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PCB survey: Digital Technologies in the MICE Industry - Filip Dřímalka

PCB survey this week for the last time - we asked our members and partners about their opinion on the new digital technologies. Today, we bring you answers by Filip Dřímalka, Digital Innovations Specialist, EF1 marketing & management.

In the last weeks, Klaus Pilz, Regional Director, Vienna House Czech Republic, and Martin Valter, ICT Specialist at C-IN company, answered three questions stated below. The last respondent of our survey is Filip Dřímalka, Digital Innovations Specialist at EF1 marketing & management.

  1. What new technology or app has recently caught your attention and why?
  2. Do you use some of the new technology in your field? What is your client’s response to this?
  3. In your field, have you noticed any significant trend, and what do you expect to be the "in" technology in the next few years?

 

One of the most interesting recent technologies, which is still waiting for massive spreading, is virtual reality and the apps linked with it. A connection of a smartphone and special glasses is able to provide users with extremely realistic and powerful experience. Beside this, I am very interested in so called chatbots. Chatbots allows clients communicate automatically with users using a chat. The technology has enormous potential to change the way, how people search for information or communicate with online services.

We use new technologies constantly and teach our clients, how they themselves can benefit from them. The feedback is very positive, because these new apps are able to simplify work amazingly and bring new opportunities to all areas of business – from marketing, logistics to customer care.

The trends are quite clear, according to me – to simplify and automate processes and everything related to users’ activities, innovate and develop new products and services. Other trends are to connect the online and offline world, create partnerships between traditional companies and startups using digital services and also to implement new technologies into every part of company. And the last two:specialized services for the generation of millennials and the smartphones they use are on the meteoric rise.

Mexican students visited Prague Convention Bureau

We welcomed a group of students of hospitality management together with their professors from Universidad Panamericana in Prague Convention Bureau on Thursday, September 15.

Prague Convention Bureau had a great opportunity to present its activities and also Prague as an ideal MICE destinations to the six students and two professors from the Mexican Universidad Panamericana. Besides Prague Convention Bureau, students also visited the University of Economics in Prague, Mexican Embassy in Prague and Prague City Tourism during their two days stay. PCB was represented by Tzveta Morawski Kambourova.

PCB survey: Digital Technologies in the MICE Industry - Martin Valter

PCB survey continues - we asked our members and partners about their opinion on the new digital technologies. Today, we bring you answers by Martin Valter from C-IN company.

Last week, Klaus Pilz, Regional Director, Vienna House Czech Republic answered three questions stated below. Today, you can find out the opinion of Martin Valter, ICT Specialist at C-IN company, on the new digital technologies in the meeting industry.

  1. What new technology or app has recently caught your attention and why?
  2. Do you use some of the new technology in your field? What is your client’s response to this?
  3. In your field, have you noticed any significant trend, and what do you expect to be the "in" technology in the next few years?

 

Matchmaking – networking became a significant part of conference attendance. A new feature in this field is matchmaking. Based on information gathered from various sources (incl. social networks) the delegate profile providing a wider context is created. Based on this profile the search for relevant contacts is simple and efficient. Due to the fact that networking is being mentioned as one of the top 3 reasons to attend a conference, such tools will surely be in demand in the future.

Self-operated kiosks to print badges and certificates. A delegate attending the conference doesn’t need to present any printed confirmations at the registration desk in order to pick up the badge. This will be all done by a smartphone. A kiosk can read the barcode/QR code from the smartphone display to identify the delegate in the database and print his badge and all relevant vouchers automatically. The client response is very positive as the delegate is checked in within seconds with minimal room for any error, and the registration area as well as staff can be significantly reduced.

Due to the development of legislation in the field of delegate support by (medical) industry, we are seeking for new ways of industry presentation to conference participants. One of the options is changing the way we are looking at the conference mobile apps. Rather than having a short life cycle conference app, we should provide an application to be used for a much longer period of time, as a source of information and also a communication platform in a specific scientific field.

Is Prague ready for the ICCA Congress?

How is the capital city ready for the congress of the International Congress and Convention Association – it was the key topic of the next business discussion breakfast by COT media publishing house. The breakfast was held on Tuesday September 13, at the Prague Boats’s Grand Bohemia boat. Roman Muška, Managing Director at Prague Convention Bureau, accepted the invitation to join the key speakers.

Prague will be the host city of the 56th ICCA Congress at the end of 2017. Guests and speakers from the meetings industry discussed how the preparations for the event are progressing and what the plans are for the upcoming months. Speakers included: Nora Dolanská, Prague City Tourism; Roman Muška, Prague Convention Bureau; Zdeněk Giormani, Czech Convention Bureau; Hynek Špinar, Čedok; Petr Veselý, Prague Congress Centre; Miroslav Bukva, Clarion Congress Hotel and Martin Lehký, Senator Travel. You can look forward to the report from this event in the COT business magazine soon.

PCB survey: Digital Technologies in the MICE Industry - Klaus Pilz

Nowadays, the digital technologies surround us literally at every step. No wonder, that they hit also the MICE industry. AV technology brings a new dimension to the event management, information is spreading at nearly the speed of light, and every minute there is a new mobile app developed. Those are the reasons why we approached our members and partners and asked them how they and their customers perceive new digital technologies. You can look forward to their answers also in the next two weeks!

We asked our members and partners following three questions:

  1. What new technology or app has recently caught your attention and why?
  2. Do you use some of the new technology in your field? What is your client’s response to this?
  3. In your field, have you noticed any significant trend, and what do you expect to be the "in" technology in the next few years?

 

The first respondent is Klaus Pilz, Regional Director, Vienna House Czech Republic (Diplomat, angelo, andel's)

 

As I travel a lot, I often use the “Around Me” app, which identifies my position and means I can, for example, easily find the nearest ATM, shop or doctor.


We want to make our guests feel at home so we are launching technological innovations to our hotels. We were one of the first to offer high-speed WiFi connections for free. We have a fully interactive website where visitors can find reviews and a transparent price comparison to assure them that booking with us is the best value. Another technological feature is the mobile concierge service. Guests can read newspapers or magazines in various languages, order a wake-up call, a taxi, and room service or contact our reception via chat. We are planning further innovations such as a mobile check-in and check-out. A slightly different, but increasingly popular technological innovation is charging stations for e-cars, installed directly in our garages. We are the largest hotel network on the domestic market that offers this service to our guests and for free.


Technology is the driving force and it is difficult to predict how it will develop. It is important to follow and use trends effectively. For example, I was surprised by the recent meteoric rise of the PokemonGo app. We are now waiting to see what will happen with it in the future or if it is just a fad. Nevertheless, we should now start to think if and how we can use it in the domestic hospitality business.

Prague all set to host 340 important MICE buyers

With just three weeks to go until M&I Forum Europe Autumn comes to Prague, we’re looking ahead to one of the year’s most important MICE events.

Beginning on Monday 26th September, the Forum will welcome 340 fully hosted MICE buyers to the Czech capital to meet with hotels, groups, DMCs and CVBs from across the world. Through a detailed programme of prescheduled 1-2-1 meetings, relationship building activities and exquisite dinners, delegates will build vital new connections and experience the best that Prague has to offer.

Delegates will be hosted at The Hilton Prague, which has been named the Best Hotel in the Czech Republic for six consecutive years. Influential buyers will experience the hotel’s meeting and event facilities first-hand, while also enjoying evenings at Lobkowicz Palace, Žofín Palace, and Forum Karlín.

This is a fantastic opportunity for Prague to demonstrate some of its most prestigious MICE facilities to the industry’s most important buyers. Previous host destinations have profited more than €60 million in additional revenue as a result of hosting an M&I Forum, and Prague CVB have worked with a number of local suppliers, including AIM Group International, to reap future rewards for the entire city.

Prague Convention Bureau attended ECM Summer School in Zagreb

PCB participated in the jubilee 30th edition of the European Cities Marketing Summer School, which took place between 27th and 31st August 2016, in Zagreb, Croatia. PCB was represented by Barbora Skálová and Hana Krejbichová.

ECM Summer School offers students great opportunity to meet the professional leaders in meeting industry and gain knowledge and skills for a successful career. Each participant receives a certificate of program completion and also the credits to acquire CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) certification.

Destination marketing and promotion, work with the event search tools , social media, data mining or association as well as corporate RFPs (Request for Proposal) processing  were discussed during the Summer School. Students had an opportunity to try to create and present a bid for a client, including a program of a site inspection. ECM Summer School participants also visited many venues suitable to host different types of events. Prague Convention Bureau attended the site inspections of the Esplanade hotel, Forum Zagreb Congress Centre or Dverce Palace (Palača Dverce). Besides the inspections, students also tasted local cuisine in the Okrugljak restaurant and enjoyed a gala dinner in the Mimara Museum.

Barbora Skálová is a new Corporate Meetings & Incentives Coordinator at PCB

Bára has been working at Prague Convention Bureau since the beginning of 2016 when she joined the company as an intern. Now she takes care about corporate meetings and incentives as a Corporate Meetings & Incentives Coordinator.

During her studies, Bára had the opportunity to complete an internship in a foreign representative of the CzechTourism agency in the UK and in Prague City Tourism where she attended professional tour guide courses. Bára also worked as an administrator of the European Union projects at the Technical University of Liberec. Currently, Bára is also completing her Master's degree in travel trade at the University of Economics, Prague. 

HelmsBriscoe European Leadership Meeting in Prague

Prague Convention Bureau had an exclusive opportunity to host European Leadership Meeting of the largest global purchaser in the meetings and event industry - HelmsBriscoe. The meeting took place on July 4-6 in Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel Prague, and PCB and its members had an opportunity to showcase the city during the event.

Among other things, attendees experienced two incentive programs in Old Town and Prague Castle, workshop in Kampa Museum, dinner on the river Vltava, visited several Prague hotels and venues. All participants belong to HelmsBriscoe's President's Club, which means their annual booking volume for meetings exceed $1 million USD per year. Their clients include Estee Lauder, Oracle, Amazon, Lego and other companies. HelmsBriscoe has over 1,200 associates globally in 55 countries and did 42,000 programs with $1.8 billion in estimated hotel spend just last year.

Project Manager of this event was Martina Fundaro, who acquired this meeting through her involvement with association Meeting Professionals International. We would like to thank all the participants and PCB members involved in this meeting - Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel Prague, AIM Group International, Maxin PRAGUE, Ovation Czech Republic, InterContinental Prague, Lobkowicz Palace, Prague Boats and Hilton Prague Hotel.

Prague Introduces Mobile App for Meeting Planners

Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with C.O.T. media publishing house and with the support of Prague City Tourism launched a mobile app to help meeting planners explore Prague congress opportunities. “Prague Meeting Planners’ Guide” app is available for smartphones with Android, iOS and Windows Phone operating systems free of charge.

Those interested can download the “Prague Meeting Planners’ Guide” in app stores from the second half of June. Mobile app is intended especially for meeting planners seeking the right venue and services providers for their event in Prague. Basic information about the capital, various types of conference venues, an overview of hotels and restaurants, professional conference organizers (PCOs) and destination management companies (DMC) as well as providers of other related services can be found via the app.

“Mobile app complements the existing printed version of Prague Meeting Planners’ Guide and destination presentation, which we update regularly and their digital versions are available for download on our website. The key benefit of the app is that all the information is easily accessible and always at hand. The app also allows to filter the data according to various criteria, such as venue capacity or type,” said Roman Muška, Managing Director at Prague Convention Bureau.

The owners of Android based smartphones can download the app in English here. iOS version is available on this link and Windows Phone here.

 

reSITE 2016 offered ideas about how to plan a 21st century city prepared for migration

Last week, Prague hosted the 5th annual international conference titled “reSITE 2016: Cities in Migration.” The conference registered a record 844 visitors from 23 countries, including 77 representatives of Czech and foreign media.

The chairman and founder of reSITE, Martin Barry, began the conference by asking two questions: "Where are you from?" and "Where are you going?" Barry explained how these questions can evoke deep and fundamental issues of urban migration for each of us. "Cities must plan their future, not drift there. As residents we want to imagine where we want to be in 20 years, we can be anywhere, and cities must understand how to plan the ideal cultural and business and built environment. Planning and design is essential." He emphasized the importance of a strong vision and smart urban planning for the next generation. The biggest stars gave lectures, like Professor Saskia Sassen; the director of NYC planning, Carl Weibsrod; the architecture critic, Michael Kimmelman; and architects Martin Rein-Cano and Mimi Hoang, who intermingled their emphasis on the needs of the people, communities, migrants, refugees and new residents in their concept of urban development, housing and public space. The Prague Institute of Planning and Development presented the ongoing Metropolitan Plan for Prague, and hundreds of people were involved in a giant board game to plan the ideal city, called “Play the City.”

This year, the audience reached reSITE’s broad target across sectors: 18% representatives of municipal governments, 17% people involved in the investment and real estate market, 11% were architects and urbanists, 14% were representatives of NGOs and universities, 17% students, 11% of media representatives and 12% other visitors. 

At this year's reSITE, the organizers decided to try an experiment – they organized a giant board game called “Play the City,” in which participants tried out different professional roles while planning a city. Game designer Ekim Tan from Amsterdam said that it was the first time she involved so many people in the game, which was played on 12 different massive game boards on the floor of the Forum Karlin venue.

Prague Convention Bureau was a partner of the conference.

The next conference will be held on 22 and 23 June 2017 in Prague.

Watch reSITE’s 5 years in 2 min video: https://vimeo.com/171455293
Check the photographs from the conference on FB: www.facebook.com/reSITEfestival
Twitter www.twitter.com/resite_
Find the photo gallery of speaker’s projects at: http://resite.cz/en/media/#gallery
Hi-res photographs from the conference are available at: http://bit.ly/reSITE2016_images

ICCA released ranking of the most popular cities and countries for association meetings

International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) publishes rankings of the most popular cities and countries for association meetings annualy in the first half of the year. In 2015, 123 association meetings were organized in Prague, which is an increase of 4,2 % compared to 2014. Thanks to this number of events, Prague was ranked 11th worldwide and 10th in the Europe.

The Czech Republic experienced a record – there was 154 meetings, which attracted more than 80,000 participants – the highest number in 10 years. The Czech Republic was ranked 25th.

The report is available for download here.

Prague Convention Bureau attended WEC 2016

Prague Convention Bureau attended WEC 2016 (World Education Congress) organised by MPI (Meeting Professionals International) in Atlantic City, New Jersey (USA).

The event hosted more than 2,000 meeting professionals from all around the world on 11th-14th June. During the congress, Prague Convention Bureau met with dozens of corporate and association planners at educational sessions, networking events and the Chapter Leaders Forum – an all-day event for MPI leaders from 60 countries.

Prague Convention Bureau was represented by Martina Fundaro who is currently also a Vice President of the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of MPI.

 

We Awarded Congress Ambassadors

Prague Convention Bureau for the seventh time in a row awarded the Congress Ambassadors for their contribution in the field of congress tourism. Ambassador Awards Evening ceremonial presentation, part of the Prague Convention Bureau’s Ambassador Program, took place on the premises of The Residence of the Mayor of Prague on 7th June. The event was held with the support of the City of Prague, represented by the Mayor - Mrs. Adriana Krnáčová, and the Ministry of Regional Development, represented by Minister Mrs. Karla Šlechtová. The gala evening was moderated by Veronika Paroulková.

The aim of the event is to award renowned Czech scientists, top experts, professors and doctors who represent the Czech Republic in international professional associations, actively lobby in favor of Prague and then participate in the preparatory work of scientific, program or organizing committees of international congresses held in Prague.

For 2015, following Ambassadors were awarded:

  • in the category “Congress of The Year 2015” - RNDr. Vladimír Čermák, DrSc., Institute of Geophysics of the CAS, for 26th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG 2015);
  • in the category “Congress of the Year 2015 - less than 500 attendants” - prof. MUDr. Julius Špičák, CSc., Head of the Hepatogastroenterology Department at the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague, for 16th International Celiac Disease Symposium (ICDS 2015);
  • in the category “Candidacy of the Year 2015” - doc. MUDr. Petra Tesařová, CSc., Oncology Clinic of the General University Hospital in Prague, and prof. Florian Lordick, MD, University Cancer Center Leipzig, for International Gastric Cancer Congress which will be held in 2019;
  • in the category “Corporate Event of the Year 2015” – Saint-Gobain 350th anniversary of the Saint-Gobain Czech Republic and Slovakia;
  • in the category “Long-term Contribution to Congress Tourism” - prof. MUDr. Vladimír Tesař, DrSc., MBA, FERA, FASN, Head of Department of Nephrology at the General University Hospital; in Prague and the 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague; 
  • special prize of the Prague Congress Centre - prof. MUDr. Jan Betka, DrSc. FCMA, Head of Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and Motol University Hospital, for 3rd Congress of European Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (ORL-HNS 2015).

 

Special prize of the Prague Congress Centre - from left: General Manager of Prague Congress Centre Mr. Petr Veselý, Mayor of Prague Mrs. Adriana Krnáčová, winner of the special prize prof. Jan Betka, President of Prague Convention Bureau's Board of Directors Mr. Sanjiv Suri and Czech Minister for Regional Development Mrs. Karla Šlechtová

An independent Committee, composed of key tourism, academic as well as public sector representatives, decided about the winners in each category. The invitation to the committee was accepted by: prof. MUDr. Tomáš Zima, DrSc., MBA, Rector of the Charles University in Prague; doc. Ing. Monika Palatková, Ph.D., General Manager at CzechTourism; PhDr. Nora Dolanská, MBA, General Director at Prague City Tourism; Ing. Marta Nováková, President at Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism; and Roman Muška, Managing Director at Prague Convention Bureau.

PCB Participated in the Roadshow in USA

Foreign representations of Prague Convention Bureau and CzechTourism in the USA in cooperation with the Hungarian National Tourist Office and Delta Airlines held between 16th and 19th May MICE Roadshow in four US cities - New York City, Washington D.C., Minneapolis and Chicago.

With the participation of PCB members and Hungarian suppliers networking events were organized, where the Czech Republic and Hungary were presented as ideal conference and incentive destinations. In total, attendees had the opportunity to meet with 140 clients from corporations, associations, incentive and meeting agencies.  In each destination, two drawing winners were handed prizes in the form of educational trips to Prague and Budapest, including airline tickets, donated by Delta Airlines.

Prague is the 10th in the Cvent ranking of meeting destinations

Cvent, an event management technology company, announced the results of its "Top 25 Meeting Destinations in Europe Middle East Africa" ranking. Prague has been ranked 10th, which is one position better than in the previous rating.

The first place went to London, followed by Barcelona and Amsterdam. For more information and complete ranking, please, visit the Cvent ranking page.

In the Europe region, Prague was ranked 11th. The first place went again to London, followed by Barcelona and Paris. The ranking is available here.

Prague is the 11th world’s most popular conference destination

Prague was ranked 11th in the worldwide rating of cities according to the number of association meetings held. The annual ranking is compiled by International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). In 2015, 123 association meetings were organized in Prague, which is an increase of 4,2 % compared to 2014.

The first place went to Berlin with 195 meetings. Paris, which was first in 2014, is second with 186 meetings and the third place went to Barcelona (180), followed by Vienna, London, Madrid, Singapore, Istanbul, Lisbon and Copenhagen. The first seven places are occupied by the same cities as in 2014, only the ranking is different. Many of the TOP 20 destinations saw a decline in number of the meetings suggesting more equal distribution of events among the other cities. Although the number of association meetings held in Prague grew, the city dropped from the 10th place in 2014 to the 11th in 2015. In total, ICCA registered a record number of international meetings. There were more than 12,000 of them.

You can find more information about the ICCA ranking here.

We organized a press trip for foreign journalists

Prague Convention Bureau together with our members and partners organized a three-day long press trip for four representatives of foreign media focusing on MICE segment from UK, France, Italy and Netherlands.

Between May 9 and May 11, the journalists had many opportunities to explore the beauties of Prague and visit many member hotels and historical venues. The participants could enjoy beer tasting, treasure hunt or mixing their own perfume during the incentive program. They also tasted some of the typical Czech dishes, as well as international cuisine. Prague Convention Bureau was represented by Hana Krejbichová.

We would like to thank all the participants for such a great press trip and also our members for organizing very enjoyable program for all of the journalists!

Inspection report obtained the title Absurdity of 2016!

Often controversial procedures of authorities, fines for system errors and the fact that the regulation does not replace or improve anything and causes additional unnecessary work. These are the reasons why the inspection report after five months since its implementation became Absurdity of the Year! General public voted for the winner in an online poll.

Absurdity of the Year, which is part of business competitions “Vodafone Company of the Year 2016” and the “Česká Spořitelna Entrepreneur of the Year 2016”, aims to highlight the unnecessary and often pointless administrative duties and regulations, which the authorities impose on businesses. Absurdity of the Year is not only a popular poll, but also an effective tool to reduce the administrative burdens. During its existence, the project contributed to the elimination of a number of unnecessary laws and decrees. Prague Convention Bureau is a partner of the project. 

 

PCB became a member of the Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism

Prague Convention Bureau became a member of the Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism. Through this collaboration, both organizations will focus on addressing current topics and promoting the common interests in the field of tourism.

“We believe that thanks to the cooperation we will be able to improve the promotion of our common professional interest in tourism and further building of the image of Prague as an ideal convention destination. We would also like to highlight the positive impact of the tourism on Czech social and economic sphere,” said Roman Muška, Managing Director of Prague Convention Bureau.

“We are very pleased that our membership base in the tourism sector has grown by another member, which is the Prague Convention Bureau. We believe, that our cooperation will be mutually beneficial and help to address current issues in the field of tourism and its financing,” said Marta Nováková, President of the Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism, who also added: “the Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism has long been aiming to establish a unified and strong partner for negotiations with the government in the field of tourism, defending the interests of various business entities in this area.”

PCB again represented Prague at IMEX fair

The 14th edition of IMEX fair took place in the second half of April in Frankfurt. Prague stand, organized by Prague City Tourism, welcomed more than 350 visitors from 19th to 21st April. Among them especially hosted buyers from USA, Germany, China, United Kingdom, Russia, India, Poland and Brasil.

The visitors of Prague stand had a chance to see the videos presenting our capital and also attended the destination presentations. Our representatives introduced Prague to seven groups of hosted buyers mainly from the hotel, media and event organizers industry. A large amount of MICE and leisure information brochures was ready for the visitors at the stand. Newly updated version of Prague Meetings Planners' Guide was also available. All the visitors also had an opportunity to win a typical Prague puzzle – hedgehog in a cage.

CzechTourism in cooperation with Prague City Tourism, Czech Convention Bureau and Prague Convention Bureau hold a networking cocktail for invited hosted buyers on Wednesday 20th April, where the winners of a raffle were announced. Participants could win four valuable prizes containing accommodation and associated services and gifts provided by the partners of the cocktail. The first prize, drawn by Nora Dolanská, CEO of Prague City Tourism, went to a representative of a German company. Other prizes, drawn by Zdeněk Giormani, Director of Czech Convention Bureau, and Roman Muška, Managing Director of Prague Convention Bureau, went to representatives of companies based in Russia, USA and Germany.

IMEX organizers also offered participants a large number of accompanying educational, networking, and even sports events. Prague Convention Bureau representative Barbora Hrubá attended IMEXrun, five kilometers long running race organized on Wednesday morning.

PCB organized a fam trip for buyers from Latin America

Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with CzechTourism organized a fam trip for 12 buyers from Mexico between April 13th and 18th. During the five-day program, participants had the opportunity to explore not only Prague but also Karlovy Vary.

The Prague program included visits to many member hotels, historical and modern venues suitable for meetings of any kind and the buyers also undertook other exciting activities. Our partners organized a ride in a historical tram and bus, tour boat on Vltava river with dinner, wine tasting, graffiti workshop at the Lennon Wall and concert in the Municipal House. Prague Convention Bureau was represented by Barbora Hrubá.

We would like to thank our partners involved in the fam trip as well as all the participants!

The fight against bureaucratic nonsense and administrative burden on businesses continues. Start voting on the absurdity of 2016!

Which unbelievable regulation or obligation becomes the Absurdity of 2016? This will be determined in a public online voting, which started on April 15.

You can vote online (website in Czech language version only) until April 30 here. Winning absurdity will be announced on May 4!

Absurdity of the Year, which is part of business competitions “Vodafone Company of the Year 2016” and the “Česká Spořitelna Entrepreneur if the Year 2016”, aims to highlight the unnecessary and often pointless administrative duties and regulations, which the authorities impose on businesses. Absurdity of the Year is not only a popular poll, but also an effective tool to reduce the administrative burdens. During its existence, the project contributed to the elimination of a number of unnecessary laws and decrees. This year again, any businessmen and various professional associations, unions and guilds nominated several tens of regulations which would deserve the attribute “absurd”. These are the top truly absurd seven.

 

Nominations for the 2016 Absurdity

Voluntary VAT registration as an administrative trap

While for some entrepreneurs it is mandatory to register for Value Added Tax (VAT), others may register voluntarily. In early 2015 this formality became as thrilling as a western movie. In the spirit of protecting the state budget from tax fraud, the officials require information that infringes personal rights of the applicants, such as a bank contract or a detailed business plan. In addition, the requirements are by no means standardized, which means that every tax office may require something else. Entrepreneurs, however, do not have many opportunities to defend themselves. The law does not specify which materials may be requested from the subject of voluntary registration by the financial authorities.

VAT Act No. 235/2004 Coll. (Amended from January 1, 2016)

 

Food health card: necessity or farce?

Adjustment Act no. 258/2000 Coll. includes the obligation to obtain a "food health card" that citizen receives after examination by a general practitioner. Examination consists of the fee payment and in the best case, at least a banal check-up. The card is then issued for an unlimited period and its further function is only to be submitted to the control authorities. It is for consideration, whether this obligation meets the expectations of this measure´s intent. A holder of the card with unlimited validity need not undergo any other medical examination for many years.

Act no. 258/200 Coll. §19 Art. 2

 

Refundable packaging as a state intervention in market relations

A typical example of inadequate state intervention in market relations and transferring their ecological interest to traders is the law on returnable and refundable packages. Vendors who operate stores over 200 square meters large and who sell beverages in other than refundable packages are required to offer the same beverages in returnable packages as well, if they are available on the market. The current trend is opposite, and if the vendors meet the law, they will have to do so at the cost of economic losses. The state defends this regulation as a measure of ecological education, but targets the wrong group. The sellers do not produce the bottles, and therefore cannot change anything. They are not responsible for the fact that the state does not set clear policy, and instead, by the means of regulations tries to shift the responsibility to others.

Act no. 477/2001 Coll. Packaging, § 9 (10)

 

Do you need to drive on a business trip? A regular driver's license is not enough

You paid for your driving school, passed the exams, and obtained a driving license. Do you think you have victory in your hands? The opposite is true. If you get a new employment, you will have to undergo a new training, again, for a charge. The obligation to participate in the driver´s training and to test their knowledge, resulting from the law 262/2006 Coll., §103 (Labour Code), applies to all employees who drive a vehicle. Why is this regulation absurd? For example, there are no other legal regulations, which would specify the content, the level of difficulty, and the methods of testing the training participants. It depends entirely on the employers, how they will test the participants´ knowledge, skills and experience. What is the purpose of this regulation, if there are no ways to verify its correct implementation?

Act no. 262/2006 Coll., §103, para. 2

 

VAT inspection reports as a new helper of bureaucracy

From 1 January 2016, all VAT payers (natural persons, who are quarterly payers, submit quarterly) must submit so called “inspection report” each month - a kind of "tax claim" that does not replace regular VAT declaration, neither a summary report. It can only be submitted electronically (via data mailbox), and those who do not deliver it, will be fined. What is the real effect of the inspection report, if it along with the VAT declaration both serve the same purpose and one cannot substitute the other? The Government has committed itself to fight against massive tax evasions, but concentrates on the smaller tax payers instead. This unnecessary bureaucracy complicates mostly the lives of small entrepreneurs and businesses, and certainly not the so-called carousel fraud perpetrators, who were supposed to be the target of the law amendment.

Act no. 360/2014 Coll., Amending Act no. 235/2004 Coll., On Value Added Tax, and other related laws. § 101c to § 101i of the VAT Act

 

Foreigner behind the steering wheel? You must prove your personal ties to the Czech Republic

Foreigners applying for a license in the Czech Republic must, according to the Act no. 361/2000 Coll., prove their habitual residence in the Czech Republic (i.e. their personal relationship to the Czech Republic). Personal relationships are to be, above all, understood as household sharing or family ties. The law does not specify this provision any further. It depends on the discretion of Czech officials, whether this condition shall be regarded as sufficiently proven or not. In connection with this law an application of Slovak national permanently living and working in the Czech Republic was rejected, because she did not sufficiently prove that she undoubtedly lived with her husband. The civil servant did not withdraw even after receiving confirmation of the woman´s employment from her employer, pension insurance records, and her marriage certificate.

Act no. 361/2000 Coll., On Road Traffic, § 2. h) and § 82 para. 1) point. d)

 

Inability of debtors to find out information about their claims

Effects against the debtor of the pledged receivables arise until he is notified by the bailor or they are documented by the bailee. However, under the § 1335 Para. 2 Act no. 89/2012, this does not apply if the parties mutually agreed a registration of the lien in the register of pledges. Although, the Index of pledges is not a public list, thus it may happen that the stalled claim against the debtor will come into effect even without the knowledge of the debtor.

Law no. 89/2012 Coll., Civil Code, § 1335, paragraph. 2

 

Prague Convention Bureau is a partner of the project.

ARCHITECTURE WILL BE AGAIN DISCUSSED IN PRAGUE

On June 16-17, 2016, for the fifth consecutive year, Prague will be hosting the largest concentration of the world’s top architects, urbanists, urban planners and landscape architects and economists at the reSITE 2016: Cities in Migration conference.

Visionaries, experts, mayors of major cities and representatives of outstanding civic initiatives will present innovative solutions and strategies for European and Western cities to come to terms successfully and painlessly with the influx of new residents. reSITE will, yet again, bridge the gap between experts and ordinary citizens. Tickets are already on sale, 10 % discount being available until April 30.

Prague Convention Bureau is a partner of the event. 

Registration: http://resite.cz/en/conference/.

NEW MARKETING & PR MANAGER AT PCB

Hana Krejbichová joined Prague Convention Bureau as a new Marketing & PR Manager in the middle of March. Her responsibilities will be among other PR and marketing communication with media and also general public via social sites.

Hana Krejbichová graduated from The University of Business in Prague, where she studied Management of the Tourism Industry. For the last three years, she worked in Grayling PR agency, taking care especially of IT and technology companies.

You can reach Hana by email at hana.krejbichova@pragueconvention.cz.

Digital trends in MICE were discussed in Prague

Together with our partners, we organized already fifth annual international educational seminar this week. More than 100 participants discussed the topic “Heading to the Top in MICE Digital Era”. Among the speakers was also Martin Sirk, CEO at ICCA. The event was hosted by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner at SoolNua.

Prof. Julius Špičák,MD, PhD, Head of the Hepatogastroenterology Department of the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague and former Chairman of the Czech Society of Gastroenterology, initiated the first part of the seminar titled “Best Practice – Comparing Prague to Other Destinations” with an introduction of key features of a successful congress. Michael Foreman then shed light on his Kindology concept. The end of the first block belonged to Martin Sirk who answered the participants' questions on Prague, digitals trends and congress tourism. Panel discussion was enriched by contributions of Barbora Vinšová, Events Management Director in local PCO GUARANT International, Hana Peregrinová, Head of Congress Operations in Kuoni Destination Management Prague and Petr Marhoul, General Manager of C-IN.

Padraic Gilligan took over the role of presenter in the second part of the program. By introducing ways how to effectively use social media for MICE promoting, he initiatedafternoon session titled “Digital Marketing and Social Media in MICE”. Next speeches, given by Filip Dřímalka and Zdeněk Havelka, focused on future digital innovations. Zdeněk Havelka than introduced his vision of tourism in 2025 from the perspective of so called data driven companies.

We would like to thank all the speakers and participants for the great atmosphere during the event. We look forward to next time!

Take Part in PCB International Educational Seminar

5th International Educational Seminar with the title "Heading to the Top in MICE Digital Era" organized by PCB will take place in Corinthia Hotel Prague on 16 March 2016. Domestic and international experts will share their experiences and perspectives with the participants in two sections: "Best Practice - Comparing Prague with Other Destinations" and "Digital Marketing and Social Media in MICE."

Registration and more information about the seminar available here.

Prague Convention Bureau Is Looking For New Colleague!

Prague Convention Bureau opened the position of Association Manager.

More information about this position is available here.

Prague Convention Bureau held an Educational Seminar for Congress Ambassadors

Next in the series of educational and networking breakfasts within the Prague Convention Bureau Ambassador Programme took place at the Clarion Congress Hotel Prague on Wednesday, 13th January, 2016. Patron of the Ambassador Programme Prof. MD. Julius Špičák, PhD, Head of the Hepatogastroenterology Department of

the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague shared his experience in organizing international congresses and conferences with more than 30 Czech scientists, doctors, and other experts.

Prof. Špičák began organizing international congresses and conferences in 1992. The first achievement was the organization of the European Gastroenterology Association workshop (ESGE) with the first ever live parallel video feed from several endoscopic operating rooms. The largest event he organized was the prestigious international medical congress UEGW 2004 (United European Gastroenterology Week), which attracted almost 10.000 delegates from 60 countries to Prague. Prof. Špičák was also the President of the Congress.

"I see a significant shift in terms of acquiring congresses to destination over the past 20 years. Previously, the acquisition and organization of the events were quite amateurish. Nowadays, there is a structure of convention companies and agencies providing professional logistics around each scientific community. To collaborate with a professional agency that guarantees not only a top quality presentation during the candidacy, but, subsequently, also the organization of the events on the professional level is absolutely essential.” says prof. Špičák, and he adds: "The key factors behind the successful candidacy are then the applicant's personality, credibility and reputation in the scientific community, and the applicant's professional achievements acknowledged by the community. The scientific content of the conference, renowned names of the keynote speakers, and last but not least, an attractive destination follow in the list."

 

The event primarily aims to motivate potential and existing ambassadors to candidate for international congresses to Prague and to encourage its participants in their efforts and activities.

With practical information regarding specific candidacy support contributed: Zdeněk Giormani, Director of the Czech Convention Bureau, and Roman Muška, Director of the Prague Convention Bureau. New trends in the congress organization and factors influencing the choice of destination were mentioned during the final discussion of participants and guests. 

Prague Convention Bureau Appointed New Director

Roman Muška is the Managing Director of Prague Convention Bureau from January 1, 2016. He replaces Lenka Jarošová who decided to terminate her engagement in the organization at the end of 2015. Roman Muška has been working in the MICE field since 1996, gaining extensive experience in tourism.

During his engagement in AIMS International and AIM Group International he worked in finance, sales and project management (PCO / DMC). He was the Country Manager of Prague branch of the AIM Group International in recent years. From 2013 he was a member, and from spring 2015 the first Vice President of the PCB Board of Directors.

Roman Muška assumes the position of Managing Director with the objective of meeting the PCB long-term strategic plans, such as attracting a larger number of international meetings in Prague, building a positive image of Prague as an attractive convention destination abroad, and last but not least, raise the awareness about congress industry and its economic and non-economic impact in the Czech Republic.

Prague Convention Bureau is looking for a new colleague!

Prague Convention Bureau opened the position of Marketing & PR Specialist.

More information about this position is available here.

ADVENT COCKTAIL FOR CONGRESS AMBASSADORS WAS SUCCESSFUL

Last week, on December 10th, Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with Prague Congress Centre acknowledged the congress ambassadors and partners for their support and cooperation in 2015 while organizing an advent gathering.

The event was held at the ZOOM restaurant and was attended by many important guests from not only academic sector. The official part of the evening was followed by the concert “MOZART Gala” with the soloists Adam Plachetka and Kateřina Kněžíková. The networking event with cultural program was appreciated by the ambassadors.

PCB was represented by Lenka Jarošová, Markéta Růtová and Tzveta Kambourova.

 

 

WE ORGANIZED EDUCATIONAL FAM TRIP FOR EUROPEAN BUYERS

Last week, from December 4th to 6th, Prague Convention Bureau organized educational FAM trip for 4 European Buyers. During these three intensive days, they had a great opportunity to experience Prague as a suitable congress destination for their future events.

The participants were accommodated at the Holiday Inn Prague Congress Centre hotel. The program included site inspections of partner hotels, venues, conference spaces and restaurants. Partner DMCs arranged incentive program which allowed them to enjoy, above many interesting activities, some Czech traditions and feel the atmosphere of advent Prague. Also, the participants took part in the workshop and networking dinner on the Bohemia Rhapsody boat operated by the Prague Boats company.

PCB was represented by Lenka Jarošová and Barbora Hrubá.

 

The City of Prague Declares Grants in the Field of Convention Tourism for 2016

On the basis of Prague City Council resolution no. 2932 of 1st December 2015, the grants (incentive support) in the field of congress tourism for 2016 has been announced. Grants are designated exclusively for supporting convention tourism within the City of Prague.

Grants may only be awarded for conventions of 700 or more attendees who are to spend at least two nights in Prague and 60% of whom are from abroad.

Detailed information regarding the announcement of grants can be found here.

Principles for grant procedures can be found here.

PERIOD FOR SUBMISSION OF APPLICATIONS:  1st – 11th JANUARY 2016

PCB Organized Press Trip for Foreign Journalists

From November 5th to 7th, 2015, Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with selected PCB members organized a press trip to Prague for two foreign journalists writing for selected media within MICE sector.

During their stay, the journalists visited a number of member hotels, historic and modern venues suitable for meetings of any kind, tasted some gourmet delicacies, and also got acquainted with Prague's potential for incentive groups. PCB was represented by Lucie Horáková.


We would like to thank all our partners who participated in organization of the press trip!

We attended the ICCA Congress in Buenos Aires

From November 1st till 4th, Prague Convention Bureau participated in the ICCA Congress in Buenos Aires. With the participation of nearly 800 delegates from 66 countries the congress was historically the most successful congress within American continent.

Education topics offered themes such as association biddings, ambassador program, hot topics for the PCO, planning strategies and trends in IT. Rich accompanying program aimed to introduce the Argentinean culture to the delegates.

Prague is preparing to host the 56th ICCA Congress in 2017. Next year, in Kuching, Malaysia, Prague will host the "Next destination lunch" and will be promoted throughout the whole congress.

PCB was represented by Dagmar Brožová, PCB´s BOD represented Martin Lehký, Martin Sekyra and Jiří Hollan.

Prague Strengthens Its Position in the International Congress Arena

Popularity of Prague as a congress destination across the world grows continuously. Congress destination number one in the Czech Republic attracts more interest in the international congress industry. This year, Prague has won its second annual Meeting Star award of the Slovenian Kongres Magazine, which focuses on topics of Central and South-eastern Europe congress tourism.

Prague strengthens its position within the region becoming the second most popular congress destination for the second year in a row.

The evaluation included 60 destinations across the region in total. With the score of 4.60 points Prague ranked just behind Istanbul. Istanbul confirmed its leadership for the second time, gaining 4.61 points. The third place went to Belgrade.

When evaluating the destination, multiple criteria such as the natural and cultural factors, general and transport infrastructure, tourism and congress infrastructure and marketing communication are taken into account. The current position of the destination in the ICCA world ranking and the list of cities ranked by quality of life published by Numbeo company are taken into consideration too.

According to the International Congress and Convention Association ICCA, Prague positions on the 10th place in the world comparison of congress destinations and the 9th position within Europe.

Meeting Star awards will be presented at the opening ceremony of the Conventa Trade Show in Ljubljana, Slovenia in January next year.

Roadshow in USA and Canada Is Successfully behind Us

Last week, Prague Convention Bureau and its members organized a Roadshow in USA and Canada.

Martina Fundaro from North American PCB office was joined by representatives of Corinthia Hotel Prague, Hilton Prague, La Bohéme, Prague Congress Centre and VI Hotels & Resorts, and together with CzechTourism organized events for meeting planners in Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas and Toronto. They met with 130 clients. In Dallas, Prague sponsored educational meeting of local Chapter of MPI (Meeting Professionals International). In Toronto the event was held together with Hungarian and Poland National Tourist Office, and both, Czech and Hungarian Ambassadors to Canada represented their countries there.

Top International Meeting Planners to Visit Prague for Meeting & Incentive Forum Europe Autumn 2016

More than 350 top international meeting and incentive professionals will gather in Prague, 26-30 September 2016, for M&I Forum Europe Autumn 2016. In partnership with the Prague Convention Bureau and a number of local DMCs, the four-day event will see fully hosted buyers hold over 4,000 meetings with event suppliers from across Europe and beyond.

The Forum will introduce some of Europe’s leading meeting and incentive professionals to new and undiscovered features of the Czech capital. While it retains a rich culture and history, Prague is also a modern and dynamic city, home to state-of-the-art, multifunctional event spaces, and new hotels.

“Prague hosted an M&I Forum back in 2009 and this is the perfect time for the event to return. Heritage and history remain an inseparable part of the city, but they’re now complemented by stunning modern venues, all with exceptional services. A dynamic city, we’re excited to show Prague in a new light. Our wonderful city is perfectly suited to both big events and smaller incentive groups, and I am sure the experience will open up new business opportunities and give attendees total confidence in the destination.” said Lenka Jarošová, Executive Director of Prague Convention Bureau. “Coming to this Forum is in my opinion a great opportunity to experience up close what we have to offer and, besides doing good business, have a huge amount of fun.”

M&I Forums are trade events held in the world’s leading meetings destinations. They offer business events suppliers the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with vetted, hand-selected buyers who have confirmed budgets to spend. The Forums provide a professional, effective and fun platform for business meetings and networking with these high quality buyers. They also allow top global meetings destinations to showcase their offerings, in order to grow their share of the international business events market. In 2016, Prague will join Dubai (UAE), Scottsdale, AZ (USA), Madrid (Spain), and Izmir (Turkey) in hosting M&I Forums to showcase their offering to a global audience of events professionals.

Commenting on the event in Prague, Richard Barnes, Managing Director of M&I Forums, added: “Prague has invested a vast amount in their meetings infrastructure in recent years, and there’s a new side to the Czech capital that’s waiting to be explored. It’s home to an array of new, groundbreaking hotels and venues which we’re excited to introduce our delegates to, opening their eyes to the opportunities this city has to offer in 2016.”

Since Prague last hosted an M&I Forum in 2009, the city has undergone substantial changes. The accommodation offering, especially 4 and 5* hotels, increased considerably, and the public transportation system has been modernized and widely extended to make the city and its meeting venues easily accessible to visitors. Prague is now home to many international innovative technology and science institutions, attracting experts and scholars from all over the world. In tandem with these infrastructure changes, Prague Convention Bureau has developed its services significantly, including an extensive program of incentive support granted by the city and Ambassador Programme for association events. In short, Prague is completely prepared to meet the demands of the very highest end of the meetings industry.

For more information about M&I Forum Europe Autumn 2016, or to take part in the event, please visit the M&I Forums website: http://mi-forums.com/.

 

PCB Ambassador Program intensifies its cooperation with the Academy of Sciences

Ambassador Program was created at the initiative of the Prague Convention Bureau and its members five years ago. It became the keystone of cooperation with the local community of congress ambassadors representing the Czech Republic in international expert associations, as well as the top representatives of local branches of

international companies, who have the opportunity to influence the choice of destination for future conferences organized by the associations and companies in favor of Prague.

Projects carrying the same name are established in many other convention bureaus around the world, demonstrating the importance of cooperation with the local scientific community, its active involvement and support. All these factors play very important roles not only when the candidacy is submitted and when the conference or congress takes place, but they also improve the overall image of the congress destination to increase its attractiveness and competitiveness.

Presentation held at the Academy of Sciences was an important milestone of this year's Ambassador Program activities. The purpose of the introductory seminar was to present specific resources of assistance the participants can use for their candidature to host an international event in Prague. "We were very pleased that the seminar was perceived so positively by the potential ambassadors. Following the PCB presentation, many of the participants are already in contact with the PCB team and considering the possibility of their active involvement in acquiring events for Prague. Judging from the very specific questions we are receiving and the interest shown by the participants, I believe this activity was targeted very well. Prague Convention Bureau opens the door to cooperation with new ambassadors from different fields and together we can strengthen the competitiveness of Prague especially for the future," says Lenka Jarošová, director of the Prague Convention Bureau.

The successful event will be followed by further activities of the similar nature to raise the Ambassador Program up to the national level, with the cooperation of the Czech Convention Bureau as well as the regional convention bureaux. Close cooperation with Moravia Convention Bureau within the framework of national project is a first example. The Moravia CVB actively seeks opportunities to raise awareness about the Ambassador Program within the region and supports involvement of local ambassadors.

Earlier this year Prague Convention Bureau honored Czech scientists, doctors and other professionals who contributed to the development of the local convention industry at the sixth "Ambassador Awards" annual gala evening. Their active engagement in organizing the international congresses in the city of Prague helps to promote the Czech science and research, the Ambassadors and the destination itself.

In addition to the gala evening, the Prague Convention Bureau organizes a number of other educational activities as a part of the Ambassador Program.  Awarded congress ambassadors can thus share their abundant experience in organizing international professional events with the potential ambassadors at the informal breakfasts. The ambassadors and their shared experience motivate their younger colleagues to become more involved in bringing the congresses and conferences into the destination. Informal luncheons with the Patrons of the Ambassador Program introduce a new topic to be discussed on each occasion to develop the Ambassador Program further. This year's luncheon with the Ambassadors will take place on 14th October and opens a question of how to further support partnerships and Prague competitiveness.

 

ICCA Central European Chapter Summer Meeting 2015

Prague Convention Bureau attended annual ICCA Central European Chapter Summer Meeting which was held from 26th to 28th August in Warsaw, Poland. Three-day program was organized by EXPO XXI in cooperation with Warsaw Convention Bureau and other local partners. Educational program took place in EXPO XXI, networking activities were

held throughout the whole Warsaw. Prague Convention Bureau was represented by Tzveta Kambourova.

New faces in PCB team

Prague Convention Bureau has recently welcomed 2 new colleagues in the team. Klára Petříková joined Prague Convention Bureau as Office Manager. Barbora Hrubá joined Prague Convention Bureau as Corporate Meetings & Incentives Manager. She will replace Ms. Barbora Vopěnková who worked in this position for almost 2 years.

Klára graduated from the University of Hradec Králové and since then she has been working in the field of tourism and hospitality. Last 7 years, she worked in Zátiší Group as Sales Manager and later as Club Manager. You can reach Klara at klara.petrikova@pragueconvention.cz

Barbora graduated from the University of Economics in Prague, majoring in Tourism and Regional Development. During her studies, she worked in GUARANT International as Executive Registration Coordinator and later in Prague Marriott Hotel as Event Executive. You can reach Barbora at barbora.hruba@pragueconvention.cz.

 

 

 

Prague Convention Bureau attended WEC 2015

Prague Convention Bureau attended WEC 2015 (World Education Congress) of MPI (Meeting Professionals International), which hosted nearly 3,000 attendees from all around the world from August 1 to August 4 in San Francisco.

During the congress, representative of PCB in North America met with dozens of meeting professionals during educational sessions, networking events as well as Chapter Leaders Forum – all day event for MPI leaders from 60 countries, in which this year for the first time as a member of the board of the Dallas Chapter had the opportunity to participate.

Prague Conveniton Bureau received Rising Star of the Year Award

On Thursday June 25, North American Representative of Prague Convention bureau Martina Fundaro received the Rising Star of the Year Award during the Awards of Excellence 2015 Gala Ceremony.

She became a part of the Board of Directors for the Meeting Professionals International Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter as a Director of Communication & Marketing. The Award is presented to a new member who exhibits a strong sense of initiative on behalf of the Chapter & meetings industry and shows promise as a future leader.

 

Registration for ibtm world 2015 (EIBTM Barcelona)

Registration for ibtm world 2015 (EIBTM Barcelona) has been opened on Prague City Tourism website. The trade show will take place in Barcelona, Spain from November 17 to 19, 2015.

ibtm world is the leading global event for the meetings, incentives, conferences, events and business travel industry, taking place in Barcelona. The event gathers over 15,000 meetings industry professionals for three days of focused business opportunities with over 3,000 Exhibitors from all over the world.  

 

  • Price per exhibition sector for PCB members:  82 640 CZK + VAT
  • Price per exhibition sector for non-members:  103 300 CZK + VAT
  • Price per shared exhibition sector for PCB members:  41 320 CZK + VAT
  • Price per shared exhibition sector for non-members: 51 650 CZK + VAT


More information including registration form is available HERE.

 

The trade show will be realized by the company Veletrhy Brno, a. s.

Please note that the number of exhibition sectors is limited. Candidates will be chosen on the „first come, first served“ basis.

The deadline to complete the online registration is 31. 8. 2015.

Prague Convention Bureau actively present on North American Market for 2 years

It has been two years since Prague Convention Bureau opened its first foreign office in North America, based in Dallas, Texas. PCB is now represented on the North American market by Martina Fundaro, who has previously worked as PCB Marketing & PR Manager.

The strategic move, whose principal aim was to strengthen PCB's position on the main source market, is already bearing fruit.

According to PCB statistics, the number of inquiries for Prague generated from the USA and Canada has increased significantly in the last two years, almost by 100% compared with the previous period. The number of events confirmed for Prague has grown by more than twofold.  The considerable growth of the confirmed events has been accompanied by an increase in numbers of generated room nights for the destination, and the number of the delegates has increased by more than by ninefold: from 1.000 to 9.5 thousand delegates.  Inquiries from the US and Canada have thus, compared with inquiries from other key PCB markets (Germany, UK, France and Benelux), accounted for 43% in the last two years. In comparison with all countries, it has been nearly one third of all requests generated, and requests confirmed.

Thanks to the foreign representation, PCB has succeeded in significant widening of the scale of its services for the market in the past two years. PCBs in cooperation with the Hungarian National Tourist Board, CzechTourism agency and its representation in New York and with PCB members organized a roadshow in four North-American cities: Dallas, Washington DC, Toronto and Chicago in 2013. In collaboration with the CzechTourism representation in Los Angeles, a roadshow in five American cities in California (Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco), and Arizona (Phoenix, Scottsdale) has taken place last year.  Among others, PCB has also visited HelmsBriscoe headquarters. Los Angeles, Houston, and Dallas are included in the PCB roadshow plans for future.

PCB has managed, in cooperation with Delta Airlines and Czech Airlines, to organize three fam trips to Prague for a total of 22 American clients during the same period.   The last of the fam trips to Prague has taken place after the IMEX trade fair, which was held in Frankfurt, Germany in May. PCB has also attended 8 fairs and congresses in the USA and it has organized 4 individual sales trips. Thanks to the activities of PCB on the North American market, we have successfully established contacts with nearly 600 new clients. Furthermore, PCB has joined a group of convention bureaus based in the Midwest, and together with them regularly organizes various activities for clients.

Martina Fundaro, PCB representative to the North American market, is constantly developing further marketing activities to increase visibility of Prague as a congress destination.  She was elected a member of the MPI (Meeting Professionals International) Board of Directors for 2015/2016 period in Dallas/Fort Worth, which with almost 700 members is the fifth largest chapter in the world. MPI with altogether more than 18,500 members in 62 countries is the largest meeting professionals’ association in the world. Martina Fundaro was as a representative of Prague Convention Bureau nominated for the "Rising Star of the Year" award of Dallas MPI chapter in 2014 and 2015 (prizes are awarded in late May every year; the results of the nominations have not been announced before the publication deadline.) Martina is also engaged in MPI D/FW Mentor Program, which develops professional mentoring activities within the convention industry in the region.

PRAGUE ATTRACTS CONGRESS TOURISTS AT THE PRESTIGIOUS EXHIBITION FOR INCENTIVE TRAVEL, MEETINGS AND EVENTS IMEX IN FRANKFURT

The 13th IMEX, one of the two significant European exhibitions focusing on MICE took place in Frankfurt, Germany from 19th to 21st May 2015. One of the hundreds of destinations competing for the attention of buyers and represented by 3500 exhibitors from over 150 countries was Prague with its own exposition.

Prague City Tourism and Prague Convention Bureau co-operated at their presentation aiming to acquire buyers for organising large prestigious events in the capital city, and to further improve Prague‘s current position in the global TOP 10 most popular MICE destinations. Within the accompanying programme Prague hosted a cocktail with a presentation of the City by the Prague City Tourism Director Nora Dolanská for its business partners on Wednesday 20th May. 

Prague demonstrated a very high level of all segments of the MICE industry at the exhibition. That was shown by 9 co-exhibitors – from hotels through various event organisers to conference venues – who were presented at the common Prague exposition: AIM Group International, Holiday Inn Prague Congress Centre, Hotel Yasmin, IntenContinental Prague, Le Hotels Group, Kongresové centrum Praha, Palác Žofín, Senator Meetings & Incentives a Vienna International Hotels & Resorts Czech Republic. Prague partners at the exhibition were AV Media and Zátiší Catering. 

Supporting MICE is one of the City of Prague´s priorities. The Municipal Council has been opening new grants to support association events in recent years. A new round of grant applications to support large conventions is in progress currently.

Photogallery of the IMEX Frankfurt 2015 can be found HERE.   

Congress Ambassadors Earn Prestigious Accolades

The sixth year of the Ambassador Awards Evening was held in Prague´s Žofín Palace on Wednesday 13 May 2015. During this gala evening, the Prague Convention Bureau awarded congress ambassadors who, aside from representing the Czech Republic in international professional associations, had successfully promoted Prague as a suitable venue for

international congresses and, in view of this, had greatly facilitated the development of the convention industry in Prague last year. This prestigious event was organized under the auspices of Karla Šlechtová, Minister of Regional Development, and Adriana Krnáčová, Mayor of the City of Prague.

 

The following ambassadors were awarded during the evening:

  • In the category of Corporate Event of the Year 2014: Mary Kay.
  • In the category of Congress of the Year 2014 (up to 500 participants): Štěpán Holub for the 52nd Annual Congress of the International Association of Young Lawyers.
  • The Award of the Prague Congress Centre went to Professor Vladimír Beneš, M.D. for the 15th Congress of the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies.
  • In the category of Candidacy of the Year 2014 (this award is made for nominating a successful candidate for the venue of a congress to be held in the following years): Bohumil Seifert, M.D., Ph.D. for the European Conference of the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians (WONCA) to be organized in Prague in 2017.
  • In the category of Congress of the Year 2014: Karolína Gondková for the 26th Congress of the European Association for International Education.
  • The Award for the Contribution to Congress Industry was presented to Professor Jan Starý, M.D., Head, Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, 2nd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and University Hospital Motol, and Professor Julius Špičák, M.D., Head, Department of Hepatogastroenterology, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague. 


President of the Prague Convention Bureau, Sanjiv Suri, said at the award giving ceremony: “We are extremely pleased to award a number of individuals who have facilitated the development of Prague´s convention industry. In addition to this prestigious event, there is another cause for pride. According to statistics revealed by the ICCA three days ago, Prague is the world´s tenth most popular congress destination, which is a tremendous achievement for the Czech Republic as well as our organization. We attained our goal one year ahead of plan. Now we will concentrate our efforts on ranking among the top five destinations worldwide by 2020. We believe that the organisation of conferences and trade fairs under the Ambassador Programme will be a gateway to even higher competitiveness of the entire Czech Republic. It is congresses and conventions that are the only key to success of Prague and the Czech Republic in the long term, in the years 2030/2040. We are currently working out a strategy of competitiveness in collaboration with all principal partners, seeking to implement it soon.”

Moreover, there were words of praise from Minister of Regional Development, Karla Šlechtová: “I must say that congress tourism is one of really substantial contributions to the total volume of tourism in this republic. Take last year, for instance, when convention events and, more importantly, convention attendees rose in number. In comparison with the 2013 figures, the increase in the number of convention tourists amounted to eight per cent, which represents a tremendous achievement.”

Prague is almost ideally suited for holding congresses due to its geographical position, traffic infrastructure, attractive cultural heritage, and an abundance of hotel and presentation facilities, from historical to modern ones, and as a consequence its convention industry has been recently experiencing a great boom. In the year 2014 alone, 3,667 conferences attended by almost 545,000 participants were held in Prague. In addition, Prague enjoyed considerable achievements in the field of convention tourism last year. The city strengthened its international market position and became the ninth most popular convention destination in Europe. Nevertheless, the greatest achievement is Prague´s successful candidacy to host the 56th Congress of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) in 2017, when over 1,200 most influential congress and convention organizers from anywhere in the world will arrive in the Czech capital.

The City of Prague Declares 2nd Round of Grants in the Field of Convention Tourism for 2015

On the basis of Prague City Council resolution no. 1066 of 12th May 2015, the 2nd round of grants (incentive support) in the field of congress tourism for 2015 has been announced. Grants are designated exclusively for supporting convention tourism within the City of Prague.

Detailed information regarding the announcement of grants can be found here.

Grants may only be awarded for conventions of 1 000 or more attendees who are to spend at least two nights in Prague and 50% of whom are from abroad.

Principles for grant procedures can be found here.

Deadline for applications is June 19, 2015.

PRAGUE RANKED AMONG TOP 10 WORLD CONGRESS DESTINATION!

Today, the international association ICCA released their first statistical report on international association conferences held in 2014. The published report has shown that last year Prague ranked as the 10th world congress destination!

With total number of 118 identified association congresses and conferences, Prague’s position has improved by one place compared to last year’s rankings.

ICCA Full Country and City rankings on the International Association Meetings in 2014 can be viewed here.

PRAGUE TO MAKE ITS DEBUT AT IMEX FRANKFURT, THE PRESTIGIOUS EXHIBITION FOR INCENTIVE AND CONVENTION TOURISM

Prague is set to attend IMEX in Frankfurt, one of Europe’s two major exhibitions focusing on incentive and convention tourism, which is to be held in Exhibition Hall 8 from Tuesday 19th to Thursday 21st May. This is the very first time that Prague will have its own exhibition stand at the show.

A result of cooperation between Prague City Tourism and Prague Convention Bureau, the stand will offer an opportunity to show their joint potential to another nine co-exhibitors involved in the convention tourism industry, from hotels and organizers of a wide variety of events to attractive conference venues. With its presentation at IMEX, Prague intends to strengthen its position among the premier European destinations for incentive and convention tourism, where the city is currently ranked in the top 10, along with attracting purchase managers seeking new venues for organizing their events.

A brand new catalogue, the Prague Meeting Planners’ Guide, prepared especially for buyers attending IMEX, provides event organizers with information on a variety of venues in summary form. The City of Prague is committed to attracting those interested in convention and incentive tourism with a broad spectrum of attractions: from a wide range of cultural activities, gourmet cuisine and active holidays in the city to events organized to mark the anniversary of the birth of Emperor Charles IV, who, aside from being one of the most influential sovereigns of the High Middle Ages, laid the foundation of the future growth and prosperity of Prague.  

The Prague exhibition opens on Tuesday 19 May at 9.45 am, when a ribbon-cutting ceremony, performed by Nora Dolanská, Director of Prague City Tourism, and Lenka Jarošová, Director of Prague Convention Bureau, is scheduled. As part of its accompanying programme, Prague will hold a cocktail party for its business partners on its stand on Wednesday 20 May at 5.30 pm. The City of Prague will be represented by Eliška Kaplicky Fuchsová, Chairwoman of the Culture, Heritage, Expositions, Tourism and Foreign Relations Committee of the Prague City Assembly. She will attend a special IMEX Politicians Forum on the theme of “How Do I Attract More Meetings and Events to My Destination?” on Tuesday 19 May, where over forty ministers, mayors and high-ranking government officials will discuss the contributions of convention and incentive tourism to enterprise and employment with acknowledged industry experts.

Prague will attend this exhibition to present itself as an attractive destination for not only individual travellers, but also convention and incentive tourism (or MICE, standing for Meetings – Incentives – Conventions/Congresses – Exhibitions/Events). As the Czech Statistical Office’s data indicate, 3,667 conferences attended by almost 545,000 participants were held in Prague in 2014. Lenka Jarošová, Director of Prague Convention Bureau, adds: ”According to the latest statistics produced by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Prague ranks ninth among European congress destinations and has defended its eleventh position worldwide. On average, participants in these meetings spend three times more money than regular tourists; however, international congresses and conferences, aside from delivering economic benefits, help the city build up reputation and create a positive image. Prague Convention Bureau pursues the goal of bringing Prague into the top ten congress venues worldwide and, by 2020, we would like to rank among the top five. IMEX is an ideal instrument for fulfilling our objectives: it provides a useful forum for networking and creating business opportunities as it is attended by almost 4,000 buyers demanding attractive destinations.” Prague rightfully ranks among top congress venues, as confirmed by the fact that it was selected to host the 56th congress of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) in 2017, when over 1,200 of the most influential congress and convention organizers from all over the world will arrive in the Czech capital. Prague’s candidacy as venue for this “congress of congresses” was prepared in close cooperation between Prague Convention Bureau and the Prague City Hall; Prague managed to defeat some tough rivals, such as St Petersburg, Russia, and Gdansk, Poland.

The 2014 statistics on incoming tourism in Prague show record figures: over six million tourists came to discover the beauty of the Czech capital. Says Nora Dolanská, Director of Prague City Tourism: ”Last year’s record was established by both individual travellers and congress tourists. Prague is near-ideally suited for holding congresses due to its geographical position, traffic infrastructure, attractive cultural heritage, and an abundance of hotel and presentation facilities, from historical to modern ones. Moreover, it offers foreign organizers and tourists reasonable prices and great value. It makes excellent business sense for Prague City Tourism to closely work with the Prague Convention Bureau in promoting convention tourism. Together, we would like to show in Frankfurt that Prague has much to offer, even in the fierce competition of  other European cities. The development of congress tourism, as a profitable and extremely fast growing sector, will, aside from generating revenues, create new jobs in Prague, especially in the service sector.”

The attractiveness of the Czech capital is appreciated not only by convention tourism experts but also by regular visitors. This year, Prague has defended its position among the top ten most attractive destinations worldwide, according to the world´s largest travel site, TripAdvisor. It took fifth place in the Travelers' Choice category, leaving behind Rome, London, Paris and other popular cities. As for this category, tourists themselves choose the best destinations according to their historical and cultural heritage and variety of services offered to visitors. The results reflect assessments of the cities by those who have visited them during the last 12 months. 

10th anniversary year of Vodafone Firma roku 2015 (Company of the Year) and Česká spořitelna Živnostník roku 2015 (Entrepreneur of the Year)

The two competitions Firma roku and Živnostník roku, which reward the best company and the best independent entrepreneur, respectively, are open to entrants from the whole Czech Republic. Companies classified as small and medium, with operations in the Czech Republic, at least two-year account history and annual sales under CZK 1.5 billion, and independent entrepreneurs who have been licensed for business in any way permitted by the applicable laws for a period of at least one year.

Register here by 31 May - it is free! Download the application forms from the competition websites www.firmaroku.cz and www.zivnostnikroku.cz or complete the online form.

Grab the chance to be featured among the most successful companies and entrepreneurs whose lives – and not just lives – were turned around by winning the competition! You can find the full terms and conditions for Firma roku here and for Živnostník roku here.

Prague Convention Bureau is a partner of the event.

 

New PCB’s Board of Directors has been elected!

The General Assembly of Prague Convention Bureau elected its new Board of Directors at their annual meeting at the Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel in Prague on April 14, 2015.

The Board of Directors will consist of the following members:

  • Jiří Hollan (Prague Congress Centre)
  • Martin Lehký (Senator Meeting & Incentives)
  • Petr Marhoul (C-IN)
  • Roman Muška (AIM Group International)
  • Sylvie Neves (Ovation Czech Republic)
  • Martin Sekyra (GUARANT International)
  • Michael Specking (Hotel Hilton Prague)
  • Sanjiv Suri (Zátiší Catering Group)
  • Martin Žídek (Art Nouveau Palace Hotel Prague)


The freshly elected PCB Revisory Committee will consist of three members:

  • Miroslav Bukva (Clarion Congress Hotel Prague)
  • Jan Kubinec (AV Media) and
  • Milan Švára (DesignHotel Elephant)


The President and two Vice-Presidents of the Board will be elected at the first BOD meeting, which will take place next week.

Growing influence of the generation Y sets new trends in congress industry

On Wednesday 18 March, Corinthia Prague Hotel hosted another international educational seminar organized by Prague Convention Bureau entitled “Keeping Pace in MICE: From Knowledge to Skills”. The seminar was attended by more than 120 MICE professionals who heard presentations of seven renowned foreign and Czech speakers.

The seminar, which is becoming an annual tradition, was held in Prague for the fourth time. This time it focused on Prague as a host city of the 56th ICCA Congress and the latest trends in the field of congress tourism.

The seminar was opened by prof. MUDr. Jana Hercogová, CSc., former president of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV), who had been awarded for her activities in the organization of international congresses and conferences, and is also one of the patrons of Prague Convention Bureau’s Ambassador Programme. In her presentation she focused primarily on the key factors that determine the selection of the host destination. Based on her long experience in organizing congresses she also defined the main conditions for successful events – most importantly an interesting topic and coordinated organizational team.

Miloš Milovanović from the company Gaining Edge spoke about growing importance of strategic partnerships in the congress industry in response to the changing needs and requirements of clients. Creating strategic alliances is one of the current trends in MICE which is crucial to a destination’s success in today’s highly competitive environment. He stressed, however, that the trend cannot be just blindly followed without knowing in advance what we want and how to achieve it. Successful cooperation that brings the desired results and helps to meet the specified objectives to all interested parties depends especially on the selection of suitable partners.

The former managing director of Prague Convention Bureau Lenka Žlebková presented the case study on Prague’s candidacy for the ICCA Congress in 2017. Prague submitted its candidacy for this congress twice, the second time successfully. She explained the reasons that resulted in Prague Convention Bureau’s decision to prepare a bid for this “Congress of Congresses” in cooperation with local entities and partners from among its members and public institutions, as well as the three pillars on which the presentation of Prague’s successful candidacy depended. She said Prague Convention Bureau’s main motivation was to raise the awareness about the importance of congress tourism and to increase visibility of Prague on the congress market. Prague’s bid was based on three pillars: inspiring topic, lots of networking and fun, and perfect infrastructure.

André Kaldenhoff, Executive Director of the Congress Center Leipzig, shared his experience with organizing the ICCA Congress in 2011. As in case of Prague, the increased visibility and stronger position of Leipzig on the congress map was the main motivation and benefit of the ICCA Congress candidacy and congress organizing. In addition to the benefits for the destination, he also mentioned challenges related to such commitment. The congress was attended by over 1000 delegates from around the world of different nationalities and religions. That resulted among other in the need to comply with many cultural and dietary requirements during the congress. Thorough preparation for an event of such size and significance is crucial for success of the congress.

Rob Davidson from MICE Knowledge, who also moderated the entire event, introduced the second part of the seminar focused on the latest trends in congress industry. He analysed the current economic situation with the growing importance of emerging destinations, especially the developing and Asian countries. In particular, he mentioned trends related to demographic changes and new technologies. He stressed out the growing influence of the generation Y. By 2025 the generation Y will represent 75 % of the world’s workforce, therefore it is necessary to adjust the destination strategies to fit the requirements, expectations, values and interests of this generation in the future.

Pierre Fernandez, Senior Director of European Operations at Meeting Professionals International, introduced results of the latest MPI research on the congress industry and its further development. The results indicated that the industry can expect recovery and increase in inquiries. Analysing the trends in event type revealed a significant growth of educational events presumably due to the companies’ greater investments into the human resources development. By his research he also supported the trends presented by Rob Davidson, especially the trend of using new technologies in event industry. In relation to the technological development he declared that despite the increase of number of hybrid meetings, the live meetings are not at risk of losing the attendees that are willing to travel to the congresses and conferences in person.

The seminar was concluded by presentation of Petr Bříza, a longtime ice hockey professional and the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Prague World Cup 2015. The topic of his presentation was Prague as a venue of large sports events and the specifics of their organization. Sports events are very popular and as well as large congress events they attract thousands of participants to the destination. Petr Bříza used the example of upcoming Ice Hockey World Championship in Prague and Ostrava in May to demonstrate the specifics of sports events organization.

Partners of the seminar were Czech Convention Bureau, Prague City Tourism, Prague Airport, Corinthia Hotel Prague and Artlingua, technological partner was Computer System Group. Media partners included following publications: C.O.T. Media, Event & Promotion, The Prague Post and E15 daily. The seminar was held under the auspices of the Prague City Councillor for Culture, Monument Care, Exhibitions and Tourism Mr. Jan Wolf.

Photogallery HERE.

PCB on the Board of Directors of MPI D/FW

Representative of Prague Convention Bureau in North America Martina Fundaro, was selected for the 2015-2016 Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter Board of Directors, as a Director of Communication and Marketing with terms beginning on July 1, 2015.

Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of MPI is with 700 members 5th largest Chapter in the world and is comprised of professional meeting planners from major corporations and associations, health, educational and governmental agencies as well as independent meeting and event planners not only in North Texas but also members that extend throughout North America.

Lenka Jarošová Appointed to Lead Prague Convention Bureau

Prague Convention Bureau is again headed by a woman. The organization’s new Executive Director is Lenka Jarošová.

Lenka Jarošová majored in Travel and Tourism Management at the University of Jan Amos Komensky in Prague. She has industry experience in Sales and MICE from her previous position of Corporate & MICE Sales Manager at Clarion Congress Hotel Prague. She also worked as Business Development Manager in the ZIBA project and Sales Manager at B&B Hotel Prague-City.

As Executive Director of Prague Convention Bureau, she will continue organisation's previous activities in order to improve and strengthen the position of Prague as a congress destination on the international market. Following current trends in congress industry, the new director would like to use her knowledge to efficiently promote the destination. She would also like to focus on active cooperation with local entities active in the field of leisure and congress tourism and public authorities, which she considers as crucial for further development of the congress industry.

Registration for the 4th International Educational Seminar opened

Prague Convention Bureau is organizing the 4th International Educational Seminar for MICE professionals which will take place at Corinthia Hotel Prague on 18th March, 2015. Topic of this year’s seminar is: “Keeping Pace in MICE – From Knowledge to Skills”.

Like in previous years, PCB invited a number of renowned foreign and local speakers. One of them, Rob Davidson, who will take on the role of moderator of the entire program, previously worked as a Senior Lecturer focusing on event management at the University of Greenwich. Today he works as an independent consultant in MICE.

André Kaldenhoff from the Congress Centre Leipzig will share his experience with organizing the ICCA Congress in 2011. Prague will host the ICCA Congress in 2017. Miloš Milovanović from GainingEdge will talk about the importance of strategic partnerships within the region in relation to the upcoming 2017 ICCA Congress. Other topics the seminar will deal with are e.g. destination selection in international associations, or utilization of social media in MICE.

Seminar is meant for representatives of convention bureaux, meeting & media professionals, representatives of local associations and public authorities, university professors and students in tourism field.

More information about the seminar and registration can be found here: www.pragueconvention.cz/seminar

Prague is the second best meeting destination in the region

Prague has again been ranked among the best meeting destinations in the region and won another Meetings Star Award for 2014. Prague already gained this award last year when it ranked first with a total of 4.64 points.

This year, it has gained the same number of points and ranked second out of 45 evaluated destinations. The best destination of 2014 is Istanbul, third place goes to Dubrovnik.

The Meetings Star Awards are presented annually by Slovenian Kongres Magazine which focuses on MICE in Central and South East Europe. When evaluating individual destinations the following criteria are taken into account: natural and cultural factors, general and transport infrastructure, tourist and meeting infrastructure and marketing buzz. The additional criterion that the editorial board of Kongres Magazine also took into account is the current ranking on the ICCA Country and City Ranking 2013 and Mercer's global scale of quality of life in individual capitals.

The winners were awarded at the welcome reception at 2015 Conventa trade show in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Wednesday 21 January, 2015. The award for Prague was taken over by a representative of GUARANT International who is a member of Prague Convention Bureau, the official convention bureau of the City of Prague.

PCB organized a press trip for Meet and TRaVeL MaG

From 13 to 15 January, 2015, Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with Prague City Tourism and selected PCB members organized an individual press trip to Prague for a representative of the French magazine MeeT and TRaVeL MaG.

During his stay, the journalist visited a number of conference hotels, historic and modern venues suitable for meetings of any kind and also got acquainted with Prague's potential for incentive groups.

In the destination special within its March issue, MeeT and TRaVeL MaG will focus on Prague as a congress destination including the novelties in the field of congress tourism.

PCB and PCT were represented by Lucie Rajdlová.

We would like to thank all our partners who participated in organization of the press trip!

PCB’s Selected Activities in 2015

This year, Prague Convention Bureau plans to organize tens of marketing activities both on the domestic and international markets. Great emphasis is placed especially on marketing support to PCB members and acquisition of association and corporate events to Prague.

PCB will continue to actively participate in international trade shows, where it will present Prague as an ideal congress destination, and in cooperation with its members organize FAM Trips, Press Trips and other networking and educational events.

In cooperation with Prague City Tourism and C.O.T. media, PCB will publish a new Prague MICE catalogue  Meeting Planner´s Guide (MPG) for 2015 and 2016 as well. The new form of MPG will correspond to Prague Convention Bureau’s new branding and visuals of Prague in order to maintain unified presentation of the destination. The complex catalogue of congress destination is one of necessary tools for acquiring meetings and for the development of congress and incentive tourism in Prague. Within the catalogue, all PCB members will get free media space for their presentations. In addition to free records, the member venues, meeting organizers and suppliers of congress services have a possibility to extend  their presentations at discounted prices. Non-members then can place an advertisement for standard prices.

This year’s novelty for PCB members, which arose from close cooperation between Prague Convention Bureau and Prague City Tourism, is the possibility of paid presentation at the new Prague stand within international trade shows IMEX Frankfurt and EIBTM (recently renamed to IBTM) Barcelona. From 2015 to 2017, Prague City Tourism will have its own exhibition at these trade shows which aims to present Prague as a congress destination. PCB members will have a possibility to exhibit at the new Prague stand at very favourable prices. Registration for the trade shows will open at PCT’s website within several days.

Prague Convention Bureau offers a new type of membership

Prague Convention Bureau has announced several significant changes in PCB’s marketing fees for next year aimed to its members. Based on the survey made among member and non-member subjects operating on Prague congress market, PCB has created a new type of membership – SILVER suitable for hotels, venues and restaurants with a smaller capacity.

For lack of interest, the Associated membership, which was intended only for providers of associated conference services, was cancelled for 2015. 

Another important change was the cancellation of the condition for chain hotel discounts where in the past at least one hotel had to be a Platinum member of PCB. Now this option is also open to the chain hotels that are interested only in Gold membership.

Along with these changes, the amount of marketing fees for the next year has been modified as follows:

Silver               40,000 CZK

Gold                 60,000 CZK

Platinum          90,000 CZK

(prices exclusive of VAT)
 
The price of membership fee remained 1,000 CZK.

New Platinum and Gold members will be offered a special 10% discount and new Silver members 5% discount on their marketing packages for early payment within 14 days.

 

Ambassador Cocktail and Concert

Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with Prague Congress Centre and partners organized the second Christmas meeting within the Ambassador Program which took place on 9th December in the restaurant ZOOM of Prague Congress Centre.

After the official part of the meeting the guests were invited to the BIZET GALA concert organized by the Prague Congress Centre and its partners.

The Academy of Sciences celebrates its 125th anniversary with a programme of events emphasising the relationship between science and the arts

2015 will mark 125 years since the Academy of Sciences was founded. To celebrate this historic occasion, the Academy has prepared a broad programme of events mapping its development and successes, and enabling the public to see Czech research from new perspectives. Academy of Science is a partner of PCB.

Video: 125 years of the Academy of Sciences

The celebrations will be launched at a ceremonial session of the Senate of the Parliament and at a festive soirée at the Convent of St Agnes of Bohemia in Prague with presenter Marek Eben.  Both events will take place, symbolically, on 23rd January, the very day on which Emperor Franz Josef’s Czech Academy for Sciences, Literature and the Arts was founded in 1890.

Science and art enthusiasts can look forward to unique exhibitions about the Academy and its work hosted by the National Technical Museum, the National Gallery, the National Museum, and the National Library of Technology, as well as by the Academy’s numerous independent research institutes across the country.

There will be a chance for the public to see modern technology in practice at a unique Sound and Light show at the Academy’s headquarters in March, while an original presentation on the harmony between science and the arts will enlighten guests at a Gala Dinner bringing the celebratory season to a close in the contemporary atmosphere of Prague’s new Forum Karlín.

 

For further information see www.avcr.cz.

 

PCB is looking for a new managing director

Prague Convention Bureau has opened the position of Managing Director.

Applications in English should be sent to: martin.lehky@pragueconvention.cz.

More information about this position is available here.

PCB attended EIBTM in Barcelona

From November 18th to 20th, PCB attended this year’s EIBTM in Barcelona where its representatives met more than 70 buyers and partners from around the world. This year, PCB team won the Marketing & PR Award for their promo activities within the fair. PCB was represented by Markéta Růtová and Tzveta Kambourova.

Dismissal of PCB’s Managing Director

Based on the decision of PCB’s Board of Directors, PCB’s managing director Mr. Aleš Hozdecký was dismissed during his trial period on Thursday November 13th. The tender for a new managing director will be announced during the following week.

Prague Convention Bureau Supports the Employment of Women

In the beginning of the year, Prague Convention Bureau became a partner of the expert job portal pracezeny.cz whose purpose is to help women find employment. The portal is operated by the company AGENDER s.r.o. who aims to improve the conditions of disadvantaged groups in the labour market, i.e. women with small children and people over 50 years.

Prague Convention Bureau has decided to actively support the project by advertising a job suitable especially for mothers with small children.

„I believe that this project makes sense, so we decided to set an example for other employers and offer a job to women interested in flexitime. We want to show them that it works. In Prague Convention Bureau, we have a good experience with this type of work arrangement. Our team consists mostly of women, half of whom are mothers with small children, so we know well their needs and try to accommodate them as much as we can. Working mothers must deal with certain limitations, but it does not mean that they are doing their work worse than other employees,” says Aleš Hozdecký, managing director of Prague Convention Bureau.  

The portal pracezeny.cz has recently published the results of a questionnaire survey focused on issues of women’s employment. The survey, in which almost 3,000 women participated, among others showed that 69 per cent of respondents need flexible work arrangement, i.e. part-time job, work from home or work sharing, so that they can balance work and family responsibilities. The biggest barrier to their return to work after parental leave is unsufficient support from the family and employer. Forty per cent of women with small children who are currently on a three-year parental leave also said they are willing to work, however, they are facing the lack of flexitime offers, as well as reluctance of the employer to hire them again. Twenty-five per cent of women with children under 6 years are facing the same obstacles, including a small number of state pre-school facilities and insufficient support from the family when going back to work.

Prague Convention Bureau for the first time presented the pracezeny.cz project this spring, during one of the regular meetings with its members. The founder of the portal pracezeny.cz and President of Business Leaders Forum Mrs. Petra Janíčková discussed with the present PCB members flexitime possibilities in the field of tourism, especially in the hotel industry. Within its cooperation with pracezeny.cz, Prague Convention Bureau will also support a nationwide educational project „INICIO For Women“ whose purpose is to help women in starting their own businesses. „We have asked this year’s winner Mrs. Michaela Horáčková to create souvenirs made of cardboard which will be used to promote Prague. We like the originality, processing, as well as ecological harmlessness of her products and we believe that they will be a great success,“ said Aleš Hozdecký from Prague Convention Bureau.

Prague Convention Bureau will also participate in the organization of the first festival „FOR ALL WOMEN“ organized by the company AGENDER s.r.o. The festival, whose mission above all is to inspire women to find their own life path, will take place in Prague in early March 2015 and it should be attended by about 500 women. One of the main speakers at the festival should be Mrs. Madeleine Albright.

Prague Convention Bureau is going to issue a new Meeting Planner’s Guide (MPG) for 2015 and 2016

In cooperation with Prague City Tourism and C.O.T. media, the Prague Convention Bureau is going to issue a new Meeting Planner’s Guide (MPG) for 2015 and 2016. The new look of the MPG reflects the new branding of the Prague Convention Bureau and visuals of Prague in order to maintain a uniform presentation of the destination.

The comprehensive catalogue of the congress destination is one of the essential tools for gaining congress and conference events and for the development of congress and incentive tourism in Prague.

Characteristics:

The catalogue is a presentation tool containing information on the possibilities in the field of Prague congress tourism. The catalogue lists all entities with a conference capacity over 100 pax, as well as event organisers and providers of supporting services.   

The catalogue will include information about Prague – its history, cultural monuments, the most important cultural events, transport information (including accessibility to the Czech Republic) and other essential information. It will also include a selection of accompanying incentive programs for conferences within 50 km from Prague. The catalogue will also include attractive images of Prague.

Congress facilities will be divided to Prague Convention Bureau member and non-member entities and also according to the characteristics of listed facilities (capacity of the facility, accommodation possibility, event organisers and entities providing supporting services). PCB’s Platinum and Gold members will have fullpage presentation, associated members ½ page presentation and non-members ¼ page presentation.   

In addition to free listing, congress and conference facilities, organisers and suppliers also have the possibility to order paid advertisements in the formats stated below, which will make their presentation even more attractive and eye-catching for readers. The advertising space will be a part of tablet and smartphone applications.

Electronic version of the catalogue:

The new MPG will be issued in English both in printed and electronic form which will be free to download on the Prague Convention Bureau website.

Interactive application:

Interactive application of the catalogue will be newly created and free to download for tablets and smartphones (iOS, Android, Windowsphone).

The web application will be an extension of the printed catalogue; free listings will include more photographs, floor plans, overview of all meeting rooms, interactive link to the location on the map of Prague, etc.

Format, circulation and language versions

  • NEW A5 FORMAT ring binding with replaceable pages, which enables flexibility of the content.
  • Printed version: initial circulation 1,000 copies
  • Language: English
  • E-catalogue: application for tablets and smartphones(iOS, Android, Windowsphone).


Distribution:

New MPG will be presented and distributed to clients within professional international trade fairs and other events, which the Prague Convention Bureau will participate in. Furthermore, it will be used within all candidacies for international congresses or conferences in which Prague will compete with other world destinations.

Pricing of advertising space:

For member entities of PCB

1/1 page 131 x 210 mm + 3 mm fallout (portrait)           CZK 20,000

1/2 page (119 x 90 mm (landscape)                                  CZK 10,000  

 

For non-member subjects

1/1 page 131 x 210 mm + 3 mm fallout (portrait)           CZK 38,000

1/2 page (119 x 90 mm (landscape)                                  CZK 19,000

 

The deadline for advertisements is 15.12.2014

Prices are quoted without VAT

 

Please, find more information here or contact directly Ms. Marta Zimmermannová,  C.O.T. media, s.r.o., via e-mail: marta.zimmermannova@cot.cz.

PCB at ICCA Congress 2014

From 1st to 5th November, Prague Convention Bureau attended the 53rd World Congress of the ICCA in Antalya, Turkey. This year congress was announced the most global ICCA Congress ever due to the attendance of more than 900 participants from 72 countries.

The congress was also interesting because of the election of new ICCA president Mrs. Nina Freysen-Pretorius - the first African president and only the third woman president in the association's 50-year history.

PCB was represented by Aleš Hozdecký a Rita Juklová.

CzechTourism FAM Trip Latin America

From 30 October to 4 November, CzechTourism and its Foreign Representation in Mexico in cooperation with Prague Convention Bureau organized a FAM Trip for 6 hosted buyers from Mexico and 1 from Argentine. In Prague, the guests visited 7 hotels and 3 venues, and together with 3 representatives of member DMCs they atended an event in a brewery and a tour of Prague Castle. PCB was represented by Barbora Vopěnková.

MINI ROADSHOW TEXAS

Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with the foreign representation of CzechTourism in Los Angeles attended receptions and mini trade shows in Texas on October 20th - 23rd.

„Travel Trade Shows" are held throughout the year all over the USA. PCB and CzechTourism attended their show in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston. During these 4 mini trade shows and networking receptions met approximately 200 buyers from among event organizers, tour operators and travel agencies. During the roadshow, they also visited the Honorary Consul General of the Czech Republic in West, Texas. PCB was represented by Martina Fundaro.

Prague Convention Bureau Organized a Press Trip for European MICE media

From 16th to 18th October, Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with Prague City Tourism and PCB´s members organized a press trip for 2 representatives of Travel Daily News International a Incentive Travel and Corporate Meetings. The journalists were accommodated at the andel´s Hotel Prague.

During their 3-day stay, they visited several hotels with conference facilities, historical and modern venues for hosting social events and tasted the Czech cuisine. PCB and PCT was represented by Lucie Rajdlová.

Based on this press trip, the journalists will write articles about Prague as a meeting destination. We would like to thank all partners participating in press trip for their cooperation!

PCB AT IMEX AMERICA 2014

From October 13th to 15th, Prague Convention Bureau attended the international fair IMEX America 2014 in Las Vegas. On Wednesday 15th October, PCB organized a press conference in order to inform about the new destination branding of Prague. PCB was represented by Barbora Vopěnková and Martina Fundaro.

Prague Has a Unified Destination Branding

Organizations representing the city of Prague in the field of tourism, Prague Convention Bureau and Prague Information Service – Prague City Tourism, agreed to use a unified visual style of the destination. Both organizations have recently established close cooperation aimed at, inter alia, unifying the presentation of Prague in its promotion, thus strengthening its position as a tourist and congress destination in the international field.

PCB followed up on the new brand and marketing visual style presented by PIS-PCT in autumn 2013 in order to strengthen the area of marketing, public relations and more strongly promote our capital city in terms of travel and tourism. The new visual style of the tourist destination Prague is therefore built on emotions, feelings and experiences of visitors. Clear, positive and internationally comprehensible solution is complemented by a promotional slogan „Pure emotion".

Prague Convention Bureau initiated a change in visual style of its presentations at the beginning of the year when it launched its new website. This was followed by a new form of PCB´s e-newsletters, all published under a new slogan: „Wow Prague InSpires". The new visual style also includes a new logo of Prague Convention Bureau which corresponds with the new slogan. In the near future, destination presentation will be modified as well and the unified style will be maintained in a new version of the popular catalogue of Prague suppliers in the field of congress industry, Meeting Planners Guide (MPG) for the years 2015/2016 which will be issued at the beginning of next year.

"Unification of visual styles of PCB and PIS-PCT proved to be a step in the right direction. The new look of PCB´s presentations – websites and newsletters – has met with success," says Lenka Žlebková, former managing director of PCB, under whose leadership Prague Convention Bureau launched new branding. "Moreover, Prague now speaks one voice abroad thus enhancing the communication. Whether it is leisure or congress tourism, it is always Prague, so it is necessary to broadcast the same message. The unified visual style of Prague is without question an important means of strengthening Prague's brand abroad. "

PCB's new visuals have also been complemented with another tool to promote congress Prague - destination video focused on the MICE segment called „Prague Makes You Shine" which has been presented this spring. The aim of the video is to show Prague as a dynamic destination ideal for organizing events of different types. It focuses on the city's strengths, such as good accessibility, a wide range of accommodation and conference facilities, excellent infrastructure, a long congressional history or academic background. Video is available for free on the organization's website.

Prague Belongs to Congresses

Prague congress season is in full swing. September is traditionally the busiest and most important month of the year when Prague is flooded with thousands of congress delegates. This year, the capital of the Czech Republic hosts a number of significant congresses in the field of medicine, science and research or education. The largest one,

the 26th Annual Conference of European Association for International Education (EAIE), will be attended by more than 5,000 delegates from all over the world.

This year, the congress season in Prague has started a little earlier than usual. Several major international events took place in the second half of August which, according to the statistics from previous years, is not a typical convention month. The season continued in early September when the 18th International Microscopy Congress was held; it was focused on research problems of atoms, molecules, nanostructures and cells using multidimensional microscopy. About 2,500 delegates had, among others, opportunity to attend specifically designed walk across Prague inspired by different microscopy applications in everyday life. The congress was organized by GUARANT International.

In mid-September, a thousand of criminologists from all over the world came to Prague to attend the 14th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology (ESC) and discuss organized crime or the development of crime in Central Europe after the fall of communism.

The ongoing four-day EAIE Conference organized by C-IN is focused on higher education, its stimulation, quality increase and implementing its principals in practice at the international level. One of the main speakers at the conference is Jan Muehlfeit, President of Europe Microsoft Corporation.

These events will be followed by Prague European Days of Internal Medicine (PEDIM), 22nd Congress of the European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery (EACMFS) focused on issues of serious facial defects surgery, or the 12th International Symposium on Concrete Roads. Last week in September there will be the 17th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Clinical Virology (ESCV) which will take place in Prague after long 19 years.

Congress season in the capital of Prague, however, will not end in September. The following month will offer other significant international events of larger format, such as the 11th European Conference of Non-Destructive Testing (ECNDT 2014) or the 15th European Congress of Neurosurgery (EANS 2014). At the end of October, Prague will host the 16th Biennial Meeting of the European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID 2014).

Prague Convention Bureau Organized a Lunch with Patrons of Ambassador Program

On Tuesday, September 9, Bellevue restaurant hosted an informal lunch for the Patrons of PCB’s Ambassador Program on “How to improve the competitiveness of Prague and the country through congresses and conferences”. The lunch was organized for the previously awarded congress ambassadors (patrons of the program) in order to open discussion on how to

motivate congress ambassadors to be more active within the congress industry and how the overall situation in Prague and the Czech Republic should develop to improve conditions for bidding for and organizing international congresses.

The meeting was attended by 11 ambassadors including the President of the Academy of Sciences Prof. Jiří Drahoš and Rector of Charles University Prof. Tomáš Zima.

PCB attended the ICCA Central European Chapter Summer Meeting

From 27th to 29th August 2014, PCB's representative Rita Juklová attended the Summer Meeting of the ICCA Central European Chapter in Belgrade, Serbia, organized mainly for the members of Central and Eastern Europe. Main theme of the program was "Strategic alliances and Advanced Models of Collaboration between regions".

The representatives of the faculty were eg. Christian Mutschlechner (Director of Vienna CB), Krzystof Celuch (Director of Poland CB) or Gordana Plamenac (Director of National Tourism Organization of Serbia) as well as representatives of several regional associations.

There were 64 delegates from 14 countries like eg. Germany, Austria, Poland or Slovenia participating.

The City of Prague Declares Grants in the Field of Convention Tourism for 2015

On the basis of Prague City Council resolution no. 2244 of 19th August 2014, the grants (incentive support) in the field of congress tourism for 2015 has been announced. Grants are solely intended for support of congress tourism in the capital city of Prague.

Grant can be only assigned to congresses with 1,200 or more delegates, at least 50% of them being from abroad, who spend minimum of 2 nights in Prague.

Detailed information regarding the announcement of grants can be found here.

Principles for grant procedures can be found here.

Deadline for applications is 1st October 2014.

 

Prague Convention Bureau organized a FAM Trip for US buyers

From 10 to 14 August, Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with Delta Air Lines organized a FAM Trip in Prague for 11 hosted buyers from USA. Within their stay, the guests visited 7 hotels and 6 venues and met 10 representatives of member hotels and 4 representatives of member DMCs. PCB was represented by Martina Fundaro and Barbora Vopěnková.

Prague Convention Bureau´s Statistics on Prague: Importance of smaller and shorter events is increasing

According to the statistical data provided by members of Prague Convention Bureau, from January to June 2014 Prague hosted 641 meetings. Compared with the same period of 2013, there is almost 50 % decrease in the number of meetings held in Prague. May was the busiest month of the first half of 2014 with the total number of 124 meetings (19.34%).

On the contrary, the lowest number of meetings was recorded in February – 67 (10.45%). In the same period of 2013, the busiest month was April with the total number of 633 meetings while January was the month with the lowest number of meetings (72).

Compared with the same period of last year, in the first half of 2014 the average length of meeting decreased from 1.94 days to 1.85 days. While June was the month with the shortest average length of meetings (1.72 days), the longest average length was recorded in May (2.10 days).

As well as in the same period of 2013, the highest number of meetings (473) held in the first half of the year belonged to the category of corporate conferences/ meetings (73.79%). Other meetings were the second most common type with the total of 105 meetings (16.38%). The lowest number of meetings (6) belonged to the category of exhibitions / trade fairs (0.93%).
Regarding the size of meetings, the most common were meetings with the attendance of 10 – 49 delegates (34.63%) that were followed by meetings with the attendance of 50 – 149 delegates (33.54%). Third were meetings with the attendance of 250 – 499 delegates (12.32%) which also dominated in the same period of 2013. Meetings with the highest number of participants - 1000 and more - were the least frequent. One-day meetings continue to be the largest group representing more than a half of meetings held in this period – a total of 357 events (55.69%). On the contrary, the meetings lasting 6 and more days represent the smallest group (1.87%). Therefore it is evident that the significance of smaller and shorter meetings is still increasing.

In the first half of the year, there was a significant increase in the number of meetings that took place in hotels (88.76%). On the contrary, the lowest number of meetings was held in congress and conference centres (2.96%), which was the second most frequent venue last year.

According to the classification by country of origin, the Czech Republic was the most important source country (61.62%), followed by Germany (7.33%), Great Britain (7%) and USA (5.77%).

Most events were organized in the field of IT and telecommunications (9.82%), trade (8.58%), pharmacy (8.26%) and economics (7.64%).

Aleš Hozdecký Appointed New Managing Director of Prague Convention Bureau

Aleš Hozdecký has been appointed new managing director of Prague Convention Bureau. Three out of the eighteen candidates who applied for the position were shortlisted for the second round which took place on Thursday 31 July. PCB’s Board of Directors then elected Aleš Hozdecký as the most suitable candidate.

Aleš Hozdecký has extensive experience in the tourism sector. Previously, for example, he worked as the Head of the Department of Tourism in Turnov, Chairman and Director of the Bohemian Paradise Association; he also participated in the management of the Association of Tourist Regions of the Czech Republic (ATUR). From August 2011 to March 2014, he was director of the Tourism Department of the Ministry of Regional Development.

Aleš Hozdecký will start his position with Prague Convention Bureau on 18 August, thus replacing current managing director Lenka Žlebková. She is leaving the association after four successful years when, due to Prague Convention Bureau's activities, Prague as the congress destination again strengthened its position in the international market. Her work in PCB has been crowned by Prague's successful candidacy for the ICCA Congress which will take place in 2017.

Lenka Žlebková continues to work in the field of tourism; from September she will start working in Hotel & Garden U Holubů in Čeladná, popular recreation area in the foothills of Beskydy Mountains, North Moravia, which has recently experienced a big boom and is especially famous for its surroundings and one of the most beautiful golf courses in the Czech Republic. Her decision to return to her native region was driven by the need to fulfil her dream of running her own business and spend more time with her family.

PCB FOR THE FIRST TIME AT MPI WEC 2014

On August 2-5, Martina Fundaro represented Prague Convention Bureau at more nearly 30 workshops, educational and networking sessions and social events during the World Education Congress 2014 in Minneapolis, USA, organized by Meeting Professionals International.

The congress was attended by more than 2000 meeting professionals from all over the world. PCB had a chance to meet dozens of meeting planners and other colleagues from meeting industry and will continue working on the opportunities and relationships that have been developed and new potential leads for Prague.

Prague Convention Bureau Attended Roadshow in USA

Prague Convention Bureau and CzechTourism concluded their first joint MICE & Leisure Roadshow in Western USA. From July 7 to July 14 they held 4 networking culinary events and workshops for meeting, incentive and event planners, tour operators and travel agents in Los Angeles, Orange County, Scottsdale and San Francisco, and ASTA Arizona Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

CzechTourism and Prague Conveniton Bureau presented Czech Republic and Prague as ideal convention, incentive and tourist destinations. Each culinary event was attended by approximately 50 meeting planners and travel agents, who not only saw in the presentation and destination video what the "Heart of Europe" offers for both leisure travel and meetings, but also had opportunity to meet with suppliers who came all the way from the Czech Republic - Dorado Tours, DZK Travel, Hilton Prague, Hotel Yasmin, La Bohéme DMC & Incoming Tour Operator and Parkhotel Praha. Attendees also tasted Czech food during the hosted reception; experienced wine tasting led by a Czech sommelier from Vino z Czech, and had a chance to win beautiful prizes including Becherovka, books about Prague and exciting stays in Prague.

Partners of the event were Arizona Culinary Institute, Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles, CzechInvest, Harvey Imports, Pilsner Urquell and Vino z Czech.

The number of accommodation establishments in Prague has increased!

According to the Czech Statistical Office who has recently updated its data thanks to its new methodology, Prague had 858 accommodation establishments with 42,664 rooms and 92,093 beds in 2013. The highest number of hotels in Prague belongs to the 3-star category (219). There are 205 hotels in 4-star category and 41 5-star hotels.

Czech Statistical Office also used a new methodology to update data for 2012. From now on, data can be compared from 2012 to the present.

Prague For First Time at The Meetings Show London

From 8th to 10th July, Prague Convention Bureau for the first time attended the international travel fair The Meetings Show in London, UK. The buyers were interested mainly in accessibility and connections to Prague, hotel infrastructure, conference capacities or services. Prague Convention Bureau was represented by Markéta Růtová.

PCB attended ICCA Research, Sales & Marketing Programme

From 2nd to 5th July, Prague Convention Bureau attended the ICCA Research, Sales & Marketing Programme which again took place in Amsterdam. ICCA RSMP is a gathering of professionals from the areas of research, sales and marketing taking place every year in various destinations. During this programme, professionals in

MICE industry have the possibility to openly discuss current trends and issues and acquire the newest information in this field. PCB was represented by Tzveta Kambourova.

PCB organized a FAM trip Europe

From 27 to 29 June, a FAM Trip for 7 hosted buyers from European countries took place in Prague. During their stay, the guests visited several member hotels and venues and met representatives of two member DMCs. PCB was represented by Markéta Růtová and Barbora Vopěnková.

PCB attended ICCA Sector Destination Marketing International Client / Supplier Business Workshop

From 26 to 28 June, PCB’s representative Dagmar Brožová is attending the International Workshop organized by the ICCA in Berlin, Germany. The ICCA Sector Destination Marketing Client/Supplier Business Workshop is a platform for representatives of destinations to meet and network with buyers and international associations.

Wow Prague InSpires Press Trip for European MICE Media

From 22 to 24 June, Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with Prague Information Service organized a Press Trip for representatives of European MICE. Prague Convention Bureau and Prague City Tourism was represented by Lucie Rajdlová.

The journalists were accommodated in newly refurbished Art Nouveau Palace Hotel Prague. Program included a guided walking tour through the city center provided by Prague City Tourism, a boat trip provided by Prague Venice and site inspections of several venues suitable to hold congresses, conferences or social events including newly opened venues such as Forum Karlín or Musée Grévin.

Prague Convention Bureau organized networking breakfast on “Why and how to get an international congress to Prague”

On Thursday 19th June, another educational and networking breakfast on “Why and how to bid for an international congress to Prague“, which was organized by Prague Convention Bureau within the Ambassador Programme, took place at InterContinental Prague Hotel. This time it was Prof. MUDr. Vladimír Tesař, MD., Head of the Department of Nephrology at

the 1st Medical Faculty of the Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, who shared his abundant experience in organizing international scientific congresses and conferences with the participants.

The event was organized in cooperation with the Czech Convention Bureau, with the support of Prague Airport, and held under the auspices of the Deputy Mayor of Prague Mr. Václav Novotný.

As a result of his activities in the field of Prague congress industry, Prof. MUDr. Vladimír Tesař, MD. has already been awarded many times at the Ambassador Awards Evenings that are organized annually by Prague Convention Bureau in order to appreciate the work of congress ambassadors. One of his major achievements was the successful organization of the 48th Congress of the European Renal Association and the European Association for Dialysis and Transplantation („ERA-EDTA“) which took place in Prague in 2011 and attracted more than 10,000 delegates from around the world. It was so far the largest convention in the history of the Prague Congress Centre.

„When bidding for a congress or conference, it is essential that the destination have not only a quality conference center, infrastructure and services at a very high level but, above all, the candidacy should be supported by an expert who has a good position within the international community in the field", said Prof.Vladimír Tesař. "If you are successful, it takes at least 10 years to establish contacts in the international sphere. Also, our way to the successful organization of ERA-EDTA Congress in 2011 was not easy and short".

According to him, it is important to have some historical continuity within the field and the subsequent transfer of an imaginary baton to successors, which is not always easy. In this regard, he pointed to prominent personalities of Czech nephrology, such as Prof. Jan Brod and Prof. Albert Válek, who were at that time the world renowned experts in their field. However, in this case the imaginary baton was not handed over and it was necessary to start building contacts again in the nineties.

"The way to obtaining great results in major international conferences goes through the successful hosting of minor events that will attract opinion leaders to the destination. They are essential for bringing the major event in the future“, says prof. Vladimír Tesař. „If the destination manages to organize the event successfully, the probability it will return to the same place after several years is high. It's a long haul! But there must be enthusiasm and energy for that", he adds.

The main purpose of the networking events held within PCB’s Ambassador Programme is to inform potential congress ambassadors about the importance of organizing international congresses for both their discipline and the destination itself, as well as the possibilities of support from the Prague Convention Bureau and Czech Convention Bureau. The aim of such events is to positively motivate these professionals to get actively involved in the work of international associations and make efforts to bring some of the world or European conventions within their industry to Prague.

PCB is looking for a new Managing Director

Prague Convention Bureau has opened the position of Managing Director.

Applications in English should be sent to: martin.lehky@pragueconvention.cz (deadline: 27th June, 2014).

More information about this position is available here.

 

 

The reSITE festival will offer dozens of positive and inspiring stories about cities, architecture and urbanism

Marginalised groups, unemployment, excessive traffic, little or conversely too much greenery, urban sprawl and a passive citizenry are among the problems that appear with near certainty in commissions for those who prepare land-use and strategic plans and which can be addressed by studies. On 19-20 June, the reSITE festival and professional conference, which will take place in the new spaces of Forum Karlín in Prague, will offer countless possibilities for addressing these phenomena.

The organisers have again managed to attract from around the world outstanding speakers who will share their experience not only at the conference, but also in the course of several concurrent workshops. Prague Convention Bureau is a partner of this event. 

The conference will again be supplemented with events for the general public. Not only Prague residents can look forward to exhibitions, a bike ride, lectures and the video-mapping of the creative Lunchmeat unit. Two exhibitions at the Forum Karlín festival centre will be focused on urban planning and the future of cities. An exhibition titled “Think City” will present specific examples of the transformation undergone by ten cities, such as Paris, Lagos, London, São Paula, Barcelona and Bilbao.  Another exhibition, “Who Creates the City?”, prepared by the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with the curators of the  Deutsches Architekturzentrum Berlin, will feature the winning urban-planning projects from the Weltstadt programme. More information on the festival and conference registration forms are available at www.resite.cz.

The programme of the reSITE conference was formulated to appeal not only to developers and investors, architects and designers, but also to representatives of municipalities – mayors and employees of building offices and development departments. How revitalised spaces can unite nearly an entire city will be the topic of a talk given by Benedetta Tagliabue, one of only a few globally successful architects, whose creation of the St. Catarina marketplace in Barcelona is considered to be iconic in terms of urban planning. A completely different formula for a prosperous and functioning city will be presented by Vladimír Ledecký, mayor of  Spišský Hrhov, which in an exemplary manner integrated the local Roma community into the revitalisation and management of property as well as social and cultural life in the city. Due to such positive results, people are moving to the city from outlying areas.

As has become tradition, reSITE will also feature global luminaries from the fields of architecture and urbanism, the most remarkable of whom indisputably include Adriann Geuze, co-founder of the West 8 studio, which is behind Amsterdam’s fascinating Borneo project consisting in a new city district on water. Many people are familiar with West 8 thanks also to the studio’s current project on Governors Island in New York, which will become a free nature park. Renowned architect Mark Johnson will deliver a lecture focusing on the revitalisation of another island, St. Patrick’s in Calgary.

The two-day conference, which is the first event of its kind to be held in the new spaces of Forum Karlín, will feature roughly thirty experienced and practicing experts who will present more than one hundred implemented projects and processes. “We know that there isn’t time for theory. Our objective is to ensure that the expected seven hundred conference participants will take away tangible results, solutions and experience for improving life in cities. Space will be made for this not only within the conference, but also during the accompanying programme,” says Martin Barry, founder and director of reSITE, which over the past three years has become Central Europe’s most prestigious event focused on planning, architecture, landscape architecture and environmental economics. 

 

Prague Convention Bureau attended AIBTM in Orlando, Florida

On June 10-12 Prague Convention Bureau attended AIBTM in Orlando, Florida. Prague Convention Bureau was represented by Martina Fundaro, who also served as ICCA Consultancy Expert at the International Consultancy Session with international meeting planners hosted by Martin Sirk on 10th June. During this event, Prague was announced as a winning destination for ICCA Congress in 2017.

“Have a taste of Czech Republic and Prague” - Road show in Western USA on July 7 – 14, 2014

North American Representation of Prague Convention Bureau and CzechTourism in Los Angeles are organizing their first joint MICE & Leisure Roadshow in Western USA including attendance at the Annual ASTA Arizona Conference. USA is consistently one of main source markets for tourism in Czech Republic and Prague and the Roadshow has the mission to bring more information about Czech Republic and introduce Czech suppliers to our local partners.

The Roadshow includes 5 workshops and networking culinary events for Meeting, Incentive and Event Planners, Tour Operators and Travel Agents in Los Angeles, CA (July 7th), Newport Beach, CA (July 8th), Scottsdale, AZ (July 10th), and San Francisco, CA (July 14th). The ASTA Arizona Conference is taking place on July 11th and 12th in Phoenix.

CzechTourism and Prague Convention Bureau`s main aim is to present Czech Republic and Prague as ideal convention, incentive and tourist destinations. During the events, meeting planners and travel agents will discover what new the “Heart of Europe” can offer for both leisure travel and meetings and events. They will also have opportunity to meet with suppliers from the Czech Republic during one-hour long workshop (Dorado Tours, DZK Travel, Hilton Prague, Hotel Yasmin, La Boheme Travel, Parkhotel Praha), and attend hosted reception with wine tasting led by a sommelier from the Czech Republic. It will be followed by drawing for exciting prizes.

Partners of the event are, Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles, Arizona Culinary Institute, Harvey Imports, Pilsner Urquell and Vino z Czech.

 

More information and registration:

Martina Fundaro
Prague Convention Bureau

Representation North America

Mobile: +1 469 475 4409

Email: martina.fundaro@pragueconvention.cz

 

Vojtech Kacerovsky
Director CzechTourism Los Angeles

Tel. + 1 714 382 6855

Email: kacerovsky@czechtourism.com

Current trends in the meeting industry

What are the current trends in MICE inquiries, where is Prague congress tourism heading, or will the current situation in Ukraine affect further development of congress tourism – not only these questions were answered by the members of Prague Convention Bureau who are active in the field of meeting industry.

„We wondered how leading experts in the congress field  see the current situation– whether they experienced any current trends or how they saw the year 2013 which, according to the statistics of Czech Statistical Office ,was not very successful “, explained Lenka Žlebková, Managing director of Prague Convention Bureau

PCB therefore asked its members to answer the following questions, based on their experience:

  1. What trends in MICE inquiries did you observe in the course of the last year?
  2. In 2013, Prague congress tourism saw a significant decrease in the number of events as well as number of delegates. How did you perceive the year 2013?
  3. In your opinion, how will Prague congress tourism develop this year?
  4. Do you think the current situation in Ukraine (attitude of Europe, Russia, USA) will have a negative impact on the development of this industry?

Aleš Pejsar, Director of Sales and Marketing, C-IN

  1. Last year we experienced an increase in demand for our services both from international associations as well as private companies. There is no reason to doubt that the upcoming years are going to be very strong for the MICE sector. Among other events, the company C-IN was chosen to act as the local partner for the 53rd European Renal Association – European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA-EDTA) Congress in Vienna in 2016. With an attendance higher than 10 thousand delegates, the event ranks among the largest conventions in Europe. As for the corporate clients, we had the great opportunity to be accosted by several interesting clients. To give an example, we organized the 10th Clearstream CEE Summit for the company Clearstram from the financial sector in Budapest.
  2. The report 2013 Country & City Rankings of the International Congress and Conference Association ICCA has revealed that Prague congress tourism increased last year. According to the statistics, there were 121 congress events held in Prague in 2013, which means an increase by 9 events compared to 2012. Prague thus became the 11th world's congress destination and 10th European congress city in 2013 and continued to rise in the rankings. Accordingly, the company C-IN experienced an overall increase in the number of events.
  3. In C-IN we are positive that this year’s congress tourism will top both 2012 and 2013. Our interim results indicate a marked annual increase in the overall number of events. In 2014, we have been organizing dozens of interesting events. Among others, we will organize two large international congresses, the International Congress of Midwives ICM Triennal Congress Prague 2014 for no less than 3 thousand delegates and the 26th Annual Conference of the European Association for International Education (EAIE) for at least 5 thousand attendees.
  4. Events in Ukraine are not likely to have a negative impact on the congress industry. Congress and conference venues are decided a long time ahead, usually several years, before the events actually take place. It may happen that some of the pre-arranged congresses will head to different congress destinations due to security precautions. Thus, they represent a source of opportunity for Prague.

 

 

Amin Massafi, Director Sales & Marketing, InterContinental Prague

  1. Throughout the last year we have observed a stable trend in the demand for conference tourism. While conference tourism has maintained its previous momentum overall, we have identified a slight increase in the number of events and a higher number of guests. The recent 12 months show the events have tended to be shorter.
  2. Despite the fact that the overall results of congress tourism significantly decreased in Prague throughout 2013, we rather perceived the year 2013 as a year with only slight changes compared to 2012 and earlier. This might be because of our focus on smaller events, such as conferences and incentives rather than on congresses.
  3. In our opinion Prague will keep its status as a destination attractive for hosting conferences and congresses. Nonetheless it is important to stress that companies and various institutions which organize events will further focus on cost management and overall effectiveness. This may lead to further extension of shorter events.
  4. So far we have not seen any significant effect of the situation in Ukraine on congress tourism. Nevertheless, further escalation of the tensions in the Ukraine might, of course, negatively impact the travel & tourism industry.

 

Francois Mary, Regional Director Prague & Pilsen, VIENNA INTERNATIONAL HOTELMANAGEMENT AG

  1. During the last year we had noticed that MICE inquires were more last minute and they were also more price sensitive. Companies are pushed to radical cost savings which shows in shortening total length of stay to a minimum. We do appreciate a good cooperation with MICE agencies since the total number of inquiries coming through third parties is getting bigger.
  2. This negative trend was reflected in our properties as well. Congresses taking place in our hotels during 2013 had lower number of delegates compared to previous years.
  3. The Czech capital is becoming to be more and more attractive for MICE market. We are promoting and supporting Prague as the best choice for any kind of event. Thanks to our new MICE department structure we are seeing increase in the number of MICE leads with conversion comparing to year 2013. Newly we have one department which is selling under one brand ‘Vienna International Hotels & Resorts’ more than 1000 rooms and 4000 square meters of conference spaces in total, this helps us to be more effective and competitive on the market.
  4. If we are talking about MICE segment exclusively then there we are not fully focused on these nationalities only. Of course we had few leads which were reduced or cancelled due to the current situation, but it doesn’t influence us significantly.


Sylvia Neves
, Managing Director, MCI Prague

  1. Overall, the number of requests remains stable, we even report a small increase. But when it comes to qualification, we noticed that their scope was significantly reduced. The conversion rate slightly decreased, which we explained by a high destination competition pressure. Clients often request for the same event many destinations (sometimes up to 8) to make sure to find the “best deal”.
  2. It is true that the number of delegates tends to reduce but thanks to the development of hybrid events (integrating technology solutions) clients are able to share content in a much more efficient way and enable information access to anybody who cannot travel.
  3. In 2014 the potential of Prague to develop will not really increase. First, because major international Events are organized in other cities (Barcelona, Paris, Vienna…) and also because Prague remains considered as a small to mid-size event destination. The opportunity for Prague is really to promote hybrid events to overcome the congress space limitations.
  4. Regarding Ukraine, the actual internal troubles should not really affect the current situation. The expected presidential election is crucial and we need to monitor further developments. So far, none of the events confirmed in Prague for this year were questioned in terms of safety or cancelled. Prague remains an attractive destination for congresses and events thanks to its level of safety, good value for money and perfect accessibility.

 

Martin Božek, Group & Event Manager, Kempinski Hotel Hybernská Prague

  1. During the last two years we have noticed a demand for smaller events, but with great attention to quality and cost of provided services. Competition in Prague is tough and hotels are trying to attract customers mainly on prices. Since this is often at the expense of quality the companies react more carefully when preparing events.
  2. Kempinski Hotel Hybernska Prague is a boutique hotel with 13 rooms and 62 suites. Our product and hotel location is ideally suited for individual clients and families. Due to this fact we have not felt the impact of the decrease in congress tourism and it did not have a major effect on hotel´s occupancy.
  3. Currently we do not feel the increased interest associated with congress tourism from the client’s side and therefore we expect that the situation will be the same as in 2013.
  4. The current situation in Ukraine does not have a direct impact on the development of the industry, but it will certainly reduce demand from partners in Ukraine.

 

Michael Specking, Cluster General Manager, HILTON PRAGUE | HILTON PRAGUE OLD TOWN

  1. In general, the booking window is getting shorter compared to previous years and events tend to have less delegates. MICE clients are much more price sensitive and they are looking for good value for money and flexibility with more focus on loyalty and rewarding.  We are also witnessing an increasing digital media influence throughout the whole process – choosing, booking, experiencing and sharing. At the same time, we compete with more destinations.
  2. I can only agree with this. Indeed, in 2013 we received less enquiries with smaller number of delegates. It goes hand in hand with the price sensitiveness of our clients.
  3. We expect the trend of recent years to continue.
  4. Even though there is a smaller number of tourists coming from Russia these days, congress tourism seems not to be impacted at the moment.

 

 Kateřina Hájková (Benešová), Partner/Sales Director, Senator Travel s.r.o.

  1. More last minute requestes for DMC services.
  2. We manged to optimalise cost efficiency and we had a good balance between incoming and outgoing. Even 2014 (specially first half of the year) looks very optimistic.
  3. I think we can not expect confirmation of big events for this year, but we can expect mor small meetings plus planning and site inspections for 2015 and 2016 events.
  4. I am sure it will, as especially for American and Asian clients is Europe considered as one entity, where countries are connected and there are short distances. We hope the situation will get more quiet and that this polical problem will not extend, as this could interfere to inbound of MICE. People are choosing as their MICE destination safe and “Safe in the future” destiantion.

 

According to the opinions of the members of the Prague Convention Bureau mentioned above the future of Prague congress tourism appears to be optimistic. Prague is still an attractive destination for event organizers. However, the time between sending the inquiry and the date of the event constantly shortens, as well as the length of conferences. There are more inquiries for conferences with lower number of delegates.

Regarding the current situation in Ukraine, according to most respondents, these incidents seem not to affect European source markets, but can affect distant markets like the U.S. or Asia, where the safety issue is perceived in broader context.

 

 

 

 

 

Prague Convention Bureau joined the Global Science & Convention Alliance

Prague Convention Bureau has recently joined the Global Science & Convention Alliance, a group of cities that are trying to work together to target the association clients in the field of science & research, IT and technology and other major fields, namely Toulouse, Hyderabad, Adelaide, Daejeon. The alliance´s objective is to secure future events and enhance destination experience through exchanging and sharing leads and information pertaining to convention opportunities between alliance members.

“We decided to join the Global Science & Convention Alliance because we believe that strategic partnerships of this kind are extremely important for future development of convention industry in the city. Moreover, it will also help us increase visibility of Prague as a meeting destination in the world,” says Lenka Žlebková, Managing Director of Prague Convention Bureau. “Thanks to the exchange and sharing leads with other member´s convention bureaux, we will manage to extend our business opportunities in the field of association meetings and conventions.”

Founded by four progressive international convention bureaux, the Global Science & Convention Alliance is a platform comprising of convention bureaux with common strengths in scientific innovation and research collaborating to promote their respective destinations to conventions relating to these industries. The alliance allows partners to conduct and share detailed event research that lead to the creation of innovation destination proposals.

Each partner destination of the alliance is unique; however they all can be defined by certain characteristics that are critical in achieving the alliance´s goals. All destinations are small to medium global cities, geographically unique and rich in history and culture. Each city is home to world class convention venue and there are strengths in scientific innovation and research.

“This year, we have launched cooperation with the Inovacentrum, the Technology and Innovation Centre at the Czech Technical University in Prague, the most prestigious technical university in the Czech Republic, and the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic with the strategic aim to attract association congresses and conferences to Prague that will increase competitiveness of the whole country,” says Lenka Žlebková.

ICCA Congress is Heading to Prague

After two years of intense preparations Prague has been announced as the host city for the 56th Congress of the International Congress and Convention Association – ICCA - in 2017. Prague, represented by members of the Prague Convention Bureau team, namely Sanjiv Suri (President PCB), Lenka Žlebková (Managing Director PCB) and Dagmar

Brožová (Association Meetings Manager PCB), and representatives of the City of Prague – the Mayor of Prague, Mr. Tomáš Hudeček, and the Deputy Mayor, Mr. Václav Novotný, competed with other two strong candidates – Gdańsk in Poland and St. Petersburg in Russia.

“The competition was really tough and we are very happy that we succeeded,” says Lenka Žlebková, Managing Director of Prague Convention Bureau. “After last year’s failure we are absolutely excited about Prague’s win, especially because we managed to create a strong team consisting of representatives of the private and public sectors in the course of last year. The support and personal participation of the Mayor of Prague also helped us a lot,” she adds.

The candidacy of Prague was based on the importance of congresses and conferences for the strategic plan of the development of the city and the whole Czech Republic. The Mayor of Prague, Tomáš Hudeček, explains: "We want to inspire ICCA delegates with the story of our city's success on the international meetings market, which has occurred not just because we are a great cultural and tourist city, but because we have placed international meetings at the heart of our economic development and knowledge economy strategies. Bidding for this prestigious congress has helped us to forge a stronger and more creative team, involving public and private sector organizations all across our country, and we are honored that ICCA has placed its trust in us to deliver an outstanding event."

Thanks also go to the Deputy Mayor, Mr. Václav Novotný, not only for his contribution to the bid, but also for his active participation in pushing through the modernization and extension of the Prague Congress Centre, the only congress facility in the Czech Republic for prestigious international meetings with the participation exceeding 1,500 delegates. “Prague’s success shows that the city really belongs to the top of the world congress destinations ranking,” says Václav Novotný. “ICCA congress is good publicity for the destination and it also guarantees that the city is able to provide the meeting organizers first-class services. In recent years, Prague has returned among the best congress destinations. Compared to 2010, when it ranked as the 19th destination in the world, the city managed to move up eight rungs within three years. In 2012, it ranked as the 11th destination in the world and maintained this position last year as well,” he adds.

Prague’s winning candidacy for the “Congress of Congresses” is a perfect example of an efficient strategic partnership between the private and public sectors. This proved to be Prague’s biggest advantage and the way to its greater competitiveness on the international congress market.

“It was not easy to compete with such strong destinations like Gdańsk and St. Petersburg. Their candidacies were carefully prepared and presented with a great enthusiasm. It will be pleasure for us to cooperate with them at the 2017 congress in order to deliver the most successful ICCA congress held in the region in ICCA’s history. The ICCA congress in 2017 thus could become an example of an efficient strategic partnership at the international level,” says Lenka Žlebková.

 

 

Wow Prague InSpires Press Trip

From 22nd to 24th June 2014, Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with the Prague City Tourism will organize “Wow Prague InSpires Press Trip“ for journalists representing European MICE media, such as Convention International, Trade Fairs International or Travel Manager.

The journalists will have an opportunity to visit selected hotels and other interesting conference facilities to host all kinds of events including newly opened venues in Prague.  Incentive programme, as well as guided city tour will be included in the press trip programme.

Breakfast with Congress Ambassadors

Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with the Czech Convention Bureau and other partners will organize another educational and networking breakfasts on “Why and how to get an international congress in Prague” within the Ambassador Program which will be held at the hotel InterContinental Prague on 19th June, 2014. This time, it will be prof. MUDr. Vladimír Tesař, DrSc., MBA, FASN, who will share his abundant experience in organizing international scientific congresses and conferences with the participants.

Prof. MUDr. Vladimír Tesař, MBA is the director of the Department of Nephrology at the 1st Medical Faculty of the Charles University. One of his major achievements in the field of congress tourism, is an organization of the 48th Congress of the European Renal Association and the European Association for Dialysis and Transplantation („ERA-EDTA“) in 2011 – one of the biggest events to be held in the Prague Congress Centre over recent years.  For his long-term contribution to congress tourism in Prague he received the special “Award of the Prague Congress Centre” during the Ambassador Awards Evening organized by PCB, which was held on 17th April, 2014 in the Žofín Palace.

The main mission of the educational and networking breakfast is to raise awareness among the congress ambassadors about the importance of international congresses for both their disciplines and the destination, as well as to present the possibilities of support from the Prague Convention Bureau and Czech Convention Bureau. The aim of the event is to positively motivate these professionals to actively participate in the work within the international associations and to try to get some of the world or European congresses held within their field to Prague.

The international conference entitled BETTER CITIES FOR BETTER LIFE, Prague 2014

The international conference entitled BETTER CITIES FOR BETTER LIFE, Prague 2014 was successfully held on 12th – 13th May. Prague Convention Bureau was a partner of the event.

The conference is held under the auspices of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Bohuslav Sobotka, The Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament, Milan Štěch, 1st Deputy Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, Jaroslava Jermanová, Deputy Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, Vojtěch Filip, Current and former Ministers of Environment (Mr. Richard Brabec), Transport (Mr. Antonín Prachař), Industry and Trade (Mr. Jan Mládek), Regional Development, and Foreign Affairs, The City of Prague, City part Prague 1, Association of Regions of the CR, Association of Towns and Municipalities of the CR, Academy of Sciences, Czech Association of Scientific and Technical Societies, Faculty of Transport of the Czech Technical University in Prague, Technical University in Brno, and National Noise Observatory of the Czech Republic. 

The two-day conference focused on sharing positive examples on noise, air and water pollution was held in Prague. The following guests took part at the conference: the mayor of the Iraq capital Baghdad, NAEMM ABAOB.ALKAABI, mayor of the Pakistani capital, Moroof Afzal, Indian representative from Delhi, R. N. Sharma, Deputy Mayor of Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, Mirian Torrez, the general director of Moscow state environmental company MOSECOMONITORING, Russian Federation, Polina Zakharova, the Deputy president of Chillan Association of Towns and Municipalities, Mr. Luis Felipe Delpin Aguilar, Deputy governor of Chinese Xi´an, Qiao Zheng, Mrs. Naomi Tsur, former deputy mayor of Jerusalem and current president of Green Pilgrim Jerusalem, and almost hundreds  other delegates from Europe, Asia, Africa and America.

The conference was opened by the top Czech politicians: Jaroslava Jermanová, 1. Deputy Chair of the Chamber of Deputies, Deputy Chair of the Chamber of Deputies, Vojtěch Filip, 1. Deputy Minister of the Environment, Jan Landa. The representative of Prague was the mayor of Prague 1, Oldřich Lomecký. 

The active participants of the conference were also many Czech experts, such as Prof. Michal Mejstřík, the Chair of International Chamber of Commerce Czech Republic (ICC-CR) and the Chair of the advisory board of Český aeroholding, Prof. Boris Šimák, the representative of the Czech Republic in International Telecommunication Union, Ivan Beneš, the Deputy Chair of Czech national commission for catastrophe management, Prof. Petr Moos, Vice Rector of Czech Technical University in Prague and former Minister of Transport, Prof. Věra Adámková, the Head of Preventive Cardiology IKEM, Prof. Jaromír Volf, the Chair of the Czech Association of Scientific and Technological Companies, Doc. Judita Kinkorová, the Czech representative in the EU in the programme HORIZONT 2020 and many others. 

More than 3 tens of foreign ambassadors in Prague attended the conference as well. The Ambassador of Nicaragua flew to Prague from Brussels to represent the Mayor of Managua who is now participating in rescue operations after the recent earthquakes. The Deputy President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Massoumeh Ebtekar did not come to the conference because of a car accident on her way to the airport and her injuries. However, she was represented at the conference by the Chargé d´Affaires of Iran, Mr. Gholam Reza Derikvand.   

The atmosphere at the conference was creative and full of work and all barriers – cultural, religious, and political between the countries and nations – immediately disappeared.

The continuous programme of the BETTER CITIES FOR BETTER LIFE conference was approved and the next year is to be held in May 2015. The candidate cities are Asunción (Paraguay), Islamabad (Pakistan), Baghdad (Iraq), Prague (CZ), Delhi (India) and Muscat (Oman).

The theses of the resolution were approved at the conference. This resolution will be presented by the envoy at the UN Climate Summit CATALYZING ACTION on 23rd September this year in New York.    

The cities of Jerusalem (Israel), Casablanca (Morocco), Baghdad (Iraq), Asunción (Paraguay) and Islamabad (Pakistan) were chosen from the total of 82 contributions to Blue-Green Book, Roadmap of successful local solutions and were awarded the price entitled Blue-Green Star.     

At the end of the second conference day, Ms. Mirian Torrez invited on behalf of the Mayor of Asunción, Arnaldo Samaniego, the Mayor of Prague 1, Oldřich Lomecký, to Paraguay.

Prague Convention Bureau and Prague City Tourism have launched a closer cooperatetion in the field of congress tourism

Prague Convention Bureau and Prague City Tourism have launched a closer cooperation in the field of professional support to Prague congress tourism. In the following three years, Prague Convention Bureau will conduct all activities related to MICE industry in the capital of Prague. For those activities, the City of Prague through Prague City Tourism has allocated almost 9 million CZK.

The task of Prague Convention Bureau in the coming three years will be to process candidacies to individual congresses, search the events that might be held in Prague in the future, organize site inspections, FAM trips and Press trips in order to promote Prague as a congress destination. The contract also includes marketing and PR support to won congresses.

PRAGUE STRENGTHENED ITS POSITION ON CONGRESS MARKET

Prague is further strengthening its position on European as well as world congress market. Current statistics of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) for 2013 have shown that Prague climbed one rung and improved its position in the European ranking last year, thus becoming the 9th most popular congress destination within

the region. On a global scale, with a total of 121 events, i.e. 9 events more than in 2012, the city kept its position of the 11th world congress destination. Prague is therefore just one step away from accomplishing its ambitious goal - to get among the TOP 10 world congress destinations by 2015 and among the TOP 5 by 2020.

In spite of the fact that the general congress statistics on Prague, regularly published by the Czech Statistical Office, experienced a noticeable decline last year, according to the ICCA 2013 statistics Prague, on the contrary, was successful in the field of association congresses and conferences.  Although its position in the ranking of the world congress destinations remained the same as in the previous year, the popularity of Prague as a congress destination is still growing. This is demonstrated by the increased number of association congresses and conferences organized in Prague last year due to which Prague improved its ranking in Europe and maintained its position in the world congress destinations ranking.

“I consider it a huge success that the number of international association conferences Prague hosted in 2013 slightly increased, especially when the statistics on congress industry for the last year published by CSO were not very positive. Moreover, Prague not only maintained its position of the 11th congress destination in the world, but also moved up in the ranking of European congress destinations,” said Lenka Žlebková, Managing Director of Prague Convention Bureau, whose activities also include collection of statistical data on Prague congress industry. “I attribute last year’s results to our team cooperation with the members of Prague Convention Bureau and other entities active on the congress market. Thanks to this cooperation, we have improved our collection of statistical data on congresses and conferences held in Prague. I am also convinced that the positive results of our strategic steps in attracting important congresses to Prague has begun to show. The increase in the number of association events held in Prague from 112 to 121 indicates that Prague is becoming more and more competitive in the international congress market. I strongly believe that our strategy focused on attracting congresses especially from the field of science and research, new technologies and innovations will not only result in accomplishing our goal - to get Prague among the10 best world congress destinations by 2015 and to the top of the ranking by 2020– but will also help to increase the competitiveness of the whole country.”

The list of significant congresses and conferences held in Prague last year includes e. g. the Conference of the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA 2013), 12th European Congress of Internal Medicine, 31st World Veterinary Congress, 13th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care, or the Conference of the International Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE 2013).

PRAGUE CONVENTION BUREAU AWARDS ITS AMBASSADORS FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO CONGRESS TOURISM IN PRAGUE

At the fifth annual Ambassador Awards Evening organized by the Prague Convention Bureau, which was held last night, the 17th April, 2014 in the Zofin Palace, the Czech Minister of Regional Development, Mrs. Vera Jourova, the Mayor of Prague, Mr Tomas Hudecek, and the President of the Prague Convention Bureau, Mr Sanjiv Suri, made awards to

six different 'Ambasadors', each of whom were deemed to have made a significant contribution to positioning the City of Prague as a world-class congress destination through their own individual activities. As is now a tradition, the Gala Evening culminated in the presentation of the "Award for the Long-Term Contribution to Congress Tourism", to Prof. MUDr. Richard Češka, CSc., FACP, FEFIM.

Prof. MUDr. Češka has been the Ambassador of a number of scientific Congresses and Conferences, including the 75th EAS Congress - European Society for Atherosclerosis in 2005, the 12th European Congress of Internal Medicine (EFIM) in 2013, and this year's "Prague European Days of Internal Medicine" (PEDIM).  He has also been the head of several institutions, both locally and internationally, and is currently President of the Czech Society for Internal Medicine and the Head of the Centre of Preventive Cardiology at General University Hospital Prague.

The evening hosted more than 140 eminent doctors, scientists and experts along with representatives of the member agencies of the Prague Convention Bureau and the Prague Congress Centre, as well as several well-known business and tourism personalities, and followed an ‘Oscar awards ceremony’ theme followed by a buffet dinner. 

Additional prize-winners were awarded in five main categories. The award for the “Corporate Event of the Year, 2013” was  given to Mrs. Karen Mikelsons for the HP Software Sales Summit 2013, which was held in the Prague Congress Centre in March, 2013 and was attended by 1,100 delegates.  The second award, in the category “Candidature of the Year, 2013” was given to Prof. RNDr. Ivan Raška, DrSc., who is the Ambassador of the 12th International Congress of Cell Biology (ICCB 2016), which will be held in Prague on 21st – 25th June, 2016.  It is expected that this Congress will be attended by up to 4,000 delegates, and will be aimed at creating a discussion forum on various aspects of cell biology for students, PhD students, post-doctoral students and research staff from all around the world.

The award in the category “Congress of the Year, 2013“ went to Doc. MUDr. Bohumil Seifert, Ph.D. for the 20th World Conference of General Practitioners/family physicians - the “WONCA 2013”, which was organized by the Society of General Practitioners and took place in the Prague Congress Centre in June 2013, and attracted 3,628 doctors from 106 different countries. 

The special “Award of the Prague Congress Centre” was given to Prof. MUDr. Vladimír Tesař, MBA, director of the Department of Nephrology at the 1st Medical Faculty of the Charles University and the Military Hospital in Prague, for the 48th Congress of the European Renal Association and the European Association for Dialysis and Transplantation („ERA-EDTA“).  The Congress was held in June, 2011, and was attended by 10,000 delegates. Its extent and importance made it a „City-wide“ meeting and it was one of the biggest events to be held in the Prague Congress Centre over recent years.  

Finally, a special award for 2013 was given to Miroslav Pelta from the Czech Republic Football Association for the UEFA SUPER CUP 2013, which was held on 30th August, 2013 at the Eden Arena, and was attended by 17,686 visitors.

During the programme, several of the speakers made reference to the fact that successful bids, and the subsequent hosting of international congresses, not only bring enormous prestige for Prague and significant visibility abroad, but they also contribute significantly to the economic development of the city. 

The Ambassador Awards Evening, which is part of the Ambassadors Programme of the Prague Convention Bureau, is a way of saying thank you to those individuals that pay such an important part in bringing high level congresses to the city, and the event is planned to be held and developed on an annual basis.

The main partners of the event were the Ministry of Regional Development, the City of Prague, CzechTourism, the Czech Convention Bureau, Prague City Tourism , Prague Airport, Czech Airlines, C-IN, Guarant International and the Academy of Science.  The technology partner was AV Media.

Prague to host the key European television industry event NATPE || Europe

NATPE Europe, the most important television industry event dedicated to the central and eastern European market and featuring all of the major U.S. studios will take place in Prague for the first time this year. Focused on the dynamic and evolving TV content industry including movies, series and other formats. NATPE||Europe will take place June 23-26, 2014 at the Hilton Prague Hotel.

It will be the first opportunity for many representatives of local channels to view the latest American programs. Registrations are still available for TV industry professionals interested in attending as buyers and sellers. Prague Convention Bureau is a partner of the event.

The representatives of TV stations, cable and satellite companies and SVOD providers from Central and Eastern Europe will meet in June 2014 through the NATPE||Europe market and establish cooperation with representatives of the world´s top distribution companies, offering TV programs of all genres for all platforms. In recent years, the market has been regularly attended by around 125 exhibiting companies and more than  300 channels and stations interested in buying the rights to air television content, including among others HBO, MTM, CET, Chello, RTL, and Viasat.

NATPE||Europe relocates this year from its long-time location in Budapest. The transition will offer greater flexibility of the exhibition space and organization of the screenings, as well as special events. "We are excited about the benefits that the new location brings. There are myriad possibilities regarding the presentations, special events, parties and networking opportunities. The facilities of the Hilton Prague Hotel will also enable all of the activities to take place under one roof,” said the president and CEO of NATPE Rod Perth.

Registrations are open and available on the website https://www.natpe.com/europe/register.

 

About NATPE

Celebrating more than 50 years of service to the ever-evolving global television industry, NATPE continues to redefine itself and the services it provides to meet the needs of its members and the industry. NATPE also annually organizes the NATPE||Miami “Market of the Americas,” which reflects a commitment to create the first – and most important – must-attend market of the year for the linear and digital content communities, and increasingly for advertisers and brands. NATPE breaks down the barriers by setting new expectations and possibilities, and creates the big-tent environment where deals start, and then get done across every platform. 

See more information on the website https://www.natpe.com/about.

CzechTourism FAM Trip USA

From 6 to 9 April, a FAM Trip Prague/Budapest for 4 hosted buyers from USA and 1 from Canada was organized by CzechTourism and its Foreign Representation in New York. The program which took place in Prague was prepared in cooperation with Prague Convention Bureau. During 3 days the guests visited 6 member hotels and 5

venues including the premises of the Prague Castle and Nelahozeves castle, and met one representative of a member DMC. PCB was represented by Barbora Vopěnková.

The City of Prague Declares 2nd Round of Grants in the Field of Convention Tourism for 2014

On the basis of Prague City Council resolution no. 635 of 1st April 2014, the 2nd round of grants (incentive support) in the field of congress tourism for 2014 has been announced. Grants are solely intended for support of congress tourism in the capital city of Prague.

Detailed information regarding the announcement of grants can be found here.

Grant can be only assigned to congresses with 1,500 or more delegates, at least 50% of them being from abroad, who spend minimum of 2 nights in Prague.

Principles for grant procedures can be found here.

Deadline for applications is April 23rd, 2014.

Wow PRAGUE InSpires Educational Trip

From 27 to 29 June, Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with its members organizes "Wow Prague InSpires Educational Trip" for selected European buyers with the aim to promote Prague as a meeting destination.

We would like to invite European buyers who are interested in exploring Prague, one of leading European congress and incentive destinations, to join this fam trip.

We offer:

  • Round trip flight or train ticket from your destination
  • 2-night stay in at least 4* hotel (with the possibility to prolong the stay)
  • Guided city tour, incentive program, site inspections of hotels/venues
  • Breakfasts, lunches and dinners during the trip
  • Transfers
  • A networking workshop with local service providers.

More information about the "Wow PRAGUE InSpires Educational Trip" here.

Please sign up for the fam trip by April 25! Download the registration form here.

For more information please contact Mrs. Markéta Růtová (Corporate Meetings & Incentives) at marketa.rutova@pragueconvention.cz.

Ambassador Awards Evening will take place in Žofín Palace

On 17 April, 2014, the fifth Ambassador Awards Evening will take place in Žofín Palace. The awarded congress ambassadors will take over prizes in the following categories: Corporate Event of the Year, Candidacy of the Year, Congress of the Year, Long-term Contribution to Congress Tourism and Special Award of Prague Congress Centre.

The event will be held under the Auspices of Minister for Regional Development, Mrs. Věra Jourová and Mayor of Prague, Mr. Tomáš Hudeček.

Last year, the gala evening was attended by more than 80 significant Czech scientists and leading experts together with PCB's member PCOs and representatives of Prague Congress Centre. This year's ceremony will also host these significant personalities of Czech science and medicine and many others.

Prague Convention Bureau attended SalesBlitz Germany

This year’s first sales trip attended by Prague Convention Bureau from 18 to 20 March targeted one of the key markets – Germany. In the course of three days PCB together with Florence Convention Bureau and World Trade Centre Barcelona visited four German cities, namely Cologne, Ratingen, Bonn and Dusseldorf. The sales trip was organized by the German company tmf dialogue marketing with whom Prague Convention Bureau cooperates.

In Germany, PCB was represented by Markéta Růtová who attended a total of 12 pre-scheduled meetings with local event organizers and one corporate client. The number of individual meetings which she managed to carry out in such a short period shows that there is a strong interest in Prague as a congress destination among the German event planners and corporate clientele. This is also indicated by the fact that the sales trip resulted in 1 specific and several potential inquiries.

Press Trip for Meetings & Incentive Travel Magazine

From 14 to 15 March, Prague Convention Bureau together with Prague City Tourism organized a Press Trip for a British journalist who is preparing an article on Prague for Meetings & Incentive Travel Magazine. Prague Convention Bureau and Prague City Tourism was represented by Lucie Rajdlová.

During her visit, the journalist visited the recently opened five-star hotel Grandior, Designhotel Elephant and their common conference premises in the very centre of Prague. The programme also included inspections of several venues for various types of events: Municipal House, DOX – Gallery of Modern Art, Žižkov TV Tower, Mlýnec restaurant, andel´s and Angelo hotels, NH Prague and Forum Karlín, a new social hall which is currently under construction and is going to be opened in May 2014.

The Future of Congress Tourism Was Revealed in Prague

What are the current trends and key drivers for success in the meeting industry – those were the main questions to be answered at the third international educational seminar organized by Prague Convention Bureau. This year’s seminar, which took place in Designhotel Elephant’s meeting facilities on 11th March, attracted more than 110 representatives of local regional and foreign convention bureaux, professional congress organizers, local representatives of associations, public authorities, universities and media.

The seminar was opened by Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of German Convention Bureau, who introduced his study “Meetings and Conventions 2030”. “This extensive study defines 5 key megatrends that shape the congress industry. More than 40% of respondents said that technological development is the most important megatrend which will play the key role in further development of congress tourism and event planning,” said Matthias Schultze. “New forms of information and knowledge transfer will strongly influence all phases of event planning.” The study also showed that virtual elements are more frequently becoming   integral parts of events, and we can expect that the number of virtual events will continue to grow. Other megatrends that were defined by the study are globalization, mobility, sustainability and demography. Especially the aging population and increasing number of women in this field will influence how the “typical conference participant” will change during the upcoming 20 years.

Jakub Dvořáček,CEO of the Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Industry (AIPI) then spoke about the current issues of the pharmaceutical and medtech industry compliance codes and their impact on medical meetings. Participation of doctors in international congresses is often the topic of public debate. Since the beginning of this year, there have been significant changes in the conditions under which the pharmaceutical companies can sponsor scientific and educational events for doctors. High attention is paid to both quality of the conference and careful selection of speakers. In order to achieve greater transparency in relations between doctors and pharmaceutical companies, a public database where all necessary information can be found has been created. “We can expect that in the upcoming years the interest in participating in selected medical conferences will decrease due to stricter regulations, as the support from pharmaceutical companies will not be so strong anymore,” said Jakub Dvořáček. “Elsewhere in the world, however, such practice is quite common, and I believe that the overall impact of regulations on the congress industry will not be as noticeable. People will adapt over time.”

Christian Mutschlechner, Director of Vienna Convention Bureau, followed up on the topic of pharmaceutical regulations with his presentation about the current trends in the field of medical meetings. He pointed out that due to the regulations limiting pharmaceutical companies’ sponsorship, the length of medical meetings is shortening. “Incentive activities are disappearing from the programme of medical meetings, and their duration shortens, which leads to considerable savings. The destination itself does not play such important role as before. More attention is paid to quality content of congresses and contribution of the particular event to the development of the sector.”

The second part of the seminar focused on case studies on the importance of strategic partnership. Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA, was the first to speak about the importance of strategic partnership and cooperation.  “It is essential that hotels, conference facilities and other conference service providers closely cooperate with local convention bureaux and act together as one “city team”. It is also necessary to establish broader cooperation – on the national as well as international level,” said Martin Sirk. “In addition to collaboration and mutual support of regions within the country, alliances among different destinations are being formed as well. As an example we can mention Barcelona and Vienna who present themselves together in distant markets, while in the European region they act as two independent players. Similarly, Washington D.C. and Brussels, where many international associations are based, help each other, for example when organizing their business activities.” Martin Sirk also mentioned another current trend - associations are joining in order to find a sponsor for all of their events. Nowadays, it is becoming a necessity to look for suitable partners for particular activities and diversify those partnerships according to the purpose of these activities.

Juan José García, Director of Marketing & Sales of Barceló Congresos, delivered a presentation focused on creating strategic partnerships. He stressed the importance of destination branding, especially creating a great “story” which will sell the destination. Today, it is not necessary to spend much money to promote the destination; there are much more efficient ways how to increase the visibility of the destination at almost no costs. As an example he mentioned references from delegates and event organizers. He also confirmed another current trend – a necessity to provide free Wi-Fi to conference delegates.

Bruce Redor from Gaining Edge, who also moderated the entire seminar, at the end introduced models of partnerships that work in different European convention bureaux, including their models of financing.

The event was held under the auspices of the Deputy Mayor of Prague Mr. Václav Novotný. The main partners of the seminar were the City of Prague, CzechTourism/ Czech Convention Bureau, Prague Airport, Prague City Tourism and Designhotel Elephant, Mikenopa as the technological partner and E15, C.O.T. media publishing house and Event & Promotion magazine as media partners.

PCB attended MPI DFW Chapter Monthly Meeting

On February 27, Prague Convention Bureau attended the monthly meeting of the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of Meeting Professionals International, attended by 120 meeting professionals from the area. PCB was represented by Martina Fundaro, who recently became a member of the Leadership Committee of the Chapter.

The Leadership committee develops, implements, and supports the Chapter's succession planning process and promotes chapter leadership opportunities and professional skills development to chapter members. The presence in this committee will help increase the visibility of Prague and Prague Convention Bureau in the world's largest association of meeting professionals.

ICCA 2017 Site Inspection

From 10th to 11th March, 2014, Prague Convention Bureau organized a site inspection for CEO of the ICCA, Mr. Martin Sirk. The purpose of the visit was Prague’s candidacy for the ICCA Congress in 2017. Mr. Sirk also participated as a speaker in the 3rd International Educational Seminar organized by Prague Convention Bureau and met the supporters of Prague’s candidacy during a joint lunch. PCB was represented by Lenka Žlebková, Dagmar Brožová and Rita Juklová.

Last year, Prague already submitted its candidacy for 2016 ICCA Congress and was shortlisted together with Kuching, Malaysia, which was finally chosen as the winning destination. This year, Prague has been shortlisted again; this time the city is in competition with other two strong meeting destinations - Gdańsk, Poland, and St. Petersburg, Russia. The winner will be announced at the IMEX Frankfurt in May 2014.

Prague Congress Tourism in Numbers

The latest report of the Czech Statistical Office (CSO), who collects data from collective accommodation establishments, has shown that Prague congress tourism experienced a noticeable decline last year. While in recent years the number of events organized not only in Prague was increasing, the statistical data for 2013 demonstrate a crucial break point. According to the statistics of CSO, Prague hosted 3,427 events, which means a 20% decrease (by 837 events) compared to 2012.

This is the lowest number regarding number of events held in Prague in last 5 years. Reduction in the number of events also resulted in a decrease in the number of delegates by 18.2% compared to 2012 (from 671,812 delegates in 2012 to 549,225 delegates in 2013).

This unfortunate reality in the field of Prague meeting industry is also confirmed by the statistics of Prague Convention Bureau (PCB) who collects data from its members. According to PCB's statistics, there were 1,837 events held in Prague last year, which means a decrease by 179 events (8.9%) compared to 2012. The figures are based on the data provided by 36 respondents, mostly local hotels with own conference facilities (31%). The busiest period in 2013 was April when Prague hosted 633 events (34.45%). The lowest number of events was recorded in August (35 events).

Persisting trend is shortening the average length of meetings. Last year, the average length of meeting shortened from 2.06 days (2012) to 2 days (2013). One-day meetings (53.6%) dominated over multiple-day meetings.

Regarding the size of meetings, the most common were events with the attendance of 10 – 49 delegates (31.7%) that were followed by events with the attendance of 50 – 149 delegates (23.5%) and 250 – 499 delegates (22.2%).

As for the type of events, as well as in 2012, corporate conferences/ meetings kept primacy in 2013 with the total number of 989 events. They were followed by other events (393), incentive meetings (366), association conferences and congresses (70) and exhibitions and fair trades (19). In all categories of events according to their type, incentive meetings being the only exception (increase by 253 events), there was a noticeable annual decrease.

According to the country of origin of event organizers, the most important country was the Czech Republic (68.2%), followed by the UK (8.1%) and the USA (4.8%). The most frequent subject of meetings in 2013 was pharmacy (7%), IT and telecommunications (6.5%) and trade (5.8%).

Prague Convention Bureau will attend SalesBlitz Germany

From 18th to 20th March, Prague Convention Bureau together with World Trade Center Barcelona and Firenze Convention Bureau will attend a sales trip organized in Düsseldorf and Cologne, Germany. Within this event, Prague will be presented as a perfect meeting destination to pre-selected local byers. PCB will be represented by Markéta Růtová.

The event is organized in cooperation with tmf dialogmarketing company based in Germany and will have a form of pre-scheduled meetings with local corporate companies and agencies. The event can also be attended 4 by PCB members interested in the German market who can promote their services to selected buyers.

Prague Convention Bureau Will Organize an International Educational Seminar for Professionals in the Field of Meeting Industry

Another in a series of educational seminars organized by Prague Convention Bureau, this year on “Trends and Key Drivers for Success in the Meeting Industry”, will be held in Designhotel Elephant on 11th March. The third edition of the international educational seminar is held under the auspices of the Prague City Councillor for Culture, Monument Care, Exhibitions, International Relations and Tourism Mr. Václav Novotný.

Seminar is intended for representatives of Prague Convention Bureau and Czech Convention Bureau, regional convention bureaux, convention bureaux within Central & Eastern European region, meeting professionals & media representatives, representatives of local associations, representatives of public authorities – Parliament, ministries, regions and cities responsible for development of congress industry, university professors and students of tourism.

The scientific program of the seminar is divided into two sessions. In the first session entitled “Trends in corporate and association meetings market towards 2020 and beyond”, Mr. Matthias Schultze, director of German Convention Bureau, will talk about the megatrends that are shaping the convention industry. Jakub Dvořáček, executive director of the Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Industry (AIPI), will continue with the lecture on “The importance of understanding how the medical event industry is affected by the pharmaceutical and medtech industry compliance codes”. Christian Mutschlechner, director of Vienna Convention Bureau, will talk about the appropriate attitude to changing conditions of congresses in the field of medicine that is necessary to take today. The first session will end with a panel discussion moderated by Bruce Redor, Senior Associate (Europe, Middle East & Africa), Gaining Edge, in which all speakers from Session I will take part.

Second session of the seminar will focus on case studies on the importance of strategic partnership. Within this session, Mr. Martin Sirk, CEO of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), will present a case study on “Strategic Partnerships in Bidding and Marketing”.  Juan José García, Director of Marketing & Sales of Barceló Congresos, will present a case study on “Smart Meetings Business Destinations: Moving from Suppliers to Strategic Partners“. The last speaker in the second session will be Mr. Bruce Redor, Senior Associate of Gaining Edge, who will also moderate the final panel discussion.

Registration and more information on www.pragueconvention.cz/seminar

Prague is the Best Meeting Destination in the Region

Prague won the 2013 Meeting Star Award in the category of meeting destinations awarded by Slovenian Kongres magazine which focuses on the region of Central and South East Europe. The Editorial Board of the magazine prepared an overview of convention centres, hotels and congress destinations which were assessed by hidden congress guests. In total, Prague collected 4.64 points and ranked higher than Dubrovnik and Budapest.

For the third year in the row, Kongres Magazine called a tender for Meetings Star award - award for outstanding contributions in the field of marketing communication of destinations, congresses, events and meetings industry suppliers in South East Europe. The award is a visible recognition of creativity, knowledge and work based on team-work and experience that brought clear and measurable results.

The winners in five categories - TOP DESTINATION, TOP CONVENTION CENTRE, TOP CITY MEETING HOTEL, TOP RESORT MEETING HOTEL and INSIDE AWARD - were awarded during the welcome reception at 2014 Conventa trade show in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Monday 21 January, 2014. Prague was represented by Prague Convention Bureau, the official convention bureau of the city of Prague.

„For us, this award is the sign that Prague has significantly improved the level of provided congress services and currently ranks among the European top," says Lenka Žlebková, managing director of Prague Convention Bureau, adding: „I would like to thank all who have been supporting us in our efforts to highlight Prague on the congress map of Europe, whether they be Prague Convention Bureau members, our partners or representatives of the City. With their help we managed to get really farover the last three years and we believe that we can meet our ambitious goals and get Prague among the best congress destinations not only in Europe but also worldwide."

 

Prague Convention Bureau attended 6th EFAPCO Congress

From January 17 to January 18, Prague Convention Bureau attended the 6th EFAPCO Congress in Malaga, Spain. The main topic of this year's congress was "Smart Congresses, in Smart Cities by Smart PCOs". The participants learned about a new concept of the "EFAPCO European Observatory - The voice of PCOs" which will be entirely focused on the development and consolidation of the Observatory.

The EFAPCO Observatory includes the Education Pillar which plays a significant role. Its further development is in the competence of the Czech Republic, one of the 14 European EFAPCO member countries. The results of the Educational Survey within European countries was presented by Mrs. Lenka Žlebková, Managing Director of Prague Convention Bureau.

EFAPCO is a non-profit institution headquartered in Brussels. The Federation complements the national activities of its members, enabling PCOs to have a single strong voice in Europe. The website at http://www.efapco.eu/ gives detailed information on EFAPCO, its membership and activities.

CONGRESS AMBASSADORS MET IN THE PRAGUE CONGRESS CENTRE

Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with the Prague Congress Centre organized a Pre-Christmas Cocktail for congress ambassadors. The event was held under the auspices of Prague City Councillor Mr. Václav Novotný within the Ambassador Programme.

On 12th December, more than 30 congress ambassadors, including a number of well-known personalities of Czech science and medicine, met in ZOOM Restaurant of the Prague Congress Centre. These respected professionals are members of international societies, associations and committees who regularly meet at scientific congresses and conferences around the world. Due to their reputation and active participation in the preparation of candidacies for these events they help Prague Convention Bureau build awareness about Prague as a congress destination.

After the official part of the meeting, the participants were invited by the Prague Congress Centre and its partners to the STRAUSS - GALA concert. Pre-Christmas Cocktail for congress ambassadors connected with a large cultural event was the first event of its kind held within the Ambassador Program run by Prague Convention Bureau.

"So far, Prague Convention Bureau has organized only educational and networking breakfasts for congress ambassadors and annual Ambassador Awards Evenings, gala evenings organized in order to award congress ambassadors for their contribution to congress industry, within its Ambassador Programme," explains Lenka Žlebková, managing director of Prague Convention Bureau, adding: "The evening networking event connected with a cultural programme met with great acclaim and high interest among congress ambassadors. In future, we intend to extend the Ambassador Programme to the national level and to hold more events where congress ambassadors can share their experience with organizing international meetings."

The main mission of educational and networking events for congress ambassadors is to raise their awareness of the importance of international congresses for their discipline and destination. By organizing these events, Prague Convention Bureau tries to inform congress ambassadors about the possibilities of support and to positively motivate them to become more active within the international associations in order to bring some of the world or European congress held within their field to Prague.

Great news from Shanghai: Prague shortlisted for 2017 ICCA Congress!

Representatives of Prague Convention Bureau announced great news upon their arrival from the 52nd World Congress of the ICCA in Shanghai, China. Prague has been shortlisted for 2017 ICCA Congress!

Prague will be in competition with, Gdańsk, Poland, and St. Petersburg, Russia. The winner will be announced at the IMEX Frankfurt 2014.

Prague already submitted its candidacy for 2016 ICCA Congress last year. Alhtough it was shortlisted, the city was not chosen as the winning destination. Managing director of PCB, Lenka Žlebková, said: "Prague did not win the 2016 ICCA Congress candidacy but there is no reason to see this as a failure. In spite of the fact that it was our first candidacy for this congress, we were a strong candidate. This candidacy showed us that for the candidacy for 2017 we must be prepared even better. We believe that this year's candidacy will be successful!"

PRAGUE CONVENTION BUREAU APPOINTS NEW TEAM MEMBER

In November, Ms. Barbora Vopěnková, new Corporate Meetings and Incentives Manager, has joined Prague Convention Bureau´s team, replacing Ms. Jitka Kolářová who worked in this position for 3 years.

Barbora graduated from the University of Economics in Prague, majoring in Tourism and Regional Development. She worked in Prague Convention Bureau as an assistant for more than a year. She also worked as a sales trainee in the sales department of Sheraton Prague Charles Square Hotel. In her new position in Prague Convention Bureau she will be responsible for acquiring new corporate events to Prague. Her target markets include the United States of America, Asia and other European countries.

"Thanks to my previous experience in Prague Convention Bureau as an assistant I am familiar with the overall functioning of the organization, which is a big advantage for me. So, from the first day in my new position, I can fully concentrate on developing new business opportunities within the corporate and incentive events in Prague." says Barbora Vopěnková, adding: "My target markets primarily include the United States of America. Another key market for us is Asia whose countries nowadays offer huge potential and cannot be underestimated. On the contrary, it is necessary to use their potential and focus more on proactive presentation of Prague as the perfect meeting destination within these countries."

Incentive Support 2014 Approved

After several years of PCB's efforts, the incentive support to large international congresses held in Prague has finally been approved!

Based on Resolution of the Prague City Council No. 1738 dated 1st October, 2013, grants (incentive support) in the field of tourism for 2014 have been announced. Grants are solely intended for support of congress tourism in the capital city of Prague.

Detailed information regarding the announcement of grants can be found on www.praha.eu in the section Subsidies and Grants / Urban Grants / Tourism.

Grant can be only assigned to congresses with 1,500 or more delegates, at least 50% of them being from abroad, who spend minimum of 2 nights in Prague.

Principles for grant procedures cen be found here.

Schedule of the grant procedure can be found here.

The application form can be found here.

Deadline for applications is November 6th, 2013.

Prague Convention Bureau has launched a tender for a new MICE video of Prague

Prague Convention Bureau has launched a tender for a new MICE video of Prague. The video will be mostly used to promote the destination at international fair trades, road shows and other promoting events and should present Prague as the ideal congress destination in an interesting and creative way.

Everyone who is interested to participate in the tender can send his/her proposal until 15th October, 2013 via e-mail: lucie.rajdlova@pragueconvention.cz

Instructions for tenderers are available here. Destination presentation of Prague is available here.

In the first round, the committee will select 3 finalists to present proposed solutions. Final evaluation will focus on the overall impression, creativity, competence, professionalism and price.

Personnel Changes in the Prague Convention Bureau

Prague Convention Bureau has recently announced several changes in the personnel area. Besides the recently announced newly established foreign representation North America, the person in charge being the former Marketing & PR Manager Martina Fundaro (formerly Martina Kvašová), the Prague Convention Bureau´s team has welcomed its new member Tzveta Kambourova who previously worked in sales and marketing department of the company GUARANT International.

She has been working in Prague Convention Bureau as the Association Meetings Manager since August 2013. Prague Convention Bureau believes that the team expansion will result in the development of new business opportunities in the field of association congresses and conferences. 

Another change has been announced in Prague Convention Bureau's Board of Directors. After the resignation of its long-term member and former Vice-President Michal Kárník, General Manager of the Prague Congress Centre, Jiří Hollan, Director of Sales of the Prague Congress Centre has been co-opted as a new BOD member. The reason for Mr. Kárník's resignation is the workload connected with the current restoration and revitalization of the Prague Congress Centre which will be very time consuming and its completion is currently high priority for him.

World veterinary experts will meet in Prague next year

Next year, Prague will host the 13th Congress of the European Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (EVECCS) which will take place in the Clarion Congress Hotel Prague from 12th to 15th June 2014. The European Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society organizes the annual EVECCS Congress in different European cities every June. The Czech Republic will thus become the first country of the former Central and Eastern Europe to host the EVECCS Congress which will be attended by more than 300 veterinary experts from all over the world. Prague Convention Bureau is a proud partner of this event.

"The EVECCS Congress is constantly developing and currently it attracts hundreds of small animal and horse veterinarians and veterinary technicians," says MVD. Kateřina Pavlišová, a member of the Local Organizing Committee, adding: "Most of the delegates come from the European countries, but there are also participants coming from more distant countries of the world. International speakers participating at the event ensure the diverse and interesting programme."

Prior to the official opening of the Congress, on 12th June 2014, the pre-congress day entitled "What I can do with a pediatric patient?" will take place which will include lectures by highly experienced professionals who will talk about differences in approach and implementation of therapy in this group of patients. The main topic of the main part of the upcoming congress, which will deal with issues of diagnosis and therapy in emergency cases, is "A quick guide to success". The scientific programme will be divided into several sessions - the session for small animal veterinarians, the equine session and the session for veterinary technicians. A new session for the veterinarians - emergency and critical care experts will be also included. Moreover, the congress will include several interesting and practical workshops aimed not only at veterinarians but also veterinary nurses. During the four days, a wide range of renowned international experts from the European countries, the United States of America and Canada will thus discuss the latest news in veterinary emergency and intensive care.

The congress participants can expect a varied social programme and associated events - welcome reception in a small brewery house U Medvídků, guided tour through the historical centre of Prague, gala dinner in the Slavic House and closing ceremonies in the congress venue.

The European Society of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (EVECCS), established in 2002, is a non-profit organization with the aim to promote the study, development and clinical practice of veterinary emergency medicine and intensive care in Europe.


More information on: www.eveccs2014.org

Prague Convention Bureau organized an educational Prague InSpires Trip for USA buyers

Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with Delta Air Lines organized an educational Trip for 6 buyers representing companies from the USA from 11th to 15th August. The buyers had a great opportunity to explore Prague as a great destination for their future events.

The participants stayed in the hotel Hilton Prague. The program included Prague sightseeing tour provided by the Prague Information Service, several incentive programs, and workshop with local service providers, site inspections of selected member hotels & venues and visit of Alfons Mucha Exhibition in the Municipal House. The FAM Trip ended with the farewell gala dinner at the Lobkowicz Palace.

PRAGUE CONVENTION BUREAU HAS A REPRESENTATIVE IN THE NORTH AMERICA

Prague Convention Bureau is strengthening its position in the North American market (U.S.A. and Canada) which belongs to its key markets. The association's new North American representative Martina Fundaro (formerly Martina Kvašová) has been a member of Prague Convention Bureau´s team for almost three years as a Marketing & PR Manager.

She will be responsible for acquiring new contacts, developing new business opportunities, communication with both local media and clients and representing Prague as a congress destination at the main MICE tradeshows.

Martina Fundaro holds a master's degree of Media and Communication from the Faculty of Social Studies and a bachelor´s degree from the Faculty of Arts at the Masaryk University. She worked as a news reporter for the Czech national television and before having joined the Prague Convention Bureau, she acted as a spokesperson of the Ministry of Justice for the Czech EU Presidency and Head of the Foreign Affairs Press Department.

You can contact her at:

7190 Gaston Ave, Suite 238
Dallas TX 75214
USA
Skype: PCB.US
GSM: +1 469 475 4409

PRAGUE IN AUGUST: A CROSSROAD OF THE WORLD’S MIXOLOGY

Prague will become a centre of the bartenders´ world in August. From 16th to 22nd August 2013, with the support of the Prague Convention Bureau, the 62nd International Bartenders´ Association (IBA) Meeting will take place in Hilton Prague which will be attended by 58 delegations representing national bartenders´ associations from all continents. If other 2 associations will be accepted, the IBA will reach 60 members right in Prague.

The meeting is organized by the Czech Bartenders´ Association, on behalf of the IBA, which celebrates 20th anniversary this year. It is a recognition of the high level of Czech bartenders that the event takes place in the Czech Republic for the second time; for the first time, it was held in Grandhotel Pupp in Karlovy Vary in 1997.

The meeting will include several events that will be open to both professionals and the general public,  particularly the World Cocktail Championship in preparing non-alcoholic cocktails Mattoni Grand Drink 2013 (17th August), World Championship in Flair bartending (19th August), and World Cocktail Championship in classic mixing (20th August). At the competition, the finalists who secured their participation by winning national rounds will perform. Thus, there will be possibility to see the current world´s bartender elite in Prague. At the same time, a number of top bartenders, who significantly influenced the development of this field in the past, will appear at the event.

The meeting will take place in the middle of cocktail period, when the mixed drinks have become a phenomenon which belongs to the gastronomic culture. The individual tickets for the competition days can be purchased on site, group orders can be sent to ibameeting@cbanet.cz.

Prague Convention Bureau attended ICCA RSMP 2013 in Amsterdam

Prague Convention Bureau attended the ICCA Research, Sales & Marketing Programme held in Amsterdam RAI convention centre in The Netherlands on July 7 - 11. ICCA RSMP is an annual gathering of research, sales and marketing professionals.

The event provides an opportunity to meet other people from MICE industry to discuss, among other, current trends and stay ahead in acquiring the latest information from this field. The event was attended by 155 delegates from 37 different countries in almost all continents. During three very intensive days several specialized sessions took place, including a 5-hour block on the topic "From RFP to Bid presentation", Business Exchange or much discussed Ambassador Programme. One of the very interesting moments of the programme was a hybrid session about trends and challenges during the candidacies. This session was live stream and was watched by more than 400 professionals from all over the world.

The event is very beneficial in terms of exchange of the information, diversity of topics from MICE industry and networking. PCB was represented by Rita Juklová.

PRAGUE CONVENTION BUREAU ORGANIZED A SEMINAR FOR CONGRESS AMBASSADORS

Czech scientists, doctors and other experts met in Hilton Prague hotel on Monday, June 24, to attend another of the series of educational and networking breakfasts organized by the Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with the Czech Convention Bureau under the auspices of the City councilor Mr. Václav Novotný and the support of Prague Airport.

 It was the third event of this kind organized within the so-called "Ambassador Programme" which was initiated by the Prague Convention Bureau in 2010. The aim of the meeting was to introduce to the potential congress ambassadors the possibilities of cooperation in acquisition and organization of international congresses in Prague and the Czech Republic. This time, it was Prof. Eva Syková, MD, DSc, FCMA, director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR, who shared her abundant experience in organizing international scientific congresses and conferences with the participants. Prof. Syková was awarded for her long-term contribution to congress tourism in Prague during the ceremonial Ambassador Awards Evening in early April.

Prof. Syková, who already started to organize international events during her doctoral studies, has been organizing congresses and other scientific meetings for many years, and therefore she has gained rich experience in both event organizing and cooperation with leading PCOs in the Czech Republic. "We had scientific results and for this reason we decided to organize an international congress in Prague in the 1970s", says Prof. Syková about the start of her career, and she adds "In that time, there were no professional event organizing agencies like today. We had no choice but arrange and organize everything ourselves. Our own experience in event organizing is an advantage for us when cooperating with event organizers as we know exactly what to expect from them."

„It is essential that the local ambassadors be active within these associations and attend their congresses regularly", emphasized Prof. Syková in her presentation.Personal contact with delegates and exhibitors is often important for the future acquisition and successful organization of the event in the destination. The organizer should be a person that people in his field know, as well as they know his work. What is considerably important when getting international congresses to Prague is the ambassador´s previous experience in organizing smaller events which are often very important for the field in terms of the content of scientific program.

Prague as a congress destination has a lot to offer, as it has sufficient accommodation facilities, conference facilities for large international congresses, as well as unique historical conference facilities for hosting smaller events.  During the discussion, there was also a question about the Prague Congress Centre, the most important venue for hosting large events in Prague. The City of Prague is interested in supporting the Prague Congress Centre and in the near future it should decide on its further development in order to maintain its competitiveness. "Further development and possible reconstruction and modernization of the Prague Congress Centre will also play a significant role in achieving the ambitious goals of the Prague Convention Bureau - Prague as a top ten world's congress destination by 2015 and a top five destination by 2020 in the ICCA ranking", adds Lenka Žlebková, director of Prague Convention Bureau.

The main mission of the educational and networking breakfast is to raise awareness among the congress ambassadors about the importance of international congresses for both their disciplines and the destination, as well as to present the possibilities of support from the Prague Convention Bureau and Czech Convention Bureau. The aim of the event is to positively motivate these professionals to actively participate in the work within the international associations and to try to get some of the world or European congresses held within their field to Prague.

PRAGUE CONVENTION BUREAU ATTENDED ROADSHOW IN USA AND CANADA

The roadshow in the North American cities during which the Czech Republic together with Hungary were presented as the ideal congress destinations ended with a great success. The unique event, which took place in Dallas, Washington D.C., Toronto and Chicago from 2nd to 12th June, was organized by Prague Convention Bureau together with CzechTourism, its Foreign Representation in USA and Czech Convention Bureau.

Networking evenings in each city were attended by about 30 representatives of local associations, corporate companies, event organizers and media who had an opportunity to meet with the representatives of both destinations as well as Prague and Hungarian hotels and DMCs; Prague was represented by K+K Hotel and the company Maxin Prague, and in Chicago by Maxin Prague, InterContinental Hotel, Senator Meetings & Incentives and CPI Hotels. The evening in Washington, D.C. was also attended by the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Czech Republic in USA, in Chicago by the Consul General of the Czech Republic in Chicago and the Toronto event by the Consul General of the Czech Republic in Toronto.

Each event included a quiz for the attendees that consisted of questions relating to various places of interest in the Czech Republic and Hungary. It was followed by a joint presentation of both destinations representing the best what they can offer in terms of convention and a dinner with a raffle offering winners very attractive prizes, the first prize being educational trip to Prague and Budapest that will be held in 2014.

Prague Convention Bureau concluded the roadshow by its attendance at the international tradeshow AIBTM held in Chicago from June 11 - 13. Prague Information Service was the official partner of the event.

FLOOD UPDATE: Prague is safe to visit!

Life in Prague is returning to normal. The historical centre is intact thanks to modern anti-flood walls which had protected it. The underground system (which suffered no flood damage) is back to regular operation. With a few exceptions, all sights and businesses are open as usual. Come visit!

More here

World UX experts are coming to Prague to give a lecture about the role of UX in business

On 2 October 2013, with the support of the Prague Convention Bureau, the UX Masterclass Conference will take place in Prague. It will undoubtedly be the most significant business-oriented User Experience (UX) conference in Central and Eastern Europe.

In the beginning of October, for the first time ever, leaders of the most successful UX Agencies from all over the world will meet in the Central European region in order to share the newest UX and business trends, best practices in users and customers approach, but especially to bring a large portion of inspiration and innovation.

"UX Masterclass is a unique chance to meet the world´s best experts in UX and absorb their experience with innovations that User Experience brings to the companies," says Luboš Plotěný, director of the organizing agency ExperienceU. "Such well-attended events have taken place only west of our region so far, and it was not easy to bring UX Masterclass to Prague. However, we have a lot of signals showing that there is hunger for a conference of similar scope and focus. The companies are more often aware of the fact that the involvement of UX into their business can mean a big innovative leap for them," he adds.

The subject of the Prague UX Masterclass Conference will cover in particular commercial importance of UX in companies, return on investment in UX, innovations, business and product strategies, service design, as well as international research and the latest UX trends, such as measuring customer experience, or persuasion and emotion in design. All lectures will however have one thing in common - a strong emphasis on true stories and case studies that reveal the role UX plays in companies and corporations in the most developed economies.

The conference will offer, among others, the following speakers:

 Robert Schummacher - Executive Vice President, GfK User Centric (USA)
 Gavin Lew - Executive Vice President, GfK User Centric (USA)
 Bruce Haldane - VP Consumer Products, Experience and Platform, AVG Technologies (Great Britain)
 Frederic Gaillard - Managing Director, Axance (France)
 Simon Herd - Research Director, Serco ExperienceLab (Great Britain)
 Francis Fung - International UX Business Manager, Mitsue-Links (Japan)·        
 Morgan McKeagney - Managing Director, iQ Content (Ireland)
 Thomas Snitker - CEO/Usability Specialist, SnitkerGroup (Denmark)
 Marcio Leibovitch - User Experience Designer, YU Centrik (Canada)

UX Masterclass is a series of international conferences that are held in different metropolis of the world and focus on new trends in the area of applicability and user experience (UX). The conferences are held under the auspices of the global network of the biggest UX agencies - UX Alliance. The organizer of UX Masterclass Prague is ExperienceU, a specialized division of the company Dobrý web and the only local member of the alliance. The previous UX Masterclass Conferences were successfully hosted by New Zealand, Canada, Denmark, the United States of America, South Africa, Russia, and Spain.  This year, the Czech Republic has taken over hosting of the event to which great ambition is put.

More information: www.uxmasterclass.cz

 

Prague will host the International Congress of Veterinary Dentistry

This year, for the first time, Prague will host the International Congress of Veterinary Dentistry which will attract more than 500 experts from all continents, primarily from Europe, North and South America, Australia, as well as from Asia and Africa. From 23rd to 26th May, Clarion Congress Hotel Prague will provide venue for the joint congress WVDC/ECVD 2013 which will combine the 22nd European Congress of Veterinary Dentistry and 12th World Veterinary Dental Congress. The event is organized by Senator Meetings & Incentives agency.

"The European Association, who has been organizing these congresses for more than 20 years in various European cities, contacted us at one of previous congresses and offered us to organize their congress in Prague in 2013. They noticed the high attendance of Czech veterinarians and their active interest in this field. Of course, we accepted the challenge with pleasure," explains the president of the Czech Veterinary Dental Society Dr. Tomáš Fichtel.

The meeting will focus on topical information from all fields of veterinary dentistry, periodontology and dental surgery being dominating specialties. The attention will be also paid to the dentistry of horses, small rodents and exotic animals. Pre-congress training session will be focused on practical scientific tutorials followed by two-day meeting of scientific sessions. The congress program consists of four parallel sessions providing information to both veterinarians engaged in dentistry only occasionally within their general practice and specialists who are engaged in this field at the highest or scientific level. The highlight of the social program will be the gala dinner organized in a magnificent Czech cultural heritage monument - the Municipal House.

Prague Convention Bureau closely cooperated with the Czech Veterinary Dental Society in the selection of organizers and venues. "We believe that the event, thanks to its scientific quality, business and social contribution, will have a great impact both in Europe and in the world, and therefore we are happy that Prague was chosen as the destination for this event," says Lenka Žlebková, director of Prague Convention Bureau.

More information: http://2013.ecvd.info/

Eighth Year of Business Competition has just started!

The competition is open to any company with a turnover of up to CZK 1.5 billion and two years of accounting history or any sole trader who has been in business for at least one year.

The competitions take place in two stages: announcement of regional winners and the national finals with a closing gala ceremony. The competitions receive considerable positive publicity, providing its participants with new business opportunities and enhancing company brand reputation. For more details please contact Michal Kaderka, tel: 777 771 084, email: michal.kaderka@communa.cz. For online registration please click here.  

Prague became the 11th World’s Congress Destination Last Year

Prague became the 11th world's congress destination and 10th European congress city in 2012 and achieved the best position in congress field for the last six years. Statistics for 2012 have been published recently by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and according to them; Prague Convention Bureau is just a step away from achieving its ambitious goals - Prague as a top ten world's congress destination by 2015 and top five by 2020.

Prague successfully improved its position in the congress destinations ranking for the second consecutive year, especially thanks to the strategic steps taken by Prague Convention Bureau and its close cooperation with the management of City of Prague and better statistical data collection. With 98 events in 2011 Prague moved from 19th to 14th position and with 112 events in 2012 to 11th position.

"Even though we expected some improvement, the results of ICCA statistics have exceeded our expectations. We are really happy
that first successes have been observed as the result of hard work of our organization and our members, as well as the representatives of City of Prague in attracting congresses to Prague. Together we managed to get Prague among the top 11 world's congress destinations and to the top ten destinations in Europe. This is the proof that the city has much to offer to congress organizers and
has a great potential for future development. I am convinced that if we set up our steps in the right direction, the city will continue to rise in the rankings"
, says Lenka Žlebková, director of Prague Convention Bureau.

The fact that Prague as a congress and convention destination has experienced a record growth in recent years has also been confirmed by the data provided by the Czech Statistical Office for the last 4 years that declare 20 % increase in the number of events and even 40 % increase in the number of participants - to almost 570,000 participants in accommodation establishments (ICCA statistics take into account only international association meetings which take place on a regular basis, rotate between a minimum of three countries and attract a minimum of 50 participants). However, estimated total number of participants of all events held in Prague last year is much higher - up to 800,000.

Congress industry brings Prague the total turnover of more than 20 billion CZK per year - a congress delegate usually spends in Prague about 330 - 380 EUR, which is up to three times more than an ordinary tourist. In addition to this undeniable economic contribution it has also an invaluable impact on the development of industry, trade, research and innovation, growth of regional headquarters of international associations, inflow of foreign investments and overall development of competitiveness of the Czech Republic. Last but not least, it improves the overall prestige and position of the city in the international field.

Prague Convention Bureau elected new Board of Directors, the President and 2 Vice-Presidents

On April 16th, new Board of Directors was elected to two-year term at the General Assembly of Prague Convention Bureau. On April 22nd, at the first meeting of Board of Directors, was then re-elected as the President of Prague Convention Bureau Sanjiv Suri from Zátiší Group. Martin Lehký from Senator Travel and Martin Žídek from Marriott Hotel Prague became the new Vice-Presidents of the Prague Convention Bureau.

The General Assembly elected a total of 9 members of the Board of Directors. Six former members got re-elected - Martin Lehký (Senator Travel), Michal Kárník (Prague Congress Centre), Martin Žídek (Marriott Hotel Prague), Sanjiv Suri (Zátiší Group), Ivo Miksa (Guarant International) a Luca Crocco (Hilton Old Town). Miroslav Bukva (Clarion Congress Hotel Prague), Milan Švára (Radisson Blu
Alcron Hotel) and Roman Muška (AIM Group International) became the Directors for the first time.

The General Assembly also elected the Revision committee, members of which became Soňa Bolcková (Royal Prague Travel), Roko Palmic (InterContinental Prague) and Jonathan Pace (Corinthia Hotel Prague).

New Board of Directors will focus above all on project development of PCB in the area of marketing, business development, and relations with the public sector, development of membership base and its relations, ethics on the market, Ambassador Program and also development of funding.

MICE Roadshow USA – Acquisitio

The MICE Roadshow includes 4 evening social and networking events in Dallas, Washington, Toronto and Chicago, where Prague and the Czech Republic will be presented as ideal congress destinations.

The acquisition of MICE buyers from associations, corporate clients and agencies will be provided by the local company called GlobalMICMarketing which was selected in a tender.  

Roadshow Schedule: 

Monday 3th June, 2013 - Dallas

Wednesday 5th June, 2013 - Washington DC 

Thursday 6th June, 2013 - Toronto 

Wednesday 12th June, 2013 - Chicago 

The roadshow is designed for 5 representatives of public and private sector, Convention Bureaus, hotels, venues, DMCs and PCOs and others.  

Fee for participation: 1,500 USD without VAT 

The price does not include operating expenses for participant. Each participant of the event shall arrange and cover all the costs connected with accommodation, transport, etc. himself/herself.  

Deadline for submission: no later than 26th April, 2013. 

The registration is carried out by the project partner - Prague Convention Bureau. In case of your interest, please sign up by e-mail to: dagmar.kloudova@pragueconvention.cz.  

It is recommended to register as soon as possible. The selection of Czech subjects is carried out based on "first come, first serve"! Each entity can be represented only by one participant.   

The Application (PCB) 

More information: 

CzechTourism 

Michaela Claudino
Director of CzechTourism New York
CzechTourism North America
Madison Ave. 1109, New York, 100 28
GSM: + 1 646 269 4839
Phone:+ 1 212 288 0830 ext. 102
E-mail: mailto:102palkova@czechtourism.com  

Jana Houšková
Convention and Incentive Tourism Manager 
CzechTourism Prague
Vinohradská 46, 120 41 Prague 2
Phone: + 420 221 580 451
Fax: + 420 221 580 463
GSM: + 420 777 702 767
E-mail: houskova@czechtourism.cz

Prague Convention Bureau 

Dagmar Kloudová
Association Meetings (UK, USA, Benelux)
GSM: +420 725 870 128
Phone: +420 224 284 269
Fax: +420 224 234 399
E-mail: dagmar.kloudova@pragueconvention.cz

World experts gave lecture in Prague on how to win international congresses

On April 9, the world congress industry experts met in Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel Prague at the educational seminar "How to win international congresses". During the event, which was attended by 150 participants, they talked about finding a way in a competitive market, preparing BID that will win or the significance of the Olympic Games and their contribution to the city on the example of London.

The Prague Convention Bureau organized this unique seminar, which helps to exchange the information and to cooperate with the world leaders in the field of congress industry, for the second consecutive year. Like last year, the seminar was meant for both local and foreign professionals in the field of congress tourism, media representatives, domestic association representatives and public authorities.

The seminar was opened by ICCA CEO Martin Sirk, according to whom the success in promotion and winning international congresses lies in awareness of the importance of cooperation. "The successful destinations are able to get the most from the cooperation with others. The example may be Vienna, which cooperates with Barcelona in distant markets and they represent the European culture together, even though they are the competitors. Also the Scandinavian cities represent Scandinavia as one unit, they do a joint promotion and you can find their booths at international trade fairs side by side."

Malcolm MacMillan from the International Confederation Midwives continued with a speech about the importance of an added value offered by the destination. According to him, the most important question asked by a convention manager at the beginning is whether the destination is able to attract the delegates. In his opinion, the most important of all is the access - getting delegates to the destination, transport within the destination and also affordability of the services. The International Confederation Midwives will organize its congress in Prague next year, and expects about 3000 participants. "Today, the delegates want to spend their money in an attractive destination that has something to offer. One of the reasons why we have chosen Prague for this congress was the fact that delegates wanted to come here."

Francesca Manzani from the Florence office of AIM Group International and the ICCA Board Member highlighted the importance of understanding the client and pointed out that the companies active in the congress industry should not only focus on the sales, but more on clients` needs and wishes. "Convention bureau should co-ordinate local suppliers and common activities to persuade clients of the destination. And however is e.g. the financial support important, even the greatest one cannot buy personal approach and trust." Likewise, the director of the Czech Space Office Jan Kolář talked about personal approach, particularly from the PCO side, and showed it on a case study of the candidacy for the International Astronautical Congress, held in Prague in 2010, when contribution of the organizing agency to the bidding process was a key factor for final success.

The director of the largest convention center in London, ExCeL London, and the ICCA Board Member James Rees built his speech upon the Olympic Games and their benefits for the growth of the congress industry in London. Thanks to the development of infrastructure and evolving relationships with the government, London now attracts more event organizers than ever, because the Olympic Games have changed the view on the city. Thus, London went from 19th place in 2010 to 7th place in 2012 in the world destination ranking. Bruce Redor from GainingEdge, who moderated the entire event, also talked about the importance of government support and the necessity of highlighting the differences and strengths of the destination.

The educational seminar was held under the auspices of the Minister for Regional Development Kamil Jankovský and the Prague City Councillor for Culture, Monument Care, Exhibitions, International Relations and Tourism Václav Novotný. The main partners of the event were the Ministry of regional development, the City of Prague, CzechTourism, Czech Convention Bureau, Prague Airport, Prague Information Service and Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel. The technological partner was Mikenopa and the media partners were business paper E15, C.O.T. media publishing house, and Metropol TV.

Ambassadors were awarded for contribution to congress tourism in Prague

On April 9, the fourth Ambassador Awards Evening took place at the Residence of the Mayor of Prague. Scientists and experts were awarded for their activities in contribution to the development of congress tourism in Prague. Prizes for the winners of the five major categories were handed by the Prague City Councillor Mr. Václav Novotný and the President of the Prague Convention Bureau Mr. Sanjiv Suri. As in the last years, the festive evening culminated by presenting the award for the long-term contribution to congress tourism to prof. MUDr Eva Syková, DrSc., Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine of the ASCR.

More than 80 eminent scientists and experts together with the member agencies of Prague Convention Bureau and the representatives of the Prague Congress Centre attended the gala evening. The event was attended ICCA CEO Martin Sirk, who came to Prague on the occasion of the inspection visit regarding the candidacy of Prague on the ICCA Congress 2016.

The winners were awarded in five major categories. The award for the Corporate Event of the year 2012, that brought prestige to the Czech Republic and Prague as a destination, received the company Cisco Systems (Czech Republic) for Cisco Expo Conference 2012. During the conference, which was attended by more than 1000 delegates and is considered as the most important event in the field of IT, the interesting innovations and technologies were introduced in the areas which the company is currently focused on.

The award in the category Candidature of the year 2012 was awarded prof. Karel Cvachovec, MD, MBA for his successful candidacy of 17th World Congress of Anaesthesiologists (WCA), which will be held in Prague in 2020. It is expected that the congress will be attended by up to 10000 delegates from all around the world. Prague, represented by the Czech Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine and supported by GUARANT International, has achieved a significant success during the candidacy and defeated very strong candidates such as London, Istanbul or San Francisco.

The award in the category Congress of the year 2012 went to prof. MUDr. Jana Hercogová, CSc. for the 21st annual EADV Congress, which was organized by company C-IN in the Prague Congress Centre last year, and attracted more than 8000 delegates, doctors and scientists from all around the world. The theme of the Congress was "Skin is Vital" that emphasizes the central importance of skin in our health and well-being. During the event, the top level knowledge in basic as well as clinical dermatology, skin and skin cancer, cosmetic dermatology, skin infections, venereology and many other field of dermatology were presented.

A special Award of Prague Congress Centre handed out the Prague City Councillor Václav Novotný together with the Director of the Prague Congress Centre Michal Kárník to Radoslava Froňková, the Director of nova-Art agency, for the Mary Kay Conference, which has been held annually in the Prague Congress Centre since 2008 and shall take place there until 2020.

The finale of the evening was the Award for the long-term contribution to congress tourism, received by prof. Eva Syková, DrSc., the Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine of the ASCR. Prof. Syková is also a member of the Academia Europaea, associating the world´s best scientists, a member of the European Academy of Sciences and a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. Thanks to her activity, Prague hosted many significant events such as the 6th IBRO World Congress of Neuroscience in 2003 or 10th European meeting on Glial Cells in Health and Disease in 2011.

Successful bids and the subsequent hosting of the international congresses not only mean prestige for Prague and a significant visibility abroad, but also contribute significantly to the economic development of the city. Ambassador Awards Evening, which is a part of the Ambassadors Program of the Prague Convention Bureau, will be held and developed also in the following years.

Partners of the event were CzechTourism, Czech Convention Bureau, the Prague Information Service, Prague Airport, and as technology partner AV Media.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY PROGRAM, 16 April 2013

Dear Prague Convention Bureau Members, We have the pleasure to invite you to the General Assembly of the Prague Convention Bureau which will take place on 16 April 2013 at 10 am at Diplomat Hotel, Evropská 15, Prague 6

Registration of participants (based on the Authorization) starts at 9:30 a.m.

General Assembly Program 10:00 am - 11:00 am

  • Opening
  • Election of a Record-keeper, Verifiers and Committee Mandates
  • Approval of 2012 Annual Report
  • Approval of Budget for 2013

Coffee break 11:00 - 11:15 am

General Assembly Program 11:15 am - 1:00 pm

  • Elections of the Board of Directors of Prague Convention Bureau o. s.
  • Election of the Auditor
  • Announcement of the results of the election
  • Discussion
  • End of General Assembly

Statistics show that congress tourism in Prague rises

The popularity of Prague as a congress destination increases every year. Especially 2012 was extraordinarily successful year for Prague according to the statistics. The Czech Statistical Office, collecting data from collective accommodation establishments, states the total of 4,264 meetings organized in the Czech capital last year (i.e. increase by 234 meetings compared to 2011), which hosted 671,812 participants, that means increase by 16.4% compared to 2011. The increasing trend is also confirmed by statistics that Prague Convention Bureau has collected for the third consecutive year from its members.

A longer-range insight also shows very positive trend - the CSO statistics from the last 4 years show a 20% increase of the meetings in 2012 compared to 2009. During this period, the number of the participants increased by almost 40% from 484,807 to 671,812. In 2012, the most meetings (1,282) were held from April to June.

According to the statistics of Prague Convention Bureau, most events held in Prague have been corporate conferences/meetings, followed by association conferences/congresses; mostly in the fields of pharmacy, IT and telecommunication, economy and medical sciences. The average length of meeting shorted from 2.29 days in 2011 to 2.06 days in 2012. As in the previous year, one-day meetings dominated in 2012, and this fact relates to the significant 61% increase of number of the meetings without accommodation.

It is also evident that smaller meetings become more significant. As in 2011, meetings for 50-149 participants were the most common type of events for PCB members in 2012. Number of these meetings had increased by 10%. As in 2011, the second most frequent type of meetings in 2012 was for 10-49 participants. Unlike in 2011, the number of meetings with international participants (i.e. with the number of international participants higher than 20%) increased by 61% last year. Direct clients still dominate over intermediate agencies - besides the Czech Republic, they come mostly from the United Kingdom, USA, Germany, France and Belgium.

Hotel remained the most frequent venue used last year. The second position, unlike in 2011, belongs to the category of other venues, which includes all facilities except those in the categories of hotels and congress centers, most often universities.

The above statistic data confirm that Prague becomes more and more popular destination for organizing any type of event. We can expect positive trend in increasing number of both meetings and participants as well in the upcoming years.

Prague Convention Bureau launched the tender for a new website

Prague Convention Bureau launched the tender for creation and administration of new company´s website.

Prague Convention Bureau primary focuses is on the international business events market. Key market segments include:

  • International & regional (Europe) association meetings
  • International and regional (Europe) corporate meetings and incentives
  • Geographic markets include Europe (UK, Germany, France, and Benelux) and North America (USA).


New website will replace the existing one at www.pragueconvention.cz. It should be integrated with company´s CRM system, and should include both administration system for regular updates by a PCB´s employee and members´ section of the website.

Prague Convention Bureau will accept offers until April 15, 2013.

In the first round, the committee will select 3 finalists to present proposed solutions. Final evaluation will focus on the overall impression, creativity, competence, professionalism and price.

Details of the tender can be found here, and requested structure of the website here.  

PCB organizes educational seminar "How to win international congresses"

The educational seminar "How to win international congresses" will be held on April 9, 2013, at Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel in Prague. Seminar is meant for representatives of Prague Convention Bureau and Czech Convention Bureau, regional convention bureaus, convention bureaus within Central and Eastern Europe region, meeting professionals and media representatives, representatives from local associations, representatives of public authorities.

The event is held under the auspices of the Minister for Regional Development Kamil Jankovský and the Prague City Councillor for
Culture, Monument Care, Exhibitions, International Relations and Tourism Ing. Václav Novotný, and is taking place on the occasion of the inspection visit of ICCA CEO Martin Sirk regarding the candidacy of Prague on the ICCA Congress 2016.

The program of the seminar is divided into two sections. The first section entitled "Making first contact with the association client" will start with the presentation of  ICCA CEO (International Congress and Convention Association) Martin Sirk, who will talk about tips on the best sales approach, based on ICCA´s findings and clients' feedback. Conference Manager at International Confederation of Midwives Malcolm MacMillan will then approach the topic ''Providing Associations with added value'', and Francesca Manzani from AIM Group International - Florence Office and ICCA board member will continue with "Finding your way in a competitive market". In her presentation, she will talk about different approaches of cities or destinations when bidding for meetings and explore what is the role of core PCO in the decision process when selecting destination. She will also introduce new ideas in incentive support, especially what can we do to be different. The first section will end with the panel discussion moderated by Bruce Redor from the company GainingEdge.

During the second section called "Implementing successful BID strategy" will be introduced two case studies. First case study "Decision process in the association" will be presented by Jan Kolář from Czech Space Alliance. Second case study will cover the London Olympics 2012 and will be presented by James Rees from ExCeL London who is also a board member of ICCA. This case study will show how hosting a major sporting event can bring immediate and long-term legacy benefits for the meetings industry.  Bruce Redor, who will be also the moderator of the entire event, will between those two case studies introduce how to prepare a winning BID, and after that he will moderate the second panel discussion.

download program here.

European Facility Management Conference in Prague will focus on sustainability

Sustainability is the core focus of this year's European Facility Management Conference (EFMC), taking place in Prague from 22 to 24 May 2013 (efmc.conference.com). Based on the motto "Facility Management for a Sustainable Future", the Business Conference and the Research Symposium will bring together the latest insights from research and practice under the umbrella of this large international trade fair and congress. The event is organised by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and the European EuroFM association. Over 700 participants from all over the world are expected at the Prague Congress Center.

The national Czech and Slovak FM associations will act as joint hosts. "The EFMC picks up the tradition of the ‘World Workplace Europe' conference, which was organised by the IFMA in Europe until 2003. The last event of this kind, which was also one of the most successful conferences, took place in Prague in 2003. Therefore, it is of symbolic significance that, ten years on, Facility Managers will once again convene in this historic city", says Ondřej Štrup, President of the Czech IFMA section and Deputy Chairman of EuroFM. Ass.Prof.Viera Somorová, President of the Slovak FM association SAFM adds: "We are convinced that the EFMC 2013 will make a great contribution to strengthening connections between the established EU states and the fast-growing countries in Central and Eastern Europe."

The welcome reception at Villa Richter, nestled in the vineyards of Prague Castle, starts at 6 pm on 22 May and will put the participants in the mood for the two conference days to follow. Apart from plenary sessions and parallel presentations on various topics, the EFMC will once again offer round table sessions for interactive and animated exchange, a gala dinner at the Žofín Palace during which the European FM Awards will be presented on the evening of 23 May, and a poster session by European FM students. The speakers comprise, among others: Peter Ankerstjerne of ISS, Tomáš Polák of Okin, Alan Hajek of UniCredit Bank, John Hanlon of the British Ministry of Defence, Adriana Petrova of Landmark Property Management, Marcel Broumels of Essent, Jos Duchamps of Procos, Jaap G. Wijnja of Hanze University and Svein Bjørberg of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

The EFMC 2013 is sponsored by ISS, Okin and Sodexo as well as Eurest Services and Ecophon Saint-Gobain. "Once again, ISS is proud to be the platinum sponsor of the European Facility Management Conference. We consider it a very important forum for networking, sharing best practices and gaining insight into future trends and developments in the FM industry. ISS encourages colleagues, clients and friends to participate at the EFMC in Prague", states ISS Group Marketing Director Peter Ankerstjerne. Patrick Sochnikoff of Sodexo explains: "The EFMC is an important event for the FM market. It brings together business experiences and educational knowledge on a European level. As a global integrator of Quality of Life Services, Sodexo support this event, by sharing our expertise with FM professionals. We see it as our logical obligation to be part of the development of the FM profession. Like previous year in Copenhagen, we expect to be inspired by the many debates as well."

At the accompanying trade exhibition, companies from the FM industry will present their services, including AB Facility, Kaba MainManager and Topdesk. Moreover, about 15 media partners from various European countries will support the event organised by Euroforum and Informa Exhibitions. Early-bird rates apply until 15 March. For further information, please visit http://bit.ly/efmc2013.

Europe’s PCO association leaders lay in Prague foundations for their European Observatory

Leading members from the national associations which make up the European Federation of the Associations of PCOs have approved plans for a bold new professional, economic and educational development structure.

Proposals developed by Sam van de Kerckhof, from the Belgian association of PCOs -BAPCO - were approved following a series of intensive workshop sessions before EFAPCO's 2013 General Assembly, which took place in the charismatic Czech capital of Prague.

"The Observatory's three-pillar construction heralds a hugely active and interactive programme of professional, educational and economic activities which I hope will involve all 14 member countries," said EFAPCO President Luisa Ahrens Teixeira. "All of this new activity will make for a highly attractive Congress due to take place in Malaga next January.

"In addition to our own members it was encouraging to meet a good range of professionals who belong to the highly proactive Prague Convention Bureau's network, plus some leading PCO's from non-member countries keen to learn about forming their own national association and then qualifying for EFAPCO membership.

"I'm convinced that the Federation can prove invaluable to all professionals working in the field of congress organisation, by constantly driving up the service standards we offer to clients and their delegates, and by promoting our needs and aspirations to EU governments and the European Commission. With this in mind we need to prove we are united and speak with one voice."

The Observatory's architect Sam van de Kerckhof, was delighted with the positive manner in which members have helped to launch the three-pillar concept. "Focused on Economy, National Organisations and Education the pillars relate to EFAPCO's main objectives and fit easily within the remits of different directorates within the European Commission.

"We need to be in a position to react promptly as the "voice of the European meetings industry" on the various challenges and developments we all have to live and work with, forecasting risks and developing opportunities. Employment, innovation, creativity and competitiveness should all be central to our thought processes.

"As a European federation we should open our minds and celebrate the tremendous variety Europe offers us - and meetings planners worldwide - and we need to encourage all countries, both within the EU and in other parts of Europe to unite their professionals in embracing quality and ethical standards. The Observatory is set to collect statistics from all of our member associations, enabling us to undertake macro-economic, political and financial analyses," he added.

"We also plan to evaluate how well we are preparing the next generation for our constantly-evolving profession. The education of future meetings professionals builds bridges towards employment. The Observatory will eventually report on all initiatives being undertaken in terms of professional education."

Van de Kerckhof added: "We hope to gather input from all member associations to generate annual or bi-annual reports which will also encourage PCOs in non-member countries to form their own associations, get involved and gain maximum benefit from joining our network."

It proved to be a challenging and successful debut Assembly for Luisa Ahrens Teixeira. As managing director of the award-winning Portuguese PCO organization, Mundiconvenius, and a leading member of APECATE, she was recently elected as the Federation's first woman President.

"Extending EFAPCO's reach will strengthen our voice, not just within the EU but also with sister organisations like JMIC and with similar associations in other parts of the world," she said.

Lenka Zlebkova, managing director of the Prague Convention Bureau said: "It was great to meet industry experts from all over Europe. It was the first time in the Federation's eight-year history that members had met in Prague. I'm convinced the meeting, and in particular the Observatory workshops, has enriched local suppliers who also attended the event. It has given them some new perspectives on the international market and lots of new knowledge from all the networking that took place."


Photogallery here.

Europe’s PCO leaders head for Prague and a new era

Leading members from the 14 national associations which make up the European Federation of the Associations of PCOs gather in the Czech Republic's capital, Prague, this weekend for a General Assembly which will set out a new programme of professional, educational and economic activities for the organisation.

"We are also looking forward to meeting some of the 1,450 PCO professionals active in the meetings industry, which make up the membership of our 14 national associations," said Federation President Luisa Ahrens Teixeira.

"And we have invited leading PCOs from some of the European countries who, at present, do not have their own PCO associations, to come and learn about the benefits of belonging to our Europe-wide network," she added.

"I'm convinced that EFAPCO can prove invaluable to all professionals working in the field of congress organisation, by constantly driving up the service standards we offer to clients and their delegates, and by promoting our needs and aspirations to EU governments and the European Commission. With this in mind we need to prove we are united and speak in one voice."

The focus of this year's General Assembly will be a series of intensive workshop sessions aimed at creating a dedicated European Observatory. The proposed structure will rest on three essential pillars: Economy, National Organisations and Education.

The Observatory's architect Sam van de Kerckhof, from the Belgian association BAPCO, said: "The three pillars relate to EFAPCO's main objectives and fit easily within the remits of different directorates within the European Commission.

"We need to be in a position to react promptly as the "voice of the European meetings industry" on the various challenges and developments our industry has to live with, forecasting risks and developing opportunities. Employment, innovation, creativity and competitiveness should all be part of our thought processes.

"As a European federation we should open our minds and celebrate the tremendous variety Europe offers us - and meetings planners worldwide - and we need to encourage all countries, both within the EU and in other parts of Europe to unite their professionals in embracing quality and ethical standards. The Observatory should collect statistics from all of our member national associations, enabling us to undertake macro-economic, political and financial analyses," he added.

"We also need to evaluate how well we are preparing the next generation for our constantly-evolving profession. The education of future meetings professionals builds bridges towards employment. The Observatory should report on all initiatives being undertaken in terms of professional education."

Van de Kerckhof added: "I hope we can gather input from all member associations to generate annual or bi-annual reports which will also encourage PCOs in non-member countries to form their own associations, get involved and gain maximum benefit from joining our network."

It promises to be a challenging debut Assembly for Luisa Ahrens Teixeira. As managing director of the award-winning Portuguese PCO
organization, Mundiconvenius, and a leading member of APECATE she was recently elected as the Federation's first woman President.

"Extending EFAPCO's reach strengthens our voice, not just within the EU but also with organisations like JMIC and with sister associations in other parts of the world," she said.

The Assembly is taking place at the Holiday Inn Prague Congress Centre Hotel on Saturday January 19.

Lenka Zlebkova, managing director of the Prague Convention Bureau said: "We're absolutely delighted to welcome EFAPCO to the Czech Republic for the first time in its history. We have  prepared a highly professional and interesting programme which I hope
will prove to be a real eye-opener for all participants."

EFAPCO is a non-profit institution headquartered in Brussels. The Federation complements the national activities of its members, enabling PCOs to have a single strong voice in Europe. The website at http://www.efapco.eu/gives detailed information on EFAPCO, its membership and activities.

Prague Convention Bureau has begun cooperation with the organization which helps children from orphanages

In December, Prague Convention Bureau has joined a project which helps children from orphanages in the Czech Republic. It has become a partner of the project „Art for Freedom", run by the organization Audabiac, which started in 1998 and its aim is to open the door to various fields to abandoned children with the help of artists and other professionals in order to teach them the basics of the craft, inspire children to be creative and to get new stimuli.

„For a long time, we have been considering our participation in some form of charity work. We found the project of the organization Audabiac interesting, because the majority of children in orphanages they are studying at schools related to our field. Therefore, together with our members, we would like to give these children a chance at their starting line, which is usually the most difficult moment of their lives - to start independent living," said the managing director of Prague Convention Bureau Lenka Žlebková about the cooperation.

The main objective of the cooperation is to create job training for children in orphanages who attend schools focused on the field of tourism or hospitality. This should help them to get social stability and possibly positively affect their future. A secondary goal is to inform about the problems of children in orphanages and support the financing of artistic activities of the association.

In the field of congress tourism, the popularity of Prague increases

One of the main promotional activities of Prague this year was an extensive campaign in the international printed media specializing in congress tourism. From June, the campaign took place in a total of 15 specialized media. Every advertisement was also supported by other PR activities. It is the first ever campaign of this kind realized by the capital city.

The campaign, which included the media such as Conference and Incentive Travel Magazine, Voyages d'Affaires or EIBTM Show Daily, was completed with a year-long program for foreign journalists from the area of both conventions and conferences, and leisure and tourism. More than 50 representatives of trade press, travel agents and conference organizers from 32 countries were invited to Prague where they enjoyed varied programmes, from a welcome by the representatives of the City of Prague, a tour of selected sites, hotels and various city organizations to social and leisure activities.

The activities that are popular throughout the world met with a very positive feedback from the participants who appreciated both the organization and the range of offered opportunities. All participants agreed that Prague has a lot to offer to its visitors, both in the field of leisure activities and the perspective of quality background for congress tourism. When asked whether Prague will be included in their portfolio, A.R. Revsbech from the Danish office of the JTB travel agency, for example, responded: "Of course, you showed us a lot of options that your beautiful city has to offer." The entire event was evaluated by the councilor Prague Mr. Václav Novotný: "Presentation of Prague from the perspective of its history, culture, gastronomy and infrastructure in this attractive form greatly contributed to the awareness of foreign tourists and their motivation to visit our capital city."

This activity of the City of Prague was also welcomed by the Prague Convention Bureau, which has long been in cooperation with the City Hall trying to increase the number of congress and conference events in the capital. According to its statistical data, Prague has seen a significant increase in the number of these events earlier this year; in the third quarter, i.e. the period just after the start of the media campaign, the number of congress and conference events increased by approximately 20%, compared to the same period last year. This positive trend is also confirmed by the CSO (Czech Statistical Office) statistics, according to which there has been an increase of these events by about 11% in the first three quarters of this year, and the number of conference participants has increased by 15%. Prague Convention Bureau expects that the impact of this year's campaign will result in growth of the congress industry, especially in the high season of the next year.

Prague Convention Bureau organized the second seminar for congress ambassadors

Czech scientists, doctors and other experts met yesterday at the second educational and networking breakfast in history organized by the Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with the Czech Convention Bureau, under the auspices of the City councillor Mr. Václav Novotný and the support of Prague Airport.

The meeting of 12 leading Czech experts in medicine, pharmacy or technical area, who are active in international organizations, thus becoming the Czech ambassadors of these disciplines, took place in Clarion Congress Hotel Prague.

The main reason for organizing the seminar was to broaden awareness of the importance of international congresses for both their disciplines and the destination, and also to acquaint them with the possibilities of support from the Prague Convention Bureau and the Czech Convention Bureau. The purpose of the meeting was to motivate the ambassadors to get involved in the work within the international associations and participate in bringing world congresses to Prague.

In the first event of this type ever, which took place in June, it was Prof. RNDr. Václav Pačes, DrSc. who shared his experience in organizing congresses. This time the role has been given to Prof. Jana Hercogová, MD, PhD, who organized her first out of 47 congresses in Prague in 1995. This event brought Prague the turnover of more than 400,000 EUR. In 2010, she was awarded by the Mayor of Prague and the President of the Prague Convention Bureau for the "Congress of the year 2009". „For a successful candidacy and winning a congress it is necessary to have five „Ts": unconventional topic, suitable term, good team, technical support and TOP presentation. To me personally organizing of congresses brought a lot of personal satisfaction, career development and a number of contacts all over the world," said Prof. Hercogová to her colleagues in her presentation.

The Prague Convention Bureau is aware of the importance of cooperation with congress ambassadors and offers considerable help in this area - from the support of public institutions, creating a competitive bid, to organization of a site inspection for the decision committee on the cost of PCB, welcome, financial support or free public transport. „From 1 January, a systematic support of congress tourism should be established in Prague - e.g. including subsidy for the rental of conference facilities, catering, to financial contribution per each participant, "informed the Managing Director of Prague Convention Bureau Lenka Žlebková.

The event was organized within the so-called „Ambassador Programme", which was initiated by the Prague Convention Bureau in 2010 by the first „Ambassador Awards Evening". During the ceremony, the Mayor of Prague presented awards to congress ambassadors for their contribution to Prague congress industry. Since then, the Prague Convention Bureau together with its members is still expanding its Ambassadors'Club which now comprises 70 members.

 

Prague Convention Bureau guarantees free Wi-Fi for event organizers

Free Wi-Fi Internet access for events in Prague is no longer "hit and miss". Prague Convention Bureau now guarantees free Wi-Fi internet access to event organizers in most Prague hotels and venues that are members of Prague Convention Bureau.

In a recent survey conducted by Prague Convention Bureau, 50 per cent of respondents mentioned free Wi-Fi for delegates as very important; international associations even put this response in the first place. Following these findings, Prague Convention Bureau began negotiations with its members, appealing on the need of free Wi-Fi service in Prague.

As a result of the negotiations, 90 per cent of Prague Convention Bureau member hotels offer free Wi-Fi internet for conference attendees to a certain extent; some of them provide free Wi-Fi in the entire hotel including guest rooms, some of them at least in the conference premises, at the reception, in the lobby bar, or restaurants.

Venues usually offer Wi-Fi internet at a basic speed; if higher speed is required, the service is mostly charged.    

The move is aimed at boosting the congress tourism industry and meeting clients‘ needs. As of this week, the clients can find Prague suppliers offering free Wi-Fi assigned by a special logo on the PCB website under each member´s profile and easily find out whether Wi-Fi internet access is provided or not.

All member profiles can be found here: www.pragueconvention.cz.

Prague Convention Bureau reveals how organizations choose destination for their events

In August, Prague Convention Bureau conducted a survey „How do you choose a destination for your event?", addressed to travel agencies, corporations, organizers of meetings and incentive events and international PCOs (Professional Congress Organizers).

10 simple questions asked them, for example, about the most important factors in their selection of destination, accommodation or venues, their opinions on Prague as a congress destination, or where do they get information when planning an event. The total of 261 respondents took part in the survey. Most of them were from UK, USA, Germany, Benelux and France. The greatest response rate was from organizers of meetings and incentive events (72%).

72 % of the respondents have already been to Prague and 43 per cent of them have already organized an event here. The answers have shown that the most important factor for organizers, when planning an event, is geographical location of the destination and its accessibility (74%), price (68%) and attractiveness (57%). Relatively low are unique off-site venues (15%) and walkability (14%).

When asked what would convince them to organize a meeting in Prague, 52 % of them stated support from the local hosts or organizers, 48% creative and high-quality social programme (for organizers of meetings and incentive events it was even in the first place; from the markets point of view, social program was the most important for Benelux and Germany), and 45% consider financial support from the City as crucial (for the U.S. market this was in the first place), as well as a proactive approach of Prague Convention Bureau; the respondents also emphasized their personal experience with the destination, such as FAM trips.  Less significantly was ranked surprisingly marketing and PR support from the city (31%).

As for venues, price has been stated in the first place in the selection process (83%), followed by flexibility of space and logistics (55%) and size and adequacy of space (54%). Relatively high number, 50% of respondents, stated free Wi-Fi for delegates as very important - associations even stated this response in the first place (79%). In-house AV and IT is important only for 16%. In individual answers, emphasis was put especially on human aspect - i.e. the client approach of employees in individual venues.

According to the results of the survey, event organizers most often get information about the destination on specialized platforms, such as Cvent, I&MI, Starcite, Travel-42, Venuefinder, ConventionPlanit (48%), and internet search engines like Google or Yahoo (47%) - this response was in the first place at the UK market - and convention bureau's websites (43%) - information from the convention bureau's websites obtain the most associations and from the markets USA. Specialized printed magazines serve as a source of information only to 39% of respondents, although in some markets such as Germany and Benelux they are still the most important source of information.  Individual answers stated personal references and knowledge of the colleagues in the industry, as well as their previous experience with the destination, as a very important source of information.

When asked if they contact first a convention bureau while organizing a meeting, 54% said they do, and 92% of them said that they trust convention bureau's recommendations in the selection of local suppliers - yes answered 100% of respondents from Benelux and Germany. The most often used expressions to describe Prague were the following: Beautiful, Fascinating, A gem of a city, Elegant, International, Unique, Friendly, Inviting, Cost effective, Magnificent, Amazing, Attractive, Exciting, Trendy, Lovely, SPECTACULAR!!, Stunning, Breathtaking, Old world, Magical, Cultural, Brilliant, Scenic, Dynamic, Relatively undiscovered, Fantastic, Majestic, Intriguing, Clean, Peaceful, Impressive, Gorgeous, Safe, Enchanting, Easily accessible, Romantic, Alive, The New European Chic, A fairytale city, EUROPE'S # 1 HIDDEN TREASURE, City of spires, Quintessential European Medieval City, a MUST European city.

Surprisingly, there were only few negative comments on Prague as a congress destination - some of them mentioning the need to renovate the congress centre, other the fact that Prague is not as cheap as it used to be. On the other hand, many respondents appreciated the positive development of the quality of services.

Prague Convention Bureau would like to include the results of the survey to its marketing strategy and activities for the following year.

On October 5, Ruzyne Airport becomes Vaclav Havel Airport Prague

On Friday October 5, the anniversary of Vaclav Havel's birth, a resolution of the Government of the Czech Republic comes to fruition when the Ruzyne airport takes on the name Vaclav Havel Airport Prague.

Members of the domestic political leadership, as well as key social and cultural figures have been invited to the formal opening, along with ambassadors of various nations present in the Czech Republic and airport partners.

Accompanying the formal opening is a photographic exposition featuring photographs from the CTK archives documenting the life and work of Vaclav Havel, as well as the uncovering of an art object by Borek Sipek commemorating the works of the first post-November president.

"We would like to use the airport's new name as an opportunity to present internationally ourselves as an important European airport," noted Jiri Pos, CEO of Prague Airport.

"Renaming the airport openly honors the legacy of Vaclav Havel and the values he promoted throughout his life," said Transport Minister Pavel Dobes about the name changes in preparation.

The formal opening also includes the opening of a photographic exposition focusing on Havel, featuring pictures from the Czech Press Association archives, taken from an exhibition presented in the Old Town Hall. The exhibition is located in Terminal 2 and will be open until the end of the year so that members of the public at large will have adequate opportunity to visit. A permanent memorial to Vaclav Havel has been created by the architect Borek Sipek and his team. From October 5 until October 31, the airport cinema will feature films about Vaclav Havel. The cinema is open to the public free of charge.

The new name, Vaclav Havel Airport Prague, will be used on airport terminals, the airport public address system, city buses, on board aircraft, on airport buses and in the corporate materials of Letiste Praha, where it will appear on packaging, letterhead paper and the company website (http://www.prg.aero/). The IATA code will remain unchanged in the process, meaning that passengers' tickets will continue to carry the PRG code and the renaming process will not create any difficulties. Costs for the name change have been reduced from the original estimate to about CZK 3 million by use of a public tender for the manufacture of lighted signs. These costs will be borne by the airport operator, Letiště Praha, a. s.

ORGANISERS OF THE LAWTECH EUROPE CONGRESS 2012 ANNOUNCE THE SECOND KEYNOTE SPEAKER, JUDR. PAVEL ZEMAN

The organizer of the LawTech Europe Congress 2012, E-Discovery Europe s.r.o. ("E-Discovery Europe"), has announced today the second keynote speaker of the congress, JUDr. Pavel Zeman, the Supreme Public Prosecutor of the Czech Republic. The congress will take place on 12th November, 2012, in the Clarion Congress Hotel Prague, and is expected to attract up to 700 delegates from all over the world.

Just a few weeks after confirming Richard Susskind OBE, the internationally renowned legal market futurist, consultant, writer, Chair of the Advisory Board of the Oxford Internet Institute, and IT Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice in the UK, as the first keynote speaker, JUDr. Pavel Zeman has been signed up as the second keynote speaker, and he will make the opening speech at the LawTech Europe Congress 2012. In his keynote, the current Supreme Public Prosecutor and a major advocate against corruption, will discuss the usage of electronic evidence in investigation and prosecution, and the current situation of cyber criminality in the Czech Republic .

Commenting on the significance of having these two exclusive keynote speakers, Frederick Gyebi-Adabio, Managing Director of E-Discovery Europe, said: "The LawTech Europe Congress is going to be the most comprehensive and important event in the CEE region that will focus on electronic evidence and its importance for both the legal and political field. Having Mr Susskind and Mr Zeman as the keynote speakers, each representing a different legal system, is a great opportunity to bring together both international and local experience and knowledge in order to make this congress one of the most important global events of the year."

JUDr. Pavel Zeman graduated from the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague. As a prosecutor, he worked at the district and regional public prosecutor's office in Pilsen before being appointed to the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office in Brno. Since 2002, he worked as a prosecutor at the International Department of the Supreme Public

Prosecutor's Office, and in 2004 he became the youngest representative of the Czech Republic at Eurojust in Haag. In 2011, he was appointed the Supreme Public Prosecutor of the Czech Republic.

The LawTech Europe Congress is expected to attract Czech and international law and technology firms, regulatory bodies, technology experts and law schools who will have the opportunity to discuss legal technology topics within the region and framework of Central Europe. Plenary sessions, panel discussions and workshops will also be a part of the programme in order to open discussion about electronic evidence, cross-border data transfers and privacy, emerging technologies, and much more.

For more information on the LawTech Europe Congress 2012 and to register please visit www.lawtecheuropecongress.com.

The largest international conference in the financial industry to be held in Prague

World's leading senior and most respected financial, economic and investment commentators will meet in Prague to examine challenges and opportunities that face the global financial industry and the implications for investors in Europe.

"NAVIGATING UNCERTAINTY: LOOKING BEYOND THE HORIZON" 

CFA Institute and CFA Society Czech Republic to host

5th annual European Investment Conference

Date:     18 - 19 October 2012

Venue: Marriott Hotel
Prague, Czech Republic

The annual CFA Institute European Investment Conference, held in partnership with the Chartered Financial Analyst Society of the Czech Republic (CFA Society Czech Republic) and under the auspices of Petr Koblic, Chairman and CEO of the Prague Stock Exchange, will bring together over 300 investment practitioners from around the world.


This is the largest international conference in the financial industry to be held in Prague this year and discussions and presentations will focus on the future of private wealth management in the next 20 years; the future of the Euro; the forces reshaping Europe and the world; opportunities for investors; and much more.

The conference will begin with a presentation by Anatole Kaletsky, economist and Reuters columnist, who thinks Europe has been paralyzed by "profound misunderstandings of economics and finance".  Additionally, Tomáš Sedláček, chief macroeconomic strategist at CSOB, the largest Czech bank, will articulate why he thinks that the goal of economic policy should be to minimize debt. And, Robert C. Merton, Nobel Laureate, and Distinguished Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management, will close the conference by defending quantitative risk analysis in the future of finance.

In addition, the following speakers will present their views throughout the two-day conference:

  • Joachim Klement, CFA, is chief investment officer for Wellershoff & Partners: Kicking the Habit: How Experience Determines Financial Risk Preferences
  • Sebastian Dovey, managing partner at Scorpio Partnership: The Future of Private Wealth Management: The Next 20 Years
  • Pankaj Ghemawat, Professor of Strategic Management and Globalization at IESE Business School: World 3.0: Global Prosperity and How to Achieve It
  • Alexander Kjerulf, chief happiness officer at Woohoo Inc: Happiness at Work
  • Catherine Lubochinsky, professor of economics and finance at the University of Paris 2 (Panthéon-Assas) and Markus C. Kerber, professor of public finance and political economy at the Technische Universität Berlin: The Future of the Euro
  • Nkosana Moyo, founder and executive chairman at the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS): Investing in Africa
  • Wolfgang Münchau, European economic columnist for the Financial Times and managing director at Eurointelligence.com: Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Seeking Crisis Resolutions for the Eurozone
  • Saker Nusseibeh, CEO and head of investment at Hermes Fund Managers: Building Better Portfolios: What New and Alternative Strategies Are Good for Investors?
  • Mike Zelouf, CFA, director of international business at Western Asset Management: Fixed-Income Portfolio Benchmarks: Time for a Re-evaluation?
  • Felix W. Zulauf, president of Zulauf Asset Management AG: The Forces Reshaping Europe and the World, and Opportunities for Investors

About the European Investment Conference

The annual European Investment Conference brings together noted researchers, speakers, writers, investment professionals, academics, and experts to examine unique regional issues as well as a broad range of global investment topics. Participants share ideas and build rewarding relationships while taking home the latest perspectives, research, and practical solutions to European and global investment challenges.

About CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organisation is a champion for ethical behaviour in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. The end goal: to create an environment where investors' interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. CFA Institute has more than 110,000 members in 139 countries and territories, including 100,000 charterholders, and 136 member societies. For more information, visit http://www.cfainstitute.org/.

About CFA Society Czech Republic (formerly Czech CFA Society)

The CFA Society Czech Republic (www.czechcfa.cz), is a non-profit organisation for financial practitionersfounded in April 2002 in the Czech Republic. As one of the 136 member societies of CFA Institute, its mission is to promote the highest standards of professional excellence, integrity and ethics within the Czech investment community. The society currently has over 130 members, mostly CFA charterholders, and more than 500 candidates from the Czech Republic and Slovakia registered in the CFA Program.

The society's sponsors are: OVB Allfinanz, Ernst & Young, ING Investment Management, Prague Convention Bureau and Thomson Reuters. Local media partners of the European Investment Conference are: ČT24, Ekonom, iHNed.cz. PR
partner of the event is Donath Business & Media.

If you would like to register for free press attendance, please
contact
Jana Zbortková.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Jana Zbortková, PR Manager, CFA Society Czech Republic

tel: 608710739

jana.zbortkova@czechcfa.cz

Prague To Host The 2016 Plant Biology Congress

Prague has been confirmed as the venue for the Plant Biology Congress FESPB-EPSO in 2016, along with GUARANT International acting as the PCO partner of the Czech Society of Experimental Plant Biology (CSEBR), the holder of the Prague candidacy.

The decision was made at a joint meeting between the Council of the Federation of European Societies of Plant Biology (FESPB) and the Board of the European Plant Science Organization (EPSO), which was held during this year's Congress in Freiburg, Germany.

In the candidacy were involved the CSEBR Representatives, the Prague Convention Bureau and other organizations, which will further cooperate during the preparation of the 2016 Congress in Prague. 

The Plant Biology Congress, which is held every 2 years, attracts as many as 1500 delegates from a number of European countries.

Prague InSpires breakfast in the Prague House in Brussels

The Prague Convention Bureau is organising the Prague InSpires breakfast meeting in the beautiful Prague House in Brussels on Tuesday 25th September 2012. During this meeting with clients will be shown a destination presentation introducing Prague as an ideal place for congresses and meetings and new trends in the MICE field.

During this meeting with clients will be shown a destination presentation introducing Prague as an ideal place for congresses and meetings and new trends in the MICE field.

All participants are welcome to visit ongoing exhibition in the Prague House. The exhibition was prepared by the Delegation of Prague to the EU in cooperation with the Olgoh Chorchoj Studio on the ocassion of Design September in Brussels.

Thanks to the design hotel Yasmin we will be drawing a lucky winner of a voucher for a stay in Prague! 

Prague will host the European Congress of Biomechanics (ESB) in 2015

Prague won the candidacy for the 21st European Congress of Biomechanics (ESB), which will be held in 2015.

"We are very pleased to have worked with the Czech biomechanical society from the very beginning of the entire project and thus we could significantly contribute to the candidacy. After selecting PCO, which is the company CZECH-IN, the presentation of Prague took place in Lisbon and turned out very successfully," said to obtaining the congress Director of Prague Convention Bureau Lenka Žlebková.

Several candidates were invited to the Annual Board Meeting held during the 18th Congress of the European Society of Biomechanics in Lisbon on July 1 - 4 July 2012 to present their candidacies for the organization of the 21st ESB Congress in 2015. Based on a well-prepared, comprehensive and compelling presentation, the Board chose the Czech Republic and its capital as the next destination to host the meeting.

Every year, this multidisciplinary congress is attended by up to 1000 delegates, among them mostly scientists, engineers and other specialists in the field. All services associated with the organization of the congress will be provided by the company CZECH-IN.

The European Society of Biomechanics was founded at a meeting of 20 scientists from 11 countries in Brussels in 1976. Now it is the largest biomechanical company in Europe with more than 750 members. Its aim is to promote the research, disseminate knowledge and encourage progress in biomechanics.

„Prague InSpires“ Trip Europe

From 25 to 29 July, Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with Moravia Convention Bureau organized a European fam trip for 7 buyers from UK, Belgium, Germany and Sweden. After a two-day visit of Prague, which included a workshop with PCB members, the participants spent two days in Moravia - Brno and its surroundings.

Welcome lunch was held in Francouzska Art Noveau restaurant in the Municipal house. Afterwards visitors took a sightseeing tour through the Old Town Square and the Prague castle area where they visited St. Vitus Cathedral on the way to traditional dinner Vikarka restaurant, all organized by Sixth Sense Incentives. For those who wanted to enjoy the night life in Prague was prepared the afterparty in Hard Rock Cafe Prague. 

Second day started with the site inspection at the hotel Park Inn Prague, followed by workshop with local service providers. Before the participants enjoyed lunch in the Zofin garden restaurant provided by Zatisi Catering Group, they visited Sheraton Prague Charles Square Hotel. The afternoon continued with a river cruise, walk through the Charles Bridge and visit of Manufaktura - brand-name store with Czech folk craft and traditional wooden toys in historical centre of Prague, managed by Liberty Incentives & Congresses. Both networking dinner and unique cooking activity ended the day in the Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel.

Third day took place a trip to South Moravia, namely Brno, where participants stayed at the hotel International Brno. After they arrival there was held a welcome lunch Brewery Pub Pivovarska Brno and short visit of Mendel Museum. The group also saw Brno Exhibition Centre - Congress centre and hotel Holiday Inn, where they met with local service providers. After sightseeing tour in the historical city centre of Brno was held the dinner at the hotel Barceló Brno Palace, followed by wine tasting in Vinotéka Silvestr.

Last day of their trip the participants spent in Lednice and Valtice area. They saw Lednice chateaux and its gardens, tasted traditional Moravian food in the restaurant U Tlustých, took a sightseeing tour of the Wine Salon of the Czech Republic in Valtice, and afterwards they went to Mikulov town where they visited the chateaux. They stayed over night in Mikulov in the hotel Galant Mikulov and had dinner in the restaurant Templ Mikulov.

PRAGUE WILL HOST 24TH EUROPEAN CONGRESS OF PATHOLOGY

The 24th European Congress of Pathology (ECP 2012) will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, from 8 to 12 September 2012, supported by Prague Convention Bureau.

The European Society of Pathology and the Society of Czech Pathologists warmly invite everyone to join the meeting in Prague and to be part of the largest gathering of pathologists in Europe in 2012. It is 25 years since a European Congress of Pathology was last held in Prague, in 1987 - those who had the chance to visit this city before will appreciate how much has changed since those times. 

 "As both the breadth and depth of information in pathology continues to grow enormously, we believe that we should devote our efforts to developing not only our routine daily practice but also our scientific activity for the overall benefit of patients. Thus, we chose the motto for ECP 2012: Pathology - Science for Patients. We believe that our meeting will attract not only pathologists, but also our clinical colleagues with whom we will discuss many burning questions," stated President of the European Society of Pathology Prof. Fátima Carneiro and Chair of the Local Organising Committee Prof. Ales Ryska.

 The organisers will do their best to guarantee a valuable educational experience for all participants. You can expect a lot of new information and breakthrough results as well as a kind and friendly welcome by the organisers; chance to spend time in informal meetings and discussions with both your old friends and new colleagues. 

 http://www.esp-congress.org/

AEA: Czech Airlines Has the Best On-time Record in Europe

In April, Czech Airlines came first in the ranking of the on-time departure performance of all of the airlines that belong to the Association of European Airlines (AEA). It has been one of the most punctual airlines in Europe on a sustained basis. The recently published rolling statistical survey for the first four months of the year shows that Czech Airlines was in second place in terms of the punctuality of departures throughout the network. It was among the first five airlines with the best on-time departure record last year, as well.

"The excellent on-time record of our operations is mainly due to an improved ratio between transfer and  point-to-point passengers, in favour of the latter group, and also the current flight schedule and the improvement of transfer times on the most important transfer routings. This significantly reduced the number of cases when the departure of a flight was postponed due to delayed passengers transferring from another flight," said Marek Týbl, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board and Vice President of Czech Airlines for Flight Operations, adding: "Last but not least, the results were also due to the shared motivation of the  aircraft handling staff, both of our sister company Czech Airlines Handling and those of other partners at stations outside of our home airport in Prague."

In April, 83% of Czech Airlines' departures throughout its network left precisely on schedule, and more than 95% within 15 minutes of their planned departure time. In addition, the punctuality of arrivals was high in April. The vast majority of flights arrives within the minimum discrepancy, of up to 15 minutes, at nearly 94%. The most common cause of delays beyond 15 minutes were factors that Czech Airlines cannot influence, such as heavy traffic on the main flight routes or destination airports, but also frequent protests in the aviation business in Europe. On the other hand, technical difficulties play a role in delays in only a negligible number of cases.

Czech Airlines' excellent on-time operating record was also announced on the FlightStats.com, server that focuses on tracking departure and arrival punctuality of the world's airlines. Unlike the Association of European Airlines, FlightStats.com monitors the 20 most frequent flights of each airline, and assesses the on-time record on the basis of different parameters. In this rating, Czech Airlines also held first place in Europe in April.

Croatia becomes EFAPCO’s 14th Full Member

The Croatian Meeting Professionals Association has become the 14th national organisation to join the EFAPCO network. Welcoming Croatia into membership, EFAPCO President, Luisa Teixeira, said: "Our drive to secure ever greater recognition for the professionalism of European PCOs, is strengthened with the recruitment of every new full member.

The Croatian Meeting Professionals Association has made tremendous progress since its formation in 2011. It already has 65 members - 41 full and 24 associate.

"The Federation represents all European countries in which there is a national association of PCOs, and we are in discussions with leading PCOs in a number of other countries who are keen to see the formation of their own national association so that they can also become actively involved within the EFAPCO network."

"We will all be looking forward to meeting CMPA members at future meetings, events and trade shows."

The CMPA's Vice President, Ranko Filipovic, said: "We're proud to have been invited into EFAPCO membership, the first association in our region of Europe to join the Federation. Becoming a full member of such a prominent association is a major step forward in CMPA's
development and in the evolution of the Croatian meetings industry, especially when Croatia is about to become a full member of the European Union. Our association and its members will certainly benefit from the networking and experiences that EFAPCO members share with each other."

The first CMPA Annual Assembly and Education Seminar titled "Understanding Meeting Planners" took place recently in Zagreb, while a chapter meeting is due to take place next week in Dubrovnik, where non-members will be offered the opportunity to join the Association.

GO FOR HOCKEY INTERNATIONAL EXPO FOR THE FIRST TIME IN PRAGUE

The International Hockey Expo and Show breaks through for the first time in Prague. The Czech Republic was chosen as the best place to hold the Expo equivalent to the U.S. Fair intended for professionals and the general public.

This attractive four-day event will take place at the Prague Exhibition Centre Letňany starting on 8 November 2012, and it will be held annually in the course of the following five years. It will be attended by the world's leading manufacturers of hockey and floor ball equipment and accessories, sportswear and assistive devices manufacturers, food supplement producers, as well as hockey schools and national and international sports associations.

Thanks to close cooperation with the organizer, Prague Convention Bureau managed to confirm the event for Prague. "We are very happy that after long negotiations, the client put confidence in us that Prague can organize similar type of event, even five years in a row. Not only congresses but also sport events are very important for our destination from both economic and social point of view, and therefore we offer them full support in all directions," said managing director of Prague Convention Bureau Lenka Žlebková to obtaining the event. Holding the expo in the Czech lands is seen as a significant event. Ice hockey is undoubtedly the most popular sport in both the Czech Republic and neighbouring Slovakia. Czech Republic regularly enjoys great success in the field of ice hockey. That is why the expo organizers expect strong interest from the public.

„I am very pleased that the organizers have chosen Prague for this extraordinary exhibition. Czech hockey has a long tradition and as a country of many world hockey legends we are proud of it. Therefore, I believe that an event of this type has its place here, and that it will certainly delight any hockey fan," said Prague Councillor Václav Novotný about Go For Hockey International Expo.

The accompanying program of these hockey days will include fun activities and competitions for parents and children. Also there will be an exhibition of sledge hockey, women's ice hockey and floor ball. Another significant attraction will be a beneficial hockey game between hockey legends and many other shows by famous national and international personalities.

Prague Convention Bureau held first educational meeting on „Why and how to bring a congress to Prague“

Czech scientists, doctors and other experts met yesterday at the first educational and networking breakfast in history organized by the Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with the Czech Convention Bureau, under the auspices of the City councillor Mr. Václav Novotný and the support of the Prague Airport.

The meeting of leading Czech representatives in international associations took place in the premises of Zoom in Prague Congress Centre with the aim to present the potential congress ambassadors possibilities of cooperation in bidding for and organizing significant international congresses in Prague and the Czech Republic.

The event was organized within the so-called „Ambassador Programme", which was initiated by the Prague Convention Bureau in 2010 by the first „Ambassador Awards Evening". During the ceremony, the Mayor of Prague presented awards to congress ambassadors - significant scientists and leading experts that actively participate in the development of congress tourism in Prague - for their contribution to Prague congress industry. Since then, the Prague Convention Bureau's club of congress ambassadors is still expanding.

„Currently, the congress ambassador club has 70 members. The reason why we organized the meeting of its potential members was to increase awareness of the importance of international congresses for both their discipline, and the city. We also wanted to inform them about the possibilities of support from the Prague Convention Bureau and Czech Convention Bureau and to motivate them to get involved in the activities within the international associations and participate in bidding in order to bring world congresses to Prague," explained the managing director of Prague Convention Bureau Lenka Žlebková. Prague Convention Bureau offers significant help - from getting support from public institutions through preparation of competitive bid to organization of site inspection for deciding committee at the expense of PCB.

Czech Convention Bureau, one of departments of CzechTourism, is involved in candidacies for large congresses as well.  It offers support both in the form of promotional materials, as well as financial contribution to cover some of the costs of the candidacy.

„Czech Convention Bureau is the umbrella that covers the regional convention bureaux. As a national board we promote the Czech Republic as a congress destination and cooperate with local ambassadors and professional congress organizers in individual candidacies," said the the head of Czech Convention Bureau Zdeněk Giormani.

Prof. RNDr. Václav Pačes, DrSc., who has been awarded within this year's „Ambassador Awards Evening" for his long-term contribution to congress tourism, shared his more than 40-years experience in the field of organization of congresses and conferences with the participants: „Today, we are no longer behind the Iron Curtain, but Prague is still an interesting destination - attractive due to its culture and excellent location in Europe. However, the competition is increasing, and to win a congress, it is necessary to be active in the international association, to get into the executive committees and commissions."

The importance of scientific congresses in Prague is also demonstrated by numbers - according to Michal Kárník, director of Prague Congress Centre, which hosts most of large international congresses in Prague, the PCC was visited by 150 000 delegates who brought the city the turnover of more than 1 billion CZK last year. Prague annually hosts more than 900 000 congress and conference participants and the city's overall turnover is 20 billion CZK.

Fam Trip for meeting organizers from Skandinavia

From 11 to 14 June, the MICE FAM Trip for 8 meeting organizers from Denmark and Sweden took place in Prague, Brno and its surroundings. The FAM Trip was organized by CzechTourism and Czech Convention Bureau in cooperation with Prague Convention Bureau and Moravia Convention Bureau.

In Lednice town they tasted traditional Moravian lunch, short presentation of South Moravia region, attractivity of which was demonstratedby visit of Chateau Lednice, its gardens and minaret, all on Unesco heritage list. During the tour with expert commentary in Underground of Valtice town thez visited wine cellars and tasted traditional Czech wine. During their visit of the region participants stayed in Hotel Galant in Mikulov, where they were impressed by Mikulov Chateau tour and visit of wine cellar with giant barrel.

Part of the trip was stay in the City of Brno, where they had traditional lunch in famous pub Stopkova pivnice, and they visited Hotel International Brno, Besední dum,  Barceló Brno Palace, Brno Exhibition Centre and Holiday Inn Congress Centre and Kaskáda Golf Resort Brno . Atmosphere of the city showed them the guided city tour, during which they saw Špilberk castle, st. Peter and Paul Cathedral, Vegetable market, underground Labyrinth,.

After arrival to Prague was given sightseeing tour in the Prague Castle area organized by Kuoni Destination Management, and visit of the only private property in the castle complex - Lobkowicz Palace followed by traditional Czech lunch at Klasterni senk at Brevnov Monastery prepared by Intercatering.

In Prague,participants visited Hotel Kempinski Hybernska Prague, Municipal House, Francouzska Art Nouveau Restaurant, Kampa Park.

Beauty of inSpiring city of Prague was being discovered by walking through the Old Town and shopping at Manufactura) organized by Kuoni Destination Management, with stylish dinner at Zofin Garden prepared by Zatisi Catering Group.

Last day, after the site inspection of the Clarion Congress Hotel Prague, was held workshop with regional members of the Czech Convention Bureau. On the way to the airport they finally saw Crowne Plaza Prague de luxe hotel.

International Facility Management Association chooses Prague

The next European Facility Management Conference (EFMC) will take place in Prague from 22 to 24 May 2013. The annual conference is expected to attract between 700 and 900 delegates and will be hosted together by Czech and Slovakian Facility Management organisations.

The venue has not been selected yet, however it is expected that the event will take place in one of the capital's congress hotels.

Ron van der Weerdt, chairman of EuroFM, said: "We chose Prague as the venue for EFMC 2013 to build a bridge to Eastern Europe. Prague is a well-known, attractive city with considerable touristic value, and we have very active chapters of the International Facility Management Association and EuroFM there who know their way and are in touch with the local authorities supporting us.

"The Facility Management (FM) industry has advanced a lot in the Czech Republic, so Prague is a kind of gateway to the emerging FM markets in many Eastern European countries."

Prague Convention Bureau assisted in acquisition of the conference to Prague.

EFAPCO’s First Woman President Elected

PCB-PCO group represented by the director of Prague Convention Bureau Lenka Zlebkova and Ivo Miksa from PCO GUARANT International attended EFAPCO BOARD Meeting on May 22, where has been elected Luisa Ahrens Teixeira, managing director of the award-winning Portuguese PCO organization, Mundiconvenius, and a leading member of APECATE as the Federation's first woman President.

"It is with a great sense of responsibility and some temerity that I have accepted the role which I know will be a massive task. I hope vigour and determination will help me to drive forward the EFAPCO mandate," Luisa said.

"Previous Presidents, Zacharias Kaplanidis from Greece, Julio Abreu from Spain and Nicolas Le Brun from Belgium, will be tough acts to follow. They all deserve praise and appreciation for the work they undertook with great enthusiasm."

"Due in particular to Nicolas Le Brun's efforts, EFAPCO has cemented in the foundations of his primary aim which was to see the Federation recognized as a strong, united voice speaking on behalf of the European Meetings Industry."

Further engagement with the European Commission and lobbying for professional recognition of PCOs remain top priorities.

"We are also actively promoting the formation of professional associations in each European country which is not yet part of our 13-state network. Extending EFAPCO's reach strengthens our voice, not just within the EU but also with organisations like JMIC and with sister associations in other parts of the world."

 Luisa's Agenda also includes:

  • Modernisation of EFAPCO's institutional image.
  • Improving external and internal communication taking full advantage of virtual technologies.
  • Renewing the EFAPCO Website and promotional materials.
  • Further developing the communications network for all Federation members as a powerful platform for the exchange of business, knowledge and contacts.
  • And developing more partnerships with fellow associations and institutions.


EFAPCO's new Bureau for the next two years was also elected at the Federation's Board Meeting:

Vice-President: Piotr Wilczek, PCCA Poland

Vice-President: Daniela Serrati, Federcongressi, Italy

Secretary General: Sissi Lignou, HAPCO, Greece

Treasurer: Katalin Matray, MARESZ

Nicolas Le Brun has also been appointed as Honorary President.

Prague Convention Bureau presented Prague as a movie destination at the IMEX

Prague as a location of movies such as Mission Impossible, James Bond, Amadeus or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - such breakfast tasting of Prague was prepared for congress organizers by the Prague Convention Bureau. The event called Prague Movie Breakfast took place within the MICE Fair IMEX in Frankfurt, Germany.

Prague Convention Bureau organized the Prague Movie Breakfast in the hotel Marriott Frankfurt on Wednesday 23rd of May. It was attended by significant event organizers fro Europe and the Middle East. „We wanted to introduce Prague for the first time in an unconventional and interactive way at the IMEX, that's why we decided to create a movie presentation. We believe that this entertaining form of presenting Prague in an unusual way can attract everyone's attention. Hardly anyone knows how popular this destination is among filmmakers and that the shooting locations or themes of the films can be used when organizing accompanying programmes of conferences or incentive stays," says the managing director of PCB Lenka Žlebková.

The competition was based on seven trailers of films shot in Prague. For each trailer there was one question related to the particular film, as well as to Prague as a congress destination. Answers to each question could be found in a map titled Lights! Camera! Prague!, published by the City of Prague and the Czech Film Commission.

Based on correct answers, the participants obtained great prizes donated by PCB members; the winner won a weekend stay in the Augustine Hotel Prague, tickets to a performance in the State Opera provided by Liberty Incentives & Congresses Prague, and a dinner in the Francouzská Restaurant. The second prize comprised of a weekend stay in Clarion Congress Hotel Prague and a dinner in one of the Zátiší Group restaurants, and a third prize winner received a voucher for a stay in the hotel Park Inn Prague and a flight simulator experience provided by iPILOT.

Prague rises in the international congress rankings

In the beginning of May, the International Congress and Conference Association (ICCA) announced its long-awaited first results of the congress tourism statistics for 2011 which showed that Prague has successfully set out to a journey to achieve its ambitious goals. In ICCA's world congress destination ranking, Prague achieved a significantly better position than in 2010 - it ranked 14th best congress destination in the world.

Due to a significant increase in the number of international association congresses held in Prague, the city made it to the TOP 15 from the 19th place in 2010, sharing the 14th position with another successful European destination Copenhagen, both with the total number of 98 events; the previous year there were 85 association meetings held in Prague. Therefore, Prague has a great chance to achieve its ambitious goal set last year - to get back into the top ten of the most successful congress destinations by 2014 and to the top five by 2020. The Czech Republic ranked 31st worldwide with 122 events in 2011.

"The results of the ICCA statistics for last year really thrilled us. We were expecting some improvement in Prague's position, but it was a pleasant surprise for us that the city made such a great shift in the ICCA's ranking. We see the better position of Prague as a reward for our hard work over the past two years. The city's success is also partly the result of an excellent cooperation with the members of the Prague Convention Bureau throughout the year, who were actively involved in the collection of statistical data on Prague congress industry, which was initiated by the Prague Convention Bureau in the beginning of 2011. I believe that with their help we will more easily reach the goals that Prague Convention Bureau set for the following years," says the director of Prague Convention Bureau Lenka Žlebková. "Our big thank goes to the city leaders headed by the Mayor of Prague Mr. Svoboda. We are glad that they understand the benefits this branch of tourism industry brings to our city and that they support us in our activities," she adds.

The positive trend is also demonstrated by statistical data whose collection the Prague Convention Bureau started last year; the collected data refer not only to the field of association congresses, but also to corporate events and other meetings taking place in Prague. In the first quarter of 2012, PCB recorded an increase in the number of events by almost 10% compared with the previous year. It is obvious that the economic recession in this area has been stabilized and the overall trend will be increasing this year.

Congress industry is very significant for any destination including Prague. International meetings not only bring to Prague excellent promotion and advertising, but they are a source of extraordinary economic benefits for tourism. Business opportunities associated with organizing such events are crucial for many social and conference facilities, hotels, restaurants, catering, transport and audiovisual companies, as well as many other service providers. The average expenditure of an international congress delegate in the destination is more than 800 EUR. The total annual accumulated income in Prague is about 800 000 000 EUR, which shows that international congresses represent an important support of the city's economic development.

The Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda awarded Ambassadors for contribution to congress tourism

Last night, eminent scientists and leading experts were awarded for their efforts in the field of Prague congress tourism development in the Mayor's Residence. The awards were handed out by the Mayor of the City of Prague, Mr. Bohuslav Svoboda and the President of Prague Convention Bureau (PCB) Mr. Sanjiv Suri. The festive evening culminated in presenting of the award for long-term contribution to congress tourism to prof. RNDr. Václav Pačes, who significantly contributed to the popularization of genetics.

„I know the importance of congress tourism for the city and the importance of each congress Prague hosts, because as a doctor I actively participate in international congresses as well. Not only it improves the overall image of the city and its international position in industry and research, but it also provides enormous economic benefits. Every congress participant spends on average CZK 6.200 per day in Prague, which is almost double compared to the normal tourist," the Mayor of the City of Prague, Mr. Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS) said, adding that every year a number of international congresses is brought to our capital due to the help of Prague Convention Bureau.

To win such congress for Prague often means long-term effort and considerable investments. The candidacies of mostly periodical events are decided several years prior to the event and the preparation takes the same time, e.g. three years or more. The city's objective therefore is to attract more and more congresses every year. This resulted in last year's approval of a groundbreaking step in the support of candidacies, which is common in the competing destinations - free public transport for congresses with more than 500 participants who spend at least 2 nights in Prague and at least 20 per cent of them come from abroad. This year, the city has also decided to implement the largest marketing campaign ever focused on the promotion of this segment in the most significant foreign media.

„According to the international association ICCA, an international congress delegate spends in the hosting city on average 560 Euro per day. Total accumulated income in Prague is around 20 billion CZK per year.  The largest congress in the history of the Czech Republic, ERA-EDTA with almost 11 000 participants, which took place in Prague last year, for example, brought more than 25 million CZK to the city's budget", said President of PCB, Mr. Sanjiv Suri.

The celebration was attended by nearly 50 eminent scientists and leading experts who were accompanied by Prague Convention Bureau's member agencies and Prague Congress Centre, whose representatives efficiently cooperate with these scientists. The event was also attended by the director of CzechTourism, Mr. Rostislav Vondruška, sales and product management director of Prague Airport, Mr. Stanislav Zeman, Mr. Aleš Hozdecký from Ministry for Regional Development, or the counsellor of the City of Prague for culture, heritage preservation and exhibitions Mr. Václav Novotný.

The awards were presented to winners in 5 major categories. This year, for the second time, the award for the corporate event of the year was handed out. The winner was Škoda Auto a. s. who was awarded for their Škoda World Dealer Conference 2011, one of the largest and logistically most demanding events in the field of automotive industry in the last few years. The preparations took about six months.

The award for "Candidacy of the Year 2011" was handed out to the president of the Czech National Committee of geodesy and geophysics - IUGG RNDr. Vladimír Čermák DrSc. for the candidacy for 26th  General Assembly of the International Geodetic and Geophysical Union (IUGG) which will take place in Prague in 2015. The conference brings together 8 associations and is the largest event focused on geodesy and geophysics. That is why its duration is 11 days, which is really unique in the field of congress tourism. The participation of more than a hundred national delegations from all over the world and more than 5000 delegates is expected.

The award for the "Congress of the Year 2010" was handed out to the president of the Czech Society of Nephrology prof.
MUDr. Vladimír Tesař, DrSc.
for one of the largest European congresses, 48th Congress of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplantation Association ERA - EDTA. The total number of its participants in Prague exceeded 10 600 persons and it became the largest scientific congress held in the Czech Republic in history.

A special award of the Prague Congress Centre was handed out by the Mayor Mr. Bohuslav Svoboda together with the director of the Prague Congress Centre Mr. Michal Kárník to Prof. MUDr. Jiří Raboch, DrSc., the president of the Czech Psychiatric Society and regional representative of the World Psychiatric Association for Central and Eastern Europe. During his long practice in the field of psychiatry, many international congresses were held in the Czech Republic due to his activity, the most significant of them being the Congress of European Psychiatric Association held in 2000, the 14th World Psychiatric Congress held in 2008, or the Congress of the World Psychiatric Association to be held in October 2012.

The evening culminated in the presentation of the award for the long-term contribution to congress tourism. The award was handed out to prof. RNDr. Václav Pačes, DrSc. Professor Pačes significantly contributed to the popularization of genetics among the public. Both at home and abroad he is thus seen as an authority of society-wide importance. His personal references in the field of congress tourism date back to 1988, when he was a member of organization committee of the Global Biochemistry Congress IUB in Prague which hosted 6000 delegates.  Since then he participated in candidacies and organization of dozens of international meetings. 

The awards will continue in future years. The number of congress ambassadors should continue to grow in future. Prague Convention Bureau is also planning to develop more activities within its Ambassadors Program, for instance regular educational meetings. The objective of this program is to stimulate interest of other Czech representatives in the international organizations in order to bring other international meetings to Prague. Within the program, new congress ambassadors can expect free professional advice from experienced ambassadors, or specific assistance from the Prague Convention Bureau and its members.

 

PRAGUE CONVENTION AMBASSADORS PROGRAM

2011 AWARDS DEFINITIONS

Corporate event of the year2011

Award for a corporate event held in 2011 that brought prestige to the Czech Republic and Prague as a destination, which is due to the progress in offered services at the level of the world congress metropolis.

Candidacy of the year 2011 

Award for personal contribution of the ambassador within the most significant candidacy which in 2011 successfully ended in official nomination of Prague as a host city of an international meeting. The assessment is based primarily on the history and creditworthiness of the project that provide the framework for expected future economic benefits and the expected utilization of material-technical and commercial potential of Prague, especially of different types of local services.

 Congress of the year 2011

Award for the previous year, i.e. for merit of the ambassador in the realization of the most significant congress or international meeting held in 2011.  The assessment focuses above all on economic benefits, taking into account factors such as social significance, scientific progress and others that provide framework for publicity and are sources of excellent promotion of Prague and tourism in the CR.

 Award of the Prague Congress Centre

Awarded by the Prague Congress Centre for the most significant congress held in PCC in previous years.

 Award for the contribution to congress tourism

Special award for previous long-term efforts that can be documented by references, i.e,. congresses and other international meetings held in  Prague due to the contribution of the awarded ambassador.

Prague InSpires Fam Trip for meeting organizers from the USA

From 23 to 27 April, a Fam Trip for 9 buyers representing companies from the U.S.A. took place in Prague.

The participants stayed in the Four Seasons Hotel. The program included Prague sightseeing, site inspection of selected PCB member subjects and venues and a visit of Nelahozeves. The Fam Trip was organized by the Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with the Foreign  Representation of CzechTourism in New York. The Fam Trip ended with a gala dinner organized by Senator Travel Meetings & Incentives who also organized the incentive program

First Czech regional MICE Forum ended with success

With the great success ended the first Czech regional MICE Forum focused on the local corporate companies, that was held on 11 April at the hotel Grand Majestic Plaza in Prague. Workshop was organized by the Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with the American Chamber of Commerce, Czech Convention Bureau and the Prague Airport.

The event was organized as a platform for the exchange of contacts between local organizers of events, representatives of regions and companies. Therefore it was attended by representatives of members of the Czech Convention Bureau, Czech corporate companies, member subjects of the Prague Convention Bureau and the Prague Airport.

The director of Prague Convention Bureau Lenka Žlebková welcomed all attendees and talked mainly about the successes of the organization in the last year, its activities and development. Then followed the presentation of Jana Houšková from the Czech Convention Bureau, who mentioned importance of support of individual regions in the field of congress tourism. Martin Randus from the Prague Airport then introduced VIP airport services and conference facilities.

PCB is organizing first Czech Regional MICE Forum

On April 11, the first Czech Regional MICE Forum focused on local companies will take place in Hotel Grand Majestic Plaza in Prague. The workshop is organized by Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with the American Chamber of Commerce, Czech Convention Bureau and Prague Airport.

The event will be held as a platform for exchanging contacts of  local events suppliers, representatives of the Czech regions and corporate companies.

PROGRAM:

9:00 - 10:00 Opening of Czech Regional MICE FORUM including panel discussion moderated by Weston Stacey, Executive Director of AMCHAM. Speakers: Zdenek Giormanni, Director of Czech Convention Bureau,  Lenka Zlebkova, Managing Director of Prague Convention Bureau, Martin Randus, Marketing Specialist for Airlines Communication

10:00 - 10:30 Coffee break + networking

10:30 - 11:30 Workshop with Regional Convention Bureaus, Prague Hotels, Venues and Meeting Organizers

RSVP to jitka.kolarova@pragueconvention.cz.

Any questions? More info here.

The first ever Lawtech Europe Congress will take place in Prague this year

The organizers of the first ever Lawtech Europe Congress, EDiscovery Europe s.r.o. ("E-Discovery"), have announced today that on-line registration for the Congress is now open. E-Discovery expects to attract between 700 and 1,000 delegates from all over the world to the Congress, which will be the first of its kind in Central Europe in terms of its scale, scope, inclusiveness and effectiveness. The Lawtech Europe Congress 2012 will take place on 12th November, 2012, in the Clarion Congress Hotel Prague.

The activated registration system, the design of the website (http://www.lawtecheuropecongress.com/), sponsors that include Atlas Consulting (http://www.atlascon.cz/), 7safe (www.7safe.com, part of PA Consulting) and Nuix (www.Nuix.com), and the current list of confirmed world-renowned speakers all indicate that the Lawtech Europe Congress 2012 is set to be a huge success.

The topics of the congress will cover civil and criminal procedures relating to electronic evidence, governance and corruption, all of which should be of interest to both the audience and those pressure groups that strive for changes in cultural attitudes towards corruption and bribery, aided by the right blend of education and electronic evidence collection, through to effective prosecution. Plenary sessions, panel discussions and workshops will also be included in the programme in order to open discussion about cross-border data transfers and privacy, emerging technologies, electronic evidence focusing on the CEE, as well as many other related topics.

Talking about the Congress, Frederick Gyebi-Adabio, Managing Director of E-Discovery said: "We are very pleased that we have achieved our aim of being ready to open registration for the Congress before the end of March. With some sponsors already in place and a full list of high-calibre speakers confirmed, we are hoping to see a great deal of interest from both the international and local communities."

Speakers at the Lawtech Europe Congress include some of the most respected specialists in forensics, e-crime prosecutions, and e-discovery. In particular, the recently confirmed George Rudoy, the founder & CEO at Integrated Legal Technology, LLC, and Chris Dale, author of the e-Disclosure Information Project, are both highly-respected experts in e-discovery throughout Europe.

The Congress follows on the success of similar events, such as LegalTech in New York and LawTech Futures in London, and is expected to attract Czech and international law firms, technology firms, regulatory bodies, technology experts and law schools who will, for the first time ever, have the opportunity to discuss e-discovery topics within the region and framework of Central Europe.

To find out more about the Lawtech Europe Congress 2012 please go to http://www.lawtecheuropecongress.com/.

Second MCE CEE congress in Prague completed with great satisfaction of all participants

Prague, Czech Republic hosted the annual MCE CEE 2012 being completed with great satisfaction of all participants. The event was designed to highlight the huge potential that the Central & Eastern European (CEE) region offers for business meetings, congresses, incentives and exhibitions.

More than 100 hosted buyers made their way to meet up with the 60+ solution providers as hotels, DMCs, congress centers and airlines from the CEE region for business introductions and direct deals. The total number of participants, including media, partners, etc., at the MCE CEE 2012 was 234. Prague Convention Bureau was one of the main partners of the event.

"We were happy to support this unique opportunity to promote Central and Eastern Europe. Prague and entire CEE region has a lot to offer to the congress industry and the MCE CEE congress helped to exploit its potential even more," said Director of the Prague Convention Bureau Lenka Žlebková.

From Sunday 12-02-2012, the event kicked off with registration and a short cocktail welcome reception at the Corinthia hotel Prague. A short and refreshing Prague castle walk led the participants to the impressive Lobkowicz Palace which awaited all the MCE CEE participants. Mr. William Lobkowicz himself welcomed everyone in an entertaining speech after which the first networking gala dinner event took place offering superb food, Lobkowicz wines and beers as well as amazing Prague city views.

Monday 13-02-2012 offered a keynote by Peter Antoni, Kuoni DMC, introducing the Central & Eastern European region as the upcoming meeting and incentive destination. Several of the participating Convention Bureaus - including Prague Convention Bureau - explained in short presentations their unique highlights. After the networking coffee break the one-to-one meeting sessions took off. In a buzzing conference room, fast yet dedicated interactions proofed their added business value. After lunch the stage was ready for two more keynotes. Edgar Valdmanis introduced nowadays networking and Jonathan Bradshaw inspired all towards great heights with his science behind meetings topic. The second round of one-to-one meetings saw even greater focus and sincere interest from all to get to know each others' business potential to come to create upcoming business deals.

The social and networking evening events took place in Francouzska restaurant, one of the world's most beautiful Art Nouveau architectural highlights: Prague's Municipal House. After the welcome drink a sublime three course seated dinner with awesome wines followed. Later the entire MCE CEE crowd moved to Prague's Hard Rock Cafe.

This event venue which is among the three largest Hard Rocks in Europe and is a steady MCE CEE event partner proved yet again to be an ideal venue for business events and parties as well. The last official day of the event, Tuesday 14-02-2012, started fresh with yet another keynote of Edgar Valdmanis related to negotiating skills, after which Meeting Management was addressed by the shining Judith Huisman. The third and final round of one-to-one meetings showed the eagerness of completing the exchange of crucial business information and upcoming deals. After a final networking lunch Magdalina Yarichkova also showed - besides her dedication for more sustainable event industry - how one can stay fresh and fit during meetings. The last and closing keynote was Ilan Geva's, the conference chairman, explaining the latest in the trending topic of Social Media.

Goodbyes were warm, hearty and much thankful, showing yet again that Europe Congress' concept of coming to an excellent business mix of networking, socializing, education and dedicated business one-to-one meetings puts Central & Eastern Europe in the spotlight for business MICE events.

Iceland Express Chose HOLIDAYS Czech Airlines for its Scheduled Flights, Bringing Prague Airport a Connection to Reykjavík

At signing ceremony, Iceland Express and HOLIDAYS Czech Airlines confirmed their partnership in providing a direct air connection from Reykjavík, Iceland to a series of European destinations. With the signing of the Agreement on Cooperation, which will start to apply in the spring of 2013, the companies are building on the success of the first stage of their joint operations, which was first launched at the end of November 2011.

Iceland Express will continue to have the youngest fleet operating scheduled flights from Iceland. The two companies have also agreed on enhancing their joint activities in the future.

HOLIDAYS Czech Airlines will operate flights for Iceland Express with Airbus A320-type aircraft.  The new agreement between the two airlines brings passengers continuity and a confirmation of the reliability of the scheduled flights of Iceland Express. 

"Since HOLIDAYS Czech Airlines has flown for us, the punctuality and regularity of our flights have increased significantly.  Since last November, HOLIDAYS Czech Airlines has flown over 400 flights for Iceland Express.  If any flights were delayed during that period, the only cause was bad weather," said the CEO of Iceland Express, Skarphedin Steinarsson, adding: "HOLIDAYS Czech Airlines is known around the world for the punctuality of its flights."

"Aside from aircraft, we also provide our Icelandic partner with experienced crews - pilots and cabin attendants - and broker professional technical aircraft maintenance, not only in Prague, but also in Iceland.  Czech mechanics operate directly at Keflavík Airport.  In the summer season, we will operate more than 20 destinations for our Icelandic partners on scheduled and charter flights," said Jan Čejka, Chairman of the Management Board of HOLIDAYS Czech Airlines, in adding to the information.

Reykjavík to be Added to the Map of Flights from Prague Airport
The direct flights between Prague and Reykjavík that will commence on Wednesday 20 June 2012 are a natural choice in the light of the success of the existing cooperation of Iceland Express and HOLIDAYS Czech Airlines.

"We are greatly pleased to be able to offer the first-ever scheduled service to the Icelandic metropolis from Prague Airport," said Stanislav Zeman, Executive Director for Aviation Business, Marketing, and Product Management at Prague Airport.

The beauties of Prague and the environment of Prague Airport, the holder of a prestigious award for the world's most developing airport, together form a high quality offer for passengers.  New opportunities will also open up for Icelanders to travel onward from Prague to major destinations such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Odessa, Kiev, and Bucharest, which will thus support the development of tourism in Iceland.  Czechs, on the other hand, will now have Iceland's rich tourist beauties within reach.

In the future, Iceland Express' partnership with HOLIDAYS Czech Airlines will offer passengers the possibility of using Czech Airlines' network, particularly in Eastern and Southern Europe.  The development of the two airlines' cooperation should bring benefits both for Icelandic passengers and Czech and foreign visitors to Iceland.

About the partners:

HOLIDAYS Czech Airlines is subsidiary of Czech Aeroholding.  This independent airline specialises primarily on charter carriage for tour operators and travel agencies, but also for sports clubs, musical ensembles, and other VIP customers.  It also provides ACMI aircraft leasing.  The airline also offers traditional travel agency services, with a long-term focus on specific products such as Euro-weekends, cruises, and spa and wellness stays.

Iceland Express is currently the second largest company in the tourism sector in Iceland.  It was the first low-cost airline in Iceland to operate year round, and it offers affordable air travel to an increasing number of passengers.  Iceland Express plays an important role in the developing tourist industry in Iceland, and currently accounts for 21% of the number of passengers at Keflavík International Airport

Prague Airport handled 11.8 million passengers in 2011. In 2011, Prague Airport won the Eagle Award from the IATA association, for being the most developing airport in the world.  In the 2011/2012 winter flight season, passengers have a choice of 47 airlines that connect Prague by direct flights to 96 destinations around the world.

Prague 5th among European destinations - beats Vienna, Berlin and Amsterdam!

Based on a sample of 57 European cities, European Cities Marketing (ECM) reports an average year-on growth rate of 6.2 % in respect to domestic and international bednights spent in commercial accommodation forms. International bednights increased by some 7.0%. Prague is number 5!

London, Paris, and Rome remain the three most popular European cities for tourists staying overnight, recording annual bednight levels in excess of 15 million for the 2011 year. Barcelona and Madrid, on the other hand, achieved the highest year-on growth rates, running out an impressive 15% and 11% respectively - in Prague the increase is 9,4%. At a country level, the US continues to be the single most important source market, followed by Germany, Italy, and the UK.  Russia and China showed the highest year-on growth rates of 33% and 22% respectively.

The President of European Cities Marketing, Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, said: "Overall performance in 2011 lends weight to the view that city tourism is the dominant and most dynamic aspect of European tourism. With respect to the key bednights indicator, we can see that last year many cities recorded all-time highs and impressive growth rates. BRIC countries, especially Russia and China, are emerging as important source markets with lots of potential for the future".

Main Source Markets in City Tourism in Europe Bednights (in million)

 

  2010

  2011

  change in %

  USA

  16.9

  17.3

  1,8%

  Germany

  14.8

  15.5

  4,7%

  Italy

  12.7

  12.8

  0,1%

  United Kingdom

  12.3

  12.3

  ‐0,2%

  France

  9.6

  10.2

  6,6%

  Spain

  8.5

  8.6

  0,8%

  Russia

  4.2

  5.6

  33,3%

  Japan

  4.2

  4.1

  ‐1,6%

  China

  1.8

  2.1

  21,7%

  Total international

  180.6

  193.4

  7,0%

  Total domestic

  123.6

  129.6

  4,9%

  Total domestic and international

  304.2

  323.0

  6,2%

 

Source: European Cities Marketing

Notes: Total refers to tourists staying in all types of accommodation establishments. Forecasts based on the sample of cities reporting their statistics on www.tourmis.info       (57 cities provided data for bednights for 2010 and 2011).

Special supplement about congress tourism in E15 newspaper

12-page special supplement in the economic newspaper E15 prepared by Prague Convention Bureau.

Download here.

 

 

European Golden Oldies Festival 2013 Awarded to Prague

At the beginning of February 2012, a Delegation from the European Golden Oldies Rugby (EGOR) Executive Committee visited Prague in order to discuss the possibilities of Prague becoming the Host City for the 12th European Golden Oldies Festival in 2013, to coincide with the 25th Anniversary Celebrations of Host Club - Old Boys Prague.

The Delegation consisted of - President Dave McDonald from Scotland, coming with his wife Katie, Member of Executive Committee Werner Czerny from Germany and Secretary Matthias Schenker from Switzerland.   All had a very tough programme containing a number of discussions not only with the Local Organising Committee Members, but also with the Local Authorities, including Mayor´s Office Officials, the Prague Convention Bureau, Hotels and the Czech Rugby President.   Based on these discussions and evaluating other alternatives, the EGOR Committee finally decided that Prague will host the 12th European Golden Oldies Rugby Festival  in 2013.

"As President of European Golden Oldies Rugby, I am delighted to formally announce that the Venue for our 12th European Festival has been selected.......and the winning Host shall be Old Boys Praha, in the lovely City of Prague !   We were very impressed with the City arrangements, Hotels and possible Festival H Q and the accessibility for Teams from all over Europe to participate.  The Local Organising Committee have a great deal of work now ahead of them.....but are all very experienced in Golden Oldies Rugby , organising annual Oldies Events.  On behalf of European Golden Oldies Rugby, I wish Old Boys Praha and all their Sponsors and Supporters every Best Wish.......I'm looking forward to seeing you again next year," claimed Dave McDonald.

It will be for the first time that the European Festival will be staged in Central Europe, and the 12th EGOR Festival will take place on June 13-17, 2013.

Further details and information may be found at the Official Festival website http://oldboys.rugby.cz/en/egorf-2013 or from the official Festival Headquarter´s  e-mail: egorf2013@estec.cz.

World leaders gave lecture in Prague on what makes a meeting destination successful

How can a destination achieve its potential in the meetings market, return on investment of public funding in the meeting industry - these are, among others, the major topics discussed with the world leaders in the field of meeting industry at the seminar titled „What makes a meeting destination successful?" held in Prague on 9th February, 2012, in Prague Marriott Hotel. Such type of event took place in Prague for the first time.

„We are really happy that, in a relatively short time, we managed to organize this unique event and to get such significant experts in the meeting industry in one place. Education in the field and information exchange with our foreign colleagues is a very important part of the development of any industry, and therefore we would like to focus more on this area," stated Director of the Prague Convention Bureau Lenka Žlebková.

This seminar was the first step which should help to open door to a deeper understanding of congress industry from the side of the representatives of public institutions in the Czech Republic and to raise awareness about this significant field of tourism among both the entities active in tourism and the general public.

„We are pleased to support the initiative of the Prague Convention Bureau to organize this seminar. The meeting industry, as one of the most significant sectors of tourism, is very important for economic development of a destination, not only in Prague, but throughout the Czech Republic," said General Manager of the Czech Convention Bureau Zdeněk Giormani.

"Secret of success is when a destination has a vision and a product to present, as well as resourced sales and marketing. Destinations that win define their goal, and all the stakeholders cooperate," claimed Bruce Redor, Senior Associate at GainingEdge - international consultant company operating in the meeting industry. Director of the Copenhagen Convention Bureau and Vice-President of ICCA (International Congress and Conference Association) Steen Jakobsen, added: "Direct turnover from delegate spending and from organizer planning sums up to almost 1 billion Euros annually. And more than 20.000 jobs are directly linked with this industry in Copenhagen. Meetings import and export knowledge, create new international partnerships, and raise prestige of the country."

In Vienna, every congress delegate spends 645 Euro per day, which contributes significantly to the budget of the city. Deputy Director of the Vienna Convention Bureau and Member of the Board of ICCA Ulrike von Arnold confirmed that support from the government and close cooperation between airline, airport, venues, catering, hotels, etc., is key to the success: "Vienna has been a leading meeting industry destination in the world for many years. And it wouldn´t be without a convention bureau - we guarantee integrated approach to clients In Vienna."

This unique event was organized by the Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with the Czech Convention Bureau, under the auspices of the City of Prague Councillor for Culture, Preservation, Exhibitions, Tourism and Foreign relations Mr. Václav Novotný. The main partners of the event were Prague Airport, AV Media as a technology partner, and media partners C.O.T. media publishing house, business paper E15, and Metropol TV.

Czech veterans are bidding for the top rugby event in Europe

Old Boys Prague - Czech Rugby Veterans Association, which is one of the founding members of the organization of European veteran rugby EGOR (European Golden Oldies Rugby), seeks to obtain an organization of the official Festival Egor, which is the biggest event of the European veteran rugby, in 2013.

This top event is held every two years in different country, and in 2013 it will be its 12th anniversary. Apart from Prague, another the two cities from biggest rugby countries are seeking to host the festival, so the position of Prague in the final choice will not be easy.

For this reason, the Executive Committee EGOR sent to the inspection trip to Prague President of EGOR Dave McDonald,  Secretary Matthias Schenke and Member of the Executive Committee Werner Czerny to examine the preparedness of Prague as the candidate city for organizing such an important event.

Veteran of the European festivals contains usually of thirty to forty participating teams representing 1000 and 1500 individual participants and, if Prague will be successful in candidacy, it would be by far the largest rugby event in the Czech Republic.

During the stay of the EGOR delegation,  a series of important meetings were held, during which the candidacy of Prague  explicitly supported the Prague City Hall, the organization for the promotion of tourism CzechTourism, Prague Convention Bureau, Czech Airlines as the official carrier and the Czech Rugby Union and clubs RC Mountfield Ricany and RC Sparta Praha, which would provide the playgrounds during the festival.

Prague Marriott Hotel and Yasmin hotel significantly helped with the stay of the delegation, as well as the Prague Airport, which provided the delegacy with VIP treatment.

Prague Old Boys team celebrates in 2013 twenty five years of its existence, and the festival would thus celebrate this anniversary. The decision on the choice of organizing the 12th EGOR Festival 2013 is expected at the end of February this year.

Speakers at the seminar WHAT MAKES A MEETING DESTINATION SUCCESSFUL? will be the key players in the industry

Bruce Redor is the Senior Associate for Europe, the Middle East & Africa at GainingEdge - a company that offers services ranging from destination management to convention centre feasibility studies, from sales and bidding support to education and training.

Bruce Redor

Bruce was a member of the management team that built and operated EuroDisney in Paris, where he set up Disneyland Paris Business Solutions. From there, he took on the job of Chief Executive at the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Lyon, where he was instrumental in turning the city into one of Europe's leading business-travel and leisure destinations. Over the last few years, Bruce has worked with some key players in the travel industry, including Expedia, Inc. and Lufthansa Airplus, GmbH.

Steen Jakobsen

Steen Jakobsen is a director of Copenhagen Convention Bureau and actively engaged in the global meeting industry. He is on the Board of Directors of the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) and on the Board of Directors of the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC). Steen was chair of BestCities Global Alliance from 2003 - 2007 and today he serves on its Management Committee. Steen was co-chair of MPI's European Professional Education Conference in Copenhagen in 2007 and he was also a leading force behind the development of Copenhagen Sustainable Meetings Protocol. Before joining Wonderful Copenhagen CVB, Steen worked for the Danish Government at the Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs.

Ulrike von Arnold

Ulrike von Arnold is Deputy Director of the Vienna Tourist Board's Vienna Convention Bureau and a Member of the Board of Directors of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), where she represents the Sector Destination Marketing, which comprises the City Convention Bureaus as well as regional and national convention bureaus. She has been with the Vienna Convention Bureau since 1995 as Marketing Manager for Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries, and has been Director Christian Mutschlechner's deputy since 2004. Before joining the convention bureau, she worked as Marketing Director for Radisson SAS International Hotels Copenhagen and Meeting Manager for SAS International Hotels.

Dirk Elzinga

Dirk Elzinga is the Managing Director of Convention Industry Consultants (Pty) Ltd in Cape Town, South Africa. This company assists governments and other initiators or owners with the development or repositioning of convention centres. He was previously vice president of one of the biggest PR consultancy firms in the Netherlands and general manager of the RAI Congress Centre in Amsterdam. On behalf of the RAI he became managing director of the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre, and then the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Dirk has served as a board member and chair person in the Netherlands Convention Bureau and the Amsterdam Convention Bureau. Until 2003 Dirk was vice president of ICCA and chairman of their Category Congress Centres. In 2010, Dirk became regional chairperson and national board member of the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa and of the Exhibition Industry of South Africa.

Peter de Merlier

Peter was born in Belgium. He is a pharmacist and holds a master's degree in the science of environmental sanitation, both achieved at the State University of Ghent. He worked at UCB Pharma and then he joined Abbott Laboratories. In 1998, Peter moved to Prague as Business Development Manager for Central & Eastern Europe. In 2002, he was one of the founders of CZECH-IN and is responsible for strategic planning. The company is specialized in providing Corporate & Institutional Event Management and Association Management Services. Peter is representing his company to the International Congress and Convention Association; he is Board member of the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce of the Czech Republic and Chairman of the international organization (Ant) ARCTIC MATTERS.

Ivo Miksa

Ivo has 20 years' professional experience in the congress industry. Since 1992 he has been working with the PCO GUARANT International (Partner since 1994). He has participated in all aspects of conference organizing - from project organizing to marketing and sales, and now works as the Director of Strategic Projects. Ivo has worked on the successful candidacies of such large meetings as the IMF Conference in 2000 (17,500 pax), Hypertension in 2002, EULAR, WPA 2008, UEGW 2004 (9,800) and IAC 2010. He was member of the Board of Directors at INCON (International Network of Conference Organisers) and currently serves as Vice President of PCB.

Caroline Mackenzie

Caroline Mackenzie began her career in hotel management with a boutique country house chain in the UK having graduated with a degree in hotel management and administration. Since then she has worked in various sectors of the meeting and events industry. She has also spent over 10 years working within the Professional Conference Organiser (PCO) agency environment, in operational, general management and development roles, providing management support to national and international Associations in the UK and internationally. Caroline has worked for the international PCO and AMC Congrex Group for over 10 years, and is currently the Director of Business Development for Congrex Holding BV.  One of her areas of focus within the Group is advising clients on Strategic Destination Selection and working with CVBs and venues international in implementing group-wide Framework Agreements on behalf of its clients.

SEMINAR: What makes a meeting destination successful?

Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with Czech Convention Bureau are happy to invite you to SEMINAR: What makes a meeting destination successful? Under Auspices of Prague City Councillor for Culture, Monument Care, Exhibitions, International Relations and Tourism Václav Novotný.

Date:   February 9, 2012

Place:  Prague Marriott Hotel, V Celnici 8, Prague 1

Program:

8:30 - 9:00      Registration

9:00 - 10:30    Session I with panel discussion moderated by Bruce Redor: Success of a meeting destination - key factors

    • How can a destination achieve its potential in the meetings market - Bruce Redor, Senior Associate at GainingEdge
    • Financing Convention Bureaus - a strategic overview -  Steen Jakobsen, Director of Copenhagen Convention Bureau & Vice-President of ICCA
    • Cooperation between CVB and meeting industry partners - case study - Ulrike Von Arnold, Deputy Director of Vienna Convention Bureau & Board member of ICCA


10:30 - 11:00
Coffee break + networking

11:00 - 12:30  Session II with panel discussion moderated by Bruce Redor: How clients select destination - key factors

  • Return on investment of public funding in the meeting industry, particularly in state of the art convention centres, and what is the secret of their success or failure - Dirk Elzinga, Managing Director at Convention Industry Consultants LTD
  • Strategic role of sponsors and exhibitors in destination selection - Peter de Merlier, Managing Partner - Strategic Projects and Portfolio Building at Czech-In & Ivo Miksa, Director Strategic Projects at Guarant
  • Destination expectations/requirements of PCOs and AMCs, and role of the CVB - Caroline Mackenzie - Director, Business Development at Congrex Group


12:30 - 14:00
    Lunch + networking - open buffet for all participants

Price incl. VAT:  300 CZK PCB and Czech Convention bureau members, 600 CZK non-members, 180 CZK students

Seats are limited, so please register before February 2, 2012 at jitka.kolarova@pragueconvention.cz or at tel: +420 224 267 263. You are welcome to send us your questions for panel discussions!

See the invitation here.

Prague Convention Bureau launched the CRM Database Tender

Prague Convention Bureau launched the CRM Database Tender. Commencing 2012 Prague Convention Bureau will focus on the development of its sales and marketing activities including website, media campaigns, destination & corporate brand, and for effectiveness of these activities is the CRM database system needed.

Director of the Prague Convention Bureau added: „To date Prague Convention Bureau has not had a database system in place; however it is now a key priority under the business plan to establish a CRM system for sales, marketing and industry partners (members program) to integrate with the proposed website and provide online sales opportunities for industry partners."

Prague Convention Bureau primary focus is on the international business events market. Key market segments include:

  • International & regional (Europe) association meetings
  • International and regional (Europe) corporate meetings and incentives
  • Geographic markets include Europe (UK, Germany, France, and Benelux) and North America (USA).


Requirements for the CRM system are for instance the ability to integrate with existing operational systems, outline capacity to translate CRM system in multiple languages, to link accounts & events with multiple sales representatives and suppliers, ability to create a project, ability in upload/download information between database system and web, to record industry financial contributions to Prague Convention Bureau, capacity to develop, tailor, edit and maintain mailing lists and others.

Prague Convention Bureau will accept the offers by February 15, 2012, 12 a.m

Prague Convention Bureau´s review committee will evaluate each proposal based on his/her understanding of how the proposal meets the project's objectives and requirements. And although cost is a critical part, we consider the database design, functionality, ease of use, quality of service, staff and company professionalism, pro-active/creative thinking, customer commitment, reliability, innovation and references to be extremely important factors in making our decision. 

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