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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Prague Convention Bureau organized a seminar for congress ambassadors

Czech scientists, doctors and other experts met in Hilton Prague hotel on Monday, June 24, to attend another of the series of educational and networking breakfasts organized by the Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with the Czech Convention Bureau under the auspices of the City councilor Mr. Václav Novotný and the support of Prague Airport. It was the third event of this kind organized within the so-called “Ambassador Programme” which was initiated by the Prague Convention Bureau in 2010. The aim of the meeting was to introduce to the potential congress ambassadors the possibilities of cooperation in acquisition and organization of international congresses in Prague and the Czech Republic. This time, it was Prof. Eva Syková, MD, DSc, FCMA, director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR, who shared her abundant experience in organizing international scientific congresses and conferences with the participants. Prof. Syková was awarded for her long-term contribution to congress tourism in Prague during the ceremonial Ambassador Awards Evening in early April.

Prof. Syková, who already started to organize international events during her doctoral studies, has been organizing congresses and other scientific meetings for many years, and therefore she has gained rich experience in both event organizing and cooperation with leading PCOs in the Czech Republic. “We had scientific results and for this reason we decided to organize an international congress in Prague in the 1970s”, says Prof. Syková about the start of her career, and she adds “In that time, there were no professional event organizing agencies like today. We had no choice but arrange and organize everything ourselves. Our own experience in event organizing is an advantage for us when cooperating with event organizers as we know exactly what to expect from them.”
„It is essential that the local ambassadors be active within these associations and attend their congresses regularly”, emphasized Prof. Syková in her presentation.Personal contact with delegates and exhibitors is often important for the future acquisition and successful organization of the event in the destination. The organizer should be a person that people in his field know, as well as they know his work. What is considerably important when getting international congresses to Prague is the ambassador´s previous experience in organizing smaller events which are often very important for the field in terms of the content of scientific program.
Prague as a congress destination has a lot to offer, as it has sufficient accommodation facilities, conference facilities for large international congresses, as well as unique historical conference facilities for hosting smaller events.  During the discussion, there was also a question about the Prague Congress Centre, the most important venue for hosting large events in Prague. The City of Prague is interested in supporting the Prague Congress Centre and in the near future it should decide on its further development in order to maintain its competitiveness. “Further development and possible reconstruction and modernization of the Prague Congress Centre will also play a significant role in achieving the ambitious goals of the Prague Convention Bureau - Prague as a top ten world's congress destination by 2015 and a top five destination by 2020 in the ICCA ranking”, adds Lenka Žlebková, director of Prague Convention Bureau.

The main mission of the educational and networking breakfast is to raise awareness among the congress ambassadors about the importance of international congresses for both their disciplines and the destination, as well as to present the possibilities of support from the Prague Convention Bureau and Czech Convention Bureau. The aim of the event is to positively motivate these professionals to actively participate in the work within the international associations and to try to get some of the world or European congresses held within their field to Prague.