Together with municipal and regional convention bureaux, recommended organisers of congresses and incentive trips as well as international organisations and associations, Poland Convention Bureau of the Polish Tourism Organisation (PCB POT) has produced its annual Poland Meetings & Events Industry Report for 2023. The report provides a summary of the MICE industry’s achievements for the year 2022.
The State of the Meetings and Events Industry in Poland - Poland Meetings & Events Industry Report 2023 is intended to present the current situation in the meetings and events industry in Poland for 2022 as widely as possible. The report consists of the following chapters:
- Data provided by international organisations and associations such as ICCA and UIA.
- Methodology of research
- Data was collected by municipal and regional conference bureaux (the so-called national survey).
- Information provided by organisers of congresses and incentive travel recommended by the Polish Tourism Organisation, including PCO and ITC.
- Fairs – an optimistic look into the future, i.e. summaries, challenges and actions
- Eventprofs Creators Lab Guide - Industry fair as an important element of e-marketing communication on the example of Poland Convention Bureau activities at the IMEX 2023 fair
We present to you the fourteenth edition of the Poland Meetings and Events Industry Report. It is a summary of the achievements of the meetings industry from last year. According to the forecasts of Oxford Economics experts from 2020, in 2022 our sector started to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. It is very encouraging that, compared to 2021, all cities presented in this report show an average increase of 120% in the number of events. For another year in a row, the largest share of events held in Poland were corporate and incentive events (51%), while conferences and congresses accounted for 42%, and fairs and exhibitions for 7%, said Rafał Szmytke, President of the Polish Tourism Organisation (PTO).
For the purposes of this year’s report, the municipal and regional convention bureaux as well as the G2A Arena Exhibition and Congress Centre of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship provided data on 12,554 meetings and events in 2022, involving a minimum of 50 participants participated each time. Poland recorded a 96% increase in reported data compared to 2021. The method of conducting the national survey – collecting data on events by municipal and regional convention bureaux – allows us to look at the state of the meetings industry in Poland in a broad perspective; however, it should be remembered that this is not a comprehensive description of the phenomenon on a national scale.
A traditional staple of the report is the additional articles presenting the latest trends, research or the most interesting projects and implementations. To mark the 30th anniversary of the Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry, one of the stories was devoted to the exhibition industry, its importance and role in the development of the Polish economy and the promotion of Poland.
The second article was developed as part of the Eventprofs Creators Lab Guide, with a focus on the communication efforts of the Poland Convention Bureau within this year’s IMEX fair in Frankfurt, which proved the importance of proper e-marketing communication in creating and presenting an attractive and coherent image of Poland.
This is the fourteenth time that we thank all the city and regional partners who have been involved in the collection of data in their area. We would like to thank the recommended organisers of congresses and incentive trips. They provided data compiled in the chapter on the analysis of meetings and events they had organised in 2022. Collecting data is not one of the most exciting activities, but I hope that the results of your annual and sometimes several years of work (after all, acquiring congresses takes years) presented in this study are a source of pride for you and will be a guidepost for the next year, said Aneta Książek, Head of the Poland Convention PTO.
The 2023 Poland Meetings & Events Industry Report is available to download HERE (Polish version).
Key findings from individual cities
Taking a closer look at each city:
- 315 events were reported by the Bydgoszcz Convention Bureau (+67 per cent)
- 1,367 by the Gdańsk Convention Bureau (+156 per cent)
- 1,300 by the Kraków Convention Bureau (+5 per cent)
- 889 by the Łódź Convention Bureau (+118 per cent)
- 1,965 by the Poznań Convention Bureau (+183 per cent)
- 144 by the G2 Arena in Rzeszów
- 268 by the Szczecin Convention Bureau Project
- 5,277 by the Warsaw Convention Bureau (+125 per cent)
- and 1,019 by Convention Bureau – Wrocław (+195 per cent)
Methodology of research
Analyses were made based on the data on meetings and events obtained from cities and from recommended PCO and ITC from 2022. As in previous years, events were divided into three groups, classified according to the following definitions:
- conference/congress – a national and international meeting of associations without a clear division into governmental and non-governmental meetings;
- corporate/incentive event – a company event with particular emphasis on training, workshops, seminars, press conferences, product launches and incentive events, including travel, and incentive trips in recognition of performance;
- fairs/exhibitions – large events on any subject, usually taking place in exhibition venues.
Similarly to previous editions of the report, events were also divided in terms of industry and subject matter differences:
- economics and politics
- commerce and services
- information and communication
- medical and technical
Poland in international rankings
One needs to stress that the reports act as a benchmarking tool for the congress and conference potential of business destinations, allowing to identification of competitive gaps and advantages when looking to find a host for a particular event. The Polish Tourism Organisation is an active member of two major international organisations conducting statistical surveys on organised and planned meetings – ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association, member since 2002), and UIA (Union of International Associations, member since 2011). Poland Convention Bureau sends ICCA and UIA annual reports on events that took place in our country, in accordance with the criteria adopted by the associations.
In a joint effort with dedicated ICCA members, the research team identified more than 10,500 meetings. About 9,000 of them took place in person, (not influenced by Covid-19) or in a hybrid format. The effects of the war in Ukraine on the tourism and business industries in Poland can be felt differently in different places. Despite a good reputation, intellectual potential, excellent trade fair and conference facilities and many years of work with associations of such congress cities as Poznań and Katowice, only 4 cities from Poland have been included in the ICCA 2023 ranking. These are:
- Warsaw (ranked #30 with 52 meetings)
- Kraków (ranked #39 with 42 meetings)
- Gdańsk (ranked #164 with 12 meetings)
- Wrocław (ranked #186 with 10 meetings)
Other cities provided for an additional 18 meetings for Poland. As a result, Poland came in 23rd globally, having hosted 134 meetings. Czechia was ranked 20th with 146 meetings, while Hungary ranked 33rd (79 meetings) and Slovakia 67th (17 meetings).
The UIA Report 2023 includes 499,498 meetings organised in 268 countries, 12,110 cities, by 28,733 international organisations. In 2022, with 123 events, Poland had improved its 2021 result by 3 positions and as the only country of the Visegrad Group (26. Hungary, 28. Czechia, 64. Slovakia) ranked 20th in the world ranking (which comprises 100 countries).
Among the first hundred cities from all over the world in 2022, Kraków scored the best position among Polish cities – 32th position with 43 meetings (improvement by 11 compared to 2021). Warsaw won the 46th position with 30 meetings (down from the ranking by 7 positions) while Gdańsk, which debuted in the ranking, ended up 84th with 16 meetings.