Real estate Lokale Immobilia
12:43 6 March 2023
Post by: WBJ

CEEQA Gears up for 2023

As the 2023 CEEQA Gala draws nigh, Warsaw Business Journal sits down with Richard Hallward, CEEQA’s founder and chairman, to discuss the ongoing planning for this year’s event and some exciting changes to the usual agenda.

CEEQA Gears up for 2023

WBJ: The appointment of international consulting firm PwC as the new Leader Partner and awards supervisor for 2023 certainly continues CEEQA’s evolution as one of the most trusted and valued industry awards platforms and one of the strongest sector showcase events in European business. But can you give us further insight about all of the “platform refreshments” you have announced as key targets for CEEQA’s 2023 campaign?

Richard Hallward: “CEE & SEE real estate in black and white”, is the promotional slogan of the 20th Anniversary edition of CEEQA. Known as the “business Oscars” for performance and achievement across 28 countries in Central & Eastern Europe and Southeast Europe, the 2023 campaign slogan highlights its reputation for the unstinting pursuit of transparency and fact in its awards processes and results - the Q in CEEQA stands for quality. 

Central to this standpoint over the two decades has been the role of the awards integrity supervisor. Far from a ceremonial position, the role involves a deep and uncompromising audit of every aspect of CEEQA’s awards entry and selection processes throughout the campaign, from jury selection and judging to announcing the results. Moreover, it is a role familiar to PwC as the long-term supervisor of the Oscars.

We’re excited to be working with PwC as our new lead partner and awards supervisor and collaborating on some content areas for the 2023 campaign. Last year we were focused on getting the event over the line in recognizable shape as we returned from the pandemic’s disruption. Planning this year’s campaign, we saw an opportunity to step back and examine, improve, and, if necessary, transform each element of delivery and value. It has been a full quality audit. 

Beyond this appointment, what further changes have the CEEQA team adopted to meet current market conditions?

We asked ourselves, “Is the CEEQA Gala format still best in class for current market conditions and purpose, or can it be improved?” 

Do people still want to sit in a dark room, particularly at the more open outdoor Wyscigi location and new date slot in mid-June, able to talk only to the person on the left and right for two hours under flashing lights?

Or can the dining and awards ceremony format, the gala’s traditional centerpiece, be adapted to a more open and dynamic setup to enhance guest experience and business mixing value while retaining the hallmark prestige and quality of the dining and ceremony experience? 

The CEEQA team put these questions into a pot and stirred. The result is a different formula, a kind of hybrid of the Grammy awards and a Buckingham Palace garden party, where companies have their own tables and meeting points, the usual exceptional hospitality and production quality, but guests are free to roam and mix.

Have ongoing events that have carried over from 2022, such as rising inflation or the invasion of Ukraine, also impacted your plans for CEEQA?

[With] Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and an escalating war on our borders affecting the cost of living and of business, [and] fuelling a current inflation crisis, who wants to hear that their prices are going up to account for rising catering and event delivery costs? [Our] new formula has enabled some cost savings on production, which CEEQA is passing on to customers with eye-catching price reductions for tickets and commercial sponsorship.

Game, set and match. We’re confident in our skills and support to pull this off, and we know they will love it. It’s going down well with sponsors and ticket buyers so far, including a few new sponsors.

Are there any further changes we should expect? Are there any new projects or award categories on the horizon? 

We’ve revamped the two Green Leadership award categories for companies and projects, one of the most competitive CEEQA categories. They’ve been renamed and restructured as the ESG awards. The campaign will also see further steps in CEEQA’s Ukraine Live Connect project launched in 2022, which aims to inform and connect regional real estate leaders with leaders in Ukraine, examining likely needs and collaboration opportunities in rebuilding post-war Ukraine.

There has been plenty of interest and suspense around the next CEEQA Gala entertainer. After all, the gala boasts a record of outstanding world-class entertainment, including recent shows by Gloria Gaynor, Morcheeba, and the Boomtown Rats. So which star will have top billing this year?

I don’t think I can reveal the full details of this year’s top act ahead of the formal announcement in March, but I am confident that it will be among the best yet. Let’s say she’s no small beer.  

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