Strong demand from association business
The outlook for 2017 reveals a trend towards new event formats, increased numbers of international customers and more short-notice bookings. As soon as the Hofburg ball season draws to a close, the Austrian Parliament will meet in the wing of the Hofburg containing the Redoutensaele. And a series of jubilees throughout the year will provide a fitting reminder of the venue’s illustrious history.
“The Rhythm of Vienna”The Viennese ball season has a proud history dating back more than 400 years. Each year the Hofburg welcomes more than 60,000 ball guests from all over the world. Over 20 glittering Viennese balls will glide across the polished floors of the Hofburg staterooms this year. The 150th anniversary of Johann Strauss’ legendary Blue Danube Waltz will provide plenty of inspiration for formal dancing during the 2017 ball season.From March, the focus of the event calendar will switch to conferences and international meetings – with the worlds of science, business, art and culture all well represented once again in 2017. “As an international conference and event centre in the heart of the capital, we are delighted that we will be hosting the Austrian parliament from 2017-2020. All of the other staterooms at the Hofburg are still available to event organisers as usual – they really are very special staterooms, and have witnessed some incredible moments in history,” noted Managing Director Alexandra Kaszay.The large number of new international conference bookings for 2017 represents a major success. We are putting the finishing touches to a number of luxurious banquets and receptions, and there are numerous fairs and exhibitions lined up for the autumn. Whether it’s long-term bookings or short-notice enquiries, demand for conference slots at the Hofburg Vienna is extremely strong – especially in the association business and the large-scale congress segment. “We’re particularly pleased that the Festsaal will host the dinner for the International Association Congress, which takes place from 2-4 May,” comments Managing Director Alexandra Kaszay. Bookings were recently taken for two additional conferences, meaning that 2017 will have a distinctly scientific feel at the Hofburg. Highlights in the first part of the year include the 38th International Vienna Motor Symposium (27-28 April) with over 1,000 participants, and the Congress of the European Hernia Society (23-27 May), where scientific and clinical topics related to patient care will be on the agenda.Regular events returning to the Hofburg Vienna’s staterooms in 2017 include the Pioneers Festival 2017 (1-2 June). 1,000 medical specialists will converge on the Hofburg in mid-June for the annual meeting of the Bavarian Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the Austrian Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (14-17 June). Autumn will bring a host of high-profile international conventions, as well as new exhibition formats – Design District 1010 will lead the way with a particularly promising concept. The treasures on display at Art & Antique Hofburg Vienna 2017 (4-12 November) are sure to be a magnet for connoisseurs of the finer things in life.Exquisite banquets are also on the schedule – the Romy Gala (22 April) will see a who’s who of the Austrian and international film scene make their way along the red carpet into the Hofburg’s state rooms.“Right here beats the heart of Europe”Over a period of 700 years, Austria’s rulers constantly enlarged the Hofburg, gradually transforming it into a majestic imperial residence. In the same spaces where monarchs once held court, today the Hofburg Vienna holds a unique appeal as an international event centre. Each room at the Hofburg Vienna is steeped in history. In 2017 the 300th anniversary of the birth of Empress Maria Theresa and the 180th anniversary of Empress Elisabeth’s birth will provide a fitting reminder of the bygone imperial era. It was in the Hofburg Vienna’s Rittersaal that Maria Theresa was baptised in a traditional ceremony on 15 May 1717. The font was set with precious gems and filled with holy water, to which five drops of water from the River Jordan were added. The Austrian matriarch commissioned a full refurbishment of the wing containing the Redoutensaele between 1744-1748, and hosted numerous concerts and masquerade balls (Redouten) there. It was here that Ludwig van Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony was first performed, and a series of Mozart’s smaller-scale operas were premiered. And very soon a new chapter will open in the history of the Redoutensaele when they provide a temporary location for the plenary sessions of the Austrian parliament while its usual home is being renovated.Today the Zeremoniesaal provides a reminder of the Maundy Thursday customs which saw Emperor Franz Joseph I and his Empress, Elisabeth, personally wash the feet of 12 elderly men and 12 elderly women to convey their bond with the people and their love for them. This ritual was performed in deference to religious tradition and was seen as a gesture of humility by the ruling couple. Today the space is a popular location for international scientific and business congresses and meetings.Into the FutureThe events business at Europe’s leading venue will be in full swing over the next few months, with every visitor to the Hofburg staterooms accorded a very warm welcome. In today’s fast moving world, this architectural gem in the heart of the Austrian capital is the ideal place to enjoy a truly unique atmosphere and soak up a sense of occasion.There is a distinct trend towards participants devising and shaping content and event processes themselves – which is helping to enhance the exchange of expertise. The priority now is to redefine event formats and bring them to life on an emotional level. Another objective is to generate a variety of responses on social media channels by means of face-to-face meetings and delegate networking before, during and after an event. It also represents a significant shift away from established standard concepts, and poses a challenge for event organisers, since the outcomes are open-ended. Our job is to work closely with our customers to help reinvent event formats and bring new ideas to life on an emotional level.InformationHOFBURG Vienna, Heldenplatz, 1010 ViennaT +43 (0)1 5873666, F +43 (0)1 5356426E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.hofburg.com