51 delegates participated in the silver anniversary of ECM’s annual Summer School. The venue for this uniquely challenging and rewarding educational event was the Polish city of Cracow from 27th to 31st August 2011.
The very first Summer School was organised 25 years ago, hosted by the Austrian city of Gmunden and organised by the European Federation of Conference Towns (EFCT)*. Over the years the ECM Summer School has become highly regarded as a leading educational and training initiative, especially relevant for ‘up and coming’ professionals and those researching the economic potential of business tourism and the part it plays in urban regeneration. Uniquely, it brings students face to face with leading industry practitioners and commentators, with the scope and content of the program reflecting the latest trends and new technologies and practices.
Olivier Lépine, General Manager of Biarritz Tourisme, an ECM member and former vice-president of its Convention forum, remembers the creation of the first Summer School: “The first course director was Geoffrey Smith who gave so much of his time and passion to help make ECM Summer School the success story that it is today. The aim was to ‘transfer’ the know-how from the experienced professionals to the younger generation and I am happy to see that we have succeeded in keeping this key idea that will help another bunch of young people to feel motivated and comfortable working for their company.”
Although the key objective of ECM Summer School has remained the same over the past quarter of century, its educational content is constantly evolving in order to reflect changing environments and industry practice. Pier Paolo Mariotti, Course Director of ECM Summer School and Meeting Manager at EURAC Convention Center, says: “This 25th year of ECM Summer School is a double proof of success. It has been organised for 25 years with the same objective, for the same target group, demonstrating that the core idea is an excellent one because there is a real need of such training in the meetings industry. …and the fact that this training has been provided for such a long time with an enduring quality and positive feedback shows that it is not a rigid static entity. Its content is constantly developing to keep in line with the industry and the changing expectations of participants.”
The next ECM Summer School will take place in Dubrovnik, Croatia, from 25th to 29th August 2012.
*EFCT (European Federation of Conference Towns) was an association established in 1966 as a focal point for developing the European conference industry. In 2007 EFCT merged with ECT (European Cities Tourism) to form, European Cities Marketing.
ECM (European Cities Marketing) is the leading European association of city tourism offices and convention bureaux, representing 125 members across 100 major cities in 32 countries. Its aim is to improve the performance and maintain the competitiveness of its members through the exchange of best practice and information.
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