POLAND’S TOURISM INDUSTRY IS LUCKY that it has Kinga
Soćko, HMCC (MPI Poland Chapter), on its side. A conference
specialist with the Poland Convention Bureau, Soćko played a
key role in preparing the Poland Meetings and Events Industry
Report, which is used to prepare national and city budgets, and
in;luences business tourism in Poland.
“It is a tool that is used to convince the authorities that the
meeting industry is very important for the local economy and
we need to focus on this sector,” Soćko says. She also worked on
Poland’s DMAI accreditation process, which opened the Poland
Convention Bureau to the North American market. Not enough?
She was also the project manager of the local organizing committee for MPI’s 2015 European Meetings & Events Conference
That would be an impressive roster of accomplishments for
somebody with years and years of experience in the industry,
yet Soćko’s has only been involved for four years.
“I was very new in this business as it was my ;irst contact
with professional work. They gave me a lot of support and motivation to develop and gain new skills,” she says of beginning as a
trainee with the Poland Convention Bureau.
Soćko has a bachelor’s degree in tourism and a master’s in
cultural studies. But the decision to try her hand at work in the
convention bureau wasn’t her own.
“I was obliged to do an internship; my school chose an in-
stitution and it was the perfect place for me,” she says. “I found
the industry very dynamic and exciting. Inspiring and creative
people, a lot of career possibilities and no routine.”
For the Poland Meetings and Events Industry Report, Soćko
coordinated data collection, managed the relationships with
the involved cities and the co-authors and worked on the de-
sign, documentation and ;inancials. At EMEC 2015, which she
calls one of her “greatest professional experiences so far,” Soćko
handled logistics issues and communication between the local
organizing committee and the global MPI team.
“It was a challenge to follow all the guidelines, watch the
deadlines and help both sides to ;ind a conclusion,” she says. “It was the ;irst such big
international project for me.”
Working in the industry has also helped Soćko ;ind a new passion on the volun-
teer front—which she’s working on in conjunction with the convention bureau: help-
ing foster kids. In 2010, Poland hosted the IMEX Challenge, a three-day event to help
kids and build networking within the industry. She now works with the Nasz Dom
(Our Home) Association, a non-pro;it that helps kids living in foster homes.
“Every year, I ;ind one home and together with local industry representatives we
change the life of its inhabitants,” she says.
Over the last four years, Soćko has coordinated projects in four cities and helped
more than 100 children.
“Based on the 2010 model, every year I invite local industry leaders to get en-
gaged with and support the Poland Convention Bureau in this project,” she says. “Gar-
den alterations and creating a friendly atmosphere for reading, resting or recreation,
;inancing lessons in English, swimming and dancing or organizing excursions for the
children and their foster parents: This is what the project is about.”
So, all that said, where does Soćko see herself in the future? She ;inished uni-
versity last year, but plans to continue her professional education and personal
“This year could bring a lot of changes in my career and I am ready for new challenges,” she says.
KINGA SOĆKO, HMCC
a lot of career