In April 2019, the Prague Congress Ambassador Award Ceremony celebrates its 10th year and reflects the contribution of multidisciplinary experts to the field.
Filmmakers often use the Czech capital as the backdrop for numerous blockbusters. Depicted in Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and Rococo splendour, Prague’s multi-layered history, featured in films such as “Amadeus to Anthropoid”, has helped chase a steady stream of tourists crossing the Vltava River and helped define the status and characteristics of MICE.
Still, for many years the MICE market was more of a support act than a protagonist. Recently, however, this has changed, culminating in Prague being ranked among the top 10 meeting destinations in the world. The city ranked 8th in the 2017 ICCA rankings, up three places from 2016, and hosted a third of all conferences held in the Czech Republic in 2017.
What has led to this leap in the global elite is a heavy, almost aggressive investment in new convention and convention facilities. The expansion of the range of MICE events in Prague allows events to be spread more widely, which was not possible before. The knock-on effect can be seen in several construction, renovation and opening projects across the city.
The new “O2 Universe” is a good example of this; the planned congress and culture center will open this summer and the main task of the proposed congress and culture. one exhibition space that is connected to the conference”, explains Marek Chmatal, O2 Arena Uusi the complex is directly connected to the O2 Arena, which opened in 2004 and has a capacity of 20,000 for concerts and 15,000 for corporate events. When the O2 Universe opens, it will add 50,000 square meters across four floors.
The Prague Convention Bureau (PCC) recently renovated its complex in time to host the prestigious “56th ICCA Global Congress” in November 2017, culminating in the addition of a new exhibition space in 2020.
PCC has been a premier convention center since 1981, but recognizes that “expansion combined with new facility improvements and energy-efficient technologies is necessary to remain competitive,” said Roman Ray Straub, CEO. Part of the PCC includes the adjacent 251-room Holiday Inn with great city views.
When the CCP expansion is completed in 2020, Straub and his team are looking forward to important conferences like “XXXII.” International Congress of Psychology (ICP) 2020′ with 5000 participants.
Leading the growth and consolidation of these two leading convention centers is the recently opened ‘Centro Cubex’, described as a high-tech multi-purpose space with a WOW factor. Cubist architectural lines, sensory lighting and a 102 m² media wall in the lobby combine with a larger event space. The 360-degree projections, 325 m zigzag ceiling lighting of the 890 m² main hall will surely become a favorite of the fashion, creative and automotive industries. Reinforced floors and large elevators transport products such as cars to the product launch site. Cubex already has 50 reservations for upcoming events later this year.
Prague’s restaurant industry responds to the increased capacity by expanding and renewing. The Hilton Prague remains one of the largest conference hotels in the city, as evidenced by its spacious lobby and atrium, which can easily accommodate up to 1,000 attendees. The Hilton is the official hotel of the Prague Marathon and has its own 2000 m² fitness center. The neighboring property, the centrally located Hilton Prague Old Town, announced the completion of a multi-million dollar renovation that includes 303 renovated rooms and 1,200 square feet of conference and meeting space.
Marriott Prague balances an enviable location with a more intimate atmosphere and a highly responsive team working under the “Meetings Imagined” concept. The recently renovated conference floor and the proximity to the historic center as well as the increase in airport capacity have all proven to be pull factors in attracting new markets and strengthening repeat business for the hotel.
Prague Václav Havel Airport has shown continuous and sequential growth since 2013. In 2018, according to the latest operating results, Prague Airport handled a total of 16,797,006 passengers, an annual increase of 9%.
Prague’s relaxed and imaginative attitude to some of the city’s most enchanting historical sites simply cannot be ignored by meeting organizers. Indeed, the main hall of the Žofín Palace is draped in the Neo-Renaissance luxury of the 1880s, an era of cultural and architectural enlightenment. Shiny chandeliers, parquet floors and impressive staircases have welcomed heads of state. It is located on one of the small Vltava islands and also offers exclusivity. Reflecting late 19th century architecture, the ‘Vinohrady National House’ also has several tiered rooms, ideal for pre- or post-conference parties.
Mandarin Oriental hotel
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel also exudes luxury with 14th-century frescoes in a former monastery; vaulted ceilings and monastic architecture, it can accommodate meetings of up to 140 people. This property encompasses the heritage, history and a panoramic view of the old town.
The new convention centers not only add a new level to the architectural encyclopedia of Prague, but also bring a new era and optimism to the city. The Prague Congress Office and partners are confident; no one is betting that Prague will top the ICCA TOP 5 ranking in the near future, especially as the MICE sector takes on the role of a major player on the global stage!