Photo Credit: Iza Roblek

At this year’s MineralFest, organised in Cankarjev dom, attendees had a unique opportunity to admire gemstones and attend workshops on rock polishing and jewellery making. The festival, titled Salt – White Gold, saw exhibitors from Slovenia and abroad present one-of-a-kind minerals, fossils and jewellery.

Cankarjev dom’s Grand Reception Hall played host to the sixth Mineral Fest, which attracted numerous attendees and exhibitors. The festival showcased the extraordinary world of minerals and gemstones, thus inciting curiosity among participants.

Photo Credit: Iza Roblek

Given the record-breaking attendance, it seems there is a growing interest in minerals, fossils and jewellery in Slovenia. Marjana Zupan, the head organiser of the event, delved into the program of the festival and why she believes the festival will grow in the future.

Q1: This is the sixth edition of the MineralFest. How did you come up with the idea of organising the event?

In the past, I served as the director of a successful event (Minfos Tržič) and had the chance to get acquainted with event organising. The exhibitors expressed the wish to host such an event in the capital. Hence, I helped fill the void in Ljubljana. I believe the conference, now in Ljubljana, will help foster development in the city.

Q2: Why did you decide to host the festival in Cankarjev dom this year?

The first two editions of MineralFest took place at the Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre. However, as our long-term visions for the development of the event were different from the venue’s, we luckily found a new location – Cankarjev dom.

Photo Credit: Iza Roblek

Q3: What are the advantages of organising a festival at Cankarjev dom?

Cankarjev dom is ideal for an event where minerals, crystals, and jewellery can shine in the imposing Grand Reception Hall in all their splendour. Most importantly, the team of Cankarjev dom are of great help to event organisers. Their positive approach is reflected in the inspiring ambience of the event. In addition, their technical support is invaluable.

Q4: Where do exhibitors come from?

Exhibitors regularly come from Slovenia, Germany, Croatia, Serbia, Italy and India.

Q5: Supposing you did not organise events in the last two years, has interest spiked after the covid crisis?

On the contrary, we organised the festival successfully last year. Thus, we were the only ones in the region with the courage to execute such a festival. This year showed that persistence and meaningful content give encouraging results, as we doubled our attendance. More importantly, the exhibitors were thrilled and confirmed their attendance for next year.

Photo Credit: Iza Roblek

Q6: Given the event program, the purpose is not only sales-oriented but to educate and provide practical workshops. What was the response this year?

Our first idea envisaged a larger festival concept, as we aim to share awareness and inspire people to study the fascinating world of minerals and crystals. Above all, younger generations can learn new skills by attending workshops. Our workshops for polishing rocks and creating jewellery are thus in the program every year. At the same time, we spread awareness about the expert community in rock polishing in Slovenia. The workshops are always fully booked and take place throughout the event under the watchful eye of mentors.

Q7: What are your future plans?

We have countless plans. While seeking and adding new content that will appeal to the general public, we plan on inviting more diverse and quality exhibitors from Slovenia and abroad.

Find out more about MineralFest at https://mineralfest-ljubljana.com/.

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