Slovenia achieved all of its goals set for the Expo Milano 2015 world's fair
Milano, 16 October - A press conference was held today in Milan at Slovenia's Pavilion on the occasion of Slovenia's presentation at Expo Milano 2015. By achieving all of the set goals and surpassing some of them, Slovenia successfully presented itself over a six month period, along with other participants of the world's fair.
In Milan, where the food-themed world's fair has been under way since 1 May to 31 October 2015, Slovenia has been presenting itself with its own 800 square metre pavilion, while the entire Slovenian plot totals 1,919 square metres and is superbly located where most events take place, in the immediate vicinity of the "Open Air Theatre" where shows and performances for larger crowds are presented on a daily basis. The architectural design of Slovenia's Pavilion was created by the Architecture Bureau SoNo arhitekti, while it was constructed by the company Lumar IG. Slovenia's Pavilion is largely made of natural materials - wood and glass. In Slovenia, which is one of the most forested countries in Europe, wood is a strategic raw material. In the Pavilion's interior, Slovenia is presented through five themes: salt pans, bees, thermal and mineral waters, hiking and cycling, and the "measurement of black carbon particles" project.
On the outside stage and around the Slovenian Pavilion, a diverse accompanying programme has been presented throughout the six month period, presenting Slovenian companies and regions.
Slovenia's Pavilion is said to be one of the liveliest places to gather within the world's fair. For instance, the Il Corriere della Sera newspaper listed the Slovenian Pavilion among the four liveliest places of action at the world's fair.
The satisfaction of visitors to Slovenia's Pavilion has been confirmed by the survey carried out by the Mediana company:
- 94.8% of interviewees would recommend that their friends and relatives visit Slovenia's Pavilion.
- 85.6% of interviewees would like to visit Slovenia in the near future after seeing Slovenia's Pavilion.
- 82.5% of interviewees reported that their perception of Slovenia had changed for the better due to their visit to Slovenia's Pavilion.
Many architecture portals have written about the architectural design of Slovenia's Pavilion. Let us only mention the publication on the most visited portal of this kind in the world - "designboom" with more than 600,000 daily visits to their website. The presentation of Slovenia's Pavilion was also published on the well-known American architecture portal "Architizer" with 72,000 daily website views.
Bled cream cake - after being mentioned in the Expo Official App - has become one of the ten desserts worth trying during your visit.
Slovenia's Pavilion has been pointed out by the Expo organiser several times, along with only a handful of other participating countries. Slovenia's Pavilion is also shown on the organiser's posters displayed on Milan's subway trains, inviting people to visit the Expo.
During the entire duration of the world's fair, many people have been placing Slovenia's Pavilion among the TOP 10 pavilions worth visiting. Accordingly, the queue to visit Slovenia's Pavilion seems to persist and the number of visits is substantive; on average, Slovenia's Pavilion receives 7,000 visitors per day. The number of visits exceeds all expectations. The number doesn't include the visitors who don't enter the Pavilion but attend various events and presentations in front of it; the estimated number of such visitors is up to 4,000 per day. In the final days of the world's fair, Slovenia's Pavilion awaits its millionth visitor. According to Expo organisers, their target of 20 million visitors will have been achieved by the time of the Expo's conclusion.
The nationality structure of the visitors is not officially known yet. However, estimates show that approximately 70 per cent of visitors are from Italy, 10 per cent from France and 20 per cent from other countries.
In early May, there were many doubts among the Italians about hosting Expo. However, public opinion has been entirely reversed during the world's fair. Nobody wants to miss Expo and the organisers are becoming true heroes. Approximately 150,000 people visit Expo every day, while more than 250,000 visitors are recorded on Fridays and Saturdays. People wait in long lines to enter the pavilions. Several times, the doors to the fair have been temporarily closed for safety reasons.
The increased recognition of the I feel Slovenia national brand is one of the goals of Slovenia's participation at the world's fair and exceeds all expectations. The "I feel Slovenia" slogan is visible on both sides of Slovenia's Pavilion; Visitors to Slovenia's Pavilion receive green heart-shaped stickers with the inscription I Feel Slovenia, which can be seen all around the fair and even in Milan city centre. According to the reactions of foreign visitors, the Slovenian national brand is an excellent tool for increasing the recognition and reputation of Slovenia as the only country in the world with the word "LOVE" in its name.
1011 companies participated in the presentation of Slovenia at Expo. During the six months of the world's fair, a Business centre operated in Slovenia's Pavilion, assisting Slovenian companies in organising promotional events and establishing business contacts.
596 Slovenian companies are included in the Business Platform of the Milan Chamber of Commerce.
320 Slovenian companies participated in 32 business delegations.
65 Slovenian companies were included in individual promotional projects.
30 Slovenian companies were included in partnership projects.
The Business Centre was visited by 333 foreign companies participating in delegations.
Jerneja Lampret, Commissioner-General, Slovenia's presentation at Expo Milano 2015: "My personal opinion based on the experience at the world's fair in Milan is that Slovenia needs this kind of promotion and that participation at universal expositions (the next one will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2020) is an efficient way of achieving increased visibility of Slovenia, improving the reputation of the national brand, internationalising Slovenian companies and promoting Slovenia as a tourist destination."
Aleš Cantarutti, State Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology: "Before the closing of Milan's 2015 world's fair, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology concludes, with satisfaction, that our decision to maximally include Slovenian companies in the presentation of Slovenia has proven to be the right one. The Business Centre, which operated in Slovenia's Pavilion from the fair's opening, played a crucial role in assisting Slovenian companies with their presentations and business contacts. We are delighted by the fact that 1,000 Slovenian companies used the opportunity to present themselves at Expo and establish business contacts. Today, representatives of the companies presented their experiences from the world's fair and confirmed that this was a good opportunity for their further operation and international market penetration. In fact we can conclude that the joint presentation of Slovenian regions and companies was an ideal combination for the integrated presentation of Slovenia as an interesting tourist destination and a country that is attractive for foreign investors. We can also be satisfied with the results, considering the amount of funds invested."
Bojan Škoda, head of Business Centre: "The business component, which is run by Slovenian diplomacy as a joint project of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is an important part of Slovenia's Pavilion at Expo Milano. The operation of the Business Centre exceeded all expectations related to the internationalisation of Slovenian companies."
Gorazd Skrt, head of the Slovenian Tourism Organisation office in Milan: "The purpose of Slovenia's presentation at the world's fair is certainly to promote Slovenia as a Green. Active. Healthy. destination. This year's statistical data on the number of Italian guests in Slovenia were impressive and were at least partially a consequence of presentations at Expo. We expect even better results in the future, when the effects of Slovenia's promotion within the world's fair as well as the great advertising campaign in northern Italy during the first half of this year are felt."
Anja Erjavec, head of the presentation of Slovenian regions at Expo: "The presentation of regions at Expo Milano 2015 enriches the permanent Slovenian exhibition with interesting and diverse accompanying events, while participation at the world's fair is an exceptional experience for those responsible for regional presentations and for the development of destinations. The concept of alternating regional presentations is also used by other countries, such as Italy, China, Poland, Slovakia, etc. The fact that Expo is so close to Slovenia this year is a great opportunity for Slovenian regions presenting their cultural traditions, tourist attractions and cuisine. Visitors to Slovenia's Pavilion were entertained by musicians of various genres, from ethno to Oberkrainer bands, choirs and brass bands to electronic and rap producers. The visitors also enjoyed the performances of cheerleader and dance groups, acrobats, shows of many mascots, a carnival parade and other street artists. We invited many renowned chefs to present their delicacies, while Expo visitors were also superbly entertained by wine and cocktail shows and young cooking talents. There were also many competitions with prizes, social games and gambling games."
Štefan Sobočan, procurator, VARIST Lendava d.d.: "We set ourselves three core objectives: to increase the recognition of the VARIS brand, to present the new PUMP TRACK product and the awarded MEMORY ECO radiator and to establish contacts with "far away" countries. We achieved our objectives. The artistic impression was fantastic since we had a promoter of great rarity - a Roman Catholic priest. His performance with Slovenia's Pavilion in the background was broadcast on at least 26 TV channels. I also have to point out the cooperativeness and flexibility of the team in the preparation and implementation phases of the events. I am convinced we will soon receive a concrete order. When it happens, the money that has been invested will be returned several times."
Roman Ferenčak, director of the Ocean Orchids company: "For Ocean Orchids, participation at Expo represents an additional opportunity to connect with potential new buyers. The response we received during our presence at Expo with our orchids was excellent and will be, as it seems, concluded with a new partnership with an Italian company. We find the Italian market particularly important in the segment of the sales of top-quality orchids. The Business Centre that operates within Slovenia's Pavilion is definitely a good idea by the Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek. Namely, it not only supplements the activities in the Pavilion but also supports the efforts of Slovenian companies in penetrating foreign markets."
Dušan Olaj, director of the Duol company: "We correctly understood Expo Milano 2015 as a hub of global contacts, since almost the whole world is concentrated in one location. This is why we decided, about a year before its opening, that the global promotion of our product - the Greendome - must take place at the world's fair. Greendome is an inflatable greenhouse for the industrial growing of vegetables, so far non-existent in the world. We transferred our knowledge and experience from the development of balloon sports halls to agriculture and created a globally competitive product. This was also the reason to join Slovenia's Pavilion project as partners. In the six month period, we spent more than 90 working days at the fair, attending more than 200 meetings. The peak of our promotion was our sponsorship of the congress of agronomists in September, at which we will have an opportunity to present ourselves to more than 600 agronomers from around the world. At the moment, the result is more than 100 contacts at the highest level (ministers of agriculture and/or high governmental officials from individual countries around the world). We have concrete enquiries and concrete business concluded exclusively as a result of our activities and presence at Expo. Since we covered the entire world from Milan, we estimate our savings at EUR 100,000 simply for the amount of international promotion of our Greendome that was enabled by Expo. We would spend this much and more travelling around the world, not to mention the time required for the promotion of such global proportions (1.5-2 years). There is no doubt that our investment in the event has already been paid back several times. Besides our own work, we would particularly like to express our compliments to Slovenia's Pavilion team and their efforts, especially the Business Centre and its management. Without all of them, our experience would have been much more difficult. They were of great help, either in establishing business contacts, ordinary meetings, organised B2B platforms and their invaluable communication skills in establishing contacts with other pavilions."
Damjan Uršič, director of the Lina design company: "The Slovenian company Lina design was presented on 23-26 July at Slovenia's Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 with an interesting event and a presentation of the use of multifunctional products, diversified by entertainment, music and dance. From the presentation in July until the present, the innovative LINA seats became recognised elements of Expo 2015. Several pavilions decided to use them to diversify their exterior and interior. The company is present in the following Expo 2015 pavilions: Slovenia, European Union, Malta, Coffee cluster, Corriere della sera, Confindustria, Rigoletto, Coppini Arte Olearia, Alessandro Rosso and Birra Moretti. The company has observed short-, medium- and long-term financial effects of participating at Expo 2015. Short-term financial effects are noted in the increased sales to final buyers, which is manifested as a daily demand for products by Expo 2015 visitors. Medium-term financial effects are noted in terms of concluding contracts with potential traders, sales agents and distributors for specific countries or regions. The company acquired a distributor for United Arab Emirates and Middle East countries at Expo. Lina design has sold and delivered its products to merchants who will offer them in their stores in Germany, Italy, France and Switzerland. Negotiations are also underway with potential sales agents from other countries, such as Israel and Falkland Islands. Long-term financial effects are noted in two respects - in the improvement of global visibility through increasing brand recognition and in increased interest by larger corporations to begin cooperation with Lina. Negotiations with a considerable number of corporations on long-term cooperation are underway. The negotiating partners include Birra Morreti, Alessandro Rosso and Sky TV.
The company already began cooperation with SKY TV and became the official furnisher of the "SKY TV Upfront Event" 2015/2016 that took place in Milan in September. We would like to thank the entire team at Slovenia's Pavilion, particularly the proactive management of the Pavilion and the proactive head of Business Centre, for assistance in establishing contacts and the use of the conference room for meetings, since we would have been unable to achieve the mentioned business effects without their help and cooperation."
Marko Lotrič, director of the LOTRIČ Meroslovje company: "We presented our innovation, a smart automatic monitoring system EXACTUM, for the first time at Expo 2015 in an original way. Apart from Slovenia's Pavilion, we also equipped the Austrian, Chilean, Malaysian, Monacan, Serbian and Swiss pavilions with our measuring system. The response to the presentation greatly exceeded our expectations. At the event, we received high-quality support by the SPIRIT team proactively assisting us in meetings with potential buyers, which resulted in inquiries and concrete talks. We have an open order for the installation of the EXACTUM system in Mexico and a concluded agreement for distribution of metrological solutions in the GCC region (Arab countries of the Persian Gulf). We see Expo 2015 as an important contribution to the internationalisation of Slovenia and an exceptional achievement of the country and participating partners."
A video of the press conference is available at: www.exposlovenia.si/video
Further information: Sandra Stermšek, Head of Communications
T: 0590 89 520, 051 658 714 E: sandra.stermsek@spiritslovenia