365 DAYS FILLED WITH WORK. ICE KRAKÓW A YEAR AFTER INAUGURATION!
Exactly one year after its inauguration, the ICE Kraków Congress Centre (Eng. International Conferences & Entertainment) is summing up its operations. International events connected with the meetings industry, prestigious cultural events and social occasions open to the public. This is how the business and cultural showpiece of the city is making Krakow known in Poland and around the world.
“ICE Kraków has been operating for a year. We are working nearly constantly and this involvement is paying off. In 365 days, our team has organised 175 events during which we have had over 195 thousand guests. This is an excellent result,” said Izabela Helbin, Director of the Krakow Festival Office, operator of ICE Kraków Congress Centre. “According to the business plan, we are predicting income at a level of 5 million PLN. The interest in the facility is sustained at a constant, high level, which means I can now assure everyone that we are on a good path to realizing our assumptions. This is a good prognosis for the future,” added Director Helbin.
The economy and promotion and the meeting industry
The events calendar is planned far ahead. In 2016, we have filled over half the available dates. There are offer questions about the years 2020 and 2021.
However, intensive work began at the Krakow Festival Office, the operator of ICE Kraków as early as 2007. The team attended the most important meetings and conferences around the whole world, presenting the brand of the site (Meedex Paris, IBTM Barcelona, IMEX London, Convene Vilnius, IMEX Las Vegas and others) for many years before its opening. This year, before the 6th of September, representatives of ICE Kraków attended 6 international events, promoting Krakow as an excellent destination for the meetings industry and organisers of congresses and conferences.
“The meetings industry in Poland is generating new profits for the economy and new jobs in the local communities. It not only economically stimulates new areas, but also strengthens the regions’ potential, based on their intelligent specialisations. New congress facilities in Poland prove that the organisation of events may become a key area for many cities,” said Dr Krzysztof Celuch, Director of Poland Convention Bureau of the Polish Tourist Organisation. “The ICE Kraków Congress Centre is among European leaders. The connection of interesting architecture, functionality and professional service lets us state that it will continue to play an increasingly important role in the meetings market,” Dr Celuch added.
The promotion of the facility takes place in many channels in traditional media (press, television, radio) – the promotion covers not only the building, but also every event. ICE Kraków regularly works with industry media - meetingplanner.pl, MICE Poland, Rynek Turystyczny; Polska Organizacja Turystyczna – Poland Convention Bureau, Krakow Convention Bureau. “We are also emphasising direct communication online – we are dynamically developing our channels in social media, such as Instagram and Facebook. All this work is intended not only to promote the facility itself, but also Krakow as an ideal location for the meetings industry and cultural events,” Director Helbin said.
The value of ICE Kraków to the city brand is also not without significance. Besides culture, Krakow is also associated with business. Since the inauguration of ICE Kraków, the city have been able to offer the opportunity to organise international congresses, which previously it lacked the resources and infrastructure to organise.
Małgorzata Przygórska-Skowron, the head of the Krakow Convention Bureau emphasised that the creation of venues, which was the impulse, which caused an increased amount of the mass events in Krakow, as well as international congresses, positively affects the change of the so-called seasonality, and stimulates the development of event-related services. “The ICE Kraków Congress Centre was a long-awaited investment. The organisation of events, especially prestigious ones, which may be held in the venue is a great and very efficient form of the city’s promotion. Also, creating new events and connecting them with the city is a PR method which results in positive long-term effects. Both the organisers and the participants of the conferences emphasise that Krakow always pleasantly surprises them”, said the KCB director.
Krakow is also promoted thanks to the TV creations and recordings, which take place in ICE Kraków. So far, several TV programmes were recorded there, including You Can Dance, Czas na hity Malickiego i Kmity, as well as press conferences with participants of Tour De Pologne, Agnieszka Radwańska, Maria Sharapova, Artur Szpilka and Tomasz Adamek.
Economic impact and future plans
It is important to keep in mind that the venue also positively impacts the city’s economy – ICE Kraków profits mean that other sectors – transport, hospitality (hotels, gastronomy), individual tourism, commerce, event management, event equipment suppliers – also note profits, which directly translates into significant tax profits going to the city’s budget.
Director Helbin also mentions her plans for the future. “Until the end of this year, we are going to carry out around 75 events, the contracts were already signed for 45 of them – we have all the agreements, we still have to establish all the technical and production details.”