I was (slightly) confused, before I went to Conventa in Ljubljana for the first time last week. You probably think I am an ignorant, which is kind of right when it comes to South East Europe and my detailed geographic understanding of this part of our world.

Of course I know about Slovenia, because the CVB is our client, we have been there several times and we are writing and curating content for the destination. But many hosted buyers visitors at Conventa were secretly letting me know that they find it hard to know the differences between the three, to remember the names of places and to get some orientation for the area – this is why came to join Conventa as a hosted buyer!

My visit to Conventa sure was an eye-opener and I grasped the concept. All interesting places in South East Europe which are relevant for the MICE business are assembled at the show including places more north-east (Austria, Czech Republic and previously mentioned Slovakia).

And of course, coming to Conventa in Slovenia – in walking distance from hotels in Ljubljana – is a perfect entry into a better understanding of the region. If you haven’t had the chance to organize events in Slovenia or any of the neighboring regions before, you should definitely open your radar to this!

Why should you bother? Because this is a collection of fascinating new old places and great meeting destinations! Lots of funds have been invested into infrastructure in the different countries and many cities are beautifully restored. Distances in general are rather compact – I continued to Opatija in Croatia after the Conventa show – it is just 90 km away and you are at a very special meeting resort at the Riviera Opatija. The food and wines in Slovenia and Croatia are superb (others I haven’t tried yet…. will keep you informed about my progress in this matter ), economic partnerships with West European countries (like in Slovakia) are intensive and open up new relationships and opportunities.
Coming back to the “confusion”, that might occur – I will at least point out the difference of the mentioned three places for you – with relevance to the meeting industry! The red dots on the map above show you the location as a first orientation!

Slovenia – located south of Austria is a mini continent in itself – with short distances and a huge variety of combinations for events and congresses. The coast with Portorož and Piran, the capital Ljubljana and many different natural wonders in a compact destination. If you want to know all about it, just visit the tmf mice newsroom where we have published a lot of good ideas for events and stories about the destination!

Slovakia – half of former Czechoslovakia – now split in Czech Republic and Slovakia. In Slovakia there are 2 cities of major importance for intl. meetings and congresses: Bratislava in the very west, just 1 hour drive from Vienna and Košice in the east, a city with a particularly strong economic relationship with Germany. Here is the link to the website of Slovak Convention Bureau.

Slavonia – north-eastern part of Croatia
I am not sure if there is anything of relevance to the meeting industry right now in Slavonia, if there is, I apologize once more for my unawareness! Please find some basic information about Slavonia here.

In Croatia I know of at least 3 destinations which are very relevant to the meeting business, which is Opatija (at the Opatija Riviera coast), Zagreb (the capital) and Dubrovnik (at the coast in the south, the old city is a UNESCO world heritage).

Hope this can help a bit to clear the confusion! Will be happy to keep you updated as we continue to explore all kinds of new meeting destinations for you!

Johanna Fischer
Managing Director
tmf dialogue marketing