It is presently one of just four healthy venues in Europe
Messe Wien Exhibitions & Congress Center, run by Reed Exhibitions, has just become the first venue in Austria entitled to call itself a ‘Healthy Venue’ according to the stipulations of the World Obesity Federation. Messe Wien is owned by the city of Vienna and administered by MBG (Wiener Messe Besitz GmbH), an organisation within the Vienna Holding Group. It is presently one of just four healthy venues in Europe, and indeed only the fifth in the world. “We are very proud to be domestic pioneers in the field of healthy events”, enthused Benedikt Binder-Krieglstein, CEO of Reed Exhibitions Österreich.
It’s not uncommon to see people grabbing unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks at trade fairs, congresses and meetings – both participants*) and staff. Many are under too much pressure to get enough exercise and are exposed to artificial light for the entire event – which, in turn, causes even more stress and diminishes any sense of wellbeing. Consequently, in the past few months, as the operators of Messe Wien, Reed Exhibitions has been cooperating with the World Obesity Federation to comply with all criteria required to be awarded ‘Healthy Venue’ status. “Close proximity to the Wiener Prater park, the city’s very own verdant inner-city oasis, was a further source of inspiration on the road to becoming a healthy venue. Now, together with our partners and customers, we are looking forward to the implementation phase – to offering more healthy catering, and encouraging people to take more exercise at fairs and congresses. This is our contribution in the battle against unhealthy habits and diets in the events industry”, Mr. Binder-Krieglstein explains.
HEALTHIER FAIRS AND CONGRESSES
In its role as a healthy venue, Messe Wien encourages visitors and staff to live more healthily during events, thus helping the organisers to put theory into practice. The changes cover safety in the workplace, healthy catering and increased exercising. According to the World Obesity Federation, enhancements in these three regards improve our attention span, concentration and productivity. From now on Messe Wien customers can choose from a selection of healthy and high-quality, low-sugar, low-salt foods, and also pick items that don’t contain saturated fats. Furthermore, Reed Exhibitions has made free drinking water available throughout the entire complex, as well as offering a variety of means of increasing the amount of movement and exercise enjoyed by participants at events. These include the chance to cycle to and from the venue using options, such as the Citybike Wien service – which provides three pick-up/drop-off stations close to the venue, tips for participants on how to get to and from the show on foot, the use of standing-height tables at conferences and meetings, the provision of access to sports, fitness and recreational amenities, as well as active promotion of use of leisure facilities in the immediate vicinity – such as the Wiener Prater park.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR SOCIETAL WELLBEING
Every year, the RELX Group, the parent company of Reed Exhibitions Österreich, publishes its CSR report based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations sustainability programme has been used by the RELX Group to provide guidelines for corporate activity. The new service and infrastructure of this ‘Healthy Venue’ correspond with one of the UN goals; that of ensuring a healthy life and a sense of wellbeing are enjoyed by people of all ages.