park the unique outdoor spa centre Lepa Vida Thalasso Spa opened its doors to groups seeking relaxation and a bit of pampering in a natural environment. At the Lepa Vida Thalasso Spa guests are offered a special experience of traditional thalassotherapy amidst the salt pans using natural products, produced in the Salina Nature Park. The saline landscape in captivating and gives the impression that long ago, time stopped here.
3. Underground wine cellar
On the border between Italy and Slovenia, the Zidarich family built a wine cellar in a spectacular cave that spans 20 meters underground. The underground wine cellar is modelled on the famous caves of the Carso and created using only the natural materials of the region. It is a unique venue for interesting barrel tasting, followed by savouring traditional homemade delicacies in a local restaurant.
For further suggestions on organising events and meetings in Slovenia, please contact the Intours team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Best Bar Offer in EAME Region
The Bar at Four Points by Sheraton Ljubljana Mons is the place to be. It’s the only place where you can taste the best burger in town while sipping your favorite beer with Best Brews™. You can also try out their newest culinary creation; the Ljubljana Grand burger, which proudly presents traditional tastes of Ljubljana. You won’t be bored here; burgers, beer, selfie spot, free Wi-Fi and friendly staff are waiting for you in a cozy atmosphere. Wondering if they are really that good? The hotel was recently selected as the best hotel amongst Four Points by Sheraton hotels in EAME region. Being a part of a 6-month long internal campaign Ljubljana’s hotel was chosen as having the best bar offer amongst other hotels with this brand in EAME region. They presented innovative ways of promoting their bar offer, such are Beer Tasting Events and selling beer in beer giraffes. They have much to offer their congress guests and are thus taking an important place in competitive market of congress tourism not only in Ljubljana.
Refreshed Meeting Planners’ Guide to Ljubljana
Ljubljana offers the country’s largest meeting facilities in two congress / event centres of a different architectural concept, with a maximum plenary seating for 2,200 and 2,000 delegates, respectively. Both are located in the downtown area, at a walking distance from a good share of the city’s accommodations. Among them, a number of hotels can provide state-of-the-art convention space, with the largest plenary seating 800 theatre-style. A range of special event venues, including museums and galleries or historic settings in attractive downtown locations, is also available.
Meeting planners often say that Ljubljana is a logistically stress-free destination, as even function venues and many restaurants are easy to reach on foot. The city centre and the Old Town have vast pedestrian areas and are compact, adding to the feeling of well-being, cosiness and safety in the destination, which has been recently awarded with the prestigious title of European Green Capital 2016 and was included in the Global Top 100 Sustainable Destinations List. In keeping with its efforts to promote sustainable tourism development, Ljubljana has in 2014 begun to introduce the European Tourism Indicators System for Sustainable Management at Destination Level (ETIS). Moreover, according to data released by the organization Zero Waste Europe, Ljubljana is also the European capital with the largest share of recycled waste.
Tomaž Krušič, CEO of Intours DMC, wins Conventa Hall of Fame
“Conventa Hall of Fame” award recognizes individual meeting professionals for their extraordinary and invaluable services to the meeting industry of South East and Central Europe. This year’s recipient of the award and entry into the “Conventa Hall of Fame” is Tomaž Krušič, CEO of Intours DMC.
The Organizing Committee of the Conventa trade show awarded Tomaž to recognize his hard work in promoting the region of South East Europe and the Conventa project. With the expansion of Intours DMC, Tomaž brought the Adriatic region to the attention of international meeting planners.
Tomaž Krušič commented: “Winning the Conventa Hall of Fame is a big honor, since Conventa is an important MICE event. Since Intours DMC has strongly supported the regional trade show from the very beginning, I perceive the award also as an award for our persistence and vision.”
He received the award on 22 January 2015 during the Welcome Reception of the Conventa show in Ljubljana.