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.