We asked the leading industry experts for their thoughts on destination marketing and bidding

Q: What makes a successful destination marketing campaign?

It is very hard to make a “different” marketing campaign. It is not possible to have one campaign that will target all segments, so in the end, it is all about return on investment and conversion factor. In our business, it is also a question, if and how to create an impact since the targeted markets are very distinctive from each other.

Q: What can your destination offer event organisers that other destinations cannot?

Being “new and different” is so much used slogan from a large number of destinations. But also, it is a question we receive from a number of clients. We always start from creating an added value and a true experience and going away from traditional formula event = venue + coffee + sightseeing. Today it is all about sight-living and active experience.

Q: In your opinion, what makes a good convention bureau?

Convention bureau should have international and local recognition. No CVB can work without industry support in all aspects. The ultimate resource is know-how. CVB needs to have deserved reputation among clients and associations as well. And for the end, all activities should be measured and ROI calculated.


Q: How do you prepare a successful bid?

It is all about understanding the clients’ needs and wants. Speak with them, research on the web all aspects of the event that you are bidding for. Try to fit the destination into the event, and not the vice versa. Use understandable language. Be honest. No two bids are the same.

Q: Who should be involved in the preparation of a successful bid?

All parties of interests, including local association, CVB, PCO, venue and hotels. This gives them an understanding that all of us are partners and everyone should take part in the risks.

Q: Latest stories of success?

In 2019 we have started 16 bids processes, and additional 5 are confirmed. For the CVB this are major aspects. But I can mention events that we have bid a long time ago and that are taking place in Serbia this year like EUPSA congress is.


Q: What always makes you smile?

Working with students in my lectures. The more I make them think outside the box, the more classes are interesting. Sun and Danube river, rollerblading almost every morning and enjoying how the Belgrade is waking up.

About Igor

Igor Kovačević has been part of the Serbian journey from “no destination” to the MICE leader in the region and TOP 50 in the world. He has been mainly focusing on working closely with international associations. This resulted in establishing a proactive sales platform targeting international clients. In the last three years, Igor led the bidding process for over 71 bids in addition to 47 confirmed events. He implemented a very successful Congress Ambassador program which created long-lasting relations with local distinguished members of the program. Igor is also Assistant Professor at the leading Faculty in the region as well as a Deputy Chair at ICCA Central European Chapter.

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