On November 11-14, 2018, the 57th ICCA Congress was held in Dubai. Poland was represented by Polish Tourism Organization - Poland Convention Bureau, Symposium Cracoviense, ICE Kraków, Lublin & Region CVB, EXPO XXI Warsaw and Poznań International Fair.
ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) was established back in 1963 and represents close to 1,000 organisations and entities from 86 countries, all involved in the organisation and coordination of meetings, transportation and accommodation. Each year ICCA uses collected data on association meetings to compile the ICCA Statistics Report Country & City Rankings. Covered by the publication for many years, Poland was ranked 18th in 2018. Ever since Poland Convention Bureau was set up as part of its structures in 2002, Polish Tourism Organisation is a member of the association.
The ICCA congress is aimed at professionals engaged in the meetings industry worldwide. Each year it attracts close to 1,000 association members. Participants take advantage of a diverse educational agenda and as part of business exchange workshops get an opportunity to exchange information about their clients and conferences. This year's ICCA Congress in Dubai was attended by 1156 meetings industry professionals and representatives of international associations from 79 countries around the world.
This year’s congress also includes election for the ICCA Board of Directors, in which Polish woman Anna Górska, representing EXPO XXI Warsaw and for six years holding the position of Chairperson of the ICCA Central European Chapter, took part for the first time. Her election program consequently emphasises the need for synergy between companies representing the private and state sector, a factor of essential importance for bringing international events to Poland. She was also planning to spread the word about the significance of the Congress Ambassadors Programme and focus on relations between business, science and local government, which she finds helpful in her everyday work. In the vote, Anna Górska won 34% of votes, which she considers to be a huge success and she emphasizes: "I am proud that so many people have trusted me and voted for me. It was a huge challenge for me, but also a valuable lesson from which I gained a lot ". Górska does not rule out taking part in the next elections, which will take place in two years.
The success of this year's congress was the participation of Marta Wiśniewska from Lublin & Region Convention Bureau in the competition "Future belongs to us". The session according to her concept will be organized during next year's ICCA congress in Houston. Also free participation in the ICCA Congress in Houston, including accommodation and flights, are guaranteed to the winner.
On November 11 the 100th anniversary of regaining independence by Poland was emphasized in Dubai with the Polish national colors illumination of the Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower). "I am glad that we could celebrate this day together, admire the highest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa dressed in Polish national colors, and jointly support Polish representatives during their competition efforts. The ICCA Congress is undoubtedly an excellent platform of knowledge and inspiration as well as an event that strengthens interpersonal contacts and builds trust in individual members of the organization” – said Aneta Książek, representing Polish Tourist Organization - Poland Convention Bureau at the congress.
The next editions of the ICCA congress will take place in Houston USA (2019), Kaohsiung in Taiwan (2020), and Cartagena in Colombia (2021). Polish ICCA members are considering applying for the organization of the ICCA Congress in 2022 in Warsaw. The competition application should be submitted by the end of April 2019.