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Egle Jaugiene Director of Baltic Travel Group shares her insights about the CONVENE

 1. What do you personally love about your destination? What infrastructure improvements for Vilnius would you wish to see?

Vilnius resonates with my soul - it is sufficiently large, safe, very green & clean, multicultural city with a rich history, unique architecture and friendly atmosphere. I love walking on the narrow streets, visiting cozy restaurants, stylish coffee shops and fancy boutiques of the old town. Spending time here is fun – many positive emotions to wake up my creativity, which is very important in my professional life. I love the modern culture of Vilnius as well - it fully reflects the diversity of city life offering evenings of jazz and classical music, ballet, opera, modern dance and a variety of large-scale international cultural events throughout the year. Vilnius is ranked by the New York Times as a well-managed place to live, with many things to offer and I fully agree with this.   

 

Considering infrastructure improvements for Vilnius, we need a modern & multifunctional convention centre with all infrastructure constructed to it, so our city will  attract more large international events (with up to say three  thousand delegates).  At the same time is very important to improve the overall accessibility to/from Vilnius (direct flights, trains, non-stop service etc).

 

  1. What do you think makes CONVENE successful?

In my opinion, the key success factors are: high quality of the event, professional buyers, numerous networking possibilities, professional education sessions, strong and professional organizing team.

 

Over the past three years, CONVENE has proven to be the leading business-to-business meetings industry event in the Baltic Sea region, and the best event for meeting prime partners in the meetings industry business.

 

  1. What are the benefits of attending and indeed being the organizing partner of CONVENE?

Being the organizing partner of CONVENE since its inception, we have invested our know-how, positive energy and recognised CONVENE as one of most important marketing projects at the destination level, through which Vilnius and all Baltic Sea region is strengthening its brand and position on the international meetings industry market. Our company has a unique opportunity to demonstrate to international planners the quality of operations and standards of services we provide. We have a long-term vision and goal to get the best possible return on investment for our company and all the Baltic region.

 

  1. What do you think is the biggest challenge for the destination management companies in a destination such as Vilnius which remains ‘unknown’ to many international planners?

The biggest challenge for the DMCs in our destination which remains ‘unknown’ to many international planners is to define for ourselves what Lithuania\'s image should be - we still do not work on it enough. The big number of  international planners have their own preconceptions about Lithuania, which might have to do with historical facts and ideas about Eastern Europe.  Our destinations need strong and clear marketing strategies - we have yet to define for ourselves what Lithuania\'s image should be. According to experts, each mention in the international press brings benefit to the country/ city, although it is hard to estimate how much exactly, in terms of delegate numbers. In marketing, when introducing a new “unknown” product, it is important to have people try it, for example, taste that product. The same applies to international planners - if there is a B2B event as we have CONVENE and the meeting planners come to it, they get to see the country and get a good impression. Lithuania is a country that foreign guests like once they come here. It shatters prejudices and leaves a very positive impression. This means that preconceptions can sometimes be much worse than reality.

 

The professional events hosted by Lithuania are already paying dividends - Lithuania is mentioned as a country worth visiting - this draws the media\'s attention and makes them look into Lithuania, its tourism potential, culture, sites and people. In the top-ten ranking compiled by the world\'s largest travel guidebook publisher, Lithuania was ranked third best tourist destination for 2015. Naming Lithuania as one of Europe’s best-kept secrets as well as a rebellious, quirky and vibrant country, the Lonely Planet highlighted the most important event for travellers as of 1 January 2015, Lithuania became the newest member of the Euro zone. After this recognition, there was a chain reaction: Lithuania as a must-see place was reported by Forbes, Business Insider, CNN and other reputable media channels. The political situation is changing quickly and we see how everything has changed in the past two years. Vilnius is a safe and fantastic gateway to the Baltic area and reliable market place for international events - now it’s right time for it to be discovered.

 

  1. Baltic Travel Group (BTG) is very well known as a destination management company, but you also organise events – tell us more.

Baltic Travel Group is a Destination Management Company and Professional Conference Organiser based in the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. We provide professionally customised outgoing & incoming services for meetings, incentives, conferences, events as well incoming travel services in the Baltic countries. Organising the perfect event or itinerary is our strength. We look at our events and programmes through the eyes of the participants, and we simply love what we do in keeping high standards of services and providing the unforgettable experience for our clients.

 

  1. One of our education themes this year is women in leadership -have you any tips for our female readers about how you have been successful in becoming a managing director?

\"Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.\"  — Jack Welch

 

Nowadays more and more women are being elevated into leadership roles - Lithuania has even a female President elected for a second term. I believe that if you feel passion for what you do and you are professional in your field there is no difference between a man or woman. In my opinion is very important to continually grow yourself and the team you work with. So, to work with a passion, care about your clients, grow yourself & your team - these are my main tips to share.

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