What do you think about this year’s trade fairs and what are your company’s biggest business challenges?
This business year was successful despite the recession. Fairs were of a high quality, we recorded a number of foreign and domestic exhibitors and visitors, in some statistics we even outshone last year. The organisation of fairs in these inclement economic times is quite a challenge! So, we are trying to maintain the level of quality, attract exhibitors and visitors and even upgrade and improve the existing and establish new fairs.
Are Slovenian trade fairs internationalised and open enough? How can we improve this?
It depends on the type of fair. In Slovenia regional fairs are currently the most dominant, there are only few international ones. The conditions can improve with an increase of quality and by establishing new, specialised international fairs.
What is your view on the possibility of cooperating with other fair companies on common projects in Slovenia and across the region?
We are always open for it and prepared to cooperate, the question remains, however, if other parties would feel the same. It depends on the nature of the project and other factors that the project involves. It’s a positive way of thinking, since cooperation brings synergy and multiplier effects to all of the engaged parties!
What is the future of general fairs as opposed to specialised ones?
If the general fair has a solidly profiled target group of exhibitors and visitors, it doesn’t have to fear for its future. Our regional Primorje Fair has been occurring for 18 years and this year recorded a slight increase of visitors against last year. Also, over the last years since the recession struck we’ve managed to upgrade the accompanying events and increase the quality.
Are the national and regional tourist organisations fulfilling their role in promoting trade fairs?
As always, there is unexploited potential and reserves. One of them is, for example, tighter cooperation with fair organisers.
What is Primorska currently missing to make a developmental breakthrough?
Mostly fair infrastructure, since without it it’s impossible to stage big international and specialised fairs.
When do you think Slovenia will be ready to host an internationally renowned fair?
Only time will tell. But in times of globalisation, with relative proximity to other European fairs, the ongoing recession and Slovenian fair infrastructure, it isn’t likely to happen in the near future.
What are your ambitions for the development of Primorje Fair in the future?
Our company organises four fairs – at Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention centre we host the specialized GASTexpo & Sladoled and Vino, and in Koper the regional Primoska fair. Our main ambition is to keep our fairs at the same quality level – every possible upgrade is a success.
Despite the recession every organiser needs to add something to the fair or else it becomes uninteresting. So we try our best to upgrade our events, we put special emphasis on our visitors and adapt fairs to current market conditions. So far we’re doing a good job and we hope to continue that in the future. We are convinced that a properly organised trade fair is an efficient instrument in combating the recession.