A congress-themed Famtrip to Croatia from December 8 – 11, 2019

Congress planning is not only about infrastructure, transfers, catering and finding good partners for all of this. These days it is much more also a question of purpose, inspiration and legacy, of interacting and initiating change in the destination of choice. Congresses and conferences are valid opportunities to change for the better in their subjects.

In order to demonstrate the readiness and understanding of the Congress destination Croatia to bring and host large congresses and events, a special program was designed for the attending guests from associations and corporations.
The Croatia Convention Bureau and local partners, Zagreb Convention Bureau and tmf dialogue have selected stakeholders who bring in a variety of knowledge, strategies, innovation and vision into congresses coming to Croatia. The attendees represented a wide range of knowledge in associations – medical, pharmaceutical, insulation material, cable production, water resources to name them roughly. The site inspection program included a selection of congress facilities, meetings and discussions with local experts, exchange on innovation and initiatives and visits of Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Split and Sibenik — the up-and-coming locations for congresses in Dalmatia.
As it is so short before Christmas, the participants had the opportunity to experience Zagreb in full Advents and Christmas mood. And now we know better why Zagreb well deserves to have been awarded as the best Christmas Market in Europe in three consecutive years: 2016, 2017 and 2018, with all those groups and families in festive spirit, beautiful decoration all over the city and laughter, full restaurants and open shops and visitors from around the globe!

Here is a short line-up of the main elements that supported an excellent congress-themed program in Croatia!



The Westin Hotel is the largest facility in the city for conferences and events: it can host up to 900 delegates in the Crystal Ballroom on the ground floor and has a variety of flexible meeting/breakout rooms. The venue allows an unbeatable view around Zagreb from the 17th floor, where most of the meeting rooms are located.

Hotel Website: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/event-planning/business-meeting/zagwi-the-westin-zagreb/

The group was hosted in the famous Esplanade Hotel, which was built in Zagreb for travellers on the Orient express in the early 20th century. Esplanade hotel is a privately owned luxury property and offers 11 magnificent meeting rooms around the gracious central Emerald Ballroom, which is in a round shape and has a glamorous domed roof. It can host banquets for up to 365 people.

Contact at Esplanade: Zeljka C., you find her on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/zeljka-c-2b8b9319/.

Hotel Website: https://www.esplanade.hr/EN/#

Also, at the Esplanade, a dinner meeting with some of the most active academic “ambassadors” of the Convention Bureau of Zagreb took place. The professors are organizing a lot of meetings and congresses in the city and are closely cooperating with the city Convention Bureau. The represented faculties were Anthropology, Pharmacy and Biology. Attending the networking dinner was furthermore the president of the Croatian Meeting Professionals Association, Mr. Ranko Filipovic and Zlatan Muftic of the Zagreb CVB.

A good idea of integrating a local festival in a conference could be the new Festival of Lights in 2020, Mar 18 – 22. Whereas most of the big events in Zagreb (like the Christmas Market) mean full hotels and restaurants and can be a challenge to combine with larger group movements, the Festival of Lights in rather new and it takes place in an otherwise calm period.

More under https://croatia.hr/en-GB/Activities-and-attractions/Events/NewEvents/festival-lights-zagreb.

INNOVATION – Visit of the Rimac Factory:

A tour through the headquarters and factory of Rimac near Zagreb shows the great innovative spirit of Croatia. Mate Rimac, the founder and CEO of the company is not only providing technology and innovation for high performance electric hypercars, he is expanding at the same speed that his cars deliver. Around 600 employees by the end of this year need a new building to move to — this is all about speed. It is fascinating to visit the company like this and to learn how all components of the fastest accelerating car are developed, designed and produced.

More details on https://www.rimac-automobili.com/en/



The Plitvice Lakes and National Park are one of the most spectacular natural wonders in Croatia, a UNESCO World Heritage since 1979 and situated half-way between Zagreb and Split. The park surroundings offer a growing range of hospitality and meeting venues – it is worth staying there for more than just a walk on the lakes, to extend the stay for excursions and meetings to network with the people who are researching in the park.

New systems were introduced this year, to manage the numbers of visitors coming to the lakes every day in summer. Now access numbers are restricted and highest priority is given to water protection.

As much as it might be tempting to jump into the crystal clear waters, as strictly it is forbidden. Rangers control and supervise the visitors and a variety of sustainable projects are going on in the park.

For more details see Projects in water ecology: https://np-plitvicka-jezera.hr/en/scientific-research/projects/

Official Park Website: https://np-plitvicka-jezera.hr/en/

Clean water and protection/management of its sources is as much an important topic to Croatia as it is to the rest of the world. Draughts, fires and climate changes urge action also in the destination Croatia – there are various organizations who look after water management, and increasing numbers of congresses and conferences around the water topics take place.

Please see the next article on water resources, management and initiatives in Croatia!


If you want to learn more about Croatia as a new MICE and congress destination, you should not miss out to come to MEETEX in Zagreb in March – there you can meet the most important stakeholders of #CroatiaMICE – here is the link to the invitation, from which you can register: https://www.tmf-dialogue.net/meetex-croatia-march-9-11-2020-save-the-date-and-register-now-for-the-2nd-edition-of-croatias-new-mice-event.html


The congress-themed famtrip and content networking is an initiative of Croatia Convention Bureau in co-operation with the local Convention Bureaus and partners.


Contact: Karla Brnobić Vojvodić, Head Croatia Convention Bureau

Tel:  00 385 1 46 99 307 email: karla.brnobic@htz.hr

supported by tmf dialogmarketing GmbH, Würzburg, Johanna Fischer

Tel. 0931 – 30190607  email: j.fischer@tmf-dialogue.com