Conventa facilitated over 3500 business meetings

Published: 21.2.2024 More info

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Conventa facilitated over 3500 business meetings

This year, Conventa hosted more than 3,500 business meetings, marking a significant increase from previous editions. Since its beginning in 2009, the event has welcomed 3,639 invited guests and 1,975 exhibitors, facilitating a total of 49,263 business meetings.

Conventa facilitated over 3500 business meetings

Marking its 16th anniversary, Conventa, held at the Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre from February 20 to 22, stands as a cornerstone among global events according to organizers, firmly positioned alongside major players such as IMEX and IBTM, as well as smaller yet impactful business exchanges like M&I Forums and MCE Forums. Additionally, it proudly shares the stage with other significant regional events like The Meetings Show, Aime and ITCM China.

This year's edition welcomed 112 exhibitors from 16 countries and hosted 162 invited guests from 31 countries. Over 350 exhibitors participate in this event, accompanied by 160 guests at side events. Transforming Ljubljana into the bustling centre of the region's meetings industry, more than 500 professionals from several different cities, including Helsinki to Istanbul and Milan to Baku, meet here.

Gorazd Čad, co-founder of the event, underscores the essence of Conventa: "Conventa is a long-distance race, you have to be persistent, you have to stand out and be different, and you have to strive to be better every year. It's all about the journey, the daily effort and a good team, but also a little bit of passion, which the Conventa team never runs out of. And a bit of teenage mischievousness and creativity, epitomised by this year's soundtrack 'Grow Old' by Aka Neomi, which you will hear a lot during Conventa." 

Conventa 2024; photo by Marko Delbello Ocepek

Conventa will be the first event to be conducted and assessed in accordance with the ESRS standard

To ensure that Conventa remains youthful, the organisers are making a number of innovations. The event will thus be carried out in accordance with the Planet Positive Event criteria. This tool has been developed by a group of leading Slovenian experts in sustainable event transformation. The tool will measure not only the carbon footprint but also the ESRS compliance of the event.

MSc. Maja Pak, the Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board explained: "Since its inception, the Slovenian Tourist Board has proudly collaborated with Conventa, a pivotal platform that has united meeting industry providers from the broader region with buyers from across the globe for 16 years. Conventa distinguishes itself through its steadfast commitment to sustainability, striving to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. Initiatives such as promoting sustainable mobility, waste reduction, carbon footprint measurement, and the utilization of local food align seamlessly with our endeavours to foster sustainable development and elevate the quality of tourism with increased added value. By leading by example, Conventa showcases Slovenia as a pioneer of successful integration of sustainability principles into the organization of premier international meetings."

Among Conventa's most important partners is the Austrian company B2match, a pioneer in the use of AI for professional networking. Over the past year, the company has developed a range of AI-based features that can be used by Conventa participants.

This year, Conventa welcomed several new destinations and providers, including three Polish cities: Mazovia, Poznan and Silesia (Their congress bureaus attended the event). Among the newcomers were also several prestigious hotels, including the esteemed St. Regis in Belgrade, renowned for its luxurious accommodations, Hotel Nomad Bjelašnica and Hotel Imperial Plovdiv, each offering unique experiences for attendees. Joining them for the first time were Air Montenegro, Slovakia Travel, Intercontinental Sofia, and Bespoke DMC in Novi Sad. Additionally, the Slovenian company Acenta showcased its innovative IT services.

Miha Kovačič, co-founder of Conventa, pointed out: "Conventa has demonstrated remarkable vision and courage in uniting the regional meetings industry for sixteen years. We constantly challenge ourselves, pushing boundaries and taking calculated risks. But above all, we do it out of respect for our invited guests and exhibitors, who are the heartbeat of this event. It's our duty to empower them, allowing them to shine and carve out an international reputation for themselves."

 

At the press conference held on Wednesday, key figures including co-founder Gorazd Čad, MSc. Petra Stušek, Director of Ljubljana Tourism,  MSc. Karmen Novarlič, Head of Business Communication Department at the Slovenian Tourist Board, Director of the Slovenian Convention Bureau Fredi Fontanot, and Head of the Ljubljana Convention Bureau Jan Oršič, shared their insights and perspectives on the event's significance and future direction.

At the press conference held during Conventa 2024 on Wednesday, 21 February, key figures including co-founder Gorazd Čad, MSc. Petra Stušek, Director of Ljubljana,  MSc. Karmen Novarlič, Head of Communication with Business Publics at the Slovenian Tourist Board, Director of the Slovenian Convention Bureau Fredi Fontanot, and Head of the Ljubljana Convention Bureau Jan Oršič, shared their insights and perspectives on the event's significance and future direction.

Congress Star Awards 2024

This year, Coventa will again be accompanied by a series of events. A new feature was the Conventa Crossroads Key Decision Makers' Forum, organised by the Slovenian Convention Bureau and the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport, which brought together decision makers with representatives of the region's leading destinations on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, a meeting of Slovenian event planners, Conventa SREČA-nja (sreča in Slovenian refers to happiness and srečanja means meetings) took place, seeking to answer the question of how to create events that are responsible to the environment, society and participants.

The Congress Star 2024 awards, which the organisers compare to the "Michelin" of the meetings industry, will be presented at Cankarjev dom on Wednesday. The winners – the best destinations, venues and individuals – for 2023 in 15 categories will be presented at the gala event.

 

Conventa will also host a meeting of Slovenia's congress ambassadors, live 'Ljubljana Talks' and the legendary after party.

This year, the event will also be accompanied by 'fam trips', which will allow invited guests to discover both Slovenia and the wider region.

The organisers have also already announced the date of Conventa 2025, which will take place at various venues in Ljubljana from 18 to 20 February 2025.

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