A successful finish for the second annual MEETEX - Croatian Meeting Experience Summit
Last international industry event was held in Croatia
Zagreb, Croatia - The 2nd National MEETEX - Croatian Meeting Experience Summit was successfully held in Zagreb from March 9 to March 11, 2020. The organizers were the Croatian Meeting Professionals Association (HUPKT) and the company Innovative Events.
The event’s patron was the Croatian Ministry of Tourism. The main partners and sponsors were the Croatian National Tourist Board, Zagreb Tourist Board - Convention Bureau, Croatian Chamber of Commerce, City of Zagreb, as well as hotels, The Westin Zagreb, Canopy by Hilton and Sheraton Zagreb, together with Eldra, the company for technical support for events and Hercex, the transportation company.
For its 2nd year, MEETEX brought together 66 Croatian suppliers and 50 international buyers from specialized agencies, corporations, and international trade associations from European countries, and held nearly 1100 business meetings over 2 days. In addition to overseas buyers, representatives of domestic and regional companies as well as professional associations were also participants.
Despite MEETEX being organized during a time when the issues of the pandemic COVID-19 virus were already present in Asia, Italy, and several other European countries, almost all the buyers responded, and arrived to Croatia with immense interest and held meetings with our suppliers.
Domestic and foreign experts from the meeting industry moderated MEETEX. Besides the official part of the programme, participants also had the opportunity to participate in social incentive programs in Zagreb as well as informal gatherings, through which they were all able to get to know each other better and experience Zagreb as an attractive destination for meeting industry.
For foreign buyers there were also familiarisation trips organized. Before MEETEX, two groups visited Istria, Kvarner and Zagreb, and after MEETEX, another two groups experienced what was offered by Sibenik-Knin and Split-Dalmatia County. In this way, the buyers were able to personally see for themselves one part of the richness of Croatia’s tourism offerings, specifically related to the MICE industry. The Croatian National Tourist Board, Zagreb Tourist Board, Istria Tourist Board, Kvarner Tourist Board, Opatija Tourist Board, Tourist Board of Sibenik-Knin County, Tourist Board of Split-Dalmatia County and the Tourist Board of Split all helped in the organization and execution of these study tours.
MEETEX organizers have long-term cooperation with University of Economics in Zagreb, University of Tourism and Hospitality Management in Opatija and the University of Libertas in Zagreb. Therefore, meetings industry students from these universities also visited MEETEX.
Throughout the meetings between buyers and exhibitors, the dominant theme was the situation on the market caused by the pandemic virus COVID-19. However, everyone expressed hope as well as readiness for the meetings and programs of companies and associations held in Croatian destinations to be focused more on the fall 2020 period and well in to the 2021.
A trend that is certain to business customers is that in the post-pandemic period, for several reasons, projects and events will likely have a lower number of participants. There will be a greater demand to receive value and quality for money. Those destinations and service providers that will be very competitive are ones that will have superior service offerings, authentic and unique products along with services and experiences. Croatia, with its attractions, infrastructure and professional staff has all the requirements to continue positioning itself in the European and global markets for meeting industry as soon as the pandemic crisis ends. In addition, exhibitors and buyers who participated in MEETEX 2020 are determined and expect the first business guests to arrive as early as June, and to have back-to-normal operations as of September 2020. Since the second MEETEX was held successfully as the traditional and the only national industry event, organizers are already planning activities and the organization of the third MEETEX in Croatia, in March 2021.back