Basic Event Information
Date: 30 April, 28 May, 2 September 2020
Location: ICE Krakow Congress Centre (Krakow, Poland)
Organizer: KBF in cooperation with the City of Krakow and technology partner CMA – Concept Music Art.
Event Type: Series of webinars
EVENT CATEGORY: DIGITAL EVENTS | Online Event – WEBINAR
- Krakow Network I: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=247367016338784&ref=watch_permalink
- Krakow Network II: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=285785965805099&ref=watch_permalink
- Vademecum of hybrid events: https://www.playkrakow.com/vods/vod.164
Event description and key objectives
Krakow Network Webinars – organized by KBF, operator of the ICE Krakow Congress Centre, in cooperation with the City of Krakow and technology partner, member of the Krakow Network project, CMA – Concept Music Art, was held on 30/04, 28/05, 2/09/2020 in a hybrid formula – at the ICE Krakow Congress Centre and on Facebook, Zoom and on the online platform at the same time.
The aim of organizing a series of free webinars for the MICE industry was, above all, to stay in touch with all its members, ensure an efficient flow of current information allowing for effective cooperation and mutual support in a difficult situation, as well as taking care of good PR of the event industry in the public opinion.
As a leader of the Krakow Network project bringing together over 500 professionals from the meetings industry from the Małopolska region, we naturally took responsibility for developing a coherent voice in the face of unexpected changes.
So far, we have met every quarter in a group of over 100 representatives of all branches of the MICE sector, and we have been in constant contact with all members of our initiative, offering high educational and networking values.
We wanted to not lose continuity in the exchange of thoughts with the most experienced professionals in the meetings industry in the country and to offer help in the form of various tips to those in need. In response to the distant vision of live meetings, we have created conditions for discussing the safety of events as the key to returning to full professional activity as soon as possible.
We generate strong impact on Krakow as an unrivaled city host, prepared to further stimulate business tourism in the region, ensuring full security and generating the greatest possible range.
We saw the crisis caused by the pandemic as an opportunity to work on the further development of the MICE industry, which had to adapt to the new reality, as well as to tighten cooperation between its representatives under new conditions. By organizing the Krakow Network Webinars, during which we shared with the world both the rules developed to ensure the safety of participants and organizers of events after the pandemic, and our know-how in the field of organizing hybrid events, we acted innovative and showed creativity at the level of the entire country because our webinars were the first educational activities on such a scale among entities from the MICE industry in Poland.
We are sure that in order to organize professional hybrid events, the industry must undergo metamorphosis and evolution, which is why we focused on educating professionals in the 1st place, and then convincing clients to organize such events together, instead of postponing them.
The Krakow Network project has been aimed at the development of a coherent group of entities belonging to the MICE industry from Małopolska for over 5 years, which, thanks to systematic meetings and tight business relations, aims to increase the number of business and scientific events organized in the Krakow region. In the current situation, which made it impossible for most of the entities responsible for the implementation of events, we intensified efforts to effectively share know-how and communication between the members of the initiative to support each other in functioning in the new reality and develop uniform paths of action to reduce errors and take care of the intact trust of customers and event participants.
We shared the content developed nationally as well as abroad, like in the case of the document ‘Safety of events after the pandemic’, presented at the first webinar, constituting the organizer’s checklist ensuring the safety of all participants of the event as well as all people involved in its preparation and implementation.
Due to the sudden destabilization of the situation in the MICE industry, growing anxiety among professionals in the event industry and the introduced restrictions on the possibility of conducting live meetings, we quickly prepared a series of free webinars on the most current issues, such as: security of events after a pandemic and vademecum of hybrid events to establish mutual forms of possible cooperation in our industry.
Thanks to long-time caring for building strong relationships as part of the Krakow Network initiative, we had a huge reach just through internal communication with project members with whom we are in constant contact. We also unified communication with all partners and industry media involved.
The webinars were attended mainly by representatives of event venues and agencies, gastronomy, hotels, PRs, PCOs, DMCs, transport, translations, medical emergency and many other subcontractors, as well as participants of the events. The specialists invited to the interview first presented the point of view of the area of the meetings industry they represent, in order to answer the audience’s questions and start a discussion leading to the commencement of joint activities, which is why they all co-created this unique webinar.
Nearly 50 people were involved in the organization of the webinars, i.e. the substantive preparation of the meetings, as well as their production. The broadcast was publicly available via the Facebook and Zoom, carried out from the ICE Kraków Congress Centre, where the event hosts connected remotely with individual speakers and recipients. Both portals also launched live-chats moderated by ICE Krakow employees.
Currently, the content is still available, also on the brand new PLAY KRAKOW platform. Additionally, a unique mailing to the representatives of the corporation was generated in order to present the advantages of the hybrid event formula, as well as to share knowledge on how to involve participants during the event, and above all how to get sponsors and exhibitors and not canceld the events.
According to Facebook: organic reach of materials – 30,100, minutes displayed – 35,000, total number of views – 10,100, total user activity during the broadcast – 4,300.
The statistics show that our webinars have reached a large audience. The first webinar took place in April, less than a month after the outbreak of the pandemic in Poland. Quick reaction to the difficult situation of the meetings industry and the willingness to share valuable know-how met with a positive response from representatives of the meetings industry. We have managed to tighten relations between the members of our initiative and develop practical, useful tools in the time of a pandemic. A joint attempt to analyze the new situation and taking steps to unite the industry in difficult times allowed us to start a dialogue, thanks to which we observed many examples of the implementation of the coopetition rules. Our webinars also had a positive impact on the public opinion, as they were generally available and illustrated the importance of the meetings industry and the effort it puts in to guarantee safety to event participants and employees.
If you would like to see our webinars, we attached link to them:
• Krakow Network I -> www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=247367016338784&ref=watch_permalink
• Krakow Network II -> www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=285785965805099&ref=watch_permalink
• Vademecum of hybrid events -> www.playkrakow.com/vods/vod.164
The use of sustainable practices
Due to the pandemic and the resulting limitations, as well as the need to ensure safety, Kraków Network webinars were held online. For their implementation, we used previously prepared materials and scenery, which was also a pro-ecological action, because we did not prepare anything that would adversely affect the environment. Thanks to the hybrid formula, our event did not increase the carbon footprint, thanks to the lack of the need to travel or provide catering.
As an institution, we are pioneers in environmental campaigns in the industry. We have always focused on the quality of what we do, but care for the natural environment and sustainable development are on the list of our priorities and are reflected in our strategy. An example of our activities for the environment is Aleja Kongresowa, which has been created since 2017, which consists in planting trees to commemorate the most important congresses taking place in the city. The impressive and very durable London plane trees not only decorate the space along Monte Cassino Street and the ICE Krakow Congress Centre in an original way, but also help in the fight against environmental pollution.
The KBF – organizator of the webinars is taking further pro-ecological activities, including connecting ICE Krakow Congress Centre to the MPEC district heating system, installing automatic switches, using energy-saving light bulbs, aerators in bathrooms, sorting rubbish.