convention_centres

LEADING CONVENTION CENTRES IN NEW EUROPE

The Meetings Star Award has been awarded for the past thirteen years by the editorial board of Kongres Magazine and Conventa to the best destinations, meeting hotels and convention centres. The gala ceremony for the winners will take place during Conventa, taking place between 1 and 2 February 2023 in Ljubljana.

Since its inception, the Meetings Star Award has become a recognised accolade by event organisers and the industry. It is considered one of the rare awards based on comprehensive criteria and standards. The evaluated hotels and destinations are assessed by hidden congress guests. They are industry professionals with rich experience in event organising and extensive knowledge in the hotel business. Furthermore, the assessors have verified references in ensuring the quality of their work in the meetings industry, thus ensuring clients get objective insight and the reliability of the methodology. Our hidden guest assessors strive for objectivity and aim to be fair, meticulous, reliable, well-organised and pay attention to detail. The evaluation matrix comprises over 500 tangible criteria, divided into various categories. Further information regarding the evaluation can be found at http://www.secret-congress-guest.eu/.

Before the award ceremony in February, it is our honour to present the best venues in the fifth category – CONVENTION CENTRES.

The development of the MICE product in individual countries is reflected in the number of convention centres. Convention centres can be considered strategic infrastructure of any serious destination regarding the surface area. in this part of Europe, massive convention centres with a surface area stretching over 50.000 m2 are rare. Only four such can be found in the largest meeting capitals of the region – Vienna, Athens and Istanbul.

Convention centres still have room for improvement in their additional offer, sustainable development, services and digitalisation. Modern digital marketing goes hand in hand with the level of digitalisation of individual convention centres.

Among all convention centres, the hidden guest assessors marked the following elements of the offer as best:

4.95 Security and Emergency
4.95 Safety
4.91 Quality – Conference Space
4.90 Quality – Interner Connectivity
4.90 Quality – Multimedia System
4.89 Access to Power and Com Lines
4.88 Quality – Acoustics and Sound
4.86 Quality – Lighting
4.85 Quality – Conference Inventory
4.84 Location
4.84 Quality Lobby

The most prominent part of the offer of most convention centres is technical equipment, safety, and usually the location of individual convention centres.

Categories that received lower marks, on the other hand, were the following:

4.51 Accessibility
4.59 Additional Offer
4.58 Sustainability Practices
4.65 Communication & Marketing
4.71 Catering
4.78 Customer Service
4.79 Business Centre
4.82 Employee Behaviour
4.81 First Impression at arrival

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Photo Credit: Aljaž Čad

10 BEST CONVENTION CENTRES IN 2022

WINNER: ICE KRAKOW CONGRESS CENTRE
Final Mark: 4.96

A huge advantage of the centre is its functional design that embellishes the centre’s crown jewel, the Auditorium hall. ICE Krakow’s smart design can be interpreted as the ideal combination of congress halls with a fixed setting and multifunctional halls such as the Chamber Hall. Even though we have said much about ICE Krakow, it is only righteous to recap its essence. Projects such as Krakow Network Protocol have placed ICE Krakow on the very top of our list. Only a handful of congress centres around the world have proven such agility, resilience and diligence to work in the interest of the entire industry.

The congress centre’s architecture, the excellence of the main auditorium and the fantastic team operating like a well-oiled machine impressed us the most. Indeed, there are more spacious and larger congress centres out there. However, the entire package of ICE Krakow is incredibly balanced and convincing. All combined, ICE Krakow is among the best of the best. More importantly, event organisers will feel at home at the centre. It is no coincidence that ICCA chose ICE Krakow for its World Congress in 2022, which was a tremendous success. We full-heartedly recommend opting for the venue, not least because you will pay much less for renting halls than in more famed congress centres.

Read the full Hidden Guest evaluation here.

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Photo Credit: ICE Krakow

TOP TEN BEST CONVENTION CENTRES IN 2022

1. ICE Krakow Congress Centre, Krakow, Poland – final mark: 4.96
Read more here

2. Austria Center Vienna, Vienna, Austria – final mark: 4.95
Read more here

3. Baku Convention Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan– final mark: 4.94
Read more here

4. Ferry Porsche Congress Centre, Zell am See, Austria – final mark: 4.91
Read more here

4. Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia – final mark: 4.91
Read more here

5. Hofburg Vienna, Vienna, Austria – final mark: 4.90
Read more here

6. Salzburg Congress Centre, Salzburg, Austria – final mark: 4.89
Read more here

7. IEC Ekaterinburg Expo, Ekaterinburg, Russia – final mark: 4.88
Read more here

8. ICC Katowice, Katowice, Poland – final mark: 4.86
Read more here

9. Congress Centre Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina – final mark: 4.85
Read more here

9. Halic Congress Centre, Istanbul, Turkey – final mark: 4.85
Read more here

10. Brdo Congress Centre, Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia – final mark: 4.84
Read more here

10. Congress Graz, Graz, Austria – final mark: 4.84
Read more here

10. Šibenik Convention Centre, Šibenik, Croatia – final mark: 4.84
Read more here

We sincerely congratulate the best hotels and wish them a successful congress year in 2023.

On the day of the gala award ceremony, taking place during Conventa, we will award the winners with prestigious accolades. Furthermore, all Meeting Star certificate recipients will be announced for 2022. In the category of convention centres, the following certificates, divided into three sub-categories on the premise of achieved points in the hidden guest evaluation, will be announced:

18 GOLD certificates – final score from 4.81 to 5.00
5 SILVER certificates – final score from 4.61 to 4.80
9 BRONZE certificates – final score from 4.41 to 4.60

All certificate recipients can be found in Kongres Magazine’s venue and hotel finder FIND VENUES at https://kongres-magazine.eu/search-venues/. You can seek hotels according to the certificate or final mark.

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