CONVENTA Since 2007

Event: Conventa
Date: 22–23.01.2020
Number of participants: 590 live
www.conventa.si
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CONVENTA PEOPLE2PEOPLE EVENT

This article was written by Gorazd Čad, a seasoned meeting planner, who has dedicated 25 years of life to the meetings and events industry. He witnessed the fall of Yugoslavia, the establishment of independent Slovenia, adapted to the internet revolution of the ’90s, overcame the economic crisis of 2008, the 2010 eruption of an Icelandic volcano, and the 2019 meetings industry burnout…

As the organisers of Conventa, we believe that authentic human contact is priceless and is the only known form that appeals to all five senses. Likewise, it is embedded in the DNA of our project that we have been organising since 2007. Nonetheless, event organisers will have to adapt to the pandemic and not the other way around. Therefore, the hybrid version of Conventa 2021 will take place live, while all those who are unable to attend will be welcome to follow the event via our interactive platforms. Conventa endures: due to its perseverance, boldness and because it stays true to its purpose. We still believe in the power of live events; however, we were forced to look for alternative solutions due to the situation.

Regardless of the current state of affairs, we will reminisce about our last live event before the corona crisis. The project is an appealing insight into our “Power to the Meetings” methodology.

The best events can happen once you start creating events based on your own measures and values. The cornerstone of Conventa was first to make it a boutique and five-star experience. We thought that it was better to invite fewer meeting planners, who matched our criteria, rather than hosting many who did not. In addition, it was proven that selling a congress product to an interested buyer is not only nonsense but also an unjustified waste of time and money.

More than anything, I am proud of Conventa for always guaranteeing high quality. That is confirmed by the results of surveys and the fulfilment of our promise to bring 80% of new buyers – event organisers to the trade show every year. According to my knowledge and information, we are the only MICE trade show that has been strictly following this practice since its inception.

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To us, quality is far more important than quantity. Therefore, we reject up to 60% of all registrations:

201820192020
Submitted registrations547489571
Confirmed registrations185186205
Percentage of confirmed registrations33.82%38.03%35.90%

The project is taken to pieces every year and then, following the design method, built back up. In 2020, a complex model of five, intertwining content segments was crafted. We actually started developing them a few years ago, and some have already seen the light of day, while others still need some time. In this manner, the Conventa brand has been following its mission, while retaining its position as one of the pivotal events of the regional meetings industry. At the same time, Conventa is becoming a whole-year platform for event organisers.

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The Conventa platform comprises:

CONVENTA TRADE SHOW – The oldest MICE B2B event in New Europe
CONVENTA CROSSOVER – The festival of events and live marketing
CONVENTA TREND BAR – A series of educational events in the cities of New Europe
CONVENTA TECH & MORE – The place for congress ideas and technological solutions
CONVENTA YOUNG TALENTS – More contacts, more contracts – employment trade show

The essence of Conventa remains its great team and team spirit. I am proud of the fantastic team that creates the event every year. We have connected our passion, dedication and knowledge into the annual Conventa experience, and we hope our team’s work will not disappoint.

Some technical information about Conventa 2020:

146 exhibitors
16 congress destinations of New Europe
132 exhibitor stands
11 Conventa Tech & More and Special Venues exhibitors
253 hosted buyers
39 countries from which hosted buyers come
151 international hosted buyers
43 regional hosted buyers
59 hosted buyers from Slovenia

GOOD TO KNOW:

Dignity, uprightness and thinking outside the box are liberating and the only path towards great (live) events.

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KEY OUTTAKES FROM THE EVENT

Out-take 1
Keywords associated with Conventa according to key stakeholders are QUALITY, EFFECTIVE, EXCELLENT, FUNTASTIC… words that fill us with pride. Furthermore, such compliments represent a starting point for other organisers of live events.

Out-take 2
As organisers of Conventa, we are committed to sincerity and honesty in regard to communication with our partners and exhibitors. During the corona crisis, several meaningful questions emerged, which we answered with honesty and transparency.

Out-take 3
A pioneer in the market, Conventa was the first to carry the burden of promoting individual destinations of New Europe while promoting itself. To this day, we are convinced this is the right path for creating synergy.

Out-take 4
Regarding the quality, our guarantee to exhibitors is simple. We bring 80% of new hosted buyers each year. It does not get simpler in terms of quality.

Out-take 5
As organisers of Conventa, we have always kept true to our word and we will continue to do so!

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What does the hybrid model of Conventa 2021 mean?

The simplest formula of Conventa’s hybrid event can be summed up like this:

LIVE (exhibitors and the majority of hosted buyers) + ONLINE (hosted buyers that cannot attend due to restrictions) = HYBRID CONVENT

10 PRO TIPS FOR ORGANISING A SUCCESSFUL LIVE B2B EVENT

As an organiser of an important regional B2B event, I often find myself in a situation when I have to share good practice cases with my colleagues. I do my best to advise them into which part of marketing they should invest. Over the past few years, I have written down some of the questions, thus creating an interesting overview of criteria worth following before deciding to participate at B2B events. Sooner or later, live events will return, and these questions will once again become highly relevant.

1. Promises of unrealistically quick sales results

Marketing in our field is not a sprint that brings results overnight. On the contrary, it is a challenging and often brutal marathon. Those who understand this are among the most successful in the market. The challenges are unreal expectations of short-term effects because events are primarily dedicated to creating opportunities and not making direct sales.

2. The ratio between exhibitors and hosted buyers

The rule of the thumb should be a 1:2 ratio. Thus, for every 100 exhibitors, there should be 200 hosted buyers. Such a ratio enables all exhibitors to have their schedules filled with quality meetings. If the ratio is 1:1 or less, it is sensible to ask the organisers a question regarding the quality.

3. Guaranteed number of meetings

If you are attending an event for two days, the organisers need to ensure at least 15 pre-arranged meetings. Such a promise is directly connected to the ratio between the number of exhibitors and hosted buyers. Demand a guarantee from the organisers concerning the minimum number of meetings.

4. Percentage of new hosted buyers

If the annual percentage of new hosted buyers is lower than 20%, there is a high probability that the base of buyers is empty. The objective of serious organisers is to bring new buyers every year. You should demand clear information and a guarantee from the organisers.

5. Database

At any given time, the organisers need to ensure that they are processing data in line with the GDPR Compliance Statement. Moreover, they should provide you with the entire database of buyers for your follow-up. The database is the heart of the story.

6. Real buyers interested in your congress product

If it is a regional event, organisers should ensure buyers that show actual interest in your product and region. That is essential for concrete enquiries to be realised.

7. Measuring ROI

Event organisers should have understandable criteria for measuring return on investment (ROI). Among other matters, they should provide the answer to the question of how many offers have been realised.

8. Privatisation of hosted buyers

The democracy and sincerity of the organisers are shown in the availability of social events for exhibitors. It is crucial that social events are open to all, as we believe in the transparency of relationships without privatised and sponsored events or agreements made secretly out of the public eye. Such an approach enables continuous networking of both exhibitors and hosted buyers.

9. Experience destinations

An essential part of successful stories are experience-fam-trips to individual destinations. They strongly increase the marketing of destinations, improve their recognisability and additionally increase the interest of hosted buyers.

10. Marketing throughout all available platforms

Next to “m2” sales, check what sort of promotional opportunities the organisers offer. What type of promotion is included in the package? Do they offer to publish your news free of charge in partner media, e-news or throughout social media?