The 8th edition of the Baltic Sea Region’s leading trade show for the meeting and event industry returned to Vilnius on 12-13 February 2020.
With partnerships between public and private sectors on the rise in the city, the city’s official agency for development Go Vilnius has appointed Baltic Travel Group as the event’s official PCO in 2020. “Having supported CONVENE since its very beginning, we were proud to take on this role and contribute to the region’s premier B2B meeting industry event,” says BTG CEO Vlad Koriagin.
The annual trade show featured an impressive mix of 140 Hosted Buyers from more than 30 countries. These numbers are part of a much bigger picture that has CONVENE 2020 aiming to highlight the characteristics that differentiate the Baltic Sea Region from other parts of Europe. Over 80 regional suppliers from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Scandinavia – supported by guest-exhibitors from Georgia, Hungary, Slovakia and Ukraine – showed-off the fact that the entire region is highly tech-savvy, which provides a certain direction for meeting planners.
“Our team worked hard to bring a wide variety of high quality buyers to the event and provide suppliers with a wealth of potential new business opportunities, so seeing everything come together like this is a big boost for us. And for our part, CONVENE is able to strategically position Vilnius as a regional accelerator with thriving startup hubs, a collaborative spirit between businesses, scientific institutions and associations active in global networks,” says Go Vilnius Director Inga Romanovskienė.
Furthermore, the latest figures revealed that 90% of Hosted Buyers were new to the CONVENE portfolio, giving suppliers more opportunities to do business with completely fresh contacts. Plus, meeting planners coming from Benelux and the UK have increased by 5% this year. Globally renowned businesses were represented among the buyers, including Grant Thornton, MCI, General Motors, and Emerging Europe.
In addition CONVENE’s organisers have arranged an interactive introduction to Vilnius’ infrastructure on the second day of the trade show, which comes in response to buyers wanting a more in-depth experience of the city. More than 50+ buyers also attended Vilnius, Kaunas, Riga and Jurmala, Tallinn, and Gdansk on post-CONVENE tours.
This year’s Professional Academy consisted of 11 comprehensive sessions filled with presentations and discussions led by 20 speakers. The sessions touched on the industry’s hottest topics, which relate largely to technology and how it can be leveraged to create significant value by long term legacy for meeting planners and better experiences for participants.
The Head of Meetings and Events at BTG on Convene 2020, “This was probably one of the most challenging projects we ever had in Lithuania and it paid off well. We are extremely happy to receive positive feedback from exhibitors, hosted buyers and speakers! We were also glad to see that Vilnius impressed many of our foreign guests. The city has developed immensely in the last five years and we expect it to be booming as a destination for MICE projects soon. Its size, infrastructure, leisure activities and technological capabilities make it a perfect location to host events for millennial and Gen Z audiences who want to engage with events rather than merely be spectators. We look forward to the growing number of requests for events in Lithuania and we will be happy to offer our DMC and PCO services.”
Organised annually by Go Vilnius, CONVENE is a business marketplace that provides non-stop networking opportunities for meeting professionals. The two-day trade show gathers industry suppliers from across the Baltic Sea Region and buyers from around Europe and the world together under one roof. In 2019 Go Vilnius has appointed Baltic Travel Group as the event’s official PCO.