2013 was a very successful year for Bled in the field of business meetings, which is testimony to the potential of Bled as a MICE destination. We hosted numerous association meetings, which are unlikely to return in the near future, and thus we expect a smaller number of large events and a larger number of small events in 2014.

BLED INSPIRING AND SUSTAINABLE ALPINE MEETING DESTINATION

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?
2013 was a very successful year for Bled in the field of business meetings, which is testimony to the potential of Bled as a MICE destination. We hosted numerous association meetings, which are unlikely to return in the near future, and thus we expect a smaller number of large events and a larger number of small events in 2014. In 2014, Bled will host again several meetings that have been held here for many years, including the 46th PEN Conference (International Writers’ Meeting), the 9th Bled Strategic Forum and the 18th Periodontal Days. The largest IT event in Slovenia, the Microsoft NT Conference, will be held in Bled for the second year in a row. In terms of events that will be organised in Bled for the first time, the Annual Meeting of the IWC (International Whaling Commission) Scientific Committee will take place in Bled in May, and the 18th International Conference on Dielectric Liquids (ICDL) at the end of June.

Q: What areas and development priorities are you paying the most attention to?
All stakeholders in Bled agree that business meetings and events are an important strategic direction. We are aware of the potential and the multiplier effects of this segment for the destination and the economy. We have recently launched the Bled Convention Bureau and have taken the first steps: we have published the Bled Meeting Planners’ Guide, upgraded the webpage for meeting planners, taken part at Conventa and organised a familiarisation trip to Bled. In addition to marketing and networking, our priority lies in the further development of a sustainable, eco-friendly and socially responsible offer to make Bled the most sought-after and inspiring sustainable Alpine meeting destination, as set in our 2020 vision.

Q: Your main competitive advantage? Where are you better than the competition?
The first advantage of Bled is its natural assets, the beauty of the landscape. It is a magnet that keeps drawing visitors of all kinds to the destination. Due to its location, the unspoilt countryside and the efforts of the meeting professionals, Bled can truly claim it offers “green” meetings and events, which is becoming an ever more important benefit.  Furthermore, Bled has a very rich tradition in hosting meetings, meaning that planners are guaranteed expert support by experienced professionals in every aspect. Other advantages of Bled are its small size, with all facilities and sights being close to one another, its ability to combine business with pleasure and the excellent cuisine.

Q: How important is the participation at the congress trade show Conventa for your destination?
Conventa has become the main national trade show for the MICE segment and we are pleased to see it is constantly developing and attracting more and more clients who believe in the potential of Slovenia as a MICE destination as much as we do. For us, the most important element of Conventa is meeting buyers and having a chance to showcase our product at one-to-one meetings, as well as during the familiarisation trip to Bled. Conventa is definitely one of the best marketing opportunities available to us and we intend to further support it by taking part in the expo and organising post-tours to Bled.

EVA ŠTRAVS PODLOGAR, Director, Bled Tourist Board
EVA ŠTRAVS PODLOGAR, Director, Bled Tourist Board
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