Have you ever wondered just who might be the top influencers in the New Europe Meetings Industry? As the industry rapidly evolves, it is clear that some key influencers actually have the same reach and draw as big companies, so individuals matter in a way that has never been possible before.

The Editorial Board of Kongres Magazine has once again assessed more than 80 influencers in Central and South East Europe after reviewing highlights from the Meetings industry in 2017 and has based their assessment on several key criteria, such as:

• Achievement of the best financial and other multiplier effects of the meetings industry in 2017, (significantly deviating from the average);
• Implementation of the most demanding improvements and innovations in their field, which also includes successfully implemented projects that have defined the year 2017;
• Help in enhancing the reputation and profile of the meetings industry in 2017;
• Innovations that facilitate the work of meetings organisers, or in their way have pointed the direction of the industry in the future.

Based on 680 individually completed surveys, Kongres magazine has analysed and shortlisted the TOP 45 most influential people. They have all contributed to the development of the region and our readers have chosen the best of the best. We have also added 2 newcomers in each category, voted by our readers.

The candidates have been divided into 5 categories.


Daniel MARUŠIĆ, Dubrovnik Travel DMC
DT CROATIA is recognised in the market as a company that steers the trends of regional DMCs. A clear marketing strategy and a systematic operation are visible at both the service level of co-operation with the most demanding clients as well as in the credible results, which were reflected in receiving many Business Awards and AAA Diplomas. Daniel is heavily involved in the meetings arena, also as a member of peer associations and the voice of the convention industry of Croatia.”

Tatjana JURIŠEVIĆ, Kompas d.d.
Tatjana is the CEO and President of the Management Board of Kompas d.d. Her professional career has always been strongly related to business travel and tourism while gaining numerous and diversified experiences. In more than two decades, she has used every opportunity to expand her knowledge and grow the business. Successful leader, aspiring and intuitive, she is co-creating tourism trends and follows the demands of the MICE market. Her strongest and sincere belief is that a successful event is a result of an undiminishing passion, personal touch, loyal partners, and most important, a dedicated team. In her opinion the tourism industry, whatever aspect we consider, is based on personal commitment.

tomaž, krušič

Tomaž KRUŠIČ and Miro HRIBAR, Intours DMC
Intours reached its zenith moment in 2013 when the company recorded impressive business results and increased the brand awareness. They broadened their regional presence, grew their market share and expanded the team. Nowadays Intours DMC team accounts for 15 team members in Slovenia (Ljubljana) and 15 in Croatia (Dubrovnik and Split). Besides incentive B2B events in Slovenia and Croatia, they also operate in Montenegro and in 2017, they have organized more than 120 MICE events and countless leisure events. Future plans of Intours DMC are very exciting, with 15 % growth in employees in 2017 and a new Intours DMC branch – but let’s keep this a secret at the moment…

Andrew HULEWICZ, Mazurkas Travel
Andrew founded Mazurkas Travel with two partners in 1990 soon after the collapse of communism in Poland, when the historical changes of system came. Initially their intention was to service music lovers visiting Poland, so they named their agency after Chopin’s mazurkas. Over the years, step by step, the company expanded its operations from leisure to incentives, transportation, congresses and conferences and finally to hotel, conference center and catering service. Today, Mazurkas Travel is largest private own company in tourism sector in Poland and a story of success. The company operates in all aspects of tourism: MICE, FIT, leisure and employs 60 people in incoming department, 35 in transportation and 110 in hotel and catering. Among the biggest achievements in PCO area, there are the most important events organized in Poland last years: World Youth Days, NATO Summit, COP19, Polish Presidency of the EU Council.

Vesna PRITCHARD, Globtour Event 

With 40 years of experience in the travel, industry Globtour Event is one of the leading Croatian travel agencies specialized in business travel, meetings, events, and destination management. Vesna Pritchard’s team consists of a group of motivated, passionate people who are dedicated to the work they do, sharing a common mission, vision and values in order to provide their customers with the very best service.

Annamari RUFFINI, Incentive House and Dmc Events In & Out

Annamaria Ruffini is the founder, president and CEO of the Incentive House and Dmc Events In & Out, based in Rome – Italy. She has a long experience in the Meeting & Events industry having been involved in the motivation and incentive industry since 1986. She has been a SITE member since 1996, and chaired the Italy Chapter in 2009-2010. In 2011 she was given, in recognition for holding “the highest standard of excellence in creating or executing motivational events”, the SITE Master Motivator Award and in the same year, she secured herself the Global Award of the World Travel Market, for her outstanding contribution to the Italian tourism. In Italy, she is known also for her hands-on manual “Ecoeventi”, the very only Italian booklet about theories and practices of eco-sustainable incentive trips, conventions, trade fair and team-building meetings.


Natalija BAH ČAD, Toleranca Marketing
Natalija joined Go.MICE/Toleranca Marketing in 2008 with ten years of experience as a PCO behind her and with a vision to run a private congress agency that would be flexible, creative and personal. Together with her team of MICE enthusiasts, she has proven that the organisation of a successful congress involves not just logistics, but also creativity and innovativeness. She strongly believes that the organisation of any kind of event is founded on a trustworthy partnership that builds a positive outcome. Conventa is one of the projects that she has been involved with from the very beginning and this concept of regional B2B events has also been successfully transferred from MICE to the Spa & Wellness industry, as well as the active tourism field.

ranko, filipović. CMPA, vice president

Ranko FILIPOVIĆ, Perfect 

Ranko Filipović has over 25 years of experience in meeting industry as a PCO and DMC. After spending 20 years in a large travel company, he creates with his colleagues in the year of 2010 – a small company exclusively focused on meetings, incentives and events. Their other brand, Meeting Industry Consultants, is providing a wide range of consulting services in the meetings and events sector. In addition, Ranko is a co-founder of the Croatian Meeting Professionals Association, a non-profit organization connecting meeting professionals in Croatia with the worldwide knowledge and expertise. Since its foundation in 2011, he serves on a pro bono basis, first as a vice-president, and since April 2017, as a president.

Breda PEČOVNIK, Cankarjev dom
Congress and Events Management Director of CD Congress Centre Ljubljana since 2006, Breda Pečovnik is currently a member of the Slovenian Convention Bureau’s Board as well as the professional international associations of ICCA and IAPCO. She also teaches congress management at a college and faculty in Ljubljana.

Stjepan ŽUNIĆ, Penta PCO
As a long-time tourism professional, he has mainly been working with corporate clients, associations and medical doctors attending congresses. His main vision was focusing and specialising on this complex and demanding field of congress organisation in order to deliver the highest possible service. Being passionate about excellence stems from their company name: Penta [Greek, from pente, five; as the top mark]. Today, after 25 years of continuous activity, the company is a proven leader in the field of MICE services.

Newcomers in 2017, voted by readers


Eda OZDEN, Meptur
As the Director of Business Development at MEP Destination Business Solutions in Istanbul Turkey, Eda roams the world to build relationships and educate the world about Turkey as a destination. She also aims to raise awareness of the incentive travel industry through her work as a board member for SITE Global Association.

Petr is the founder and General Maganer at the C-IN. With over 14 years of experience, C-IN provides the highest level of services specialising in congress and association management, corporate events and special event production. Since 2013, C-IN is the only member of International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) with headquarters situated in the Czech Republic. The team of 55 people delivers more than 50 events per year and acts as a long-term partner for several European associations.