of the most-read stories on kongres-magazine.eu

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Let’s look at the events that marked the year 2013 in the field of congress tourism and were the most read on the kongres-magazine.eu portal.

Air Serbia
Air Serbia was established on 29th October 2013, after Etihad Airways took ownership of the incumbent JAT. Revival of the former JAT raises a lot of optimism regarding the improvement of the accessibility of the entire region.

Belgrade is one of the fastest growing congress destinations of the region and in 2013 it is finally back on the map for both corporate events and conferences of associations. With the opening of new hotels and the positive outlook for 2014, the only way is up.

The collapse of one of the world’s largest PCOs shook the meetings industry. In the field of PCOs nothing will be as it was before. The bankruptcy of Congrex has to become a kind of a turning point, as behind the magnificent façade of the industry a lot of problems and challenges are hiding, that will inexorably be unveiled in the coming months.

Dubrovnik has experienced a dream meetings year in which hardly a week passed without some communication on the implementation of important conferences, from NATO conferences to the UEFA football association and many others. In 2013, Dubrovnik has definitely strengthened its position as a flag bearer of the regional meetings industry.

As the biggest sporting event in Slovenian history this one really marked the year 2013. The major organisational challenge has proven to be extremely successful and exceeded expectations, as was also confirmed by the FIBA. The Championship was watched by a record 330,000 spectators, including 55,000 foreigners.

Continues to open new hotels in the region and is strengthening its market position. In 2013 they opened a Falkenstener hotel in Belgrade, the Hotel Schladminng in Carinthia and the Hotel Wien Margareten, as well as taking over the management of the Hotel Stara Planina in Serbia. With 28 hotels in its portfolio that are concentrated in the region, it is becoming one of the region’s strongest hotel chains.

2013 was the year of a variety of useful gadgets that make life easier for congress organisers, many of them massively financed on platforms such as kickstarter. Within the project INSIDE for 2013, ‘Geoffrey – electronic butler’ was one to be awarded.

Heart of Meetings
The realisation of the year was the turning point towards participant satisfaction of congress events, receptions, conferences, seminars… It is absolutely because of them that we all exist and they are the very essence of the meetings industry. In the blockbuster of the year, “Into the Heart of the Meetings”, this was nicely presented by Mike van Der Vivjer and raised a lot of interest among the Kongres readers.

50 year anniversary of ICCA, which was created at a time when one could not imagine today’s omnipresent connectivity. The idea arose in 1962, when international air traffic stated to grow and with it the number of conferences and meetings of associations also increased. The basic idea of the exchange of information throughout its existence has remained the focus of the association.

In the year 2013 anniversaries were marked by many events. The CONVENTA trade show celebrated its fifth anniversary, with many hotels presented in the magazine also celebrating anniversaries, among them the 100th anniversary of the celebrated hotel Piran and to great fanfare also the legendary Dubrovnik Hotel Excelsior. The Hotel Europe in Sarajevo celebrated its 130th birthday and the Istrian company Istraturist its 50th anniversary.

Kempinski Palace Portorož
Was the best resort convention hotel in 2013, according to the selection of hidden congress guests, and for the second time at the top and just in front of the Hotel Monte Mulini of Rovinj and the legendary Falkensteiner Schloss Hotel Velden.

Lowcost spring
In 2013, virtually no day passed without an announcement of new low-cost connections in the Balkans. It seems that the low-cost carriers will quickly replace the loss of flights by the regular scheduled carriers. This is good news for many interesting destinations in the Balkans and also for the meetings industry of the region, which relies on air connections.

Metropol Palace
The best city hotel, as chosen by hidden congress guests for the year 2013. Following its opening in 2012 the hotel quickly stood amongst the best in the region for its superior service.

In 2013, we can no longer conceive of the life of congress organisers without social networks. With the help of many tools your events can go beyond the standard framework. A large number of apps created in 2013 are intended to integrate your event with social networks.

The explosion of One2One events at the global level and regionally has raised questions on the meaningfulness of some of them. However, the results suggest that personal experience is still in the foreground and one of the best sales tools. The importance of measuring ROI was also very clearly demonstrated: among the projects with good ROI on a global scale IMEX and EIBTM stand out and locally, according to research, Conventa has also performed very well.

The best city congress destination according to the selection and evaluation of Kongres travelogues 2013. It ranked higher than both Dubrovnik and Budapest.

We have devoted a whole chapter to the theme, because events are under scrutiny, marketing budgets are shrinking and directors require maximum ROI. In 2013, the ROI also in the meetings industry finally established itself as a tool for decision-making regarding events and interpretation of the results and impacts.

Technological and organisational challenges of the meetings industry have triggered a series of entrepreneurial start-ups, which began its life in 2013. Some of them offer outstanding solutions that used to require huge investments. You won’t fail to remember names such as sli.do, conferize, meethub, eventrater and many others.

TedX Talks
Are also in our SEE region an extremely popular concept of conferences where the audience listens attentively from beginning to end. From events with the slogan “Ideas worth spreading” event organisers have a lot to learn, mostly from the very well-prepared lecturers and from the concept of built-in interactivity.

In the year when at the forefront of events were event participants, we have also seen in Zagreb the implementation of the first “unconference” event. This event stepped outside of the classic conference framework as a result of the interactivity of the open-space format, a format that has been known since the mid-nineties and has thus also started to be used concretely in our region.

Virtual reality
Simulation of real conferences in virtual space became a part of the normal practices of event organisation in 2013. Highlighted interactivity offered by many low-cost programmes became a practice among hybrid and true virtual events. In 2013 readers were most enthusiastic about the technology giant Cisco.

Weekend Media Festival
Is undoubtedly the event of the regional communications industry. In 2013 it also offered interesting lectures, round tables and crazy parties. Attracting over 3,500 participants is an absolute record and in the magazine we dedicated coverage to the event through a conversation with the author of the story, Tomo Ricov from the Zagreb agency Peppermint.

Experiential marketing is the answer to impersonal and intrusive communication, typical of traditional marketing. In the field of events it gained a lot of supporters in 2013, because with users it only communicates there and then, when participants wish to do so.

Generation Y is on the rise – it is growing up, gaining purchasing power and organising events. From childhood it has been experiencing an explosion of information and stimuli, which they now also expect from events. Modern technology gives them a breadth and flexibility that the earlier generations were denied.

The old capital of the new EU member state. Croatia became the 28th member of the EU, which was the expansion event of 2013. Despite restrained euphoria on its entrance, this is a substantial opportunity for the Croatian meetings industry.


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