Basic Event Information
Date: 15.4. – 20.5.2021
Location: Virtual Event
Organiser: Slovenian Tourist Board
Client: Slovenian Tourist Board & Slovenian Tourism Providers
EVENT CATEGORY: B2B
EVENT SUBCATEGORY: Best Trade Show / B2B
EVENT FORMAT: DIGITAL
Event description and key objectives
Feel Sloveni@ Business Dates are virtual business tourism events, bringing together foreign tour operators (TOs) and tourist agents (TAs) with the representatives of Slovenian tourism industry. As the pandemic made live events impossible, we tried to come up with the most effective, interesting and hopefully not too sterile ways of moving this type of promotion and business communication online, with the clear aim of maintaining genuine contact between the participants as much as possible and showing that tourism is still about people and that behind every digital profile is a person with a name and a unique story.
The following functionalities were at the forefront in selecting the platform for these events: the possibility of scheduling meetings in advance, one-on-one video calls between participants, an advanced platform branding options, an intriguing video content format. We also felt it was important to make the platform as easy to use as possible, not causing the participant too much stress or requiring too much effort.
In addition to representatives of Slovenian tourism, our target groups were foreign TOs/TAs, which were divided into four groups by market or product. Separate events were organised for them; the first one was dedicated to the DACH region, the second to MICE agents, the third to V4 markets and the last to Benelux and France. Our goals were to renew and strengthen partner relationships that exsisted prior to the pandemic, and to develop new ones.
During the pandemic, our reality largely migrated online, and most of us adapted quite successfully to the new circumstances. We got used to virtual meetings, no handshakes, without the possibility of reading body language and feeling other people’s energy in conversation. But as much now or even more than ever, it is true that tourism means people and stories which people tell and others believe and buy if they feel the stories are authentic. And authenticity can be created by looking into a person’s eyes, which is why our key aim was to enable one-on-one video meetings between participants. Our key challenge was attracting foreign participants to join our virtual events in a creative, fun and informative manner instead of using classic invitations; moreover we needed to motivate them during the actual events to really listen about Slovenian tourism products, services, latest news and offer.
To achive this, we put together a great deal of video content, from invitations, videopresentations, moderated discussions, interesting key note speeches and more with the clear aim of re-creating, as best we could, the experience the participants would have enjoyed live, and to get them to engage to actively participate in the event. Before preparing all of the above, we naturally had to invite and carefully select quality foreign TOs/TAs to sign up and take an active part at our events.
Please find below a list of the materials that we’ve created in order to make our events as much attractive as possible:
The key strategic aims of the Slovenian Tourist Board were divided into three areas:
First, the project is a development breakthrough in terms of a complete digitalisation of business events or establishment of a new business, virtual and international ecosystem in the new reality. It is a responsible, virtual, sustainable and innovative environment aimed at replacing live events.
Second, it is an efficiency-oriented system that enables constant presence on foreign markets and particularly the maintenance of existing and the establishment of new business contacts during and after the pandemic.
And third, it proposes a medium- and long-term strategy or agenda for business events in Slovenian tourism at the highest level and in accordance with the planned digitalisation of Slovenian tourism, taking into consideration preparations for the new Strategy for the Sustainable Growth of Slovenian Tourism 2022–2028.
Conspicuous, memorable, different events and unique, albeit virtual business experiences are an excellent foundation for recovery and maintaining global competitiveness.
To reach these goals, the Slovenian Tourist Board set itself the following success indicators:
- Average number of participants per event – aim: 20 Slovenian, 50 foreign participants;
- Average number of meetings per company – aim: 8–10 meetings;
- Participant satisfaction with event attendance (on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest) – aim: 4;
- Expressed interest in participating in similar STB events (% of the total number of present participants who would attend a similar event in the future) – aim: 70–80%;
- Recommendation to colleagues to take part in a Feel Sloveni@ Business Date (% of the total number of present participants who would give a recommendation) – aim: at least 90%.
Based on the set goals, event results were measured and are as follows:
1. Average number of participants per event:
a. aim: 20 Slovenian, 50 foreign participants
b. actual result: 32 Slovenian, over 80 foreign participants;
2. Average number of meetings per company:
a. aim: 8–10 meetings
b. actual result: more than 11;
3. Participant satisfaction with event attendance (on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest):
a. aim: 4
b. actual result: more than 4;
4. Expressed interest in participating in similar STB events (% of the total number of present participants who would attend a similar event in the future):
a. aim: 70–80%
b. Actual result: more than 80%
5. Recommendation to colleagues to take part in a Feel Sloveni@ Business Date (% of the total number of present participants who would give a recommendation):
a. aim: at least 90%
b. actual result: 100%
- Before, during and after the event, communication took place via social media (Linkedin – more than 13,000 followers, and Twitter – more than 4,100 followers) – a total of 36 posts on both channels.
- Two press releases were also sent out (for the DACH event and the MICE event).
- A news report for the Tourist Press Agency (TTA – issued by STB) was also prepared for each event – with over 4,500 recipients/news.
- The news of the event was published in the Kongres Magazine newsletter – over 28,000 recipients.
- Events were also advertised on LinkedIn, the posts reaching a total of 3,792 clicks.
- Event publications in various specialised foreign business media (Business Traveller Poland, Business Traveller Germany, Event Motion, Travel Quotidiano, Tourist Press Agency Italia, etc.)
- In addition to landing pages for individual virtual events Feel Sloveni@ Business Date, each event also featured a common landing page at www.slovenia.info.
The use of sustainable practices
Slovenia prioritizes sustainable principles. This is united in The Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism, a tool developed at the national level and a certification programme. It combines all the efforts for the sustainable development of tourism in Slovenia. During the presentations at the virtual event we’ve communicated these values to the participants. And as far as the implementation of the actual measures at our events are concerned, as we’ve organized virtual events instead of live events like we were used in the past, we can safely say that our events were much more sustainable than in-person events heaving in mind the main factor at the events travel, which was not only reduced but non-existant.
- All of the material, from events schedules, meeting lists, brochures etc., was stricly online.
- Participants didin’t receive goodie bags (nor were they sent to them after the event).
- We didn’t have any food waste as catering was obviously not a part of the event.
- Having this in mind we can say that our virtual events were zero waste events.