Conference Design

Vienna – A Pleasure Doing Business

21st May 2021

The world’s most livable city, Vienna offers lots of unique advantages to meeting planners, starting with a welcoming, multicultural ambience in the heart of Europe that unlocks new synergies.

As a meeting planner, you can take your cue from the typically Viennese blend of efficiency and enjoyment, while seeing for yourself how unparalleled infrastructure provides the foundations for success in the world’s greenest city. You will also have the opportunity to draw on the expertise of the second-largest university city in the German-speaking countries and harness the creative potential offered by Vienna – ranked number 1 in the Smart City Index published by Roland Berger.

Mobility comes up trumps 

Meeting Destination Vienna – as it’s been branded – is very easy for its guests to reach, and scores well locally as a city of short distances. The city is therefore naturally appreciated by meeting organizers and participants for its geographical location and outstanding transport infrastructure.

The world’s highest quality of life is within easy reach. Whichever European capital city’s airport you start your journey at, your flight will touch down less than three hours later in Vienna. In the heart of a global capital, yet a long way from all the stresses associated with one. Vienna is a compact city with a huge selection of meeting venues. Everything is just a moment away, and every trip is a voyage of discovery. 

No matter whether you travel to Vienna by plane or train, you’ll find modern mobility hubs upon arrival in the city. For example, the infrastructure of Vienna-Schwechat airport – about 20 km to the south-east of the city centre – has been gradually improved in recent years. Capacity was further increased with the commissioning of Terminal 3 in 2012. 

Vienna makes it easy for you

Your meeting is in great company. It’s no coincidence that the United Nations, the UN Industrial Development Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe are all headquartered in Vienna. While the city’s geographical location and optimal connections – including to new CEE growth markets – stand it in particularly good stead, Vienna is also famous for its open-mindedness and harmonious, multicultural way of life. 

Meeting Destination Vienna can offer fantastic locations for events of every kind. And there’s a constant stream of new things. These include innovative new-build projects that take into account the lessons learned from the pandemic, as well as the “fastest event hall” in Austria. But traditional locations like the HOFBURG Vienna are also catching up in terms of technology.

Public transport is key 

Once you’ve arrived in Vienna, you’ll find an excellent transport infrastructure waiting for you. The public network extends to 1,150 kilometers. The urban transport company Wiener Linien carries visitors and residents to their destination reliably and at frequent intervals by subway, tram and bus. Vienna is a city of short distances – from St. Stephen’s Cathedral to the recreational paradise of Danube Island is just a quick six-minute ride. The city’s three congress centres – the Austria Center ViennaMesse Wien, and the HOFBURG Vienna – can also be quickly reached by public transport thanks to their good connections. Mobility sharing is also playing an ever greater role: Citybikes, carsharing, e-mopeds, and e-scooters supplement the offer. In any case, the Viennese love their “Öffis” – almost 40% of all journeys are made by public transport (29% by car) – one of the world’s highest figures! 

Vienna takes the challenges of the global climate crisis very seriously. An attitude that is also reflected in its transport system. The energy that subway trains and trams generate when braking is fed into the electricity grid. Electric buses operate in some areas – in the city centre or through Seestadt Aspern, one of Europe’s biggest urban development projects to the north-east of Vienna, where self-driving electric minibuses are being tested. Apart from the ongoing modernization of the subway, tram, and bus fleets, an enormous amount continues to be spent on expanding the network in Vienna. Following the expansion of several lines in recent years, the redesign and extension of line U2 and the reconstruction of the U5 as Vienna’s first fully automatic subway by 2028 are the most important mobility projects in the city at the present time.

Meeting at Hofburg © Vienna Tourist Board_David Payr

New hotels for every taste

From luxurious to laid-back, and from magnificent city centre palace to the ultramodern high-rise made of timber: new, exciting hotels are breathing life into Meeting Destination Vienna. The really good news: many other notable hotel projects are soon to be opened, and promise a great setting for fantastic meetings.

In the midst of the pandemic, Meeting Destination Vienna set a particularly good example with the Hilton Vienna Park. The hotel, one of the largest downtown meeting and event hotels in Europe, reopened in late summer 2020 following extensive renovations. And the results are impressive: the London-based design team of Goddard Little, which took its inspiration from the splendor of Viennese Art Nouveau, was responsible for large parts of the redesign. The approx. 3,500 square meters of event space and the business centres of the Hilton Vienna Park also sparkle anew.

The Hotel Andaz Vienna is a breath of fresh air for meetings and events. Fans of contemporary architecture will love the hotel, which opened in 2019 just a few steps from the Baroque Belvedere Palace and the ultramodern Vienna Main Station. The ensemble of high-rise buildings was designed by the Italian architecture world star and Pritzker Prize winner Renzo Piano. The result is a luxury and lifestyle hotel with 303 rooms and around 2,200 square meters of meeting and event space. From large conferences with up to 900 participants to smaller business meetings, everything is possible. A large outdoor terrace also offers the possibility for events under an open sky. 

A really exciting newcomer among Vienna’s hotels is the Dormero HoHo, the first project of the Dormero Group in Austria. The hotel, which will open its doors at the beginning of July 2021, is located in Seestadt Aspern, one of Europe’s largest urban development areas. The building itself, the Hoho highrise, is one of the tallest of its kind made from wood in the world, and sets new benchmarks in terms of sustainable construction. On the 15th floor are large seminar rooms with a great panoramic view. The 143-room Dormero Hoho is also interesting for meeting and event guests because a completely new event location is being created in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. The opening of the Ariana, the new event venue, is planned for the end of 2021. Events for 100 to 500 visitors are possible on 1,300 square meters.

If you’d like to experience Vienna in really luxurious style, then you can look forward to some fantastic offerings in 2022. The Almanac Vienna is currently being built on perhaps the world’s most beautiful boulevard, Vienna’s Ringstrasse. Planned as a 5-star-plus establishment with 111 rooms, of which more than two thirds are suites, the historic structure alone guarantees special moments. The hotel is located in the historic, former Palais Henckel-Donnersmarck, which was completely remodeled to meet the new requirements. This includes the creation of breathtaking event rooms, which are among the most beautiful in Vienna and provide the perfect setting for meetings of every kind. 

Work is currently proceeding apace on Graben, in the heart of Vienna city centre. The Rosewood Vienna will be the fifth hotel of Rosewood Hotels in Europe. The 5-star property, which will also offer spacious rooms for meetings and conferences, is scheduled to open in summer 2022.

Notable growth will also take place in the luxury segment in 2023. The first Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Vienna, with 151 rooms and suites as well as 17 luxury penthouse apartments, is being created in a magnificent Art Nouveau building on Riemergasse, near to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Rooms for conferences and meetings are also planned.

Vienna Meeting Fund 2021-2023

In Vienna it is not only a pleasure doing business, but it is also being supported financially by the city. Vienna is supporting organizers of congresses through the Vienna Meeting Fund 2021-2023. Set up by the City of Vienna, the EUR 4 million fund is aimed at domestic and international organizers who are planning meetings to be held in Vienna between 1 May 2021 and 31 December 2023.

Association congresses are of central importance for Vienna’s tourism industry. Besides their key role as an economic asset and a moving force for driving the internationalization of the city, they are a trigger for local value creation. The Vienna Meeting Fund 2021-2023 was set up as a source of additional funding for organizers looking to host business events under the current circumstance. Funding is provided for costs incurred when actually organizing meetings and is specifically not intended as a source of compensation for any financial losses sustained. 

More information on the fund and how to apply can be found here.

This content is kindly sponsored by Vienna Convention Bureau. For more information on Vienna as a conference destination, please visit this website.

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