Your Polish City Guide
Located in the heart of Europe, Poland has been working hard in recent years to up its MICE game and become noticed for its fantastic business and events facilities. Its central location, excellent transport links and fast-growing economy have certainly helped to speed up this process.
The ‘Poland Meetings and Events Industry Report 2015’ published by the Poland Convention Bureau showed that in the period from 2014 to 2015 nearly 19,000 corporate events with nearly 9 million participants took place across Poland with each participant staying an average of 3.5 days. A favourite destination for conferences and congresses in particular, which make up 55% of events held in Poland, most hotels in all of the major cities boast state-of-the-art facilities equipped to deal with even the most demanding of corporate events.
Not just offering fantastic world-class facilities, Poland is also home to twelve UNESCO sites, idyllic lakes, deep forests, soaring mountains and sun-kissed seaside resorts. Great for incentive trips and as corporate team building locations many of the country’s imposing monuments, castles and palaces have also been converted into unique conference venues.
To give you a greater insight into Poland’s best corporate event facilities, we’ve research five of the country’s main cities and all that they have to offer…
Starting with Poland’s capital, Warsaw is one of Europe’s greenest metropolises with numerous parks and gardens dotted throughout the city and around the river that flows through its centre. 72% of the city’s events are conferences and it is no wonder why…
Major attractions and points of interest include the University of Warsaw’s library gardens, which is one of the largest and most beautiful roof gardens in the whole of Europe. Spanning more than 10,000 sqm it is a lofty arcadia of blooming flowers, ponds and water features, trees, shrubs and sculptures. Lazienski Palace situated on the lake in Warsaw’s Royal Baths Park, which covers over 76 hectares, is a stylish example of baroque and neoclassical design. Transformed from a bathhouse into the summer residence for King Stanisław August in 1764, the palace now houses 140 works of art from the King’s collection in one of the most idyllic settings.
A city full of contrasts, where old meets new, the city was completely flattened during bombing raids in World War II and was lovingly rebuilt by its citizens. One of the city’s largest conference facilities is the Palace of Culture and Science, which also boasts the largest clock tower of its kind in Europe, and offers corporate event planners over 3,000 versatile rooms including a post office, cinema, library and swimming pool. Able to comfortably accommodate 4,500 delegates between the Congress and Concert Hall, it is a truly iconic location for conferences and meetings. Other venues include Warsaw Exhibition Centre, Kongresowa Hall, Trade Fair and Congress MT Polska and the Gromada Airport Hotel.
One of Poland’s fastest growing cities, Wrocław has a lot to offer corporate event planners in terms of unique corporate event venues that combine old and new, as well as international chains and new state-of-the-art facilities.
The Mieszczanski Brewery incorporates 19th Century post-industrial architecture with modern conference facilities to create a visually fascinating and stimulating corporate event venue. The city’s Centennial Hall complex, a historical meeting place in the centre, is an impressive venue comprising of the Wrocław Congress Centre, pergola, grounds and impressive multimedia fountains which are counted as the most spectacular in Europe and can display colourful water jets and screen projections. On the UNESCO World Heritage list as of 2006, Centennial Hall’s multipurpose facilities are ideal for conferences, fairs, and business meetings with space for 10,000 visitors in the Hall and up to 3,000 in the Centre.
Wrocław also offers unique activities for delegates after working hours. The Odra River facilitates 12 idyllic islands, 130 bridges and countless riverside parks to enjoy. The city’s ancient ecclesiastical district is also perfect for lovers of Gothic architecture.
Poznań is modern city and one of Poland’s major trade centres home to many Western European companies’ headquarters, the third biggest university in Poland and an award-winning designer shopping complex ‘Stary Browar’– considered to be one of the best in Europe.
A hub for corporate events and conferences in Poland, which make up 37% and 44% of events respectively, it has one of the biggest airports in the West of Poland (Poznań-Ławica Airport) and a strong road and railway network that connects the city both nationally and internationally. Home to a number of international fairs and having hosted the United Nations Conference on climate change in 2008 and the Euro Football Championships in 2012, Poznań has a proven track record of successfully catering to large-scale international events.
Poznań Congress Centre is an iconic modern structure with over 70 conference rooms and 16 exhibition pavilions able to cater to the smaller scale events right up to events with more than 11,000 people. Most famous for its ‘earth hall’ with its unique interior design featuring futuristic planes and strong contrasts between light and dark, Poznań Congress Centre is a memorable event venue.
Nestled on the Baltic coast, Gdańsk is a major shipping port and important industrial centre for shipbuilding, petrochemical and chemical industries.
It is this history as a port city that sets Gdańsk aside from other Polish cities and gives Gdańsk its unique feel. Narrow cobbled streets, red brick churches, characterful cafes and intriguing museums make up some of Gdańsk most fascinating and celebrated attractions. As a nod to its naval heritage, the museum ship SS Soldek is a must see and the plentiful dockside beer gardens and opportunities for pleasure boat cruises up the river are perfect for delegates looking to relax on the odd day off.
High-speed train links mean that the 259 miles between Gdańsk and Warsaw will be reduced to just a 2hr 37-minute journey from late 2015. Travel around the city itself is just as easy with commuter trains running every 5 to 10 minute during peak times and trams and buses servicing from 5 am to 11 pm.
The city’s AMBEREXPO Exhibition and Convention Centre is one of Europe’s most advanced facilities. Its 12,000 sqm of pillarless exhibition space offers versatility in its ability to be subdivided into three smaller individual halls. Four state-of-the-art conference rooms cater to over 1,000 delegates, whilst 6 customised VIP rooms with fully equipped kitchenettes and restrooms are also available. Most uniquely, the centre’s car park also includes exhibition rail tracks for displaying rail vehicles and railway siding for rolling stock presentations!
The old capital of Poland, this popular tourist destination – attracting 8 million visitors annually – has worked hard over recent years to develop its internal infrastructure and large-scale conference facilities that are capable of catering to larger groups of delegates.
Many visitors are drawn to the city by the legend that Kraków was founded upon the defeat of a dragon that lived in a cave at the foot of Wawel Hill by a Polish prince. The castle that stands on Wawel Hill today was built upon the dragon’s lair after its defeat and for centuries was the symbol of Polish statehood and residence of the kings of Poland. Today the castle is one of the country’s premier art museums with many unique and important collections and is a fantastic and enlightening day out for delegates that want to learn more about the city’s history.
When it comes to the city’s event facilities, Kraków Congress Centre has it covered. Four different halls cater to groups and events of all sizes; the auditorium has 2,100 seats, the theatre hall 600, chamber hall 300 and the conference hall complex offers a flexible space easily divided with an acoustic wall system. The venue’s foyer offers a majestic exhibition space whilst additional spaces include bars, restaurants, storerooms and commercial facilities.
This magical stage show will take audiences on a journey deep into a Tolkien-esque world full of mythical creatures. Inspired by European folklore and Norse mythology, this stunning production is performed by some of Poland’s best professional actors, dancers and acrobats. Combining stunning costumes, elaborate props, beautiful lighting and sound production and elegant aerial and ground dance the show brings to life a fictional world where elves run freely through dense forest and play in ancient springs. Utterly enchanting, this show will really impress guests at corporate dinners as a high-end evening show.
An elegant accompaniment to corporate dinners, gala evenings, awards ceremonies and product launches this enchanting string quartet are adept at tailoring their performances to perfectly compliment each individual event. They have amassed a huge repertoire of over 300 songs including international composers and which encompasses everything from baroque to contemporary. Having captivated audiences at venues large and small across Europe, receiving resounding rounds of applause and standing ovations, they will be a showstopping addition to your corporate event.
Glass Harp Duo
Alternatively, this glass harp duo offers hauntingly beautiful musical entertainment that is different from anything that you or your guests will have ever heard before. Available to perform solo or alongside a string quartet (see above) or an orchestra, they play the world’s largest glass harp which covers nearly 5 octaves and is comprised of glasses that have been specially tuned to play without water. Delivering a unique and inspiring musical experience, this duo will fascinate and delight corporate audiences with their stunning performances.