30th ECM Summer School in Zagreb: diversity, expertise and highest standards in education

DUC_0346Zagreb, a fast growing meetings destination in Europe, hosted the 30th edition of the ECM Summer School on August 27-31, 2016, providing evidence of the importance of education to face the continuing changes of the Meetings Industry.

This year, the 30th edition of the ECM Summer School continued to inspire 56 students (among which 2 Americans) from 17 different countries lead by 16 Faculty members, a ratio of 1 high experienced faculty member for 3.5 participants. The set-up of the event also enabled maximum interaction between students and the experienced meeting professionals, challenged in plenary sessions, group work, networking or socializing.

The programme sets out the background and up to date context of the industry (key players, exhibitions, press, social media, sustainability, clients, intermediaries, RFP and decision making processes) with a focus on European and international best practices.

“In my opinion ECM Summer School is an important experience to which every junior worker should participate. It was a good experience because I met a lot of new people that will be the future of the Meetings Industry. Furthermore the training of ECM faculty is really high! ECM Summer School is the perfect experience if you want to improve your skills.” said Teresa Santoro, Junior Communication Assistant at Firenze Convention & Visitors Bureau and student during this 30th ECM Summer School in Zagreb.

“We live in a constant changing world, and the Meetings Industry is no exception. Ongoing Education in the Meetings Industry is success factor for future business, whether you represent an important or second tiered destination. To me it’s a crucial task for top management in each organisation, whether it is a CVB, tourist office, congress centre, airline, hotel, DMC, PCO or meeting planner, to train every employee continuously”, outlines Bettina Bunge, ECM Vice-President for the Meetings Industry, CEO and Managing Director of Dresden Marketing Board.

The faculty are all members/partners of ECM and give their time on a voluntary basis – a way of giving back to the meetings industry: Nalan Emre (IMEX Group), Luca Favetta (Marketing Expert & Events Professional), Paul Flackett (IMEX Group), Elisabeth Hansa (Support & Strategy On Demand), Cécile Koch (MIM Europe & HeadQuarters magazines), Cain Leathem (GB Fitness), Heike Mahmoud (visitBerlin, Berlin Convention Office), Nicola McGrane (Conference Partners & IAPCO), Christian Mutschlechner (Vienna Convention Bureau), Miguel Neves (IMEX Group), Olivier Ponti (Amsterdam Marketing), Christine “Shimo” Shimasaki (DMAI), Denis Speet (ICCA), Daniel Waigl (CIRSE), Anne Wallin Rødven (InspirAR) led by the course leader Pier Paolo Mariotti, CMP CMM.

With 41 meetings in 2015 (vs 33 meetings in 2014 ICCA ranking) Zagreb is not only the cultural and political centre of Croatia. It is also in terms of meetings industry among the best developed parts of Croatia.

Zagreb is a modern and unique as well as a stable, growing congress destination. Over the last few years Zagreb has been steadily increasing its market share in the associations and corporate markets, making it the perfect place to host Meetings Industry events such as the ECM Summer School.

Pier Paolo Mariotti, course leader said: “Meetings organised in Zagreb increased by 24.2% between 2014 and 2015, showing that it is truly a growing congress destination. And for the 30th edition of the ECM Summer School it was a real honor to be welcomed by Zlatan Muftić, Director of Zagreb Convention Bureau and former student of the ECM Summer School highlighting that the ECM Summer School has the ability to open horizons in the Meetings Industry”.

The ECM Summer School qualifies for CMP certification: every student getting a ECM Summer School diploma also gets 17.75 Clock Hours for their overall CMP certification.

Mariotti concluded: “I am looking forward to the next edition which will be held in Dresden (Germany) from August 26-30, 2017 where we will carry on the legacy of the ECM Summer School!”




European Cities Marketing is a non-profit organisation improving the competitiveness and performance of leading cities of Europe by providing a platform for convention, leisure and city marketing professionals to exchange knowledge, best practice and widen their network to build new business. European Cities Marketing is promoting and linking the interests of members from more than 100 major cities in 36 countries.

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Flavie Baudot, press@europeancitiesmarketing.com, +33 380 56 02 00