Despite the pandemic, MEETEX – Croatian Meeting Experience Summit will be held from 16 until 18 March 2021 for the third year in a row. This is the only B2B event of meetings and incentive travel professionals in Croatia. In the new global environments, MEETEX organisational team recognized the right moment to organise online event and give the travel market and the whole Croatian economy an additional positive impulse and push.
More than 160 domestic and foreign participants, exhibitors and buyers, will attend numerous 'one to one' business meetings, lectures, virtual informal coffee and lunch breaks during the three days. The goal is to promote Croatia as an ideal meetings and incentive destination, create new opportunities and establish cooperation. This event is specific as it offers and presents only one destination – Croatia. Buyers are coming from European markets interested in Croatia – like UK, Benelux and Nordic countries, Germany, France, Italy, Poland etc. This year, the program also includes several lucrative buyers from remote markets.
"Since MEETEX is one of our most important projects, I am extremely glad we were able to organize it this year, despite the current challenging situation. We managed to secure all our members the access to international markets under a very favourable terms. This is an investment in the future business, hopefully, in better years to come," said Ranko Filipović, the President of Croatian Meeting Professionals Association.
MEETEX will gather the record number of exhibitors this year. The organizational team of professionals with abundant experience in MICE industry, had an important mission by encouraging networking, support and empower MICE industry and economy in general. Adem Braco Suljić, MEETEX Cofounder and Director explained why it is important: "We are really happy that, despite the catastrophic pandemic’s impact on travel industry, we managed to adapt MEETEX financial terms so that many professionals from travel industry could join us. We hope this will be the only online edition and that brighter days are ahead. This year's event is extremely important in the sense of promotion since this is the year when we should invest in the future expecting the return of live events. Special thank goes to all our partners and sponsors for their continuing support of MEETEX as a flagship of Croatian meeting industry."
Kristjan Staničić, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board underlined: "Although the global pandemic had significantly impacted business travels, MICE industry represents an important product for Croatian tourism. Individual and group business guests show stable demand that is, depending on the trends, most expressive in the period of pre and post main tourist season. Research shows that business guests make 10 to 15% of all hotel guests and they represent a segment that spends 2-3 times more than an average leisure tourist."
Croatian National Tourist Board is, besides Zagreb Tourist Board and Croatian Chamber of Economy, the main partner of the event. Unlike other similar online B2B events, MEETEX will also provide live experience of Croatia for foreign buyers this autumn. In accordance with the epidemic situation, together with Croatian National Tourist Bord and local tourist offices, MEETEX will organize Fam trips in September. After the B2B meetings, the exhibitors will pick buyers who will be offered the Fam trips.
"I would particularly like to recognize the efforts of the organizers to prepare Fam trips for the buyers in the autumn if epidemic measures allow travel. Zagreb will be happy to host these buyers. MICE is of vital importance for our city because, at the same time, it brings large expenditure and great promotion and image to the city," said Martina Bienenfeld, Director of Zagreb Tourist Board.
The patron of this event is the Ministry of Tourism, but Croatian Chamber of Economy also provided support. "We are proud to be a partner of the MEETEX event third year in a row. By co-financing the attendance of our members on this event, we are supporting this sector that suffered huge losses since the pandemic started. We believe in the recovery of MICE industry, which proved to be one of the toughest in the previous crises. MEETEX is the right step towards this recovery," said Luka Burilović, President of the Croatian Chamber of Economy.
Numerous professionals from the MICE industry recognized the priority of networking in these challenging times. The organizers announced over 1000 meetings, which will result in new business opportunities. The program also includes educational lectures from distinguished domestic and foreign speakers, which will also be available to university students as well. That MEETEX is organized in the right time, the proof is the record number of applicants from regional and local tourist offices from all over Croatia. For the first time, we have continental destinations – Varaždin County, Osijek-Baranja County, Krapina-Zagorje County, Zagreb County and Međimurje County – taking part in this event as great undiscovered incentive travel destinations.
Permanent education, following the market trends and business networking with a positive dose of authentic Croatian experience continues to be the foundation of the MEETEX events, regardless of the circumstances – this is the main message from the organisational team.
Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.