Andreas Griessler

[pullquote]Carinthia can be seen as a hidden treasure for MICE planners[/pullquote]Q: What trends do you think we will see in meetings and events in your city in the next 12months?
First of all we would like to point out that Carinthia offers two main conference and meeting destinations – the city of Klagenfurt and Villach. As a MICE destination Villach, as well as Klagenfurt, has experienced a continuous increase of congresses and events over the last years. As the forecast is very positive, both cities expect this upward trend to continue in regards of inquiries and bookings.

It can also be seen that more and more congress participants try to combine their business trip with a short private vacation. Some extend their stay and spend one or two nights more to enjoy the city areas and its surroundings.

Q: How is your city positioned as a meeting destination today and what are its positive attributes that are often overlooked?
Klagenfurt is still an insider tip for meetings and events. Its old town exerts a very special charm upon visitors. The Renaissance jewel of the south combines a proximity to nature with countless options of rich incentives, art, culture and leisure programmes.

On the other hand, Villach, with the Congress Centre Villach, the largest in Carinthia, has been making a name for itself as a conference town for years. Generally, Villach can be described as an international business town of innovation and energy and is also known as a high-tech location. Villach’s unique geographic position at the intersection of three countries (Austria, Italy & Slovenia) and cultures automatically ensures international flair and multicultural influences.

Q: How hard is it to get the message out about all that your city has to offer?
Almost all business sectors are facing increasing challenges every day and want to differentiate themselves from their competitors. As a result, we focus on a high quality customer relationship, based on an individual and very personal one-stop-shop approach, providing tailor-made information. This works very well as Villach and Klagenfurt cooperate really closely with Kärnten Convention. We try to combine our strengths and take advantage of the possible synergies to develop a stronger position as a MICE destination, as well as assert our competitiveness also on the international market.

Q: How do you see relationship between the meetings industry and the tourism industry?
There are big differences between leisure guests and business guests, as they have completely different requirements. As a result, they also need a different service and guest handling.

Q: Tell us something that might surprise meeting planners about your city?
Carinthia can be seen as a hidden treasure for MICE planners. Located in the heart of the Alps-Adriatic-Region Carinthia offers a combination of crystal clear, turquoise swimming lakes, 23 ski regions and many hiking regions, all proudly crowned by the Großglockner, the highest mountain of Austria. This blesses Carinthia with an impressive activity range and a perfect infrastructure for any kind of event. Here you will immediately notice that work and enjoyment go hand in hand.

Due to the geographic position of both cities, Klagenfurt and Villach, you can experience a lot of international influences. Italy and Slovenia are literally just a stone’s throw away, thus visiting and experiencing three countries in a single day is also a very popular topic for an incentive programme.

Q: Can content marketing drive meeting planners to your destination?
It’s all about connection with the value of the destination. The content has to be clear, authentic, attractive and, finally, inspiring. The customer is drawn into a new, deeply personal and unique experience, stimulating his decision process. Content marketing is an excellent tool oriented towards long term success.