South East Europe
Meetings Industry Magazine
Event Title: ‘Welcome to the Euro’
Client: the Slovenian Government
Contractor: Cankarjev dom, Congress and Events Management Department
Welcome to the Euro was a ceremony marking Slovenia’s adoption of the euro, held on 15 January 2007 at Cankarjev dom Cultural and Congress Centre. In terms of organisation, it was undoubtedly the largest and the most demanding event for Cankarjev dom’s Congress and Events Management Department (CdCEMD) in the last year. The project was demanding in both organisational and technical terms, as well as in terms of security and top-level protocol. Several varied events were held on the day, which used space (lobbies, concert and conference halls) on all the Centre’s floors – a total of 8,000m² – along with a marquee on the square outside the main building.
A hundred Cankarjev dom employees took part in the project, which demanded exceptional reliability, professionalism, flexibility and co-ordination between CdCEMD staff and technical staff. The Cankarjev dom staff, among the largest and best-reputed teams of its kind in Slovenia, had just a month to prepare the event.
The original idea to mark the adoption of the euro with a simple exhibition grew into one of the most complex events in recent Slovenian history. It included a ceremony in the Gallus Hall with many notable guest speakers, plus a cultural programme, a press conference, presidential level bilateral meetings, an exhibition on the euro, a TV broadcast, receptions and numerous minor events.
RTV Slovenia broadcast the ceremony live; Eurovision and several TV companies from European countries also applied for broadcasting rights. 140 Slovenian and 120 other journalists from over 20 countries were accredited to cover the event. Cankarjev dom’s Second Lobby was converted into a state-of-the-art media centre equipped with optical and wireless connections.
The ceremony was also challenging in terms of security. The police took all necessary steps and movement in and around Cankarjev dom – roads closed to traffic and so on – was entirely subject to the event.
CdCEMD faced a challenge of similar proportions with events marking the start of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, held on 7 and 8 January 2008, which also coincided with the beginning of Slovenia’s EU Presidency.