The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) attracted 115 delegates from 33 countries to its Research, Sales and Marketing Programme in Gdansk, Poland, 6-9 July.
Delegates mainly represented the youngest generation of meetings industry professionals: junior to mid-level managers and client-facing executives from venues, destination marketing organisations and PCOs.
On offer in Gdansk were one-on-one appointments with faculty members and with ICCA researchers, an approach designed to get specific answers to delegate ICCA database questions.
The education session topics ranged from selling and branding a destination, bidding for international association events, building successful client relationships, social media and PR to presentation skills and career development.
A four-part ‘Request For Proposal to bid presentation’ programme took delegates through a detailed group task designed to illustrate every key phase of the bidding process for international association meetings.
Delegates also had a chance to bring home new business leads by participating in the Business Exchange.
Alexander Klimes of the Prague Convention Bureau said: “Before the event I was a bit sarcastic about the sharing and the networking which the ICCA Programme promised to deliver, and I was expecting to be a hidden participant which was about to be brainwashed with education sessions, but this time I actively shared and networked with my fellow participants as never imagined before. I made some great new friends and I feel like I became part of an ICCA family”.
ACC Liverpool was represented in Gdansk and Head of Sales Kerrin MacPhie tells CN the sessions were informative. “We have a renewed enthusiasm to develop our bids from a destination and venue perspective to ensure that the content and structure have the winning formula; to reduce the fluff and be more focused on the clients’ needs rather than the destination’s offer – to ensure Liverpool stands out from the competition.”
The social programme included welcome cocktail in the Mercure Hevelius Hotel, a networking dinner in Artus Court and a farewell party at the beach and a guided walking city tour.
Major events in and around Gdansk taking place include the World Volleyball League Finals, Baltic Sail and meetings connected with the Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“The ICCA research, sales and marketing conference programme was full of informative and interactive sessions with great speakers. I will definitely be recommending the event to industry representatives in Australia,” said Stacey Cain, Marketing and Events Executive at True North Learning, Australia.
The city is also preparing now for the ICCA Central European Chapter meeting, 25-27 August 2011.
The next edition of the ICCA Research, Sales and Marketing Programme take places in Bregenz, Austria, 13-16 June 2012.
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