NLB Business Forum 2018

Basic Event Information

Date: 25 May 2018
Location: Grand Hotel Union, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Organizer: NLB & Grey Ljubljana
Client: NLB
Event type: B2B – Corporate Convention

EVENT CATEGORY: CATEGORY B2B

Event description and key objectives

NLB Business Forum is the B2B event for NLB’s key clients in middle size companies segment. It’s an opportunity for the bank to build relationships with the clients, and to offer them knowledge, which help them in everyday business. Through program and networking with other companies, attendees get inspiration and motivation, find new business opportunities for future success.

Organized for the 5th consecutive year, the event is well accepted by the clients and each year more attendees come. That is proof that they see good value in it. The event addresses real business challenges of the companies, so that they can get back to work empowered with new knowledge and ideas. Topics of this years’ Business Forum, entitled “New times, new business approaches” were carefully selected, having in mind the needs of the companies. The focus was current macroeconomic situation and future trends, Brexit and repositioning of powers within EU, how that affects Slovenia’s main trade partners – Germany and West Balkan, and where to find opportunities. Each topic was covered from different views, academic and of business experts. Knowledge, and its transfer through mentorship was another topic, brought through an academic view and experience of a successful family business.

Key objectives:

• Positive response of the attendees
• Leads for new business opportunities, based on attending the event
• Building long-term relationship with the clients (high retention rate of attending the event

Key challenges

NLB Business Forum 2018 was the first after repositioning of NLB brand and was a good opportunity to present a new NLB: a modern bank with top knowledge and experience, focused on its clients and give them advice and support to prepare them to everything that follows. The key challenge was how to implement new brand values into the event while building on the foundation of previous success of NLB Business Forums. NLB Business Forums were already well accepted by the companies, many visitors of past events are returning each year. The challenge was not only how to create a valuable event for clients but how to exceed already high expectations and how to engage them with demanding topics. Since many guest speakers were invited, some covering the same topic, not only at the event but also in accompanying magazine, coordinating all and taking care that the messages would be complementary and not conflicting.

For the first year, NLB Business Forum was organized as a regional event, with companies from Balkan region with different needs than Slovenian companies. Another challenge was how to create a program that all of them would find useful. As a regional bank, NLB knows the needs of businesses in the region and was able to fulfill their needs. As attendees from the region speak different languages, part of the presentations was kept in Slovenian, part in Balkan regional languages, part in English with simultaneous translations for all main languages.

Event results

Creativity

The program was created with a focus on business needs of clients while also communicating the new brand values. The main topic, although interesting for the audience, can easily become boring. Therefore, the organizer used different forms of presentations in relative short time slots, which brought dynamic to the event. Each topic was introduced with an academic view and a practical view by real businesses, both lead to a better understanding of the topic.

• Senior executive director welcomed the attendees as a hologram, a great presentation of a modern, digital bank. Streamed live from the recording room to the stage in real dimensions – as if he would stand in person.

• The first, educational part of the event, brought together different internationally renowned guest from the economic field and internal experts. Each topic was introduced with the opinion of the IECD professor in short videos, recorded before the event. Taking his bite, the presenters then took the stage to bring another perspective, in the form of short talks or in dialog with the moderator.

• The second part of the event was less formal with moderated group talks, bringing new guests on the floor to talk about mentorship in practice, and finishing with a concert of a young renown musician, a mentee of the last guest.

• All participants received a magazine Poslovno, covering event’s topic from a different angle. Interlacing content at the event and in the magazine enabled deeper experience to the audience.

Innovation

Several innovation elements were used at the event:

• Senior executive director welcomed the attendees as a hologram, a great presentation of a modern, digital bank. Streamed live from the recording room to the stage in real dimensions – as if he would stand in person.

• Interactive wall with NFC POS terminal in the entrance hall for gathering donations for Paediatric clinic. Corporate social responsibility and digitalization is important part of NLB’s strategy. Recently NLB launched modern and advanced mobile payment application NLB Pay and used it at the event to enable guest to donate. Guests could donate (default amount 5 EUR) simply by putting their mobile phone with NLB Pay mobile wallet or their NFC credit card near the NFC wall. All funds gathered at the event went to Paediatric clinic for necessary medical equipment.

Execution

Several partners and suppliers were involved in execution of the event. The event was planned months before, carefully selecting topics, speakers, location, visual identity and partners. All communications elements were developed, focusing on bringing the new brand identity to the clients. All project tasks were managed smoothly over entire projects: preparing the program, finding and choosing guests, preparing communication and creative tools, coordinating with the client and partners, sending invites, preparing the location and after event activities.

The main challenge of the execution was choosing relevant guests after some of originally planned were not able to come to the event. The challenge was not only to have all guests at the event but also in the accompanying magazine, which had to be prepared in time to be given at the event. The execution went well, the content of the magazine was coordinated and in-line with the event and print magazine was ready in time. The event schedule was carefully planned to give enough time to the speakers and not too long to lose the attention of audience, and break down challenging content, which demand higher attention of the audience. In execution, the event followed the schedule an there were no delays of the program.

Measurable results

All goals were achieved and exceeded. NLB Business Forum is a closed, invites only event (NLB’s key clients in the middle size business segment were invited), which should be considered.

• There were 348 attendees (year before 322)

• The rates of the event, given by the attendees were much higher than planned. In survey, following the event (response rate was 42 %), they rated the event with 4,8 out of 5: o The content selection 4,8 o Usability 4, 7 o Organization 4,9

• One third (107) attendees donated 5 EUR for Paediatric clinic Ljubljana at the interactive wall with NFC POS terminal.

• Media coverage by Slovene Press Agency and national radio

• Social media posts about the event reached 15.037 users. There were 789 views of the event landing page

• Over 6.350 video content views

• New leads, new business

Communication

NLB Business Forum is one of the main pillars of B2B communication with middle size companies. Beside event itself, its content is also the source for other communication tools, print magazine, articles on the website, social media communication, internal and media relation. Print magazine Poslovno is another important communication tool with the same target audience as the event. Usually event content is included in the next issue of the magazine. This year, another approach was used – content was covered in the magazine, attendees received as a gift at the event and therefore brought another prospective to the topics at the event. Both formats cross-promoted engagement of the audience and the readers and enabled a deeper experience. After the event all participants get the survey to rate the event and give feedback. The feedback is gathered and analysed. Based on attendees’ response and insights, obtained through talks with the clients at the event, we can better adapt future communication to their needs. The event also helps building media relations since the media knows they can find experts opinion in NLB when needed.

The use of sustainable practices

As a bank, dedicated to sustainable development, NLB tries to implement sustainability into business events, mainly through social responsibility. As an educational event, NLB Business Forum helped achieving bank’s objective to bring knowledge to its clients for better business results.

One of the main pillar of NLB’s corporate social responsibility is bringing back to the community, among them with donations. There was an interactive stand with NFC POS terminal in the entrance hall, where guests of the event were able to donate to the Paediatric clinic with NLB Pay mobile wallet or NFC credit card. All funds gathered at the event went for Paediatric clinic for necessary medical equipment.