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CONVENE 2020 Continues to Shape the Baltic Region’s Meetings and Events Industry. Vilnius is abuzz with meetings and events professionals networking at the LITEXPO Exhibition and Congress Centre for the eighth edition of CONVENE. The annual trade show organised by Go Vilnius, the city’s official agency for development, features an impressive mix of 140 Hosted Buyers from more than 30 countries.
These numbers are part of a much bigger picture that has CONVENE 2020 aiming to highlight the characteristics that differentiate the Baltic Sea Region from other parts of Europe. Over 80 regional suppliers from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Scandinavia – supported by guest-exhibitors from Georgia, Hungary, Slovakia and Ukraine – are showing-off the fact that the entire region is highly tech-savvy, which provides a certain direction for meeting planners.
“Our team worked hard to bring a wide variety of high quality buyers to the event and provide suppliers with a wealth of potential new business opportunities, so seeing everything come together like this is a big boost for us. And for our part, CONVENE is able to strategically position Vilnius as a regional accelerator with thriving startup hubs, a collaborative spirit between businesses, scientific institutions and associations active in global networks,” says Go Vilnius Director Inga Romanovskienė.
Photos Go.Vilnius ©
Furthermore, the latest figures reveal that 90% of Hosted Buyers are new to the CONVENE portfolio, giving suppliers more opportunities to do business with completely fresh contacts. Plus, meeting planners coming from Benelux and the UK have increased by 5% this year. Globally renowned businesses are being represented among the buyers taking part in the two-day event, including Grant Thornton, MCI, General Motors, and Emerging Europe. CONVENE’s organisers have also arranged an interactive introduction to Vilnius’ infrastructure on the second day of the trade show, which comes in response to buyers wanting a more in-depth experience of the city. Moreover, 50+ buyers will be attending Vilnius, Kaunas, Riga and Jurmala, Tallinn, and Gdansk on post-CONVENE tours.
This year’s Professional Academy consists of 11 comprehensive sessions filled with presentations and discussions led by 20 speakers. The sessions touch on the industry’s hottest topics, which relate largely to technology and how it can be leveraged to create significant value by long term legacy for meeting planners and better experiences for participants. Organised annually by Go Vilnius, CONVENE is a business marketplace that provides non-stop networking opportunities for meeting professionals. The two-day trade show gathers industry suppliers from across the Baltic Sea Region and buyers from around Europe and the world together under one roof. / Text. Red.PR
The meetings industry is constantly evolving to respond to new developments in technology, education, economics and demographics. Rob Davidson’s presentation will explore the latest trends in meetings and venue design, and will demonstrate how innovative techniques can be used by meeting planners to make their events more successful in every way.
The CONVENE Professional Academy is returning for the eighth edition of the Baltic Sea Region’s leading meetings and events industry trade show. The academy will serve as a great knowledge-sharing platform, with keynote speakers addressing top-of-mind industry topics and challenges through a number of presentations and panel discussions.
The Academy will focus largely on technology and how it can be leveraged to bring more value to meeting planners and better experiences to delegates. No doubt, technology is changing the way we do business, and the meetings and events sector is no different. The Professional Academy will consist of 11 presentations and panel discussions that are sure to inspire attendees and bring something new to the table. This is why everyone participating in CONVENE 2020 is encouraged to consult the Professional Academy agenda and set some time aside to attend the sessions that interest them most.
The two-day programme will cover several themes aimed at inspiring and educating on the latest industry issues. In addition to innovation, technology and creativity, the content will cover the growing impact of influencers on marketing destinations. Thought leader Mariska Kesteloo from Word of MICE and industry influencer Vadim Zelenski will explain how to use B2B influencer marketing as an added value for destination and events strategies. With so many exciting new trends, how can you spot the one that is likely to have the most impact on your business?
One of the not-to-miss trends is the booming Gaming and eSport events industry, which is generating billions of euros in profit and has attracted over 2.5 billion gamers around the world. Florian Masuth, an experienced gaming industry professional and developer of Game On, the Baltic’s largest gaming event, will share his knowledge and experience with the audience. Attendees will also get insights into the inevitable impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on personalising experiences, predicting sentiments, and real-time data analysis; the biggest hospitality industry shapers; and much more.
Photos: Go.Vilnius ©
Photos: Go.Vilnius ©
Organised annually by Go Vilnius, the city’s official business and tourism development agency, CONVENE 2020 invites meeting planners to connect face-to-face with selected Exhibitors who can give access to new business opportunities, outside-the-box solutions, and one-of-a-kind experiences and promises to deliver even more added value to participants.
Reflecting on this year’s show, Go Vilnius Director Inga Romanovskienė says, “We are proud that another edition of CONVENE was so well-received, with feedback from both Exhibitors and Buyers being largely positive, and are enthusiastic about the way our region’s meeting and event industry is developing. Vilnius alone saw a 30% increase in international conferences last year valued at EUR 57 million, which is a very positive indicator for the entire region.”
With partnerships between public and private sectors on the rise in the city, Go Vilnius has appointed Baltic Travel Group as the event’s official PCO. “Having supported CONVENE since its very beginning, we are proud to take on this role and contribute to the region’s premier B2B meeting industry event,” says BTG CEO Vlad Koriagin. “We are going into 2020 with lots of ambition and plan to build on all the achievements of the last seven years while creating a productive and rewarding experience for visitors, Hosted Buyers and Exhibitors alike.”
The previous edition of CONVENE attracted over 1,000 participants, including 165 Hosted Buyers from 30 countries and 80 regional suppliers, who took part in some 2,640 B2B meetings together. The show also featured 11 different education sessions, and half of all Buyers took part in post-event tours to experience one of several Baltic Sea Region destinations first hand.
IMEX Frankfurt/Germany the top trade fair for MICE (Meeting – Incentive – Conventions and Event) Business in Europe was held on 21 to 23 May 2019.
Reason enough for TRAVEL GOURMET Magazine – the online Magazine for Tourism, Business & Lifestyle to ask selected companies for their observations and statements about this trade fair.
Global tendencies are confirming, that trade fairs are getting booked and visited more and more for developing contacts and creating visibility on the marked, than doing real business. Less and less contracts or orders are placed personally on events like IMEX. To get in touch with destinations and service providers and their possible prospects for generating leads, is the main task for many exhibitioners and business-visitors on trade fairs. The real business is done on well-established electronic main roads of communication and booking.
The huge task for many participants of both sides on the booth of the trade fair is, without doubt, the Follow-Up in business, the main job is successfully done, when contacts are converted in allies – as prospect for future business – as well as an associate in communication in all possible ways.
Very often this target is unreachable, by human mistakes in decisions and missing the right point of view on the consequences. Result of these wrong handling is not just loosing business opportunities; it’s a waste of time and resources of all possible kind. 2019 IMEX was different, smaller booths of many destinations and exhibitors, fewer visitors and less movement on the main business day, Wednesday, as well.
Thinking over these observations might be reason enough for evaluating the trade fair strategy of all sides, the side of the exhibitioner’s as well as the side of the business-visitor or even the buyers. Also, the IMEX Group, as organiser and platform-seller, might think over new services, tailor made for the need of the MICE business in the 21st century.
Observing and learning form trends in the market, facing the tendencies and needs of decision making processes in MICE and tourism industry, digitalisation and changing the way of requesting information or proposals for meeting or convention organisers, might be for some a tricky task of our times. By avoiding communication errors and loosing opportunities for getting acquainted to new and possibly more powerful segment in the market..
All these facts are challenging the industry as well as trade fair organisers all over the world. For 2020 can be expected more moving into the direction of Networking, especially by loosing trust in social media by many real decision makers - inside and outside - of the global MICE Industry. TRAVEL GOURMET Magazine is committed to MICE Business since the first edition in 2015, for this reason TGM asked some premium testimonials from the industry about their impressions on IMEX 2019, two month after the closing of the MICE Trade Fair of the Year in Europe.
Red. TGM MICE Business
Selected premium testimonials about IMEX Frankfurt 2019 from Exhibitioners, Event-Planers and Tourism Consulting Companies.
PCEB - PENANG CONVENTION & EXHIBITION BUREAU
IMEX 2019 was a wonderful experience where we announced Penang's win in hosting the inaugural ICCA Asia Pacific Conference.
We had the honour of our Penang State Executive Councillor for Tourism Development, Arts, Culture & Heritage, The Honourable Yeoh Soon Hin attending his first trade show in further understanding the business events industry and its vast contribution and benefit to Penang as a destination. Business Events Penang was well-received by the European market and we look forward to IMEX America!
NUÑO MARKETING, GLOBAL TOURISM CONSULTING
For NUÑO Marketing is the direct contact to National Convention Bureaus essential for maintaining global connections to MICE Industry.
During more than a decade IMEX is the top spot for personal networking and business contacts for our Consulting Company. NUÑO Marketing is attending since 1989 MICE projects in more the 70 Countries, on all 5 Continents, in 6 Languages.
We are glad to be present in growing future markets like Africa.
LOEVENS BUSINESS AND EVENT SUPPORT
Participating on IMEX is for Event Supporters the best opportunity for getting around the world on one single place.
Networking is the most important part of the business, developing contacts, learning about new options in destinations and getting inspiration for creative solutions in benefit of the client.
Not technical facts are counting - the human contact and opportunity for brain storming and personal updating is the main reason for us to be present on IMEX. The offer of Trade Faires in Europe and more on the global market is to big to visit all of them, IMEX is the European shopping window to the global MICE industry.
HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (HKIA) and AsiaWorld-Expo's (AWE) participation in the IMEX provided a valuable opportunity for us to touch base with some 1,200 potential clients and develop business.
At IMEX, we highlighted how HKIA's unrivalled connectivity to the world and AWE as a premium EXPOtainment venue on the airport island, would bring synergy to the development of AWE as the perfect MICE venue. We were also delighted to present HKIA's vision to transform into an Airport City, which integrates the airport with the many facilities and infrastructure surrounding it, further strengthening HKIA's status as an international aviation hub.
The way to travel has been very often modified during the last centuries. TGM has taken the commitment with stylish and creative travellers - which is not only a question of budget.
Places or locations which offers a deep feeling and inspiration what life might be. Sharing this experiences is TGM's task in this section of the Magazine. Be welcome and enjoy.
SOUND'S OF JOURNEYS
Less is more - the moment, the company and the opportunity to share these impressions is quite a unique human privilege. TGM does it in two ways, sharing and offering this platform for doing it.
Dedicated to the unique and creative business of event organisation. Discovering new creativity and realising new ideas is part of the daily business of professionals in this amazing service. As well as integrating trends and multicultural touches for the creating the perfect event. - Enjoy the permanently growing content of this new section and we are looking forward to get your feedback and sharing on social media.
Design and creativity are not generally close friends of planning and organisation. Professional Event Organisers has to have two souls in their body and two spirits in their mind, absolute necessary to produce the perfect experiences for their clients.
To gain the next international Convention for a destination might be a pain in the head for many CVB Responsible's. But defiantly MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Convention and Event) Section in the Global Tourism Industry provides the most valuable chain of impact and substance in this global and important industry itself.
WHITE ELEPHANTS aren't a phenomenon of our times only. The Meeting- and Convention industry is since over a decade suffering, the results of irrational local political decisions, how to fill all these more or less magnificent convention centres in many countries all over the world.
The pressure to the local and national Convention and Visitor Bureaus are high to gain international convention in their rotation form country to country. As conclusion the question "How to gain a convention" for a destination is more than ever up to date. Business tourism continues generating a major cross-cutting impact on the economies of the tourist destinations that dedicate themselves professionally to specialization and training of human capital and making important investments for the complete and precise modern infrastructure needed for this segment of the population.
Notably, conventions in their extraordinary development in a community or destination provide multiple benefits in the exchange of knowledge, learning and asymmetrical relations in the transfer of knowledge, contributing a wealth of content held in cutting edge information, without needing to go anywhere, to local communities where they are held. The visibility and positioning of tourist destinations that have put themselves in a position for hosting Business Tourism meetings is increasingly accentuated with strategic plans and business models that the Convention offices or Convention Bureaus create in a strategically professional, articulated manner that are quantitatively and qualitatively measurable and assertive.
The competitiveness of these destinations and the generation of new business models should focus on the impact of sustainability, models for high social responsibility and the inclusion of diverse and disabled populations. The architectural design of visibility strategies strengthens the successful and measurable development of events in a destination while allowing a tangible commercial exchange in groups between cities and countries with a potential that guarantees the responsibility and success of Business Tourism. The request to hold more conventions in our destinations requires very specific strategies to bring more events to our cities. / Text: Red. cps
1.Design a value proposition focused specifically on conventions that we can use to present the candidacy of our destination, that includes the advantages of making it our city and the impact on our community. 2.Structure a full and comprehensive application including the benefits of the targeted destination in terms of the cultural differentials, traditions and cuisine of the city that make it uniquely attractive, unique and motivating. 3.Make a professional presentation with the most cutting edge technology that is able to sell our destination, and motivate and seduce the audience, including interpreting the destination to our customers through the lens of Multicultural Management. 4.Integrate Hospitality Management into the value chain. 5.Involve inclusion programs and activities with the integration of people with disabilities and actions in order to convert the event into a totally green convention with a low carbon footprint. 6.Present motivations and experiences so that people can live the experience of the city, from the perspective of lush, exquisite, and unique personal and family travel, and also be thoroughly convinced that we are the best proposal, understanding our strengths and transmitting the passionate sensibility of living the experience at our destination! / Text: Red. cps
In a few weeks the IMEX Trade Fair in Frankfurt in Germany opens again the doors to the global MICE Tourism world. Destinations are offering their services and facilities under a permanent growing competition. Personal professionalism counts more than ever in the hunt for events and conventions.
HOW MUCH it takes to get productive appointments on a trade fair is very well known.
HOW MUCH resources in terms of staff, logistic and money is necessary, to be present with a Stand on a global trade fair is no secret. During IMEX there are so many opportunities to increase the business contacts and open new doors cross over all business segments. To be prepared to each appointment is the minimum standard of professional trade fair work. Not to attend a confirmed appointment is like shouting the door into an others face - and highly unprofessional. Destinations have to be selective in their preparation of the attending staff on each trade fair, for guaranteeing the highest possible positive result of the investment.
How to start? As a matter of fact, business acquisition is getting more and more delicate, by many reasons. In some countries are restrictions of the so called "fresh acquisition" or by mailing or calling campaigns.
Networking counts, using platforms is the today the main option for getting in contact with new decision-makers and grow the personal network of each professional.
Respectfully attitude and communication is essential, certainly to over run the network partner with advertising isn't the right way. Appointments, which are confirmed, online or personal is the positive result of networking contacts. Once coordinated it's a act of professionalism to realize it - absolutely punctual of course. Follow up, in generally both sides should be able to realize during the next 72 hours a followup for pronounce their appreciation and/or going further with the coordinated details. Handling meeting results from online calls and even more from personal meetings on the professional and respectful way is the basic for success in business development. / Text: Red. bert
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