Vienna has won the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation’s 13th Congress – testament not only to its strong medical knowledge hub, but its vast venues.

More than 6,000 delegates will meet at the Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center in February 2018.

Nicole Eichinger, CEO of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO), said: “Compared to many other scientific meetings where the trend goes to smaller plenary meetings and more parallel sessions, our annual congress is still running as a linear programme in one key plenary room, which has to accommodate up to 5,500 participants. With this meeting structure we are rather unique in the market.”

Vienna hosted the annual ECCO Congress for the first time in 2013 with great success and is indeed the home headquarters for ECCO. The city is at the forefront of a number of scientific advances across the field of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), with research undertaken at the University of Vienna, Lainz Hospital and Rudolfstiftung Hospital, among others. The theme for the ECCO Congress 2018 is ’Science improving patients’ lives’ with special sections on early stage disease, paediatric IBD, prediction, novel treatment strategies, diagnosis and management of dysplasia, and best perioperative care. It is expected that once again in 2018 more than 1,000 scientific abstracts will be submitted to the scientific organising committee.

Vienna has a burgeoning life science sector, with a particular focus on human medicine-related research, that is helping to attract international association events. The city is home to nine universities overall, five technical colleges and around 1,000 research institutions. Key facilities include the Campus Vienna Biocenter for biotechnology and Campus MedUni Vienna for biomedicine-related research.

This pool of medical knowledge combines with the city’s vast venue selection to set Vienna apart as a destination for mega medical events. In 2016 the city welcomed some 77,000 international delegates at 10 major congresses – eight of them in the medical sector. These included The European Congress of Radiology, the European Renal Association, the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress, the Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, the United European Gastroenterology Week, and the Annual European Congress of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research.

Christian Mutschlechner, head of the Vienna Convention Bureau, added: “We are fortunate in Vienna that we are able to offer plenary halls for more than 5,000 participants, thus showing the high level of variety the meeting destination Vienna has to offer.”