Slovenia might not be the first destination that associations think of when searching for innovative and progressive conventions, but that’s starting to change. The Slovenian Convention Bureau has spent the past decade proving that a more personal approach to conventions is not only possible but more productive and profitable for participants.
Next month marks the 10th annivesary of Coventa, the New Europe meetings industry trade show, whose founders Miha Kovacic of SCB and Gorazd Cad of Toleranca Marketing, marked the occasion by sharing what they’ve learned at ibtm Barcelona last week.
“We believe in human connection done in a more intimate, relaxed way,” explained Kovacic who is eager to disrupt the boring conference structure and test new marketing ideas.
The event has also raised awareness of Slovenia and neighboring destinations. The show has hosted 2,285 hosted buyers from 48 countries and 1,192 exhibitors from 17 countries — of which 30 percent come back as tourists.
SCB’s team is committed to expanding its association business and will bring on a new team member dedicated to associations in 2018.
Maintaining its personal approach to innovation, the Slovenia Convention Bureau went directly to the source when recently thinking about how to best do marketing in the association world. The Slovenian mayor hosted a professional conference organizer and took him on a tour of Ljubljana followed by lunch with 22 conference stakeholders from the city. They asked him and then took note of what makes the perfect destination for association congresses and how they can best evolve.