The passing year of 2023 for the Poland Convention Bureau POT has been a time brimming with creative endeavours both domestically and internationally. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Polish Congress Ambassadors Program, alongside events like Spotlight on Poland and the Industry Report on Meetings and Events in Poland, we have not only developed existing projects but also introduced new initiatives such as the Content Creators Lab. The development of regional Convention Bureaux, the "POLAND. More than you expected" campaign, and our active participation at trade fairs such as IMEX in Frankfurt and Las Vegas, IBTM in Barcelona, and Conventa in Ljubljana have reinforced Poland's position as an attractive destination for business events. We invite you to read the year-end summary authored by Aneta Książek.
I don't know if it's just me, but it feels like the year has passed very quickly. It has been an incredibly intense and creative period, both in domestic and international spheres. We heavily emphasized collaboration within the industry, continuing well-known projects in a revamped form such as musical mornings at international trade fairs or Spotlight on Poland, while also developing entirely new initiatives like the Eventprofs Creators Lab (#eventprofsLab).
In conjunction with the Polish Conference and Congress Association (SKKP), we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Polish Congress Ambassadors Program in 2023. To confirm the program's maturity, we inaugurated the establishment of another local Congress Ambassador Club in Łódź in October.
The current presence of a record number of 14 municipal and regional Convention Bureaux on Poland's business landscape is incredibly gratifying. Two new regional bureaux were established this year alone - in the Silesian and Świętokrzyskie voivodeships - while existing entities like Mazovia Convention Bureau and Lubelskie Convention Bureau were more prominent and intensified their activities in 2023. Our national convention supports everyone and encourages joint projects such as familiarization trips and participation in trade fairs. A portion of Polish convention bureaux received the title of Recommended Convention Bureau for 2023-2024 under the Polish Tourism Organisation's recommendation program for Meetings and Events. Bureaux can also rely on our assistance in obtaining support letters, and industry professionalization through our experts' involvement in local meetings, online promotion, and consultations as part of the Eventprofs Creators Lab project.
In our international communications, we consistently highlight the opportunities that Poland offers as a safe, welcoming country with a rich cultural and natural heritage, modern infrastructure, and a professional, globally-aware meetings industry.
This was precisely the aim of our recently concluded campaign, "Poland. More than you expected," targeting event organizers such as international congresses, conferences, trainings, corporate events, and incentive travel. Through carefully selected industry-specific media in Europe and the United States, our promotional messages reached nearly one and a half million recipients in both corporate and international association segments.
The campaign supported our endeavours at IMEX America in Las Vegas and IBTM World in Barcelona, where we harnessed the power of sensory marketing. Poland can now be experienced not just through visuals in advertising materials or booth designs, but also through sound (Musical Mornings and musical happy hours, including this year's playlist on Spotify Poland. More than you expected), smell, and taste (coffee and regional specialities). Additionally, attendees had the opportunity to delicately touch specially designed brooches by Krakow-based artist Zuzanna Łobodzińska, paying homage to the work of Zofia Stryjeńska.
Our goal is to stand out in the global arena of meeting destinations and be remembered. Using various marketing tools, we convey specifics about our industry's offerings and activities, collaborating with industry influencers and musical ambassadors who generate their content and evoke positive emotions. This year, Basia Giewont and DJ Cornelius performed at the Regional Happy Hour at the Polish stand. They showcased various songs inspired by the culture of Podhale, Silesia, and Mazovia, including a special song, "Let's Talk Business," composed by Brian Allan. In Barcelona, the song was performed for the first time in Basia's new interpretation and arrangement, aligning with the IBTM's theme – Culture Creators. Many attendees captured these moments using their phones and shared them on social media, contributing to the image-building of Poland as an attractive country for various business events. For many, this has become an integral part of the trade fairs. I've received positive reviews from colleagues in other countries about our promotion strategies at and beyond the trade fairs, primarily within the digital sphere. This feedback provides satisfaction and impetus for further actions.
The year-end is also a time for summaries and reports – the 14th edition of the Meetings and Events Industry Report in Poland has been released along with two additional articles presenting the latest trends, research, and the most interesting projects and achievements. In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Polish Chamber of Trade Fairs, which falls this year, one of the articles has been dedicated to the trade fair industry, its significance in the development of the Polish economy, and the promotion of Poland. The second article, prepared as part of the Vademecum of Creators' Laboratory, focuses on the communication activities of the Poland Convention Bureau during this year's IMEX trade fair in Frankfurt. We hope to inspire you towards comprehensive communication during future events organized by POT.
Lastly, as the crowning achievement, we are grateful for acknowledging us in the country. In December, our project "POLAND. More than you expected" was recognized as a finalist in the Best Campaign category during the inaugural edition of the MP IMPACT Awards competition. We accept this recognition as the result of many years of refining our efforts, as well as tangible changes made within our team over the past year. To this recipe, add a generous pinch of passion invested by us, allowing us to remain authentic in all that we do. We believe that long-term, collaborative partnerships with the industry are the best way to fulfill our mission of building Poland's image as an attractive country for all types of meetings and business events that not only meet but, in the spirit of our campaign, exceeding the organizers' greatest expectations.
As the upcoming year approaches, we wish you good health, professional satisfaction in your work, the discovery of intriguing corners of Poland, and many great encounters with family, friends, and clients.
Aneta Książek - Head of Poland Convention Bureau POT