With the official opening of the new main entrance, Austria’s largest congress centre has now completed the last major phase of its multi-year, EUR 7 million exterior refurbishments. The extensive modernisation work conducted over recent years is already having a positive effect: with around EUR 13 million in revenue generated by events and almost 62,000 international participants welcomed to the venue, the 2022 figures were close to the totals reported in pre-crisis 2019. Further increases are expected for this year.

“We are very happy that we could showcase the new main entrance, complete with the giant LED wall, for the first time at the radiology congress in March. And the living green walls were ready in time for the Geosciences Congress in May,” confirmed Managing Director Congress Management and Management Board Spokesperson Susanne Baumann-Söllner. “Extensive modernisations have been going on at the venue since 2019. We were able to carry out all the work without interrupting operations. And with the completion of the main entrance, we have successfully completed all exterior remodellings,” added Michael Rotter, Managing Director responsible for Construction Services, Property and Project Management. The construction costs for the new main entrance amounted to EUR 7 million.

LED-wall, green walls, new stairways and lift groups

Besides the completion of the new main entrance that connects the square in front of the main building with the entrance hall (completed in 2022), the stairways leading to the parking decks have also been renewed, and four new elevators have been installed to facilitate smooth and barrier-free arrival and departure. The entrance area’s new trademark is a 90-square-meter LED wall, which can display bespoke content tailored to the individual event. To the left and right, a pair of green walls frame the entrance, including an automated irrigation system for the suspended plants.

“A glance at the new facade sums up our focus for the years to come: digitalisation is opening up new possibilities in the event sector while offering sustainable events is at least as important. In the long term, we aim to ensure that all of the events held at the Austria Center Vienna take place as green meetings,” Baumann-Söllner announced.

Events: closing in on pre-crisis level

A look back at the 2022 financial year also paints an encouraging picture. After very few international events – each with low in-person attendance rates – in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, things quickly picked up last year. In 2022, 61,700 international participants visited the Austria Center Vienna, mainly due to a very strong summer and autumn season, which saw totals recover to around two-thirds of the 2019 total (91,500 international participants). And at EUR 13 million, events’ revenue only just fell short of the 2019 result (EUR 13.2 million).

“There is a very clear desire for in-person events that offer a genuine event experience and opportunities for personal exchange after two years shaped by the crisis. For this year, we expect fresh increases both in terms of participant numbers and revenue, and we’re optimistic about our chances of actually surpassing the figures for 2019,” Baumann-Söllner concluded.

Internationales Amtssitz- und Konferenzzentrum Wien, Aktiengesellschaft (IAKW-AG) is responsible for maintaining the Vienna International Centre (VIC) and operating the Austria Center Vienna (ACV). The Austria Center Vienna is Austria’s largest conference centre. With 19 halls, 180 meeting rooms and some 26,000 square metres of exhibition space, it is one of the top players on the international conference circuit.