Summary of 2023 – Krakow Convention Bureau activities
The year 2023 in Kraków and Małopolska was marked by the "Wide Open for Meetings" campaign, implemented as part of the "Małopolska – travel destination" project. Cooperation with congress organisers, numerous conferences and a record number of inspection visits foster optimism for the upcoming year 2024!
The “Wide Open” campaign in the “Małopolska – travel destination” project
Between 2022 and 2023, the City of Krakow, the Małopolska Region and the Małopolska Tourist Organization have jointly implemented the “Wide open” campaign under the “Małopolska – travel destination” project. Its main goal is to rebuild tourism in Krakow and Małopolska after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Promotional activities were carried out in a complementary and multi-channel manner, with an emphasis on the Internet – using the latest online marketing products and tools. The campaign includes spots and banners highlighting the richness of Małopolska’s and Krakow’s tourist offer.
Hospitality, diversity and constant openness to tourists – these are the qualities of Małopolska and Krakow that are highlighted by the “Wide Open...” / ”Unglaubliche vielfalt...” campaign promoting the tourist offer of the region and its capital abroad.
The Krakow Convention Bureau focused on promoting business tourism, which is strategic for the city’s tourism economy due to its huge organizational potential and base of facilities that can become a business meeting place for event organizers from all over the world.
From August to November 2023, an online campaign “Wide open for meetings” was conducted, aimed at activating business travel to Krakow and the surrounding area and promoting the region as an ideal place for business meetings. To reach its audience, it relied on comprehensive online promotion, which was carried out on dedicated profiles on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Additions to the communication strategy were exposure campaigns and spots aired on Google’s ad network.
Activities planned through to the end of November have yielded millions of displays in 12 foreign markets. Two slogans and two visual creations with their reformatting were prepared each month: a total of 120 static graphics and 48 HTML5 files. The budget of the undertaking was almost PLN 1 million; the campaign was implemented by Marketing Factory.
The total reach of the campaign is estimated at almost 30 million - this is the number of people reached by the social media campaign. On Facebook itself, the total reach across all markets is estimated at over 10 million! We recorded the highest CTR (1-3%) across all markets in the Dispaly channel. The budget of the undertaking is almost 1 million zlotys. The campaign was executed by the Marketing Factory.
In addition, a campaign was carried out from April to November 2023 in the foreign trade and opinion press. Advertisements promoting Krakow and Małopolska appeared in renowned weeklies The Economist and WirtschaftsWoche, in the British and German markets, respectively, as well as the trade press in three issues of CN (Conference News), MICE Benelux, HQ Magazine, two issues of Punto MICE and Tendence Nomade, and one issue of Boardroom and AMI. The publications appeared in paper and digital versions of the magazines. The cost of the campaign implemented by Mastermind amounted to nearly 1.2 million zlotys.
Offline audience reach was estimated - based on the sum of circulation in 17 newspapers and magazines – at nearly 388,000, while online reach calculated as the sum of interactions and subscribers to individual titles was nearly 360,000.
Thus, the press campaign reached 747,834 readers!
In addition, as part of the project, the Krakow Convention Bureau produced three films using profiles of the Ambassadors of Krakow and Małopolska to promote Małopolska’s science, economy and art internationally, and 10 virtual walks around the conference facilities of Krakow and Małopolska.
With EU funds, the English version of the website was positioned for two years - www.convention.krakow.pl - and is continuously updated. It is worth noting that the calendar includes information about congresses, conferences and trade fairs planned in the city. In addition, ongoing social media support was provided:
The “Małopolska – travel destination” project is financed by European Funds, within the framework of the Regional Operational Program of the Małopolska Region for 2014-2020.
The budget for the entire project was 24 million zlotys, of which 8 million zlotys was allocated for the domestic campaign and 16 million zlotys for the foreign campaign, including 4 million zlotys for MICE promotion. It is worth noting that this is the only project funded entirely by European funds.
Trade fairs, table meetings, industry panels
In 2023, thanks to funds from the “Małopolska – the destination” project, the Krakow Convention Bureau team participated in meetings at the IMEX Frankfurt, IBTM Barcelona, IMEX Las Vegas business tourism fairs, as well as in b2b meetings: The Meetings Space, M&I Forum and Conventa. An average of 25 meetings were conducted at each event, resulting in a base of about 250 contacts. As part of the project, we also participated in economic missions oriented toward the German market.
For more than 10 years, the city’s comprehensive offer has been promoted in foreign markets at such events. This contributes to the branding of #Krakowthehostcity – a city organizer of international events.
In addition, KCB representatives participated in two conferences organized by the ICCA association, i.e. the Beyond Borders Annual Meeting of the ICCA France Benelux and Central European Chapters and at the 62nd ICCA Congress in Bangkok.
Cooperation with conference organizers
The Krakow Convention Bureau has been actively cooperating with organizers of international congresses and conferences in our city for years, as well as co-organizing fam trips and inspection visits. This year was no different. The thematic cross-section of supporting events was very broad; below are some examples.
The 41st meeting of the European Pediatric Orthopedic Society (EPOS) was held in late March and early April this year at the ICE Krakow Congress Center, bringing together more than 850 delegates from 58 countries, including more than 160 speakers. The goal of the annual EPOS meeting is to improve the quality of care for children with orthopedic conditions. On the initiative of the congress’s PCO, Symposium Cracoviense, greenhouse gas emissions, waste volume, use of products containing volatile organic compounds and delegates' social commitment, among other things, were calculated.
The McMaster International Review Course in Internal Medicine, the eighth edition of the International Review Course in Internal Medicine, was held at the ICE Congress Center in Krakow from 11-13 May. MIRCIM, bringing together the world’s internal medicine specialists, is organized by McMaster University (Canada) and the Polish Institute of Evidence-Based Medicine.
The 28th The European Congress of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (EBCOG) was held on 18-20 May at the ICE Krakow Congress Center. Lectures were delivered by world-renowned specialists in gynecology and obstetrics. This year’s meeting was accompanied by the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Polish Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians.
The 26th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence is a congress with more than 40 years of tradition, bringing together leading representatives from academia and industry, which was held in late September and early October this year at ICE Krakow. The ECAI conference is organized periodically by national AI associations in Europe, and was hosted in Poland for the first time.
From September 13 to 19, representatives of the Lutheran Church from around the world deliberated at the ICE Krakow Congress Center during the 13th Lutheran Church in Krakow. The General Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation. The General Assembly is the main authority of the Lutheran World Federation and the event is held only once every six years – which adds to the uniqueness of the Krakow edition. It is also worth noting that this was the second General Assembly of the SFL in Central and Eastern Europe, the first being held in 1984 in Budapest. The meeting was attended by some 350 delegates from 150 member churches of the SFL from around the world.
In July this year, the European Astronomical Society held its annual congress, the European Astronomical Society Annual Meeting (EAS), where more than 1,500 scientists deliberated at the ICE Krakow Congress Center. Krakow was pleased to host the annual EAS congress on the occasion of the 550th anniversary of the birth of Nicolaus Copernicus.
The Krakow Convention Bureau team was also involved in, among other things, the acquisition or implementation of the 2nd International Conference of the Eating Disorders Network, the second edition of the Time Crystals conference dedicated to a new field of physics – time crystals, the 5th Central European Biomedical Congress – CEBC, the 27th International Conference of Veterinarians – Specialists to Specialists, General Meeting of the European Association of Social Psychology EASP 2023, European College of Veterinary Surgeons ECVS 2023, and the European Veterinary Dental Society EVDS Congress.
Inspection visits, fam trips
On 5-8 October, we had the pleasure of hosting congress, conference and incentive travel organizers from Norway, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, Hungary and the Netherlands during the KCB fam trip titled: “Experience Krakow. Visit Małopolska”. It was intended to showcase the potential of the city and the region and inspire participants to organize events in Krakow and Małopolska.
Participants visited ICE Krakow, EXPO Krakow, TAURON Arena Krakow and the Fabryczna 13 Conference Center. The program included venues for special events, such as the Wieliczka Salt Mine and the Srebrna Góra Winery, where networking was organized with the city’s recommended PCO and DMC companies. In addition, a city game and tour introduced the culture and heritage of Krakow and a visit to Zakopane showcased the further potential of the region.
Organization of the “Experience Krakow. Visit Malopolska” fam trip was made possible thanks to funding from the “Lesser Poland – the destination” program, co-financed by the European Union as part of the Regional Operational Program of the Małopolska Region for 2014-2020.
In connection with preparing or soliciting congresses for future years, we co-organized a record number of nearly 30 visits for congress organizers, including the EEDN, the World Lutheran Federation, ACAI, EFEE, the RDA Association, the Alzheimer’s Association, representatives of the WYSE and IAPA associations, EuroELSO, ICOT, ESVS, representatives of the US association organizing the International Workshop on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia event, and foreign PCOs such as MCI, the AIM Group and HelmsBriscoe. We also co-organized a fam trip for professional conference and congress organizers from Turkey in connection with the opening of Krakow’s air connection to Istanbul in May.
Some of the visits are a direct result of conversations held at trade shows and B2B meetings.