Two leading associations on the international congress scene recently celebrated anniversaries in Vienna


VIENNA – The International Pharmaceutical Congress Advisory Association and the Associations Conference Forum are two of the most important organizations in the international congress business. Both celebrated round anniversaries this year, and the Vienna Tourist Board’s Vienna Convention Bureau was able to persuade both to hold their anniversary congresses in the Austrian capital.

The International Pharmaceutical Congress Advisory Association (IPCAA) was founded in the year 1989 and organized its first annual congresses in Vienna at the beginning of the 1990s. The association’s members are representatives of almost all the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, which attend medical congresses, where they not only stage exhibitions, but also support symposia for the further education and training of physicians. Pharmaceutical
companies play a very significant role in the choice of venues for medical congresses.

The Vienna Tourist Board’s Vienna Convention Bureau is particularly pleased to have persuaded the IPCAA to hold its 2009 annual congress in Vienna (January 13–15, 2009, Hotel InterContinental) and to celebrate the association’s 20th anniversary in true Viennese style at Schönbrunn Palace. At the anniversary dinner organized by the Vienna Convention Bureau, director Christian Mutschlechner was pleased to welcome not only the association’s founding
president, Guido Nussbaumer of Switzerland, but also its current president, Anna Frick of Sweden. During the course of the congress program, Christian Mutschlechner also had an opportunity to explain how the Vienna Convention Bureau worked. He went on to present the facilities and services which the destination Vienna offers for medical congresses and took a look at the future of medical congresses from the perspective of a convention bureau.

“Vienna foundation” of international standing marks 10th anniversary

Immediately after this (January 15–17, 2009), the Radisson SAS Palais Hotel hosted the annual congress of the Associations Conference Forum. The association was founded in the year 1999, also in Vienna, where it has its formal headquarters. Christian Mutschlechner and his colleague Airy Garrigosa of the Barcelona Convention Bureau assisted as “midwives” at the birth of the association. The AC Forum is the only exclusively customer-oriented association
on the international congress scene. Its members are leading European and international congress organizers, whose congresses together attract a total of more than 220,000 delegates each year. The Vienna Convention Bureau presented a birthday cake during a dinner at Palais Todesco to mark the 10th anniversary of the association. These sweet congratulations were cut by Luc Hendrickx, president of the AC Forum and congress director of the International
Diabetes Federation; Isabel Bardinet, vice-president and congress director of the European Society of Cardiology; and Jocelyn Koole-Krusemeijer, past president of the AC Forum and congress director of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology.