After the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, it was not difficult to see that the MICE industry is getting a second wind. The containment of the spread of COVID-19 and the re-emergence of opportunities to host large-scale stationary events has translated into the return to trends from before the outbreak. A large number of events and high ticket sales showed how eager everyone was to participate in cultural events and live meetings.
After the initial uncertainty related to the outbreak of the war in Ukraine and the risk of cancelled events, the situation was brought under control quite quickly. Thanks to the activities and negotiations of managers of the Centre among others, organisers planning their 2022 events were persuaded that the capital city of Małopolska is entirely safe and assistance to refugees from Ukraine does not in any way negatively affect the organisation of events in the city. This was the case for the 61st edition of the congress of ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) held in ICE Krakow in November 2022. It was the most prestigious last year’s event in the Centre and attracted more than 900 people from 80 countries. Participants included many organisers of international congresses who had an opportunity to see for themselves the attractiveness of the capital city of Małopolska and of ICE Krakow.
Their positive reviews may increase interest in the organisation of large international events in Krakow. Congresses and conferences organised in ICE Krakow in 2022 included Invest Cuffs, 18. IAOS Conference and the 3rd Congress of Polish Statistics, Digital Dragons, Code Europe, Devoxx Poland, 5th World Congress of Polish Literature Translators, TERMIS-EU Chapter Meeting, EAES 2022 – 30th Congress of the European Association of Endoscopic Surgery, 9th International Congress on Ceramics (ICC9), SAE Powertrains Congress, Fuels & Lubricants Conference & Exhibition, 4th ACI Customer Experience Global Summit, 13th Autism-Europe International Congress and OEES – Open Eyes Economy Summit. To sum it up, 22 national and 17 international congresses were held, jubilees, galas and corporate events were organised eight times and two fairs took place in ICE Krakow in 2022.
However, it is worth mentioning that concerts were by far the largest percentage of events, with the last seat in the auditorium sold out in many cases. Performers who appeared on stage in ICE Krakow included Matt Dusk, Krzysztof Zalewski, Krystian Ochman, Wodecki Twist Project, O.S.T.R., Justyna Steczkowska, Agnieszka Chylińska and Wardruna. Let us not forget about festivals too: Film Music Festival, Misteria Paschalia and Sacrum Profanum and the Krakow Mountain Festival extremely popular with fans of mountains and climbing. ICE Krakow has not forgotten about its youngest visitors. It held events addressed to children, organised in cooperation with KBF: Dzień dobry ICE Krakow, Mikołajkowa Sinfonietka and the Fabryka Prezentów (Gift Factory) Christmas Workshop.
In total, 77 concerts and 8 other cultural and entertainment events took place in the ICE Krakow Congress Centre in 2022. They constituted 57% of all events organised in the Centre. 2023 promises to be even more impressive because the number of planned events will probably exceed 150. It shows that ICE Krakow is well on its way to returning to the pre-pandemic reality. For the sake of comparison, 170 events on the average were organised in 2015-2019.
Krakow5020, the operator of ICE Krakow and the hybrid studio located in it, is a municipal company established by the President of the City of Krakow responsible for the building and management of the city’s image and its promotion in cooperation with numerous partners. The main objective is to strengthen the brand of Krakow as a European metropolis that is attractive, open and tolerant, a city with the global cultural heritage and a thriving academic centre. Business co-ordinates and new hospitality are the buzzwords underlying the idea of Krakow’s development in areas such as the economy, innovation, science and culture. The company is also responsible for the city platform VOD PLAY KRAKOW, PLAY KRAKOW NEWS, projects such as the Krakow Network and Power of 4, the ICE Classic and Good Morning ICE Krakow cycles, the management of a concept store in the Wyspiański Pavilion and the InfoKrakow Official Municipal Information Network. The name of Krakow5020 refers to the location of the city that lies at the intersection of the 50ºN parallel of latitude with the 20ºE meridian.