Congresses bring added value to Vienna

Room nights and spending power of congress delegates paint a clear picture when it comes to assessing an event’s economic impact on a destination. However, there are additional benefits that even the smallest congress can bring, which cannot be measured as easily: the strengthening of Vienna’s scientific landscape, fostering international exchange and increasing health-consciousness among the population.

Members of Professional Congress Organiser (PCO) Mondial Congress & Events observe these benefits on a regular basis: “In 2018 we have been involved in the organisation of ten important medical meetings in Vienna alone, which have significantly influenced the local scientific environment and sometimes even awareness of certain health conditions among the population,” Managing Director Stefan Walter speaks from experience.

Prestigious congresses attracting large numbers of delegates from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, such as the German cancer congress DGHO or the Annual Meeting of the Society for Thrombosis and Hemostasis Research (GTH), promote exchange among German-speaking countries. With around 150 participants, the much smaller Chinese-German Lung Cancer Forum had been less rich in room nights, but laid the groundwork for crucial research co-operations between universities in China and Austria, according to Walter.

The European Congress on Obesity, held in May, even attracted national television and was accompanied by public campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of obesity among Austrians. In October, the United European Gastroenterology Week also drew a huge degree of media attention due to a related press release on micro plastic, which was picked up by media outlets all over the globe in a matter of hours.

These insights offered by the congress professionals make evident what industry insiders have long suspected: congresses are good for a destination – not just in terms of numbers.

This article was originally published in December 2018 on the website of the Vienna Convention Bureau.