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JANUARY - MARCH 2018 ISSN 2543-4497

THINK MICE W W W. T H I N K M I C E . P L

KATOWICE – FROM MINING TO MEETING INDUSTRY 20 years ago Katowice and mining were inseparable. Today the city is a business tourism favourite hosting major and prestigious events. THINK EVENT INTER CARS MOTOR SHOW

PROFILE HULEWICZ: I’VE BEEN LUCKY MY WHOLE LIFE S P EC IA L ED I T I ON

THINK INCENTIVE MAKE ROOM FOR CONSCIOUS TOURISM


EDITORIAL

TAKING A LOOK BACK Because of historical determinants the meetings industry in Poland was not able to develop in free market conditions until the breakthrough year of 1989. The solutions applied in the West were unquestionably the main source of knowledge and inspiration for our companies and institutions. Drawing on their examples, adapting them to the local reality, but also working out its own concepts, for many years the self-assessment of the Polish market mostly relied on comparisons with other, more developed counterparts. In this period the Polish industry had to divide its attention – on the one hand, it was at the formation stage, with companies, venues, institutions and industry associations being established. On the other hand, recent years have witnessed a parallel global process of a rapid development of new technologies. That is why today, looking back, we cannot help but notice how much has changed over the last few years. Naturally, this does not mean that Polish companies no longer compare themselves to their foreign equivalents. It seems, however, that this perception has taken on a slightly different dimension. Of course they still feel that they can learn a lot from others and the budgets they are dealing with are lower than those of their colleagues in, say, Germany or Great Britain. Nevertheless, their perspective is much less affected by an inferiority complex and more by taking pride in their own achievements, partnership, and in many cases also shared interests. From the viewpoint of journalists specializing in the meetings industry, the best proof of where the Polish sector is today is that when working on English-language editions of our magazine we effortlessly come upon examples of projects produced by local companies, which will also captivate and inspire foreign readers. In addition, we cannot complain about the lack of

topics concerning other segments of the industry. The same is true for Poland’s cities, regions and venues which we wish to promote. Why did we pick this moment to reflect on all of this? We were inspired by words of the members of our Programme Council (which includes representatives of all industry branches). In late 2017 we asked them to sum up recent months of the Polish MICE industry. They recalled the successes of Polish companies in international industry competitions, spoke about the increasingly close cooperation between industry associations, and dedicated much attention to a project intended to boost the effectiveness of tender processes involving event agencies plus to introduce good practices in this particular field (you will find more details in an article in the “Report” section). Listening to these words, it is hard to resist the impression that the “poor relative” period of the Polish MICE industry is long over. Instead, it is now concerned with searching for its place in the global market. What is important, however, is that it not only cares about its own well-being, but also about what it can bring to the team. Maria Krzos

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MICE & MORE MEDIA GROUP THINK MICE Business Link PGE Narodowy Al. Ks. J. Poniatowskiego 1, 03-901 Warszawa tel. +48 690 12 12 69 redakcja@thinkmice.pl www.thinkmice.pl www.facebook.com/thinkmice/

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EDITOR Maria Krzos maria.krzos@thinkmice.pl

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EDITORIAL TEAM Michał Kalarus michał.kalarus@thinkmice.pl

THINK INCENTIVE 14 Make room for conscious tourism

ADVERTISEMENT Aleksandra Lublińska aleksandra.lublinska@thinkmice.pl

THINK VENUE 16 Jordanki Cultural and Convention Centre 19 The hotel industry is on the rise, but for how long?

reklama@thinkmice.pl SUBSCRIPTION prenumerata@thinkmice.pl

THINK DESTINATION 22 Katowice – a city of the meetings industry 23 Katowice – from mining to the meetings industry 25 The promotion of Lubuskie places emphasis on wine, water and military history

DESIGN Iwona Borowska Roman Borowski studio@thinkmice.pl

THINK MICE is a magazine dedicated to the Polish and international meetings industry (MICE – meetings, incentives, conferences, events) and its scope encompasses all of the segments in question: meetings, incentive trips, congresses and conferences. By adopting an in-depth and multifaceted approach to all covered issues, we present the role and significance of the industry for, i.a. broadly defined marketing communication, employer branding and destination marketing.

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Photo: Katarzyna Cegłowska

PROJECT MANAGER Anna Łukasik think@thinkmice.pl

ISSN 2543-4497

NEED TO KNOW Event industry met for the third time THINK MICE partners up with IMEX Eventex 2018 ceremony going online THINK MICE 1-st Birthday Baltic for Events Forum attended by representatives of the Polish MICE industry 07 New SITE Poland authorities 07 New SBE management 07 Join The Meetings Show! THINK EVENT 08 Inter Cars Motor Show 12 WOMEX – the World Music Expo

Ksenia Bednarek, Agnieszka Jurewicz Dorota Kaczyńska, Maciej Kompała, Monika Kowalska, Katarzyna Łabuz

©COPYRIGHT BY MICE & MORE MEDIA GROUP

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COVER PHOTO: KATOWICE/PHOTO: A. WIŚNIEWSKI

PRINTING HOUSE TAURUS

Photo: Inter Cars

THINK MICE

PROFILE 28 Andrzej Hulewicz: I’ve been lucky my whole life

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TECHNOLOGIES 32 Another world INSPIRATIONS 34 Purposeful Meetings – a new view on event organisation

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REPORT 37 What have recent months brought for the MICE industry? 41 Trends 2018 – content, Product, Motivation, Impact


NEED TO KNOW

This year will mark the already sixth edition of the CONVENE exhibition aimed at popularizing the MICE offer of countries representing the region of North-Eastern Europe, with special emphasis on the Baltic states. Besides companies from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, the list of exhibitors includes DMC agencies, PCOs, convention bureaus, hotels and conference centres from Scandinavia, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, as well as Poland. Last year’s edition attracted 87 exhibitors, who held about 3,600 meetings with hosted buyers. In addition to talks in the exhibition hall, CONVENE is also synonymous with a wide range of side events, such as cocktail receptions focused on networking, ceremonious dinners and post-event

tours, as well as a diverse agenda of educational sessions. This year their subject matter will be related to, i.a. the latest trends likely to dominate the meetings industry (2018 Global Meetings and Events Forecast by American Express), a presentation of several methods of learning more about event participants, as well as know-how on the development of hybrid events and on way the evolving format of events shapes the selection of host destinations and venues. As a rule, a lot of attention will also be paid to security issues, related to the growing terrorist threat in various parts of the world. Finally, the methods of effectively securing association events will also be analysed. Vilnius Convention Bureau organizes the exhibition, while THINK MICE is its media partner and coordinates a group of hosted buyers. The CONVENE 2018 exhibition will be held in Lithuania on 14-15 February 2018. mk

EVENT INDUSTRY met for the third time Photo: THINK MICE/Michał Kalarus (3)

CONVENE 2018: business, networking, education

ACE of M.I.C.E., or everything you need to stage meetings “Everything You Need For Your Meetings & Events Organization Is At ACE of M.I.C.E. Exhibition!” is the new motto of the Istanbul-based event, whose latest edition celebrated its fifth anniversary. ACE of M.I.C.E. Exhibition by Turkish Airlines (AME) is one of the largest B2B events in the region and the country’s number-one gathering dedicated to the MICE industry. Launched in 2014, the relatively young event each year attracts more and more guests. This year’s edition has the backing of 160 sponsors and partners plus will be attended by 220 domestic and international exhibitors (for 35 this will be their first time in the capital of Turkey). The estimated number of visitors amounts to 15,000, while the value of publications on ACE of M.I.C.E. in media worldwide is to reach 100,000 USD. In addition to agencies involved in staging events and incentive travel, convention bureaus, DMCs

and PCOs, the list of ACE of M.I.C.E. participants includes representatives of hotel and conference venues and suppliers of, i.a. stage design, multimedia, registration systems, mobile applications, etc. Most represent the Turkish market but there is also no shortage of guests from abroad. What can you gain by taking part in the exhibition? It is already known that the forthcoming edition will feature a record-breaking number of hosted buyers – 750 from 40 countries. In the course of the three-day event there will be about 9,800 B2B meetings. Furthermore, ACE is also synonymous with a content-rich agenda, whose leitmotif this year will focus on technological development and the challenges and opportunities it signifies for the industry’s companies. THINK MICE is a media partner of the exhibition and the organiser of an attending group of hosted buyers. mk

Meetings at stands, networking sessions, shows, lectures, an expert panel, and the finale of the Top Event 2017 competition – these are the top components of the latest edition of the Event Industry Forum held in Warsaw in early January. The event was attended by about 1,700 professionals producing and applying events to communicate with their target groups. Staged in an exhibition hall, the Forum provided them with an opportunity to establish contacts with 160 providers of event-related services. The educational content of the Forum encompassed several sessions dedicated to, i.a. the latest industry trends, personalization, targeting and the use of modern media to boost event attendance. A high point of this section involved an expert panel held under the auspices of THINK MICE. As a rule, the Forum is also accompanied by the Top Event competition awarding the very best projects representing the event sector. Poland Business Run, this year’s winner submitted by the Poland Business Run Foundation, is a charity race staged in several Polish cities aimed at engaging the staff of companies and corporations in helping others. mk

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NEED TO KNOW

THINK MICE partners up with IMEX This year’s edition of the IMEX exhibition in Frankfurt will be held on 15-17 May. THINK MICE is the media partner of the event and an organiser of a group of hosted buyers. As part of the hosted buyers programme IMEX participants are getting a round trip (economy class), accommodation in four/five-star hotels, transfers, exhibition entrance, participation in educational sessions and the majority of side highlights (cocktail parties, evening networking, etc.), access to a system of booking meetings with exhibitors, as well as access to the hosted buyer lounge (with working stations and a relaxation area).

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The discussed offer is aimed at representatives of agencies specializing in the organization of congresses, conferences and incentive trips, as well as at representatives of corporations and associations – meeting planners commissioning the events in question. It is a prerequisite that they are decision-makers responsible for, i.a. the selection of destinations and venues for events and that the events prepared by them take place outside their country of origin. In addition, candidates must be able to document their activities (at least three projects). The Frankfurt-based IMEX exhibition is one of the largest events of its kind in the world. About 3,500 exhibitors attend it from approx. 150 countries from all over the world. After last year's edition, the organisers reported that more than 15,000 people, of whom nearly 4,000 were hosted buyers, visited the exhibition. In addition, 68,500 meetings were held during the event. If you are interested in taking part in the hosted buyers group created by THINK MICE, submit your application by sending it to hosted@thinkmice.pl mk

THINK MICE 1-ST BIRTHDAY Representatives of the entire Polish MICE industry met in Warsaw on 11 January to celebrate the first anniversary of THINK MICE. The THINK MICE-branded media were launched on 11 January 2017. One year later, the THINK MICE 1-st Birthday event gathered representatives of all the industry segments. Members of THINK MICE Programme Council were also in attendance. Conrado Moreno was the event’s host and Earth

Hall (Poznań Congress Center) its strategic partner. Other partners: “Szarotka” (Grupa Warszawa), RENTDESIGN, OD NIECHCENIA, M-DUO Models, Gastro Magic Service, Perfect Event Balonowe Dekoracje, Moc&ArtGroup, ketti.pl, DVJ Vlodecky, Conrego. Sponsors: Hampton by Hilton Gdańsk Oliwa, Natura Mazur Hotel & Spa Warchały, ARIES Hotel & SPA and Klub Mila Zegrzynek (property of Platan Group), RejsClub.pl, EL-AL Israel Airlines. kos

EVENTEX 2018 CEREMONY going online The results of this year’s edition of the international Eventex competition, recognizing top event experiences, are almost here. THINK MICE is the media partner of the awards. The announcement ceremony will be held on 6 March entirely online (via live streaming on YouTube and Facebook). According to the organisers, this will make it accessible to more people than ever. This year will mark the already eighth edition of the competition. Over the past seven years almost 1,000 entries of various events were submitted from 70 countries all over the world. The accolades are awarded in 24 categories divided into five groups: Conferences & Meetings (categories: Best Association Meetings, Best Conference, Best Educational Event, Best Medical Congress, Best Scientific Congress, Best Tech Event, Best Gala); Brand & Marketing (Best Brand Engagement Event, Best Campaign

Event, Best CSR Event, Best Experiential Event, Best Interactive Outdoor Event, Best Pop-up Event, Best Product Launch, Best Promotional Event); Live, Art & Entertainment (Best Art Event, Best Cultural Event,

Best Festival, Best Live Show, Best Sporting Event); Corporates Events (Best Corporates Event, Best Customers Engagement Event, Best Employee Engagement Event); Cause & Green (Best Cause Event). In addition, the competition also awards Grand Prix prizes: Best Event, People's Choice Event, Best Agency. kos


NEED TO KNOW

In the second half of April more than 300 experts, organisers and customers of events from the Baltic region will travel to the Estonian capital of Tallinn to attend the Baltic for Events Forum, the largest international meeting dedicated to the discussed sector in this part of Europe. THINK MICE entered a media partnership with the event. The two-day Forum will take place on 19-20 April when a number of lectures, workshops and discussions is scheduled, each time divided into two main thematic sections. The list of speakers includes experts on the meetings industry from countries such as Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. There will also be guests from Poland – Bartosz Bieszyński, Managing Director at Walk Events, Maciej Ledzion, Partner at endorfina events, and Dagmara Chmielewska, Managing Director at Stowarzyszenie Branży Eventowej (Events Industry Association) will all take the stage. The first day of the sessions will be inaugurated by a discussion on topics connected with cultural events (i.a. securing of sponsors, communication and promotion of this type of meetings, establishing cooperation with representatives of state and local government authorities, etc.).

In turn, the afternoon section will be dedicated to corporate and business events. Speakers will focus their attention on the latest trends in the industry, e.g. hybrid events, and current problems and challenges faced by representatives of agencies from different countries of the region (ROI, tenders, boosting the engagement of participants, the creativity of developed projects, etc.). The second day of the Forum will start with sessions centred on clients – their expectations, requirements and opinions (“Clients view”). The discussion about what they perceive as most common mistakes on the part of agencies looks especially interesting. Finally, the last section will focus on the innovative solutions that in the nearest future are likely to be particularly popular among event organisers and customers. In addition to the educational content, the agenda prepared by the organizers also encompasses a number of side highlights, mostly related to networking (lunches, cocktail receptions, evening gala, special meeting areas). The cost of participating in the Baltic for Events Forum (full package) is 230 Euro. mk

Join The MEETINGS SHOW! In late June London’s Olympia exhibition centre, event space and conference centre will host the sixth edition of The Meetings Show, which each year showcases the offer of, i.a. representatives of convention bureaus, PCOs, DMCs, hotels, congress and conference centres, event and incentive agencies, as well as subcontractors. THINK MICE is the event’s media partner and organizes a group of hosted buyers (if you are interested in this opportunity, please submit applications to hosted@thinkmice.pl). The Meetings Show is considered to be the

premier event for the inbound and outbound meetings industry in the UK. It is mainly used to establish business contacts with representatives of the domestic market, but you will also meet companies and agencies hailing from other countries (and all parts of the world). Starting with this year, the event will be reduced from three to two days (27-28 June). Following consultations with exhibitors, visitors and hosted buyers, the organisers made this decision to render the agenda busier and thus generate an improved ROI of attending the event. mk

NEW SITE POLAND AUTHORITIES Cezary Wilemajtys being appointed the new Chairperson of the Board of Directors of SITE Poland was not the only change that took place in the association. In accordance with the statute of SITE Poland, the term of office of the first Board of Directors (an equivalent of the management board) expired on December 31, 2017. The deadline was the reason for convening the Extraordinary Election Meeting of members, with the selection of new directors and the byelection of an internal control authority, the audit committee, both on the agenda. In the election, preceded by a presentation of submitted applications and a discussion on recommendations, the following members of the Board of Directors were appointed: Cezary Wilemajtys (Chairperson), Katarzyna Kałuża (Director), Małgorzata Hulewicz (Director), Monika Wąs (Director), Grażyna Grot-Duziak (Director), and Jarosław Hulboj (Director). As a result of the by-election, Barbara Dziedzic and Krzysztof Michniewicz (previous Chairman) joined Elżbieta Grykałowska as members of the audit committee. kos

STOWARZYSZENIA

BALTIC FOR EVENTS FORUM attended by representatives of the Polish MICE industry

NEW SBE MANAGEMENT

The General Meeting of the Members of Stowarzyszenie Branży Eventowej (Events Industry Association; SBE), held in Warsaw in early December 2017, appointed new authorities that will guide the organisation’s operations in the next three years. SBE’s management board of the fourth term includes Marta Dunin- Michałowska (Mea Group), re-elected its President, and Żaneta Berus (Ptak Warsaw Expo), Renata Razmuk (Pracownia Kreativa), Marcin Stefański (Expo Mazury) and Piotr Wojdat (Evenea.pl). The authorities will focus on the further development of the organisation, increased support for educational activities, and successive initiatives for the sake of increasingly professional cooperation between customers and the event industry. mk

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THINK EVENT

INTER CARS MOTOR SHOW Photo: Inter Cars

Screeching tires, roaring engines and great excitement. A bona fide celebration of everything car-related was held on the grounds of the PGE Narodowy Stadium in late September when the 16th Expo of Spare Parts and Garage Equipment was combined with Inter Cars Motor Show. A project of this scope called for months of preparations and hundreds of people involved in its development. On behalf of Inter Cars Marketing Services the undertaking was implemented by the Ministry Of Creativity agency.

Photo: Inter Cars

Inter Cars is Central-Eastern Europe’s largest distributor of spare parts for passenger cars, delivery vans and trucks. The company’s offer also involves garage equipment, i.a. car maintenance and repair tools, motorcycle parts and tuning accessories. Dating back to 2003, the Expo of Spare Parts and Garage Equipment is aimed at integrating the industry from the whole region and showcasing all the most important new products on the market. “We wish to bring our customers – owners and staff of car workshops – closer to producers. The idea is to provide them with an opportunity to get in touch. Since we distribute parts, it is important for us to let customers test and assess their quality. Another element that each year is becoming more and more important is the zone dedicated to tools and equipment for the workshops themselves, the things that are necessary in their everyday operations”, explains Radosław Grześkowiak, Member of the Board, Inter Cars Marketing Services (ICMS).

Photo: Inter Cars

ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS

DOSSIER 22-24 September 2017 – 16th Expo of Spare Parts and Garage Equipment 23-24 September 2017 – Inter Cars Motor Show Number of participants: about 84,000 Number of exhibitors: 230 companies Total area: 40,000 m2 Expo area: 20,000 m2 Customer: Inter Cars Organisers: Inter Cars Marketing Services, Ministry Of Creativity

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The expo was not always the major international event it is today. “It all began with an exhibition section - 3x4 metres, a table in the middle, 4 chairs – this is how the stands of suppliers looked like. Everything is completely different today, when some producers have even several hundred-metre large stands. Simultaneously we are also staging the Inter Cars Motor Show. Games, competitions, rally car shows, tuning shows, motorcycles – we are talking about a truly huge automotive festival, which additionally features an evening party for the guests”, says Krzysztof Oleksowicz, owner and Member of the Board, Inter Cars. Indeed, the very first edition of the expo, held 16 years ago in Cząstków in a parking lot next to the Inter Cars office, was nothing like the event admired today. “The concept of intimate and homely fairs was our point of departure. Later it all evolved with various new ideas added over the years – first car exhibitions and slightly later sports olympics, competitions for visitors, Strong Man shows and many concerts. We probably hosted all well-known Polish artists. Increased interest shown by customers and exhibitors meant that the whole undertaking was clearly on the rise. We needed more space”, says Anna Śledź, Deputy Director of the Event Department with ICMS. In 2007 the increasingly complex programme of the expo combined with a growing number of participants and side attractions inspired ICMS to make the decision about


THINK EVENT

2009 turned out to be the next landmark year, with the expo moving out of Cząstków for the very first time and the airport in Modlin as its next host destination. “This place gave the available options an entirely new dimension. By this I mean not only the increased exposition area but, above all, the concrete apron of the airport, which enabled us to stage shows”, explains Anna Śledź. As a result, the first edition of Inter Cars Motor Show – a parallel event focused on racing shows and competitions – was staged besides the expo. “Car shows, drifting, stunt shows and an attractive car selection – all of these highlights guaranteed that the participants had a great time”, says Radosław Grześkowiak. After two successive editions a decision was made to transfer both the expo and the Motor Show to the airport in the Warsaw district of Bemowo, where it remained for the 2011-2014 period. “We would have probably stayed in Modlin for a longer time if not for the fact that the airport’s adaptation for commercial purposes began, making it impossible to stage events on its apron”, comments Mariusz Pazik. Two years ago when Inter Cars was celebrating its 25th anniversary, the 15th edition of the Expo of Spare Parts and Garage Equipment was combined with a jubilee fete crowned by the ceremonious Gala of Car Workshop Masters. PGE Narodowy was applied for the event’s purposes – the expo section was located at the area surrounding the stadium, while the remaining highlights were set inside, on the pitch. Last year featured a similar solution, except that both the expo part and the Motor Show were staged on the stadium grounds. The pitch of PGE Narodowy, meanwhile, hosted the Roztańczony PGE Narodowy concert. “Although this is a completely unrelated event, we decided to take advantage of the fact that it took place on the same day and joined forces. We invited our guests to the VIP zones of PGE Narodowy so that they could take part in it”, explains Radosław Grześkowiak.

CRUCIAL SETTING The development of the event, recognised as one of the largest meetings of the automotive industry in the whole of Central-Eastern Europe (each year attracting tens of thousands people), requires many months spent on preparations. This explains why the main organiser (ICMS) supported by the Ministry of Creativity inaugurated the first talks and consultations virtually immediately after the previous edition wrapped up – back in 2015. The choice of the right place was absolutely essential. “It is key to guarantee an appropriate setting, which serves as the basis for the whole creative concept and the event’s scenario. What is the area of the property at our disposal? What about its availability? Only when we know the answers to these questions can we start actual planning”, explains Radosław Grześkowiak. In the case of this year’s edition, the first problem faced by the organisers involved the fact that the grounds of PGE Narodowy do not have the right surface for staging the Motor Show. “As a consequence, we decided that specially for this occasion we would prepare our own asphalt, making it possible to safely arrange all events. And that is precisely what we did. The track created in this way had an area of 7,000 m2. After

Photo: THINK MICE/Michał Kalarus

HOUSE, TO AIRPORT TO STADIUM

Photo: Inter Cars

establishing cooperation with the MplusM Event Marketing agency (and later with Ministry Of Creativity as part of the same group). “At this time we were providing services for events for many automotive companies, including BMW Polska. In other words, we had indispensable experience in handling events representing the sector in question. These were the beginnings of our cooperation, which continues up to this day. It actually goes beyond the scope of the expo and the Motor Show and includes collaboration at virtually all the key Inter Cars events and conferences”, says Mariusz Pazik, CEO & Creative Director and Producer, Ministry Of Creativity.

the event the asphalt was crushed and everything was how it used to be before”, explains Anna Śledź. Another challenge was to ensure the unrestrained movement of thousands of people – gathered not only at the Inter Cars Motor Show, but also at the expo and arriving for Roztańczony PGE Narodowy. “On the rather limited area of the grounds of PGE Narodowy we had to fit two of our huge events and simultaneously construct a safe and comfortable passage for the thousands of people showing up for the evening party at the stadium. The arrangement of space, with particular emphasis on its optimization, required a lot of effort”, says Mariusz Pazik. Because of space limitations this time the Inter Cars’ events – both the expo and the Motor Show – were not available for the general public (as was the case in the past). “Being a B2B company is in our DNA. What it means is that from the very beginning the whole undertaking is arranged with customers in mind, whom we want to provide with substantial content and entertainment. The range and size of the expo, which attracted hundreds of exhibitors and tens of thousands of visitors, made it impossible to invite anyone outside the target group. We simply would not be able to accommodate tens of thousands of people queuing on the grounds”, says Radosław Grześkowiak.

PLANNING AND LOGISTICS The onsite construction works began a month before the event. First, it was necessary to put up large tent halls in which the expo part was located. “The halls were set up in considerable

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THINK EVENT advance as the exhibitors needed time to construct their stands within them. Moreover, we had to properly secure the whole area. I am mostly thinking here about evacuation routes, alarm signals, work lights, etc.”, explains Mariusz Pazik. Next, it was time for all other structural elements as well as arranging and outfitting the international zone. “With Inter Cars operating on 16 markets, the event had a very global character and was attended by representatives of many countries. For the sake of their comfort we decided to delineate a special area and divided the guests into five groups, based on their region of origin. Each of them had a tent exclusively at its disposal, including catering, tailored entertainment options and a number of other highlights”, says Radosław Grześkowiak. A few days before the event the grounds were paved with asphalt, thus creating the stage for the Inter Cars Motor Show. Last year’s edition featured competitors representing various motorsport disciplines showing off their skills, i.a. racing drivers, drifters, motocross, FMX and Globe of Speed riders and many others. “The Gymkhana Challenge, a spectacular mixture of drifting and an obstacle course, was held for the first time as part of the show and constituted one of its main highlights. The drivers had to prove their skills and precision as even the smallest mistake could have undermined their chances of victory. There was no

shortage of excitement and the list of celebrity drivers included, i.a. Krzysztof Hołowczyc, Wojciech Chuchała and Filip Nivette”, sums up Joanna Król, Marketing and PR Manager, Inter Cars.

IMAGE-RELATED BENEFITS In total, about 100 people (employees and subcontractors) were involved in the preparations of the expo and the Motor Show on the part of Ministry Of Creativity, with twice as many working directly at ICMS. “All our managers were working on the project, each responsible for different areas connected with the event’s organisation plus coordinating the operations of their colleagues. As the scope of the undertaking was so immense, the agency was not working on any other commissions at the time, focusing all forces on the Inter Cars’ event. Our entire team led by Senior Event Manager Małgorzata Sieradzan was right there on the grounds of PGE Narodowy, where we simply set up a mobile office”, says Mariusz Nowak, CEO & Marketing Director with Ministry Of Creativity. He also admits that the development of a major and prestigious event of this kind paradoxically does not have a direct impact on obtaining new customers. Image-related benefits are what counts. “In our country each year there are only several major events held on a truly European scale. Among them, Inter Cars is unquestionably one of the most challenging ones. The opportunity to participate in the project, and de facto co-create it, is an exceptional added value and distinction. At the same time, it is also a great chance for all team members to prove themselves in a battle fought together with ICMS”, sums up Mariusz Nowak.  Michał Kalarus

COVERING A WIDE SCOPE OF WORK We sat down to talk with Mariusz Pazik, CEO & Creative Director and Producer with Ministry Of Creativity How does the cooperation between Ministry Of Creativity and Inter Cars Marketing Services (ICMS) look like in practice in the context of the expo and the Inter Cars Motor Show? The event is one of the largest and most complex projects in Poland. We support each other and join forces in numerous aspects connected with its organisation. Our agency’s involvement in the majority of works begins at the very outset, that is, virtually from the moment the event’s host destination is confirmed. We arrange regular meetings with the customer, discuss matters connected with the event’s programme and shape, talk content creation or logistics. It is all based on synergy. I think that years of cooperation taught us to understand each other well and learn our needs. Obviously, this does not change the fact that the range of our activities is typically event-related. Even though our responsibilities frequently intermingle, we have a specified number of concrete components that need to be handled.

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What does this list include? What activities do you have in mind? Let me answer your question by using the example of last year’s edition. Our agency took care of the comprehensive organisation of the Motor Show. These activities are closely related to performances, competitions, shows – their visuals, sound, multimedia and pyrotechnics. Everything is planned on the basis of framework scenarios and detailed guidelines devised both by the customer, Inter Cars, and the event’s partners, Castrol and Goodyear in last year’s case. To this we should add all

stage-related technical matters – not solely intended for the purposes of the Motor Show, but also the expo plus international zones. This concept encompasses a great deal of things that have to be set up (i.a. LEDs, screens, broadcasts). In addition, let us not forget about all of the constructions – gates, entrances, information and lighting towers, stands, the fencing of passageways – the list goes on. Mention is also due to the wide range of supporting activities, connected with i.a. the organisation of the international zone mentioned earlier. It was composed of 16 tents, each prepared for guests representing the 16 foreign markets, on which Inter Cars is present. We have provided them with separate entertainment programmes, set up stages, handled technical stage services plus met the backline and backstage requirements of the musicians. In the case of the expo, we were responsible for providing exhibitors with the necessary equipment available for rental (e.g. monitors, projectors, microphones). Finally, we arranged the press conference of the management board and trips of the discussed foreign groups to the European Centre for Logistics and Development (ILS) in Zakroczym. And these are only the most important things the Ministry of Creativity was involved in. Last year’s weather probably did not make your job any easier? Indeed, the weather constituted a certain challenge, with particular emphasis on nonstop rain. Naturally, this was a scenario that we were taking into consideration and were prepared for, but undoubtedly it made our work more difficult and a bit longer, often forcing us to stay on the grounds until late night hours. Fortunately, our team is already familiar with this location. Two years ago we were working on an event celebrating the 25th anniversary of Inter Cars, which was held in the very same place, and tested the water, making our work much easier this time.


THINK EVENT

WOMEX – THE WORLD MUSIC EXPO

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Dating back to 1994 WOMEX is perceived as one of the most prestigious events dedicated to so-called world music (a term that encompasses indigenous, ethnic and folk music along with related genres). The Katowice event, similarly to the previous editions of the festival, was composed of two main sections – daytime and evening. The former consisted of trade fairs attended by about 300 exhibitors (i. a. concert agencies, festivals), conferences (more than 100 speakers), concerts and film screenings. The evening section – the so-called Showcase Festival – was dedicated to concerts, with artists from all over the world (approximately 40 acts) performing simultaneously on six stages from 9pm to 4am. WOMEX jury members, the so-called Seven

Samurai, made the selection based on previous competitions. Food was an important component of this year’s edition. The Flavours of Poland catering area was intended to help participants learn more about the flavours and dishes of Polish cuisine, while the Local Foods area served the specialities of Silesian cuisine prepared by Katowice restaurants. Food trucks complemented the culinary offer during the evening section of the event. All the highlights held as part of WOMEX were staged in venues creating the so-called Culture Zone (encompassing the International Congress Centre, the Spodek Arena, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Silesian Museum). The space of ICC (the trade

Photo: Jacob Crawfurd

Photo: Eric van Nieuwland

AT THE END OF OCTOBER KATOWICE HOSTED THE WORLD MUSIC EXPO (WOMEX), WHICH INVOLVED MORE THAN 3,000 GUESTS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD, SEVERAL SCORE MUSIC ACTS, NUMEROUS EXHIBITORS AND JOURNALISTS. THE EVENT’S DEVELOPMENT WAS HANDLED BY THE ICP GROUP AGENCY, WHICH RECEIVED CONSIDERABLE SUPPORT FROM CITY AUTHORITIES.

fair section, the offWOMEX stage, the Daily Stage, film screenings), Spodek (the Twin Stage) and PNRSO (the Theatre Stage, Kato Connections, opening and closing concerts) was applied for the purposes of the World Music Expo. Nighttime DJ sets were staged in the near-by Królestwo club. About 3,000 participants attended the whole event, with foreign guests an overwhelming majority (as many as 2,500).

WORKING HAND IN HAND The agreement on the preparation of this year’s edition of WOMEX was signed in September 2016 between Piranha Arts, the festival’s organizer, and its main local partner in Poland, the ICP Group SA agency. Virtually


THINK EVENT fair and festival to Poland is synonymous with a great opportunity for our artists and industry representatives to establish international relations and showcase themselves in front of an influential audience”, says Tamara Kamińska, Deputy Director of the Katowice-City of Gardens Institution of Culture.

THE EFFORT WAS WORTH IT The organisation of an event as large and widely known as WOMEX generates benefits for artists, but also for the host city – purely financial, promotional and image-related. „As for the profits brought by this year’s edition, the analyses and calculations are yet to be conducted. However, I can say that the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela, which hosted WOMEX last year, made about a million euro just from tax income. In other words, we are not talking small numbers”, emphasises Paweł Jurczak. Tamara Kamińska also confirms the major annual impact of WOMEX on local economy. “According to our estimates, the more than 2,000 visiting delegates and guests contributed an amount not smaller than the one the city invested in this venture”, says Kamińska. To this we should add the profits of hoteliers (most venues during the festival boast an occupancy rate of almost 100%), restaurateurs and many subcontractors involved in various ways in providing services aimed at the event and its participants. “The city thus invests a lot in the event, but also makes money on it. For these few days all eyes in Katowice were on WOMEX. Also let us not forget that the festival made it possible for the capital of Lower Silesia to promote itself through music, which works very well these days. In addition, we should remember that the World Music Expo is covered worldwide and its concerts are broadcast by BBC, among other channels”, adds Paweł Jurczak. From the MICE viewpoint, this is also a splendid advertisement of the local infrastructure and organisational potential. A proof that Katowice is ready to host even the largest and logistically most complex events. “There is no doubt that bringing the discussed event to our city will contribute to boosting its international recognition in a highly opinion-forming community. The infrastruc-

Photo: Eric van Nieuwland

at that very moment the first related works were inaugurated. A five-person team dedicated to the project was launched within ICP Poland Concept (part of ICP Group SA) and supervised by its Director Paweł Jurczak. The city of Katowice, or the Katowice-City of Gardens Institution of Culture to be specific, was the agency’s main collaborator. And even though from a formal viewpoint the cooperation agreement between the city and the agency did not relate to public-private partnership, this was precisely the idea behind it. “We worked closely together, with specific tasks and duties assigned to each one of us. Our agency, to put it as simple as possible, was the executive producer of the whole undertaking, in other words – its main organiser. We supervised all activities on the part of WOMEX and handled the event’s crosscountry promotion”, explains Paweł Jurczak. In turn, the city of Katowice provided financial support – the costs of co-organising the trade fair and festival allocated for this purpose from the municipal budget amounted to 2.5 million PLN (a specific subsidy for WOMEX-related operations). However, financial assistance was not the only aspect of considerable importance. In addition, the authorities of Katowice decided to make all the host venues available; the city was also responsible for preparing the opening concert and co-creating the regional Kato Connections stage (a task that included line-up selection). Finally, the city coordinated the local promotion of the event and created the entire visual identification of this year’s edition, which was designed by the Katowice-based artist Matylda Sałajewska. The organisers wanted to make sure that Katowice was living and breathing WOMEX long it before began. This is why monthly Before WOMEX concerts, whose organisation was also arranged by the city of Katowice, were launched already in March, featuring such acts as Acid Arab (France), Mendoza Orchestra (United States) or Atse Tewodros Project (Ethiopia). “Katowice received the title of a UNESCO City of Music, which is a great distinction, but also an obligation. By joining the prestigious network, we have committed ourselves to activities targeted at the development of music-related creative industries – both at the level of the city, the region, as well as the whole country. Bringing the WOMEX trade

ture alone is no less than impressive. The guests had an opportunity to explore Katowice, which in recent years has been experiencing rapid development and has changed tremendously”, adds Tamara Kamińska.

LOGISTICS ABOVE ALL The direct preparations of WOMEX, and specifically the assembly part (construction of stages, technical facilities, necessary rehearsals), began three days before the event. The whole technical and production team involved in the undertaking included about 90 specialists – 30 members of ICP Group, 20 representatives of Katowice and about 40 of WOMEX. One of the basic requirements set by the customer – the Piranha Arts company – was to arrange the stages in such a way that they were all set within a single area, as close as possible to each other (within a ten-minute walk). The idea was to guarantee that participants could move comfortably between particular zones. “WOMEX is a highly complex event, consisting of many different components. Every day something was happening there for almost 24 hours. Trade fairs, concerts, conferences, films – the combination of all these elements into a single whole was undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges we have ever faced. Everything had to be ideally coordinated. Attending previous WOMEX editions and making certain observations in their course certainly helped us in this regard”, sums up Paweł Jurczak.  Michał Kalarus

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THINK INCENTIVE

MAKE ROOM FOR CONSCIOUS TOURISM When preparing incentive programmes we look for places that will make us stand out and draw the customer’s attention to our proposal. As organisers of incentive trips we put ourselves in the role of experts. The shape of the programme and the selection of highlights depend solely on us. We have real influence on where we take our groups. As a result, we are also responsible for any changes in local society and environment that may occur in consequence of growing tourism statistics. Conscious, responsible or sustainable tourism has been receiving growing media coverage and getting more and more popular each year. We increasingly often hear that there is something not right with highlights such as safari on elephants, dolphin shows, visits to crocodile or turtle farms, or walking with lions. With media speeding up the information flow, tourists are becoming well informed and gain extensive knowledge about unethical attractions and behaviour. I believe that as incentive travel organisers we should also use this information to boycott the inclusion of such activities in the agendas of incentive trips.

THE GRIM FATE OF ELEPHANTS

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Elephant rides are the most prominent recent example illustrating the matter at hand. The many hours spent carrying tourists on their backs, often exceeding all possible norms (if such norms actually exist), constitute a real torture for the animals. Sightseeing from a seat set on the back of an elephant usually takes place in the middle of the day, in suffocating heat. The animals have nothing to drink, they are rushed by drivers and often beaten. I find it hard to believe that any conscious tourist would really enjoy such an attraction. When travelling across exotic countries we get an opportunity to visit all types of orphanages for elephants. You should quickly ask yourself: “What should I pay attention to in order to distinguish between a place that really helps animals from one that unethically takes advantage of them to maximise its own

profits?”. First of all, be sure to verify whether the animals are tied up or chained to posts, fencing, etc., if they have access to water, food and sufficient space, as well as if the small elephants do not sway from side to side. All of these symptoms should act as a warning sign. An elephant swaying back and forth shows signs of distress characteristic for orphans. If elephants are separated from their mothers too early, they will never be able to properly function in family groups. They will always remain unhappy, standing alone and keeping away from peers. Unsurprisingly, this sort of elephant is also the easiest one to take a picture with. The sight of tourists going crazy for such elephants will be hard to take for the more conscious traveller. On the other hand, not all elephant orphanages are harmful by definition. There are places where sitting on the back of an elephant is unthinkable and watching elephants bathe is the key tourist highlight (the animals simply

love water and can spend a whole day indulging in baths). This is precisely the type of elephant sanctuaries that you should be looking for. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust based in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, provides an excellent example of a praiseworthy elephant orphanage. It is actually the world’s only haven to offer baby elephants a chance to return to the wild in the Tsavo National Park, even after spending more than ten years living in its nursery. The Sheldrick Foundation puts enormous emphasis on making sure the elephants are adjusted to living in their natural environment. The haven is open to the public only for one hour every day, when visitors stand away from the elephants and are not allowed to touch the animals or take pictures with them. However, You can photo the animals drinking their milk bottles and cooling down in the mud pool. Dolphin shows are another example of attractions I strongly recommend you to give

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Agnieszka Lewanowska, Vice President of Incentive Care, graduate of the Faculty of Geography at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków and post-graduate studies in tourism management at the Warsaw School of Economics. Specialises in developing and providing services aimed at the most unusual trips, large incentive groups, as well as more intimate, frequently luxury travels. Together with the Incentive Care team Lewandowska implemented more than 400 incentive trips on seven continents. A member of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), she is also the Vice President of Stowarzyszenie Organizatorów Incentive Travel (Association of Incentive Travel Organisers; SOIT), in which she is involved in communication and marketing. Two-time winner of MP Awards in the category of Meeting Planner – incentive agency. In her spare time Lewandowska likes to stay active, loves the mountains and trekking. She also cycled across the Republic of South Africa as part of the Nowak’s Africa project.


Photo: Fotolia

THINK INCENTIVE

up. Similarly to elephants, we are dealing here with highly intelligent animals that cherish space and freedom. They are capable of covering distances of up to 150 km a day! Now try to imagine a captive animal cover the same distance, even if it is swimming in a 100-metre pool! It becomes obvious that it is simply impossible for dolphins to freely swim in such conditions. The animals suffer in captivity and are forced to perform acrobatics during more than ten tourist shows a day. Some hotels even stage swim-with-dolphins attractions, during which you can stroke, cuddle and touch the animals, effectively driving them into insanity. It is definitely much more pleasant to swim with dolphins in their natural habitat, which is possible only in several destinations in the world, including Zanzibar. The Safari Blue Tour has participants sailing a dhow boat in the vicinity of a dolphin sanctuary. There is no guarantee that you will spot the animals but they are seen on 90% of the discussed trips. When the dolphins are swimming next to the boat you have to jump into the water.

Although a quick reaction is required, this is definitely doable. I myself have seen several times tourists swimming with dolphins in this particular way and their joy was simply indescribable.

POSING WITH TURTLES Dolphins and elephants are just a tip of the iceberg. There are many other tourist highlights that should be deemed unethical, e. g. tours of crocodile and turtle farms. Be alarmed whenever it is possible to take a picture together with these animals. Sedatives are given to crocodiles to make them less dangerous and pose politely for the photos. Constantly raising, positioning and touching turtles makes them feel enormously uncomfortable. It is also certainly advised to take a closer look at such highlights as camel rides, e.g. in Egypt. The so-called camel safari has a long and beautiful tradition, also as an excellent mode of transport across the desert. For many years multi-day trips of this kind have been staged in various African countries. Camels applied for this purpose are highly valuable for their owners, who treat them the right way, by offering adequate amounts of water and food, as well as long breaks during the day. On the other hand, camels driving tourists on 15minute trips by pyramids work like this all day long, in the greatest heat, often without a moment’s break. By participating in such activities you only increase their suffering. There are many more negative examples of exploiting animals as tourist highlights: cock fights in the Philippines, walking with lions in Senegal, reef walking, taking starfish out of water, snake shows, live animals in keyrings bought as souvenirs in Asia, and in

the case of Poland – horse-drawn carriages to Lake Morskie Oko. Can this kind of harmful procedures be stopped? My answer is a “yes”, each one of us can influence it. One of the recommended ways involves publicising information about places and highlights where animals are exploited. I think most of us already heard the news about the famous tiger temple in Kanchanaburi (Thailand) getting shut down. Contrary to appearances, it turned out that the animals were stupefied, beaten and terrorized, all to make money by posing for photos with tourists. Thanks to spreading information about what was happening in the temple, many tourists are now thinking twice about visiting similar places. Be sure to refuse to participate as soon as you notice any disturbing signals and circulate information about suspicious institutions so that other tourists stay away from them and do not support businesses taking advantage of animals. I believe that if we spread knowledge about the discussed abuse, more and more people will make increasingly informed tourist choices. We, as incentive travel organisers and experts, should deeply consider the choice of destinations we would like to show our guests – incisively check the living conditions of animals rather than chase the latest fads. In my case the travel experience I gained is what made responsible travelling so important for me. In the course of many trips to Africa I could participate in a genuine safari, with elephants and other animals enjoying freedom on endless plains. Any centre keeping wild animals in captivity will pale in comparison to such an experience.  Agnieszka Lewandowska

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THINK VENUE – PROMOTION

JORDANKI

MICE SPACE  CONCERT HALL Intended use: classical and popular music concerts, theatre and opera productions, musicals, conferences, congresses, trade fairs Auditorium capacity: 882 in theatre setup (plus restricted view seats), standing banquet for 1,500, sit-down banquet for 600 Auditorium area: more than 1,000 m2 Stage area: 600 m2 + 300 m2 of backstage Stage window: 15 m x 7.5 m Available equipment: mobile trapdoors, professional audio and lighting, multimedia projectors, a mobile ceiling system for optimizing acoustics, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, wireless microphones, multichannel sound recording (optional), conference recording (optional), audio and video streaming

CULTURAL AND CONVENTION CENTRE Centrum Kulturalno-Kongresowe Jordanki (Jordanki Cultural and Convention Centre; CKK Jordanki) in Toruń is an important place on the map of Poland’s conferences and congresses. The venue’s strategic goal for the years to come involves actively participating in MICE industry’s trade fairs.

 CHAMBER HALL Intended use: major standing-room concerts, congresses, conferences, large-scale presentations, promo events, both in theatre setup and on flat floor Auditorium capacity: 287 (plus restricted view seats), standing banquet for 800, sit-down banquet for 200 Auditorium area: 315 m2 Stage area: 125 m2 Available equipment: professional audio and lighting, cinema system, multimedia projectors, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, wireless microphones  PRESS ROOM Intended use: small conferences, top-level business meetings Area: 50 m2 Capacity: 18 (oval table seating) Available equipment: multimedia screen, Wi-Fi, conditioning, wireless microphones, wireless presentation system

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Set in the very heart of the city of Toruń, the mixed-use venue was designed by Spanish architect Fernando Menis. Brick interiors are inspired by the Toruń Old Town right next to it, while advanced solutions in the field of acoustics and auditorium spacing make the centre an excellent choice for organisers of all types of events, both major cultural meetings, conferences, congresses, trade fairs and more intimate presentations and business meetings. “Although Toruń boasts a considerable potential, until the Jordanki Cultural and Convention Centre was developed there was not really a venue that would combine various functions and simultaneously host larger conferences, congresses, symposia and other events of the MICE sector. Meanwhile, these type of venues have a city-forming role, boost the competitiveness of metropolises and are an excellent magnet for the organisers of various kinds of events”, argues Grzegorz Grabowski, President of the Jordanki


Cultural and Convention Centre. “Our centre combines the cultural and event functions in a highly balanced manner”.

EMPHASIS ON MULTIFUNCTIONALITY AND MODULARITY With an area of more than 1,000 m2 and capacity of 882 participants, the Concert Hall is the largest space for concerts and shows at the disposal of CKK Jordanki. It is equipped with enormous mobile ceiling domes consisting of five structures playing the role of acoustic walls. By changing the height of their elevation you will simultaneously affect the hall’s cubature and, consequently, achieve optimal acoustic conditions. The main stage opens to an outside square set in the back of the building, making it possible to organise open-air concerts. In addition, the Concert Hall and the smaller Chamber Hall can be merged by means of a sliding wall, thus creating space for hosting events on a truly large scale. “You can stage e.g. a conference for as many as 1,200 participants and still provide them with a breathtaking artistic experience, with perfect acoustics, comfortable seats and full technical equipment, as well as a comfortable artist service area”, says Grzegorz Grabowski. The Chamber Hall is the centre’s second largest space and features capacity of 287 spectators plus comes equipped with a modern cinema system with a Barco projector. The system of mobile auditoriums available in the two discussed halls enables their customized configuration tailored to the type of a given event. As a result, CKK Jordanki is the perfect place for congresses, conferences and concerts in the theatre setup, trade fairs, standing-room concerts, as well as flat-floor car shows. CKK Jordanki also has three modular conference rooms, which can be merged to create a single large conference space and are available for hosting self-contained events for approx. 150 participants. The rooms in question are outfitted with, i.a. multimedia projectors, flipcharts and a wireless presentation system. Finally, the centre features a restaurant, a professional pressroom, a recording studio and an underground car park for 185 vehicles.

OPEN TO THE EVENT INDUSTRY CKK Jordanki has been launched two years ago and since then hosted 600 events attended by 300,000 spectators. The list of world–famous artists performing here includes Sting, Al Di Meola, Richard Bona, Lisa Stansfield, Goran Bregovic, Suzanne Vega and Nigel Kennedy. Cultural events constitute 80% of the venue’s current offer but that is intended to change in the future, with emphasis shifting to the event industry. “Naturally we are delighted that the sector of culture and art appreciates our venue and is eager to apply it. Still, all types of conferences and congresses are much more beneficial from the business viewpoint”, explains Grzegorz Grabowski, adding that the company’s main goal (CKK Jordanki is a commercial company founded by the Municipality of Toruń) is to make profit, and its strategic goal – to actively participate in MICE industry’s trade fairs. “We want to be visible in the trade press and corresponding portals. This course of action and thinking is even now producing results in the form of the venue’s considerable utilisation rate, with special emphasis on the conference halls. Already now we are a significant place on the map of conferences and congresses in Poland. We will make further efforts to increasingly improve this position”, sums up Grzegorz Grabowski. I Agnieszka Jurewicz

MICE SPACE I CONFERENCE ROOMS

Intended use: intimate business meetings and largescale conferences, training sessions and presentations for 150 participants. The conference room complex encompasses three modular rooms that can be merged together to create a single large conference area ROOM A-PRESTO Area: 45 m2; Height: 4 m Capacity: 40 (theatre setup), 20 (horseshoe setup) ROOM B-CALANDO Area: 47 m2; Height: 4 m Capacity: 40 (theatre setup), 20 (horseshoe setup) ROOM C-ALLEGRO Area: 117 m2; Height: 4 m Capacity: 90 (theatre setup), 45 (horseshoe setup) ROOMS AB Area: 93 m2; Height: 4 m Capacity: 90 (theatre setup), 45 (horseshoe setup) ROOMS BC Area: 164 m2; Height: 4 m Capacity: 120 (theatre setup), 60 (horseshoe setup) ROOMS ABC Area: 210 m2; Height: 4 m Capacity: 150 (theatre setup), 70 (horseshoe setup) Available equipment: multimedia projectors, Wi-Fi, airconditioning, flipcharts, wireless presentation system CKK Jordanki offers both lighting and audio equipment for hire. For a complete list of technical equipment visit http://jordanki.torun.pl

CONTACT

CENTRUM KULTURALNO-KONGRESOWE JORDANKI SP. Z O. O. tel. +48 516 277 831 Aleja Solidarności 1-3, 87-100 Toruń biuro@jordanki.torun.pl I PROGRAMME DEPARTMENT

Karolina Szczepanowska, Programme Specialist – cultural events, concerts and theatre productions tel. +48 516 278 017 k.szczepanowska@jordanki.torun.pl Dominika Nowicka, Event Manager – conferences, training sessions, congresses and company events, tel. +48 516 277 766 mice@jordanki.torun.pl

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THINK VENUE – PROMOTION MIXED-USE VENUE IN THE HEART OF TORUŃ Grzegorz Grabowski, President, Centrum Kulturalno-Kongresowe Jordanki (Jordanki Cultural and Convention Centre)

Photo: Grzegorz Kozak

Photo: Grzegorz Kozak

A multifunctional character, excellent technical equipment at its disposal, spacious underground car park, experienced personnel and setting are all among the most crucial assets of CKK Jordanki. Toruń is incredibly wellconnected with the rest of the country – it is located right next to the A1 highway, a half and hour’s drive to the international airport in Bydgoszcz. If you take the airport, 90 minutes will be enough to reach the airports in Warsaw and Gdańsk. The venue itself is set in the very heart of the city, within the historical Old Town Complex, for more than 20 years included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Four five-star hotels are located a few minutes’ away from the Centre, while the varied year-round cultural portfolio of the city constitutes an additional high point. I encourage all organisers to take advantage of the diverse offer of CKK Jordanki.

“REACH FOR THE STARS” CONFERENCE

BARBÓRKA 2017

The suggested leitmotif of the discussed conference emphasised its prestigious character. All of the components – from the CKK Jordanki setting to visual identity (motif of stellar constellations) and the character of side events – were designed in such a way as to guarantee consistency with the conference’s subject matter. The full potential of the Concert Hall was used with special emphasis on the two-level stage trapdoors adapted for a mobile bar. Date: 11 September 2017; Customer: Backstage Agency for Wyborowa Pernod Ricard Number of participants: 400; Applied spaces: Concert Hall, Concert Hall’s stage, wings

THINK MICE

Photo: Agencja Perfectto / CKK Jordanki 2017

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Intriguing examples of embracing the possibilities offered by CKK Jordanki were also showcased at the galas produced by Perfectto, one of the largest Polish event agencies boasting ten years of experience in developing events and corporate meetings for customers such as PZU Group, EY Polska, Vorwerk, Electrolux, Citi, Deloitte, CEDC, Nestle etc. On more than one occasion the agency has already acknowledged the Centre’s diverse infrastructure, staff and scenic technologies, which make it possible to implement even the boldest concepts, including TV production. More than 500 guests attended the galas each time, seated comfortably at round tables in the unique surroundings of CKK Jordanki. The varied and comprehensive facilities of the Centre were also recognised by hosts and artists involved in the abovementioned events, i.a. Grażyna Torbicka, Golec uOrkiestra, Andrzej Piaseczny and many others. Mapping and scenic lighting prepared by Perfectto successfully em-

Photo: Agencja Perfectto / CKK Jordanki 2016

PERFECTTO’S BOLD SCENIC PROJECTS

The number one celebration of the mining industry served as a great example of how to take maximum advantage of the venue’s potential. Implemented by Concept Music Art and Manta Group the traditional festivities were arranged in sculpted interiors. It was precisely this opportunity to refer to the ambience of a cave that proved to be crucial for the customer, a major gas company. Day: 24 November 2017; Number of participants: 450; Applied spaces: Concert Hall (official celebrations), Chamber Hall (tavern), symphony orchestra’s rehearsal room (comber), Concert Hall’s stage (round-table banquet)

phasised the exceptional architecture of the venue’s interiors. The possibilities offered by the venue also allowed realizing other daring concepts highlighted by large-format animations and the non-standard use of artists, dancers and acrobats, whose performances combined theatre with animations and lighting effects. “I believe that CKK Jordanki has a virtually unlimited potential in the field of events. Its technical solutions and a team dedicated to the venue’s operations will earn it numerous intriguing events in the future”, comments Jakub Zdrzalik, Partner and Managing Director with Perfectto. Last but not least, agencies and event organisers appreciate the original and oft-awarded building of CKK Jordanki, which was designed by Spanish architect Fernando Menis. The exceptional look of the Centre provides an added value to each event and emphasises its prestigious and truly one-of-a-kind character. CKK Jordanki also features unquestionable assets in the form of a setting in the centre of Toruń, easy accessibility (A1 highway) and the near-by modern hotels rated with four stars.


THINK VENUE

THE HOTEL INDUSTRY IS ON THE RISE, BUT FOR HOW LONG?

Photo: THINK MICE/Michał Kalarus

Hotels in Poland cannot complain about a lack of customers. Most of the credit goes to the MICE sector that, together with individual tourism, is a strong driving force behind the prosperity in the discussed industry. As a result, more and more venues are being constructed across the country. While this certainly is good news, a boom never lasts forever and the first symptoms of a slowdown are already becoming visible.

Poland boasts a high hotel occupancy rate of more than 70%. In addition, the growth dynamics of the RevPAR performance metric (revenue per available room) is among the highest in Europe. According to the data of STR, a company specialising in, i.a. reports and analyses for the hotel market, in 12 months it amounted to 8.4% (June 2017). All of these conditions are favourable for continued growth and this is exactly how things are looking today. It would not be an overstatement to say that the country’s hotel investment boom is in full swing. The sheer range of this phenomenon is best demonstrated by the fact that it was subject of extensive analysis both at the Hotel Trends Poland & CEE conference (27-28 November 2017) and the 12th Hotel Market Forum Profit Hotel 2017 (12 December 2017).

THE KEY ROLE OF MICE The growth of the Polish hotel industry is influenced by many factors; fundamental among them are the objective tourist attractiveness of the country, services offering good value for money, as well as safety. Business guests are also among the essential components – both participants of meetings matching the definition of the MICE industry and people travelling for business. As for the former group, major conferences and congresses dominate among the driving forces attracting guests. There are quite a few of them, more than only several years ago, staged not only in the largest metropolises, but also in smaller destinations. “The whole region of Central and Eastern Europe is hosting a growing number of seminal events – scientific or political conferences and congresses, sporting events or their counterparts focused on sheer

entertainment. This is particularly visible in the case of Poland. The successful organisation of one event attracts more. Encouraged by positive recommendations, the customers simply want to bring their events to a given destination”, Thomas Emanuel, Director of Business Development at STR, discussed at Hotel Trends Poland & CEE. Kongres 590 in Rzeszów is a good example illustrating this point. “It is one of the most important economic events in the country, attended by several thousand participants. The local hotels would have to look hard to find a better opportunity to make money”, says Gheorghe Marian Cristescu, President of the Management Board with Chopin Airport Development. The dynamic growth of office space is a second crucial element generating business traffic. At Profit Hotel 2017 Dorota Malinowska, Partner at Pro

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Value, a company providing counselling services in the field of commercial real estate, brought up this relation: “We are all aware of the huge synergy between office space and hotels. New office buildings are driving business tourism – they boost business travel statistics and the number of trips to training sessions, conferences and events. This, in turn, brilliantly solidifies the positive economic situation of the hotel industry”, commented Malinowska.

STATISTICS REMAIN ENCOURAGING

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Statistics are the best proof that the situation is quite good and Polish hotel owners – at least for now – are not facing any major issues with attracting customers. According to data of the abovementioned STR, in September 2017 the average occupancy rate in Polish hotels amounted to 72.9%, a very decent result, slightly better than the European average of 72.6%. In the category of cities, the Czech Prague (79.5%) might be the leader of Central and Eastern Europe, but Warsaw (79.1%) is right behind it with nearly identical results. For the same period, Poland’s ADR statistical unit (average daily rate) amounted to 286.9 PLN and RevPAR – to 209 PLN. These figures certainly encourage hotel professionals to undertake successive investments. According to Raport 2017. Rynek hotelarski w Polsce (Report 2017. Hotel market in Poland), published by Świat Hoteli, 149 new venues were opened in our country in 2016, a growth of almost 6.5% in comparison with 2015. At present Poland has more than 2.700 various types of hotels (mostly rated with three stars, though more and more four—and fivestar venues are in development), which offer more than 130,000 rooms (source: Pro Value). It is estimated that in the nearest future Poland will gain over 10,000 additional rooms. Some will be located in Chopin Airport Development venues – one is already being erected by the Katowice airport (Moxy Pyrzowice), the construction of another one by the airport in Jasionka (Holiday Inn Express) will soon begin, while the Moxy hotel in Poznań-Ławica will welcome its first guests in 2019. This year will also mark the opening of Renaissance Warsaw Airport Hotel by the Okęcie airport in the capital. The Best Western Hotels & Resorts chain announced the opening

Photo: THINK MICE/Michał Kalarus (2)

THINK VENUE

of three hotels in Poznań and its immediate surroundings. It will be joined by two venues under construction – Edison Park Hotel Premier Collection and Sure Hotel Old Town – and the already operating Hotel Edison in Baranów near Poznan. The Orbis Hotel Group is involved in new investments in Warsaw, Szczecin (Ibis Styles), Gdańsk (Ibis Budget) and Vilnius (Ibis Vilnius Center). To this list we should add venues, which will be operating on the basis of franchise or management agreements. In addition, the chain’s portfolio now also features the adagio brand. With new Marriott hotels recently opened in, i.a. Katowice and Wrocław, the chain’s Moxy hotel is moving into the Koneser Centre in Warsaw. Both Hampton by Hilton and Four Points by Sheraton (in the Służewiec district) are being erected in the capital. Poland’s very first Crowne Plaza, belonging to InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), will be located in the Warsaw HUB, with the brand’s second hotel - Holiday Inn Express – next to it. Staybridge Suites Warszawa Ursynów is expec-

ted to welcome its first guests in 2020, and Holiday Inn Warszawa Mokotów – a year later. Finishing work on the upscale Raffles Europejski Warsaw will soon be complete. A more prominent presence on the Polish market is also in the plans of Louvre Hotels Group (i.a. Golden Tulip, Campanile, Premiere Classe, Kyriad, Royal Tulip). These are just a few examples of the extensive list of new investments. “We are observing a considerable growth as regards the number of undertakings in Poland. Although the trend affects many sectors besides the hotel industry, this is where it is particularly obvious”, James Farmer, Real Estate Acquisitions Director at Europa Capital Partners LLP, noted at his speech in the course of Hotel Trends Poland & CEE. Gheorghe Marian Cristescu confirmed the thesis: “It was a very good year for us from the viewpoint of investments. We have launched several new projects. This is largely due to the business sector that continues to be the main force behind the boom. We are also looking


THINK VENUE closely at the announced construction of the Central Airport, which offers Poland a chance to become the communication hub of this part of Europe”.

FAST-GROWING SUPPLY Although Poland’s market keeps evolving, an excessively large number of new investments somewhat paradoxically might cause some problems for the hotel industry. This trend is slowly looming on the horizon but has not become apparent enough to pose a real threat. However, this does not mean that it will not become one in a few years. “The competition is simply becoming increasingly intense in the most attractive destinations, enforcing lower accommodation rates”, says Jan Wróblewski, co-owner of Zdrojowa Invest & Hotels. Grażyna Kowalczyk, Managing Director of the Narvil Conference & Spa hotel spoke in a similar fashion at Hotel Trends Poland & CEE. „2017 was alright, but I would not say it was the best year in our history. If we talk about the venue’s occupancy rate, I can say that it was at a very good level. The average daily rate, however, was not that satisfying. The market now features additional competitors. The emergence of new players forced lower rates. While we managed to achieve our budget goals, this was mostly made possible by the high turnout. All hotel owners would like to see fewer guests staying at higher rates”, said Grażyna Kowalczyk. In this manner, the same financial result would be realized and the “trampling” of venues could be avoided (the industry’s term for a large number of guests accepted at lower rates). The Tri-City is an example of a local market, where supply has recently considerably grown. Moreover, Pro Value predicts that in the nearest future guests will have at their disposal about 2,000 extra rooms. All of this makes the discussed market highly saturated and bound to become even more so in the future. “The opening of a new venue always changes the habits of guests to some degree. Interested in interior design, the range of services, etc., customers are eager to book stays in them. Naturally, this forces us to increase our efforts aimed at reaching potential guests. In addition to hotels, the Tri-City now features increasingly numerous accommodation options. I have in mind suites and

flats available for rental”, explains Sylwia Gadomska, General Manager of Mercure Gdańsk Stare Miasto and Area Manager of hotels operating under the brands of Mercure, Novotel and Ibis in the Tri-City, Szczecin and Toruń. Even though rented flats do not constitute a real competition in the case of large MICE groups, they are already quite effective at snatching from hotels individual tourists or people travelling for work-related reasons. A similar issue of high supply also begins to be apparent in Kraków, although to a slightly lesser degree. “In the next three years the capital of Małopolska is expected to become the seat of more than ten brand-new hotels. At the same time, the offer of alternative accommodation options is continuously expanding. Some people believe that Kraków is a city where you only need to build a hotel to make it almost automatically full of guests, with no greater effort required. Unfortunately, this statement is far from true and we need to confront the reality of already very high supply levels”, says Anna Gasińska, General Manager of Kossak and Senacki hotels in Kraków.

EMPLOYEE EXODUS Shortage of employees is a yet another problem faced by hotel professionals and potentially affecting the investments they are planning. „Building a hotel is one thing, while effectively running and managing it is a different thing altogether. To implement the latter goal you need professional and well-trained team members, who nowadays tend to be a rare commodity”, says Gheorghe Marian Cristescu. To a lesser or larger degree this issue affects the entire country and is particularly evident in the case of the capital. The situation seems to be slightly better in Łódź, but the city’s unemployment rates are increasingly lower and the number of willing people able to work is dwindling fast. In addition, many potential candidates are “snatched” by companies providing BPO services. Workers from the East (predominantly Ukraine and Belarus) salvage the situation, but many are not properly prepared to start a career in the hotel industry. Obviously, this is far from an insurmountable obstacle, but the training sessions intended to raise the qualifications of such personnel

generate new expenses for hotel owners. Finally, let us not forget about the costs resulting from the need to raise wages, caused by the labour market deficit and the growing competition in the battle for employees.

NEVER REST ON LAURELS Looking at the discussed ills, we should be aware that the Polish hotel market, while still in the prosperity stage, is already showing certain symptoms of slowing down. The successful period has now lasted for several years and in the nearest future certainly will not be subject to a rapid decline. This does not mean, however, that it will not be affected by certain problems and the indicators, although most likely still satisfactory, may not be as high as they are now. “At the moment the market has not run its course yet. Nevertheless, hotels should reflect on their strategies, pay attention to the latest trends and the changing expectations of customers, at least those classified as millennials. You should never rest on laurels as the market keeps evolving. If you do not adjust to changes you risk losing your competitive edge”, Maciej Tuszyński, Senior Partner – Head of Real Estate Finance at Griffin Real Estate & Griffin Property Finance II, explained at Hotel Trends Poland & CEE. One of the key ingredients making it possible to be successful involves a wide range of offered services. Preferably, it should be tailored to the expectations of both individual and business guests. A significant advantage of the latter is not only the financial aspect connected with the fact that these are numerous groups and the customer usually purchases a number of additional services (such as event or conference room rentals, booking coffee breaks, etc.). It is also the fact that they help hotel owners fill up otherwise low tourist seasons. “As a rule the MICE offer is selling very well in periods of reduced occupancy by individual tourists. That is why it is worth placing your bet on the offer aimed at business visitors”, says Wiktor Wróbel, CEO of Nosalowy Dwór. Examining a growing number of investments in the whole of Poland one can get the impression that more and more hoteliers are already feeling the same.  Michał Kalarus

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THINK DESTINATION - PROMOTION

KATOWICE – A CITY OF THE MEETINGS INDUSTRY An interview with Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice development of the meetings industry. Extensive investments were conducted in the metropolis. Mention is due to, i.a. the renovation of the city center with the railway station and the market square and, most of all, the establishment of Poland’s largest congress and conference venue –International Congress Centre – functionally linked with the “Spodek” Sports and Entertainment Arena. The magnificent new seat of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra was developed next to it, along with the Silesian Museum. All of these investments co-create Poland’s largest Culture Zone and have a serious impact on building the brand of Katowice as a thriving center of business tourism.

Photo: Radosław Kazmierczak

What is Katowice gaining thanks to events? Especially when attended by more than 1,000 participants, they are not only shaping a positive image of the city, but also generate considerable profits for the hotel and foodservice sector plus other local entrepreneurs. In 2017 “Spodek” and the International Congress Centre alone hosted more than 500 events for close to a million guests.

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Katowice is emerging as one of the most important destinations of Poland’s meetings market. What is the story behind the transformation of a city once associated with heavy industry and now a modern metropolis strongly oriented towards the growth of business tourism? Katowice is the capital of one of Europe’s largest and most rapidly developing agglomerations. The enormous urban area encompasses 41 cities and communes inhabited by more than 2 million residents, and Katowice is its heart. Cities are always on the lookout for novel ways of standing out from the rest of the crowd. Seeing how destinations from all over the world benefit from hosting business events, already a few years ago Katowice placed a very strong emphasis on the

What major events will Katowice be hosting in the nearest future? Intel Extreme Masters World Championship and ESL One – the world’s premier eSports tournaments – will be staged here for the already sixth time. Several thousand participants will join the European Economic Congress and the 7th European Congress of Small and Medium-Size Enterprises. Katowice is also a magnet for numerous domestic and international medical events – i.a. congresses and conferences of psychiatrists, urologists, cardiac surgeons, endocrinologists and otolaryngologists. In December the city will host the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24), the 14th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP14), and the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1), all of which will be attended by about 20,000 people from 190 countries, including politicians and representatives of non-governmental organisations, science and business. In 2019 the World Conference on Doping in Sport will transform Katowice into the capital of the global fight against doping. Finally, what Katowice highlights would you recommend to guests coming here for congresses, conferences, trade fairs and business meetings? Katowice attracts many tourists that are more than happy to take part in the local events, both in the Culture Zone and the renovated Market Square, where they can rest on an artificial bank of the Rawa under palm trees. There is something unique about the whole city. On the one hand, it is a modern metropolis that in recent years went through an enormous metamorphosis, while on the other hand it is a green land in the heart of Silesia. Forests, parks and green spaces cover almost half of the city’s area. Come and visit Katowice, the perfect place for family activities.


THINK DESTINATION - PROMOTION

Photo: A. Wisniewski / UM Katowice

KATOWICE – FROM MINING TO THE MEETINGS INDUSTRY

ONLY TWENTY YEARS AGO KATOWICE ALONG WITH THE ENTIRE REGION OF GÓRNY ŚLĄSK (UPPER SILESIA) MOSTLY BROUGHT TO MIND MINING AND HEAVY INDUSTRY. IN A RELATIVELY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME THE CITY UNDERWENT A THOROUGH METAMORPHOSIS AND TODAY IS A POPULAR CHOICE AMONG BUSINESS TOURISTS AS A HOST OF SEMINAL AND PRESTIGIOUS EVENTS. The jubilee tenth edition of the European Economic Congress, recognised as Europe’s largest economic event, will be held in Katowice in May. It can be argued that this was the event whose first edition in 2009 initiated the city’s dynamic development of the MICE industry. The annual presence of several thousand guests, including many well-known figures of business, politics and science, made local authorities aware of the potentially major benefits generated by business tourism. In addition, each successive edition of the Congress attracted more and more participants, who needed an appropriate infrastructure to conduct sessions. Therefore, actions were taken

to change this state of things and their effects were quickly felt. International Congress Centre was open to the public in the breakthrough year of 2015. Boasting capacity of even 15,000 participants simultaneously, it is Poland’s largest (and most advanced) venue of this kind. ICC is also a part of the so-called Culture Zone, which encompasses the “Spodek” Sports and Entertainment Arena, renovated a few years ago, the new seat of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Silesian Museum. The total capacity of all the venues put together oscillates around 26,000 and their setting in close proximity to each other makes

them ready to take on even the largest and logistically most complex events. The discussed zone is located virtually in the very heart of the city, in a place where a mine was still operating at the end of the last century. Apart from the new infrastructure aimed at conferences and congresses, accommodation has also improved considerably. The last decade witnessed the launch of numerous new hotels in Katowice and adjacent cities, including a wide selection of four-star venues guaranteed to meet the high requirements of business visitors and people travelling for work-related reasons. The well-developed network of roads, highways and railway lines plus the three near-

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upon many examples of buildings representing modernist architecture characteristic for the interwar period. Composed of 17 venues the specially created tourist route showcases their visage and functional and utilitarian diversity. When in Katowice be sure to go to a concert held in the new seat of Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (part of the Culture Zone). The building’s architecture is breathtaking, while the acoustics of its concert hall are said to be among the very best in the world. Exhibitions of the near-by Silesian Museum are displayed in a former mine, 14 m below the ground level.

Photo. THINK MICE/Michał Kalarus

Photo. A. Wisniewski / UM Katowice

THINK DESTINATION

-by international airports (Katowice Airport, John Paul II Kraków Airport, Ostrava) make it possible to reach Katowice quickly and easily from almost anywhere in the world.

CITY OF KEY EVENTS

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Thanks to all of the abovementioned factors Katowice is well prepared to tackle virtually all types of events – from smaller meetings and conferences to the largest congresses and most spectacular extravaganzas. It is the capital of Upper Silesia that each year hosts one of the greatest eSports events in the world – finals of Intel Extreme Masters (more than 173,000 guests attended last year!). Last year the city also staged the prestigious World Music Expo WOMEX, which attracted about 3,000 participants, with guests from abroad making up the overwhelming majority (2,500). December 2018 will bring the premier international forum dedicated to global climate policy, the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) together with the 14th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP14), expected to draw about 20,000 people virtually from all over the world. The World Conference on Doping in Sport will travel to Katowice in 2019. And these are just a few of the many available examples… Launched in 2009 Convention Bureau Katowice is responsible for securing as many new business events as possible and for the city and region’s promotion as a recommended

INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE place for holding MICE events. In addition, the Convention Bureau is the first point of contact for everyone interested in bringing their events to Upper Silesia, intended to make it easier for them to select appropriate partners (event agencies, DMCs, PCOs, hotels, conference venues, etc.) and hold talks, including price negotiations.

ENTERTAINMENT AND FREE TIME Besides its first-rate infrastructure, Katowice also offers a wide scope of leisure time options. As a result, organisers of MICE events should not find it too difficult to prepare a programme of side highlights. By this we do not only mean the impressive offer of pubs and restaurants (rest assured, you will find plenty of them), but also intriguing places available for sightseeing. Erected in early 20th century for workers of the near-by “Giersche” mine and their families, the renowned Nikiszowiec housing estate is the city’s calling card. It is one of the most distinctive places associated with Upper Silesia and evoking the mining ambience specific for this region. Today it is often used as the arena of, i.a. traditional Silesian feasts and live-action urban games. In Nikiszowiec you will also find the Wilson Shaft Gallery set in the building of a former shaft of the KWK “Wieczorek” mine (dating back to 1826). Nowadays it houses an exhibition area and its post-industrial interiors are available for events. Katowice is also synonymous with the Route of Modernism. All over the city you will come

A stay in Katowice is easily combined with visiting other town of the Silesian agglomeration, which you should reach by car or bus in not more than a dozen or so minutes. Organisers of programmes aimed at groups enthusiastically apply the industrial character of the region, with the Industrial Monuments Route as its key tourist product. It encompasses 42 venues in 26 cities (including the abovementioned Silesian Museum, Wilson Shaft Gallery and Nikiszowiec), related to energy, railways, communications, textiles, ceramics, water production and food industry. The „Guido” Historical Coal Mine in Zabrze is among them and, in addition to standard tours of its underground tunnels, it offers the possibility to arrange live-action games and unconventional corporate meetings in one of the chambers set 320 m below ground level. Just as intriguing is the Historical Silver Mine in Tarnowskie Góry, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2017 (an underground boat ride is one of its biggest highlights), or the Museum of Tyskie Browary Książęce in Tychy (offering touring programmes that include workshops and beer tasting sessions). Groups planning a longer stay may consider visiting the more distant regions of the Śląskie (Silesian) voivodeship, both in its northern and southern part. The natural resources and enchanting scenery of Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska (Kraków-Częstochowa Upland) and Beskid Śląski (Silesian Beskids) never fail to draw crowds of tourists.  Michał Kalarus


THINK DESTINATION

THE PROMOTION OF LUBUSKIE PLACES EMPHASIS ON WINE, WATER AND MILITARY HISTORY IMPRESSIVE TRANSPORTATION ACCESSIBILITY AND AN ATTRACTIVE TOURIST OFFER FOCUSED ON SEVERAL PRODUCTS, WHICH ARE ALSO THE BASIS OF THE REGION’S IMAGE – THESE ARE THE QUALITIES THAT MAKE THE LUBUSKIE VOIVODESHIP A NOTEWORTHY OPTION FOR EVERYONE LOOKING FOR INTRIGUING AND AS YET NOT FULLY EXPLORED EUROPEAN DESTINATIONS.

CLOSE TO EVERYTHING The Lubuskie voivodeship is located in western Poland and borders with the Zachodniopomorskie (from the north), Wielkopolskie (from the east) and Dolnośląskie (from the south) voivodeships. The western border of the voivodeship simultaneously separates Poland from Germany. The setting endows the region with a huge potential as regards the growth of tourist numbers on a larger scale. This phenomenon concerns the three modes of transportation most popular in tourism: road, rail and air. In the case of road transport, a major role is played by the latitudinally running A2 highway, part of the E30 European route. Thanks to it, the region boasts excellent connections both with Western Europe (with particular emphasis on Germany and the Berlin agglomeration) and its Eastern counterpart (i. a. Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania). Lubuskie is also crossed by the S3 expressway

Photo: Fotolia (2)

The Lubuskie voivodeship is among the smallest of Poland’s 16 administrative units. It is ranked thirteenth as regards area, followed only by the Śląskie, Świętokrzyskie and Opolskie voivodeships. Interestingly enough, the discussed region has two capitals: Zielona Góra, where the local government is seated, and Gorzów Wielkopolski, which features the voivodeship office, a local representation of central authorities. Lubuskie owes its name to Lubusz, now a German town known as Lebus.

(part of the E65 European route connecting Northern and Southern Europe). The two routes meet in the Lubuskie voivodeship in the Jordanowo hub. It will take about 2 hours to reach this point when driving from Berlin, an hour if you are travelling from Poznań and 2.5 hours from Warsaw. The discussed region compares just as favourably from the viewpoint of rail transportation, due to its setting on the route of one of Poland’s most essential railway lines (no. 3) connecting Warsaw with Kunowice by the border with Germany. It is a part of the international railway line from Berlin to Moscow. Another significant line (no. 273, part of European C-E 59), is commonly known as “Nadodrzanka” and runs from Szczecin through Kostrzyn nad Odrą, Zielona Góra and

Nowa Sól to Wrocław. In addition to the two examples discussed above, the 203 and 358 lines, connecting Gorzów Wielkopolski and Zielona Góra with Poznań and Warsaw, respectively, should also be included on the list of routes of utmost importance for the development of tourism. Thanks to convenient rail and road connections with adjacent regions, Lubuskie is also easily accessible for travellers preferring air transport. You will find the closest airport handling international flights in Poznań, but the airports in Berlin, Szczecin and Warsaw are also recommended. Finally, Lubuskie boasts its very own airport – Zielona Góra/Babimost. Located about 40 km from Zielona Góra the airport currently (January 2018 – ed.) offers flights to Warsaw.

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THINK DESTINATION PROMOTION STRATEGY

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The Programme of Tourism Development in the Lubuskie Voivodeship by 2020 is currently the key document setting out the goals and tasks connected with the growth of the Lubuskie voivodeship’s tourism potential. It confirms the impressive capacity of the discussed region and the fact that tourism might be the key field in building its image and recognition both at home and abroad. The way to achieve this goal is to use the highlights that have already enjoyed certain recognition at the time of the study’s development. It lists three tourismrelated image products that should act as a driving force of the growth of the local tourism sector. Their implementation is intended to guarantee strong distinguishing features building the Lubuskie’s tourist brand. The three products in question are “Wine and Cuisine”, “Military History and Fortifications” and “Adventure on the Water”. What do they consist of? “Wine and cuisine” The product assumes the construction of a wide-encompassing market offer based on the voivodeship’s already existing tourist attractiveness in the areas of wine tourism, culinary tourism and honey. Present components: Lubuskie Route of Wine and Honey, Lubuskie Centre of Winemaking in Zabór, Grape Harvest in Zielona Góra, Wine Museum in Zielona Góra. “Military history and fortifications” Present components: Route of Four Tank Men in Żagań, Route of Great Escape in Żagań, Museum of Prisoner-of-War Camps in Żagań, Międzyrzecz Fortified Region, Convention of Enthusiasts of Fortifications in Boryszyn, Kostrzyn Stronghold, complex of medieval city fortifications in Strzelce Krajeńskie, Lubuskie Military Museum in Zielona Góra with seat in Drzonów, Grodzisko Culture Park in Wicina. “Adventure on the Water” Water constitutes a remarkably strong distinguishing feature of Lubuskie, beginning with leisure tourism by the water, where it acts as an additional advantage responsible for a diverse landscape and perfect swimming conditions, through sailing tourism, kayaking, to fishing and diving. Present components: rivers Odra, Warta and Noteć, E30 and E70 international waterways, Lubrza Kayaking Route, Łagow-

skie, Sławskie, Dobiegniewskie and other lake districts; harbours and marinas of Middle Odra – i. a. Bytom, Cigacice, Nowa Sól, Krosno Odrzańskie, Kostrzyn nad Odrą; the voivodeship’s lakes and rivers abounding in fish, a dream come true for fishermen, Lubrzański Kayaking Route (rivers Paklica and Rakownik).

more to offer as regards hiking and water trails, which will allow you to truly explore the local nature, with each visitor bound to find an exceptional spot”, sums up Porycki, also pointing out such highlights as the Muskau Bend Geopark and the Muskau Park, both included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

REACHING FULL POTENTIAL

BUSINESS TOURISM

Obviously the tourism-related potential of the Lubuskie voivodeship is not limited to the products mentioned above. When asked about the leading tourist highlights of the region, the local officials respond by providing a long list. “Our key tourism attractions also include the Warta Estuary National Park, the Woodstock Festival in Kostrzyn nad Odrą, the Michalina Wisłocka Park of Love in Lubniewice, the statue of Christ the King in Świebodzin, as well as the Way of St. James, part of Europe’s most famous pilgrim route”, says Łukasz Porycki, Director of the Department of Social Infrastructure at the Marshal’s Office of the Lubuskie Voivodeship. “Our voivodeship is an unique region on the map of Poland”, adds Porycki. “It continues to boast absolutely pristine nature rich in fauna and flora. And speaking of natural treasures, mention is definitely due to more than 500 lakes and two large rivers, Odra and Warta, with important tributaries”. “With almost half of the region covered by forests, Lubuskie boasts Poland’s largest forest area. Exceptionally large numbers of representatives of the kingdom of plants and animals can be found in the vicinity of rivers and water bodies. There are so many larger and smaller bodies of water that the voivodeship is dubbed a land of 500 lakes, although the actual number is closer to 600. The unique flora and fauna is protected by two national parks, seven landscape parks and as many as 64 nature reserves. Each year the Lubuskie region has

According to an analysis presented by the authors of The Programme of Tourism Development in the Lubuskie Voivodeship by 2020, business tourism for the time being is not the strongest branch in the region (and this most probably will not change in the nearest future). „Business tourism (...) will be aimed mostly at providing services for regional customers in the field of training and conference products. In addition, thanks to transportation accessibility, tourists representing neighbouring regions, with particular emphasis on Wielkopolska and Brandenburg, might also frequently take advantage of the offer of the venues discussed above. The region’s number of specialised venues dedicated to services for business guests is not larger than in the adjacent voivodeships and the capacity of handling guests from other parts of the country is small. This impacts the lack of a conference and trade fair centre capable of hosting large nationwide events plus the lack of significant advantages that would distinguish the voivodeship’s offer (e.g. mountains, sea, recognisable lakes)”. Although this diagnosis might not seem particularly optimistic, we should keep in mind that it is entrepreneurs who exert crucial influence on the development of a given type of tourism in a region. It can therefore be assumed that they will notice the potential where officials or analysts failed to do so. Time will tell if this is also the case of Lubuskie.  Maria Krzos

DID YOU KNOW THAT…  The Lubuskie Route of Wine and Honey

includes 61 venues  The Międzyrzecz Fortified Region puts 30 km of underground routes at the disposal of tourists. The longest one can take you up to even 8 hours

 The distance from Zielona Góra to Berlin is

156 km (in straight line)

 Lubuskie voivodeship has two capitals –

Zielona Góra and Gorzów Wielkopolski

 Lake Sławskie, the voivodeship’s largest body

of water, has an area of 826 hectares


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THINK MICE

Photo: Katarzyna Cegłowska

PROFILE


I’VE BEEN LUCKY MY WHOLE LIFE ANDRZEJ HULEWICZ IS UNQUESTIONABLY ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL FIGURES OF THE POLISH MEETINGS INDUSTRY. THE COMPANY HE CREATED WITH ANDRZEJ BARTKOWSKI HAS BEEN CONSISTENTLY DEVELOPING, EXPANDING ITS COMPETENCIES AND RANGE OF PROVIDED SERVICES FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS OF ITS MARKET PRESENCE. WHAT DOES HULEWICZ THINK IS THE SECRET OF HIS SUCCESS AND WHAT MAKES HIM STAY HUNGRY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS? The co-founder of the Mazurkas Group describes himself as a man who was and remains lucky. ”I am talking about my wonderful parents, lovely wife and simply fantastic children”, explains Hulewicz. “I have been successful in my private and professional life, touch wood. Naturally, I cannot forget that the road to many of my successes was paved with enormous effort and stress. Still, it would be a sin to say that I was not blessed with good luck… After all, you can spend your entire life working and trying hard and still do not amount to anything…”.

How it all began Today there are several companies operating under the Mazurkas brand, including Mazurkas Travel, Mazurkas DMC Poland, Mazurkas Catering 360, MCC Mazurkas Conference Centre & Hotel and Mazurkas Transport. Everything started in 1990 with an office in Andrzej Bartkowski’s cellar. “Some time later we moved to Forum hotel because we wanted to stay close to our customers”, recalls Hulewicz. “We used to call our office a ‘gilded cage’ as it was made of copper pipes and glass. This was a period of rapid development for the company, but also very hard work. Literally from dawn till night, seven days a week”. What was it like to run a travel agency in a time when there were no cell phones, no Internet, and a computer, a fax machine or even your own landline phone was a rarity? “At the very beginning you had to spend a lot of time at the post office”, Andrzej Hulewicz answers with a smile. “In my case this was the post office in Świętokrzyska Street in Warsaw. I remember that I used to go there to use the fax machine and send our programmes to customers. It was also nothing out of the ordinary to spend several hours waiting for an international call. Fortunately, quite quickly we came into the possession of both a fax machine and a computer”.

The beginnings of Mazurkas were synonymous with services in the field of tourism and later also transportation. In 1998 when a decision was made to build a hotel in Ożarów Mazowiecki, two partners (Hulewicz and Bartkowski) remained out of the three original founders of the company and continue to run it up to this very day. “You are asking if I would prefer to set up my own company in the 90’s or now, assuming that I was doing it for the second time? And if it is easier now than it was then? It is not a question of difficulty. Today many people look with envy at how young people are opening new businesses, startups and are coming up with all sorts of things. Still, the same principle held true when we were starting and applies nowadays – you will be successful if, on the one hand, you have the best response to your customers’ demands and, on the other, you know how to inspire them by introducing new concepts and solutions”, claims Hulewicz.

Two guides and a dancer However, the career path of Andrzej Hulewicz did not start with the launch of his own company. At the time of its establishment, both he and Andrzej Bartkowski boasted years of experience as tour guides. “I studied foreign trade and already as a freshman completed a course and earned certification allowing me to perform this job”, recalls Hulewicz. “I found it highly involving because how a tourist will find a given country, locality or agenda item is all up to the tour guide. A good guide can describe a monument – let us say of Chopin – so that his or her listeners literally hear the sounds of a piano. This profession is not only about presenting a given place or highlight, but also about demonstrating its multi-layered character, discovering its soul”. This is precisely the ability that Hulewicz and Bartkowski took

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PROFILE advantage of when launching Mazurkas. “During studies I was taught Forum Humanum”, recalls Andrzej Hulewicz. “One of our guests, the rule I mentioned earlier – to be successful in business you need to Bożena Kociołkowska, a former prime ballerina of Wielki Theatre, meet the expectations of your customer”, recollects Andrzej Hulewicz. mentioned the existence of a committee striving for the erection of such “Consequently, when opening the company we asked ourselves one a monument and gathering funds for this purpose. We decided to endorse fundamental question – what does a tourist need? To answer it, we used the initiative”. the knowledge and experience gained as tour guides. These two The ceremonious unveiling of The Dancer, a sculpture by Zbigniew components became the pillars of Mazurkas, the reason why our Stanuch, was held in November 2016. The monument stands by Wielki company grew so quickly. Naturally, I should add that we have also Theatre – National Opera, next to the monuments of Wojciech managed to seize the moment – the appropriate economic conditions Bogusławski and Stanisław Moniuszko, thus symbolically emphasising created in Poland after 1989”. that the venue is “home” to three types of art – theatre, opera and ballet. Mazurkas’ first customers were foreign companies bringing classical “For us the discussed monument was also intended as a way of giving music enthusiasts to concerts staged in Poland and needing someone to back to the capital, which for years was our ‘product’”, says Hulewicz. offer them organizational support. “We were visited by groups from USA, “Because of its course of history Warsaw has relatively few places of this Germany, France, etc. whom we used to take to see concerts, including type – symbols that are associated with the city and provide an impulse recitals of Chopin’s music, to the Music Society or the Łazienki Park. to visit it. The Dancer constitutes our attempt at offering this type of Sometimes we arranged meetings with artists or private concerts. landmark to the capital. We hope that people will like it and that it is Mazurkas’ other initial product involved regular sightseeing tours of going to become a permanent fixture of the landscape. The sculpture is Warsaw. At the time nobody was doing anything similar”, emphasises light and dynamic. Driving in the area at different times of the year, both Hulewicz. during the day and at night, I always see how nicely it looks. Who knows, The musical roots of Mazurkas still perhaps one day it will become a new resonate in the company’s name. “We were meeting spot, for example for couples ANDRZEJ HULEWICZ looking for a word that would call up going on a date”, Hulewicz sums up with a associations with Poland and music”, smile. explains Andrzej Hulewicz. “The EnglishVice President of the Board of Mazurkas Travel Poland, language name of a national dance was one of Poland’s largest companies operating in the tourism selected because of our foreign partners. It and MICE industry. Graduate of the Faculty of Foreign also brings to mind Chopin’s compositions Trade at the Main School of Planning and Statistics, he worked as a tour guide at the Orbis Travel Bureau. and continues to accompany all of our Co-founder of Mazurkas Travel, which in its early stage projects”. When presenting the profile of Andrzej focused on selling local tours and trips to concerts of The presidents of Mazurkas remain Hulewicz it is simply impossible to avoid Frederic Chopin’s music. Over the years the company faithful not only to the name, but also to mentioning relations with his partner, continued to expand the range of its services, with the establishment of Mazurkas Travel Transport as the second fondness for music and broadly defined Andrzej Bartkowski. What is the recipe milestone. The 1996-1999 period witnessed the launch culture. The best example is provided for, colloquially speaking, standing each of the Congress and Conference Bureau plus Mazurkas by the Forum Humanum Mazurkas series other after so many years? “There are DMC Poland, the year 2001 – of Hotel Mazurkas in Ożarów Mazowiecki and the beginnings of Mazurkas of artistic meetings (concerts, theatre several aspects worth mentioning, but I Catering 360, and 2007 – the inauguration of the MCC shows, vernissages, film screenings). 27 believe that the most important one Mazurkas Conference Centre & Hotel. In 2010 Hulewicz editions have already been held since its involves the fact that we were united by a received the “For contribution to tourism” honorary passion for broadly defined tourism, as inauguration in 2012. “Initiated by my distinction awarded by the Minister of Sports and Tourism, and in 2014 – the “In service of Polish culture” honorary well as for ‘selling’ Poland, particularly in partner, this project is our attempt at distinction awarded by the Minister of Culture. the cultural and MICE-related context”, something known today as corporate social answers Hulewicz. “We also share values responsibility”, explains Hulewicz. “I am and views, not only on business but also private and family life. I know aware of the fact that some people treat Forum Humanum… I am looking this might sound a bit over the top and people tend to be sceptical when for the right word here… not very seriously. However, this is our very I mention it. However, you have to believe me that we have never set any own way of showing gratitude and sharing our success. Supporting artists, financial goals for ourselves, only substantive ones. Moreover, we have we also want to provide the best experience to our guests. Artists that never argued over money. Of course we had our share of heated participate in Forum Humanum might not be best charting, their records discussions, but they concerned issues related to the direction of the might not occupy top spots and their works do not achieve dizzying prices company’s development, ways of reaching customers. Andrzej is the type at auctions. All the more they deserve help in reaching their audience”, of person that likes to set ambitious goals for himself, to ‘take on’ major stresses Hulewicz. projects. I appreciate this courage. And what does he like about me? Well, It was precisely at one of the Forum Humanum editions that the heads no one is a judge in his own case… Still, I believe it is responsibility and of Mazurkas heard about the initiative of building a monument paying trustworthiness. Coming back to our relations, I can put it like this: there homage to ballet dancers. “Ballet was the main topic of this particular

Family, friendship and partnership

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PROFILE is always a need for some kind of compromises and concessions. Same thing as in marriage”, he says with a smile. Marriage is a yet another topic that comes up in our conversation. Importantly, Andrzej Hulewicz himself brought it up. “This must be said - without my wife, I would not have achieved it all. She is a great partner and contributed immensely to my business success”. Jolanta and Andrzej met on a cruise ship sailing the Mediterranean. She was on holiday, while he was the tour guide. “Both of us were already reaching thirty, so we were no longer teenagers”, recounts Hulewicz. “We were both more or less at the same point in life, looking forward to starting a family. There was infatuation but, above all, the pleasure of being in the company of each other - right from the start. Today, after many years I can say that our love keeps getting deeper. For some couples it all starts with a high momentum, which is then followed by a downward trend. In our case, the opposite is true”. It is precisely when discussing family that Andrzej Hulewicz says how lucky he has been. During our conversation, his younger daughter called with best wishes for Father's Day. “My older one called earlier”, smiles Hulewicz, adding: “There is no question that success also comes with a price and everyone running this type of business faces a dilemma on how to preserve the right balance between private and professional life. You have asked me if I am a good father. Yes, I believe I am, but I feel guilty for not always being there when the girls were little. There was always something to be done as the first years of Mazurkas’ growth coincided with their early childhood”.

To be continued... The impressive list of Mazurkas’ successes, and we are only discussing the last twothree years, includes: providing catering services for the Warsaw-based 2016 NATO Summit, staging the EOS 2014 congress, Euromat 2015 and IPSA 2016, as well as the status of the Main Partner of the World Youth Day in Poland, for whose purposes the Mazurkas Travel Incoming Bureau arranged the stay of more than 10,000 pilgrims from all over the world. What does Andrzej Hulewicz like about his job and does he still feel hungry after so many years? “I am not aware of any other industry that would make it possible to experience so many great moments”, he replies. “Granted, I realize that anyone passionate about their work can say the same thing. But since widely understood tourism sector is my passion, in this context I can state that working in it can be compared to winning the lottery. It gives you an opportunity to meet new, interesting people, travel, be close to world leaders, see the Pope from a few meters away. The list goes on and on”. Last but not least, Hulewicz also underlines that his appreciation of the industry results from the great emphasis it continues to put on people and the relations between them. “Built in face-to-face communication, these relations are what makes it easier for business partners to cooperate and build mutual trust”, he explains. “In Polish there is this saying that in order for something to come together you need arms and legs. Let me add a face to that list. This is a business principle that I like to follow. Mazurkas has a face – my own, the face of my partner, of our employees, which make the company’s success possible in the first place (it is worth noting that many have been with us for more than 15 years). As for the MICE industry itself – I believe that it has enormous potential and that a lot remains to be done, especially as regards conferences and congresses. Compared to the size of our country and the opportunities it offers, there still is not enough of this type of events”, analyses Hulewicz. “And to answer your question: yes, I am still hungry. Similarly to my partner, I am the type of person for whom retirement is absolutely out of the question…”.  Maria Krzos

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Photo: Fotolia

ANOTHER WORLD SOME POINT TO ITS DYNAMIC DEVELOPMENT, WHILE OTHERS GO A STEP FURTHER AND PUT FORWARD THE THESIS THAT THIS TECHNOLOGY WILL CHANGE THE WORLD. THERE IS ONE THING WE KNOW FOR SURE – REGARDLESS OF WHETHER MEETINGS INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVES WILL ACT CAUTIOUSLY OR ADOPT AN ENTHUSIASTIC APPROACH – VIRTUAL REALITY IS HERE TO STAY AND CANNOT BE IGNORED.

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Although virtual reality (VR) first made a splash in the 1990s, many publications covering its evolution emphasise that inadequate equipment and software back then did not meet the expectations of customers. This is one of the reasons why the work on the technology’s development had its ups and downs. It is said that only now we have the right technological potential to make VR actually “real” and transform it into a mainstream entertainment platform. In other words, we are witnessing a breakthrough moment and, according to some opinions, the revolution to come can be compared to the introduction of personal computers, mobile phones and smartphones. Regardless of forecasts for the future, the technology is increasingly introduced into many industries and its application is not limited to sheer entertainment (computer or video games). VR also found its way into the real estate development, automotive, exhibition, medical, scientific and e-commerce sectors. More and more is also being said about its use in the advertising industry. That is why it is

worth taking a closer look at what opportunities it generates for the meetings industry, with particular emphasis on events. All the more so because examples of its use are getting more numerous.

VIRTUAL ABC First, let us examine the thing that, as some enthusiasts say, was (sceptics say it still is) the main obstacle in VR’s further development – devices and content. The headsets currently available on the market can be classified in two categories: those that need to be connected to a desktop computer (for example, HTC Vive or Oculus Rift) or a home video game console (PlayStation VR) and those that require a smartphone (e.g. Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard) or a similarly powerful processor. Let us also keep in mind that the PCs in question have to meet high performance requirements (e.g.a powerful graphics card). From the viewpoint of the meetings industry this distinction proves to be very important as it

determines, for example, our options of equipment rental. Naturally, the difference between particular types of available headsets is not limited to their transportation options. Specialists argue that the effect of immersion in virtual reality is much more convincing in the case of headsets connected to PCs than in their smartphone-compatible counterparts. The former are also more expensive. When calculating the costs of equipment make sure that the set includes all that is needed (e.g. also headphones and a controller). Another issue involves content, which determines what users actually see when putting on the headset and whose quality affects our perception of VR. “I have heard about people not feeling well and suffering from nausea after experiencing virtual reality. These symptoms result solely from badly designed content and unfortunately damage the reputation of the entire industry. Luckily, there will be more and more high-quality content”, says Adam Cegielski, CEO and co-founder of VR Visio Group SA, a company specialising


TECHNOLOGIES in designing VR games, videos and apps plus operating in the area of equipment rental and services. The content viewed by users becoming immersed in virtual reality can also be divided into the following two types: designed specially for a concrete company, event, brand, etc. and ready-made, most often games.

VR AT EVENTS (AND BEYOND) “Looking at how virtual reality is currently used at events I think you can agree that it usually plays the role of a side attraction, somewhat like a photo booth set somewhere on the side”, says Nina Żukowska, Managing Director, New Event Story. “The second option involves making VR the main highlight and foundation of a given event. I am saying this in the context of an event I organised last year. I admit that earlier I have never heard about VR being used in a similar way in Poland and I am not sure if anything of this kind was staged in recent months. In any case, there was no company communication covering these types of events that, from what I know, until now were mostly staged abroad. An excellent example is the Russian series of events connected with the release of Audi Q7. Appreciated by the international industry, it was also the source of inspiration for our event. Nina Żukowska explains that virtual reality used not as a novelty but a full-fledged show ingredient offers great opportunities. “It makes it possible to transfer a person to a place that does not physically exist. This explains its intense use in architecture, with developers inviting potential customers to their office and asking them to put on the VR headset and enjoy a tour of venues that are still being constructed. As a result, the customers can enter each room and see for themselves what their future office or residential space looks like”. Adam Cegielski of VR Visio also agrees with this classification of VR application at events. “There are many inquiries but most of them concern the former possible use. Organisers are probably thinking about picking VR among many available highlights, because it is now garnering a lot of attention”, explains Bielecki. “Still, we also receive some more unusual commissions, in which virtual reality

is definitely more visible and actually is the very essence of an event (an example would be a Valentine’s Day event staged in a shopping mall, for which we have built a special app)”. VR is also more widely used at trade fairs, with long queues to stands offering such highlights. Nina Żukowska explains that in the Polish reality budget constraints constitute the fundamental barrier for the wider use of VR at events. “On the one hand, the tools at our disposal, such as Oculus Rift and Gear VR, are getting better, while on the other hand we have to take into account their relatively low availability when arranging events on a larger scale plus, most of all, high costs. Obviously, it is not a problem to call a German rental and order 100, 200 or 300 devices – as long as you can spend about 150,000 PLN on equipment alone. I should also add that equipment is not enough and content, as always, is the key to success. This is where many companies fail”, sums up Żukowska. Still, Adam Cegielski points out that the market situation will be dynamically changing as regards the availability and cost of VR devices. “Next year will witness a genuine breakthrough with the arrival of headsets, which will cost 300 USD. You will pay 1,000 PLN for the same type of equipment that today is worth 2,000 PLN”.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW At least two other aspects should be taken into consideration when analysing the state of the Polish VR sector from the viewpoint of the technology’s use by the event industry. First of all, we have more and more companies offering a chance to use VR in their studios or rent the equipment. The firms in question often launch promotional activities aimed at the event industry – in other words, they make their spaces available for events, with VR as the main highlight. The quality of the proposed services is a whole different issue. For example, Adam Cegielski draws attention to the fact that some of the discussed companies offer games downloaded from the internet, whose authors did not allow their products to be used for commercial purposes. On the other hand, the local VR sector already has something to be proud of as regards the discussed content– its experience and potential

connected with the production of computer games is paying off. Second, for the purposes of the article we have focused on virtual reality and left out the phenomenon of augmented reality (AR), whose potential is just as impressive. What is more, it is said that the future of the two technologies involves devices, which offer the chance to use both and switch between them. Back to VR and its application in the event industry, Nina Żukowska spotlights several aspects that can become if not an obstacle then definitely a challenge. “At the moment, due to the effect of novelty, virtual reality can be a highly attractive and popular ingredient of events. Nevertheless, when selecting it for your event it is recommended to specify which target group it is aimed at and answer the following question: how will a suit-wearing CEO look like wearing headsets and watching a video of zombies running after him? I may sound if I am not speaking seriously here but, contrary to appearances, this is a rather serious issue of the psychological comfort of event participants. Everyone who from the sidelines watched other people wearing headsets and ‘fighting” monsters knows exactly what I mean. Not all participants of a corporate event will want to join in – aware of who is looking. On the other hand, they may feel pressure to do so”. This brings us to a yet another important issue. The point is that virtual reality isolates the immersed user from his surroundings, which might go against the very concept of meetings. It seems, however, that the evolution of VR can also tackle this aspect of events. „Customers will be on the lookout for event-related solutions targeted at numerous people at the same time. Thanks to the multiplayer mode, let us say, 20 people simultaneously can be involved in the same game, task, etc. – seeing each other, cooperating and achieving a defined goal”, says Adam Cegielski. Finally, when considering the use of VR for event purposes be sure to take into account one more aspect – this is a technology that is intended to deliver excitement and unforgettable memories. Is it not everything that the meetings industry is meant to be about?  Maria Krzos

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Photo: Fotolia

PURPOSEFUL MEETINGS – a new view on event organisation HOW SHOULD EVENTS BE PLANNED AND IMPLEMENTED TO OFFER THEIR PARTICIPANTS SOMETHING MORE BESIDES PURELY INFORMATIVE, ENTERTAINMENT OR EVEN NETWORKING FUNCTIONS? TO RELEASE EMOTIONS, GENERATE CREATIVITY, ACT AS A CALL FOR ACTION OR EVEN OUTRIGHT CHANGE THE WAY OF THINKING? THE INCREASINGLY POPULAR CONCEPT OF STAGING SO-CALLED PURPOSEFUL MEETINGS – INTENDED TO DIG DEEPER INTO THE MIND OF ATTENDING GUESTS – MIGHT BE THE ANSWER.

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On a wider scale the concept of purposeful meetings has not been discussed until recently. Several months ago it was the annual Talking Point at the IMEX exhibition in Frankfurt, which hosted the special educational session “Purposeful Meetings. How to plan with deeper meaning, innovation and insight in mind” featuring speeches by Janet Sperstad (keynote speaker) of Madison College and Amanda Cecil of Indiana University. They introduced the idea to attendees, most of

whom were unfamiliar with it, and presented initial results of research on the essence of and demand for this type of meetings. It was also announced that the issue would be integral to IMEX America staged in Las Vegas in October. The US event was much more specific and its main highlight involved Spersted and Cecil’s detailed Industry White Paper including a description, analysis and hints on how to arrange the discussed newgeneration events.

EXPERIENCES ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT What exactly are purposeful meetings? They are defined as events designed in such a way as to move beyond matters strictly connected with logistics and business and instead focus on experience-related aspects. While on a shortterm basis the latter might not deliver an impressive return on investment (ROI) in events, they impact human behaviour and influence the manner of making decisions.


INSPIRATIONS They inspire and generate the creativity of participants, which in the long run might prove considerably more profitable. “Purposeful meetings inspire people to do extraordinary things. They make them more efficient, brilliant and render it easier for them to establish relations. This is a tool that ignites a new fresh way of thinking. It helps participants understand and achieve more”, explains Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group. In other words, they are not simply distinguished by changing the goal of a given meeting, as the objective actually continues to be related to maximizing the customer’s profits. It is all about showing another way of accomplishing this goal, connected with a novel approach to event development. „For some reason most specialists involved in the organization of events seem to forget that it is crucial that they focus on participants – solve their problems, engage them and inspire to do something. Issues of purely organizational or logistic character are naturally essential, but not more important than the careful planning of experiences and emotions that the participants will become involved in”, says Janet Sperstad of Madison College.

AN INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH The very topic of providing experiences at events (especially evident in the case of incentive trips) is obviously far from a novelty for many professionals active in the MICE sector. Still, the abovementioned Industry White Paper introduces concrete solutions making it possible to deliver the discussed experiences. They are based not only on psychological knowledge, but also on broadly defined neuroscience bringing together elements of medicine, biology, biophysics, behavioural science, etc. “While wellprepared meetings are thought-out in terms of logistics, their perfect counterparts also enrich the hearts and minds of our guests”, says David Peckinpaugh, President of Maritz Global Events. It is this interdisciplinary character that makes the concept of purposeful meetings gain popularity quite quickly. According to research carried out by the White Paper authors in spring 2017, 54% of meeting planners in Western Europe and United States are already now planning meetings based on the model’s guidelines or are at least interested in it. 43%

believe that the model should be implemented as quickly as possible – already at an early stage of organizing an event. 26% are of the opinion that it can be done a bit later and only 12% consider the recommendations presented in the document as the proverbial icing on the cake, essentially not assigning great importance to them. 19% of respondents do not have an opinion on the subject.

EXPLORING HOW THE HUMAN BRAIN WORKS The “Purposeful Meetings” Industry White Paper delineates five key areas that should be taken into consideration when planning and implementing meetings of this kind. While the aforementioned behavioural science is at the top of the list, this obviously does not mean that meeting planners have to pursue a career in social psychology. Nevertheless, they should have at least basic knowledge on how the human brain works in a social setting and how it processes information. “This might become very helpful in architecting events in a way that guarantees the desired consequences. By this I mean engineering experiences that engage participants and hold their attention longer”, says Ben Moorsom, President & Chief Creative Officer of the DEBUT Group. What tools does he have in mind? Storytelling, increasingly popular also in Poland, is among the proposals of White Paper authors. “It is remarkably effective. Participants eagerly listen to captivating stories, which affect their focus and draw their attention”, explains Amanda Cecil of Indiana University. In addition, oxytocin is released into brain, boosting empathy levels. As a result, the messages conveyed by the speaker are easier to absorb, perceived as credible and thus motivate listeners to take desired actions. It is also a good idea to decorate rooms hosting meetings and to include motifs the participants are already familiar with (connected with e. g. their company, history, memories). „This makes guests feel much more comfortable. A certain social bond is thus automatically built and we grow closer to them”, adds Amanda Cecil.

A HEALTHY MIND IN A HEALTHY BODY The health and wellbeing of meeting partici-

pants is the second crucial component, which requires meeting planners to pay attention to several issues, among which healthy eating and developing a balanced agenda considering both active participation and down time come to the fore. As for the focus on food, the phenomenon is already quite widespread, also in Poland. All you need to do is look at the packages of coffee and lunch breaks offered by hotels, conference centres, as well as catering companies. The proposed meals are increasingly dietetic and consist of healthy snacks prepared from natural products, numerous mousses and juices. Meeting organisers eagerly choose them because they provide participants with extra energy to act. Sports activities, such as yoga classes or even meditation, also help reduce stress and improve concentration and perception skills. Although still not as popular as healthy catering, they appear in the programmes of various events much more frequently than was the case only a few years ago. A good example is provided by the latest edition of the Frankfurt-based IMEX exhibition, whose organisers set up the so-called White Space Area, a special relaxation zone. Yoga and meditation classes were also available for everyone interested. The idea was that delegates, apart from participating in talks at stands, should also have time to relax and restore their strength, thus becoming more efficient in their professional tasks.

VENUE AND AGENDA The so-called event design is of course of utmost importance in the development of purposeful meetings. This concept encompasses both the preparation of the host venue and making sure the event’s agenda is optimally balanced (this particularly refers to content-packed meetings, such as training sessions, conferences, congresses, etc.). As for the former, psychology of space is intended to make invited guests feel natural and comfortable in the room where an event is staged. The immediate environment is essential due to its great impact on how guests will respond to messages targeted at them. Light, fresh air, pleasant sounds and aromas – these are the components that can be steered, thus influencing how participants will interpret the conveyed communication. The White Paper has the following message aimed

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INSPIRATIONS ghts and sounds activate emotions and thanks to them the whole event has a better chance of being remembered.

Photo: Fotolia

CSR AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES

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at meeting planners: “Instead of only thinking about event space and design in relation to room capacity, imagine designing the space with the performance of the people in mind”. Rooms with natural daylight work well here, which is worth remembering, as event managers often deliberately use blinds to ensure that impressive lighting plays the main role. Unfortunately, this is at the expense of much-reduced concentration on the part of the guests. Another mistake involves preparing an over-packed agenda. „Many organisers believe that a very busy schedule of educational sessions is an asset for participants. This is not necessarily the case. After several lectures people simply become tired, often hungry and their ability to focus declines radically. They will not be able to learn anything new”, explains Kelly Peacy, founder and CEO of Insight Event Strategy. Moreover,

biological determinants are responsible for the natural ebbs and flows of energy we experience throughout the day. That is why it is much better to start your meeting in the morning when everyone is rested. In addition, this is also the best time to present the most challenging content. In turn, afternoon sessions should focus on discussions and sharing ideas and experiences. Conversations enliven participants plus make it possible to absorb knowledge in a less formal but engrossing way. From this point of view, whenever possible, it is better to stage meetings for smaller groups – several dozen rather than a few hundred people – which guarantee much better interactions between participants. The breaks are obviously equally important, as they increase the ability to stay focused. The closing session can be heavier on multimedia, following the „big lights – big sound” motto. Li-

The last two components discussed by Janet Sperstad and Amanda Cecil in their Industry White Paper involve CSR activities and the application of ground-breaking technologies. If embedded in the agenda of events, activities exerting a positive impact on natural environment and supporting the local community can have a highly constructive influence on the attitudes of participants and the relations between them. This refers both to tangible support (e. g. the renovation of a local school) and initiatives aimed at reducing the negative impact of events, for example by introducing a policy of reducing energy consumption or food waste. “Our industry unites people so that they can cooperate with each other. Why, then, should not they use this opportunity to take initiatives helping make the world a better and friendlier place?”, asks Fiona Pelham, Managing Director at Positive Impact and Sustainable Events Ltd. New technologies also have a significant influence on attracting the guests’ attention and solidifying their engagement – both tools evoking the so-called “wow effect” and various types of applications making communication easier. Nevertheless, according to the „Purposeful Meetings” Industry White Paper, the discussion on technologies will need to change its focal point. Meeting organizers should pay less attention to discussions on equipment and its potential in favour of considering a deliberate way of its application. Randomness, which unfortunately continues to affect this field, is out of the question. The White Paper claims that technologies generate new interactions that would not otherwise happen, for example, by virtual attendance or providing ways for introverts and shy participants to virtually join the conversation or use applications to ask questions. In consequence, organisers are gaining an opportunity to engineer events, in which sharing views, ideas, and knowledge plus mutually driving each other’s creativity will all come to the fore. For the benefit of everyone.  Michał Kalarus


REPORT

WHAT HAVE RECENT MONTHS BROUGHT FOR THE MICE INDUSTRY?

The Poland Meetings Impact premiere was staged in March 2017 as part of the Meetings Week Poland, a cyclic event staged together by associations operating in the local meetings industry. The publication covered data from 2015 when the contribution of meetings and evens to Poland’s economy amounted to 25,911,301,000 PLN and 11,960,058,000 PLN of gross value added. On average the meetings and events lasted two days and were attended by 12,401,600 guests. They also contributed to maintaining 171,000 jobs. “The value of the meetings industry provides key information showing the sector’s significance for the country’s economy”, Krzysztof Celuch, head of the team working on the project, commented at its premiere. “The estimated share of the meetings industry in GDP amounts to approx. 1% and is comparable to the results of countries such as Denmark (1% of GDP) and Singapore (1.06% of GDP). This shows the huge potential in our relatively young sector”. Taking a closer look at the events, processes and trends we have been observing last year in the Polish meetings industry, it is hard to argue with this statement as 2017 should be generally viewed as successful. We asked members of THINK MICE Programme Council for its summary. Since they represent various segments of the sector, the opinions deal with the majority of areas that companies co-creating the Polish MICE industry are involved in.

Photo: THINK MICE

The growing maturity of the Polish meetings industry is evidenced by the 2017 publication of the Poland Meetings Impact report, the country’s very first (and eighth in the world) work intent on measuring the meetings sector’s contribution to national economy. However, by all means this was not the only reason why the Polish MICE branch can view last year as highly successful.

FIRSTLY, THE WHITE PAPER At the end of 2015 Stowarzyszenie Komunikacji Marketingowej SAR (Association of Marketing Communication) and Polskie Stowarzyszenie Menedżerów Logistyki i Zakupów (Polish Supply Management Leaders; PSML) initiated the Good Tender project, to which representatives of agencies operating in the area of broadly defined marketing communication were invited along with their customers, representatives of purchasing and marketing departments of firms and corporations from the most-advertised industries. After two years of talks mostly conducted in groups dedicated to particular marketing

categories (full service, digital, events, PR, commercial production, incentive travel, branding, media agencies), in November last year representatives of all entities involved in the discussed project signed the White Paper of the Marketing Communication Industry. It constitutes the first of nine chapters of a more comprehensive publication to contain a set of generalized guidelines and recommendations for bidding processes, based on the outcome of the work of all eight groups. It was announced that the following chapters would be published successively in the next months to come. Importantly, the chapter on events was released already in December as the team working

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REPORT out the recommendations for event bidding was among the first ones to finish. “Signing the White Paper was unquestionably last year’s most important event for me for at least two reasons”, says Agnieszka Sołtysiak, Partner, endorfina events. “First, due to the fact that it represents a step forward in setting up cooperation between purchasing departments and agencies. The second reason refers to the fact that the White Paper works marked the very first time that representatives of the event market joined forces this closely to take action on something not directly connected with their agency and niche. As an industry, we succeeded in adopting a broader view on the issue at hand. We were one of the most active groups, for which everyone meeting, discussing and negotiating on our behalf should be applauded”.

SECONDLY, COOPERATION

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Members of our Council brought up this topic several times, especially in the context of Klub Agencji Eventowych (Event Agency Club; KAE), a SAR-affiliated organisation associating Polish event agencies, and Stowarzyszenie Branży Eventowej (Events Industry Association; SBE), which brings together event agencies, suppliers and venues. “It is important that the associations binding us take up more and more initiatives together. This also shows our growth as an industry”, comments Agnieszka Sołtysiak. Żaneta Berus, Managing Partner with Ptak Warsaw Expo, also pointed out examples of initiatives that can confirm these words: cooperation on the organisation of the Event Biznes conference (although not the first such instance in the event’s history, the 2017 collaboration was closer than ever before) or KAE’s participation in the Christmas-themed SBE Elves meeting, held by SBE for many years and involving a collection of gifts for the needy. Andrzej Hulewicz, Vice President of the Board with Mazurkas Travel, also drew attention to the increasingly close cooperation between industry associations. “Indeed, this phenomenon has been observed for several years, with particular sector segments setting up a structured collaboration. In addition to KAE and SBE mentioned earlier, I am thinking here about associations such as Stowarzyszenie Or-

ganizatorów Incentive Travel (Incentive Travel Organisers Association; SOIT), SITE Poland or MPI Poland Chapter. In turn, particular companies seem to perceive cooperation as more beneficial than competition – they want to make the pie larger rather than fight for their slice”, sums up Hulewicz.

THIRDLY, SUCCESSES AND DEVELOPMENT Another motif to come up quite often in statements made by members of the THINK MICE Programme Council. “I subscribe both to Agnieszka’s remarks about the significance of the White Paper and the observation that recent months have been marked by a period of stability and cooperation”, says Bartosz Bieszyński, Managing Director, Walk Events, Chairman of the THINK MICE Programme Council. “Personally, I would like to draw everyone’s attention to the international aspect, the fact that the Polish meetings industry is getting involved in more and more projects also recognised abroad. In addition, foreign organisers are increasingly interested in visiting Poland”. The very same aspect was also brought up by Żaneta Berus. “To give an example from my own field of expertise, the Warsaw Home trade fair is slowly gaining the title of ‘Milan of Central-Eastern Europe”. Already today the percentage of foreign exhibitors equals 60%”, informs Berus. “Generally, trade fairs are going through a period of development and evolution. They stop being ‘archetypal” trade fairs and to an increasing degree combine the elements of events, conferences and galas”. Agnieszka Sołtysiak agrees with this thesis: “As event professionals we increasingly often come across companies that want to exhibit their offer in Poland and are looking for organisational support. In other words, the development of the trade fair industry also has a positive impact on our business”. Mariusz Nowak, CEO of Ministry of Creativity, also believes that the trend connected with the global presence of Polish companies is growing in prominence. “The track record of Polish agencies includes increasingly numerous international projects. The same is true, perhaps even more so, in the case of our suppliers, whose contributions are becoming hi-

ghly valued on the international arena. Polish companies are perceived as innovative, high-tech and digital. Finally, the competences and experience of Polish event professionals are also increasingly appreciated abroad as they find employment all over the world, from Ibiza to the Middle East”. Rafał Mrzygłocki, CEO of ARAM, could not agree more: “2017 marked ARAM’s evolution from a local company to a global project. We produced major events in several countries, including Russia, Scandinavia and USA. There is no doubt that alliance membership and international contacts make it possible to implement even the most challenging events in places and countries where we have not worked before”. While discussing last year’s high points the THINK MICE Programme Council members also mentioned the fact that Polish companies much more boldly and successfully take part in international industry competitions. For example, in 2017 the Walk Events agency received the main award of the EVENTEX competition in recognition of the VERVA Street Racing 2016 project commissioned by PKN Orlen. The undertaking also had no equals in the “Best Sporting Event” category. In addition to EVENTEX last year also saw Polish companies making their presence felt in the Bea World competition. The list of nominees included VES and Anix Event for the Panattoni Europe 2016 gala (category “Use of Technology; customer – Panattoni Europe), Walk Events and PKN Orlen for VERVA Street Racing 2016 (category “Sport Event”; customer – PKN Orlen; third place winner) and CREATIVE PRO Poland for Bombay Sapphire – The Grand Journey (category “Product/Service Launch; customer – Bacardi Martini Poland). Panattoni Europe 2016 also made its way to the final round of The Event Technology Awards in the category “Best Use of Projection Mapping”.

FOURTHLY, HOW THEY SEE US AND WHAT IS BEING SAID ABOUT US The international situation and opinions about Poland as a country are the two aspects brought up by Andrzej Hulewicz: “I am highly concerned about what is going in our co-


Photo: SAR/KAE

REPORT

untry and abroad. Let us hope this will not have a larger impact on our industry, highly sensitive to all political events and social and economic changes. As for Poland’s international reputation, I am afraid to say it is not particularly good at the moment”.

FIFTHLY, THE ONE HOTEL-RELATED FLY IN THE OINTMENT Poland’s hotel sector is now in the prosperity phase, with a continued boom for new hotel investments and growth in the RevPAR performance metric that is one the best results in the whole of Europe. Unfortunately, it turns out that this situation is not necessarily reflected in a corresponding approach to the meetings industry. “The hotel sector grew in strength, but perhaps for this reason it also became highly hermetic”, comments Mariusz Nowak. “Its representatives can hardly be described as open to dialogue or negotiations. Quite often they treat us with exceptional suspicion, while hurtful stereotypes about us are also not uncommon. All this when as an industry we are gaining increasing recognition!”. It turns out that agencies are not the only ones complaining about difficult relation with the hotel industry. Customers, that, after all, most often represent major corporations, also

belong to this group. This point was brought to attention by Renata Taberska, Marketing Manager, TUiR Warta. On the other hand, changes for the better can be seen as regards the availability of other event-friendly venues in Poland. “2017 saw the launch of numerous new and noteworthy event spaces”, confirms Taberska.

SIXTHLY, NEW REGULATIONS At the end of November the Polish parliament passed new regulations on the operations of the tourism industry. We are referring to the act on tourism events and related services, which introduces into the Polish legal system the regulations of Directive (EU) 2015/2302 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015. The new regulations will come into force on 1 July 2018. “This is an exceptionally important issue”, comments Leszek Skibiński, President of the Board, TSO Group. “On the one hand, the new act will bring many positive changes. Most of all, I am talking here about the principle of the equal treatment of companies. Up to now, some companies were subject to provisions regulating the operations of the tourism sector, while others were not, even though the profile of their services was identical. The new re-

gulations are intended to change this state of things. Unfortunately, their entry into force also carries with it a considerable risk related to the liberalization of rules allowing customers to withdraw from contracts they have already signed”, adds Skibiński. According to him, incentive agencies already find the currently binding act problematic. “The proposed changes can have disastrous consequences”, predicts Skibiński. The act on tourism events is not the only new solution that Polish companies should get ready for in 2018. Important changes are also connected with the introduction of the Polish equivalent of the Standard Audit File for Tax and new regulations on the protection of personal data. The latter result from changes made in the EU law. In April 2016 the European Parliament and the European Council approved the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR; the Polish acronym RODO stands for Rozporządzenie Ogólne o Ochronie Danych Osobowych), which will come into force in May 2018.

SEVENTHLY, LESS EQUALS MORE Piotr Jaworowicz, Acting Director of Advertising and Promotion Office, PKN ORLEN S. A., discussed yet another trend that appeared in 2017. “It was brought to my attention when listening to various debates and conferences (e. g. Event Biznes, meetings staged by MeetingPlanner. pl or the “Certified Event Manger” conference). Several years ago the spectacular character of events was what counted for event organisers – the visual side of events received a lot of attention, with special emphasis on technology, effects and multimedia. Comments made by experts in 2017 pointed out a different direction, encouraging the creation of a unique character, a specific and exceptional ambience of events, which is not synonymous with their spectacularity. Sometimes, it is even the opposite – an excess of visual effects is avoided not to overwhelm the participants and distract their attention from the meeting’s essence. Many event professionals now spotlight relations between participants rather than try influencing them with the help of scenery”.  Maria Krzos

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REPORT

TRENDS 2018 – CONTENT, PRODUCT, MOTIVATION, IMPACT

The Celuch Consulting company operates in the field of research and cooperation in building education of the future. We help organisations, institutions and companies, especially in reference to the meetings industry (event marketing). We specialize in the meetings sector, event marketing and event management. Our scientific research, training sessions and speeches are all based on expertise in the area of economy, business psychology, sociology, marketing and cultural studies. Below you will find the Trendy 2018. Wiedza, Produkt, Motywacja, Wpływ (Trends 2018 – Knowledge, Product, Motivation, Impact) report, which covers 10 trends to watch for in the next twelve months. The document is a result of the analyses of forecasts and reports of various industries, market observation, as well as participation in conferences and congresses both dedicated directly to the meetings industry and to other fields influencing it. Staying up-to-date with trends makes it possible not only to have a better understanding of the industry but, predominantly, to develop your business offer and conduct your operations so that they gain a competitive advantage. The analysis of global tendencies in the meetings industry shows that the following ten phenomena will be key in 2018:  Relation between experience and location  Transparent meeting budgets  New strategies of associations  Business and leisure  The need to make an impact  Focus on participants

Photo: Fotolia

When talking about the future we should always keep in mind that what is current today, tomorrow might turn out to be a fad or stop being trendy altogether. This is the reason why in the twenty-first century it is so difficult to determine courses of action and the frequency of writing and developing strategic documents has changed considerably. The planning horizons became shorter, while the market and its participants are interested in “here and now” activities.

 Change of tools and working style

 Increased investments in four—and five-

star, unique venues

 “Why” is the key question

 Convergence of the actions of public

organisations and private companies. Relation between experience and location is connected with two aspects – building engagement and, consequently, experiences combined with engaging local communities. The key is to involve the participants of a given project as much as possible, allowing authentic experiences to transform them into heroes, explorers or trackers. From a global perspective we are observing a trend of directing attention towards increasingly popular countries, regions and settings that offer certain experiences connected with the target host destination. This phenomenon

is also evident among local residents, who embrace the opportunity to act as hosts and help in the planning process. An example might involve preparing a meal in an ancient temple deep inside a forest. Together with the local community participants cook and share traditional dishes. There are two dimensions to the discussed scenario: learning more about the local culture and supporting its people. The experiences must be helpful and reasonable in solving the issues faced by communities. Meeting participants want to play an active part in the life of their hosts. In addition to taking part in a meeting, this trend allows visitors to explore the local culture and challenges plus become involved in activities intended to solve the latter. The overall experience effectively transforms ordinary tourists or businessmen into “heroes”. The goal is for them to bring back the hero’s energy to everyday life, professional

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REPORT activity and interpersonal relations. It is worth nothing that the experience must be genuine. A possible scenario involves participating in a special cooking lesson hosted not by professional chefs, but rather immigrants, who have found a way to share their culture and start anew in Spain, Italy or Germany. Transparent meeting budgets concern everyone working on a given project – suppliers, planners, organisers, etc. All of them are obliged to optimize the budget, which eventually brings long-term benefits for the involved parties. The current economic situation and market maturity inspires cooperation based on partnership principles and an open attitude in negotiations and financial arrangements. When working on the budget of meetings, the partnership between suppliers, planners and meeting organisers is also growing in significance. Only their joint efforts can result in customer satisfaction and the successful completion of a project. In 2018 this will be crucial for ensuring that meeting participants will be offered the very best experiences compliant with the policy of a given company. It is sometimes remarkably difficult to combine the choice of the right suppliers with the company’s character and limitations resulting from the nature of its business. Open talks, joint budget planning and transparency are, however, a visible trend that is approaching increasingly quickly. The so-called open book management

has become fashionable among some agencies which are using it build their image. New strategies of associations result from the fact that the organisations in question face a difficult challenge, a consequence of the increasingly prominent tendency to view joining associations as nonessential. On the one hand, they are undergoing a consolidation, while on the other they are forced to expand their offer to keep current members and attract new ones. In other words, they have to take an open approach to new initiatives and activities, which certainly include all kinds of events. Business and leisure, or the so-called bleisure, marks a decisive comeback of combining business trips with recreation, also connected with the optimization of costs and time. Organisers should prepare an offer of extending the stay of delegates or outright host their meetings in venues included on lists of must-see or must-visit highlights. The need to make an impact – the development of events will place emphasis on the significance of results and the willingness to make an impact and a change. A mutual goal and the eagerness to accomplish it connect people, who want to become a part of the solution, and not only discussion. It is another phenomenon that should be linked with corporate social responsibility.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Fot. Materiały prasowe

KRZYSZTOF CELUCH is a speaker, a trainer, a business consultant, an academic lecturer and an entrepreneur. He specialises in the meetings industry, event marketing and event management. Head of the Poland Convention Bureau until July 2017, Krzysztof gained professional experience by working in convention bureaus, being involved in international associations and organisations, as well as by conducting scientific research. As a lecturer he cooperates with, i.a. San Diego State University, Skema Business School, Warsaw School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (part of the Vistula Group of Universities), University of Warsaw, and the Mikołaj Kopernik University in Toruń. He is an author of articles and books dedicated to the meetings industry, reports and research projects, including Poland Meetings Impact (The Economic Impact of Poland’s Meetings Industry), the first report of this type in Poland (and eighth in the world). A keynote speaker at scientific and industry congresses, business conferences and kick-off meetings, he also holds international training certifications (MPI Global Training, Sustainability in Tourism, Certificate Incentive Specialist, EventCanvas). Finally, Krzysztof has been distinguished by numerous international awards and distinctions, i.a. MPI Rise Award Young Professional Achievement 2009/2010, CIC Young Pacesetter Award 2012, the honorary distinction “For contributions to tourism”, “Meeting Architects: 40 Under 40”. A graduate of tourism and recreation from the Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw and doktor in humanities (political sciences) from the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies of University of Warsaw.

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Focus on participants, the quality of their experience and boosting their satisfaction is connected with the need to build their engagement. The simultaneous reduction of the duration of meetings and raising the budget allocated to one event guest is intended to intensify his experiences and further affect the already clearly perceptible need to meet. The change of tools and working style mostly stems from the growth of new technologies and their impact both on the process of developing a meeting and its implementation aimed at building the abovementioned engagement. This signifies a change in the formula of meetings and, at an operational level, the need for event production teams to adjust to the new reality and expectations. More than once this will pose a major challenge. Increased investments in four – and five-star, unique venues announce a growth of the number of upscale and upper upscale hotels and their more distinct counterparts. However, the increase in the supply of such places does not signify reduced prices. On the contrary, an increase in hotel costs is expected along with a modification of the mode of cooperation with corporate customers and event organizers, departing from packaged services replaced by individual negotiations. „Why” is the key question is a yet another trend to have direct ties with the engagement of customers. The key here is the answer that an organiser will give to a potential participant asking „why”. The most important task involves being aware of the goals of all parties engaged in a meeting, followed by creating optimal conditions and finding appropriate resources to achieve these objectives. Convergence of the actions of public organisations and private companies is predominantly connected with the pursuit of the budget optimisation discussed above. However, it also signifies the need to redefine the existing joint offer. The organizers of international meetings expect varied programmes and services whose offer influences the choice of a target destination.  Krzysztof Celuch


THINK MICE Special Edition magazine / January - March 2018  

THINK MICE is a magazine dedicated to the Polish and international meetings industry (MICE – meetings, incentives, conferences, events) and...

THINK MICE Special Edition magazine / January - March 2018  

THINK MICE is a magazine dedicated to the Polish and international meetings industry (MICE – meetings, incentives, conferences, events) and...

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