According to the latest Eurostat data, Europe will pass through the recession and is on the path of slow recovery in 2014. At the beginning of the year we would like to measure the temperature and expectations among the various convention bureaus of the region participating at the trade show Conventa.

Q: What are expectations for 2014 at your convention destination?
2014 promises to be a very positive year with regards to association congresses in Ljubljana. Based on our research, in the current data we have recorded twenty nine events lasting at least two days and with at least 100 delegates, of which 2/3 are from abroad. Out of this number, nine congresses will attract more than 500 delegates; among them, two have an expected attendance between 1,000 and 1,500 delegates. The congress calendar is dynamic, therefore these figures will be further updated.

A positive trend is also visible in the corporate events segment, notably with new markets opening. We are also aware that in 2014 we have to focus on future years, with the aim to even increase the number of international congresses and events in a competitive wider region that still has a good potential to attract new business.

Q: What areas and development priorities are you paying the most attention to?
The strengthening of the partnership among key suppliers in the destination is an important factor contributing to its success in the future. Maximizing the synergies is an ongoing project that is essential for our long-term development as a convention destination and its positioning on the international market.

Talking tech, the initial development  of a mobile app platform for the congress destination Ljubljana, following the successful model of the Ljubljana & Central Slovenia mobile app, with a launch after 2014. Among the challenges for this year we could highlight the set-up of the congress ambassador programme. The tourism and meetings industry in general would also benefit from an intensified air access to Slovenia.

Q: Your main competitive advantage? Where are you better than the competition?
Ljubljana as a destination has a very diversified meetings proposition, especially if considering it is a city of 280,000 residents. Two well-run congress centres with plenary capacities for 2,000 delegates and a functional layout are at a walking distance from a good share of the hotels, as well as from the attractive Old Town quarter. This makes Ljubljana a logistically easy-to-manage destination. A number of hotels with meeting facilities (the largest among them offers 800 seats in plenary) are in the city centre, and the same goes for an array of special event venues. The professionalism of the entire supply chain, or the human potential as such, is often underlined as an asset. The general value for money in the destination is also often stated as a positive surprise by foreign meeting planners.

Each destination in our wider region has its pluses and minuses, and we could even say that an ideal congress city could be created by blending individual elements of some cities into one. I am sure that all of us are investing a constant effort to support the development of the meeting industry  in our respective destinations within the available resources, adding an innovative and consistent approach to the destination marketing.    

Q: How important is the participation at the congress trade show Conventa for your destination?
The Conventa Show, that the City of Ljubljana and Ljubljana Tourism have been cooperating in as strategic partners from the very beginning , is an excellent marketing platform for Slovenia, its capital as well as the wider region. Conventa is recognized as one of the major marketing projects for the destination and it is in our interest to support its further development and continue to be its host city.

TATJANA RADOVIČ, Visit Ljubljana/Convention Bureau


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