Why is Zagreb the New Meetings Star?
We visited Zagreb in the last minutes before the historical FIFA World Cup Final. The euphoria and positive energy which overtook the city were incredible and only a few remained indifferent to the atmosphere. Football really stops time and pushes all of the daily and other challenges into the background. However, Zagreb offers more than that and is becoming a supreme meetings and events destination. Recently, a lot of things have changed and the city has become a hot meetings spot. Deservingly, the city became the first meetings destination in the L-destinations for 2018 on the grounds of the MTLG methodology. The L-destinations are the destinations that host up to a maximum of 2,000 meeting participants. Zagreb has also greatly progressed in the ICCA ranking. There are many reasons for this, but the most visible is the ever better public infrastructure with a completely new and modern airport, with new hotels, and a persistent and consistent promotion of the city which has brought good results.
NEED TO KNOW 2019
Zagreb offers a lot more than just congress hotels and classical congress offer. The numerous venues impress the most. Their concentration is outstanding and this part of the offer puts Zagreb at the top of the region. The legacy of different periods of urbanisation today allows for events to be held in ultra-modern museums and the city’s magical atriums. Another novelty are the pop-up venues which really come to life in summer time and present an interesting alternative to the classical meeting venues. Next to the traditional museums as special venues – like the Art Pavilion, Croatian National Theatre, Croatian State Archives, the Illyirian Hall, the Mimara Museum – we were particularly impressed by the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art. This art institution in Novi Zagreb (‘New Zagreb’) has been open to the public since 2009; its minimalistic and photogenic architecture, and the flexibility of the museum’s staff attract the event planners who, by prior arrangement, can combine a visit to permanent exhibitions with the concept of the event.
BEST INCENTIVE IDEA
We suggest you that you travel back to the past with the help of an urban adventure that takes to the city’s myths, legends, and actual events. The programme, guided by an energetic and unusual guide Iva Silla, reveals the stories about witches and dragons that caused the city’s earthquake in 1880, as well as many other stories that you will never hear during other tourist tours around town. The most popular programmes that you can choose from are the Ghosts and Dragons Tour and the Zagrebarium Quest which is an excellent case of gamification through the story of an unusual murder – while investigating the murder you will even stumble upon Nikola Tesla.
Kvadrati so Hrvati (The Squares are Croats)
The success of the Croatian football has spread the recognisable Croatian symbol, the red-and-white squares, all around the world. The red-and-white squares and the whole identity of the country are the work of an acknowledged Croatian avant-garde painter Miroslav Šutej. Time has confirmed the originality of his work and we recommend that when visiting Zagreb, you get yourself something with this typical brand as a memory of your visit to the Croatia’s capital. You can further upgrade your visit to Zagreb with a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Arts where a retrospective of this amazing artist is on display.
BEST KEPT SECRETS
Zagreb’s atriums and courtyards are not visible to visitors most of the time. I was always interested in what was hidden behind the heavy doors. I believe that each of the atriums and courtyards hides its own story. The surprising event called “Dvorišta – The Courtyards” reveals the stories of hidden courtyards in the Gornji grad (the “Upper Town”). The festival runs between 13 and 22 July and it links seven city courtyards; among them there are courtyards of private houses like the Šuflaj house, home of the great physicist Anton Šuflaj, the Balbi Palace where today the Old Church Slavonic Institute works, and all the way to the Tituš Brezovački Primary School which reveals an astonishing courtyard. In each of the seven courtyards, innovative culinary and musical surprises are offered to visitors. We believe that this kind of a project is an inspiration for event planners who will be able to organise their next event there.
OFF THE BEATEN MICE TRACK
Lauba, located in the Zagreb’s district of Črnomerec, is a modern gallery that soon after its opening in 2012 became a cool venue. Organisers appreciate the industrial character of the building which used to be the Zagreb Textile Factory and before that a riding arena within the Austro-Hungarian Cavalry Barracks. Its black facade looks elegant and proves that it is possible to beautifully renovate decaying cultural monuments. The mission of the gallery, which is privately owned by a Croatian entrepreneur and collector of contemporary arts Tomislav Klička, is to discover and present young local artists. At the same time, Lauba understands its commercial mission as well and offers space for concerts with 1,500 visitors, gala dinners for up to 500 guests, corporate events, etc. The space can be divided into smaller units which allows for execution of conferences.
Lauba is a cool space in which art, the past and incredible architectural aesthetics meet; this makes for a good starting point for event organisation. The gallery is located a few kilometres out of the city centre, has a large parking lot, and is accessible by public transport as well.
Zagreb is a pleasant and comfortable city for congress guests. And despite the fact that this is a city of more than one million residents, the city is compact and easily accessible. With a few strategic investments, among which the most important one is certainly the construction of a new airport terminal, Zagreb has become the leading regional meetings destination. The colour of the city is blue and the news that it is possibly to organise events in Zagreb has quickly spread around. Next to the adequate congress infrastructure, the green areas in form of lawns and mighty parks also greatly contribute to the high quality of stay for congress guests. We are also happy about the news that the project of a new congress centre is in its final phase; with this congress centre, Zagreb will additionally strengthen its leading position in the region.