We Developed the First Mapping of the Congress and MICE Sector in Sofia Together With the Bulgarian Convention Bureau. Enjoy!

16 December, 2020


Since the establishment of Innovative Sofia at the beginning of the year, our team has been actively working on creating a series of sector matrices dedicated to Sofia’s various priority industries (including Govtech, Fintech, and Gaming Matrix). We are glad that we had the opportunity to partner again with the Bulgarian Convention Bureau, this time creating the first mapping matrix of the congress and MICE sector in Sofia. The team of Sofia Tourism Administration, Sofia Municipality, also provided us with support and valuable feedback.

The matrix was presented at an online event via Zoom, with the participation of Ana Georgieva, “Digitalization, Innovation and Investment” Expert in Innovative Sofia, Teodora Zhilkova, Executive Director of the Bulgarian Convention Bureau-BCB and Ivo Marinov, Director of Sofia Tourism Administration, Sofia Municipality. At the end of the presentation, we held a discussion and a Q&A session with the webinar participants, dedicated to developing the Sofia MICE sector and the future expansion and development of the matrix in 2021. We thank all participants for the ideas and valuable feedback they shared with us!

In recent years, Sofia has become an increasingly recognizable tourist destination, and consciously develops its potential as a business and congress destination. The key location and good connectivity, cultural and historical heritage, growing accommodation and event base, and the development of various tourist services help Sofia position itself as an attractive city for both tourists and international investors.

The city continues to work actively to build a recognizable image and brand of Sofia and its promotion as a modern, innovative European city, a preferred place for tourism, life, and business. And congress tourism plays an essential role in building this image.

The coronavirus put us in a situation that affected the socio-economic environment in Bulgaria and worldwide. Tourism, including congress tourism and related industries, is among the industries that were most affected by the pandemic in recent months. But despite all these difficulties, the sector and the local ecosystem continued to seek creative solutions and alternatives. At the same time, the coronavirus has further encouraged innovation and the increased use of modern technologies in all industries, as well as the organisation of events in a hybrid or entirely online format.

We developed the matrix to illustrate the rapidly evolving MICE ecosystem in Sofia, draw attention to its various stakeholders, and showcase some of its success stories both locally and internationally. Next year, the matrix will be further expanded to include even more categories and sector representatives.

The matrix currently contains information on over 90 of the main event venues, 34 supporting organizations, and 67 of the city’s signature events.

It is a tool that can be used both by the business – to show the dynamic ecosystem which it is a part of and to present the city to foreign partners, investors, and other stakeholders. Globally, cities and industry associations are also developing similar matrices to represent their ecosystems.

Next year, the matrix will be further expanded to include even more categories and sector representatives. We thank the participants for the positive feedback and the ideas they shared for the next update of the document. These include additional sections for outdoor event locations, a presentation of the innovative technology solutions that the event sector uses to bring its business online and add value via the digital environment, and more.


Download the ‘First Mapping of the Congress and MICE Sector in Sofia 2020’


Watch the video recording of the official online release or download the presentation.