Basic Event Information
Date: 29 – 31 May 2022
Organiser: Slovenian Tourist Board
Client: Foreign tour operators and tourist agencies, Slovenian tourism providers
EVENT CATEGORY: CATEGORY B2B
EVENT SUB-CATEGORY: Best Corporate Convention
EVENT FORMAT: LIVE
Event description and key objectives
SLOVENIAN INCOMING WORKSHOP (SIW) is the flagship B2B Slovenian tourism event with a long-established (24-year-old) tradition. It offers time-efficient meetings with top Slovenian tourism suppliers and hence provides the best and most comprehensive opportunity for foreign TO/TA to get to know Slovenian tourism offer. Last year, the SIW was upgraded and launched in a new edition – SIW on Boutique Tour – mainly as a consequence of covid restrictions, but also with the aim of upgrading the traditional SIW in line with the current trends. The new edition offers buyers a chance to experience Slovenia in a unique, personalized way. While on tour, buyers met with Slovenian business partners and discover Slovenia through hands-on experiences (for example cooking course on Velika Planina, Vintage gourmet tour on the Coast, Wine tasting with sommeliers, mowing the grass, milking the cow etc.). The only thing they need to do is select the study tours (8 different tours in 4 different regions) according to their business interest.
The key challenges of the Slovenian Incoming Workshop are:
• How to attract high-profile TO/TA from key markets that for Slovenian tourism providers in post-covid period;
• How to create a fruitful business environment for successful meetings;
• How to create possibility for 1-1 meetings at open-air micro locations during the study tours with plan B (in case of bad weather);
• How to create a balanced environment for strengthening communication between new/potential partners;
• How to organize fam trips in order to show as much as possible of Slovenia in a short time, while at the same time not making the program overloaded with too many destinations;
• How to present Slovenia as a boutique destination for 5* experiences;
• How to run the event in the most sustainable and “green” way at all levels.
SIW 2022 introduced some changes which participants considered as an improvement:
1. Previously, the main B2B part was organized at a single venue, in the format of 1-1 business meetings, 20 minutes each. This year, 1-1 meetings mostly took place open-air and Slovenian providers joined foreign buyers on tours. Each participant had a chance to choose 2 tours and meet in 1-1 format, which turned out as the best solution in covid reality, and also a dynamic, relaxed and modern way of establishing business connections.
2. After tours had finished, 8 incentives took place, where partners met again in informal environment with intention of making friendship
3. 92% of study tours participants were satisfied or extremely satisfied with study tours. This year, meeting with local tourist providers was a matter of special attention and organization. Also, Slovenian partners were offered to join foreign representatives at their welcome evening before tours and 1-1 meetings and closure party after tours on last day of event.
The fresh and innovative concept of the event: by fusing one-on-one meetings with unique experiences at various destinations in Slovenia, TO/TA managed to get to know and have a hands-on experience of Slovenia and hold meetings with Slovenian providers in only two days.
The event was organized by a team of 4, who took care of Slovenian and foreign participants (planning of their stay in Slovenia, constant personalized communication with each participant), study tours, which involved preparing itineraries for 8 different study tours, 8 different workshops, event management, creative concept and the maintenance of event’s website.
Activities are complex and take place throughout the year. Slovenian Tourist Board promotes SIW at all events and builds awareness. Intensive preparations started in early March, when the on-line registration opened, which was closed 3 weeks before the deadline, since all the available slots were filled. A waiting list in case of cancelations was established. At the time of the event, the team counted 17 people, who provided 24/7 attendance and support. First foreign participants arrived to Slovenia on 29 May. On 30 – 31 May, 1-day study tours to 4 different regions and 1-1 meetings took place. On 1 June foreign participants left Slovenia.
The 2022 SIW on Boutique Tour hosted 253 companies, of which 120 were from abroad, from 24 countries, mainly European markets as well as overseas markets, especially the USA. 66% attended the event for the first time. The survey reveals that the majority of foreign TO/TA plans to include Slovenia in their offer, especially city products and cultural tourism (67%) and active tourism (65%). They see Slovenia’s greatest advantage in its natural beauty, sustainable development, cleanliness and pocket-size.
Domestic participants were most impressed by the B2B meetings and the organization. What bothered them was the lack of time for meetings. Foreign participants gave the average overall impression score of 4.4. Satisfaction was expressed by 87% of the participants in the survey. They were most impressed with the organization of the tours, and the least with the too intense programme.
• Visibility of Slovenia and Slovenian tourist offer on the world tourist map also after covid crisis years.
• Strengthening of the existing business contacts and establishing of new contacts between future business partners.
• Vital part of the event was communicating the sustainability of the tourist offer in Slovenia
The use of sustainable practices
7 sustainable points of the event:
1. During all stages of organization, sustainability and local environment involvement is of key importance.
2. Printed materials are minimalized, all information is digitalized as much as possible (ex. event app). Those prints that are difficult to be avoided are printed on ecological/sustainable materials.
3. Promo gifts made of ecological materials and produced with the vision of sustainability (reuse/reduce/recycle).
4. All technical signs, logos, billboards etc are made without date/year in order to re-use them next year. Also, good planning and organization minimizes the quantity of those.
5. Transfers for participants are required to be provided by eco vehicles, more transfers are joint than individual (max. optimization) in order to reduce CO2 pollution. We encouraged participants to use public transfer for their arrival in Slovenia. More participants came to Slovenia by train, especially from Austria and Germany, as in previous years.
6. Eco catering inventory as bamboo boats for plates, eco pots, wooden forks….
7. Local providers for food and beverage