Getting the FEBS Congress to take place in the GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre (GR), is a great achievement not just for the scientific organiser of the Congress, the Slovenian Biochemical Society, but also for the GR as the venue, as well as for the GR’s partnering PCO agency, Dekon.SI. Moreover, the congress also significantly contributes to the worldwide recognition of Slovenia and its capital.
The congress is important for the recognition of Slovenian science. Namely, for the field of biochemistry and molecular biology as the Congress, as professor Janko Kos, president of the Slovenian Biochemical Society, notes “is a good opportunity to present our scientific achievements to a broader audience and to show that Slovenia and Ljubljana are a suitable place for research and technological development.”
In addition, a congress of such international recognition and significance aids Slovenia further in the acknowledgment of its meetings industry. “It helps to be seen on the international maps of various associations, committees, and other institutions that cover different fields from science and engineering to politics and more. It gets Slovenia even higher on the list of competitive destinations,” says Ana Božič, Sales Manager at the GR and at Dekon.SI. “Furthermore, with every congress like this, we encourage other Slovenian representatives to bid for new congresses.”
The idea to hold the FEBS Congress in Ljubljana the first time came to life six years ago, and three years later an Initiative Committee to prepare a bid was formed. In 2017 the bid was presented to FEBS Council Meeting in Jerusalem where it was accepted and the organisation of the 45th FEBS Congress was trusted to Slovenian Biochemical Society. “During the bid preparation we selected the venue (GR) and the PCO (Dekon.SI),” says professor Janko Kos, president of the Slovenian Biochemical Society which organises the Congress. “Both companies helped us a lot with bid preparation and presentation. In particular, delegates were fascinated by the promotional video prepared by Dekon especially for the bid presentation.”
The GR and its PCO partner Dekon.SI work hand in hand with the Slovenian Biochemical Society. The Society takes care of everything that concerns the content of the Congress – the scientific part of the Congress, while Dekon as the PCO is in charge of the whole event logistics before, during and after the Congress. Ana Božič from Dekon explains, “We take care of event management in full scope services, starting from planning and bidding, to venue sourcing, all technical support, catering, translation, etc. There is also accommodation, registration and scientific programme service, sponsorship and exhibition management, web design & software development, IT communication services, marketing & PR, and different design solutions.”
Dekon.SI also helped during the bidding process by creating bid documents and video presentations; in addition, they visit other FEBS destinations. “Last year we attended the Congress in Prague and we are also going to this year’s Congress in Krakow to promote Ljubljana’s Congress in order to bring as many delegates as possible next year,” adds Ana Božič.
Furthermore, Dekon also takes care of the financial part, including the pre-financing, communication with potential exhibitors, sponsors. “And finally,” says Ana Božič, “we also take care of the coordination onsite, with the venue, social events for delegates, faculty dinners, etc.”
In July 2020, around 2000 delegates are expected to attend the FEBS Congress in Ljubljana. Due to its size and diversity, the Congress demands not just spacious capacities for all the delegates, but also many breakout rooms for parallel sessions, as well as exhibition and poster areas. “The GR is perfect in such cases,” points out Ana Božič. “And the GR is also the only venue in Slovenia that can easily offer not just big enough halls, but also halls with the daylight and high ceilings. That’s a very important detail to create an attractive and friendly atmosphere.”
All in all, hosting and organising such a Congress is a big victory not just for the GR as avenue and Dekon as a PCO, but also for Slovenia, as it will get additional promotion not just for its scientific fields and its meetings industry, but also for its natural and cultural heritage that, together with high-quality culinary experiences, will be provided in the Congress’ accompanying programme. As Ana Božič concludes, “Just as much as the GR needs Slovenia, Slovenia needs the GR.”