In August 2014, GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre hosted the 14th Congress of European Association of Agricultural Economists. Nearly 700 participants from 49 countries attended the EAAE congress that was in previous years hosted by some of the biggest European cities. The congress under the main theme “Agri-Food and Rural Innovations for Healthier Societies” took stock of the insights of scholars into all areas of agricultural, food, resource and rural economics.
Having the size and complexity of the EAAE congress in mind, Slovenian Association of Agricultural Economists in cooperation with GR-Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre and GO.MICE – professional congress organizer prepared a winning bid that in the beginning of 2011 persuaded the European Association of Agricultural Economists.
The congress under the main theme “Agri-Food and Rural Innovations for Healthier Societies” took stock of the insights of scholars into all areas of agricultural, food, resource and rural economics. The Programme Committe and the Local Organising Committee organized an inspiring congress program consisting of pre-congress symposia, plenary sessions, contributed paper sessions, poster sessions, organized sessions, high level events and evening courses for young scholars.
Professional organizers were pleased with the quality and the number of scientific articles presented over the four days of the congress.
Dr. Aleš Kuhar, University of Ljubljana – Biotechnical Faculty and the organizer: “After more than two years of preparations which in the last six months required an intensive co-operation with the professional organizer, GR Ljubljana exhibition and centre – as congress venue and PCOs, I can say that the GR team has done a great job. The feedback we got from the participants was extremely positive.”
WHAT FOR DINNER
The highlight was the “Down-town get-together” held in the old part of the centre of Ljubljana and farewell dinner called “Walk through the Slovenian culinary and wine regions”, that took place at GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre. The catering was entrusted to master chefs of Kaval Group. The organisers told a story about Slovenian traditional food and wine in relation to wine-growing regions. A walk between tables full of delicacies was an opportunity to discover Slovenia from both a geographical and culinary aspect. Each wine-growing region displayed its characteristic culinary specialities. Winemakers personally presented wines to guests, which gave the event its special charm. During dinner, the guests were asked to vote for the best food and wine. This was a fun incentive to taste all of the presented dishes and wine and at the same time was very sociable. It was then followed by a raffle and awards ceremony on stage Guests received a cookbook of Slovenian national dishes and wine. It was an experience that they will remember forever.
A varied and carefully thought-out social program was prepared for the participants. 12 exciting study tours around Slovenia related to the congress topics were offered. For most of the participants, this was a unique chance to explore different parts of Slovenia, meet Slovenian producers of wine, beer, cheese, meat and experience countryside and hospitality of local people.
As Alan Matthews, Past President of the European Association of Agricultural Economists, said: “GR – Exhibition and Convention Centre was an important factor in our very successful Congress in Ljubljana in 2014. I would highlight, in particular, the good availability of rooms of different sizes in close proximity, the availability of many formal and informal spaces where delegates could meet, relax and chat socially, and its central location in the city itself. We had excellent cooperation both before and during the Congress with the GR – Exhibition and Convention Centre staff who went out of their way to ensure the success of our event”.