Q: Warsaw is hosting the Global Events Congress, what does that mean for the city? 

Event Management is one of the most dynamically developing areas of global industry. Numerous achievements of the international specialists in this field are very significant and we would like to share them with the experts representing different universities, industry associations, and partners. Therefore, the scientific program will comprise sessions held by the representatives of the European, Americas, Africans and Asians professors. 

To have the meeting like this for Warsaw and Warsaw School of Tourism and Hospitality Management is a big honor and privilege. A mix of fun and content is waiting for you.

Q: How would you in one sentence, try to convince somebody to come to Warsaw?

Education + Content + Creativity = GEC in Warsaw

Q: The GEC is a summit of world’s leading academics in the field of event management, to discuss the trends in the future of event management students. What are the trends? What are the main topics that will be discussed on this years GEC? 

Global Events Congress (GEC) is a significant international congress that gives an opportunity to share cutting-edge research on events and events management.
Presentations and discussions will include, but not limited to, the following themes/topics within the domain of hospitality and tourism:

  • Areas of distinctiveness: sports events, festivals/community events, meetings, and exhibitions
  • Professionalism and the professionalization of event management
  • Engaging with industry: perspectives and practices
  • Event management education
  • Innovation in events and festival management
  • Internationalization and managing across borders
  • Social marketing: events as drivers of behavioral change
  • Brand-building through events
  • Sustainability: events impact on society
  • Policy, planning, and event development
  • Destination marketing 
  • Social media, emerging technologies, and e-commerce in meetings and events industry 
  • Economics and forecasting in meetings statistics

Q: Can you name some of the international specialists in the field of event management, that will be participating in this year’s Global Events Congress?

Dr. Mathilda van Niekerk – “Latest trends in event and festival research”.

Dr. Van Niekerk currently works in the Tourism, Events, and Attraction (TEA) Department at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, USA. She has a Ph.D. in Tourism Management (2004) and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)(2013). Her research areas include festivals and event management, tourism destination marketing and management and strategic management. She has over 100 academic publications (refereed journal articles, books, book chapters, case studies, encyclopedia entries, training manuals, industry reports and conference papers). She has taught 28 postgraduate and undergraduate courses in tourism management, destination marketing, event marketing and event management. She received the 2015 University Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award from Rosen College. Dr. Van Niekerk serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals and is the Managing Editor for the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management (IJCHM). Before joining Rosen College, Dr. Van Niekerk held senior management positions at different institutions in both higher education and local government in South Africa. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, she served as the cluster leader in Nelspruit, one of the host cities responsible for marketing, communications, events, and tourism. Recognizing her leadership and contribution to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Nelspruit, South Africa, she received the Premier Protea Hotel Nelspruit/Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism – Tourism Personality of the year award. Her commitment and competence as an event organizer, visionary and leader are also evident in her success as an owner and director of a business enterprise in the private sector, for which she was named a national finalist for South Africa’s ABSA Business Woman of the Year award.

 Prof. Jadwiga Berbeka – is an Associate Professor in the Tourism Department, Cracow University of Economics. She has got Ph.D. and post Ph.D. in the economy. Areas of interests: the meetings and events industry, adventure tourism, consumer behavior on tourism market. She is an author of more than 120 publications in tourism and consumer behavior. She has an expertise in the meetings and events industry analysis and in the assessment of the impact of meeting industry on economy, she was a member of the team in the project: Steering the meetings industry in Krakow: assessment and monitoring of the economic effect of the meetings industry on the economy of Krakow with the use of good practices from Switzerland, the project financed by Swiss government, 2011-2013. She has participated in the project: Analysis of the cooperation of business tourism companies with suppliers of selected knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) in Krakow and perspectives of the development of that cooperation financed by National Science Centre and also in some other projects concerning meetings and events industry management: MICE tourism in Krakow in 2008-2009, MICE tourism in Krakow in 2010, 2011 and 2012 ordered by and prepared for Convention Bureau of Krakow. She has been a reviewer of The Meetings Industry Report for last 5 years. She cooperates with the meetings and events sector in Poland and – as a tribute to her work – she was granted the MP Power Awards 2015 in the Open category. Another area of interest in sports tourism. She is an adviser of The Polish Association of Ski and Tourist Resorts, she has participated in some annual conferences of the Association presenting her research results. She has participated in many conferences, also international. She was the keynote speaker at 2nd International Conference on Hospitality and Tourism Management in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2014, with the speech: Implementation of Knowledge Intensive business Services by Meeting Industry in Krakow as the solution for contemporary challenges. She had presentations at the International Adventure Conferences: in 2014 in Sogndal, Norway and in 2016 in Tralee, Ireland and also at VII International Tourism Congress The Image and Sustainability of Tourism Destinations in 2014 in Muscat, Oman, presentation: Innovations in Business Tourism in Krakow Due to the Use of Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS).

Q: For 18 months you will also have a team of volunteers working on the project. How will you keep them motivated? 

A well-developed plan encompassing timing, activities and task force will contribute to a success of the 2018 Global Event Congress. The Poland-set event will offer its participants new contacts and knowledge to take back home and provide the Local Organizing Committee with an amazing experience and faith that everything is possible. Finally, a collaboration between public and private sector with additional support from the scientific community will bring together the most influential players in the global meetings industry.

However, creating a team of volunteers who must be involved in the project for more than 18 months and stay motivated is not an easy task.

The canvas is focused on two top stakeholders: Local Organizing Committee, as a company, and paying congress participants.

The entering behavior presents the Local Organizing Committee as unsure how to proceed with the project management. Not only is it considering building a new team, it is also contemplating how often it should arrange meetings and keeps working on a list of to-do tasks. Warsaw School of Tourism and Hospitality Management team is ready to give a boost to the event and guarantee its participants a new experience connected with a unique destination and a content-driven congress. Over the whole planned process, the Committee wants to contribute to creating an atmosphere conducive to arranging new projects and to long-term reflection on new international challenges. This is exactly the expected exiting behavior. A strong, new and well-connected team capable of coordinating different projects can be highly useful and fruitful.

The secondly selected stakeholder involves participants of the Global Events Congress 2018. There are two important entering behaviors described by the #EventCanvas team: a lack of expectations and disappointment with the destination.

 Q: Digital is becoming an important component in event management, and the only one that is actually measurable and gives accurate quantitive results about an event’s success. How will you include digital principles in managing the Global Events Congress?

Well-developed social media channels and a website will be applied to change the first aspect. In addition to monthly newsletters and direct communication with participants, on-site treatment is recommended to show the high quality of services, which could then be analyzed as exiting behavior. Secondly, disappointment with the destination is an entering behavior resulting from the lack of knowledge about Warsaw and Poland. Besides planned online initiatives, activity at other tourism-related conferences, additional site inspections for top board members or, finally, pre- and post tours can all modify the attitude and, as exiting behavior, help bring the spotlight to Poland.

Q: Your advice to the participants coming to Warsaw for the Global Events Congress…what is a must see and experience in the city? 

Warsaw, nurturing over 400 years of pride as a capital, is Poland’s largest city and an economic, political, and cultural center. The symbol of the city is the Mermaid, featured on the city seal. Warsaw is a bustling metropolis and features an unforgettable history. A city where a fourth of the terrain is covered by parkland and a city of culture for all tastes and budgets.

Must see: old town walk, Vistula river evening and morning coffee with me!

Prepared by: Ajda Borak


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