TEXAS FEELS SLOVENIA 2023
1. Conference, Congress, Convention, 7. Sports Event, 14. Brand Activation
Event Description and Key Objectives
Slovenia - a country in the heart of Europe and home to the NBA megastar Luka Dončić - innovatively presented its investment, business and tourism opportunities to the American business audiences and promoted Slovenia to the general public in Dallas, TXS. The Crossover event Texas Feels Slovenia 2023 joined the business and investment conference and tourism workshop on April 6 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel and I feel Slovenia Night during the NBA basketball game on April 7 in the American Airlines Center – three innovative event formats, following one common objective in an efficient overseas experiential campaign. At the Texas Feels Slovenia Business Investment Conference and Tourism Workshop, the key objective was to present Slovenia to the potential business partners from the USA as an excellent economic partner, a country of attractive investment opportunities and a sustainable tourism destination with unique experiences for discerning guests. The NBA basketball game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Chicago Bulls was entitled 'I Feel Slovenia Night'. The arena was colored green, two promotional videos of Slovenia were screened during the match, and fans in the arena could learn about Slovenia through a quiz and at the promotional and exhibition area in the American Airlines Center. The game was entertained by the world-famous Slovenian acrobats Dunking Devils, who were joined on the floor by Ljubljana's mascot, the Dragon. Fans received green "I feel Slovenia" scarves with the Dallas Mavericks logo.
The key challenge of the experiential campaign execution was to efficiently promote Slovenia abroad, coordinating the project digitally from Slovenia and synchronizing a large number of institutions, involved in the project idea development, planning and final execution: the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sports, SPIRIT Slovenia, Business Development Agency and the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) together with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, the Municipality of Ljubljana and Ljubljana Tourism, AmCham Slovenia as a program partner and Fabulatorij as an event experiential partner. Many partners with distinctive campaign goals involved in one project, on the one hand represented a challenge in the efficiency of the organizational process, but on the other hand, the project offered an excellent possibility for strengthening promotional synergies at the national level. The successfully executed project eventually showed up as a great example of good practice of cooperation between various national institutions and organizations. The institutions and partners involved formed an efficient strategic partnership, defining goals, objectives, deadlines, and detailed project roles, following them eagerly in order to produce the best possible event results. The challenge of organizing the event from Slovenia abroad was overcome by skilled usage of digital technologies, efficient communication, good project management and constant project updates.
Basic information about the event
Project Texas feels Slovenia uniquely and successfully connected top business, sports, science, and tourism – a unique project, efficiently promoting many aspects of a country through the concept of megastar endorsement and recognition. Slovenia is a sporting nation and a country of champions. The achievements of Slovenian athletes contribute enormously to the country's visibility. World-renowned athletes are the best ambassadors of Slovenia and Slovenian tourism. One of the ambassadors of Slovenian tourism is also a basketball star Luka Dončić. STB formed a partnership with Luka Dončić because of his remarkable sporting success, the enthusiasm of his fans, the attention of the American and global media, and his genuine love for Slovenia. Thanks to the visibility of Luka Dončić and consequently Slovenia, Slovenian companies can more easily approach potential US business partners. Project partners developed a concept of Business Investment conference where American partners got to know Slovenia, its competitive advantages, and business opportunities not only through successful Slovenian individuals but also through green, creative, and smart economy and breakthrough solutions of the Slovenian companies. Alongside the conference, Slovenian Tourism Workshop was executed to present the diverse tourism offer of Slovenia to the U.S. tour operators and travel agents. The concept of a wholesome country promotion is not only creative in its form, but also efficient and long-term since a strategic partnership with the basketball club Dončić's Dallas Mavericks was announced and signed. Under the two-year agreement, it will highlight Slovenia and the 'I feel Slovenia' brand in advertising activities at the Dallas Mavericks games in 2023 and 2024. One of the highlights of the partnership was also the 'I feel Slovenia night', where Slovenia was being promoted at one of the Dallas Mavericks home matches (in 2023 this was the game with Chicago Bulls).
The wholesome project execution, stage, production design, scenography and event programme were developed by the project partners in Slovenia and resulted in an interesting programme and event execution set up at the conference hall and at the NBA game. The majority of content was co-created by the Slovenian speakers, renowned artists, companies and moderators, presenting the country and its characteristics in a really authentic manner (Slovenian speakers flying to Dallas from all over the world, special animation and show by the Slovenian acrobats Dunking Devils, interesting key-note speeches and round tables with the Slovenian companies, interactive tourism workshop, custom-made quiz about Slovenia, networking B2B meetings, Slovenian culinary achievements – potica, štruklji, promotion of local wineries, tours of interesting Dallas companies...). The wholesome event package stimulated the partners to participate with their maximum energies in the project creation and execution and stimulated foreign partners to get involved in the project (Dallas Maverics with Cynth Marshall as the main event star, foreign Chambers of Commerce in project promotion..).
Efficient project management was the biggest challenge within the project execution, since the idea execution involved various partners, coordinating numerous tasks locally and abroad – around 100 professionals involved in the wholesome project execution. The lead project team involved key individuals, each leading and executing their tasks and wider teams, defined within the strategic partnership. The distribution of tasks involved - building the efficient partnership with Dallas Maverics and Luka Dončić, finding the execution venues in Dallas, TX and briefing them in relation to project execution, design the event visual identity the target groups can relate to and is effective in the long run, create a wholesome event programme, scenario, visual identity and logistic/production plan, transfer giveaways, branding materials, local wines to the USA on a very tight schedule, communicate the campaign efficiently, execute the event with the Slovenian partners abroad and many more. With the detailed and strategic planning, the experiential campaign was successfully executed in only 3 months – from the creative idea to the Dallas, TX execution.
1 ATTENDEES IN DALLAS, TX A large delegation of 39 Slovenian companies and destinations and 145 US business partners participated in a Business Investment Conference, Slovenian tourism workshop, and "B2B" meetings with U.S. companies. At the Tourism Workshop more than 200 B2B meetings were held. Slovenian tourism is already seeing results from the tourism workshop in Dallas; some of the US tour operators and travel agents have already included Slovenia in their programmes or have participated in the Slovenian Incoming Workshop. During “I Feel Slovenia Night” the American Airlines Centre was sold out – appx. 18.000 visitors and basketball fans got to enjoy the whole night, learning about Slovenia and potentially recognizing it as a country of many possibilities. 2 REPORTS ON PROMOTION OF SLOVENIA IN DALLAS, TX Slovenia 68 press reports in Slovenian print and electronic media Key words – total of 111 mentions: Slovenia & Dallas 67 mentions I feel Slovenia Night 24 mentions Texas Feels Slovenia 20 mentions The majority of mentions appeared in the Slovenian media in March and April 2023 – the peak of the promotion period There was no investment in advertising and media buy in relation to the project, but the project partners still managed to gain efficient project exposure – appx. 176.578 € in advertising value. Other countries 99 press reports in print and electronic media Key words – total of 172 mentions. 3 WEB PAGE HTTPS://WWW.TEXASFEELSSLOVENIA2023.COM/ IMPACT Over 10.000 webpage visits Appx. 20.000 page views The origin of the web page viewers: 1. USA 58,85 % 2. Slovenia 27,9 % 3. Canada 2,41 % 4. Non-definable origin 1,69 % 5. Austria 1,33 %
Texas Feels Slovenia 2023 Project was held in Dallas, TX for the second year in a row – through the continuity and tradition of the format, the visibility and recognition of Slovenia, is being built, also using various on-line and off-line communication channels to reach the target groups – no advertising budget was spent during the constant and well structured promotion strategy. For project communication purposes the web site www.texasfeelsslovenia2023.com was created, building on the information from the project execution in 2022. It served as an on-line source and communication hub of all information regarding the event, delegation, networking platform for businesses, detailed program, registration portal, media center and photo gallery for press. All the partners and entities involved in the project, communicated continuously the project thorough their on-line and social media – SPIRIT&STB webpage (I Feel Slovenia Night in Dallas landing page was launched), LinkedIn, SoMa channels, Dallas Maverics SoMa channels (The I Feel Slovenia night was part of a broader two-year partnership between the STB and the Dallas Mavericks, under which the STB promotes the I feel Slovenia national brand at 60 Dallas Mavericks home games in the NBA in 2023 and 2024, as well as a digital campaign to promote Slovenia through the club's communication channels), AmCham communication channels, Ljubljana Tourism communication channels, Dunking Devils communication channels (TikTok, Instagram, Youtube), press releases distributed to national and international media. For efficient communication also free of charge partnerships with Foreign Chambers of Commerce were established – communication through newsletters, written articles about Slovenia, SoMa channels and webpages.
All the experiential campaign partners are taking the maximum measurements when it comes to implementing sustainable practices to the event executions - promotional material, distributed at the Texas Feels Slovenia events did not contain any plastic packaging and they were also sustainably produced (special sustainable bags for fruits). Printed brochures about Slovenia were distributed in minimum amounts – instead the web page, accessible through QR code was available to the event attendees, communicating all the facts about Slovenia. The event landing page also contained all relevant information for press representatives, including photos and press releases, so no printed material was necessary for efficient execution and information transfer – digital distribution of relevant information. Digital channels also helped organizers sustainably plan the wholesome campaign – using the digital channels the wholesome communication, regarding the event logistics was done online and no travelling due to the site inspection was needed. The choice of the final event venue was chosen smart and within the walking distance, so no local transportation for the event visitors was needed. Final event execution contained sustainable branding that was carried around the event venues, so no double or triple print of the materials was needed. The organizers were also aware of the 21degrees Celsius initiative, so the usage of climatic devices was rational.