(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.
Setting an event in the heart of the cultural and natural heritage is a unique experience. That’s particularly fitting for the Slovenian Karst, where one can find the iconic Lipica, Štanjel, and other breathtaking destinations.
The Karst phenomena were named after the Slovenian Karst region, where they were first observed. The region sits between the Gulf of Trieste, the Vipava Valley, Pivka, and Brkini. Throughout Karst, you can find natural occurrences that gave names to similar phenomena around the world. The word “karst” is an ancient Illyrian-Venetian word for rock.
Celebrating its 441st anniversary, the Lipica Stud Farm is located in the heart of this picturesque landscape. The stud farm is among the world’s oldest and is home to Lipizzan horses, one of the oldest cultural horse breeds in Europe and the world. Hence the Lipica Estate is a vital part of the cultural, historical, and natural heritage in Slovenia and Europe.
Although primarily known for its horses, Lipica has become a popular choice for event organisers. It has become particularly favoured among organisers of incentive events and wedding organisers. With the opening of the Hotel Maestoso, event organisers have another reason to come to the region. The hotel was officially opened in July 2021. Surrounded by lush greenery, the exceptional refurbishment is a welcome novelty. The hotel offers 139 rooms, the Gratia à la carte restaurant, and the Conversano spacious congress centre, boasting 11 halls. In the coming year, the offer will be enriched by the Bonadea Wellness Centre.
At the heart of the congress offer are numerous outdoor venues and locations that have gained in popularity during the corona crisis. These are among the largest in Slovenia and allow events for up to 4,000 participants. The stud farm itself is renowned for an array of team building programmes, encompassing everything from classic programmes to the extraordinary “Horse whisperer” workshop.
Lipizzan horses are truly exceptional horses. They are characterised by their strong constitution and endurance, as well as their elegance and gracefulness. Although it takes some time to gain their trust, a positive attitude, understanding, and respect can result in a lifelong friendship. The programme, developed in Lipica, has been designed to provide an insight into the psychology of working with Lipizzan horses. The workshop encourages participants to try to gain the trust and friendship of these noble animals. This remarkable workshop also includes a gastronomic lunch in the midst of pristine nature, surrounded by 350 Lipizzan horses.
Lipica also offers a range of other activities that will diversify your event; from taking a carriage ride, visiting the Lipica Stud Farm Riding School, to touring the Lipikum Museum of the Lipizzan Horse.
The new hotel has elevated the tourist offer in Lipica, helping it to develop its image as an important congress destination. The new investment will benefit the entire Karst region which, before the latest addition of Lipica, lacked hotel capacity.
Devotees of special venues will not be able to resist Štanjel. The medieval village of Štanjel has become one of the region’s pillars of tourism. Boasting a revamped castle from the 17th century that is among the pinnacles of Slovenian architecture, Štanjel is famed as the most unusual and hottest congress story in Slovenia. The entire stone village and its special venue, the Ferrari Garden, can become the venue for your next event. Štanjel Castle is one of the largest castles in the Karst region and is the heart of this ancient settlement. The refurbishment a few years ago resulted in the addition of the new Knight’s Hall, which has a capacity of up to 120 congress guests. Another spectacular venue is the Lojze Spacal Gallery, while Fabiani’s Hall offers the perfect setting for boutique events. Several locations in the region remain undiscovered and are waiting for organisers to hold their next event in a well-preserved cultural heritage, surrounded by a dream-like landscape.
The Slovenian Karst is not only known for its nature. Karst prosciutto and Teran wine, accompanied by excellent cuisine, is a winning combination that attracts many tourists, especially when farms organise gastronomic events, where they offer locally-produced food and wine. In practice, you can showcase the philosophy of “zero kilometres” to your guests. The region is not short of sustainably- and locally-focused providers and world-class gastronomy.
Above all, it’s worth going off the beaten track and feeling the energy of the region. As several locations are as yet unexplored, event organisers can discover the idyllic region and its famed cultural heritage by organising their next event here.