An eventful autumn awaits - the exclusive interview with Marcin Różycki

Marcin Różycki, Vice-President of the Polish Tourism Organisation (PTO), who is responsible for the Poland Convention Bureau (PCB), in a conversation with Michał Kalarus (THINK MICE Magazine) on the development of the MICE industry, ways to increase the competitiveness of Poland and PCB activities and plans for the coming months.

Marcin Różycki Polska Organizacja Turystyczna

For almost a year now PCB has been operating as an independent unit within PTO structures. What does this mean in practice? How important is the meetings industry in the organisation’s overall strategy?

The pandemic and the geopolitical situation have had a huge impact on the world tourism and the meetings industry. Increasing the competitiveness of Poland, and thus the demand for incoming tourism services, are goals and activities that are set by not only PTO, but the entire industry. According to MPI, one face-to-face conversation is equivalent to 50 emails – meetings generate new ideas and create conditions for development. They also allow to form friendships, release emotions, and build experiences. But the business tourist also benefits from the visited city, both in terms of its culture and the offer of food and retail. It is obvious that we want to attract more of these tourists, which is why this year we opened PTO International Offices in Prague and Tel Aviv, and also reactivated the one in Budapest.

Spinning off the meetings and events bureau – or PCB – from the PTO structure was a natural next step. For more than two decades, the meetings industry has been an important area covered by PCB. One could say that the transformation of this sector is happening right before our eyes – it is one of the priority products promoted by PTO. Let’s consider that the GDP for the meetings industry was 1% in 2015 and already 1.5% in 2019, which translated into at least 220,000 jobs. Moreover, experts currently estimate its potential at up to 3-4%. GDP. Despite the difficulties, the industry is growing. We try to accommodate it and intensify our actions.

Speaking of strategy and actions... a campaign promoting Poland as a MICE destination will soon be unveiled in foreign industry media. What are its main points?

Through the campaign “Poland. More than you expected” we want to reinforce the image of Poland as a safe, friendly, hospitable country with rich cultural and natural heritage, modern infrastructure and a professional meetings industry which is aware of global trends. The goal is to boost interest in our country as a destination among the organisers of international congresses, conferences, trainings, and corporate and incentive events. For this purpose, we will use selected industry media in Europe and the United States – their paid formats, including, among others, sponsored articles, newsletters, social media, dedicated reports, etc. The campaign will support the efforts undertaken at IMEX America and IBTM World fairs.

In your opinion, what are the best ways to increase the competitiveness of Poland, taking into account modern realities and trends? What assets should we use now?

Poland is a unique place which stands out with its human potential – energy, creativity, professionalism, empathy, and “open hearts and minds”. Our solidarity and hospitality have been appreciated by the world in the face of help given to Ukraine. Today, we focus on showcasing the possibilities offered by Poland as a place with developed infrastructure, accessible, innovative, with rich culture and tradition.

Acquiring international events is an ongoing effort, in which the key role is played by contacts and the intellectual and business potential of a given country. Poland has many outstanding and well-known scientists, experts, and enthusiasts of various fields, who are members of the boards of world associations. We want to reach them by developing the Polish Congress Ambassadors Programme (AKP). A good example here is Kraków, which recently examined the scientific potential of its universities and selected local leaders, assessing their potential to attract new events to the city.

Submissions for the next edition of AKP are just about to end now. As part of our application, we would like to draw your attention to Łukasz Wilczyński, co-founder and president of the European Space Foundation and organiser of the European Rover Challenge – a competition of Martian robots constructed by teams from all over the world. The event attracts thousands of fans every year in Kielce. It is an excellent platform for knowledge transfer as well as for the promotion of Polish science and the Świętokrzyskie region. Currently, thanks to Łukasz’s efforts, Poznań has been on the short list of candidates for the organisation of the International Astronautical Congress in 2026, estimated to be attended by about 6,000 guests. I believe that every Polish region has something unique to offer.


In recent years, many regional convention bureaux have been set up in Poland. How does PCB PTO work with these organisations?

We have a record number of 14 municipal and regional convention bureaux. The national convention supports their activities and invites them to joint projects, such as fam trips or participation in fairs. Some offices have also received the title of a Recommended Convention Bureau for the years 2023-2024, as part of our recommendation programme. Local offices can also count on assistance in obtaining support letters or industry professionalisation, through the participation of our experts in meetings organised by them, as well as online promotion and consultations within Eventprofs Creators Lab (#eventprofsLab).

Eventprofs Creators Lab is a new project for the meetings industry, inaugurated this year. How exactly does it work?

It is all about education and exchange of experience. The first training took place in February in Warsaw and was conducted by Dagmara Plata-Alf, an expert in marketing and new technologies. The second edition took place during Meetings Week Poland. This time the expert was Rafał Szymański, who presented the role of e-marketing in the promotion and image building of event companies, the importance of LinkedIn as an important platform for professionals and enterprises and presented the process of selling B2B services using social media. So far, nearly 200 people have participated in the meetings, and more are planned, including workshops during the II European Congress of Sport and Tourism in Zakopane. In addition, as part of Eventprofs Creators Lab, representatives of the MICE industry have the opportunity to individually consult on e-marketing and place marketing with a PCB employee, and local convention bureaux can also count on the support in their PR efforts on the international market.

Marcin Rozycki vice president Polish Tourism Organisation Poland Convention Bureau

We have an active autumn ahead of us, rich in many projects and industry events. What are the plans of PCB for the next few months?

Autumn is indeed looking active. In addition to working on the campaign “Poland. More than you expected”, in September PCB prepares a zone of inspiration within the II European Congress of Sport and Tourism, then together with the Polish Conference & Congress Association we will meet in Kraków for the second edition of Spotlight on Poland, during which we will host a group of foreign hosted buyers. We are also planning a meeting of the AKP Chapter in Warsaw, preceded by a meeting of the Local Club of Ambassadors in Kraków and Wrocław, as well as the establishing of new clubs in Lublin and Łódź. Then it is back to fairs (IMEX America and IBTM World), and we will also be present at the ICCA congress in Bangkok.

The end of the year is also a time for summaries – the next edition of the Poland Meetings & Events Industry Report will be published along with two additional articles. To mark the 30th anniversary of the Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry, the first one will be devoted to the exhibition industry, while the second one, prepared as part of the Eventprofs Creators Lab Vademecum, will focus on PCB communication activities during this year's IMEX fair in Frankfurt. As for next year, I can assure you that we plan to work together with the industry. We will therefore continue some projects, but also develop new ones, such as those on sustainable development.


Marcin Różycki - Vice-President of the Polish Tourism Organisation, supervising the Poland Convention Bureau. From December 2018 to April 2021, he served as the deputy mayor of Kielce. He was responsible, among others, for tourism, sport, education, culture and health. For many years his career has been connected with the hotel industry. He is a PhD student and lecturer at the Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce. A graduate of the Pedagogical University in Kielce and the School of Business in Kielce, he completed his MBA at the Warsaw Management University.

Marcin Różycki on LinkedIn and X (Twitter).

source: THINK MICE (English edition)

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