Conventa, an exhibition for meetings, events and incentives, is set to run Jan. 22-23 at Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre in Slovenia. The seventh edition will bring to Ljubljana the highest number of international meetings planners and meeting providers in the history of the show.
“The 7th edition calls itself New Europe and it comes big. We broke all the records again this year,” said Miha Kovačič, director of Slovenian Convention Bureau and organizer of Conventa. “More than 130 exhibitors from 15 countries are presenting their offer to more than 160 carefully selected hosted buyers from 31 countries. Although we exceeded all expectations, Conventa is all about quality, not quantity.”
From the outset, Conventa has strived to connect the region and encouraged the growth of Central and South East European meetings industry. The decision to remain a boutique show, with a personal approach Conventa swears by, has placed the show among the top European events for the meetings industry.
“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,” commented Zdravko Počivalšek, minister of economic development and technology, Republic of Slovenia.
The show’s presence in Ljubljana adds to the destination’s own marketing efforts.
“As the host destination and a partner of the main organizer since its inception, we do not perceive the Conventa Show just as an important regional meetings industry business event that has established itself on the European market,” stated Petra Stušek, acting managing director, Ljubljana Tourism. “Over these years we have strived to support Conventa’s development and growth and recognized it as one of our most important marketing projects at the destination level, through which Ljubljana is strengthening its brand and position on the international meetings industry market and wider.”
Altogether, 15 countries are exhibiting at the show. The exhibition floor has been occupied by 135 meeting providers, most of them coming from Slovenia, Austria and Croatia. For the first time ever, organizers have welcomed countries like Greece, Azerbaijan and Russia.
An additional 13 providers are complementing the meetings offer presented at the show this year. These are providers of incentive programs exhibiting at a brand new Incentive valley and providers of technology and event solutions exhibiting at Meetings Services Spot.
Also surpassing last year is the number of hosted buyers. About 166 international and 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.
“At a time when digitization is becoming a key marketing and sales tool in tourism, personal contact between suppliers and potential buyers remains indispensable. It is because of this fact and constantly growing interest of both foreign and domestic meeting providers to participate at the trade show and the increasing visibility of the event, CONVENTA ranks at the top of the key business events in Slovenian tourism,” said Karmen Novarlič, head of Slovenian Tourist Board.
Next to business meetings, the seventh Conventa also highlights the importance of additional networking opportunities and educational program.
“Compared to other trade shows, Conventa uses a personal approach,” Kovačič explained. “It is the only show that does not separate buyers and exhibitors when the official meetings are over. On the contrary, we make sure all accompanying activities and social events are bringing people together by giving them the best platform to network in a stress-free environment.
“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 will deepen the newly created relationships.”
The show will end with another important personal experience for hosted buyers. With the help of local tourist organizations/convention bureaus and meeting providers, fam trips to Ljubljana, Bled, Portorož, Kranjska Gora, Zagreb and the island of Lošinj have been organized.
Conventa will return to Ljubljana on Jan. 20-21, 2016.
For more information, visit www.conventa.info.