Austria Center Vienna
© IAKW AG, Marius Höfinger

Conference for congress professionals coming to Vienna in 2017

The 300 or so delegates to the annual Associations Network Congress have a major influence on the international congress business. Directors and senior managers of scientific associations in every conceivable discipline, they are not only charged with organizing their associations' congresses, they are also responsible for selecting the destinations for them. It is hard to imagine a better audience when it comes to demonstrating a destination's strengths. Respected representatives of Vienna's congress industry joined forces with the Vienna Tourist Board's Vienna Convention Bureau in a bid to secure the 2017 event (taking place May 2-4) for Vienna. The Austria Center Vienna, the Hofburg Vienna and Austrian Airlines are supporting the event alongside congress managers RAM Consulting, travel agent Mondial and the Hotel Imperial and Hotel Bristol, members of the Starwood Hotels group.

Damian Hutt, Executive Director of Associations Network, explained the decision to host the 2017 event in Vienna: "Vienna is one of the leading association meetings destinations in the world and has a proven record for many, many years. The partnership decision with Vienna was for me simple - an obvious choice and highly professional and therefore I am looking forward to our Associations Congress in Vienna in 2017 which will attract, I am convinced, a record number of association representatives. The excellent coordination of the proposal by the Vienna Convention Bureau made it easy to choose Vienna for our event in 2017."

The ultimate showcase for any meetings destination

The Associations World Congress is always held ahead of the IMEX incentive travel, meetings and events industry exhibition in Frankfurt - but rather than following a traditional sales format like IMEX, it was created as high-level training and networking event for association representatives. The congress provides attendees with an opportunity to learn about and thoroughly understand current trends and developments, so that they can use the insights they take away to optimize their own events. VCB director Christian Mutschlechner explained: "They are a highly-experienced, critical audience and the ultimate test for any meetings destination. Anyone that puts in a convincing performance stands to benefit enormously. As far as Mr. Hutt's hopes of a record turnout in Vienna go, I have to say that I am confident: with the headquarters of more than 500 associations registered here, having the Associations World Congress 'on the doorstep' is a highly attractive prospect for their representatives." Susanne Baumann-Söllner, CEO of the Austria Center Vienna, added: "This is an excellent chance for Vienna to demonstrate its premium quality credentials in the meetings industry, and it is especially important for the Austria Center Vienna because it gives us the opportunity to showcase the countless new additions to the venue - from the new furnishings to the complete redesign of whole parts of the building - as well as our commitment and dedication."

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