Prague Congress Centre – we want to be in the TOP 5 before 2020

Prague Congress Centre – we want to be in the TOP 5 before 2020

Prague Congress Centre – we want to be in the TOP 5 before 2020
June 17
11:40 2017


Interview with Roman Ray Straub,

Prague Congress Centre Director


  • Prague will host a prestigious congress in November. Why is it such a big event for the Prague Congress Centre and what led to the successful nomination?

It is a great success. It was a lengthy process to win such a nomination but we managed it and the ICCA congress will be held at PCC from 12th to 15th November 2017. Of course, there was a lot of preparation behind it. Prague Congress Centre had to participate in a bid and the Prague Convention Bureau, led at the time by Lenka Žlebková, who now works with us at PCC, had to do a lot of work because Prague was bidding against many prestigious destinations. Last November we went to the ICCA Congress in Malaysia. 12 people represented the Czech Republic to get a good insight as well as to meet people from big PCOs who attend several congresses and have very good professional experience. So, it is possible to say that the success is a combination of our team’s endeavour and the potential of the destination and the venue. Prague is well known all around the world and we expect to have a very successful ICCA congress here, attended by colleagues from meetings industry and our goal is to beat the record attendance figures of the ICCA congress held in Leipzig in 2011.

  • You have been in your position at PCC since 1st October 2016. You have had five months to see the advantages as well as the drawbacks of the venue and revise your visions. How do you now see PCC?

PCC has a lot of potential. First of all, we are very well located because even from our congress centre you can see Prague in front of you. So, since we opened in 1981 we have had this advantage of the unique location close to the city centre. However, we need to update our technical equipment as well as the building and the venue itself. Honestly, the five months went very fast and in that time, we have established a new marketing team and there have been a few changes to the sales and support team. With the planned renovation, which is starting this year, we are going to have an up-to-date product and I believe it is a great potential for us to expand.

  • Why did you decide to leave the hotel business and move on to MICE business?

Basically, I worked in the hotel business for more than 30 years, from the age of 18. I passed my exams in Brussels, decided to go to a hotel school and I graduated after four years with a bachelor’s degree. When I started to work at PCC I did not fully leave the hotel business. Part of the PCC is Holiday Inn, a hotel with 251 rooms that opened 15 years ago. So, I also manage and cooperate with the experienced hotel team. For sure, the congress business is a little bit different. In the hotel business, you work with the leisure industry and nearly everything is at short notice so the pace of work is different. In the congress environment, you talk about long-term plans. I also appreciate the wide variety of activities. At PCC, you are involved with all kinds of businesses, from automotive to medicine and from pharmacy to culture.

  • What kind of person are you?

I was brought up in quite an international environment. I have a German passport; I was born in Germany but at a very young age the whole family moved to Brussels as my father worked for the EU and we were raised in that European spirit. I was very lucky that I attended an international school and had many international friends. We also lived in different countries and I was exposed to different cultures. So, I am an open-minded person, I like the variety of mentalities, religions, and backgrounds. I am a family person; I think family is very important. I believe in good education and work experience. I like being around people, because I think in our business being around people makes the difference.

  • PCC is preparing for an important facelift. Some changes have already been made to the technical areas. What can Prague expect from the reconstruction and how long will it take? And in how many phases will it be done?

There will be several phases. These will cover all sorts of adjustments and repairs to bring PCC up to international standards regarding energy-saving technologies through to renovation of the façade and interiors and then the final phase, which is the construction of a new exhibition hall. We have already announced an architectural urban design competition to invite proposals for the PCC extension. The new exhibition spaces will help us harness the full potential of PCC and become competitive in the marketplace. The deadline for the renovation is the ICCA Congress, and the new hall is planned to be finished in 2020.

  • What is your wish for PCC in the future?

To become a destination which will be rated among the TOP 5 congress venues in Europe. I believe that we can get there because we cooperate well with Prague Convention Bureau and PCOs like Guarant and C-IN and such synergy can of course bring excellent results. Our great advantage is also the versatility of PCC, its location, the quality of hotels, as well as the beauty of Prague itself.

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