Photo Credit: ICCA

This year’s exceptional marketing campaigns for the association meetings industry have been awarded by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). The 2021 ICCA Best Marketing Award winner and outstanding recognitions were announced during the 60th ICCA Congress. This year’s theme “Marketing through Transformation” aimed to showcase innovation and future-forward thinking during what was a very challenging year.

Hybrid City Alliance prevailed over a record number of entries and a competitive field of finalists to take the top prize with their campaign detailing how the organization launched during the pandemic.

“The ICCA Best Marketing Award is great recognition for a project which has been launched by 4 co-founding cities (Ottawa, Geneva, Prague, and The Hague) only 11 months ago. This prestigious award proves that not only a collaboration of 22 Hybrid City Alliance members, but a collaboration of all the Meeting Industry stakeholders played a very important role in the past 2 years and this will remain also in the future,” said Roman Muska, Managing Director of the Prague Convention Bureau – Hybrid City Alliance co-founder.

Photo Credit: Prague Convention Bureau

“Our global community has embraced a mindset of creativity and transformation.”

“In a time of extreme uncertainty and difficulty, our global community has embraced a mindset of creativity and transformation and it was clearly demonstrated in the exceptional entries we received for this year’s award programme,” said Senthil Gopinath, CEO, ICCA. The winners were selected based on high scores awarded by a judging panel according to the 2021 award criteria and votes cast by ICCA members during the Congress.

The four outstanding recognitions for 2021 are:

– Innovation and Creativity: Ljubljana Convention Bureau was recognised for the freshest idea and initiating something new.
– Research and Rationale: Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Center for delivering the best explanation of a project and showing the importance of its development.
– Communication: Sarawak Convention Bureau communicated the scope and objectives of the project most effectively.
– Success in Meeting Objectives & ROI: ICE Kraków Congress Centre for achieving ambitious, clearly defined targets and demonstrating the best quality of execution and achieving high level of brand awareness.

Petra Stušek, General Manager and Jan Orsic, Head of Convention Bureau at Ljubljana Convention Bureau stated: “The ICCA BMA recognition is a true honour, as it is given by our colleagues and in this sense it is the most relevant award in the meetings industry. As Ljubljana Talks is the first project from Slovenia to get that far in the competition, it is also a great boost for both Ljubljana Tourism/Ljubljana Convention Bureau and Toleranca Marketing to further develop the project.”


Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Chief Commercial Officer of ADNEC, commented: “We are proud to have won the ‘research and rationale’ category at the 2021 ICCA Awards. This award confirms the levels of excellence and leadership demonstrated by the teams at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, and the effectiveness of our future forward-thinking teams who work according to the highest levels of efficiency and flexibility.”

“Our business strategy is based on the principles of turning challenges into opportunities, and this award only reinforces our commitment to delivering for our clients through extensive research and creative vision. I extend my utmost congratulations to all of us for continuing to pursue greatness and excellence in our path towards leading the business tourism sector.”

Amelia Roziman, Chief Operating Officer of Business Events Sarawak said: “The recognition is a powerful statement about Sarawak’s determination to take on bold challenges and change the landscape of the business events industry. Going this far to be recognised twice in 2008 and 2021 at the Best Marketing Award motivated us to continue forming stronger alliances with new and existing stakeholders. We thank ICCA judges and members for giving us this tremendous opportunity and also to our government and private sectors for their support in achieving Sarawak 2030 vision for the business events industry.”

Izabela Błaszczyk, Director of KBF – operator of the ICE Kraków Congress Centre, provided a statement: “The fact that the KRAKÓW NETWORK Protocol was recognised in such a prestigious marketing competition confirms the validity of our efforts aimed at promoting Krakow as a flexible destination, which is aware of the changes initiated at the turn of 2020/2021.”

You can watch the winning video entries here.

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