Continuing high Covid rate and cost considerations threaten Prague Convention Centre exhibition hall project

Prague Congress Centre (PCC) celebrates its 40th anniversary this April, although it is not altogether a happy birthday this year, as the Czech Republic struggles as a hotspot of the Covid pandemic with the highest infection rate in the world.

The adjacent Holiday Inn Prague Congress Centre is also marking its birthday – its 20th – and both venues, no doubt, are looking ahead for better times.

PCC CEO Lenka Žlebková, who took over the helm at the venue just as the first lockdown began in 2020, is remaining optimistic about the return of local corporate events, but is understandably less bullish about the international events that didn’t happen in 2020 or 2021, many re-contracted and postponed now to 2022.

She told local website,  she was most hopeful of international association events as long as international air travel can resume. “They might not be as big as we expected and the numbers definitely won’t match what we had in 2019, but we hope that by 2023 or 2024, we will be back to normal,” she said. 

Meanwhile the transformation into hybrid productions has seen PCC invest in new AV and streaming technology for the venue’s two main halls and with plans for more streaming technology for the breakout rooms.

The pandemic has thrown into doubt the construction of a new exhibition hall at the PCC, however, and although all permissions and funding had been secured pre-Covid, there is no guarantee plans will still proceed.

Žlebková has said a tender for the construction will be held in the coming months and that any decision whether to build, postpone or cancel the project will depend on the costings put forward. Only if the numbers are bearable, it seems, can the birthday celebrations begin.