Written by Professor Vida DEMARIN, MD, PhD

1. Go for Interesting and Up-to-Date Topics
The organizers of a congress should offer a range of topics which are relevant, interesting and in demand. It is also important to present all the aspects and different opinions regarding the topics of the conference.

2. Choose a Target Audience
The organizers need to identify an audience who will be interested in the discussion, figure out their preferences and expectations and then inform participants about the event.

3. Select International Experts as Invited Speakers
When choosing the speakers, the organizers should take into account their status, authority and experience. The speakers should be known to the circle of experts on whom the event is focused, practice in that field and are good orators.

4. Establish Professional Congress Organizing Committee
Professional attitude is of fundamental importance when planning a conference. Congress organizing committee is responsible for all the logistics of the conference, such as developing a program for the conference, inviting speakers, hiring a venue, providing accommodation for participants, transfers, meals and a cultural programme. It is important to have a responsible team of trustworthy colleagues who are willing to help and can coordinate the work of all necessary services in a good manner.

5. Pick an Attractive Congress Venue
The location of the conference plays a very important role in the process – not only the choice of venue, but also the geographical location. Everything is important: a comprehensive package for participants and quick registration for the event, the arrangement of the furniture, presentation equipment in the room, preliminary testing of all the systems. It is also effective to combine joint, productive work with leisure time.

6. Write a Clear and Interesting Congress Invitation and Distribute it Early On
It is necessary to prepare materials on the conference for the media and participants, including information on the speakers’ speeches and additional information about congress as early as possible. Try to deliver information about congress via internet access. It is plausible to arrange unique congress web site. Print program leaflets and book of abstract or deliver the contents on digital devices.

What to Avoid
Avoid clashing with competing events regarding the terms and location!
Avoid holding conferences just for the sake of it. Pro-forma conferences are dull and uninteresting!

Prof. Dr. Emil Erjavec

The effects of a congress are always multilayered. The main goal is achieving recognition. The primary goal of a meeting is positioning local organizers in the context of a global network of experts. This can work on two levels – be it in hospitality or in presenting the knowledge of local experts and institutions in the international context. For researchers this should be the key motivation and achievement of organizing a congress: To be placed on the list of key groups in the world and Europe. A congress can advance that greatly. For the country as a whole it’s a great achievement if the worlds intellectual elite in a certain field, discovers its “beauties and advantages”. Besides sports, congresses and other forms of meetings of social elites are the most important for building the international reputation of Slovenia. The economic benefits might be the least important in this context, yet in the micro-cosmos of companies from this industry they are very important. Each group which gains and successfully carries out a larger congress should be individually commended.

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