INTRO 1: How would you describe your destination if you could only use two to three words?
Zestful, Alluring, Green.
INTRO 2: Which destination do you believe is your biggest competition?
It is a global market, so the competition is global. It really depends on many different elements that vary from project to project. It is important to emphasize the importance of cooperation that truly exists between our destinations and brings much more value to all of us within the meetings industry.
INTRO 3: Which destination is an inspiring role model to you?
Various destinations in various segments. Generally, those offering authentic local experience, with professional staff, sustainable. Every destination has its specific good points and some segments that could be better. So, it is possible to get good ideas by learning from various destinations’ best practices.
Q1: How do you see the recognition among the top ten meeting destinations evaluated according to the Meeting Experience Index?
Thank you for the recognition. It is great to be in such a distinguished company of destinations. The award also motivates us to do our best to strive to lift the bar, raise standards and provide the best possible experience for meeting participants.
Q2: What sets your destination apart from your competition, and what will ensure you have a competitive edge in the future?
In many ways, Zagreb has this Central European look and tradition, which is also influenced by the Mediterranean culture. This happy mix is a great starting point. Zagreb is also a very compact city, so its historical core, most venues, hotels, sightseeing points, museums, restaurants, and shopping areas are within walking distance. It is also very green, with lush urban parks, numerous festivals, hospitable locals, and more. The atmosphere is almost proverbial. Last, but not least, Zagreb is a very safe destination.
Q3: We live in uncertain times; in the past two years, we have learned how to battle the crisis caused by the corona crisis and face the economic crisis caused by the war. How does your destination cope in such challenging times?
It is true that we have been through a difficult period, as everybody else has. We certainly hope this is behind us, as we are experiencing a gradual comeback of meetings, events and incentives in our city. Also, the interest in Zagreb by international buyers has grown significantly, and we are looking to level and even exceed the pre-pandemic numbers. What we have learned so far is that technology has been and still is very helpful in keeping in touch with our clients and even holding a meeting or an event. However, meetings and doing business in person are priceless.
Q4: How do you foresee the future of the meetings industry in the next decade? What topics must the industry address immediately?
A bigger emphasis has to be put on education on sustainability and its implementation in destinations, stronger inclusion of local community, and of course, smart use of technology to meet the industry’s needs.
Q5: How does your destination stay up-to-date with the turbulent changes sweeping the meetings industry? What is your advice for our readers?
What we see is that meeting planners and decision makers tend to reach decisions in a shorter period of time than before, so this means all suppliers in a destination have to react much quicker and be ready for sudden changes. Consequently, everyone in the meetings and events industry has to become more flexible, respond and interact swiftly. That is more demanding since we are all humans, so finding the right balance would be the key.
Q6: What should the meetings industry do to attract talented individuals? What is your advice for young talents starting their careers?
Along with your education, creativity and networking is the key. Observe how quickly trends in our industry change, so be ready to learn and adapt as you go. The learning process never ends. Also, be passionate about what you do and enjoy your work. You will discover it’s rewarding.
Q7: Where are you positioning your marketing efforts this year and the next?
We plan to focus on the industry’s B2B shows, targeting associations and corporate buyers from all over the world. We also take part in numerous workshops and organize and host fam trips to Zagreb. We will also organize themed presentations for groups of selected meeting planners and decision-makers.
Q8: Your partners are possibly the most demanding meeting planners. What is it like to work with them and meet their needs?
It all comes down to meeting and interacting with various people, sometimes even with different cultural backgrounds. As long as we do our jobs professionally, there’s no problem. Each and every meeting planner is very important to us, and we make effort to provide as much information as possible, connect them with local industry partners, and guide and support them in all aspects of bringing a meeting, an event, or an incentive to Zagreb.