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Congress Hotspot Vienna: Meeting Record Broken

2023 Sets New Record With Around 6,500 meetings

In 2023, Meeting Destination Vienna showed that it had fully recovered from the after-effects of the pandemic: with a total of 6,454 congresses and corporate events in 2023 (up 49% on 2022), the Austrian capital hosted around a fifth (up 18%) more meetings than during the previous record-breaking year, 2019. A new record was also set in terms of the number of meeting participants: at 633,000, the total was up 40% on 2022, by 4% on 2019 and even surpassed the record for participant numbers – set in 2018 – by 0.4%. In total, congresses and corporate events accounted for 1,591,000 overnight stays in 2023 (up 34% on 2022). While the number of overnight stays was 0.6% higher than it had been in 2019, the total was still 17% short of the all-time high reported in 2018. Against this backdrop, the share of overnight stays accounted for by meetings amounted to 17.3 million, or 9% of the city’s total bednights during the year.

Vienna Meeting Industry 2023

Overview Meeting Industry 2023

In-Person Events Return

International congresses were once again the most important segment for Vienna's visitor economy in 2023: though the 732 events reported in this category accounted for just 11% of the total number, they contributed over a third of all participants (38% or 237,000). And behind 67% of bednights, they accounted for over two thirds of all overnight stays (1,072,000). 1,962 international corporate events were held in 2023. During the year, Vienna hosted 1,422 national congresses and 2,338 national corporate events. The drop in the share of the total accounted for by hybrid meetings – those meetings that were streamed virtually in addition to being held on site – clearly shows that demand for in-person events is continuing to rise. Unlike during the pandemic, they accounted for just 8% of all meetings in 2023 – meaning that around 92% of all registered meetings were hosted as purely in-person events in 2023. Meetings conducted exclusively as virtual events were not included in Vienna's conference statistics. While medical congresses dominated the congress sector with a 35% of share of overnight stays (followed by banking & finance/economics with 12%, humanities with 11% and UN congresses with 10%), banking & finance/economics (31% of the resulting overnight stays) was the largest single category for corporate events, followed by technology (24%) and medicine (13%).

Vienna Meeting Fund Boosts Acquisitions

Congresses and corporate meetings in Vienna account for up to EUR 1 billion in induced economic impact each year, securing thousands of year-round jobs in the process. In 2021, the City of Vienna launched the Vienna Meeting Fund to help the industry get back on its feet in the wake of the pandemic while also securing Vienna's leading global role in the meeting industry. In total, EUR 8 million in funding was originally earmarked for the period from 2021-2024. The second iteration announced in April 2024 extended the Vienna Meeting Fund by a further four years (2025-2028). Between the launch of the fund at the start of May 2021 and the end of 2023, more than 950 applications for funding were submitted and then processed by the Vienna Convention Bureau. Approval was granted for around 650 events.

Vienna: World-Class Conference Destination

A pair of key rankings that focus exclusively on the congress sector demonstrate just how well Vienna's meetings industry coped with the challenges it faced during the pandemic: published in 2024, the 2023 International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) statistics awarded Vienna fourth place worldwide. First, second and third places went to Paris, Singapour and Lisbon. Barcelona, Prague, Rome, Madrid, Dublin and Seoul completed the top ten. The Union of International Associations (UIA) ranked Vienna in second place in 2022 (published in 2023). The list was topped by Brussels. Vienna was followed by Singapore, Tokyo and Lisbon. Places six to ten were claimed by Madrid, London, Barcelona, Seoul and Paris. The ranking for 2023 will be announced in the course of this year and was not available at the time of publication.

Legacy Projects on the Rise – Local Residents also Appreciate Meeting Destination Vienna

Local residents, businesses and the research community should also participate in the benefits brought about by Meeting Destination Vienna as stakeholders. Event organizers use the term "legacy" to describe their ambitions in this area. After all, the ability to provide a specific offering as a destination also delivers a clear competitive advantage. Following a successful pilot project with the 2023 European Association for the Study of the Liver congress – which also involved a series of talks on liver health in schools in the city and saw an open invitation for free liver screening extended to local residents – the Vienna Convention Bureau is continuing to work closely with the City of Vienna to help promote networking between international specialist associations and the city's health and education system. The goals of the new approach range from strengthening the health literacy of the population, extending the Viennese conference industry’s positive influence beyond purely economic terms to environmental and social aspects, and to build on positive attitudes to meetings in Vienna. According to the 2023 Vienna Tourism Acceptance Survey, which polls more than 3,600 people aged 18 to 70 each year, more than two thirds (69%) of respondents recognized the importance of congresses and fairs for the city. More than half (52%) also felt that strengthening Vienna’s standing as a destination for meetings was a key topic that the city should be focusing on more closely over the next few years.

Further information on the Vienna Meeting Fund as well as the full 2023 Vienna Meeting Industry Report is available at

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