Ljubljana transformed into the central meeting hub for regional event organisers last night. The premier and oldest event within the regional meetings industry is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Celebrations will continue until 2 February 2023, with 147 hosted buyers from 30 countries set to convene with 95 exhibitors from 15 regional countries. Conventa already started on Monday with pre-fam trips to several destinations. Attendees will again attend the fam trips after two days at the iconic trade show, where they will conduct 2,500 business meetings.
The opening ceremony took place in the Grand Plaza Hotel, where the organisers awarded the Conventa Hall of Fame Award and Conventa Ambassador Award. This year, Umanotera – The Slovenian Foundation for Sustainable Development and ClimatePartner received the coveted Conventa Hall of Fame Award. Both esteemed companies co-crafted the sustainable transformation of Conventa and helped the project claim the title of the best green and sustainable event in the world at the Bea World Festival. The Conventa Ambassador Award was awarded to Natascha Ringerthaler from Salzburg Convention Bureau. Renowned as a great advocate of Conventa, she has been promoting regional connections for years. At Conventa, she actively promotes the region of Salzburg.
“CONVENTA FOSTERS CONNECTIONS AND THE CREATION OF WORLD-CLASS EVENTS. AT THE SAME TIME, IT IS A RECORD-SETTING EVENT.”
Commenting on the awards, Miha Kovačič, the co-founder of Conventa, stressed: “The awards and the trade show celebrate fifteen years this year. Each year, we are taken aback by new stories of organisations and individuals who achieve excellence and help co-create the story of Conventa. We cannot imagine Conventa without their help and trust in our project.”
At the award ceremony, attendees were greeted by the Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, Maja Pak M.Sc., who highlighted the importance of the meetings industry’s sustainable transformation: “In 2022, Slovenian tourism nearly reached pre-pandemic numbers according to the number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays. In terms of international travel in 2022, we have already surpassed those numbers. We are glad that live events are coming back and that tourists are returning to our country and region. The 15th anniversary of Conventa gathered numerous key stakeholders of the regional meetings industry, a sector that greatly contributes to creating added value in tourism, particularly in the off-season.”
“Conventa fosters connections and the creation of world-class events. At the same time, it is a record-setting event. Sustainability, the common, green thread of Slovenian tourism, has also resonated with Conventa. At Conventa Green Island, the Slovenian Tourist Board, Ljubljana Tourism and ClimatePartner share good practice cases in sustainability, thus ensuring that the broader meetings industry continuously reduces its carbon footprint in the future and increases value for all stakeholders in tourism. As the proud partner of Conventa, we have been looking forward to conducting successful meetings at the trade show and improving the entire meetings industry since the first edition.”
In fifteen years, Conventa has hosted 3479 hosted buyers from 47 countries and 1844 exhibitors from 18 countries. The matchmaking system has recorded 46,263 meetings thus far.
Conventa made a pledge to sustainability. Hence, the organisers will again measure the carbon footprint of the event. They cooperate with ClimatePartner, which calculated that 88% of all carbon emissions were related to transport. That is why the organisers focused predominantly on the challenge of transportation. They successfully convinced 29,5% of hosted buyers to opt for sustainable mobility (train, car sharing, bus). According to Gorazd Čad, positive and encouraging communication can achieve long-lasting change. He emphasised: “By measuring our carbon footprint every year, we can measure our progress and improve in the most problematic segments. The measures in our green handbook are crucial, and we will evolve them year-on-year.”
One of the highlights will be the Meetings Star Award Ceremony, which will award the best meeting destinations, venues and individuals. The awards, considered the Michelin stars of the meetings industry, will be awarded on Wednesday, 1 February 2023, at 19.00 in Gallus Hall in Cankarjev dom.
The organisers have announced several novelties for this year’s edition:
Conventa Green Handbook
Conventa will implement an array of measures that will help save the environment. The organisers have gathered their recommendations in a comprehensive handbook that you can download at the following link: https://conventa.si/zeleni-prirocnik/.
Conventa Green Island
In cooperation with the Slovenian Tourist Board, Ljubljana Tourism and Climate Partner, the organisers will introduce the Conventa Green Island, where attendees will learn about sustainable practices and see how they can actually reduce the carbon footprint of an event.
Carbon footprint measurement
This year too, the carbon footprint will be precisely measured. Conventa will cooperate with Climate Partner, an esteemed company for measuring carbon footprint. Measuring the event’s CO2 emission will help the organisers prioritise further steps in line with the project’s sustainable criteria.
Conventa Trend Bar Live
Conventa’s educational programme, which took place online during the year, will take place in person during Conventa. The educational track features captivating talks about novelties in event organising. Expert speakers will share the latest news about up-and-coming venues, trends and valuable tips.
Meeting of Slovenian Congress Ambassadors
The Slovenian Congress Ambassador Programme has had a noticeable impact on Slovenia’s success in the internationalisation of science, sports and economy. The first convening of the Slovenian Congress Ambassadors in 2023 will take place during Conventa. The Slovenian Tourist Board will organise the meeting.
Conventa’s growing partner network
Two new partners joined Conventa’s network of partners in 2022. The first is Hotel Four Points By Sheraton Ljubljana Mons, one of the leading hotels in Ljubljana. The second partner to join is Visual Group Adriatic, a high-tech company spearheading state-of-the-art multimedia technology and technical support.
Gorazd Čad outlined the event’s regenerative effects: “The organisers see Conventa as a facilitator of development for the meetings industry in Ljubljana and the region. Conventa spearheads change and is the ideal think-tank for testing and innovating in sustainable and regenerative transformation. Conventa is not only a means to multiply financial benefits and achieve constant growth but is also crucial for sustainable development and regeneration. Event organising based on a sustainable approach contributes to Ljubljana’s prosperity and has multiplicative effects on the community. Conventa follows the new strategy of Ljubljana’s meetings industry and thus represents a good practice case.”
Below is a brief statistical summary:
HOSTED BUYERS OF CONVENTA
|Number of confirmed hosted buyers||146|
|Number of confirmed hosted buyers from the Alpe-Adria region||25|
|Number of confirmed hosted buyers from Europe, the USA and the Middle East||121|
|Number of hosted buyer countries||32|
EXHIBITORS OF CONVENTA
|Number of confirmed exhibitors||90|
|Number of exhibitors in the Experience Zone||5|
|Number of exhibitor countries||15|
|Index hosted buyers/exhibitors||62|
NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND FAM TRIPS
|Number of pre-arranged meetings||2,600|
|Average number of conducted meetings per exhibitor||31|
|Number of fam trips before Conventa||4|
|Number of fam trips after Conventa||4|
MEETINGS STAR COMPETITION 2022/2023
|Number of evaluated and certified meeting destinations (33 countries)||125|
|Number of evaluated and certified meeting hotels and convention centres (18 countries)||238|
|Number of nominated influencers of the meetings industry (23 countries)||242|
|Number of awards for winners in all categories||14|