The meetings industry is an “aristocratic” kind of tourism. Despite the delay, it is getting more and more recognizable in our country as well, due to its multiple effects. As is the custom in our area, the industry is accepted in a modified form and understood in different ways – as anyone sees fit. I’ve been working in the field of the meetings industry throughout my entire professional career and I’m certain, this industry contains certain axioms (claims, which are considered self-evident and need no proof), which cannot be changed even by modern creators, businessmen and “inventors”. One of these areas is terminology which is commonly used incorrectly. The first example is the basic word congress. To name a certain event a congress it must meet at least these three conditions: It needs to last at least two days with at least one night’s accommodation and it has to host at least 300 participants from at least three countries. The term congress is used widely; some people use the word “event” instead, which makes it even worse. An event can be anything from a wedding, to a birthday party or a banquet dinner during an international congress. So called “government events” contain very different kinds of meetings and events. Mostly, these are international conferences, which are managed and organized by the state or individual ministries in its stead. Mostly, these are professional meetings where individuals from universities, institutes and professional associations take part as well. Such international conferences are very useful and attract the professional public and affect the promotion and recognisability of a destination or country. The error of the state when organizing such conferences and congresses, is not realizing the importance of such events and the importance of involvement in the process from the very beginning. We need to realize most renowned international congresses and conferences in Slovenia are held here due to individuals, experts, who work on the projects on a voluntary basis and are themselves aware of the importance of such meetings. Such experts are highly recognized in international circles, which enables them to be chosen as organizers in the international competition. This is where the support of the state is key: during the candidature, by presenting a destination or country, and also later, when the congress or conferences is already secured. We have tried to gain their cooperation through the Convention Bureau, yet the responsible ministry was not very understanding. The Convention Bureau itself does not have enough power or influence to make suitable and key substantial shifts.
Classic political meetings, such as the presidency of the EU Council, can bring certain short term benefits to the individuals involved in the process, yet don’t have the same effect as professional meetings. They can even cause negative effects. The abovementioned example was very successful for some business actors (hotels, restaurants, agencies) in the first half of 2008, yet later these same actors noticed negative trends, which have not turned positive even two years after. At the same time this affected the price policies, which were misguided due to overly optimistic expectations and have not yet been settled. This poses a big problem to all subjects in the meetings industry with long term plans, especially in the face of the economic crisis, which will take a lot of time and energy to resolve and resume normal business.
Political meetings can be an addition to the aforementioned professional meetings and are necessary, yet our main goal should be winning more international professionals meetings or associations meetings with the help of the state.

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