International Congress guests, probably because of the mighty shadow of Vienna, do not expect much of Graz, but in the end, they are pleasantly surprised. Graz has for many years been a model of congress destination marketing and management. If we look from the perspective of public and private infrastructure, Graz is the most developed regional convention destination. Only five years ago regional competitors would qualify behind the second largest Austrian city, but recently the gap has been significantly reduced. The new capitals on the territory of the former Yugoslavia have taken from it its supremacy and because of this, on the ICCA scale it is now ranked on lower places. The centre of culture, cuisine, design, creativity, technology and much more, which embodies Graz is far from saying the last congress word.

Comparison with the region:
Being the first is sometimes difficult. Graz was among the first to develop the brand of the destination, congress grants and many other marketing innovations, from which other regional convention bureaus drew inspiration. However, former pupils have caught up and in the field of branding and in some other areas they have even moved ahead of their teacher. Graz may not be the most seductive convention destination, however, it could be highlighted that Graz and Styria live with congress tourism throughout the year. To this a well developed infrastructure and additional offer throughout the year, where tradition combines with the present, and where everyone can find an offer to their taste, their needs and their budget. Graz with the focus on green meetings will definitely find a right answer to the ubiquitous crisis, which has not bypassed even the congress tourism.

A long-time meetings industry addict, Gorazd is the Founder and owner of marketing and event agency Toleranca Marketing. He has many years of experience in planning, preparing and carrying out large international meetings and exhibitions. As the founder of the "Power to the Meetings" methodology, he still firmly believes in the power of live events and human to human communication. He is also the author of numerous articles and editor-in-chief of the meetings industry magazine Kongres Magazine.