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.
Q: What is the most dynamic area of Prague meetings industry?
The meeting industry in Prague is growing and strengthening. We are focusing on finding out what people organizing meetings need. One of the requirements is the end-to-end service, therefore I think the most dynamic has been the business connecting and making the destination attractive as a whole. [pullquote]Prague has again been ranked among the TOP10 meeting destinations in the world as shown in the latest statistics from the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA).[/pullquote]
Q: Where is the new competition coming from?
Prague’s competition still comes from the European cities that have similar potential in what they can offer, obviously. History and tradition along with modern facilities with newest technologies and trend following approach of local organizers and partners are the key advantages. The position of our city is rather strong so whenever some new potential competitors appear, they only push us to do an even better job and keep the pace. We are focusing on learning from the best practices and educating ourselves in MICE field. Then we can see the competition only as something that is helping us to move forward.
Q: What are Prague’s strengths as a place to organize meetings?
Prague is accessible, it has a great infrastructure and provides wide options in selection of the meeting venues. It is dynamic and modern as well as traditional and full of interesting possibilities to accompany the meetings. Engaging the tradition with modern style gives opportunities for unusual arrangements even for a very demanding and experienced organizers.
People in Prague meeting industry have learnt that it is very important to have the attitude of „Everything is possible „and for organizers that’s an important and highly appreciated fact.
Q: What sets Prague apart from other CEE MICE destinations?
I believe Prague has something special that people feel right when they arrive. It brings positive emotions and its genius loci is unmistakable. That would probably not be enough to set Prague as more attractive than other CEE destinations, but as soon as you realize that above that special “something” you can get top services and have an opportunity to select from wide options, Prague gets real attention.
Q: What are your favourite things about the city of Prague?
My favourite by all means is the variability of this wonderful city. Whether you want to have a highly sophisticated day with amazing historical heritage involved, feel nostalgic, have a traditional Czech cuisine and perhaps slow down a bit, or you want a dynamic and hypermodern experience containing great amount of modern art, fresh architecture, contemporary gastronomic experience, you can have it all and even combine those while doing so with style. You can have a perfect day that suits your wishes and requirements. When organizing an event, this seems to be priceless.
Q: What time do you like to be at your desk?
I like to be at my desk early in the morning. I work the most efficiently while no phones are ringing and when I feel like I am a little ahead of the schedule. I like to be ready for the day. So the best is to be in the office before anybody else is and before the regular business hours start. I only spend very late nights when necessary, it is important that everyone finds his/hers perfect timing and this works for me.
Q: What’s your management style?
I think it can never be defined precisely as some situations require different management approach. But should I qualify the predominant style, democratic would be the one. I have enjoyed working under democratic leadership in the past, therefore I keep what has worked for me as motivational.
Q: What does your support team look like?
The PCB team is small and is consisting only from women. Each of them is very different and that is the team strength. We have also one representative in USA, since it is one of our main markets.
I have been with the PCB for a short time yet, but it is great to know that PCB has been known for the great effectivity. While considering the size of the team and available funds it is admirable and very satisfying to see the processes are set well and that Prague’s meeting industry is growing and is successful – in ICCA ranking at the top 10 – 9th place to be more specific among European cities and 11th worldwide in 2013.
Q: What would your key management advice be?
Give opportunities to your people and discover the interests and talents within your team. People who are excited about what they do are always performing better, with more ideas and greater commitment to succeed. I believe in motivating employees by providing opportunities for their professional growth and by doing so achieving higher team involvement followed by greater results.