PCB’s summary of 2019

We can safely say that 2019 was focused on the theme of cooperation within the industry, both on a domestic and international scale. Each year Poland is becoming an increasingly attractive region for international meetings and business events. The growth of the meetings industry is among the promotional priorities of Polish Tourism Organisation, whose structures encompass the Poland Convention Bureau section.

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Our efforts were legitimised by Poland receiving the PRO SKY Destination Award. Presented at IMEX Frankfurt, it confirmed Poland’s status as one of the eight destinations of the future, as indicated by German planners of meetings and events participating in PRO SKY Destination Report 2019. Another great distinction involved winning The Best MICE Destination 2019 title awarded by MICE & Business Travel, the Netherland’s number one business tourism periodical.

One of the main pillars of PCB’s 2019 operations was to promote Poland through national stands at global trade shows of the meetings industry, with particular emphasis on IMEX 2019 in Frankfurt, IMEX America 2019 in Las Vegas, as well as IBTM World 2019 in Barcelona. Moreover, this year marked the first time that Poland Convention Bureau POT and industry representatives attended the ITB Asia travel trade show in Singapore, where the number of hosted buyers specialising in the meetings sector grew by 49% in comparison with 2018.

An essential form of promotion also involved presentations and workshops in international markets aimed at planners of meetings and events, which we conducted together with POT’s International Offices. This year we began working with Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE). Consequently, Poland became a partner of the first-ever SITE Incentive Summit Europe (ISE). The three-day event in Switzerland brought together more than 60 meetings industry professionals (organisers, experts and customers of meetings and corporate events) from 16 countries all over the world. The meeting provided a great opportunity to promote Poland and invite SITE ISE participants to the Polish national stand for the Happy Hour staged at IMEX Frankfurt by Poland Convention Bureau of Polish Tourism Organisation together with the Polish SITE chapter.

As a founding member of the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe, Poland Convention Bureau of Polish Tourism Organisation took part in all of this year’s research projects and meetings of the Alliance, which aims to boost partnership between European CBs. By being a part of operations intended to develop joint standards of the European industry, we emphasise Poland’s status as an attractive region for international meetings and business events. We differ and complement each other, as the Alliance features bureaux of various resources, operating within different structures, launched decades or only a couple of years ago. We share experiences from our homelands, work out courses of actions and define purposes of the European organisation. Furthermore, 2019 is synonymous with numerous meetings in the domestic market. Among past events mention is due to, i.a. the remarkably successful Meetings Week Poland in Warsaw in March, during which Polish Tourism Organisation co-arranged the Poland Meetings Destination conference and the Poland - Smart Move workshop aimed at fam trip participants representing priority markets and convention bureaux.

We also continue operations intended to boost the quality of services through certification programmes for organisers of congresses and incentive travel plus for convention bureaux.

In 2019 we launched the jubilee tenth edition of Poland Meetings and Events Industry Report, an overview of last year’s achievements of the meetings industry and its contribution to the growth of Poland’s economy. We would like to thank the eleven municipal and regional convention bureaux that joined the initiative of collecting data (covered in the “Meetings and events in Poland” section) and participated in compiling city portfolios. Thanks are also due to recommended congress and incentive travel organisers submitting data examined in the chapter on the analysis of meetings and events they staged in 2018.

Polish Tourism Organisation works together with the industry and the academic community plus organises the annual Gala of Polish Congress Ambassadors. At its most recent edition in Katowice, together with the Polish Congress and Conference Association we not only recognised the latest laureates of the programme, but also officially announced jury members for the 2020-2023 period and the establishment of four local Ambassador Clubs (based in Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań and Wrocław).

The Gala of Polish Congress Ambassadors in Katowice also witnessed the unveiling of the National Support Programme for the Meetings Industry, a joint initiative of Polish Tourism Organisation and LOT Polish Airlines, targeting the most active Congress Ambassadors and representatives of cities and regions. The airline tickets, which they may apply for, will enable them to take the Polish congress offer to decision makers - owners of international event brands.

Events submitted for the National Support Programme for the Meetings Industry should preferably be at the so-called bidding stage, with Poland among the considered host destinations. In addition to showcasing Poland’s offer abroad, the Programme is intended to facilitate site inspections, which have event planners visit potential host cities.

We are glad to be working with both PLL LOT and local Ambassador Clubs, whose brand-new objective will involve the support and securement of beneficiaries of the National Support Programme for the Meetings Industry. We hope that the Programme will inspire the industry to boost its effectiveness related to obtaining events for Poland. Detailed information about the Programme will be distributed by local Congress Ambassador Clubs during regional meetings attended by delegates of PCB POT and PLL LOT. First sessions of this kind have already taken place.

- ”Next year Polish Tourism Organisation will be celebrating its 20th anniversary and I can assure you that we will intensify our efforts aimed at developing Poland’s business tourism. Investing in the promotion of the meetings industry, a sector of the future that offers high-quality services and the sale of intellectual values, along with building support mechanisms for securing meetings, is the key to success.” – sums up Aneta Książek, Head of Poland Convention Bureau POT.

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