Bled, Slovenia (Jacob Riglin, Beautiful Destinations)

(R)EVOLUTION OF THE SLOVENIAN MEETINGS INDUSTRY

The Slovenian meetings industry (r)evolution is here. After almost a year and a half of silence, the Slovenian meetings industry is going into autumn with numerous novelties. Slovenia is considered a safe, green, and compact destination that offers good value for money. Slovenia is a destination that’s eagerly awaiting the post-corona period, well-equipped with know-how and a series of novelties that will enrich its conference offer.

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16th Bled Strategic Forum (Photo: bledstrategicforum.org)

Slovenia’s EU Presidency is a great challenge and responsibility in terms of organising events. Most of the events related to the presidency are taking place in Alpine Slovenia in the Gorenjska region. The events held so far have been excellent and are proof that Slovenia is capable of hosting the most demanding events.

The Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union encompasses a series of events that are of great significance for Slovenia. The most important events are taking place in the surroundings of the Slovenian Alps at the Brdo Estate and in Bled. Both venues have a long and rich tradition of protocol events and meetings at the highest level. Bled, in particular, is renowned as one of the most beautiful and recognisable faces of Slovenia. Such events also have an impact on the meetings industry due to their high profile. Slovenia is planning around 200 events during its second EU Presidency; 18 at a high level, the rest at a sub-ministerial level. A small number of these events will take place virtually, while others will take place depending on the epidemiological trends in Slovenia and elsewhere in Europe.

We have taken a look at some of the most significant events of the first part of the Presidency. These events are a showcase of knowledge in the field of event organisation and will be particularly remembered by the:

Opening ceremony

The ballet performance Povodni mož performed by the Slovene National Theatre Maribor made a strong impression on the audience. The performance is based on Slovenian mythology and the poetic legacy of France Prešeren. In a dialogue with the past, it challenges the modern man to find solutions for the future in a connected, united Europe. It reveals a message about the will to live as the foundation of a new Europe. Choreography by Edward Clug and original music by Milko Lazar delighted the distinguished guests. The performance of Povodni mož on the island of Bled is a kind of theatrical baptism of the island itself. At the same time, it showcased how different locations can be exploited creatively. Bled Island, with its pier, 99 steps, and church, is a natural amphitheatre. This fairytale setting became Slovenia’s most exceptional special venue after the event.

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16th Bled Strategic Forum (Photo: bledstrategicforum.org)

16th Bled Strategic Forum in a hybrid format

Over the years, the Bled Strategic Forum has developed into the leading international conference in Central and South-Eastern Europe and is often dubbed the Davos of Eastern Europe. Each year, the Forum brings together hundreds of influential political representatives, business leaders, NGOs, representatives of international organisations, entrepreneurs, and academics. Peter Grk, the main organiser of the event, recently spoke about the organisational challenges of the Forum at the Conventa Crossover conference. This year, the event took place in an entirely hybrid way, showing how even the most complex events can be transformed. Bled’s entire meetings industry was also actively involved, a testament to Bled’s expertise and professionalism as a meetings destination.

Informal meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers

Many of the events are taking place at the Brdo Congress Centre. This exceptional centre was the result of Slovenia’s first Presidency of the European Union in 2008. Its superb architecture, functionality, and successful operations are the reasons why events of the highest level are held here. For example, the meeting of European Union Member State Ministers responsible for Foreign Affairs took place in early September. This year’s Presidency has shown just how important the investment in the Congress Centre has been. The bottom line is that Brdo provides some of the best services in the country.

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Informal meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers at Brdo Congress Centre (Photo: slovenian-presidency.consilium.europa.eu)

We have many events to look forward to before the end of the Presidency, including the highlighted EU-Western Balkans Summit on 6 October.

In parallel with the Presidency, the 123-room Brdo Hotel, which welcomed its first guests at the start of the Presidency, has also been recently renovated. Renamed the Elegans Hotel Brdo, it boasts four stars, putting it on the map of protocol, business, and sports tourism. A special feature of the hotel and the Brdo Estate is that the Michelin-starred chef Tomaž Kavčič is in charge of the cuisine at all events. He will ensure the highest quality and perfection of the gastronomic offer at the Elegans Hotel Brdo, Villa Tartini, Strmol Castle, and Villa Bled. Slovenian cuisine has evolved considerably since the first EU Presidency. The Presidency is an excellent opportunity to promote this part of the Slovenian meetings industry offer.

The meeting providers in Bled and Brdo have confirmed that they are capable of hosting the most demanding events, easily competing on a European level.

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Elegans Hotel Brdo (Photo: slovenia-convention.com)

For further information, please visit the website of the Slovenian Convention Bureau at www.slovenia-convention.com and the Slovenian Tourist Board at www.slovenia.info.

READ ALSO: Alpine Slovenia – Activities among the highest mountains and the wildest waters

https://www.slovenia.info/en/destinations/regions/alpine-slovenia