In 2011 Kongres Magazine introduced the MEETING STAR award for exceptional achievements in the field of market communication on destinations, congresses, events and meeting suppliers in SE Europe. The award is recognition for outstanding creativity and knowledge based on team work and professional experiences that have delivered tangible and measurable results.
From their assessment of the preliminary applications, the editorial board of Kongres Magazine, alongside an expert jury, have selected the special category winners that had been voted for by readers and partners of the magazine. As part of the overall decision-making process, formal and content criteria were also taken into consideration.
The selected individuals and companies have made a clear, successful contribution in the affirmation of their marketing philosophy and their successes are reflective of consistently creative work over a period of several years.
For 2011, three special category awards were presented as well as one gold meeting star award for the most productive marketing campaign. These were:
KONGRES MARKETING PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 2011: MILOŠ MILOVANOVIĆ, Serbia Convention Bureau
Miloš Milovanović stepped into the world of congress tourism in 2007, when he took over the management of the Serbia Convention Bureau. In a very short period of just four years, he has managed to implement a marketing strategy and has achieved exceptional results. With its ‘goal-approach’ to the international associations market, measured by the number of organised congresses Serbia sprang from 72nd to 43rd place in 2010. Belgrade managed to progress even faster in this time, jumping from 179th to 55th place.
During his four-year tenure the entire marketing infrastructure and numerous campaigns have progressed considerably. Special mention is deserving for the first European mobile application congress, “Serbia Destination”, which offered attendees and organisers all the necessary congress information on a mobile portal. The application is innovative and progressive in using contemporary technologies to bring a new form of communication to the European congress industry. The application was presented for the first time at the EIBTM trade show through the successful “Serbia: Europe’s fastest growing destination goes mobile” campaign. Miloš Milovanović’s team have also carried out pioneering work on social networks, being active since the very beginning of the Bureau. The future will see the establishment of a congress destination structure with centres in Zlatibor, Novi Sad, Subotica and in Kopaonik. And so far, outside of the capital Belgrade, the convention bureau has been successfully opened in Novi Sad and Subotica.
Everyone who has had the opportunity to cooperate with Miloš have acknowledged his authority, proficiency and huge levels of energy.
MEETINGS INDUSTRY MARKETING AGENCY OF THE YEAR 2011: CENTRE FOR BUSINESS TOURISM, Daniela Kos
In October 2010, Daniela Kos and her team opened the Internet website Poslovni turizam, a guide to Croatian congress tourism that included information on all the congress resources of Croatia. Last autumn the portal was translated into English and named CroatiaMeetings.com. In a very short space of time the portal became the crossroads of a complete range of information on Croatian congress tourism, deserving this award especially due to its integral, quality-content marketing. In-depth interviews, sound advice, best practice examples and other forms raised the portal to the foreground of new communication in Croatian congress tourism. Daniela’s team, with their high level of journalistic ethics, unlock and look to resolve problematic and other up-to-date topics of Croatian and regional congress tourism. The content and structure of specific contents areas within the project were quickly at the forefront of a dynamic web environment, one that was suitably adapted and optimised for readers. With all this, very high standards of communication were set for Croatian and regional congress industry.
MEETINGS INDUSTRY YOUNG CREATIVE PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR 2011: ANŽE ČOKL, Bohinj Park EKO Hotel
A lot of space could be given over to describing the creativity of Anže Čokl. Mountain climber, cameraman for adventure and mountain movies, engineering graduate, blogger, and director of Bohinj Park EKO hotel in Bohinjska Bistrica, just to begin with. Anže has gifts in many different fields, but stands out mostly for his creativity. He is probably the youngest hotel director in Slovenia (at a spritely 29 years old). The hotel was a great communications surprise, as it was the first genuinely ‘green’ congress hotel. His previous editorial company experiences, where he was in charge of marketing operations, were very helpful to Anže when he was launching the hotel project on the market. Last year he won the Zlati Sejalec award for innovativeness.
On this occasion the award was presented for the trademark 2864 that will complete the Bohinj Park EKO hotel offer with the construction of the Bike Park and eco ski-resort, including the longest ski slopes in Slovenia. Anže has presented his philosophy of the project in a 3-minute movie available to view at His communication on sustainable tourism demonstrates a wide comprehension of the subject, as proven through the development of consistent trademarks. All of these achievements are reflected in business results and a host of awards for his contribution to new ideas and ingoing improvement.
BEST OVERALL PRODUCT MARKETING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR 2011: HOUSE OF GASTRONOMY JEZERŠEK CATERING, product campaign: ‘TASTE THE WORLD’
The new trademark product of the House of Gastronomy Jezeršek catering was presented for the first time at the opening of the Festival Ljubljana on July 3rd, 2011. The leading trendsetter in the field of catering for 30 years now, in 2009 they launched their new ‘Taste Slovenia’ trademark on the market, one that today represents Slovenia very successfully at trade shows and tourism fairs across Europe. The initiative also deserves praise for being responsible for stimulating the notable progress in the development of Slovenian gastronomy, raising the national gastronomic consciousness and encouraging the new trend in gastronomy one could call ‘The New Slovenian Cuisine’, work for which The House of Gastronomy Jezeršek can rightly be extremely proud of.
Due to market demand for improved quality of the international offer, they have last year also developed the new trademark that completes their international catering offer. The trademark ‘Taste the World’ supports the new concept of catering banquet, which they have called “O”. Essentially, the matter is a simple one: catering combines different tastes in the same way the world brings together different people, cultures and languages. In the same way that the world is round, the Jezeršek family have managed to bring the world’s tastes together in a well-rounded banquet.
The entire project is an example of well-planned and executed product renovation and a campaign in which factual results reflect an excellence of communication.