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34 / CONFERENCE & MEETINGS WORLD / ISSUE 67InterviewTop of the classCMW MEETS WITH VIENNA CONVENTION BUREAU'S CEO CHRISTIAN MUTSCHLECHNER TO FIND OUT THE CITY'S WINNING MEETINGS FORMULAienna, in Austria, tops the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) city rankings, with 154 qualifying meetings, what's the secret to your success?Vienna offers three conference centres, Hofburg Vienna, Austria Center Vienna and Reed Messe Wien, a good meetings infrastructure is integral. A quality hotel offer is also important and Vienna offers 25,500 hotel rooms within the city limits. Lastly, a city needs to work for delegates and Vienna has a good public transport system, is easy to orientate and offers a large amount of green spaces and parks.How many meetings and conventions does Vienna host annually? In 2011 Vienna hosted more than 3,000 association meetings and corporate events. This represents around 1.4m overnight stays in the city and a contribution to the national GDP of ?838m.Where is the bureau focusing its marketing efforts? The strength of Vienna is the international association meetings market, especially European association meetings. Association meetings represent 1.1m overnight stays in 2011 compared to 330,000 overnight stays coming from the corporate meetings sector. Therefore, we focus our attentions on the European, followed by the international, association meetings market.What are meetings clients looking for in your destination?Association planners are looking for easy accessibility and easy logistics. We know also from our own reserach that delegates are focusing more on the quality of scientific content, and less on consuming the 'touristic' aspect of a destination during a scientific meeting. Any new venue developments in Vienna to look out for this year?The large infrastructure is in place, however we have two major developments which have an impact on the meetings industry in Vienna. Firstly the construction of our new central train station (unifying four separate train stations in the city to one) which will make accessibility of the city better and easier for delegates. Second the construction of the new buildings of the Vienna University of Economy, situated next to Reed Messe Wien and allowing us to benefit from the Lecture Hall Centre at the University in combination with large meetings at the Reed Messe Wien. VAbove: Christian MutschlechnerBelow: Reed Messe Wien The strength of Vienna is the international association meetings marketVIENNA CONVENTION BUREAU