ICCA Congress Krakow

Ukrainian/Polish Children's Choir at 61st ICCA World Congress

Article Published 24/11/2022

For the first time since 2019, ICCA World Congress was held in person, with more than 900 delegates from 80 countries attending the gathering in Krakow, Poland (6 - 9 November). This year's conference themes were sustainability, legacy, diversity, equity and inclusion, which were examined in-depth, with the floor opened for attendees to discuss how as a collective how we can transform, grow and succeed as an industry.

Over the three-days, the VisitScotland Business Events team had the opportunity to listen to a wealth of educational presentations from speakers across our sector and beyond. There were many standout sessions but a highlight for me was hearing from Jakob Fritzbøger Christensen (Grøn) and Nima Sophia (Blue Lobster), both from Denmark, about purpose driven travel and impactful social businesses. It was very inspiring and I am looking forward to sharing key outtakes with the team.

The team also took part in round table discussions, debates and had the opportunity to present the work that we are doing to better our industry. On the final day of the conference, we watched our industry friends from ICC Wales win the ICCA Best Marketing for 2022. ICC Wales secured the award for its work in educating the industry on the incoming Protect Duty legislation (Martyn's Law), which is a result of tireless campaigning by Figen Murray OBE, the mother of Martyn Hett who was killed in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017. The legislation is designed to improve safety and security at all large-scale UK venues to mitigate the risk of a terrorist attack. It was great to see another organisation from the UK secure this prestigious award, after VisitScotland won the award in 2018 it for its Legends campaign.

Alongside the educational sessions, the city of Krakow held a presentation and shared some of their humanitarian messaging from Krakow, which reflected Poland's difficult past, a challenging present and the city's plans for the future. Over the last nine months, Poland has welcomed many fleeing Ukrainian citizens and provided them with shelter, work and support. The event concluded with a session led by Scot Brian Allan, of Rock Your Business, who sung alongside 50 local Ukrainian/Polish children's rock choir. It was a truly unforgettable moment.

As we look forward to a new year, ICCA set a task for its global members; to benchmark all ICCA events and chapter meetings from 2023 onwards and to work together to discuss how we can all become climate neutral by 2030. I am looking forward to getting involved with the UK & Ireland chapter to progress this work.

Thanks to Fiona MacKinnon for providing us with the insights of her attendance.

The next ICCA World Congress takes place in Bangkok, Thailand from 12 - 15 November 2023.