ICCA 2022 World Congress in Krakow: A Soul-healing City

5th Sep, 2022

ICCA World Congress 2022 will take place in two months in a city that has redefined the word "impact" for the industry, but not only!

To say that Krakow is a truly extraordinary city would probably fall short of the accolades that this unique and diverse UNESCO World Heritage Site really deserves. And despite being one of the first two sites in the world to receive this distinction in 1978, these kinds of titles, however great or prestigious, hardly do justice to what really makes Krakow so special.

Genius loci: slow life at its best

Cities like to describe themselves as responsible, resilient and sustainable, in addition to a plethora of other buzzwords, headed by all sorts of 'breakthrough innovations', of course. But beyond the glossy report references compiled by expensive consultancies and over-zealous city marketers, how does one know whether, as a city, one is really walking the talk or can truly be described as mature, resilient or responsible? At the end of the day, you can probably only be sure when reality hits you with the kind of test (or judgement, instead) that will ultimately leave very few questions unanswered.

In the past two years, Kraków may have faced a whole series of extraordinarily demanding challenges. In the face of unspeakable atrocities committed by Russia in Ukraine, the city’s response has truly redefined what it means to be a welcoming city, a generous city, a soul-healing city, from day one of the invasion, for hundreds of thousands of ‘newcomers’, within a very short period of time.

Buzzing with international tourists and positive energy, against all odds

More astonishingly, perhaps, despite the city's massive response, encompassing thousands of bottom-up and top-down charity and hospitality initiatives since day one of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, none of Krakow's legendary positive energy, sense of tranquillity and intimacy has been compromised in the process. Quite the opposite, in fact. It would probably be very difficult to find a comparable example of "mass hospitality" and collective generosity of such proportions on a global scale. After all, we are talking about a historic Polish city "growing" by 10-20%, almost literally overnight.

If anything, the last few months have demonstrated that a mature, responsible city is not only about management, policies and budgets. It’s also, if not above all, about community, togetherness and collective values.

Solidarity: Next Generation

It’s probably fair to say that despite Poland’s impressive economic progress since the 1989 Walesa-era transformation, it is the last few months that will go down in history as the ones that have redefined the power of the word Poland was once on the world’s lips for: SOLIDARITY.

Even though about 170,000 Ukrainian refugees are estimated to have spent days, weeks and months in Kraków, since the beginning of the Russian invasion, the city has consistently remained an international symbol of hospitality at its best, with literally thousands of people opening their homes to Ukrainian mothers and children.

“Together we can”

It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that the main theme of the upcoming ICCA Congress in Kraków is “Together we can!”. The event is bound to be a truly remarkable experience, focused on Sustainability, Legacy and D&I. Its managing diversity in business segment alone will cover work-life balance, mental health and dynamically evolving job/event ecosystems, as well as uniquely innovative approaches to business-tailored implementations in D&I.

Themes, topics and congress goals, however engaging and innovative they may be, are only one aspect of this year’s congress planning. This first, post-pandemic, face-to-face edition will also be an extraordinary opportunity to demonstrate global solidarity with a country and city that has epitomized responsibility and resilience in the face of one of the most important crises of our times.

This year’s congress sessions will show that Poland also boasts world-class experts and speakers, with topics developed in response to global trends and market demand. The "out of the box" sessions are designed to bring delegates up to speed on specific issues, to inspire, to create exceptional networking opportunities, all the while emphasising the importance of personal experience. This is why the congress is set in multiple inspiring settings, enhanced by the latest technologies. The main congress venue alone, ICE Kraków Congress Centre, a state-of-the-art facility, has already hosted hundreds of international conferences, festivals, fairs, summits and congresses, with as many as 1,2 million guests on site, since its launch in 2014. In short, not to be missed!

Register for ICCA Congress here

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