It is now very evident that two closely linked issues have emerged as being key to securing meetings meetings across international borders as well as within individual countries.

Studies such as MPI’s Futurewatch 2010 and the Autumn 2009 MEETINGS:review trends research clearly indicate that FLEXIBILITY by hotels, venues DMCs and indeed the whole meetings supply chain is of real importance and here to stay for the foreseeable future. But what is meant by flexibility? In what areas is it necessary? The short answer is that everyone in the supply chain needs to be willing to be flexible in all aspects even if this means lower margins which actually it almost certainly does.

It is clear that four specific areas of focus are, Price, timing of payments or put another way credit terms, cancellation charges and contract terms including transparency of commissions.

Added to the growing expectation that hotels and venues in particular need to be more flexible on all the above issues but will also provide clear ADDED VALUE  ranging from free internet connections in all bedrooms to standard audio visual equipment being included in the room hire price plus a host of other extras. This really means that a supplier must provide more for less revenue and accept a higher degree of risk. The power of the buyer has perhaps never been stronger and flexibility and added value never more a standard expectation. One of the emerging added value items is offering a more favorable ration of free bedrooms in a room block and another free syndicate rooms.

Slovenia benefits by reasonable but not great direct air routes, is one of the safest destinations anywhere and has a good range (and improving) hotel and venue choice. If the meetings industry in Slovenia focuses on the issues of flexibility and added value and makes them a real virtue in a competitive international market, meeting and incentive planners will take note.

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