This Month we get to know better Silesian Tourist Organisation - Silesia Convention Bureau
What was your motivation to join ICCA?
Most of the world's convention bureaus are members of industry associations, and ICCA is the most important international association in the meetings industry. Such affiliation allows us to expand business contacts and knowledge and is crucial in the context of applying for participation in international trade fairs under the patronage of the Polish Tourist Organization. This is another important step in building the image of the Silesia Convention Bureau consortium as an expert in the MICE industry. We are honored and happy to be part of the global ICCA family. Membership increases the prestige and credibility of the image of our organization. Being at ICCA, we count on expanding business contacts, gaining knowledge and international cooperation - says Agnieszka Sikorska, director of the Silesia Convention Bureau.
Tell us your story. How did Silesian Tourist Organisation - Silesia Convention Bureau get started?
The idea to create the Regional Convention Bureau was born at the stage of developing the Tourism Development Program in the Silesian Voivodeship 2020+. Such a need was reported by the Silesian Tourist Organization, which took into account several factors. The Silesia Voivodeship is characterized by a variety of tourist potential, has high-quality infrastructure, is very well connected and has a wide range of tourist attractions. All this makes the region an attractive destination also for organizing business events. This potential required formalized support, hence the idea to launch the Silesia Convention Bureau, which is to act for the benefit of the entire region
What sets Silesian Tourist Organisation - Silesia Convention Bureau apart?
Silesia Convention Bureau is one of the first regional convention bureaus in Poland. Its main tasks include the promotion of the Silesia brand, which has numerous competitive advantages in the field of business tourism. As one of the smallest provinces in terms of area, it is one of the most diverse regions in Poland in terms of landscape, history and culture. It is a mixture of very different areas - the Beskids and Cieszyn Silesia in the south, the Land of the Upper Oder in the west, the Metropolis in the center and The Kraków-Częstochowa Upland in the north. On the one hand, old towns with castles and palaces, on the other, young urban centers with revitalized post-industrial facilities. These natural and urban contrasts create a unique region for meeting organizers on a national scale.
What is your favourite success story from your organisation?
Silesia Convention Bureau started its activity in January 2023, so we are a very young organization. We are proud of the fact that we have already achieved a lot in this short time. Here are some examples. Silesia Convention Bureau was established as a product consortium. At the beginning, 18 companies, institutions and organizations from the region related to the MICE sector joined together. For half a year of operation, we managed to gain eight new members. This is a sign for us that the regional meetings industry focuses on integration and cooperation. In the spring of this year, we organized a study tour of the Silesian Voivodeship for domestic hosted buyers, which was a success. In addition, we have developed an original concept and have already organized several editions of the event for the regional meetings industry Silesia Meeting Day.
What can we expect to see from Silesian Tourist Organisation - Silesia Convention Bureau in the future?
One of the most important long-term goals is certainly the integration of the MICE industry - various entities from the entire Silesian Voivodeship organizing business events in the region. We strive for the Silesia Convention Bureau to be a promoter of cooperation and activities undertaken in partnership as part of the development of business tourism in the region. We are equally committed to debunking the myths that have grown up around our region, which is why we will systematically invite representatives of the industry to present the potential and advantages of our destination live and experience its diverse offer. For this reason, we are planning two more study tours this year - for domestic and foreign hosted buyers.
Which trends do you see in the Association Meetings?
We observe that the regional meetings market, as well as the national one, is rebuilding after the pandemic. There are more and more scheduled meetings in the schedules of event organizers, hotels fill up with training groups. This is a very optimistic trend. Another is that the industry is eagerly returning to live meetings, where networking and relationship building is much stronger than in the case of online meetings. In recent months, Silesia Convention Bureau has been a participant in numerous industry meetings in the country and abroad - congresses, conferences, events - thanks to which we have acquired a network of contacts that are invaluable in our industry.
What is an industry challenge your organisation is facing currently?
The regional meetings industry faces many challenges, among which there is certainly closer business relations and stronger cooperation than before. It is no coincidence that the Silesia Convention Bureau was established as a product consortium which includes representatives of the world of science, large and small business, representing various services and individual subregions of the Silesian Voivodeship. There is strength in the group. It is thanks to the integration of various entities from the region that we are able to build a strong brand of the Silesian Voivodeship as an attractive destination for business tourism.