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At the end of August the 5th Conventa Crossover conference was held in Ljubljana for the first time ever in a hybrid format - in CD Congress Centre and online. The marketing conference, intended for marketing experts and everyone working in the MICE industry in the region of New Europe, brought together over two hundred participants, who participated either live or virtually. The programme focused on the current trends, challenges and the future of the European meetings industry.

The conference that Ljubljana Tourism has been supporting from the very beginning, consisted of five programme sections with over thirty experts from all over Europe involved. The programme included lectures, panel discussions, practical workshops and debates.

From current dilemmas in event planning to challenges of destination marketing

Pioneers in the field of event digitalization discussed dilemmas in organizing live events compared to online events. Part of the program was dedicated to the relationship between clients and event agencies; based on the discussions, the participants wrote a short sales presentation that would convince the potential client to buy their service. The conference provided insight into how the largest international event agencies have recently adapted their business strategies. The first finalists of the Conventa Best Event Award competition were presented (the winners will be announced at the Conventa Tradeshow in January 2021). The program also touched on destination marketing and the way in which the leading regional CVBs have adapted to the new, (post)-pandemic reality. The concluding part of the conference offered creative answers on the topic of the universal language of music in connection with the events.

At this year's conference Petra Stušek, Msc., managing director of Ljubljana Tourism, and Jan Oršič, head of the Ljubljana Conventin Bureau participated as experts. Theypresented their views on the meetings industry and its challenges. 

The restart of destination marketing

Petra Stušek, Msc. participated in a panel discussion on the importance of destination marketing restart, together with the head of the Dubrovnik CVB, Romano Vlašić, the head of the Salzburg CVB Gernot Marx, the partner of the Bulgarian event agency Veritas Real Solutions Teodora Jilkova and Miha Kovačič, director of the Slovenisn Convnetion Bureau. The conversation was led by the Austrian marketing expert, Ivo J. Franschitz.

The main topic were the regional adaptations to drastic changes in the global market of the meetings industry due. In addition to the need to ensure safety and the creation of new, innovative meeting formats, the speakers emphasized the importance of effective, striking, truthful and continuous communication, together with highly coordinated and aligned cooperation between local stakeholders.

On the future of the organization of scientific meetings in Ljubljana

Jan Oršič took part in the debate on the future of organizing scientific meetings in Ljubljana. Together with Sabina Otoničar, head of the Department of Quality at the University of Ljubljana and recipient of the title of Congress Ambassador of Slovenia 2019 they discussed the key aspects of cooperation between convention bureaus and educational institutions, especially the University of Ljubljana. They agreed that CVBs are very important as the support and services they offer significantly facilitate the process of obtaining, preparing and organizing scientific events in the city. Emphasized was the strenghened cooperation between the Ljubljana CVB and the members of University of Ljubljana, especially in the field of the Slovenian ambassador programme that was established in 2019. 

Even stronger and more resilient

The managing director of Ljubljana Tourism, Petra Stušek, Msc., commented at the end:

“I am very happy that the fifth consecutive Conventa Crossover took place in Ljubljana this year. The organizers have proven that great creativity, enthusiasm and smart attitude allow us - also in 2020! - to organize high-quality professional events, which meet all the criteria of safe events, too. I enjoyed meeting with local, regional and other European colleagues (live and online), and I am especially proud that we all seem very determined and focused on the business restart in order for the meetings industry to successfully overcome yet another crisis and emerge even stronger and more resilient.”