On 21 July 2020 in the seat of the Employers of the Republic of Poland there was a historic establishment of the Meetings and Events Industry Council, consisting of representatives of 18 organizations representing more than 500 Polish entrepreneurs, implementing both smaller projects (e.g. training, company meeting) and those creating such undertakings as, among others, the following: European Economic Congress, IMPACT, MSPO trade fair or Open'er festival.

- The health and economic pandemic hit what is the basis of MICE business, i.e. direct interpersonal contacts. The modern and thriving economic sector was completely frozen overnight. This is a cataclysm that no other industry has experienced," says Andrzej Malinowski, President of the Employers of Poland.

- Therefore, the reaction must be just as quick and decisive. The creation of the Meetings and Events Industry Council is the first step. The voice of the industry will be louder and more effective. The next steps are to adjust public aid to the unique situation of the meetings industry. It must survive the crisis, be given time to restart and adapt to new conditions - he points out.

As stressed by Bartosz Bieszyński, MICE Industry Crisis Staff Coordinator. - The meetings and events industry accounts for nearly 15% of the Polish GDP (hotels, entertainment, coach transport, trade fairs, group and individual inbound and outbound tourism, MICE) and employs about 1.5 million people, including suppliers and partners.

- Since mid-February this year, our environment has recorded an average decrease in sales of 80 - 95 percent, depending on the sector. The lack of long-term and strategic solutions means not only bankruptcies and layoffs, but also a threat to the modern and sustainable economy of our country. - he adds.

- In the Meetings and Events Industry Council we want to communicate between MICE sectors and with the government, as well as care not only for survival but also for the future - declares Łukasz Adamowicz, Vice President of the Board of the Incentive Travel Organizers Association.

The representatives of the Meetings and Events Industry Council have set themselves the goal of defending and reviving the industry, through a strong voice in the discourse at the government level. The Council will strive, among others, to:

  • create a platform for cooperation and exchange of information between organizations that create the broadly understood meetings and events industry;

  • Permanent monitoring of the condition of the industry (research, surveys, etc.);

  • create a body to represent the interests of the industry to the state administration;

  • Build awareness of the importance of the industry among government decision makers and the public;

  • creating and making proposals to use the EU Recovery Fund;

  • working with the most important social institutions.

- MICE industry cooperation gives us media visibility and opportunities to reach out to the government that we would not have if we were acting alone, especially since our sector is a system of connected vessels," says Grażyna Grabowska, President of the Krakow Trade Fair and Vice-President of the Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry.

- The coronavirus pandemic showed how strongly the various sectors of the MICE industry are interconnected. The strength of the Polish economy is its sustainable character - we should emphasize our contribution to GDP creation. Without meetings and events, many Polish cities - such as Warsaw, Krakow, Poznan, or Tricity - look completely different, and this also translates into the economic situation," points out Mikołaj Ziółkowski, President of the Association of Artistic and Entertainment Event Organizers.

- We have a lot of work to do, and it will certainly be easier if we act together - assessed the Secretary General of the Chamber of Commerce of the Polish Hotels Marcin Maczynski.

This type of activity is necessary because the broadly understood meetings, events, entertainment and leisure industry is the part of the Polish and global economy that first "stopped" because of the spreading SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

The key demands of the Council are to maintain and develop additional forms of support for the industry, such as:

  • stimulating demand

  • additional direct financial support

  • additional direct support for labour costs

  • additional direct support for promoting Poland as an individual, group and business destination

  • Making recommendations and guidelines for events and meetings more flexible

Composition of the Meetings and Events Industry Council:

  1. Association of Incentive Travel Organizers SOIT

  2. Marketing Communication Association SAR

  3. SAR Event Agencies Club

  4. Association of Conferences and Congresses in Poland - SKKP

  5. Association of Artistic and Entertainment Event Organizers SOIAR

  6. Chamber of Commerce of Polish Hotel Management IGHP

  7. Polish Chamber of Stage Technology PITE

  8. Polish Association for the Development of Sports and Recreation Infrastructure IAKS Poland

  9. Association of IATA Agents in Poland

  10. SITE Poland - Society for Incentive Travel Excellence - Chapter Poland

  11. Event Industry Association SBE

  12. Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry PIPT

  13. Harmony Polish Hotels

  14. Polish Association of Coach Carriers PSPA

  15. Chamber of Commerce of Polish Artists' Managers IGMAP

  16. FOH Foundation

  17. Future for MICE

  18. Meeting Professional International Poland Chapter MPI

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