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Plan for implementing the KRAKÓW NETWORK Protocol

The foundations of the KRAKÓW NETWORK Protocol, announced in December 2020, are providing a clear model of cooperation between business partners in the new realities, based on joint risk management, innovative business models, driving Kraków’s competitive advantage through engaging local representatives of the meetings industry, and digitalisation and promotion of hybrid events. Kraków is preparing to launch an offence on the MICE sector in the coming years.

Members of the KRAKÓW NETWORK, founded on the initiative of KBF (operator of the ICE Kraków Congress Centre), are working together on the protocol outlining the activities of this professional body incorporating hundreds of representatives of organisations working in the meetings industry in Kraków and Małopolska. The document is modelled on the Kaohsiung Protocol, published by the ICCA in November 2020 and outlining a strategy for rebuilding the global meetings industry. Its main goals are identifying key micro- and macro-trends, suggesting essential strategies for implementation in the MICE sector and defining new indicators of success for future events. Kraków has been going from strength to strength in European and global ICCA ratings, and it continues to develop innovative initiatives bringing together representatives of the industry.

The coronavirus pandemic put our ongoing activities on hold. However, we are aware that adapting our operations to the new reality is slowly becoming a standard around the world and requires specific, decisive action. This is we are working together on the KRAKÓW NETWORK Protocol, says Izabela Błaszczyk, director of KBF. She continues, As representatives of the local market who have been working together for many years, which has long been unusual on the Polish scale, we are aiming to adopt clearly-defined guidelines to reach our common goals. We aim to present the results of negotiations we have been holding since December in March.

The mission of the KRAKÓW NETWORK is sharing know-how and working together on securing partners in order to increase the number of business events in our city. Today, this collaboration has an additional dimension: the need to develop practical models for local members of the industry to enable them to work together in this new reality. Members of six groups represented in the initiative (Hotel Group, Food Industry Group, PR Group, Congress Ambassador Group, Future Lab and Event Group) are currently working together on preparing new guidelines which will protect all signatories of the KRAKÓW NETWORK Protocol. The document will aim to minimise risk through a declaration of closely following the guidelines laid out in the protocol. The risk will be shared among venues, agencies, PCOs, DMCs, caterers, universities and other organisations forming part of the KRAKÓW NETWORK.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a catalyst accelerating transformations across the majority of sectors around the globe. Previous ways of managing events are gradually being replaced by more flexible innovations, and there is certainly not going back. Although all industry representatives remain convinced that face-to-face meetings will return, signs indicate that they will function differently than before. This has also been noted in Kraków.

We are creating a network of accord and partnership between all stakeholders with the aim that, on completion of negotiations, we will sign a jointly-approved protocol and promote organisations which form part of the KRAKÓW NETWORK and our city as ready to host all kinds of events in a safe and effective way, including online and hybrid events, adds Paula Fanderowska, deputy director of KBF for the ICE Kraków Congress Centre. She and her team have been working tirelessly on developing the main points of the document.

The resolutions will be similar to the strategy of the City of Kraków, presented recently in the document “Sustainable Tourism Policies in Kraków, 2021-2028”, which stresses the importance of business tourism. The resolutions also follow the motions of the campaign #KrakówTheHostCity, being implemented by the Kraków Convention Bureau.

Work on the KRAKÓW NETWORK Protocol is accompanied by a branding campaign aiming to promote Kraków as a desirable destination for the meetings industry. It will culminate with an open webinar announcing the results of the work and inviting event organisers to bring their events to Kraków, planned for late March 2021.

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