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On 24th and 25th January GR – Convention and Exhibition Centre in Ljubljana hosted the 10th Conventa, New Europe exhibition for meetings, events, and incentives.

Since the onset, the show has hosted 2286 hosted buyers from 48 countries and attracted 1192 exhibitors from 17 countries. Despite these enviable numbers, the organizers' focus stayed elsewhere – on attracting high quality international buyers, personal approach and dynamic social programme.

Every year there are also several educational sessions - this year there were various workshops and lectures held, among which five were led by international speakers in English and two were presented by Slovenian meetings progessionals. If we highlight just a few – during ICCA breakfast (co-organized by ICCA, International Congress and Convention Association) participants were discussing how to successfully bid for international association congresses, Hans Atman from Masters of moderation presented his views on moderating techniques (and himself moderated evening events at this year's Conventa in great style), while Kevin Jackson from London marketing agency Experience is the Marketing prepared a very dynamic lecture on the future, changes and how to prepare for both. Slovenian enterpreneur, speaker and experience designer Luka Novak from Walnut Grove talked about the newest global trends in the events industry. During the day Conventa Trend Bar hosted several smaller presentations and lectures.

This years Conventa was attended by 119 exhibitors from 16 countries of New Europe, who showcased their offers to 185 international event organisers from 45 countries. Over 3000 meetings were carried out during the show.

Social programme

Besides the GR, Conventa was hosted in two other venues – the welcome reception was held at Grand Union Hall (Grand Hotel Union), while grand foyer of the CD Congress Centre was the venue of the second evening’s programme when Meeting Star Award ceremony (organized by Kongres Magazine and Conventa) took place. Ljubljana celebrated twice – it won the prestigious Best congress destination award in the category of destinations that can host up to 2000 delegates. The ceremony was attended by Ljubljana Tourism managing director Petra Stusek, MA, and colleagues from Ljubljana Convention Bureau – Jan Oršič and Tatjana Radovič.

The destinations that competed were assessed during actual fieldwork and secondary research. A combination of criteria (among other destination’s air accessibility, number of 4* and 5* hotels, number of hotel rooms and population) was the basis for the final ranking, which ranking provides international meeting planners with a comprehensive information on the overall capacities of individual destinations.

Ljubljana was also the winner of Best Event Award for the event Eurocities 2017. The ceremony was attended by Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Jankovic with deputy Mayor Tjasa Ficko and their team.

Ljubljana fam trip – a combination of congress product and genuine first hand experience

As we wanted to offer our guests the opportunity to get to know (and feel) Ljubljana as a congress destination, the Ljubljana Convention Bureau designed an innovative study program in cooperation with local partners, which took place on January 22-23.

It is quite of a challenge to present a destination in such a short time, particularly when the idea is to present it in a way that cherishes both a professional as well as the experiential part that can spice the programme with a special flavour. Our partners proved very creative with their own presentations, which went beyond technical details and capacities of their conference and hotel rooms.

With a group of record 30 invited international buyers we visited six Ljubljana hotels and their conference and lodging offerings, one convention center, five special venues and selected restaurants suitable for business events. At the same time, the group got acquainted with Ljubljana’s many qualities, particularly the short, walking distances between tourist attractions, special venues, accommodations and conference facilities, and a vibrant city feel. And the final result? Clients were full of enthusiasm! Fortunately the weather was on our side - it was sunny during both days.

Activities of Ljubljana Tourism

During the show Ljubljana Convention Bureau carried out over 60 high-quality business meetings.

Besides, there were information welcome desks in the official hotels of the trade show available for all international participants. Some of Ljubljana Tourism souvenir lines suitable for business event gifts were displayed. Ljubljana Tourism took part in press conferences for domestic and foreign media, and last but not the least – hosted buyers were presented with a special and thematic gift – Plečnik’s tea pot.

Ljubljana Tourism has been a partner of Conventa since its very beginnings and has been actively contributing to the development of this business event as well as Ljubljana as a congress destination.

The next, the 11th Conventa trade show will take place at the same venue on 23 and 24 January 2019.