[pullquote]Having in the country 25 well travelled and experienced global incentive professionals for the whole week is a gift from God. [/pullquote]In the decade of its annual meetings Ljubljana was after Paris the second European destination to host such a prominent SITE event. No doubt that the country did its utmost to present itself at its best as otherwise this would be a wasted opportunity for the emerging country and the region in this lucrative sector. Why? When preparing for the event we realised the opportunity lies in the following three segments:
Let’s analyse each a bit.
Slovenia and region of New Europe is rather an emerging region in the incentive business. In contrary it has much more opportunities in this field than in the congress business. But why it has not developed this field in the quarter of the century of independence? One of the reasons could be not understanding the incentive business and its opportunities. The decision is not just in the hands of one hotel or DMC. This must be the decision of a national and a local Government. Like every business, the incentive business needs its basics to be fulfilled in order to flourish as well.
Having in the country 25 well travelled and experienced global incentive professionals for the whole week is a gift from God. SITE association is a true members association focused on the needs of its members. Each Board member is passionate to help each individual but also officials need to learn and make a step forward. SITE Incentive Summit included a full day educational seminar. When planning the event, SITE went even several steps further.
They understood our challenges and interests and adapted the educational seminar in order to achieve the best value for the regional industry. Over 160 meeting professionals had the opportunity to obtain global incentive business knowledge from top professionals. Complimentary!
We went even further as the Board members met with officials from the Ministry of Economy demonstrating the size of incentive business and its opportunities for the amazing emerging country of Slovenia.
Ljubljana is the fastest developing MICE destination in the country so meeting with the Mayor of Ljubljana Mr Zoran Janković was in the program as well. Mayor did not just take the time out of his busy schedule. He carefully listened to all Board members comments and advices and shared his vision of the future development of the tourism of Ljubljana. No doubt that incentive business will contribute important part to the success.
Education will continue with membership in the SITE and the planed formation of the regional SITE Chapter.
One thing is that we learned from SITE Board members, the other is what SITE Board members learned from us. We wanted to make the best use of their time while being in the country for almost a week. To at board meetings properly present what the country has to offer took quality time. But we are fortunate that Slovenia is a compact and boutique country. We managed to let them experience some of the major incentive destinations. We included personal stories of passionate individuals. Gastronomy is definitely one of the strong suits of Slovenia in the MICE business so SITE Board members were able to familiarized themselves with the country’s gastronomy and wine offer.
Last year the Summit was in Dubai. How can Slovenia compete with such a well known and rich destinations that has almost everything. In my opinion very easily. It just needs to present and demonstrate its core values. The true heart of Slovenian meetings industry is SLOVENIAN ENERGY consisting of
• Team Flexibility
• 24h Smile
• Personal Touch
• Natural Charm
Isn’t that what meeting planners are looking for today?
The third segment was Marketing
Except one of the SITE Board member, none of them has been in Slovenia before. What a unique opportunity for the country and its incentive business. The image of the country and experiences overnight obtained global reach through SITE Board members communication channels.
Everybody in our business should understand the value of this kind of marketing. Slovenia with its capital Ljubljana became global incentive destination. All the SITE members learned that Slovenia is an attractive incentive destination and that it has a lot to offer.
Marketing activities will continue to depend on how much value the industry has realised through their investment. We are all looking forward to IMEX Frankfurt and SITE NITE where we will reconnect with our SITE Board member friends and colleagues.
SITE Incentive Summit was the largest single investment in the Slovenian MICE sector in its 25 years of independency. Time will show the true ROI.