Basic Event Information
Date: 16 September 2019
Location: Club CD in Cankar Cultural Centre, Ljubljana
Organizer: ELES d.o.o.
Client: ELES d.o.o.
Event type: Corporate Convention
EVENT CATEGORY: B2B | Best Corporate Convention
Event description and key objectives
The ELES expert conference is an event intended for the electricity industry, which every year invites internationally recognized experts to participate, who with their knowledge and experience encourage a different way of thinking and outline guidelines for development. The purpose of the event is to shed light on current issues in energy and global trends and to connect the profession with civil initiatives, educational organizations and government institutions. At the forefront of the event were current topics in energy, including the energy and climate transition. It began with introductory speeches by the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, mag. Dejan Židan and the State Secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure, mag. Bojan Kumer. The main event was a round table on the topic of energy and climate transition, which was also attended by the director of ELES, mag. Aleksander Mervar. The panellists of the event talked mainly about the ambition of the set goals and the choice of an appropriate scenario, according to which we will reach these goals.The expert consultation was also enriched by the solemn signing of an agreement on the establishment of a consortium to accelerate the green transformation of Slovenian energy with the help of smart grids. The agreement was signed by the director of ELES, mag. Aleksander Mervar and the President of the Management Board of GEN-I dr. Robert Golob.
The challenges in organizing the event were at different levels. At the beginning, we wanted to find a location that would be as close as possible to the centre of Ljubljana, so that it is easily accessible to foreign lecturers and at the same time to all invited guests. We strive for sustainable development, so when choosing a hall and catering provider, the same attitude is always important. In preparing the program of the event, it was important to select guests who have different views on the energy and climate transition and who represent the general interests of society. It is important to explain different aspects and issues of different stakeholders, because only in this way can the issues be fully understood. We looked for foreign and Slovenian experts who follow global trends in energy and would be a contribution to all invited publics.
As a system operator, we have the most challenges with placing objects in space, so we wanted to introduce our professional public and students to a person who had to place an object in himself, in his body, to function like other people due to his physical disability (colour blindness). With this, we wanted to show what appropriate implementation solutions a brave, open-minded, thoughtful person can come up with. We especially wanted to give the students a motivational message that anything is possible. In this way, we also try to cooperate with nature by properly combining the knowledge of young people and the invaluable experience of the elderly in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
The creativity of the event is reflected in the choice of the content offered, which is not usual for events of state-owned companies. In addition to professionally-oriented topics (the beginnings of Slovenian electrification, strategic innovations of ELES, the ELES Council for research and scientific activity, trends in renewable sources and a round table on energy and climate transition) we have prepared:
- a lecture by the former Head of Protocol of the Republic of Slovenia and Head of the Academy of Business Protocol, Ms. Ksenija Benedetti, who presented the foundations of ethics, forms of business communication and the rules of appropriate and effective communication;
- lecture by dr. Miha Mazzini, writer, anthropologist and columnist, who spoke about the Slovenian mentality for business people,
- a lecture by Neil Harbisson, the first cyborg in the world to be inscribed in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2018, who presented an innovative technological solution for people who cannot see colours. With this, we wanted to show what appropriate implementation solutions a brave, open-minded, thoughtful person can come up with. We especially wanted to give the students a motivational message that anything is possible. In this way, we also strive to cooperate with nature by properly combining the knowledge of young people and the invaluable experience of the elderly in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
We always want to offer innovative and different lecturers at the professional conference, because we understand the importance of advanced thinking and innovation. The innovative attitude of ELES is also reported by the exceptional, international awards given by the ISGAN association (“International Smart Grids Action Network”).
Innovation at the expert conference of ELES, which is 100% state-owned, is visible in the variety of event content offered and internationally recognized lecturers. It is also shown by the inclusion of the production of an aluminium power line, a replica of a real power line, lifted by Strongman, the strongest Slovenian. In the future, the constructed transmission line will also be used at other events of the company. The program was also supported by the presentation of the youngest world champion in the history of boxing, Ema Kozin, who won six world champion titles in two difficulty categories. Ema is a role model for young people, who with perseverance proves that women also do well in so-called men’s professions.
In addition, guests were able to see live the electric formula, which was modelled on Formula 1 by Superior Engineering – Formula student Team Ljubljana, which has 40 members. All the guests had an opportunity to see and try Formula, for the first time. The majority of team members come from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and the Faculty of Computer and Information Science. They made the formula in their free time and regularly compete with it abroad.
ELES supports young people, with the desire to encourage thinking and after discussing energy topics. For this purpose, professors and students of secondary schools in electrical engineering are always invited to the expert conference. We want to fill the gap that appears too often between the profession and educational institutions.
At the end of the event and a few days after that, we received a lot of positive feedback for the organization of the event and the selection of lecturers. The selected guests really liked the innovative and useful content. The event, for which preparations took a little over two months, took place entirely according to the principles of business protocol and without complications. The added value was also the implementation of the signing ceremony of the agreement on the establishment of a consortium to accelerate the green transformation of Slovenian energy with the help of smart grids.
Attendance at the event was almost 100%. The event was attended by between 130 and 170 people each year, of which 90 are students who receive current and “advanced” information in the field of energy. In 2019, we invited 176 distinguished guests, of whom less than five cancelled. We always pay attention to the satisfaction of the participants as well as the lecturers so that we can improve next year. Last year we received a large number of written and oral compliments. Every year, our guests are happy to attend an event that, among other things, creates new business acquaintances and combines knowledge. According to the closed type event, publications appeared in the media, mainly about the signing of the agreement on the establishment of a consortium to accelerate the green transformation of the Slovenian energy sector with the help of smart grids. With five media publications, we earned approximately 3,350 euros of media space.
The base of the event communications was digital. We organized everything on the digital way and for the quick reply, we also used telephone calls, to keep the communication efficient and effective. During the preparations of the programme, it was important to us that we establish a candid communication between government representatives and non-governmental organizations. The government protocol has its own rules that have to be considered. We also wanted to include students and professors of Electrical Engineering so they could be in touch with the current situations and information. The invitations, therefore, were limited to professionals from the electricity industry, students and professors, ELES employees and government representatives. Because of the specific nature of the event, the general public could not be included. We published an overall video about the event on our social media (Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn). All the speakers were recorded and their speeches with presentations published (and translated, if necessary) on Youtube. After the event, we made a follow-up with speakers and visitors. We received very positive feedback about the
organization and the content of the event.
The use of sustainable practices
At the location of the event the following sustainable practices were executed:
- location of the convention centre was very close to the hotels in which the foreign speakers stayed. They could
walk to the event so the carbon footprint was low;
- low amount of plastic water bottles and items for participants were not individually wrapped;
- the food was served in paper plates and most of the food was vegan
- the food was from local farms; all the extra food was given to Karitas Slovenija;
- keeping the lighting and heat to a minimum during the event;
- the food chain was carefully monitored by the provider;
- separate waste according to appropriate fractions (e.g. paper, plastic, glass, organic); generate as little waste as
- used decorations and display materials are made of recycled materials and/or can be reused for future
- the amount of publications and handouts were limited;
- the chosen congress centre is in symbiosis with the bees; five families of Carniola bees are buzzing in their beehives on one of the terraces of CD Congress Centre. The honey produced by the bees of Cankarjev dom was thoroughly analysed and confirmed that it is fit for consumption. We support young students that want to make a difference and work towards sustainability. On the deck of the event location the Superior Engineering – Formula student Team Ljubljana presented their electric formula, which was modelled on Formula 1 and made by 40 members. The majority of team members come from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and the Faculty of Computer and Information