Since the war broke out foreign doctors, journalists, diplomats, businessmen, and representatives of international organizations have come to the city. In addition to helping Ukrainian colleagues on the professional front, they also participate in round tables, discussions, and mini-forums.
The initiative to organize conferences in Lviv again is taken by the local community: universities, businesses, public organizations, etc. For example, the Ukrainian Catholic University and the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” launched a series of visionary meetings on the topic of the future renewal of Ukraine after the end of the war. Moreover they held a conference with the participation of former ambassadors to the Holy See from Lithuania, Georgia, and the European Union. Apart from this they launched a series of discussions devoted to modernization of Ukraine during the war and the post-war period.
Lviv Convention Bureau attended the first of such meetings, the topic of which was: “Modernization of Ukraine: analysis of the government’s recovery and development plan.”
At it, experts discussed the plan for the restoration of Ukraine presented at the conference in Lugano, what needs to be done so that the plan does not remain only on paper.
After this meeting and talks with professional organizers and delegates of conferences we have some insights:
- Professional conference organizers take the issue of security very seriously. They understand that now the whole of Ukraine is in danger, so they are looking for shelter in case of an alarm. They do not announce the location in advance, they forbid the use of geolocation, photos of the territory. Small events are organized to avoid crowding and not to violate wartime law. They concentrate their attention on short-term events and the possibility of accessing the Internet, so that everyone can listen to the speakers.
- Live events are important. First of all, because these are new ideas, new contacts, new projects. Secondly, because it is about supporting the economy.
- Today, the main topics of the conferences are how to help Ukraine in various fields. It is not about theories, but about practical cases. In this aspect, Ukrainian experts closely cooperate with international colleagues. They are invited to speak online or live at the conference. Many useful initiatives are born from this cooperation.
- The expertise of Ukrainians in medical, humanitarian, and military affairs is now especially valued. Ukrainian specialists gain experience in real time and offer solutions to problems that foreign colleagues have not had to deal with before.
- The MICE market has transformed and united to help. For example, hotels offer discounts on conference halls and meeting rooms.
- There is considerable faith in the victory of Ukraine, in its future. Everyone is integrally working on it, each on his own front. There is also an understanding that after the victory there will be a demand for holding events in Ukraine, and it is necessary to prepare for this now. International associations, when planning their events, have a number of requirements for locations and accommodation. It is necessary to meet these requirements already now. For example, to obtain certification in the direction of inclusiveness and sustainability.