The ninth Ambassador Awards took place at the residence of the Mayor of Prague to honor the contributions to the meetings industry on March 21. The Prague Convention Bureau has organized the ceremonial event since 2010 as a part of its Ambassador Program and Mayor Adriana Krnáčová honored the event with her personal participation. 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.
“It is a great honor for us to award the outstanding personalities of the congress industry and the events that took place in Prague last year or are destined for the Czech capital. Congress preparations and decision-making are a very lengthy process that can take more than five years. We appreciate all our ambassadors, who often entirely selflessly engage in the preparation of such an event, helping us spread the positive awareness of Prague as an ideal congress destination, increasing the scientific credit of the Czech capital and, last but not least, supporting the economic growth of Prague. Prague meetings industry generates annual revenue of between 4.4 and 5.2 billion crowns in multiplication for public budgets,” says Lucie Čapková, who coordinates the Prague Convention Bureau Ambassador Program.
Winners in the six categories were:
Congress of The Year 2017: Dr. Michal Vrablík, Ph.D. for the 85th Congress of the European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS). Dr. Vrablík brought the event with a long history to the Central and Eastern Europe for the first time ever to Prague. Furthermore, the Prague edition registered a record-breaking attendance of 2,500 delegates.
Congress of the Year 2017 – Less than 500 Attendants: Prof. Karel Bouzek for the seventh World Hydrogen Technology Convention together with Czech Hydrogen Days (WHTC 2017). Bouzek is a reputable Czech scientist active in the hydrogen technology development and, as a Prague ambassador, he has been committed to attracting renowned scientific events to the Czech metropolis on a long-term basis.
Candidacy of the Year 2017: Prof. Julius Špičák, CSc. for the International Congress of the World Gastroenterology Organization, due to take place in Prague in 2020. A year-long candidature, successfully led by professor Špičák, won the World Gastroenterology Organization Congress for Prague. The Congress will be the second largest gastroenterology event ever.
Corporate Event of the Year 2017: Motorola Solutions for the Enhancing Vision event. Enhancing Vision event was awarded for the unique fusion of the cutting-edge technologies set in the historical event venue.
Long-Term Contribution to Congress Tourism: Prof. Tomáš Zima, DrSc., MBA Rector of the Charles University in Prague, is one of the most active congress ambassadors. He has been working for many Czech and international scientific organizations and associations. He initiated numerous congresses and conferences, all of them successfully taking place in Prague, and he currently works on preparations of the biochemistry experts congress due to be held in Prague this year.
Prize of the Prague Congress Centre: Sanjiv Suri, Lenka Žlebková and Roman Muška for the 56th ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) Congress. The successful realization of the Congress of ICCA association, which brings together professionals from the congress industry significantly helped to mark Prague on the map of the international meetings tourism, helped the Prague Congress Center reconstruction, and to gaining of concrete business opportunities. Furthermore, the 56th Congress in 2017 registered a record-breaking attendance of 1,264 delegates.
The winners of each category were chosen by an independent committee composed of important personalities of tourism, academic and state spheres. The members of the 2018 decision-making committee were: Monika Palatková, Ph.D., director of the CzechTourism Tourism Agency; Marta Nováková, president of the Union of Trade and Tourism; Prof. Eva Zažímalová, CSc., chairwoman of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and Jan Wolf, councilor of the City of Prague for Culture, Heritage, Exhibitions Management and Tourism. The committee was also joined by Prof. Tomáš Zima, DrSc., MBA Rector of Charles University in Prague, for voting in the following categories: Congresses, Candidacy of the Year and Corporate Event of the Year, and by Prof. Václav Pačes, DrSc., scientist, pedagogue, and biochemist, for voting in the category of Long-Term Contribution to the Congress Tourism.
The Ambassador Awards evening was held with the support of Prague City Hall, the Ministry of Regional Development and Czech Convention Bureau. The event was moderated by Veronika Paroulková.