Sector of medical meetings in the light of pharmaceutical industry regulations

The city of Wisła will host a meeting dedicated to certification rules for scientific events targeted at health professionals. Anna Kacprzyk, Manager for Innovations and Business Ethics, will be the keynote speaker.
“Sector of medical meetings in the light of pharmaceutical industry regulations” is the leitmotif of a keynote speech dedicated to certification rules for scientific events targeted at the healthcare milieu. The speech will cover not only the currently valid rules, but also changes planned in the discussed field. Moreover, Dr. Anna Kacprzyk, a representative of Employers' Union of Innovative Pharmaceutical Companies INFARMA, will draw attention to potential threats for conference venues and hotels set in tourist and health resorts.
According to the website of the Polish Conference and Congress Association, “Regulations introduced in January 2019, and expanded in January 2020 to cover the criterion of geographic setting, will prove particularly severe for conference venues and hotels set in tourist, health and holiday resorts, etc. This is why a Memorandum was prepared upon the initiative of our association, with the meeting aimed at reaching a shared position of communes and the hotel-conference industry, represented by trade organisations and affected entrepreneurs, that we wish to submit to INFARMA”.
The meeting with Dr. Anna Kacprzyk is scheduled to take place in Hotel Gołębiewski in Wisła on 24 September (12 noon - 2pm). If you are interested in becoming a part of the conference, confirm your participation by sending an e-mail to

New certified trainings for the industry of congresses and events

The Academy of Polish Conference and Congress Association project was launched on 14 October 2019, not coincidentally the National Education Day. Its programme of training sessions was developed by experienced experts, representatives of the meetings industry.
The Academy involves unique trainings aimed at using intriguing and unusual methods to pass on extensive know-how in the area of staging conferences, congresses and events. Its list of goals encompasses developing competencies and identifying predispositions to planning, developing, implementing and coordinating events. The sessions predominantly focus on the practical aspects of the career of a meeting planner, but still take into account theoretical knowledge in the field of marketing communication, law and project management.
The primary objective of the Academy of Polish Conference and Congress Association is to professionalise services aimed at organisers of congresses and conferences, advance knowledge, improve skills and reinforce the professional status of people operating in the market of congresses and conferences. The trainings will be divided into four sectors, depending on the specific profile of operations run by the ordering customer, with particular thematic modules differing in content. After attending a training session, participants will become accredited by Polish Conference and Congress Association.
Lecturers Anna Górska, Vice President for International Cooperation at Polish Conference and Congress Association, and Katarzyna Cioch, Vice President for Research and Development, argue that “The Academy is intended to inspire a discussion about educating the industry as a whole and meant to determine if the Polish meetings sector is sufficiently educated and, consequently, competitive and professional. The international character of the project, the fact that it benefits from the expertise and examples provided by foreign organisations plus grants accreditations, is what makes the Academy virtually peerless in Poland”.

Katowice to host the WADA congress in 2019

On 5-7 November 2019 the whole global doping community will be looking at the International Congress Centre in Katowice. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) selected the city to host the World Conference on Doping in Sport
The contract for organising the discussed conference in Poland was signed in Seoul on 15 November. On behalf of Poland, the document was signed by Witold Bańka, the Minister of Sports and Tourism, who participated in WADA’s Executive Committee Meeting in the capital of South Korea.
The decision about awarding the event to Katowice was made back in May. This will be fifth edition of the cyclic conference currently staged every six years. The list of previous host cities includes Lausanne, Copenhagen, Madrid and Johannesburg. Minister Bańka launched efforts aimed at bringing the conference to Poland.
"This is a remarkably important event both for Poland and the whole sports community worldwide. Key decisions determining the global directions of battle against doping will be made at the discussed conference”, emphasises Bańka.
The World Conference on Doping in Sport is staged by WADA, an independent foundation established by the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne in 1999. Its key goal is to coordinate activities against the use of illegal drugs in sports. In 2001 WADA’s headquarters were relocated to Montreal.
It is estimated that the 2019 event will be attended by approx. 2,000 representatives of all communities involved in the struggle against doping in sports. Plans for the Katowice-set event assume, i.a. the election of new WADA authorities and adopting amendments to the World Anti-Doping Code. In addition, WADA’s new international standard will be introduced in the field of education and information.
We are glad to see Katowice decisively building its image of a city of major meetings and events. In October the capital of Upper Silesia co-hosted the 7th European Congress of Small and Medium-Size Enterprises and WOMEX - the World Music Expo. Next year will see the organisation of the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Its organisers expect that close to 18,000 delegates from all over the world will attend and that the event will generate benefits for the entire country”, says Aneta Książek, Chief Conference Expert, Poland Convention Bureau PTO.

10th edition of Poland Meetings and Events Industry Report

Summarising the meetings industry’s 2018 accomplishments, analysing factors making a destination attractive for staging corporate, incentive and association meetings, and identifying trends of regions’ development inspired by smart specialisations - these are the highlights of the tenth edition of Poland Meetings and Events Industry Report.
As is the case each year, Polish Tourism Organisation - Poland Convention Bureau compiled a report, whose main goal is to get an optimally broad picture of the 2018 state of affairs in Poland’s meetings and events industry. The data presented in the report discuss 22,152 meetings and events involving more than 50 attendees each. Compared with the previous year, the number of events in 2018 grew by 1,000.
A presentation of the condition of Poland’s sector of meetings and events is possible due to Poland Convention Bureau POT’s ongoing cooperation with municipal and regional convention bureaux, recommended professional congress organisers (PCOs) and incentive travel companies (ITCs), as well as international associations (ICCA and UIA). Each year they collect and submit data, whose analysis allows drawing an optimally comprehensive picture of the meetings industry in Poland. Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that they do not guarantee a full overview of the phenomenon.
This year’s data are complemented by an article by Monika Dembińska of Poznań University of Economics and Business, who analysed the factors making destinations attractive for corporate, incentive and association meetings.
We would like to thank everyone involved in the development of the Report!
We wish you a pleasant read - you will find both the Polish-- and English-language version of the report on our website (PL Report, ENG report).
The Report’s printed version will be launched at the Polish Congress Ambassadors Gala to be held in the International Congress Centre in Katowice on 21 October 2019.

Poland wins a prestigious award in the Netherlands

Poland received the Best MICE Destination 2019 award presented by MICE & Business Travel, the leading business tourism periodical in the Netherlands. Already now the meetings and events sector generates about 1% of Poland’s GDP.

The Best MICE Destination is the most important MICE-related distinction in the whole of Benelux. Besides Poland, the list of nominees also included France and Northern Ireland.

“Modern hotels, numerous conference and exhibition centres, unique venues, first-rate transportation infrastructure, as well as organisations and companies ready to provide professional services aimed at business meetings of all scope proved decisive about our success”, said Anna Krupka, Secretary of State with the Ministry of Sports and Tourism.

The awards ceremony was held on 9 September as part of the Business Traveler & MICE Fair staged by the magazine’s editorial staff in Amsterdam’s Corendon Village Hotel. Congress and meetings industry delegates attending workshops accompanying the ceremony emphasized that Poland is a safe and friendly destination that stages a growing number of meetings dedicated to culture, science and business.

“Poland has at its disposal all the assets required for an intensive growth of the meetings industry and for attracting more international events of all possible sizes”, claims President of Polish Tourism Organisation Robert Andrzejczyk. “We would not be able to achieve this success if it was not for the hard work of our Netherlands-based office operating within the structures of Poland Convention Bureau POT”.

MICE & Business Travel readers also selected winners in other categories. NN Hotels was voted the best hotel chain for the industry of congresses and meetings, and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines - the top airline.

Poland will host the 17th European Congress of Clinical Neurophysiology (ECCN) in Warsaw at EXPO XXI

Warsaw presents another successful bid and wins the organization of a large European medical congress. More than 700 scientists from Europe will gather in the capital of Poland in 2019 to discuss current developments and achievements in clinical neurophysiology.
The 4-day ECCN Congress is held every 2 years and has never been to Poland before. The last three editions took place in Rome (2011), Brno (2015) and in Budapest only a few weeks ago. During this year's Conference, after getting acquainted with the Polish offer, the General Assembly decided that the next Congress in 2019 will take place in Warsaw. The chosen theme for the ECCN 2019 will be “Shaping the Present and Future of Clinical Neurophysiology”. The host of the event are the Polish Society of Clinical Neurophysiology (PTNK) and the Professional Congress Organizer (PCO) Barceló Congresos, who successfully organized the ECCN in 2002 in Barcelona.
The Scientific Committee work will be joint task and effort by representatives of the European Department of International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology (EC-IFCN), headed by Professor Walter Paulus from the Medical University of Göttingen who supported the Polish bid from the very beginning.
The bid application was prepared by Barceló Congresos and presented at the congress in Budapest by the following delegation from Poland: Dr. hab. Anna Pokryszko-Dragan (PTNK), Anna Górska (Barceló Congresos/EXPO XXI Warsaw), and Pawe? Rozen (Warsaw Convention Bureau). Prof. Maria Ejma, president of the PTNK, said: "I am very pleased and more over I am convinced that the strong involvement of PTNK members, the support of the city authorities and the expertise of the selected PCO is a guarantee for success."
Anna Górska, who initiated the efforts to host the congress in Poland more than two years ago, is proud and looks forward to a fruitful cooperation between scientists, Warsaw’s corporate world and local government, thanks to which the Polish capital will host another important international event that will bring latest findings and knowledge to the local community.

Stable position for Poland in ICCA ranking

Poland with 211 meetings secured 19th spot (out of 110) in the latest ranking published by International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) on 13 May 2019. For another year in a row Poland held a stable position in the listing and is the only Visegrád Group member state to be ranked in the top twenty.
The category of cities covers 409 destinations and includes Warsaw (placed 29th), Kraków (45th), Poznań (120th), Wrocław (180th), Gdańsk (196th) and Łódź (355th).
Compared to 2018 Kraków, Poznań and Wrocław climbed approximately 10 spots, with Łódź as a newcomer joining ICCA in early February 2019.
In the European breakdown Poland took 11th spot (out of 41), Warsaw - 18th, Kraków – 25th, Poznań – 68th, Wrocław – 92nd, Gdańsk – 98th and Łódź – 169th (out of 200 spots).
ICCA operates in almost 100 countries worldwide and represents more than 1,100 companies and organisations connected with developing and coordinating meetings, transporting and accommodating. For more than 50 years it has been collecting and analysing data and creating communication channels in the field of implementing international business meetings. On the basis of collected data, it compiles an annual ranking discussing meetings that simultaneously meet three conditions:
1. they are held on a regular basis,
2. they have a proven attendance of at least 50 participants,
3. they rotate between at least three countries.
ICCA membership generates numerous benefits: it provides a cost-effective way to win and attract events representing the meetings industry and offers access to a global network of contacts, making it possible to do business on a worldwide platform representing all sectors of the industry. Members of ICCA have access to a database of more than 72,000 conferences staged by more than 5,000 associations and containing information about the history of each conference and data about particular associations. Finally, ICCA guarantees a strong education programme aimed at its members.

International Congress Centre in Katowice and International Conferences and Entertainment (ICE) Kraków sum up their portfolio of events.

24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24), the most spectacular event hosted by International Congress Centre in Katowice, provided services for 20,000 participants from 200 United Nations member states.

590 rooms at ICC and the directly linked Spodek arena complex were applied tor the purposes of arranging the conference, along with close to 6,000 pieces of furniture and 190 IT/AV devices. The interiors were prepared in such a way as to guarantee event participants a chance to comfortably spend time between sessions. Green relaxation zones, grab-and-go points with snacks and drinks, as well as the main restaurant zone in Spodek’s main floor were available at their disposal. There were 640 standing places by cocktail tables, 400 seats and two leisure zones - for a total of 1,050 guests.

The ICC and Spodek team handling COP24 was composed of 1,924 members, one-fourth of the whole technical staff working on the event. Close to 500 foodservice operators were employed in the main restaurant zone and the grab-and-go points. The former served 1,500 guests an hour, and the latter - 600 participants an hour.

COP24 visitors drank 65,500 coffees, ate 28,000 sandwiches and 30,500 lunches plus took part in more than 2,120 meetings and side events.

Works on preparing Spodek and International Congress Centre for COP24 purposes were launched in early 2018 and encompassed indispensable renovations, inspections, provisioning, arrangement of technical services, cleaning, security, catering and so-called event management. Moreover, additional pavilions were established to house, i.a. booths of participating states, meeting rooms, as well as the media zone.

Ever since it inaugurated its operations in October 2014, ICE Kraków Congress Centre was visited by 1,022,820 participants of close to 800 events.

Each quarter almost 400 representatives of companies operating in the Kraków meetings industry market get together as part of the Kraków Network platform of knowledge and contact sharing established four years ago by Kraków Festival Office, the venue’s operator. Educational workshops staged in six thematic groups (Hospitality Group, Kraków Food Network, PR Group, Kraków Club of Congress Ambassadors, Kraków Future Lab and Event Group) show that join operations of potential competitors are both possible and effective. From the viewpoint of Kraków, the discussed initiative generated measurable benefits and an opportunity to present itself in the international arena as a responsible and comprehensive destination available for congresses.

While last year the venue’s calendar was dominated by cultural events, in the years to come its operator is planning to boost the number of business projects. Research on the economic impact of the meetings industry on Kraków’s economy confirms that congresses and conferences are increasingly profitable for the city. In 2018 the figures amounted to 1.4 billion PLN spent by participants of business events and close to 2.2 billion PLN of GDP generated by the meetings industry, 3.38% of GDP of Kraków’s whole economy.

ICE Kraków has already become a regular host of numerous international events, including the Impact economic congress, the Open Eyes Economy Summit, Cybersec European Cybersecurity Forum or the prestigious New Frontiers in Interventional Cardiology. The list also includes, i.a. Digital Dragons, the largest video game industry event in this part of Europe, the annual conference staged by the ASPIRE Association, as well as the European Congress of Local Governments, from the very beginning staged in ICE Kraków.

The opinions of event guests are the best recommendation of the discussed venues:
“I must admit that when I was going to Poland I expected an entirely different experience. I believed the stereotype that Eastern Europe is by definition poor and plain. The truth is that Polish cities are in no way different from their counterparts in Germany or the Netherlands. I am truly impressed”, says Fei Luo, a COP24 participant hailing from China but currently residing in Amsterdam.

2018 Poland Meetings and Events Industry Report

The main goal of 2018 Poland Meetings and Events Industry Report is to paint the biggest possible picture of the condition of Poland’s meetings and events sector in 2017.
Data presented in this year’s edition cover more than 22,000 meetings and events, each attended by at least 50 participants. Conferences and congresses account for half of them, corporate and incentive events constitute the second group, while trade fairs and exhibitions recorded the smallest share in the overall sample. The list of dominating sectors includes commerce and services, economics and politics, technology and the medical industry. Half of all the discussed events lasted one day and close to one-third of them engaged foreign participants. By comparing these results with previous editions of the report, which covered events for groups of at least 10 participants, it becomes clear that 2017 saw a continued growth of the number of meetings and events presented annually in Poland Meetings and Events Industry.
In addition to general information about events staged in Poland in 2017, the latest edition of the publication discusses the specific features of three types of events (conferences and congresses, corporate and incentive events, trade fairs), encompasses extensive ‘portfolios’ of cities (profiling the activities of particular convention bureaus representing metropolises and regions) and a study by Dr Natalia Latuszek of the Poznań University of Economics on the competitiveness of Polish cities in the international meetings market.
“The report is a tool that sums up last year’s achievements of the meetings industry and showcases its contribution to the growth of the national economy. In Poland the business of organising professional business meetings, conferences, congresses, trade fairs and exhibitions is estimated to generate more than 1% of the national GDP plus provides a strong and positive impetus for other related branches. Its development is one of the key promotional priorities of Polish Tourism Organisation, whose structures have included Poland Convention Bureau (PCB) since 2002”, says Robert Andrzejczyk, President of PTO.
The 2017 condition of Poland’s sector of meetings and events is presented on the basis of data obtained from three sources: submitted by convention bureaus representing cities and regions, congress (PCOs) and incentive travel organisers recommended by Polish Tourism Organisation, and international organisations and associations (ICCA and UIA).
2018 Poland Meetings and Events Industry Report is available on 

Prestigious European Congress of Psychiatry in Warsaw

Warsaw hosted the European Congress of Psychiatry attended by more than 4,000 participants from all over Europe. This year’s edition was guided by the motto of “Psychiatry in transition”.
One of the most important research events in the field of psychiatry was this year brought to Warsaw. It was the capital of Poland than on 6-9 April hosted the European Congress of Psychiatry attended by more than 4,000 participants. Considering the rank and prestigious character of the congress, securing the event can be perceived as a considerable success. For the first time ever in 27 years since the launch of the congress, its organisers decided to select a Polish city.
Congress participants discussed subject matter in the field of psychiatry, psychology and clinical research. Prof. Jerzy Samochowiec, President of the Polish Psychiatric Society, emphasises the event’s impressive attendance figures. Sessions attracted 4,265 psychiatric professionals. In addition, Polish researchers constituted a numerous group of participants, with more than 500 Poles involved in the Congress.
The 2019 European Congress of Psychiatry was guided by the motto of “Psychiatry in transition” and staged in the EXPO XXI Conference Centre in Warsaw. Efforts aimed at securing the prestigious event began four years earlier. Each year the congress is held in a different European city.
Complicated and long-lasting process of securing congresses is nevertheless highly profitable both for the host venue and the city that will welcome event participants. According to International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), a congress participant spends an average of 708 USD daily in the host city. In addition, congresses are usually several days long.  
European Psychiatric Association (EPA) has more than 78,000 members from 88 countries and is a leading organisation representing European psychiatry. Each year the association holds the international European Congress of Psychiatry, which acts a platform for discussion and exchanging experiences in the area of mental health.