The event was organized within the so-called "Ambassador Programme", which was initiated by the Prague Convention Bureau in 2010 by the first "Ambassador Awards Evening". During the ceremony, the Mayor of Prague presented awards to congress ambassadors - significant scientists and leading experts that actively participate in the development of congress tourism in Prague - for their contribution to Prague congress industry. Since then, the Prague Convention Bureau's club of congress ambassadors is still expanding.
"Currently, the congress ambassador club has 70 members. The reason why we organized the meeting of its potential members was to increase awareness of the importance of international congresses for both their discipline, and the city. We also wanted to inform them about the possibilities of support from the Prague Convention Bureau and Czech Convention Bureau and to motivate them to get involved in the activities within the international associations and participate in bidding in order to bring world congresses to Prague," explained the managing director of Prague Convention Bureau Lenka Žlebková. Prague Convention Bureau offers significant help - from getting support from public institutions through preparation of competitive bid to organization of site inspection for deciding committee at the expense of PCB.
Czech Convention Bureau, one of departments of CzechTourism, is involved in candidacies for large congresses as well. It offers support both in the form of promotional materials, as well as financial contribution to cover some of the costs of the candidacy.
"Czech Convention Bureau is the umbrella that covers the regional convention bureaux. As a national board we promote the Czech Republic as a congress destination and cooperate with local ambassadors and professional congress organizers in individual candidacies," said the the head of Czech Convention Bureau Zdeněk Giormani.
Prof. RNDr. Václav Pačes, DrSc., who has been awarded within this year's "Ambassador Awards Evening" for his long-term contribution to congress tourism, shared his more than 40-years experience in the field of organization of congresses and conferences with the participants: "Today, we are no longer behind the Iron Curtain, but Prague is still an interesting destination - attractive due to its culture and excellent location in Europe. However, the competition is increasing, and to win a congress, it is necessary to be active in the international association, to get into the executive committees and commissions."
The importance of scientific congresses in Prague is also demonstrated by numbers - according to Michal Kárník, director of Prague Congress Centre, which hosts most of large international congresses in Prague, the PCC was visited by 150 000 delegates who brought the city the turnover of more than 1 billion CZK last year. Prague annually hosts more than 900 000 congress and conference participants and the city's overall turnover is 20 billion CZK.