Five months on from the announcement of the Vienna Meeting Fund, which provided €4m (US$4.6m) to support national and international organisers host meetings in the Austrian capital, there are early positive signs for the scheme.
Two hundred and forty-two congresses and corporate conferences have already received preliminary funding approval from the Vienna Convention Bureau (VCB), amounting to nearly €2.5m promised in aid. This equates to more than 60% of the €4m funding pot.
According to projections, these events will equate to an added value of €371m for the city by the end of 2023.
Funding applications have come 67% from the congress sector and 33% from corporate events, said Christian Woronka, head of the VCB, who added that current plans would physically bring around 146,000 participants to Vienna, with more than 40% of the applications so far for 2022 and 2023. “Over half (51%) of the events will take place with participants exclusively on site, the rest are hybrid events.”
The majority of submissions come from the fields of human medicine, business, banking and finance. The seventh Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) has already taken place at the Austria Center Vienna, with more than 11,000 mainly virtually connected participants.
Once a conference has been held, the agreed subsidy is paid out provided all necessary documents have been submitted in accordance with the subsidy guidelines. The maximum amount of funding per event is €60,000.