Since its foundation in 2006, The Best Solutions Company has specialized in MICE in the SEE region, with the primary objective to bring together and develop the meetings industry.
Ever since, The Best Solutions has developed unique specialized services: the internet portals www.kongresniturizam.com and www.SEEmice.com, the catalogue-guide for meetings industry of the SEE region „SEEmice“and together with more than 250 members – contractors in meetings industry it has created the regional meetings market. In the late 2009, the Company started the first educational and informative specialized magazine in business travel and meetings SEE Business Travel & Meetings magazine aimed at presenting the business travel and congress tourism to its readers, including the organization of special events, meetings capacities, news and trends.
The Regional Meetings Industry Party was organized by The Best Solutions on the occasion of successful cooperation with its partners and the promotion of the second issue of the country’s first MICE magazine SEEbtm. Around 250 professionals from the region gathered at the top floor of the Business Centre Ušće enjoying a fine cocktail party and the music that “moves your hips”.
Here to tell us more about the issue of organization and goals of the SEEbtm Party is Miona Šljivančanin, Marketing Director & PR of The Best Solutions and SEEbtm Party Project Manager. She says that the organization of any event requires answers to several questions.
Why? “Stage one in an event organization is to answer the questions why to organize the event, why to invest money, energy and resources? What are the goals and benefits that may be gained by such an undertaking? Naturally, when you draw the line, the benefits have to be higher than invested resources for the event to be acceptable and to be reasonably taken to the next stage. After four years of working on bringing together and developing the regional meetings industry and following the new product launch – the unique MICE magazine, The Best Solutions (BS) decided to welcome its partners in a memorable and one of the kind party, expressing so its respect and gratitude for their supporting the work and huge efforts invested by BS into the entire system which they belong to as well. Since one of the company goals is to develop the regional meetings industry, we found it necessary that our partners from Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Romania and Bulgaria should all meet, and that a sound networking should be made as well as the platform for continued successful cooperation“.
Who? “Event planning is to consider what delegates are to attend it, what the participating target group is and of course how many people will be involved. The guests at the SEEbtm Party were the partners and members of kongresniturizam.com portal, or to be more precise, the representatives of Convention Bureaus of Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, but also of Convention Bureaus of Belgrade, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Opatija, Rijeka and others, followed by the managers and executives of hotels, convention centres and agencies from all countries in the region, including the representatives of certain companies and media, or over 250 participants“.
How? “Indeed, after deciding that the event is necessary and reasonable to carry out, the next question is the budget. Is there a budget for something like that, and if yes, how big? The event organization budget is something that mostly determines how, where and by what means the matter will be pursued. The bigger the budget, the bigger the opportunities to rent space, catering, lighting, sound system, music, decoration and other related services. Of course, it includes the skills in communication, organization and negotiations too.
As we wanted to welcome people who are in the first place the professionals in what they do, we had no easy task to begin with in our efforts to impress the professionals in MICE industry. It means that the first thing they notice is high quality and any possible failures in the entire organization, catering, selection of venue, music and everything else. The idea was to add a relaxed but also exclusive and vibrant air to the event along with the pop & rock music capable of connecting all generations, and so create conditions for a successful networking while having a great time. That is why I’d like to point out that we got to grips with this adventure not only with courage, but also with enthusiasm and huge energy“.
When? “As we planned for the first time to gather the representatives of meetings industry from Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece in an event of international significance and with international participation, we decided that the date of SEEbtm Party should be the day of opening the International Fair of Tourism in Belgrade– IFT 2010, given that it is certainly the biggest tourism fair in the region and that most our partners take part in it. If not, it would certainly be an added value along with the networking at SEEbtm Party to use the opportunity and pay a business visit to IFT. It turned out that it was a good decision, since the turnout of the regional partners was immense“.
Where? “The location and venue are the biggest decisions to be made after deciding whether to organize the event or not. As it was decided that the SEEbtm Party was going to be held in Belgrade, there was only the question of selecting the suitable venue. It requires considering the type of event, who the participants are, and what the goals of the event are. And above all what the available budget is. Is it a serious convention, or conference requiring all the delegates to be seated, product promotion, seminar or celebration? Each of them has their own specifics to be discussed.
In our case, we wanted an exclusive venue, capable of accommodating 250-300 people and easily accessible, with the possibility to set up a stage and good lighting and technical support. Also, our aim was to present Belgrade to the guests out of town in the best way possible as the metropolis that it is. So, after a several months of selection we opted for the 25th floor of the Business Centre Ušće where we could welcome out guests at the very ‘roof top’ of Belgrade with a magnificent nocturnal view of the river and landmarks of Belgrade“.
Impressions of participants following SEEbtm Party
“Gathering of people in any industry is good and it should be promoted in the Serbian business practices. If it involves the region, as in case of SEEbtm, it’s even better. The business environment of the 21st century changes so fast that we often fail to grasp all partnership and market potentials around us. That is why we give all our credits to the idea and the organizational team for arranging SEEbtm Party at the time of the IFT Belgrade and for selecting an attractive venue for all those who do not have a chance to visit Belgrade very often. I hope it will grow in the years to come and become a regular item in the calendar of the regional tourism industry.”
Milica Božanić, Film and Tourism Assistant, USAID Competitiveness Project
„I would like to congratulate you and your team on the perfect organization of this event: for me it was the first time that I joined the IFT Fair and the SEEbtm party, and I had great fun
with my colleagues from the BW Hotel Sumadija and BW Hotel M. The location was unique, the catering delicious, the waiters very friendly and professional, good music (maybe a bit too loud – it was not easy to communicate). For sure we from BEST WESTERN CENTRAL EUROPE will participate also next year! Besides that I would like to point out how much I like your well-done magazine and its actual topics! So I wish you great success also for the future and I am sure that especially the business travel and MICE sector is going to expand in your country.“
Marlies Rogen, BEST WESTERN CENTRAL EUROPE
“The event was superbly organized, we liked the reception and welcoming of guests, the venue was absolutely suited to the type of event with a fantastic view and programme concept and the socializing which was very original. The idea of traditional gatherings and socializing is fabulous, it adds to strengthening business relations and establishing new contacts. On the whole: “Great time, wicked party!” – Zoltan, Marko and Kornelia.
Kornelia Radić, Sales Manager , Hotel Galleria, Subotica
„SEEbtm party was for sure a pleasant surprise for all of us who came to Belgrade for the first time. A real happening suited to the industry. The time and venue hit the bull’s eye since there are huge rearrangements underway both, in Europe and in our region. Vibrant, relaxed gatherings such as SEEbtm Party are ideal for improving the communication, refreshing the “syllabus” and as the platform for placing new ideas. In any case, the party was a blast.“
Ante Tolj, Rathanea DMC Dubrovnik
NETWORKING SUCCESFULLY CARRIED OUT – REGION GATHERED IN ONE PLACE!
For this purpose the organizer of SEEbtm Party also came up with an animation for all guests – a networking game – whose aim was to encourage socializing, new contacts, business relations and friendships. The task given to all attendants, after it was properly announced early in the evening, was to find five people all from different SEE countries through socializing and fun. As the whole region was present, including the colleagues and partners from Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Greece and Bulgaria, it was not too hard to reach the goal. It was enough to take a walk to the next table, go to the floor or pass along to the end of the room from where you can see the magnificent view of Belgrade, and slowly gather up your own team of five.
This game confirmed the idea of the gathering at SEEbtm Party, focusing on bringing together the regional meetings industry in one place, which was successfully achieved by The Best Solutions during the four years of its business.
The winner of the networking game was a cheerful team of five which was quick to finish the mission for the evening. The attendants demonstrated an example of successful networking and socializing with their reginal colleagues and partners, which is the acknowledgement of the success of SEEbtm Party and The Best Solutions.
In the course of the evening, some awards were presented to the attendants such as Hotel Bristol, Opatija, Bon Voyage Agency, Novi Sad, and Hotel Tulip Inn Putnik,Belgrade in form of sales improvement tools developed by The Best Solutions.
STRAIGHT ‘A’ FOR THE NETWORKING TEAM OF FIVE
ANTUNOVIĆ Hotel │ Croatia
Ivan Liović , Sales and Marketing Director
ANTUNOVIĆ HOTEL & ZAGREB CONVENTION CENTRE – 4* business hotel with 158 rooms, 20 up-to-date, multipurpose and HI-FI equipped convention rooms accommodating 5 to 1000 people, at an accessible location, with a garage, restaurants and bars with the top offer of the worldwide gastronomic trends, wellness, and above all professional and kind staff. One of the kind experience – www.hotelantunovic.com !
MONA Hotel │ Serbia
Ivan Vitorović, Sales and Marketing Director
HOTEL MONA – Redecorated hotel Zlatibor MONA opened in 2007. Its offer includes 4 aspects: accommodation – comfortable rooms, studios and suites; restaurants – Vila, the international restaurant serving board buffet meals, where every evening is a theme evening and Perun restaurant with ‘a la carte’ national cuisine, and the must-see Lada bar; convention area – a room with 220 seats and three more ancillary rooms; 900sq m wellness with a pool, saunas, fitness room, massage rooms, relax room, Turkish bath…
PRINCESS Hotel │ Montenegro
Ljiljana Lukšić, Sales and Marketing
HOTEL PRINCESS – Situated at the most attractive coastal location in Bar, Hotel “Princess” provides its guests with the top comfort and high-quality service. Hotel includes 108 rooms, 15 junior and 12 deluxe suites. Business professionals can find in our offer a convention centre with 2 small (max 50 seats) and a big room (max 150 seats), equipped with the up-to-date audio-visuals. If you want to relax, there is a wellness and spa (indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, Turkish bath, tanning beds, massage). Apart from families and business professionals, Hotel “Princess” is visited by sports teams as well.
EUROLINE Agency │ Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sanja Regojević, Sales
AGENCIJA EUROLINE – “Euroline Travel” Agency, Banjaluka was founded on 23rd June 2004. We have subagent contracts with the major operators in the region and Europe. We specialize in international tourism, sales of airplane tickets, organization of conventions, seminars, cultural and sports events… We also do the so-called tailoring programmes/tours are at the order of a group or company with special requirements. Among other, we organize visits to international fairs, conventions, seminars, sports or cultural events. We are IATA-accredited agency, so we are capable of providing the best-deal airplane tickets and hotel accommodation for any destination. Our offer includes the organization of seminars, conventions and fairs. Most of our customers are government and non-government organizations such as Telekom RS, Indirect Taxation Administration, Ministry of Finance of the RS, Government of RS, Healthcare Ministry of RS, as well as private companies.
CITY HOTEL │ Slovenia
Rudi Gubenšek , Sales and Marketing Director
CITY HOTEL LJUBLJANA – City Hotel Ljubljana is at your service with 201 rooms and 3 deluxe suites, car park with 25 lots in the hotel garage, 4 conference rooms, library, terrace-bar, internet corner, bar and restaurant. The conference centre can host various events (conferences, seminars, press-conferences, meetings, presentations) and it can accommodate 10 to 50 people in 4 rooms. By removing single wall panels we can expand the space to a total of 116 sq m for 200 people. Each room is equipped with up-to-date multimedia devices, which are included in the conference room rental rate. We will be glad to offer you and your guests various other amenities.
We have asked the Networking winners what the regional turnout has been like in terms of their services so far and what the tendencies are for the future animation and arrival of the guests from the neighbouring countries. All agree that the participation of the guests from the region is on the rise and that a very important promotional factor is the visit to the regional fairs and cities. “Ever since we opened, there has been a high share of our guests coming from the region and from the countries which have been our traditional partners“ – says Ivan Liović from ANTUNOVIĆ Hotel.
At SEEbtm Party these five gathered up very easily. The task was not hard, and it was very interesting. Ljiljana from PRINCESS hotel says: “What’s interesting is that at the beginning there were only two of us at the table to be some twenty of us by the end of the evening! Such an interesting group of people included colleagues from three different countries in the region. Without any hesitation, we took up the challenge and looked for colleagues from two more countries intending to show, among other, that good communication skills and good will are the traits of any tourism professional, and tourism is an industry which brings people together”. All agree that “networking is in their blood”, and the colleague Gubenšek with CITY HOTEL says that all the energy there could move Triglav mountain…
And, as usual, after the party has ended we leave with nice impressions and new contacts. The cooperation between the colleagues is certainly expected to continue. “We’ll keep in touch and develop our cooperation. I’d like to point out that SEEbtm Party has been a very pleasant experience for me and I hope that there will be more of them” says Sanja with EUROLINE Agency. Ivan Vitorović with MONA hotel points out that he’ll keep in touch with the winning five, but also with all the people present, adding the buzz words “TO BE CONTINUED…”
And the organizing company agrees!
See you again next year.