The Austria Center Vienna is gearing up for a packed year of congresses in 2022. After two years of postponements and a new focus on online formats, 2022 is set to see a return for numerous congresses with thousands of on-site participants.
To ensure that these events play out as safely as possible, the majority of them will be held during the extended summer months. Meanwhile, the vaccination and testing facility at the venue will remain in operation until the spring at least.
Susanne Baumann-Söllner, managing director of the Austria Center Vienna, said: “We are already busy this year preparing for the phased return of large-scale congresses. Our experiences of numerous national and international restrictions last winter led us to schedule as many events as possible between April and October.”
In accordance with the new timeline, the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) will take place at the end of May, followed by the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) Conference and European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Congress in June, and the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) in July 2022. Additional highlights include the Baukongress at the end of April, the Annual Meeting of the International Continence Society (ICS) and the Society for Arthroscopy and Joint-Surgery (AGA) Congress in September, with the Annual Meeting of the German Society for Hematology and Medical Oncology (DGHO) and European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) scheduled for October.
Baumann-Söllner explained the important of flexibility in this year’s planning: “The industry is waiting to see how the number of infections and the resulting measures develop. But by offering organisers the option of switching to a summertime slot and enabling them to stage their gatherings as hybrid events with full flexibility in terms of on-site participant numbers, we have been able to give our customers the highest possible degree of planning security.”
Sustainable congresses are the future
In line with its status as the first certified green conference centre in the country, the Austria Center Vienna published its first sustainability report in late 2021 which targets several measures, including the goal of increasing the number of green meetings and events at the centre over the next few years.
Baumann-Söllner commented: “The industry is undergoing a fundamental shift. Topics such as hybrid offerings, options for getting to and from the venue and flexibility when it comes to the amount of time participants actually take part are becoming more important all the time. Anyone who decides to travel to another country for a congress needs a compelling reason to do so. And it is our job to provide the perfect environment for knowledge transfer and networking. This now includes our leafy terraces and outdoor areas, which will experience another major growth spurt this year.”