Colorful tiles on the roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

You are here:

Vienna as a Meeting Hotspot: Record Number of Conferences in 2023

4 Million Euros Investment to increase the number of Green Meetings and to promote OFF-SEASON conferences

April 22nd, 2024 - Vienna has highlighted itself as a premier conference destination, hosting a record 6,500 congresses and corporate events in 2023, a 49% increase over the previous year and 18% more than the record-setting year of 2019. The city has attracted 633,000 attendees, marking a 40% rise from 2022 and slightly above the previous high in 2019. With these events resulting in 1,591,000 overnight stays — a 34% increase from 2022 — Vienna's commitment to revitalising its conference sector post-pandemic is evident.

Continued Commitment to Excellence: The Vienna Meeting Fund 2025-2028

In a significant move demonstrating the commitment to sustainability and industry support, the City of Vienna has continued the extension of the Vienna Meeting Fund with an additional €4 million investment for the period 2025-2028. Initially established by the City of Vienna, the fund has been instrumental in fostering meetings held in the city. From its inception in May 2021, the fund has already aided 700 conferences, significantly enhancing Vienna's status as a leading destination. The new version aims to increase the number of sustainable meetings and promote conferences in months with traditionally lower demand.

Originally set to conclude at the end of 2024, the fund's continuation comes as positive news to industry professionals. With a total of €8 million allocated from 2021 to 2024, the extension reassures organisers that Vienna remains a supportive and dynamic hub for international congresses and corporate events. This proactive step ensures that Vienna continues to attract top-tier events, contributing to the city's economic vitality and sustainable development goals.

Vienna Tourist Board CEO Norbert Kettner comments: 
"Conferences are a cornerstone of Vienna's visitor economy, driving consistent room occupancy and long-term economic benefits. The re-launch of the Vienna Meeting Fund is a testament to our city's commitment to being a leading destination for high-quality, sustainable tourism. Our excellent transport links and the presence of international organisations play a crucial role in our success."

Anita Paic, Head of B2B Management/Vienna Convention Bureau, reports:
"Our bureau currently oversees more than 200 applications for hosting international congresses stretching as far out as 2032. This year alone, over 50 meetings with more than 1,000 participants each, and six major events with over 10,000 attendees each, demonstrate Vienna's capability to sustain the momentum from a highly successful 2023. The return to in-person events signals a full recovery in the conference sector, and we are grateful for the ongoing efforts of our venue partners and service providers."

Impact and Outreach of International Congresses

In 2023, international congresses made up only 11% of all events but accounted for over one-third of all participants and two-thirds of overnight stays, underscoring their significant impact on Vienna's visitor economy. The sectors leading these events include human medicine, banking & finance, and technology, with these areas also heavily influencing the types of corporate meetings held in Vienna .

Future of Funding and Sustainability Initiatives

From 2025, the maximum funding from the Vienna Meeting Fund of 60,000 euros available per event, will require proof of sustainability and the event to be held as a Green Meeting or EcoEvent. Otherwise, the maximum funding amount will instead be 48,000 euros. This is aimed at international meetings that are not during the peak months of May, June, September, or October. 

To date, over 1,000 funding applications have been processed, with 700 events receiving commitments. Furthermore, the Vienna Convention Bureau continues to promote environmental responsibility among local accommodation providers and event organisers, significantly enhancing the city's sustainability profile.

Legacy and Community Engagement

Vienna's conference industry not only boosts the local economy but also actively engages with the community through legacy projects, such as health education initiatives spearheaded by international professional societies. This approach not only enriches the visitor experience but also bolsters Vienna's reputation as a responsible and forward-thinking conference metropolis.

Vienna's strategic initiatives and robust funding mechanisms have effectively positioned the city as a global leader in the conference industry, contributing significantly to its economic landscape and setting a benchmark in sustainability and community engagement.

In the overall ranking published by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) in 2023, Vienna took first place worldwide for the second year in a row, while the Union of International Associations (UIA) ranked Vienna second in the same year.

Highlights for Vienna's Meeting Industry 2024








Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center

68th Annual Meeting of the Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis Research




European Congress of Radiology - ECR



Austria Center Vienna

31st Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot



Vienna University

General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union – EGU 2024



Austria Center Vienna

International Conference on Learning Representations - ICLR



Messe Wien Exhibition &  Congress Center

4GameChangers Festival 2024



Marx Halle

International Conference on Nuclear Security - ICONS 2024



Vienna International Center




Various locations in Vienna

Annual European Congress of Rheumatology - EULAR



Messe Wien Exhibition &  Congress Center

Österreichischer Exporttag 2024



Austrian Chamber of Commerce

World Passenger Festival 2024



Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center

14th FENS Forum of Neuroscience - FENS 2024



Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center

International Conference on Machine Learning 2024 - ICML



Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center

Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society - ERS



Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center

HR Inside Summit 2024




United European Gastroenterology Week - UEG Week



Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center

10th Congress of the European Academy of Paediatric Societies - EAPS 2024



Austria Center Vienna

AWE EU 2024 (Augmented World Expo)



Austria Center Vienna

For more information on the Vienna Meeting Fund as well as to download the complete Vienna Meeting Industry Report 2023, visit:

About the Vienna Convention Bureau

The team of the Vienna Convention Bureau is the first point of contact when it comes to planning congresses, conferences, corporate meetings or incentives in Vienna. They support meeting planners with expertise and numerous free services. Find all information and services under 

High-res images available here.

Rate this article
Rate this article