International Congress Centre (PL: MCK) is an exceptional place on the Polish event location map. A modern, designer building combining a number of functions, it serves as a venue for congresses, conferences, exhibitions, trade shows and performances. Together with the legendary neighbouring Spodek Sports and Entertainment Arena, the building ranks as one of the largest conference and exhibition platforms in the country. Its unique design, perfect location and excellent functionality all make the MCK stand out from the competition.
- Size and capacity
With 38,000 square meters, the MCK houses 35 conference rooms of varying sizes. The largest among them, a multi-purpose room of 8,100 m2, has a capacity of 12,000 people. Altogether, all the conference rooms, the modern and fully-equipped auditorium, ball rooms and the spacious foyer of the MCK can hold 15,000 people at a time.
MCK was opened to the public in 2015. Its architectural design alluded to the modernist architecture of the city and aimed to integrate the new building into the urban fabric in such a way as to create, together with the neighbouring Spodek Arena, a new space for leisure and recreation. This precise idea inspired the Green Valley on the roof of the MCK, which now connects the two buildings to tap the synergy effect between them and the events they host. The observation deck overlooks the Spodek and has become a favourite spot with local residents. Created by JEMS Architekci, a Warsaw-based studio selected through an international architectural competition, the design of the MCK has won many awards in Poland and beyond.
The MCK offers a large variety of spaces suitable for all kinds of events, ranging from exhibitions organized for several thousand people, through concerts and cultural events, congresses that require different kinds of rooms, all the way to small business meetings and workshops.
The following spaces are at the disposal of event organizers at the MCK:
- 3 ball rooms for nearly 1 thousand people,
- an auditorium with 570 seats,
- a multi-purpose room of 8,100 m2,
- 26 conference rooms of varying sizes,
- original lobbies and restaurant zones with a total area of more than 7,500 m2
Every year, the MCK hosts 250 events of varying scale and kind, attended by more than half a million people.
Within the last 12 months alone, it has hosted, to name but a few, the European Economic Congress, the Congress of the Polish Urological Society, the Polish Psychiatrists' Congress, the European Congress of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, the One Cargo European Logistics Congress, the ABSL Conference, 4 Design Days, the Auto Profi Show and the Tauron New Music Festival.
Many events are organized at the MCK at regular intervals. Most congress-type events combine an exhibition with conferences, speeches and presentations.
Moreover, the MCK carries out many projects aimed at the residents of Katowice, including theatre plays, concerts and activities for children.
The Spodek Arena is a very characteristic, exceptional building with a rich history of entertainment, sports and exhibition events. Opened in 1971, it has become a permanent fixture on the map of Katowice and one of the most easily recognized icons of modernist architecture in Poland. For the past 47 years, the Spodek has served as a venue for large events, such as concerts by world-famous musicians and world championships in different sports disciplines.
- Size and capacity
The Spodek Sports and Entertainment Arenahas a usable area of 29,500 m2. The capacity depends on the nature of the event: 9000 people for concerts and stage performances, and more than 11,000 for sports events.
The architects who designed the Spodek were selected in a competition organized by the Polish Architects' Society in 1959. The team consisted of Maciej Gintowt and Maciej Krasiński. Wacław Zalewski, an ingenious constructor, was responsible for the structure of the Spodek, in cooperation with Andrzej Żórawski. The construction took from 1964 to 1971 to complete and its innovative and unique design galvanized the public.
Over nearly half a century of its existence, the Spodek has hosted performances by famous stars such as Sting, Jean Michel Jarre, Chris Rea, Cliff Richard, Joe Cocker, Tina Turner, Brian Adams, Elton John, Vanessa Mae, Deep Purple, Metallica, The Cure, Genesis, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Black Sabbath, Saxon, Mike Oldfield, The Kelly Family, Rammstein, Iron Maiden, Robbie Williams, Depeche Mode, Korn and Slipknot.
The Spodek is also a place of unforgettable sports emotions. Fans have flocked to world championships in men's volleyball, ice hockey, women's handball, bodybuilding, weightlifting, acrobatic gymnastics, the finals of the World League in men's volleyball, as well as European championships in wrestling, athletics, men's handball and women's basketball. It was in the Spodek that Poland won the Men's Volleyball World Championship in 2009; since then, it has been hailed as the Mecca of Polish volleyball.
Event organizers have praised the unique, space-like atmosphere of the arena. Its gently tilted structure, shaped like a spacecraft, and the characteristic dome in the middle, really make the Spodek stand out and make any event it hosts an unforgettable experience. The Spodek complex consists of the main arena, a hotel with a restaurant, an ice rink, a gymnastic hall, a swimming pool with sauna rooms and a gym. This also allows residents of the Katowice access to a variety of recreational activities on a daily basis.
Connecting the Spodek to the MCK made it possible to bring out the business potential of the arena. Today, it holds the opening events of international congresses, trade shows and exhibitions combined with conferences, as well as memorable cultural events, banquets and galas.
More than 300 events are held at the Spodek Arena every year, attended by more than 600,000 people.
The calendar is full of regular events and festivals. For 34 years, the building has hosted the Rawa Blues Festival; 30 years ago, it served as the venue of the first edition of the cult Metalmania festival, and 16 years ago, the first edition of Mayday, a techno music festival.
For the past 6 years, it has organized the largest e-sports event in the world, Intel Extreme Masters, which achieved a record turnout of 173 thousand spectators in 2017.
In 2017, the Spodek welcomed back the Odjazdy festival of alternative music. Today, it hosts many concerts by Polish and international musicians. Alongside music and sports events, it also organizes ice shows for children, circus performances with acrobats, exhibitions and trade fairs.
The MCK, the Spodek Sports and Entertainment Arena, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Silesian Museum, together form the Culture Zone in Katowice. The area is located on the premises of the former Katowice Coal Mine, which was active up to the 1990s. The revitalization of this space, situated right at the very heart of town, has been truly amazing. In a matter of a dozen years or so, a heavy industrial plant has morphed into a meetings industry venue, and, thanks to the buildings of the Culture Zone, business tourism in Katowice has experienced really dynamic growth.