The 25th Congress of the European Spas Association was held in Slovenia for the first time from 29 September to 1 October 2021 in Terme 3000 – Moravske Toplice. Together with our partner, the Slovenian Spas Association, we set a goal to join our traditional SPA-CE B2B event with the ESPA congress. Programme during the two days was planned for each event separately, while the evening events offered the opportunity for participants of both events to network and make new business connections. Another challenge was the Covid-19 situation, which required to organise the 25th ESPA Congress in a hybrid format.
Our experiences in the corona period showed that venues, especially hotels are poorly technically equipped for hybrid events, which means that staff and services should be outsourced to provide the proper and professional experience for the live and online audience. It is extremely important to plan enough time before the event for the set-up and technical test with the online speakers.
Referring to the comments from the organisers, live and online audience, the decision not to cancel or postpone the event, but to hold it in a hybrid format, was the right one. The first ESPA hybrid congress was a great success!