Roman Muška: “It is very hard to predict anything in these days”
# tags: Events , Meetings Industry , Destinations
Prague is working hard to bring back international events.
At the end of 2022, Event Point International went to Prague, invited by the local Convention Bureau, to get to know all the improvments made during the pandemic. We got to speak with Roman Muška, Managing Director of Prague Convention Bureau. Here is what he had to say.
How do you describe 2022 for the events industry in Prague?
Considering the difficult situation at the beginning of the year when some ongoing travel restrictions were in place due to the covid-19 pandemic and start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which brought massive waves of refugees, we have to be more than satisfied with the results of this year (2022).
We could see the people’s need to meet again face to face, which was demonstrated, already in Q2 by rapid increase of the number of meetings and conferences, and which accelerated in the second half of the year when the demand on Prague was even higher.
How do you rate the importance of having the EU presidency for the comeback of the industry?
Surely the EU Presidency played its role in the restart of the meeting industry in the second half of 2022 as over 100 conferences and additional 150 informal and expert meetings have taken place in Prague within the 6 months of the EU Presidency.
What are the Convention Bureau's expectations for 2023? Will we see the return to 2019 figures?
It is very hard to predict anything in these days as much of business is being confirmed on a very last minute. We certainly do hope the 2023 will be better than 2022, despite of the energy crisis we are facing; anyway, we do expect to reach the 2019 figures again in 2024 at the earliest.
What is the main focus of the Convention Bureau for the near future?
In order to get to 2019 figures we need to work with other stakeholders on bringing back the flights connections we had before the pandemic, especially from North America and Asia.
Prague is well known as an amazing historical city with excellent gastronomy and a wide range of offering when it comes to hotels and the meeting infrastructure. In the future we would also like Prague to be known as a modern and innovative science hub and a leader in some specific fields, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, biomedicine, low-carbon technologies, data technologies and selected creative industries, providing ideal opportunities for holding conventions and conferences with the matching topics.