vienna_convention_bureau

MEETING STAR 2018

Ever since 2010, the Editorial Board of Kongres Magazine has been presenting fresh and interesting meeting destinations to international meeting planners.

Till this day we have presented 84 Meetologues from 23 destinations. Each destination is evaluated based on 75 different criteria that enable fair comparison of the destinations. Meeting organizers appreciate the expertise, value and practicality of this guide through congress destinations.

XL – MEETING DESTINATIONS
Destinations that can host more than 2,000 congress attendees
The results of 2018 evaluation are presented in detail below.

TOP 10 XL-DESTINATIONS IN 2018

  • 1. VIENNA 4.77
  • 2. ZURICH 4.70
  • 3. MÜNICH 4.69
  • 4. EDINBURGH 4.63
  • 5. BERLIN 4.62
  • 6. DUBAI 4.61
  • 7. PRAGUE 4.59
  • 8. BARCELONA 4.53
  • 9. ATHENS 4.51
  • 10. LONDON 4.47

SMART MICE CITY

4* and 5* hotel rooms19,877
4* and 5* hotels189
Destination population1,867,960
Banquet hall maximum capacity2,500
Largest hall in the city55,000 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity4,320

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

VIENNA INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2018 
DESTINATION MARK:4.77
Natural and cultural factors:4.91
General and transport infrastructure:4.98
Tourist infrastructure:4.99
Meeting infrastructure:5.00
Subjective grade:4.91
Marketing Buzz:4.77
ICCA index:5.00
Numbeo quality of life Index:3.87
Numbeo Safety Index:4.24
ACI Airport Connectivity Index5.00

1. VIENNA, AUSTRIA 4.77/5


There are cities in the world which can prove quite stressful for congress participants, and then there is Vienna. From first-hand experience I can confirm that the city is easy to get around, pleasant and enjoyable and already belongs among the so-called ‘smart’ cities of today. Vienna’s city authorities are convinced that the ‘smart’ city can grow whilst at the same time reducing the use of natural resources. One of the crucial initiatives is the intensive inclusion of the city’s residents, since there is a desire that innovations help improve living standards for all. It is all this that places Vienna among the smart cities of the future and makes it an excellent meeting destination.

THE CLASSIC IN A NEW LIGHT

4* and 5* hotel rooms14,706
4* and 5* hotels100
Destination population1,527,881
Banquet hall maximum capacity700
Largest hall in the city4,710 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity3,100

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

ZURICH INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2018 
DESTINATION MARK:4.70
Natural and cultural factors:4.83
General and transport infrastructure:4.92
Tourist infrastructure:4.87
Meeting infrastructure:4.95
Subjective grade:4.79
Marketing Buzz:4.47
ICCA index:4.73
Numbeo quality of life Index:4.03
Numbeo Safety Index:4.46
ACI Airport Connectivity Index5.00

2. ZURICH, SWITZERLAND 4.70/5


According to Numbeo, Zurich is a city with one of the highest “quality of life” indexes in our comparison and a similiar result is provided by Mercer. Switzerland’s biggest city boasts quite a few superlatives and is known as the commercial, cultural and congress centre of Switzerland. It is the hub for train, road and air traffic, which gives it a big advantage over its competitors. It offer great congress infrastructure in the Kongresshaus Zurich and numerous other spaces, acccompanied by some amazing special venues. Congress guests will appreciate the excellent public transport, which, in combination with great public infrastructure, is a must if you want to stay at the top of your game.

LIVEABLE MEETINGS

munich_convention_bureau
4* and 5* hotel rooms12,744
4* and 5* hotels90
Destination population1,450,381
Banquet hall maximum capacity2,160
Largest hall in the city11,000 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity2,387

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

MUNICH INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2018 
DESTINATION MARK:4.69
Natural and cultural factors:4.81
General and transport infrastructure:4.95
Tourist infrastructure:4.96
Meeting infrastructure:4.94
Subjective grade:4.82
Marketing Buzz:4.48
ICCA index:4.40
Numbeo quality of life Index:3.86
Numbeo Safety Index:4.72
ACI Airport Connectivity Index5.00

3. MUNICH, GERMANY 4.69/5


Unsurprisingly, the city of quality beer, wurst, dirndl skirts and “lederhosen” is also a first-class European congress destination with one of the most developed fair infrastructures in the wider region. There are 31,000 hotel rooms in 395 excellent hotels with conference capacities. Added to the charm and picturesqueness of the Bavarian capital are numerous green open spaces and a high quality of living. Munich airport is also one of the key European air-traffic hubs, cementing the city’s position on the world congress map. Its history has always been distinguished by major events, including the 1972 Summer Olympics. In the world’s beer capital with centuries of tradition, beer doesn’t just flow freely in October, but the whole year round. The city belongs at the very top of our evaluation.

AN IRRESISTIBLE PASSION FOR MEETINGS 

Edinburgh skyline
4* and 5* hotel rooms10,405
4* and 5* hotels141
Destination population464,990
Banquet hall maximum capacity1,400
Largest hall in the city15,200 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity2,000

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

EDINBURGH INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2018 
DESTINATION MARK:4.63
Natural and cultural factors:4.90
General and transport infrastructure:4.90
Tourist infrastructure:4.96
Meeting infrastructure:4.98
Subjective grade:4.89
Marketing Buzz:4.88
ICCA index:4.78
Numbeo quality of life Index:3.89
Numbeo Safety Index:3.69
ACI Airport Connectivity Index4.39

4. EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND 4.63/5


Edinburgh is a top convention destination, which is blessed with outstanding cultural and historical heritage. The destination is in its mature phase, with a fully-developed congress infrastructure and excellent destination management. Four universities and numerous centres of excellence in science and art related to the Edinburgh Science Triangle are a guarantee for further successful development of the destination. Congresses and events are a part of a scientific breakthrough and further development of the city, as it stimulates numerous multiplier effects. The key stakeholders in Edinburgh are aware of this and this message should also be transmitted as an example of best practice in new European destinations.

WALK THE WALK

berlin-convention-bureau
4* and 5* hotel rooms117,637
4* and 5* hotels634
Destination population3,671,000
Banquet hall maximum capacity3,500
Largest hall in the city6,015 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity5,000

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

BERLIN INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2018 
DESTINATION MARK:4.62
Natural and cultural factors:4.81
General and transport infrastructure:4.85
Tourist infrastructure:4.99
Meeting infrastructure:4.98
Subjective grade:4.87
Marketing Buzz:4.94
ICCA index:4.98
Numbeo quality of life Index:3.43
Numbeo Safety Index:3.36
ACI Airport Connectivity Index5.00

5. BERLIN, GERMANY 4.62/5


Berlin is exciting in every sense of the word and one can only speculate on the range of its different options in this congress ‘land of plenty’. The Convention Bureau is known for its ingenuity, creativity and the rich offer it brings together. Moreover, Berlin’s congress offer is jam-packed into a very reasonably priced package. It’s no surprise that the city hosts more than 115,000 events annually and this number is expected to increase once the new Berlin Brandenburg airport finally opens its doors. Fuse Berlin’s excellent congress offer with its urban heartbeat and you get a first-class congress destination. The city is also the capital of fun, dance, creativity, socializing and unforgettable nightlife, which sets it apart from its competitors.

BACK TO THE FUTURE

dubai
4* and 5* hotel rooms62,146
4* and 5* hotels229
Destination population3,058,845
Banquet hall maximum capacity3,440
Largest hall in the city16,000 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity15,000

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

DUBAI INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2018 
DESTINATION MARK:4.61
Natural and cultural factors:4.72
General and transport infrastructure:4.85
Tourist infrastructure:4.98
Meeting infrastructure:4.91
Subjective grade:4.81
Marketing Buzz:4.91
ICCA index:4.17
Numbeo quality of life Index:3.28
Numbeo Safety Index:4.49
ACI Airport Connectivity Index5.00

6. DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 4.61/5


Dubai is, without a doubt, a city of superlatives, which is becoming one of the world’s congress capitals. Contributing to that goal are excellent air connectivity, modern infrastructure and duty-free zones. There are currently 23 of those zones in Dubai, from the Media Zone and Internet-City to Design City, all of which attract major international corporations wanting to expand their business. Bringing their headquarters to Dubai are also educational institutions, the main generator of congress events in the city. At thorough inspection, Dubai reveals itself as a mature and well-organized congress destination with a diverse hotel offer. Today, there are 62.146 rooms in 4 and 5 star hotels. The entire infrastructure is capable of hosting the largest international events like Expo 2020 and the ICCA congress, which is taking place this year. Dubai has raised the hotel business and congress tourism to a level that dictates further development in the world.

SLAVIC PARIS 

4* and 5* hotel rooms22,491
4* and 5* hotels258
Destination population1,280,508
Banquet hall maximum capacity2,400
Largest hall in the city10,237 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity13,500

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

PRAGUE INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2018 
DESTINATION MARK:4.59
Natural and cultural factors:4.87
General and transport infrastructure:4.69
Tourist infrastructure:4.91
Meeting infrastructure:4.89
Subjective grade:4.84
Marketing Buzz:4.92
ICCA index:4.93
Numbeo quality of life Index:3.24
Numbeo Safety Index:4.02
ACI Airport Connectivity Index:4.62

7. PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC 4.59/5


Prague has for a long time not been an Eastern European gem, but a true European tourist metropolis with a diverse and comprehensive offer, luxury hotels and sometimes too high prices. The story is reminiscent of Škoda, of which the Czechs are very proud and is one of the oldest automotive in Europe. Reputable, solid and reliable pre-war limousines were after the war changed by cars that were behind the times. Today, Škoda’s shine, again and again, puts the Czech manufacturer where it once was. The same can be said for the meetings industry, where Prague began to seriously falter the locations top of the European league. If we look at the position of Prague regionally, Prague certainly has all the conditions to remain one of the most popular congress destinations for a long time.

THE MEDITERRANEAN BREVIARY

Barcelona
4* and 5* hotel rooms35,253
4* and 5* hotels428
Destination population1,604,555
Banquet hall maximum capacity8,096
Largest hall in the city10,000 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity14,288

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

BARCELONA INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2018 
DESTINATION MARK:4.53
Natural and cultural factors:4.88
General and transport infrastructure:4.86
Tourist infrastructure:5.00
Meeting infrastructure:4.99
Subjective grade:4.79
Marketing Buzz:4.91
ICCA index:5.00
Numbeo quality of life Index:2.83
Numbeo Safety Index:3.03
ACI Airport Connectivity Index5.00

8. BARCELONA, SPAIN 4.53/5


Spain’s second largest city has become an annual stop on the congress pilgrimage to IBTM World. Its extroversion and trendy city architecture and design, in combination with a healthy dose of Mediterranean casualness, is all worthy of serious praise and admiration. Barcelona is a city that comes alive in the evening, when it becomes a paradise for lovers of cuisine, cool taverns and cultural icons. Barcelona’s list-topping luxury and designer hotels and a nearly perfect congress infrastructure have positioned the city at the very peak of Europe’s congress industry. Although it is battling its current “OMG, there are so many tourists!” syndrome, we believe it will soon evolve into a city where the congress industry becomes part of the positive transformation of an otherwise overcrowded destination.

BRIDGING THE GAP 

athens-greece
4* and 5* hotel rooms4,152
4* and 5* hotels41
Destination population664,046
Banquet hall maximum capacity1,300
Largest hall in the city13,000 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity1,960

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

ATHENS INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2018 
DESTINATION MARK:4.51
Natural and cultural factors:4.89
General and transport infrastructure:4.73
Tourist infrastructure:4.98
Meeting infrastructure:4.99
Subjective grade:4.85
Marketing Buzz:4.85
ICCA index:4.70
Numbeo quality of life Index:2.77
Numbeo Safety Index:3.36
ACI Airport Connectivity Index:4.99

9. ATHENS, GREECE 4.51/5


A historic city with excellent connectivity to the rest of the world and where you will find infrastructure befitting a major European capital, but with better weather and in a more interesting location. The Athens allure includes 300 days of sunshine a year, more than 30,000 hotel rooms in 439 hotels, 95,000 sq.m of conference space, 1,000+ restaurants and 200,000 flights per year. All major hotels in the city underwent a refurbishment for the 2004 Olympics. Athens is an attractive destination in its own, very special way. It is a unique combination of the old and the new, set in a spectacular Mediterranean landscape.

MAKE IT BIG

4* and 5* hotel rooms102,963
4* and 5* hotels924
Destination population8,673,713
Banquet hall maximum capacity3,000
Largest hall in the city10,000 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity10,000

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

LONDON INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2018 
DESTINATION MARK:4.47
Natural and cultural factors:4.73
General and transport infrastructure:4.83
Tourist infrastructure:5.00
Meeting infrastructure:4.99
Subjective grade:4.79
Marketing Buzz:4.95
ICCA index:4.95
Numbeo quality of life Index:2.59
Numbeo Safety Index:2.84
ACI Airport Connectivity Index:5.00

10. LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM 4.47/5


London is the unofficial capital of Europe and a place where events are going on day and night, from the galactic Olympic Games to a series of other diverse events. The city has no match in Europe in terms of variety and from the moment the development of the congress scene became a priority it has been doing very well indeed. It is by far the most accessible destination on our list, boasting five airports in the vicinity of its city centre. For quite some time now, it has been the mecca for foodies and all of the corporate events connected to it. The ExCel Centre is the heart of London’s congress offer, capable of carrying out mega events that not a lot of other cities can handle. Its prosperity can only be rocked by the question of safety, which virtually no European city is able to avoid right now.

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