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Photo credit: Union Hotels // Marko Delbello Ocepek

Tina’s journey into the world of events started with a Postgraduate Degree in Event Management in London, UK, which lead her to work in the prestigious Caledonian Private Members Club. Returning to her home country, Slovenia, opened many new doors in her career. She is now a proud team member of the Union Hotels team, working in the sales department, in the heart of Ljubljana’s city centre. 

Organising events is not just a job for her, it is a lifestyle. She enjoys the challenges that each new day brings. Seeing an event come to life gives her the drive to make each event a success story.

As a member of the ICCA AMP 2018 Organising Committee, she strives to present Slovenia as the ideal convention destination.

Q: How do you, at Union Hotels, combine creativity and lifestyle in events?

Organising a successful, memorable and unique event is always a challenge for the organiser. And this is where it proves important for venues to collaborate with clients at a higher level. Not only to provide space for an event but to help the clients, guide them and determine what they wish to achieve through their event. To be available for advice, to be flexible, supportive and, most importantly, to exceed their expectations. This is who we are and how our creativity helps shape events through our lifestyle. We have seen dramatic changes in trends and the influence of social media in the last few years. Times change and business changes with the times, that is why we are here to help the clients achieve their end goals by creating the right environment.

Q: Which were the most prominent lifestyle events organised in the event venues of Union Hotels?

Union Hotels have held many different types of events over the years, ranging from corporate events to cultural events, incentives and wedding parties. All of them are different and unique, as are lifestyle events.

Some that spring to mind are the Elle Style Awards, which have been hosted in the Grand Union Hall for several consecutive years, or the first anniversary of the Revija Suzy magazine in the Union Garden. And let’s not forget the annual charity gala dinner of the Rotary Club, or the official presentation of the Slovene Olympic team for Rio and Pyeongchang, and many other unforgettable events. All prominent, all grand, all special.

Q: How would you describe the lifestyle of people in Slovenia’s capital?

You will always find Ljubljana bursting with life, especially on a warm summer’s day or on a Friday afternoon at the Open Kitchen street food market. Ljubljana’s locals love to dress up, go out to meet friends and spend time in the beautiful city with great company – be it over a glass of Slovene wine or a quick coffee throughout the day, head to the local market on Saturday morning, followed by a stroll through the Tivoli Park, or simply walk up to the top of Šmarna gora at the weekend for some recreation with a view.

Q: How do Union Hotels contribute to the development of Ljubljana’s lifestyle?

At Union Hotels we always try to tap into the lifestyle of the locals. Stopping by for a cup of coffee in the historic Grand Union Café, where different generations meet regularly, or by just enjoying a summertime lunch with exquisite culinary treats in the hidden green Union Garden, under the shade of chestnut trees. Union Hotels are not just hotels for tourists – they welcome the locals with open arms too.

Q: Tell us something that might surprise meeting planners about your city.

Did you know Ljubljana was crowned The European Green Capital in 2016? Transforming itself over the years, Ljubljana went from being a city dominated by cars and buses that drove through the main square (Prešeren Square) and across the Three Bridges to being a pedestrian and cycling-friendly city supported by public transport. Everybody can rent a bicycle from the well-dispersed bicycle rental network in a matter of seconds. And it costs close to nothing –1 Euro for a weekly subscription gives you an unlimited amount of rentals, or just 3 Euros if you opt for the yearly rate. How cool is that?

Q: What trends do you think we will be seeing in meetings and events in Ljubljana in the next 12 months?

Sustainability is playing a bigger role in our lives with each passing day, and we can see this becoming an increasingly important factor for meeting planners. Requesting local food on the menu, environmentally-friendly products, food recycling, tap water instead of bottled water, and much more. Not only meeting planners, but also attendees are becoming more aware of the environmental footprint left on our planet. And why not incorporate this into event planning. Creating a story and sending a strong message to the world. Definitely a growing trend in 2018!

Q: What is your personal favourite special venue in Ljubljana?

Union Hotels and the historical and famous Grand Union Hall has its unique charm, one that has a wow-effect on everybody who sees it for the first time. But Ljubljana has many other hidden gems and you can find them all around the city. Depending, of course, on what kind of venue you are looking for, but don’t miss out on my other personal favourites: the newly renovated Švicarija Art Centre in the heart of Ljubljana’s Tivoli Park, or the unique Old Power Station – ‘Stara Elektrarna’, and let’s not forget what is right in front of our eyes, the beautiful city with its well-maintained squares and green parks, which come alive year-round for annual festivals and events. Everyone can find that one perfect spot they are looking for.

Prepared by: Ajda Borak

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