The ceremony of handing the awards over to the congress ambassadors whose efforts contributed to the development of the capital city’s meetings industry in the greatest extent took place on the premises of the Residence of the Mayor of Prague on 21st March 2018. The Mayor of Prague Mrs. Adriana Krnáčová honored the event with her personal participation.
The aim of the event is to award renowned Czech scientists, top experts, professors, and doctors who represent the Czech Republic in international professional associations, actively lobby in favor of Prague and then participate in the preparatory work of scientific, program or organizing committees of international congresses held in Prague.
The gala evening was moderated by Veronika Paroulková, who, together with the event hostess Mayor Adriana Krnáčová, welcomed the guests at the Residence of the Mayor of the City of Prague. One of the introductory speeches was also delivered by the Director of the Tourism Department of the Ministry for Regional Development JUDr. Renata Kralova. She presented the latest developments and statistics on tourism in the Czech Republic to the attendees. According to statistics, 2017 was the record year – more than 20 million tourists used the accommodation services in the Czech Republic, of which 10.1 million were from abroad. Compared with 2016, this was an increase of 9.2%. The Director also highlighted the importance of the meetings industry, as the sector that brings high-income clientele to the destination and contributes thus to economic development.
The welcome speeches were followed by the official award-giving ceremony. For the year 2017, a total of six awards were handed over in six categories:
- The winner of the Congress of The Year 2017 category is doc. MUDr. Michal Vrablík, Ph.D. for the 85th Congress of the European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS). Doc. Vrablík brought the event with a long history to the Central and Eastern Europe for the first time ever. Furthermore, the Prague edition registered a record-breaking attendance of 2,500 delegates;
- The award for the Congress of the Year 2017 – Less than 500 Attendants was handed over to prof. Dr. Ing. Karel Bouzek for the 7th World Hydrogen Technology Convention together with Czech Hydrogen Days (WHTC 2017). Professor Bouzek is a reputable Czech scientist active in the hydrogen technology development and, as a Prague ambassador, he has been committed to attracting renowned scientific events to the Czech metropolis on a long-term basis;
- The Candidacy of the Year 2017 award winner is prof. MUDr. Julius Špičák, CSc. for the International Congress of the World Gastroenterology Organisation, due to take place in Prague in 2020. A year-long candidature, successfully led by professor Špičák, won the World Gastroenterology Organisation Congress for Prague. The Congress will be the second largest gastroenterology event ever;
- The winner of the Corporate Event of the Year 2017 category is Motorola Solutions for the Enhancing Vision event. Enhancing Vision event was awarded for the unique fusion of the cutting-edge technologies set in the historical event venue;
- Long-Term Contribution to Congress Tourism award went to prof. MUDr. Tomáš Zima, DrSc., MBA Rector of the Charles University in Prague. Professor Zima is one of the most active congress ambassadors. He has been working for many Czech and international scientific organisations and associations. He initiated numerous congresses and conferences, all of them successfully taking place in Prague, and he currently works on preparations of the biochemistry experts congress due to be held in Prague this year;
- The prize of the Prague Congress Centre was handed over to Sanjiv Suri, Ing. Lenka Žlebková and Roman Muška for the 56th ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) Congress The successful realization of the Congress of ICCA association, which brings together professionals from the congress industry significantly helped to mark Prague on the map of the international meetings tourism, helped the Prague Congress Center reconstruction, and to gaining of concrete business opportunities. Furthermore, the 56th Congress in 2017 registered a record-breaking attendance of 1,264 delegates.
The Ambassador Awards Evening was held with the support of Prague City Hall, the Ministry of Regional Development and Czech Convention Bureau.