Be it IMEX, IBTM or any other similar show - 15-20.000 steps a day is waiting for us every time!

Although I didn’t break my personal record of 23.000 steps set on last year’s IBTM, this year’s IMEX was again a chance to have a super interesting exchange of opinions with numerous colleagues from literally all over the world, as well as to be at hand to my home country colleagues from Croatian National Tourism Board. On this edition of IMEX, I had a chance to talk with a LOT of people and share my vision of MICE B2B Networking Events – a smaller one, just as we do our MEETEX – and interestingly enough, EVERYBODY said that it is a fantastic idea. Let’s see what the future brings! Thank you all, it was yet another great event!

Future of the MICE industry in Bosnia and Hercegovina

It was a pleasure to take part in the super-interesting panel discussion about the future of the MICE industry in Bosnia and Hercegovina, at the 2nd Bosnia Tourism Summit in Sarajevo on April 24-25, 2024. I got a chance to elaborate on why the concept of smaller B2B Single-Destination Tradeshow Networking events is the most efficient one – at least from our own experience. Thank you Enis Hadzimuljic for the invitation, congratulations on the organization and see you next year!

One more MEETEX - check!

The sixth edition of MEETEX is finished, again with some impressive numbers and a few big announcements. Almost 2.000 1-on-1 meetings, a lot of fun and networking, creating new and nurturing old contacts, and packing bags for the first edition of MEETEX OnTour Toronto 2024, due to happen October 2-4, 2024! See you in Canada.. and then again in Croatia in 2025. A huge thank you to the great MEETEX Team! 

Does Croatia need a real, professionally and purposefully planned Congress Centre?

A big thank you to Novi List, a mass media covering the whole country, that showed interest and gave me the opportunity to speak on behalf of the whole MICE industry. Yes of course we do need one, for a million reasons! The complete interview is on the link below:

MICE sustainability keynote in Belgrade, on one more (but not just any) industry event

Since some time sustainability has become a key word in many industries – especially tourism. Of course, there are real and more than justified reasons for it, but at the same time, there are just too many people (and companies) claiming to be sustainability experts, even issuing their own “certificates“. This is driven by wrong motifs, and, although I did start to work on a different approach to sustainability, now have a position to address this issue very carefully, as I don’t want to be perceived as a”certificator” 🙂 Sustainability – especially in MICE – needs a LOT of work on people’s MINDS, not only infrastructure. That is why I am carefully choosing events where I speak about it, and the Belgrade MICE summit was one of those – especially because it is organized by not only a good friend, but one of the greatest experts in tourism in this part of Europe, Mr. Djordje Mihajlovic. Thank you, dear Djordje, hope to repeat this soon!

Grand Gala opening of renovated legendary Sava Centar

It was both pleasure and honor to be invited as a guest to the Gala opening of the fully renovated Sava Centar, an iconic Congress center in Belgrade/Serbia. The biggest congress venue in this part of Europe built originally in the early 70s (with my late father participating a bit too, in the planning phasenow has extraordinary capacities (46 conference rooms), superb design and technology.. but more importantly, an immensely talented, hardworking, young and super-educated team that will run this venue and bring the difference in this part of the world. 

Wow - a keynote speech on Atlas annual conference in Amsterdam 10/2023

I started with public speaking at industry gatherings almost 10 years ago. Not much later I had the privilege to meet legendary Dr. Rob Davidson, one of the best academic experts in the MICE industry in the world, teaching at numerous universities and author of – if I am not mistaken – 8 books about “Business Tourism”. As our niche is really small, we participated together in plenty of different industry meetings, even became good friends. But no matter the history and mileage I have, I must admit I got a bit of a stage fright when I got Rob’s invitation to be the keynote speaker at Atlas Conference 2023 in Amsterdam. At Atlas – The Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and Research was established in 1991 and currently has members in over 50 countries!!! Keynote to a university professor in  Tourism from all over the world! The sense of pride was immense, as well as the feelgood factor when I got the invite for the 2024 edition too! 

Hands-on is the best way to learn - even for beginners!

It felt really nice when I was asked by one of my colleagues – whom I respect sincerely and deeply – to jump in and give a hand to an international team trying to teach younger generations how to start doing some serious MICE business in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Our hosts were extremely welcoming – even organized a wonderful famtrip for us – our “students” were extremely keen on getting new knowledge, and we, the course leaders, were amazed to be able to transfer our knowledge and experience to the ones that need it really bad. So happy and proud! Thank you all – most of all our dear Ruba Velagić!

Sustainability even in short-term vacation rentals? Of course!

I have to say that I was a bit surprised when I got a call from the organizers of the VRM summit – the first Croatian Short Term Vacation Rental Management companies gathering – to moderate the panel on sustainability. My expertise is related to sustainability in the MICE environment, but when I thought it over, I realized that no matter the industry, it is always about PEOPLE, and influencing their perspective. And with that oh yes, I can do a lot 🙂 

Thank you Sasa Bosanac and your team, it felt great not only to get all the praises, but to come to a common conclusion!

MICEBOOST is taking off!

A big thank you to Poslovni Turizam, the only Croatian news magazine/portal related directly to the MICE industry, commonly known as “Business tourism“. This interview was the first official announcement of the MICEBOOST project and its start, published by this great team of people dedicated to the same goal.

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