The goal of the Polish Congress Ambassadors Programme (AKP) is to organise the promotion process and encourage the effective acquisition of international meetings and events to Poland, with particular emphasis on congresses and conferences. The Polish Congress Ambassadors Programme is organised by the Polish Tourism Organisation (PTO) together with the Poland Convention Bureau and the Polish Conferences and Congresses Association (SKKP). The entire undertaking would not be possible without cooperation with the municipal and regional convention bureaus from Poland, in particular within the framework of the local Ambassador’s Clubs and invited persons, institutions and organisations.
Applications can be submitted until 15 September 2023. Candidates for the title of Ambassador and Patron can be submitted online via the form available at https://akp2022.syskonf.pl.
The Congress Ambassadors Programme operates successfully all over the world, for example, in Japan, Slovenia, or the USA. Although under different names, the goal is the same: to select outstanding personalities from the worlds of science and business, as well as all those who acquire congresses and conferences for a given country. In 2023, the Polish Congress Ambassadors Programme celebrates its 25th anniversary. Therefore, we encourage you to submit applications for the titles of Ambassador and Patron of Congresses for the years 2022 and 2023, said Agnieszka Szymerowska, Director of the SKKP Office.
Any questions can be submitted to the Secretary of the Chapter Ambassadors Programme, Agnieszka Szymerowska at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Selecting the winners for the years 2022-2023
In accordance with its regulations, the Chapter of the Polish Congress Ambassadors Programme will elect new honorary Ambassadors and Patrons for the years 2022 and 2023. The jury, consisting of representatives of industry and science, is appointed by the organisers of the programme. Apart from the Polish Tourism Organisation President, Rafał Szmytke, and Paula Fanderowska, the President of SKKP, the jury members include, among others, Prof. Marek Pawełczyk (Chairman of the Chapter), Prof. Anna Kalinowska-Żeleźnik, Michał Fijoł (President of the Board of LOT Polish Airlines), Gheorghe Marian Cristescu (President of PHH), Alicja Omięcka (Lublin Airport), and Prof. Bohdan Maruszewski.
Changes to the programme
This year, the Regulations of the Polish Congress Ambassadors Programme have been updated to better respond to the reality of the world as it is today. The last update was made in 2018 when the category of Congress Patron was introduced. The current changes have to do with the ability to include hybrid and online events in the achievements of candidates. Just as importantly, in the evaluation of the candidates, the importance of legacy and sustainable organisation of events was stressed.
The above modifications are in line with trends in the organisation of international congresses and conferences. The ICCA Association, which published the results of the Association Meeting Needs study in 2023, notes that organisers are more attentive to issues of sustainability and DEI (more on that in the article ICCA Study Finds Promising Trends).
The Ambassadors Programme celebrates its 25th anniversary this year
This year, the prestigious programme celebrates its 25th anniversary. Over the course of a quarter of a century, 300 ambassadors have been named so far. Every year, the members of the Chapter of the Polish Congress Ambassadors Programme select the winners from among the nominees for the award, awarding them the honorary title of Ambassador of Polish Congresses and Patron of Polish Congresses. A meeting with the winners and the ceremonial presentation of diplomas take place during the Polish Congress Ambassadors Gala. So far, the gala has been held in Warsaw (until 2009), Kraków (2010), Toruń (2011), Poznań (2012), Wrocław (2013), Kielce (2014), Katowice (2015), Łódź (2016), Kraków (2017), Poznań (2018), Katowice (2019) and in Gdynia for the years 2020 and 2021 (2022). You can read about the last gala in Gdynia here.
Among the Visegrád Group countries, the largest number of people on the boards of international associations are Polish (280 leaders). 106 large congresses organised in our country and presented in the GainingEdge survey translated into the harnessing ratio of 37.9%, which is a result comparable to France and Germany. In terms of our intellectual, scientific, and technological potential, as well as the congress facilities of our cities, we are doing great, but one has to admit that in the GainingEdge survey our numbers are pretty average, which means that despite the unfavourable circumstances, we should activate and inspire our Congress Ambassadors even more. Local Congress Ambassador Clubs operating in Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań and Wrocław (and soon in other cities) bring together scientists and professionals from various industries. Regardless of their function in organisations or associations, Ambassadors are our natural partners in the process geared towards obtaining events. At the same time, it should be emphasised that obtaining events, especially international congresses, is a complicated and long-lasting process. More often than not, you do not win right away, so it is all the more worthwhile to act as a team and support each other; that is what the Polish Congress Ambassadors Programme is for,” said Aneta Książek, head of the PTO Poland Convention Bureau.
Photo credits: Photos from Gdynia in 2023 - Filip Frydrykiewicz