The Vienna Tourist Board has safely marked the departure from virtual-only events, having welcomed 200 guests in-person and over 1,000 virtually, to its hybrid event, Vienna Tourism Conference 2020 on 30 September.
“The successful holding of the Vienna Tourism Conference 2020 in the Vienna Hofburg, represents an important signal for Vienna as a meeting location,” said Christian Woronka, head of the Vienna Convention Bureau.”
Professor Hans-Peter Hutter, deputy head of the Department of Environmental Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna, helped devise the safety model, for which the central element was rapid, on-site Covid-19 antigen testing. Two test lanes were set up to test before admission, with results revealed in 15 minutes. Within three hours, all 200 guests had undergone medical testing and granted safe access.
Rules of conduct ensuring a safe, shared environment were also present throughout, including the usual social distancing measures, demonstrated with floor markings, as well as plexiglass partitions, mandatory face coverings, hand sanitiser stations and additional air filter systems. Once in the conference centre, guests were allocated individual seats providing physical space and mental reassurance. To guarantee a minimum distance of one metre, seats were arranged in a chessboard pattern, with the empty seats ‘reserved’ for the virtual attendees.
Equally central to the safety strategy, was ensuring strong communication at all levels on-site. A dedicated Covid-19 representative was present, as well as employees and contractors specifically trained for the event. Attendees had been fully informed of all precautionary measures taken and, in turn, what was expected of them. Interested parties were also able to follow the conference via live streaming and could exchange views in the virtual version of the ballroom using a digital avatar. Around 1,000 people joined virtually, with the opportunity to network digitally as well.
The success in hosting the Vienna Tourism Conference 2020 provides a strong foundation on which to build the industry, giving hope and optimism for the future, the tourism board concluded.
Vienna’s tailored health and safety strategy and strict implementation took the tourism board and hygiene experts three months to devise and execute and you can watch how that was done, video HERE.
Photo, courtesy of WienTourismus – Paul Bauer