Event description and key objectives
SLOVENIAN INCOMING WORKSHOP (SIW) is the flagship B2B tourism event in Slovenia with a long-established tradition. It offers time-efficient meetings with top Slovenian tourism suppliers and hence provides the best and most comprehensive opportunity to get to know what Slovenian tourism has to offer. This year, already the 21st edition of the event took place. The location of the event changes on annual basis and includes different locations all over Slovenia. This year, the venue was Kranjska Gora, next year the event will take place at Terme Olimia. The Slovenian Incoming Workshop is not solely about making business. It is also about getting to know the country. This year, the event included 2-day general pre-tour of Slovenia, whole day workshop with pre-scheduled meetings and 4 different thematic post tours: 2-day cultural tour, healthy tour, green & active tour and 1-day local tour of Kranjska Gora.
For TO/TA attending the event a number of services is provided. This includes: a return Adria Airways flight from a European airport to Ljubljana Airport (airport taxes and fees included), airport and local transfers in Slovenia, accommodation at a four-star hotel, conference brochure and supporting materials, all meals during their stay, evening events, online “one2one meetings” platform for suppliers and buyers and fact-finding tour of their choice.
Key challenges of the Slovenian Incoming Workshop are:
• How to attract the right TO/TA from the right markets, including those that do not know Slovenia and do not have it in their programs yet;
• How to present Slovenia as a boutique destination for 5* experiences;
• How to expose the host of the event (the location and the hotel company), in 2018, these were Kranjska Gora and HIT Alpinea Kranjska Gora;
• How to organize fam trips in order to fulfill/exceed participants’ expectations and needs.
• Creating a fruitful business environment for successful meetings.
1. The most important thing, which at the same time required also most creativity was arranging a platform that would enable scheduling meetings in an efficient way. This was successfully done with our online platform “One to one Meetings: SIW 2018”
2. Another important challenge was to plan all the study tours as careful and detailed as possible, including presentation of local tradition, tasting of local culinary, meeting with local tourist guides besides having a full-time tour guide at their disposal. Post SIW survey showed that study tours met or even exceeded SIW attendees’ expectations. 90% of study tours attendees were satisfied or extremely satisfied with study tours.
• Before the event (personalised web page and registration form of the event; application for On-to-one meetings; we always use both logos corporate I feel Slovenia, together with the event logo).
• During the event: Brochures (participants catalogue, badges, save the date for 2019 notes).
• On the location (typical branding through whole event, also for better orientation of participants through Kranjska Gora from hotels to workshop Venue – Sport hall Vitranc)
• During evening events (use of big led walls for extra branding and adding information).
4. Hospitality through the whole event: welcome desk at the airport and coordinator of private transfers, registration in every hotel and in the Workshop venue: Sports hall Vitranc; single rooms in 4 or 5* hotels during the whole stay.
1. Support of the event on social media channels. The application Wakelet (before known as Storify) allowed us to collect all the multimedia content created at SIW, such as photos, videos, post, links, etc. and to create a chronological diary of the event. http://wke.lt/w/s/alMtK
2. Innovative stands for one-to-one meetings, which are easily assembled and disassembled. We also arranged Slovenian providers according to the regions they are coming from, in order to facilitate the search to the hosted buyers. In that way we also followed the STRATEGY FOR THE SUSTAINABLE GROWTH OF SLOVENIAN TOURISM FOR 2017 – 2021.
3. Event app: This year, also the mobile version of the app was created, which is even more user-friendly, and provides more useful information about the event.
4. Evening events included the presentation of Slovenian culture and tradition.
• The first welcome evening was meant to represent the town of Kranjska Gora as a destination for all-yearround holidays.
• At the final evening, the so-called Slovenian evening took place in the valley beneath Ponce (Planica Nordic Centre). Slovenia was presented Slovenia as Green, Active, and Healthy country. An opera singer opened the event and the photos of elements of water displayed on led wall. This was followed by the acrobatic show from Duking Devils with video shots on different locations in Slovenia. We ended the evening with the show of Lipizzaner horses and green photos and videos of Slovenia on the screen.
The SIW was organized by a team of 4, each covering its own part of the project:
• foreign participants: contacts, invitations, registration confirmation, planning of their stay in Slovenia (bookings, transfers, flights),
• study tours: program of study tours (4 different post-study tours and 3 different pre-study tours),
• workshop venue and Slovenian participants (invitations, registration confirmations, new stands, branding, allocation of stands),
• application for One to one meetings, event`s website, evening event, coordination with the hosts Kranjska Gora and HIT Alpinea.
On the execution days, we were altogether 20, covering 4 registration points, 1 welcome desk on the arrival terminal at the Airport of Ljubljana, 24/7 support on study tours, workshop venue. However, the mentioned number does not include all the staff from Kranjska Gora, that covered catering, performers on welcome evening, additional staff that coordinated Slovenian evening and the transfers (that would be more then 100 people) As SIW is taking place on annual basis, preparations to the event are complex and ongoing the whole year on different levels. Slovenian Tourist Board is promoting SIW on every events, building the awareness of the business public about it. The intensive preparations started in beginning of March, when we launched the on-line registration. We closed it dow
This year’s 21st edition of the Slovenian Incoming Workshop in Kranjska Gora hosted 200 foreign participants from 164 different companies and 40 countries, and 231 Slovenian participants from 149 different businesses. Altogether they had more than 3500 meetings in only one day. In 2018, we registered 63 % growth of foreign companies that attended SIW for the first time and in total 18 more foreign companies in comparison to 2017.
The majority of the foreign partners were from Germany (15), Russia (12), Austria (11), France (10) and the USA (9). In addition, 30 representatives came from overseas markets, including South Korea, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Canada, Brazil, UAE and Saudi Arabia and the first time attendees from Moldova. The survey showed that 94 % of foreign participants and 88 % of Slovenian partners were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the event.
1. Acknowledgment of Slovenia and Slovenian tourist offer.
2. Strengthening of the existing business contacts and establishing of new contacts between future business partners.
3. Vital part of the event was communicating I feel Slovenia brand on several levels and make participants aware of the fact that Slovenia is worth visiting whole year around and that its diversity and short distances enable visitors to experience more.
The use of sustainable practices
1. Exhibiting stands are made from 100 % Slovenian wood and they are intended to be re-used, meaning that their application is multifold and they can be used for more than one event.
2. Promotion of the application for one-to-one meetings, in order to avoid printing of the scheduled meetings.
3. Recyclable materials were used for printing event documents (badges, brochures, etc.).
4. Organization of Green & Active Study Tour that focused on the Slovenian sustainable tourism.
5. Optimization of transfers during the event and combining transfers in order to reduce CO2 pollution.
6. Local gadgets and gifts for participants, e.g. Pehta’s tea (a selection of local herbs, local liquors …).
7. Catering inventory made from ecological and recyclable material.
8. Local ingredients used for dishes served at the event.
9. The choice of venue:
• Kranjska Gora is a proud award winner of the Silver Slovenia Green Destination label.
• Ramada Resort Kranjska Gora, one of the hotels that hosted SIW, is a proud award winner of the Slovenia Green Accommodation label, while HIT Alpinea has been awarded with the international Travelife certificate.