Christian Mutschlechner, Director Vienna Convention Bureau

Christian Mutschlechner is Director of the Vienna Convention Bureau, established in 1969. He has more than 30 years of experiences in the meeting industry, first as a PCO then with the Vienna CB. He is living and experiencing a lot of dramatic changes, adapting the strategy of the Vienna CB to upcoming new technologies and to the changing market place. Excellent congress infrastructure, high standard of conference support services and the cultural attractions of the city, make Vienna one of the top destinations for international conferences worldwide.

Winning strategies for a successful congress bid

Q: How do you prepare a successful bid?

The key is to carefully analyze the RFP. And very often a direct contact with the association is necessary to find out the answers to open questions which you discover when reading the RFP. The most important thing then is to follow exactly the guidelines in the RFP how the bid should be structured and what should be included and also what should not be included.

Q: Who should be involved in the preparation of a successful bid?

There is a trend on the market that associations ask the local Convention Bureau to prepare the bid. Key elements are that you have a 1st option date in a venue, a proper offer, including very often also the catering services, but also the requested number of hotel rooms should be blocked and guarantied with the bid proposed to the association.

Q: What is the role of a PCO agency in the bidding process?

It depends, very often the PCO comes in after the bid has been won as there are more PCO’s around to handle the business. Sometimes it is also the CORE PCO taking over the winning bid or being already in one way or another involved in the bidding process.

Q: Who should cover financial investments in the bidding process?

Bids very often need working hours and technical resources and we see it as the role of the Convention Bureau to run the bid and cover the costs related to it. In case there is no Convention Bureau then unfortunately the venue has to take the lead or a local PCO.

Q: Latest stories of success?

We were winning the congress of the European Society of Pediatric Endocrinology, 3,000 participants – and surprisingly there was no other candidate city. Something which never happened before to us.

Q: What always makes you smile?
When a bid was won!

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