Gernot Marx is Managing Director at the Salzburg Convention Bureau. Having been in the MICE industry for approximately 14 years now, he has gained extensive experience on developing destinations and key products, hotel openings, PR and strategic management.

Q: Does your city have any strategic subvention plan for conferences?

Please note that we are NOT ONLY a city Convention Bureau, but we also look after the wider province of Salzburg, which consists of many different regions like the city of Salzburg, Saalfelden-Leogang, Zell am See Kaprun etc. In the city, however, there is a scheme for subventions for overnight stays, public transport and welcome receptions/concerts by the government.

Q: What kind of subventions does your city offer and for what kinds of events?
Please see:

Q: What is the most important aspect when applying for subventions?

Please see the terms and conditions of the congress subsidy formula.

Q: Does your city subvention offer include any free travel or reduced local transportation to and within the city, any venue for free, free reception, free brochure or marketing?

Reduced public transport, free welcome receptions including a concert, free brochures and maps and any other marketing material like videos, images etc.

Q: Are subventions the latest big thing in the meeting industry or should they be considered as the very last option for a destination to win an association meeting?

Subventions can never be a first approach to win association events. However, it is still one of the first questions to be asked by clients. In my opinion a congress subsidy is not the biggest factor in the decision of our clients.

Q: Tell us something about your latest success story and subvention from your city?

We recently received great feedback from ESA – the European Space Agency – who held a conference in Salzburg. They were impressed that the city and state governments sponsored the Residence Palace for their welcome reception and helped organise everything as per the client’s needs. The Residence Palace is the official state representation halls of Salzburg and widely known as a very unique venue.

What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Some destinations might pay for or actually buy in to congresses as they pay whatever the client asks for. We aim for a fair funding and support of congresses, which contributes to equal chances for destinations to win a conference. We have our USPs that speak for themselves and aim to win congresses by the right positioning and services offered within the destination, rather than buying into a congress with loads of cash. However, the congress funding in Salzburg is relevant and cut to the market requirements.