Ljubljana is a congress destination on the rise
Q: How do you see the congress industry development of Ljubljana/Slovenia through your eyes?
I see the development of congress industry in Ljubljana and Slovenia through the perspective of the incessant and painstaking search for new ways of attracting congresses to Ljubljana. In this regard, our partnership with the convention bureaus in Slovenia and Ljubljana has delivered encouraging results. In my view, this is the only way of satisfying the strict selection criteria and tipping the scales in our favour – and thus succeeding in putting Ljubljana and Slovenia on the map of those 10 European cities/countries (according to ICCA statistics) that are the most desirable congress destinations. Ljubljana is a congress destination on the rise. I strongly believe that the future ambitions of all main congress industry protagonists who endeavour to bring to Ljubljana two large-scale congresses each month will be fulfilled.
Q: What is the key to success of CD Congress Centre Ljubljana?
It is essential to constantly follow the industry trends, to persistently examine the national and international markets, to provide a high degree of expertise and professional services, cutting-edge technology and, unquestionably, highly skilled and experienced staff. Boasting strong willpower, determination, persistence, expertise and international connections, the team of Cankarjev dom has invested all of this into the meetings industry. Cankarjev dom had been the springboard for numerous congress organisers who then chose to pursue an independent professional career or join a new team.
CD is located in the heart of the capital of Slovenia, it has all the necessary infrastructure required for the organisation of a congress or an event. Our Centre also hosts cultural events, which is an added value for the congress delegates. We can offer all facilities under one roof, with the exclusion of accommodation. There is a three to ten minutes’ walking distance to most hotels and other facilities catering for the needs of a demanding congress delegate: the old city centre that provides a range of entertainment options, authentic cuisine, sights and cultural monuments, the Ljubljana Castle, etc. Some of our foreign clients have expressed their astonishment at finding everything a stone’s throw away. All of these advantages are vital to our success.
Cankarjev dom is a long-standing member of eminent international congress and convention organisations: ICCA since 1980 and of IAPCO since 1981. We maintain an active presence on the international market, and take pride in being the ones who have put Slovenia on the international congress-industry map.
Q: What advantages does Ljubljana have for meetings comparing the region?
Ljubljana is famous for being a small and endearing city, a safe destination. The city has an exceptionally rich heritage of historical buildings (by internationally renowned architect Jože Plečnik). As a capital city, all the important political and scientific institutions are located in Ljubljana. It lies at the crossroads of Central Europe, halfway between Vienna and Venice. Its location within a convenient two-hour flight from almost all major European airports makes it an easily accessible destination. It is still a considerably less explored destination with attractive options for congress and leisure tourism. Last but not least, Ljubljana is the ideal destination also with regard to ensuring public safety. All in all, a visitor will have an unforgettable experience in our green haven of Europe – the most beautiful city in the world. Ljubljana has a great potential for organising congresses with up to 2000 participants.
Q: What are CD Congress Centre Ljubljana key priorities in 2018 and long-term future plans?
Cankarjev dom has already finalised its 2018 congress programme, and is fully booked with as many as 21 conventions and accompanying events. In the future, we primarily aim to attract the congresses that have not been held in Slovenia yet and organise them in line with our mission – with emphasis on professionalism and expertise to the benefit of the clients and the delegates. There is hard work ahead of us but we will not rest on our laurels. We will proceed with friendly assertiveness, moving forward step by step, hoping that our long-term and sizeable investment into marketing will yield. We plan to add new market niches to our overall strategy, with a view to getting into the entire European and global market, channelling our ideas through professional associations and Slovenian ambassadors of science who are their members.
Q: Why can Ljubljana and CD Congress Centre Ljubljana compete with bigger European capitals?
When presenting our candidacies, we always come up against strong competition, facing big rivals – the most sought-after destinations in Europe. Not lagging behind in any way when it comes to satisfying the needs of clients and providing a first-class service, Ljubljana and Cankarjev dom have all the advantages of great destinations. This can only be achieved by a friendly, highly skilled staff, the people who are the key ingredient for success, of both business and leisure tourism.
Q: Is being both a venue and an IAPCO certificated PCO an advantage? How does it help from the professional viewpoint?
Any certificate awarded by professional associations for rendering services is invariably an advantage. The earned certificate guarantees that a service will be provided professionally and efficiently. It can also serve as a door-opener. The organisation issuing a certificate sets the standards, in our case to congress-industry protagonists, which need to be reached in organising congresses. The certificate issued by IAPCO to a PCO has to be renewed each year; PCOs have to submit annual reports listing their projects and services and thus meeting the criteria for a renewal.
About Breda Pečovnik, MSc:
Seeking constant improvement and focusing on continuing education, which are vital to the success of the meetings industry and Cankarjev dom, Breda Pečovnik abides by this rule also in the international arena and is member of International Congress and Convention Association ICCA and the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers IAPCO.
She is member of the Slovenian Convention Bureau and its Council, as well as the Managers’ Association of Slovenia and The Slovenian Directors’ Association (SDA). She teaches at the Biotechnical Educational Centre Ljubljana and the ERUDIO School of Sustainable Tourism Ljubljana. A humanitarian at heart, she has joined the Lions Club Forum Ljubljana and is actively involved in humanitarian work and charity events.