Conventa is celebrating its sweet sixteen



# tags: Slovenia , Events , Conventa , Exhibitions , Meetings Industry , Ljubljana

Since 2009, Conventa has hosted 3,639 hosted buyers and 1,975 exhibitors who attended 49,263 business meetings.

For the past sixteen years, Conventa has been the central meeting point for event organisers between Helsinki and Istanbul and Milano and Baku. Between 20 and 22 February 2024, 120 exhibitors from 16 countries will meet with 160 hosted buyers from 31 countries.

In 2024, the organisers have several surprises lined up. One of the novelties is the advent of Conventa Crossroads, a forum for decision-makers. The nascent forum will connect destination representatives with decision-makers in politics. Conventa Crossroads will take place on Tuesday, 20 February 2024, in Rog Centre in Ljubljana. Until now, no single platform in the region connected stakeholders in the meetings industry with policymakers in politics.

The organisers will also calculate Conventa’s sustainability rating according to the Green Meetings Star. The project addresses the challenges the industry faces in making a sustainable transformation.

According to the organisers, Conventa positions between large global events (IMEX, IBTM World) and smaller business forums (M&I Forums, MCE Forums) and remains among the most illustrious regional events (The Meetings Show, AIME, IT&CM China).

“Being among the leading business trade shows in Europe is not achieved overnight. It requires tremendous work, effort and cooperation with esteemed partners. Conventa has been taking place since 2009. If an event takes place for sixteen years straight, the organisers must be doing something right. 20 strategic partners play a crucial role in co-creating the event,” outlined Gorazd Cad, the co-founder of Conventa.

“Quality over quantity”

The organisers of Conventa emphasise that the quality of hosted buyers is the key to the success of Conventa. The organisers deliver on their promise by bringing at least 70% new hosted buyers annually.

This year, the percentage is even higher, with 78% of new hosted buyers. The balance between hosted buyers and exhibitors is high, too. Each exhibitor equals an average of 1.5 hosted buyers. That guarantees exceptional satisfaction among the hosted buyers, confirmed by post-event surveys annually.

The co-founder of Conventa, Miha Kovacic, responsible for selecting hosted buyers, elaborated on the data: “This year, we have a record 589 hosted buyers. Conventa only confirms a third of registered hosted buyers, which is a testament to the quality of the event. This year, we had to reject over 70% of hosted buyers, as Conventa’s philosophy is clear: quality over quantity.”

The organisers released further data regarding the structure of hosted buyers. The largest part includes corporate event organisers (33.8%), DMC agencies (18.1%), expert associations (15.6%), event agencies (13.1%) and incentive agencies (11.9%). The most prominent markets are Germany, the UK, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Familiarisation trips or fam trips to select destinations are Conventa’s hallmark. In 2024, Conventa will offer five fam trips before the event to handpicked destinations (Bled, Ljubljana, Kranjska gora, Portorož) and unique venues across Slovenia. Following up on the event are post-event fam trips (Belgrade, Maribor, Zagreb).

Fredi Fontanot, the Director of the Slovenian Convention Bureau, co-organising the event, emphasised: “Conventa is not just a trade show, but a personalised, tailored experience of the region. Each year, we bring over 70 hosted buyers to the fam trips. We deem the personal touch with local providers and offer priceless. That is the key to success that makes Conventa an unparalleled event. Only a handful of events organise such an expansive program of fam trips.”

Some highlights of the event

CONVENTA Crossroads Decision-makers Forum.
This event will connect ten decision-makers with ten destination representatives to establish a meaningful dialogue. The event will showcase the latest trends and two best-case examples from Ljubljana and Vienna.

Meeting of Slovenian event organisers CONVENTA Sreca-nja. This educational event will be dedicated to Slovenian event organisers, showcasing best practice cases. The focus will be on finding answers on how to make meetings (SRECA-nja) more responsible to the environment, society and attendees.

Meeting of Slovenian Congress Ambassadors. The Slovenian Congress Ambassador program has tremendous significance for the internationalisation of science, culture, sports and economy in Slovenia. The first meeting of Slovenian Congress Ambassadors in 2024, organised by the Slovenian Convention Bureau, will take place during Conventa on 21 February 2024.

Conventa’s Green Island. In cooperation with the Slovenian Tourist Board and Ljubljana Tourism, the organisers will prepare a green island, where attendees will discover best sustainable practices and see how they can effectively reduce the carbon footprint of their events.

Conventa’s green suppliers. Conventa will inspire attendees about sustainable transformation by presenting Conventa’s green suppliers. These green suppliers offer concrete solutions for organising events sustainably.

Meetings Star 2024. The award ceremony for the best destinations, venues and influential people in the industry has become a reference point in the meetings industry. Winners will be announced in fifteen categories in 2024.

Green Meetings Star 2024. The sustainability rating of events, the Green Meetings Star, compliant with ESG recommendations, was developed by a team of leading experts in sustainable event transformation. The Green Meetings Star incorporates international frameworks and standards for sustainability reporting. Conventa will be the first business trade show in the world that will undergo a complex evaluation of its sustainable initiatives.

Ljubljana Talks at Conventa 2024. The legendary Ljubljana Talks talk show will take place during Conventa, too. Attendees can tune in live at the hybrid studio or watch previous podcasts.