Conventa wants to increase its impact while maintaining its size



# tags: Events , Conventa , Exhibitions , Ljubljana

Conventa took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 20 to 22 February, with 3,500 meetings.

From Helsinki to Istanbul, Milan to Baku... this is the New Europe of events and Conventa is its meeting point. The figures for this edition, marked by the 'sweet 16' anniversary, are impressive for the size of the fair: 3,500 meetings, 112 exhibitors from 16 countries, and 162 buyers from 31 countries. In all, more than 500 events professionals were in Ljubljana for this event, which has established itself as one of the leading events in the sector in Europe, although it doesn't want to rival IMEX and IBTM. Gorazd Cad, one of the event's founders, explains to Event Point that the organisation's desire is to keep the event in this format, at this size, only increasing in quality, impact and sustainability.

Celebrating its 16th edition, Cad says that the team that produces the event is still "full of energy". Miha Kovacic, another of the event's founders, recalls how it all began: "In the beginning nobody believed in this Conventa dream, but we decided to go ahead and create our own sea, instead of being a small fish at IMEX and IBTM," and the fruits are there to be seen, as the Slovenian event is fully consolidated on the agenda of European meetings industry events.

Since its first edition, Conventa has been committed to sustainability and this year it is proud to be the first event produced and evaluated according to the ESRS standard and in accordance with the criteria of "Planet Positive Event", a tool created by Slovenian event professionals specialising in sustainability.

Getting to know new destinations for events

Andrea Santos, events manager for the International Water Resources Association (IWRA), was one of the hosted buyers at Conventa and at the end she was very pleased with the event. "I thought it was fantastic," she told Event Point, praising the format of the fair and the meetings. "I managed to make some very interesting contacts for our congress," she explains, noting that the destinations for the IWRA congress are chosen based on the water-related projects that are taking place. Other important aspects are accessibility, as they welcome participants from all over the world, proximity to the airport and being minimally walkable. Poland, Slovenia and Austria were three destinations that caught the event manager's attention.

From Conventa, Andrea Santos notes the good balance between the entire programme, between moments of work, networking and relaxation. "I think the organisation is very careful with this, which is something you sometimes don't see in other events of the same kind, which have very intense programmes," where everything takes place in the same place. In the case of Conventa, the programme includes several venues in the city to give people the chance to get to know the different alternatives in the destination.

Ljubljana was a surprise for Andrea Santos. "For events I found it incredible, essentially because people could get around so easily. I was here for four days, visited all the venues I needed to and passed all the main hotels on foot. I didn't get in a taxi, I didn't get on a bus, a shuttle bus, nothing." This means that the participants in an event can "enjoy the congress, the academic and scientific part, and when they leave the meetings and sessions, they can enjoy the city," he emphasises. "I think it's important to hold congresses in places where people can experience what's happening in the city, I can leave the congress centre, get to the hotel, put on my trainers, take a walk around the city, and still be in time for the gala dinner."

© Cláudia Coutinho de Sousa Newsroom