The inauguration of the Silesia Convention Bureau

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What an incredible day that was! I had the immense honour of attending the inauguration of the Silesia Convention Bureau, and I am beyond grateful to the Silesian Tourist Organization (Śląska Organizacja Turystyczna) for inviting me to Chorzów, Stadion Śląski. This was a monumental day for the Polish MICE industry, as the first regional convention bureau has officially been established!

The future of events in Silesia

I have had the pleasure of getting to know this beautiful region so well during my previous involvement in tourist projects, and let me tell you, Silesia is truly a gem. Not only is it rich in mining and industrial heritage, but it also boasts breathtaking natural beauty.

The people are genuinely passionate about their small homeland and are experts in their field. I know there will be challenges ahead, but I have complete faith that the amazing team led by Adam Wawoczny, Agnieszka Sikorska, Natalia Wójcik, Dominika Wojniak and all the representatives from the regional MICE industry will make this project a resounding success.

As business tourism revenues continue to rise, the Silesian Voivodeship is placing a greater emphasis on its development. To further accelerate this growth, the Silesia Convention Bureau is being established.

inauguration event chorzow silesia convention bureau

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The role of the convention bureau in Silesia

A convention bureau is a specialized department within promotion departments, usually found in tourist organizations, that focuses on business tourism. It serves as a representative for a specific city, region, or country and acts as a mediator in the organization of business meetings, congresses, and conferences. Organizers of these events often use the convention bureau as their first point of contact. However, it should be noted that convention bureaux do not organize events themselves, but rather provide advice and guidance.

The first convention bureau in Poland was established in 2002 as part of the Polish Tourist Organization under the name Poland Convention Bureau. The Silesian Tourist Organization is now following this model and creating the Silesia Convention Bureau which will serve the entire region.

The inaugural conference of the Silesia Convention Bureau was held on January 12, 2023 at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzów (Stadion Śląski). Silesia Convention Bureau, starting under the slogan “We strengthen your business”, will be responsible for promoting the Silesian Voivodeship as an attractive destination for organizing business events.

The Śląskie Voivodeship is characterized by a variety of tourist potential, has the high-quality infrastructure, is very well connected and has a wide range of tourist attractions. It effectively attracts tourists. In recent years, they have been visited by almost 6 million people, leaving about PLN 6 billion annually in the region. All this makes the region an attractive destination also for organizing business events. This potential requires formalized support, hence the idea to launch the Silesia Convention Bureau, for which the Silesian Voivodeship will allocate PLN 1 million a year, says Jakub Chełstowski, Marshal of the Silesian Voivodeship.

We strengthen your business in Silesia

Formally, it will operate within the framework of the Silesian Tourist Organization, using its existing legal structure and based on its reputation and experience. The Silesian Tourist Organization, which has been operating since 2005, has a wide organizational formula that is perfect for tourist promotion,  says Agnieszka Sikorska, Director of the Office of the Silesian Tourist Organization.

Agnieszka Sikorska Silesia Convention Bureau

According to Adam Wawoczny, President of the Management Board of the Silesian Tourist Organization, the activities of the Silesia Convention Bureau are fully justified. Already, corporate customers account for more than half of hotel guests in the region. The functioning of the Silesia Convention Bureau will bring many benefits.

Among them will be the integration of various entities from the entire province in the sphere of organizing business events. Hotels and catering companies, managing tourist attractions and organizing incentive events will benefit, as they will obtain comprehensive information and the tourist offer of individual subregions. Finally, the entire region positioned as an attractive destination in the business tourism sector will benefit, says Adam Wawoczny.

Adam Wawroczny

MICE destination panel discussion

Additionally, I was able to listen to a stimulating panel discussion on the role of business tourism in the region, alongside esteemed panellists:

  • Aneta Ksiazek – Poland Convention Bureau
  • Paula Fanderowska – Kraków5020, SKKP Stowarzyszenie Konferencje i Kongresy w Polsce
  • Anna Górska – ICCA, Symposium Cracoviense
  • Krystyna Gołąbek – Business Service Galop
  • Mateusz Czerwinski – Warsaw Convention Bureau
Silesia Convenion Bureau MICE destination in Poland

Agnieszka Sikorska, Aneta Ksiazek, Paula Fanderowska, Anna Górska, Krystyna Gołąbek, Mateusz Czerwinski

During the discussion lasting over an hour, the panellists emphasized that the convention bureau is an investment whose effects will pay off after years. It was pointed out what the process of acquiring large international congresses looks like and the role played by individual MICE market entities (convention bureau, associations, PCO, DMC, congress facilities, hotels) and how this complicated process can be supported by local government and state institutions.

Cooperation is the key to success. The 61st ICCA Congress in Krakow was cited as a good example. Equally important is the continuous education of people from the industry (e.g. The ECM Summer School, ICCA Skills) and building relationships with representatives of international associations.

I am extremely satisfied with the establishment of another convention bureau in Poland, especially since the Poland Convention Bureau POT has supported the creation of the regional convention bureau in Silesia from the beginning, and has participated in numerous consulting meetings since 2021 to find the best ways for it to function legally and substantively, emphasizing the importance of synergy between the city, region, and local industry at all times. I hope for wonderful joint projects and wish the consortium of the Silesia Convention Bureau many interesting and profitable achievements, said Aneta Książek, the Manager of Poland Convention Bureau POT.

Personally, I sincerely wish all of the individuals and organizations involved in the Silesia Convention Bureau nothing but the utmost success and I look forward to the many exciting events that will be organized throughout the region in the future.

Contact to Silesia Convention Bureau

SILESIA CONVENTION BUREAU – SILESIA TOURIST ORGANIZATION

Persons:

  • Agnieszka Sikorska – General Director of the Silesia Convention Bureau
  • Dominika Wojniak – Marketing Specialist tel. (32) 207 207 3 dominika@silesiaconvention.pl

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