MEETEX 2024: New Opportunities for Business Events in Dubrovnik
Photo credit: Meetex.
MEETEX 2024: New Opportunities for Business Events in Dubrovnik
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For the sixth time, Dubrovnik presented itself to buyers from the global MICE industry at the unique national B2B trade show MEETEX 2024. The event was held from the 12th to the 14th of March at the Hilton Zagreb Conference & Event Centre, gathering more than 200 participants - exhibitors from Croatia and hosted buyers from Europe, America, and Asia. The Dubrovnik Tourist Board's Convention Bureau hosted international buyers in more than 25 meetings, and a total of 2,000 meetings were held during the two-day show - both pre-arranged 1-on-1 meetings and spontaneous ones during numerous breaks and networking opportunities.

At the beginning of the official program, all present were greeted by the director and co-founder of MEETEX, Adem Braco Suljić, who emphasized: "Our desire is to maximize the number of business events in Croatia through such gatherings, thereby extending the season and significantly increasing tourist traffic." The guest of this year's edition was Dr. Rob Davidson, author of 8 books on the business events industry and one of the top 10 most influential educators in the world of business events. In his welcoming speech, he praised the organizational team and warned international buyers that MEETEX is not an ordinary fair of the business events industry and that they can expect to be impressed.

Interest in Dubrovnik among buyers in the incentive group segment

There was lively activity at the stand of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board's Convention Bureau. Meetings were held mostly with buyers from Canada, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Denmark, Austria, and the UK. The main interest in Dubrovnik as a business destination is, expectedly, in April and May and in September and October, i.e., outside the main tourist season. During the meetings, buyers showed the greatest interest in getting to know Dubrovnik and the latest developments in the hotel, congress, and MICE offers. Other exhibitors from Dubrovnik, such as hotel groups and DMC agencies, expressed satisfaction with the quality of buyers and their interest in Dubrovnik, and some even noted specific inquiries.

Buyers once again did not hide their enthusiasm for Dubrovnik's offer. Rita Szucs from Anga Business Travel agency from Budapest, Hungary, who attended MEETEX for the first time, emphasized the high quality of suppliers: "The hotel offer in Croatia is truly excellent, especially on the coast, and especially in Dubrovnik. I have never been to Dubrovnik, but it is certainly on my wish list. It is a wonderful city, very 'sellable' because it is picturesque, especially the historic core," said Szucs, adding that the only obstacle for Hungarians is air connectivity, so efforts should be made on direct lines connecting Dubrovnik with Hungary.

Marianne Sjødahl from Denmark emphasized that Croatia has everything Scandinavians love: "You have the weather, beautiful nature, sea, mountains, excellent food and wine, and a variety of activities to offer. Danes love mountains because our country is quite flat, and they also love sports. They are not primarily interested in lying on the beach but in actively spending time in nature. Therefore, Dubrovnik has everything they could wish for. It is an ideal destination to combine business events with outdoor activities or active incentive programs."

Dates announced for the second annual edition of the trade fair - MEETEX OnTour

During the event, the dates for the first MEETEX OnTour Toronto 2024 were officially announced. MEETEX thus becomes the only event of its kind in the world to organize a B2B networking event for promoting the MICE industry of only one country - Croatia - on both sides of the Atlantic.

The organizers announced that the transatlantic edition will take place from the 2nd to the 4th of October. These dates were not chosen randomly, emphasized Adem Braco Suljić, as they allow Croatian exhibitors to combine this presentation with the one at IMEX America, as this global congress fair begins on the 7th of October. The interest in Croatia among Canadian buyers was visible at MEETEX in Zagreb, and confirmation of this interest is the fact that 45 buyers have already signed up to participate in the MEETEX OnTour Toronto 2024 edition.

Participants also had the opportunity to learn something new besides networking this year. Lecturers from the Zagreb School of Economics and Management held a lecture and workshop on the use of AI and ChatGPT in the MICE industry, and as a counterbalance, Rob Davidson held a lecture on the importance of emotional intelligence in the event organization industry.

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