Natalia Kulec Green - Krakow

[pullquote]From year to year a growing number of business events are organised in our city.  As many as 5,196 were organised in 2015, accounting for 15 percent of all the MICE meetings organised in Poland.[/pullquote]Q: What trends do you think we will see in meetings and events in your city in the next 12 months?
The trend that has appeared in the meetings industry is the greater emphasis on the quality of services – creating, directing meetings, selection of sites and venues so as to foster a creative atmosphere. The complexity of the offered solutions, flexibility and an open approach to the customer are very important to organisers. Every facility must meet their requirements, primarily with respect to the size and quantity of the necessary plenary rooms. Accessibility is also very important. The complete furnishing of the facility is a positive aspect, as well as highly advanced technical solutions. On the other hand, an increasing role is being played by a facility’s architecture – a modern, spacious, designer interior is the standard to which conference centres in Europe aspire. I think that this trend will also be noticeable in 2016 – clients will pay attention to quality and originality.

Q: How is your city positioned as a meeting destination today and what are its positive attributes that are often overlooked?
The meetings market in Krakow is steadily growing. From year to year a growing number of business events are organised in our city.  As many as 5,196 were organised in 2015, accounting for 15 percent of all the MICE meetings organised in Poland. For comparison, 3,976 events were held in Krakow in 2014 and 3,413 in 2013. The data comes from a national report, “The industry of meetings and events in Poland.” Its authors emphasize that the position of Krakow as the leader in the organisation of congresses and conferences has remained unchallenged for several years. As much as 68 percent of all of the events organised in the capital of the Małopolska Region in 2015 are conferences and congresses. I hope that this trend will continue in 2016, especially as more and more organisers are looking for new, less popular destinations that impress the delegates. And this is precisely what Krakow is like – surprising with its wealth of history and culture which, when combined with a modern infrastructure, is a recipe for a successful congress.

Q: How hard is it to get the message out about all that your city has to offer?
To stand out is a real challenge, bearing in mind the strong competition in Europe and the world. From the point of view of the Convention Bureau, cooperation with the local industry is very important – PCO and DMC companies, conference facilities, hotels, the airport – all of which together form not just the business portfolio of Krakow, but also its image. We are jointly working on how Krakow is seen by delegates. Those who, as they leave, take with them a positive image of the city are the best “carriers” of information about Krakow and its most effective ambassadors.

Q: Tell us something that might surprise meeting planners about your city?
Krakow is a city with a rich history and tradition and it offers an interesting calendar of cultural events and festivals. The beautiful, historic city centre attracts, the former Jewish district surprises and local restaurants and cafes will satisfy the most demanding palates. The contrast of history, which is present at every step, and our modern congress infrastructure impresses delegates the most.

Q: Can content marketing drive meeting planners to your destination?
In the era of a stream of new marketing strategies, rapidly changing trends, increased competition on the MICE market and reaching customers through content marketing is very important. The inclusion of its elements in the strategy of the convention bureau certainly helps in the promotion of destinations, as well as in developing a direct relationship with the customer and commitment to the city’s life. Our office previously used the dedicated website and a Facebook page for content marketing, giving these channels the most important content related to tourism business in Krakow, including studies, reports, press releases and news reporting.

We are pleased to see that the group of our followers and recipients of the content presented is steadily growing.

A long-time meetings industry addict, Gorazd is the Founder and owner of marketing and event agency Toleranca Marketing. He has many years of experience in planning, preparing and carrying out large international meetings and exhibitions. As the founder of the "Power to the Meetings" methodology, he still firmly believes in the power of live events and human to human communication. He is also the author of numerous articles and editor-in-chief of the meetings industry magazine Kongres Magazine.