Anniversaries are an opportunity for a sober reflection of what we have achieved, where we have got to thus far, and/or whether changes have occurred due to Conventa.
My personal thinking is further focused on the fact that Conventa grew from the 2007/2008 financial crisis. Innovations, which are often born from difficult times, can also be the consequences of such tectonic changes. It seems that this is also the case with Conventa, which was a ‘child’ of the crisis, creating an excellent opportunity for testing new ideas and formatting events. The event had to be adapted to the needs of the attendees, taking account of the unfavourable financial climate that prevailed at that time. As organisers, we knew that relying on theory and practice from the past would not bring progress. The result is the unique format of the event, which, from its inception, we defined through the simple 7E model – EXPERIENCE, EMOTION, ENERGY, EDUCATION, ENGAGEMENT, ENTERTAINMENT, EMERGING DESTINATIONS.
Ten years later, the model has been proven to be correct, and today this is the central theme for event organisers. The model is used and has been copied by numerous event organisers – which pays honour to us and is very satisfying. The original concept has, however, been refined, resulting in the Conventa Crossover Conference, which dictates trends and provides direction to the region’s event organisers.
Over a period of 10 years, a human grows from a newborn to almost a teenager. After a decade of hard work, we are optimistic that a period of even faster growth is still ahead of us. Building and making Conventa a reality was a demanding and tiring project, and no-one can take away from us that challenging and stressful experience. Along the way we met a lot of good people. More than 40 exhibitors put their trust in us from the very start. The support from partners was, and is, invaluable, and foremost amongst them is the visionary mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Jankovič. Without his support, the event would not have today’s reach.
What about the future for Conventa?
Nothing is guaranteed in advance. As we like to say, Conventa is only good as the successful execution of its last event. We will need to ensure that we maintain its quality through hard work, knowledge, innovation and creativity. Numerous ‘copies’ of our event have stumbled – mainly on these points. We will need more synergy and regional co-operation, which, despite the distances from Balkan events, still sounds quite abstract. If individual regional destinations will only work for themselves, it doesn’t bode well. This is the ultimate goal of the ‘big brothers’ who do not want to see enhanced co-operation in the region.
This, therefore, is the first task for the continuing development of Conventa. We believe that we have the will and plenty of energy for the further integration of ‘New’ Europe. We understand the development of events in the direction that we call ‘5.0 events’, and we are aware of the challenges of the digital revolution. In this way we will also strive to ensure that we do not end up on the outskirts of Europe, but rather at the heart of Europe’s new congress revolution. Conventa isn’t just one business event, instead, through the way in which is works it is trying to help the region on its way to breaking through into the competition of its considerably richer and better known neighbours.
This is also why we will continue to develop our best qualities, raise standards, and bravely forge ahead in opening new areas in the field of event organising.
An explanation for those who are not familiar with the structure of the Conventa Conference. Conventa is a public-private project that began in partnership with the Slovenian Convention Bureau and the company Toleranca Marketing, together with 15 key partners from Ljubljana, Slovenia. Miha Kovačič and Gorazd Čad cannot agree who is the actual ‘mother’ and ‘father’ of Conventa, however, certainly without the third member of the team, Natalije Bah Čad, it would never have come to fruition.