EUROPE - The Conventa international meetings show for South East Europe, held annually in the Slovene capital Ljubljana, reports it has signed up 62 exhibitors from six countries via its Early Bird deal for 2013.
The organiser claims the registrations are tracking 20 per cent ahead of the previous campaign.
Conventa is also reporting 51 meeting industry planners have applied for hosted buyer status.
Although Conventa has established itself in the global industry calendar and has grown slightly each year since its launch in 2009, it is still relatively new and organiser funding remains at the mercy of the local authority budgets.
The recent July IMEX Challenge to build a beekeeping project in Slovenia at the CUDV Draga residential care centre for mentally and physically handicapped children and adults was a great success. ICCA UK & Ireland Chapter Chair and Excel London’s Director of Conferences, James Rees, was one of the industry great and the good charged with constructing a 30sqm beehouse and renovating the garden.
The country’s convention bureau clearly punches above its weight in the marketing department.
Stephanie Dewez of HelmsBriscoe, Belgium, is one buyer hoping to test the South East Europe MICE waters next year. “I applied for hosted buyers status because it is really important for me to increase my network with hoteliers but also to have a better view of the market and the destinations,” she said. “I am not at all familiar with the region; I’ve never travelled to South East Europe. At Conventa I will try to get more information about the hotels in the region, what they have to offer to my clients, what are the capacities for groups.”
Shai Tekoa of Kenes International, Switzerland, applied for hosted buyer status because he said the regional was “a great potential destination for future meeting industry business”.
Conventa 2013 takes place 16-17 January in Ljubljana.
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