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Prague Congress Center presents the new exhibition hall and Pankrác Square

The International Architectural and Urban Competition of the New PCC has its winner and the public knows the winning design. The subject of the competition was the completion of a new exhibition hall for the Prague Congress Center and its surrounding area. Today, the public knows the names of the winners and the form of the winning design.

“For a long time, the Congress Centre has been unable to meet high demands for exhibition and congress areas, and therefore it needs a new hall. However, it is also important to address the entire area around the Prague Congress Centre so that it can serve more efficiently to people. We received a lot of designs and I am glad that a lot of them were of high quality and I believe that we eventually really picked the best one, “says Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová.

The first prize was awarded to the design of a young OCA studio from Barcelona run by Marc Subirana, Hernan Lleida Ruiz, Biela Susanna and Bernard Garcia. They commented on their participation “We   have set up our office to extend our work and opportunities beyond the local context of Barcelona or Catalonia. In this case, it was especially motivating that we could contribute to the building of such significance in a historic city like Prague. It was a challenge when we realized how complex this task is, and that it means not only to solve the functionality of the building but also to create an intensive public space. This is the key aspect of our design.”The second prize was received by Francisco Jorquera’s team from Palma de Mallorca.

An eleven-member jury, with its chairman, architect Petr Hlaváček, chose from big number of received anonymous designs in the two-round competition. The competition was opened to participants from all over the world – 76 teams from 23 countries sent their designs. It represents the work of at least four hundred architects, planners, engineers and other professionals.
All designs will be exhibited in the Prague Congress Center from 13th to 19th September and 23th September to 5th October 2017, South foyer, entrance 10, daily from 12-7 p.m.

The jury consisted of representatives of PCC – Mayor of Prague and Vice-Chairman of the Supervisory Board Adriana Krnáčová, Chairman of the Board of Directors Radim Haluz, General Director Roman Ray Straub, supported by Mark Kopec from IPR (Prague Institute of Planning and Development) and Councilor of Prague 4, Alžběta Rejchrtová.

The architectural professionals were represented by Petr Hlaváček and Ivan Kroupa, together with Elias Zenghelis from Greece, Mathias Müller from Switzerland and substitutes Viktoria Součková and Tomáš Koumár. Petr Hlaváček summarizes their collective work: “Great foreign juries with younger substitutes, keen representatives of the investor and politicians. In spite of the great diversity of the approaches of individual jurors, we largely acted in concord. I suppose that when a jury agreed on one design, it has the potential to captivate the public and other participants in the process.”

Elia Zenghelis, co-founder of the famous OMA office and currently a professor at Yale School of Architecture, said about the winning team after the competition: “The original building of the Prague Congress Centers has to deal with the identity of a very impressive monument of the Communist era, which must be re-formulated. This includes a new look, a position within the city and a connection to a complex traffic situation. This complexity has been mastered by the authors of the winning design.”

From the 76 proposals mentioned above, the jury selected the best six in March. The chosen authors further elaborated their designs for the second round. The authors of the awarded designs will be, in addition to receiving the financial reward, invited to further negotiation procedures without a publication in which the contract assignment will be decided. Four other teams that have not reached the prize will receive a sketch fee for participating in the second round. Since the third prize was not awarded, this amount was evenly distributed among the finalists.

The 1st prize:

OCA / Bernardo García, Marc Subirana, Biel Susanna, Hernan Lleida; cooperation: Joaquim Sellas, Play-Time architectonic image, Anabel Lazaro, Josep Ramon Rius, Silvia Juventeny, Simona Sulcová, Alfambra copisteria and Francesc Villena (Barcelona, España)

The 2nd prize:

Francisco Jorquera; cooperation: Catalina Riera, Sebastiano Rossi, Juan Jorquera, Cubic consultors (Palma de Mallorca, España)

Further finalists:

TAKENAKA EUROPE / Peter Mulík, Václav Sobolík, Haruka Fuji, Adam Huleja, Peter Chládek, Ivana Jedrzejková, Tomáš Jelínek, Eliška Křížová, Lenka Marečková, Tomáš Palkovský, Martin Šťastný; cooperation: Vladislav Bureš, Václav Mach, Jiří Petlach, Aranka Vondráčková (Prague, Czech Republic)

Szymon Rozwałka, Rudolf Müller, Martin Křivánek;cooperation: Anna Glajc, Barbora Jurčíková, Oliver Kažimír, Petra Krajčová, Matúš Peklanský; technical cooperation: Eva Fajkusová, Pavel Hladík, Jiří Janoušek, Stanislav Král, Ondřej Navrátil, Albert Novák, Petr Preininger, Luboš Zbranek (Brno, Czech Republic)

Office of Adrian Phiffer / Dimitrios Karopoulos, Saarinen Balagengatharadilak, Diana Franco Camacho, Michael DeGirolamo, Chloe Leung, Liusaidh Macdonald, Duc Anh Nguyen; cooperation: Silman Structural Engineers / Nat Oppenheimer, Aniket Zarekar; Transsolar / Linda Lam; Lam & Associates / Alex Tan, Patrick Lam; Propos Liberec; Martin Hejl (Toronto, Canada)

FAR frohn & rojas / Marc Frohn; cooperation: Treibhaus Landschaftsarchitektur Berlin / Deniz Dizici; Wetzel & von Seht / David Fuentes Abolafio, Wolfgang Keen; pin planende ingenieure / Norbert Müller; ARGUS Stadt und Verkehr / Christoph Ludwig (Berlin, Deutschland)

Respect for Environment Pays Off

The Prague Congress Centre was perceived by the public as a giant who devours an endless amount of energy. But it is not true. Sustainable development and energy saving are clear priorities of the current centre.

The evidence of it is the extensive reconstruction of the technical background that took place last year and was successfully completed in the spring of this year. “It is clear today that the planned savings of CZK 21.9 million, which is about 30% of the total energy costs in 2013, has been exceeded and the investment of CZK 126 million will return earlier than it was guaranteed. ENESA from CEZ ESCO, which carried out the whole reconstruction of the PCC, has modernized the heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting of the building using the EPC method, i.e. energy services with a guaranteed result, “says Luděk Bednář, Technical Department Director.

What does it mean in practice?

ENESA has proposed a set of energy-saving measures and introduced energy management to ensure a comfortable living environment in all halls, offices and corridors with the lowest energy consumption and a maximum utilization of waste energy. Technicians in a technical centre monitor all the processes on huge monitors and check that everything functions as it should. The intelligent control system responds to all changes and regulates the performance of engines, cooling machines and heat sources exactly according to the weather, the geographical orientation of individual spaces, the occupancy of rooms and halls and the concentration of CO2 in the air. The individual rooms are heated or cooled according to the current accurately planned situation, and from recorded online measurement it is possible to find out when a congress or a performance starts in the hall because the temperature of

the air increases significantly with incoming visitors and the demand for room heating is reduced. The system simply measures and evaluates everything and, depending on the number of people in the room, exchanges more or less air. Depending on the outside temperature it switches on or off the heating or cooling and, of course, can prepare the space according to the schedule so that the optimal temperature is reached at the exact hour of the event. The energy is exploited to the highest level because the system does not only count with the produced heat, but it also uses waste heat / cold, e.g. for preheating the air in the winter months or pre-cooling it in the extreme summer days. What is also interesting is the air conditioning system, which works by drawing the fresh outdoor air through central preheating, where it is treated to a temperature of about 11 ° C to 18 ° C (according to the season) and then it is systematically distributed throughout the building. Additionally, before the air gets into the preparation, it is filtered and cleaned from dust, pollen and other allergens. In individual rooms, used air (so-called waste air) is converted to 100% fresh and clean air using heat exchangers as soon as it reaches the CO2 concentration limit. The waste air passes part of its heat on the fresh air in the heat exchanger and preheats it. The waste heat recovery system reduces heat and cold consumption considerably. The electricity that the PCC partly produces for its needs is also being saved in the lighting of the premises. All existing lights in the basement were replaced by LEDs with controlled dimming that respond to the movement of the operating staff. In practice, underground garages or corridors are illuminated only dimly, and the intensity of light increases when sensors detect a movement of a person or car.

Congress Centre of the Future

The modernization of the Prague Congress centre is an important step towards the future. In order to take place among the best in the coming years, it must work in accordance with the principles of sustainability. “We are not indifferent to what we leave behind. We are a place where people are educated, they gain new knowledge and information and aim at valuable goals. Of course, we want to contribute to this. We want to be environmentally friendly, socially responsible, we want to promote good things to the same extent as we strive

to provide our clients with the best conditions, safety and comfort while organizing their meetings, “says Lenka Žlebková, Sales and Marketing Director.

Prague Keeps the 11th Position Among the World Congress Destinations

International Congress and Convention Asociation ICCA has released a list of the best congress and convention destinations in the world. Prague retains the excellent 11th position and Prague Congress Centre has contributed the success.  

Results of the statistics, which have been done by ICCA annually since 1963, were eagerly expected as ICCA is not only the global community and knowledge hub for the international meetings industry but also the worldwide authority in the field.

“The eleventh position in the ICCA ranking is not bad at all. On the contrary. If we consider the growing competition and the increasing number of strong Asian destinations on the market, we have to admit that Prague is doing well. After all, in European comparison it took the ninth place. However, our ambitions are higher. We would like to see Prague among the five best destinations,” says the PCC´s Sales and Marketing Director Lenka Zlebkova.

PCC Aims Higher

High ambitions of PCC´s management have a solid base. “We follow new trends and try to keep up with the new congress industry trends or ideally be ahead. The Prague Congress Centre stands in front of an important extension. We are looking forward to a winning study of the architecture-urban design competition which will include the plan of a new exhibition hall and urbanistic solution for the surrounding area. We are currently investing into new technologies which will make the event management easier and will raise the quality of the event. We are investing 15,5 million CZK into AV technology, nearly the same amount of money in digital navigation system and more than two million in mobile technology throughout the building,” adds the General Manager Roman Ray Straub.

New Trends in Congress Business 

According to studies the congress business takes the path of digitalization and aims at so called Y generation – people born between 1980 and 2000, who use internet, smart phones, applications and fast solutions on daily basis. “We take all this into consideration and change PCC in this direction. We carefully chose suppliers of the best technologies and welcome novelties which turn an even into a pleasant unforgettable experience. Everything needs to be quick, effective and fun. We have noticed that the duration of events shortens and we would like to make sure that our clients will be able to organize even in a shorter period of time an event which will be an outstanding experience for the delegates,” continues Lenka Zlebkova.

Unquestionable advantage of PCC is the variety of its space. It can host big as well as smaller events and it can also host more events at a time due to the architecture of the building divided in three logical units with their own entrances. By the end of 2020 PCC will have to current 13,000 m2 of exhibition space a new exhibition hall which is requested especially by clients from medical field.

Will investments pay off?

“Prague Congress Centre pays to the state government and the City of Prague about 400 million CZK every year from standards events which take approximately 2 days and have about 450 visitors. About 300 million CZK it is yearly from irreplaceable events which last about 4,3 days, accommodate 1,900 attendees and because of the requirements on space they cannot be organized anywhere else. Additionally, from the researches done by ICCA it is obvious that the number of events doubles each decade. From the above mentioned it is clear, that to invest into the building, which is very well situated, logically planned with excellent transportation accessibility, makes sense,” closes the General Manager Roman Ray Straub.

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About Prague Congress Centre:

PCC is the largest congress centre in the Czech Republic. It offers a wide variety of space suitable for all kinds of events from small conferences to big congresses, high technical standards and great acoustics.  Its advantage is the location near the city centre, breath-taking views and municipal transportation accessibility. The total capacity is up to 9,300 people and 13,000 m² of exhibition space and the complex also includes the Vyšehrad Business Centre and the 4-star Holiday Inn Prague Congress Centre with 254 rooms.  PCC has been certified with EKO Gold for being supplied 100% of electricity produced from renewable resources.

Prague Congress Centre Keeps up with New Trends

To ensure facilities for big congresses, conferences and festivals and stand comparison with world prestigious congress centres means to follow new modern trends. Prague Congress Centre meets up its clients` demanding requirements and apart from flexible spaces it offers the latest novelties of audio-visual technologies, complex software and hardware solutions and advanced high-tech self check-in systems for professional event management.

“In Prague Congress Centre we try to provide our clients with the most comfortable solutions to help them organize their event. We want them to have a feeling that organizing a congress, conference or a culture event can go smoothly and effectively, that they have received top quality services from us and that they will gladly come back. Our service offer includes rent of our own technology equipment as well as products from reliable suppliers. We choose those who offer special solutions simplifying the event management. Good solution for us is the one which has a particular measurable profit for the visitors of an event,” says AV technology Manager Milan Svoboda.

The latest technology novelty is a self check-in system which simplifies the organization of the event.  Modern self check-in kiosks ensure smooth and effective registration of attendees and also allow the participants, who did not manage to register online, registration on spot. A sophisticated application helps to create invitation cards and send them to guests. Potential visitors can register just by one click on a special registration web page. Entry QR code will be send afterwards by an e-mail. The system also monitors the activity of attendees and up-dates online accessible data.

Other tool, which will make event management easier, is a complex software and hardware solution for electronic content maintenance. It is a modular system collecting presentations and distributing them to conference halls. The system also helps to prepare or adjust the conference programme and displays various information on the monitors in front of conference halls or send the info to participants. The system contains three different modules – for an administrator, organizer and participant. The module Administrator is only meant for trained technicians. It serves for recording, checking and editing of presentations, it enables to check functionality of the system, to set all parameters of the event such as resolution or source graphic of particular projections. The module Organizer helps with the time management of the event, administration of electronic posters and information boards, maintains the database and collects statistic data. The module Participant collaborates with Android and iOS applications and enables to find all relevant information about the event such as the programme of presentations, lectures and seminars or lists of the speakers and authors of contributions. At the same time participants can evaluate lectures, ask for presentations or communicate with the authors.

Prague Congress Centre is also an excellent place for organizing cultural events and festivals. Some of them are provided with a complex audio-visual technology which can meet the highest expectations. An example of a successfully maintained event is a young festival 4FANS for you-tubers, vloggers, music fans and online game players which required excellent services and high-end equipment. To make such an event even more interesting, PCC has started to offer a new special holographic technology which enables to transmit various scenes and pictures on the background stage and make special effects such as a conversation between speakers and their holographic clones. During an internal marketing conference the used technology included approximately 150 m2 LED screens thanks to which the hall turned into a circus or a hockey stadium. 40 intelligent lights lit the scene to increase the effect.   ___________________________________________________________________________

About Prague Congress Centre:

PCC is the largest congress centre in the Czech Republic. It offers a wide variety of space suitable for all kinds of events from small conferences to big congresses, high technical standards and great acoustics.  Its advantage is the location near the city centre, breath-taking views and municipal transportation accessibility. The total capacity is up to 9,300 people and 13,000 m² of exhibition space and the complex also includes the Vyšehrad Business Centre and the 4-star Holiday Inn Prague Congress Centre with 254 rooms.  PCC has been certified with EKO Gold for being supplied 100% of electricity produced from renewable resources.

Prague Congress Ambassadors Won Prestigious Awards

Prague Convention Bureau, already for the eighth time, awarded the Congress Ambassadors for their contribution in the field of Prague congress tourism. Ambassador Awards Evening ceremonial presentation, a part of the Prague Convention Bureau’s Ambassador Program, took place on the premises of the Residence of the Mayor of Prague on 13th April. The event was held with the support of the City of Prague, represented by the Mayor – Mrs. Adriana Krnáčová. The gala evening was moderated by Veronika Paroulková.

Prague Convention Bureau has been awarding Congress Ambassadors with the greatest credit for the development of congress tourism in Prague in the previous year since 2010. The aim of the event is to award renowned Czech scientists, top experts, professors, and doctors who represent the Czech Republic in international professional associations, actively lobby in favor of Prague and then participate in the preparatory work of scientific, program or organizing committees of international congresses held in Prague. The awards are also handed out in the “Corporate Event of the Year” category. For 2016, following Ambassadors were awarded:

  • in the “Congress of The Year 2016” category: MUDr. Jiří Kubeš, Ph.D. and Mgr. Vladimír Vondráček, for the 55th Annual Conference of the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG 55)
  • in the “Congress of the Year 2016 – Less than 500 Attendants” category: MUDr. Jiří Froněk, Ph.D., FRCS, for the 51st Congress of the European Society of Surgical Research;
  • in the “Candidacy of the Year 2016” category: Ing. Libor Přeučil, CSc., for the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems 2021 (IROS);
  • in the “Corporate Event of the Year 2016” category: Swiss Pharma Internal Meeting;
  • in the “Long-Term Contribution to Congress Tourism” category: prof. MUDr. Karel Cvachovec, CSc., MBA – Head of Anaesthesiology and Resuscitation Clinic at 2nd Medical Faculty, Charles University and Motol University Hospital;
  • Special prize of the Prague Congress Centre: Ing. Karla Šlechtová, Ministry of Regional Development, for the UN Regional Conference European Habitat.

 “Convention industry is an increasingly important sector of Prague’s economy, this fact being confirmed by the statistics of the Czech Statistical Office, which, last year, recorded the largest number of conferences in the capital over the past decade. In total, there were 4,426 conventions in Prague. I would like to thank all the congress ambassadors, who participated in the process of acquiring the events for Prague, for this achievement,” said Roman Muška, Managing Director at Prague Convention Bureau.

An independent Committee, composed of key tourism, academic as well as public sector representatives, decided about the winners in each category. The invitation to the committee was accepted by: doc. Ing. Monika Palatková, Ph.D., General Manager at CzechTourism; PhDr. Nora Dolanská, MBA, General Director at Prague City Tourism; Ing. Marta Nováková, President at Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism; prof. RNDr. Václav Pačes, DrSc., scientist, educator and biochemist; and prof. MUDr. Tomáš Zima, DrSc., MBA, Rector of the Charles University in Prague.

About Prague Convention Bureau

Prague Convention Bureau (PCB) is a non-profit organization established in 2008. The company acts as an official representative of the Prague congress tourism and promotes the city as one of the European leading congress destinations. Together with Czech tourism bodies, partners and members the PCB offers effective assistance in organizing conferences, meetings, seminars, exhibitions and incentive events in Prague.

About the Ambassador Program

Ambassador Awards Evening is a part of the Prague Convention Bureau’s Ambassador Program – strategic program focused on a promotion of Congress Ambassadors – local representatives of international professional associations in Prague and the Czech Republic. Among others, the program offers many educational and social events to support Congress Ambassadors in their effort to bring international conferences in the destination.

Conference INSPO in Prague Congress Centre was very successful

The 17th conference on information and communication technologies for people with specific needs took part on Saturday 25 March in Prague Congress Centre. One of the main topics was the Internet of Things. The organizer, BMI association noticed a big interest immediately after the registration was opened. At the beginning of March 400 participants had registered and the capacity of the event, which satisfied the visitors as well as the organizers, was full.

“We organized all seventeen years of the INSPO conference about technologies for people with specific needs in Prague Congress Centre. Our decision was mainly based on the fact that the venue is built to barrier-free standards but gradually we have found out that the most important advantage is immense helpfulness of the staff. Whatever we came up with we never heard the production department or technicians that it was impossible. It is also PCC staff credit that conference attendees come back again no matter if they are on wheel-chairs, visually or hearing-impaired or have other specific needs,” said  the Chairman of BMI Mr. Jaroslav Winter.

During the extensive programme, which could be followed on-line, the attendees got familiar with technology innovations which remarkably facilitates life of people with specific needs. Great interest was arisen by a lecture by Roman Stašík, representative of Vodafone. His lecture was about the Internet of Things and the visitors learned about new technologies which enable communication between things. Part of the morning session was dedicated to presentation of an application called Záchranka (Emergency services). Thanks to this application people can quickly and easily contact emergency services, call for an ambulance and send a message about their location and health condition including their specific impairment.

Spain introduced EVA Facial Mouse – an application which enables to control a mobile devices through a web camera monitoring of the user’s face. Eva Facial Mouse is excellent for people after amputation, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, with muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Slovakia was represented by Dušan Baranec from Normex. He introduced a programme called Visual reading for teaching reading and support of verbalization and symbolic thinking at children and adults with various diagnosis.

Attention was also drawn to education and employment of people with impairment, teaching aids for development of children with visual and combined impairment and literary competition Internet and My Handicap. Representatives of Vodafone Rafael Foundation announced the winner of the award for use of ICT innovations for better life of people with impairment. The winning company Centre for Children Hearing Tam Tam got 200,000 CZK for their mobile application meant for the parents of deaf children. Deaf children are from 95 % born to hearing parents who do not have any experience with hearing impairment. Thanks to the application they are able to master basics of the sign language quickly after the birth of their child.

INSPO conference is a project which is fully supported by PCC staff and it is encouraging that the interest of public is growing. It started with 133 attendees in 2001 and this year the number climbed up to 400.

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About Prague Congress Centre:

PCC is the largest congress centre in the Czech Republic. It offers a wide variety of space suitable for all kinds of events from small conferences to big congresses, high technical standards and great acoustics.  Its advantage is the location near the city centre, breath-taking views and municipal transportation accessibility. The total capacity is up to 9,300 people and 13,000 m² of exhibition space and the complex also includes the Vyšehrad Business Centre and the 4-star Holiday Inn Prague Congress Centre with 254 rooms.  PCC has been certified with EKO Gold for being supplied 100% of electricity produced from renewable resources.

Prague Congress Centre can start counting its savings

The complex reconstruction of technical equipment of the Prague Congress Centre has been finished. It will cut down the annual operating costs by 30%. The first months have already indicated that the percentage of the savings can be even higher. The reconstruction was done according to the plans in full operation by ENESA.

From September 2015 to November 2016 Congress Centre hosted nearly 200 events and 500 000 visitors proceeded its gates. No one had a clue that the biggest reconstruction of technological equipment since the 70s when the Congress Centre was built was taking place. “At the time when we were signing the contract PCC had contracted events for hundreds of millions and it was clear that there could not be any clashes. Every step, which would have impact on the operation of the centre, had to be done at the time when there were no events planned. It was quite difficult as there are very few such days, “explains Ivo Slavotínek, General Manager of ENESA.

The reconstruction included boiler room, cooling system and air conditioning system engine room. Also the system of measurement and regulation as well as lighting system went through vast modernization and extension. The reconstruction was part of energy saving project which cost 126 million CZK and which guarantees that PCC will save 213 million CZK in ten years in total. “The reconstruction was extremely vast and at the beginning we were worried but everything went well,” says Luděk Bednář, Technical Department Manager.

The project is ensured in the form of energy performance contracting (EPC), therefore PPC can annually count with 21, 3 million CZK either from the saved operational costs or from the supplier of the project who commits to defray the difference between the guaranteed and the real saving. “The results reached since April 2016 are promising. In comparison with 2016 the energy consumption in the last ten months has remarkably decreased. We already know that the guaranteed saving which is constantly going down in the first year and is now 16, 4 million CZK will be noticeably surpassed,” informs Ivo Slavotínek about the first results.

ENESA is interested in further increase of PCC energy effectiveness and is ready to use the energy management which was beneficial at several similar projects in buildings like National Theatre, Czech Philharmony, Stavovske Theatre etc.

Prague Welcomed the Largest Number of Events Over the Past Decade

According to the Czech Statistical Office data, Prague welcomed 4,426 conferences in the collective accommodation establishments in 2016 which is one-third of all events held in the Czech Republic. It is an increase of 5.7% compared to 2015, and it also is the largest number of events since 2006. The 2016 conferences organized in Prague attracted 541,412 delegates.

Czech Statistical Office data, which tracks only the events held in the collective accommodation establishments, with attendance of more than 50 persons, shows that meeting planners preferred four-star and three-star hotels for their events. Prague Convention Bureau’s statistics also confirm the popularity of accommodation establishments as event venues. Statistics of the Prague Convention Bureau are based on the members’ data and record also the events with less than 50 delegates organized not only in the hotels, but also in congress centres and other alternative venues. There were 2,528 events held in Prague according to the Prague Convention Bureau’s data, out of which 85% took place in hotels, and the rest in other venues, congress centres and at universities.

“We can observe a very positive trend of delegates staying in Prague for longer time. While in 2015, delegates stayed here for 1.99 days on average, in 2016 it was 2.22 days. The statistics recorded a considerable increase of more than 100% even in the segment of events lasting more than six days. We believe the trend, which has a very significant economic impact on Prague, will continue in the following years. In the long-term perspective, the seasonality also plays a smaller role now, but still, the autumn months belong to the most preferred ones,” said Roman Muška, Managing Director at Prague Convention Bureau.

Prague Convention Bureau’s statistics show that half of the events in Prague were attended by foreign delegates, who came to the Czech capital mostly from the United Kingdom, Germany, USA, Italy and Belgium. Pharmacy led the ranking of the most discussed topics, followed by industry, IT and telecommunication topics. Smaller corporate events with the attendance of less than 150 delegates prevailed over the bigger, predominantly association conferences and congresses with more than a thousand delegates.

Architectural Urban Design Competition – Prague Congress Center

 

 The Prague Congress Centre announces the international two rounds architectural urban design competition for the proposal of an extension to the Congress Centre, consisting of needed exhibition surfaces and of the creation of quality public spaces in the site of the Pankrác square and its surrounding areas.

 The New KCP international competition is looking for solutions for one of the most complicated, yet one of the most interesting locations of Prague – the space of the Congress Centre´s surroundings. It invites architects, urbanists and others experts, to connect in their proposals, the architectural quality, connected to the new spaces of the Congress Centre, with a contemporary urbanism that is focused on the high-quality and the use of the public spaces.

From an economical point of view, the convention tourism is very important for the city, but currently, the Congress Centre does not fulfil its full potential and that represents a loss for the whole city of Prague. I am convinced that the architectural competition for the new exhibition spaces is the adequate generator in making the Congress Centre once again a competitor to Vienna, Berlin or Munich, “ says the Mayor of Prague.

The Congress Centre requirements are commented by the general director Roman Ray Straub:  „ When it is decided upon where should the biggest conferences occur, the cities of Vienna, Berlin or Paris are the ones to be selected, though we have also competitiveness in the Czech Republic. We do not want to be somehow bigger or just spend some money, but we in fact really need an extension, especially for the accompanying exhibitions, without which today a convention or similar events cannot occur. Thanks to conventions, the city receives new businesses, money, as well as other opportunities. I think that with this extension we will be able to offer something to the Prague 4 city district as well as to the whole city of Prague – open it towards culture, schools and other activities.“

 This is confirmed by Prof. MUDr. Vladimír Tesař, DrSc, MBA, FERA, FASN, Head of the Nephrology Clinic 1.LF of the Charles’ University and of the General University Hospital in Prague and the patron of the Ambassador Programme Prague Convention Bureau:

The expansion of the exhibition space would solve the last obstacle which prevents the Prague Congress Centre to rank among the top European congress centres and it would ensure the regularity of returns of major European conventions to one of the top European destinations.“

 All the actors involved understand this competition as an opportunity to re-embrace the city – instead of a purely pragmatic placement of a large volume, they wish to come up with a solution that would be flexible, sustainable, of a high-quality, and this both from the architectural perspective but also from an urban and traffic aspect, that would lead to a fully-fledged integral part of the contemporary European city. „ We are glad that we have high-quality architects in the jury, but the good competition result is also of high interest for the capital city of Prague and for the Prague 4 district, that have also their representatives in the jury panel. We expect that the new extension will be in concordance with its surroundings and that it will represent an agreement between the investor and the city. We do not want to build strictly an exhibition hall, but spaces which would have a broad use,“ adds the Prague Congress Centre chairman Radim Haluza.

 Together with Roman Ray Straub and Radim Haluza, both representing the KCP, the jury comprises also the Mayor of the Capital city of Prague Adriana Krnáčová, Marek Kopeć from the IPR Prague, the Prague 4 City Councillor Alžběta Rejchrtová and architects with strong practical experience as well as competitions. The chairman of the jury will be Petr Hlaváček from the studio Headhand architects. Elia Zenghelis, originally from Greece and the co-founder of the world famous studio OMA, the Swiss architect Mathias Müller from EM2N will also be part of the jury. The expert part of the jury will also be completed by Ivan Kroupa from the studio Ivan Kroupa architekti, the head of the Bogle Architects´Prague office Viktorie Součková and Tomás Koumar from the studio EHL & KOUMAR ARCHITEKTI.

The competition consists of two rounds – the deadline hand-in for the proposal in the first round is the 17. 3. 2017. It will be completely anonymous and announced both in Czech and in English. It is assumed that 6 proposals will be selected for the second round. The authors will have till the 30. 6. 2017. The results will be announced with the exhibition of the competition proposal in the middle of holidays.

The three best proposals will be awarded. The first price will be 1 000 000Kč, for the second place, the third place and the non-awarded proposal of the second round, will have a sum of 2 000 000 Kč divided between them.

All the informations for the media will be also announced on the competition website: www.noveKCP.cz

Prague Introduces Mobile App for Meeting Planners

Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with C.O.T. media publishing house and with the support of Prague City Tourism launched a mobile app to help meeting planners explore Prague congress opportunities. “Prague Meeting Planners’ Guide” app is available for smartphones with Android, iOS and Windows Phone operating systems free of charge.

Those interested can download the “Prague Meeting Planners’ Guide” in app stores from the second half of June. Mobile app is intended especially for meeting planners seeking the right venue and services providers for their event in Prague. Basic information about the capital, various types of conference venues, an overview of hotels and restaurants, professional conference organizers (PCOs) and destination management companies (DMC) as well as providers of other related services can be found via the app.

“Mobile app complements the existing printed version of Prague Meeting Planners’ Guide and destination presentation, which we update regularly and their digital versions are available for download on our website. The key benefit of the app is that all the information is easily accessible and always at hand. The app also allows to filter the data according to various criteria, such as venue capacity or type,” said Roman Muška, Managing Director at Prague Convention Bureau.

The owners of Android based smartphones can download the app in English here. iOS version is available on this link and Windows Phone here.