In May 2021, the City of Vienna and the Vienna Convention Bureau at the Vienna Tourist Board contributed €4m to the Vienna Meeting Fund 2021-2023, helping the city’s meetings industry to restart post-Covid. More than 500 applications have been submitted since the Fund opened and, already, 392 congresses and corporate meetings scheduled to take place in Vienna until 2023 have received the full or a preliminary funding commitment.
Now that funding has been exhausted and, from 1 July, submissions will open for a new round – the Vienna Meeting Fund 2022-2024.
The CVB says the meetings and conferences supported so far will generate more than €557m in added value revenue.
The City of Vienna has confirmed committing an additional €4m to the Vienna Meeting Fund 2022-2024 for which applications can be submitted from 1 July.
“We are very pleased about the new edition of the Vienna Meeting Fund, one of the flagship projects of the City of Vienna’s Economic and Innovation Strategy 2030. The additional funds are an important acquisition tool and support event organisers and thus the meetings industry, as well as tourism as a whole in Vienna,” said Christian Woronka, head of the Vienna Convention Bureau and Market Management at the Vienna Tourist Board.
“The funding has positive effects along the entire value chain of the meetings industry. After all, in addition to booked venues, events also mean overnight stays in Viennese accommodation, among other things, thus securing jobs in other areas of the Visitor Economy,” Woronka added.
In the first edition of the Vienna Meeting Fund, almost two-thirds of the funded events (72%) were congresses (282) and 28% were corporate events (110). More than half of these meetings (54%) are hybrid formats.
In total, about 231,000 attendees participated or will participate in the funded meetings by the end of 2023, with half (50%) being international guests. Medicine and biological sciences account for 16% of the disciplines represented, business and computer sciences (ICT) each account for 11%.
“A special asset in comparison to our international competitors was the fact that all consulting and funding services relating to Vienna as a meeting destination were handled quickly and with minimal organisational effort from a single source directly at the Vienna Convention Bureau,” noted Woronka, adding that more than 81% of the respondents had also confirmed that the Meeting Fund was a decisive factor in their decision to hold their meeting in Vienna.
The bureau says the Fund is the first broad-based Restart programme in Europe that takes hybrid meetings into account in a separate funding module and is aimed not only at national but also international organisers.
The funding is deliberately open to large international companies and organisations based in Vienna in the sense of strengthening Vienna’s headquarters and location function.
Also in its new edition 2022-2024, the Vienna Meeting Fund of the City of Vienna will be handled by the Vienna Convention Bureau in WienTourismus and can be applied for meetings that take place in Vienna until 31 December, 2024.
The support will be paid out after the meeting has been held and all necessary supporting documents have been submitted; before that, applicants will receive a conditional funding commitment. The amount of funding is tied to certain criteria, including the number of participants. The maximum funding amount per event is €60,000. The later the congress or corporate event takes place, the stricter the criteria becomes. In 2024, for example, a minimum of 5,000 attendants are required and at least half of the participant overnight stays must come from abroad in order to reach the maximum funding amount.
For more information on the Vienna Meeting Fund 2022-2024, the funding guidelines and how to apply, visit: http://www.vienna.convention.at as of 1 July, 2022.
Photo: foto.vienna.info/ PID David Bohmann