“We are very happy that we managed to organise this unique event in a relatively short time and to bring such outstanding experts here. Since education in the branch and international exchange of information are rather important parts of the development of any industry, we would like to pursue this field more intensively,” explained the Prague Convention Bureau director Ms. Lenka Žlebková.
This seminar was the first step which should help open a door to the deeper understanding of congress industry issues by public institution representatives, and increase the awareness about this important branch of the tourist industry among subjects active in the industry as well as the general public.
“We were happy to support the Prague Convention Bureau in organising this seminar. The congress industry, as one of the most prominent branches of the tourist industry, is rather important for the economic development of a destination, not only in Prague, but also in other regions,” explains the Czech Convention Bureau director Mr. Zdeněk Giromani.
“The secret to success? The destination must have a vision and a properly representing product, as well as effective marketing and sales. Winning destinations define their aims and all participating parties co-operate,” says Bruce Redor, Senior Associate in the international consulting company Gaining Edge active in the congress industry, who hosted the whole seminar. Steen Jakobsen, the Copenhagen Convention Bureau director and ICCA vice-chairman, added: “The direct turnover from expenses of congress delegates and organisers makes almost EUR 1 billion a year. More than 20,000 jobs in Copenhagen are directly related to this branch. Congresses support the exchange of knowledge and new international partnerships, and increase a country’s prestige.”
In Vienna, each congress delegate spends EUR 645 a day, which significantly contributes to the city budget. The Vienna Convention Bureau vice-director and member of the ICCA board Ms. Ulrika von Arnold confirmed that the key to success is governmental support and close cooperation between air companies, airports, venues, catering companies, hotels, and other subjects. “Vienna has been the leading congress destination for many years. And this would not be possible without the convention bureau – it guarantees a uniform approach to clients in Vienna.”
This rare event was organised by the Prague Convention Bureau in co-operation with the Czech Convention Bureau of the Czech Tourism agency, under the auspices of Mr. Václav Novotný, Prague councillor for culture, preservation of monuments, exhibitions, tourist industry, and foreign relations. In partnership with the Prague Airport, AV Media as a technological partner, COT specialised publishing house, E15 daily, and Metropol television and media partners.