“It’s good to be back” . It is under this slogan that this year’s IMEX fair was held. As many times before, the Polish Tourism Organisation put together the Polish national stand (G440) and the promotional campaign, this time called "Destination Poland".
After a two-year hiatus, IMEX 2022 was again carried out in the traditional, in-person format, which facilitated the use of additional promotional tools. Especially since there were a lot of reasons for celebration this year - and plenty to promote. We celebrated the 20-year anniversary of PCB POT, along with 20 years of POT’s presence in the ICCA.
An energetic Polish accent was provided by Musical Mornings performed by Barbara Giewont and Michał Jurkiewicz, who welcomed with song the exhibitors from more than 100 countries in the world and more than 2,800 hosted buyers, as they arrived in the central gallery. After the concerts, the guests would walk on to the main entrance to the fair (Hall 8), which was also decorated with Destination Poland photos, presenting Polish congress cities and regions. In addition to the conference offer, we also decided to showcase our nature, going in line with the latest trends and expectations of the organisers.
In addition, just as at IBTM in Barcelona, we were actively promoting the ICCA congress, which will take place in the capital of Małopolska in November. Kraków Convention Bureau joined us in the promo efforts, both at and off the stand (ICCA reception). We used the opportunity to promote other Polish regions and congress destinations to which we will organise study trips after the November congress. All of this we were able to combine with the 20th anniversary of the IMEX fair. POT has collaborated with IMEX for many years, including on some important projects, such as the CSR - IMEX Challenge 2010.
The 20-year anniversary of Poland Convention Bureau POT was celebrated on the second day. To mark the occasion, our stand organised a “Polish Happy Hour”. A business card competition was held as part of the celebration, where the main prize from Kraków Convention Bureau was a voucher for a stay before or after the ICCA Congress. Of course, there was also plenty of insider chat, sweet treats and singing “Happy Birthday”.
An additional attraction in celebration of the PCB POT’s birthday was recognising seven people from different sectors of the industry. Those who, thanks to their cooperation, activities and involvement, became "ambassadors" of Poland. Albums on Poland and diplomas of recognition from the President of POT went to:
- Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group
- Gorazd Čad, CEO of Toleranca Marketing and Editor-in-chief of Kongres Magazine
- Rob Davidson, Managing Director of MICE Knowledge
- Senthil Gopinath, Chief Executive ICCA
- Mariska Kasteloo, CEO of World of MICE
- James Rees, ICCA President
- Kerstin Wuensch, Editor-in-chief, tw tagungswirtschaft
Through the contacts established within the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe, we also thanked foreign colleagues for their support in our winning the honour of hosting the ICCA Congress. The badge of honour of our allies will be handcrafted brooches that allude to Kraków’s traditions (the colour blue, peacock feather, red beads, royal gold).
With a commitment to sustainable development and carbon neutrality, PCB POT actively joined the People & Planet Pledge by submitting the Polish national stand to the programme. In exchange for reducing paper materials for distribution, sorting waste and using green tableware (plates, flatware) during our Happy Hour, the stand was marked with a green number and listed in IMEX-EIC People & Planet Village.
“We see our journey toward sustainable development as a continuous process. We continue to improve and set ourselves increasingly difficult goals. We also encourage active help for Ukraine through organising CSR activities in Poland during meetings and events. It is a good idea to build such an offer: it is yet another way in which we can show our support and solidarity and, at the same time, benefit by attracting and preparing new, valuable events. We hope that the “Destination Poland” promo campaign will contribute to the strengthening of Poland’s international competitiveness and will restore demand for business tourism services that will be on the rise again after the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine,” said Aneta Książek, chief specialist in Poland Convention Bureau POT.
During the three days of the fair (31 May - 2 June), Poland Convention Bureau POT, supported by the POT International Office in Berlin, held a number of individual business meetings, complemented by individual offers from 13 Polish national stand exhibitors:
- Convention Bureau - Wrocław
- DMC Poland
- Furnel Travel International
- Gdańsk Convention Bureau
- Hotel Narvil Conference & Spa
- ICE Kraków Congress Centre
- Kraków Convention Bureau
- LOT Polish Airlines
- Mazurkas Travel
- Poznań Convention Bureau
- Travel Projekt DMC Poland
- TRIP Group (Centrum Kongresowe Plus sp. z o.o.)
- Warsaw Convention Bureau
Also featured at the Polish stand was the English language edition of THINK MICE magazine.