After the third edition of Conventa trade show, we can ask ourselves – what is Conventa really? We are glad to say Conventa is not just another trade show as many others in Europe. Some of the differences are noticeable, some are hidden deeper. Why and which are they?

The first and the most important difference is that the organizer of Conventa is Slovenian Convention Bureau. It’s important to note Conventa isn’t a trade show of Slovenia, yet of the region of Southeast Europe. This really isn’t such a small part of Europe as many think. Besides Slovenia, there’s Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania. And many other countries could be considered a part. These countries don’t have much in common at first glance, yet this opinion can also be wrong.

The other important difference is that Conventa is a partner project of key suppliers at the level of Ljubljana and Slovenia. Conventa 2011 managed to bring together the suppliers of meetings services. They have recognized the role of the supply chain which is the deciding factor in establishing whether Ljubljana is just another city or a true congress destination. Conventa 2011 has brought us closer together than any other congress event in the history of Slovenia, which turns 20 this year. We started speaking the same language and begun discussing new things. We found out we have the same aims, that is to create more, much more. We have created a strong positive energy. All of the participants felt this energy – not only the ones creating the trade show. And not just some, many, I dare say all of them.

The aim of the trade show was of course to generate business relations between supply and demand. We all know the meetings industry first requires trust. This is even more demanding to achieve among the professionals. Establishing trust in a pleasant, positive and professional environment is much easier and also nicer. Conventa made this happen. And not only that. It also emanated it.

This is Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. And where are the other cities of our small yet big country?
We have wonderful congress destinations waiting to be discovered by foreign organizers. When they are connected into a whole, namely the Slovenian Convention Bureau, they will be discovered even sooner. Nowadays time is money, much more than it used to be.

What about Conventa 2011? Are we too ambitious to say we wish Conventa to become a partner project of all SE European states? Are we big enough to be able to see over our front yard and realize a meadow without a fence is much bigger and more beautiful? This isn’t a place to just pass the ball around. We should play football, professional football, the kind that will take us to the World Cup. And not just to compete, to win, to beat even the most demanding opponents. Why? Because we know how and have the will and the passion to do it.

Conventa 2012 will be a win. Many of us, even more than in 2011, will strive to achieve this goal and enjoy the journey. This is how we hope to introduce these exotic places to Europe and the world.  In this part of Europe you will find honest and kind people. Here you will discover the joy of the little things. Here you will leave a little piece of yourself and gladly return to claim it.

Miha Kovačič