ESCToday’s Head of Press Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani travelled to Vienna on a research trip prior to the Eurovision Song Contest and visited the Vienna Tourist Board office in Vienna, where he met up with Mr. Norbert Kettner (Vienna Tourist Board Managing Director) and got the chance to interview him regarding the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna and its preparations.
Vienna won the bid to host the 2015 Eurovision after a tight race with Innsbruck and Graz. What key factors helped Vienna to win the bid and why is Vienna the ideal city to host the competition?
I guess there were several factors that helped Vienna win the Eurovision host city bid. First and foremost I should say that we have more than 60,000 beds and a great number of hotels in the city. Vienna is also well connected with direct flights to more than 200 cities/destinations worldwide. The city has a great infrastructure and has the 2nd best transport system in Europe.
Vienna also enjoys credibility among the many international communities, as you know it is a melting pot of many cultures and peoples. It has an international recognition and fame and is also renowned as the City of Music! We will be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest as a Green Event. Vienna also has the gay and lesbian strategy and hosts many events such as the Lifeball, RosenBall, Pride etc.
The city is young and is the 2nd fastest growing city in Europe. There are lots of young people in Vienna due to the fact that the city has many universities on offer. It is among the biggest university cities in Europe.
When did Vienna decide it wanted to host the Eurovision Song Contest? How did things fall in place?
Planning began on the night of the 10/11 of May after Conchita triumphed in Copenhagen. A Facebook page Vienna for the Eurovision Song Contest was launched immediately. The Vienna Tourist Board was in lead for the bidding from the very first minute! We then presented our bid and started collaborating with ORF.
How has Vienna promoted itself as the host city after winning its bid?
Vienna wants to be a great host. Vienna and Austria are a leading destination. We have collaborated with ORF, the Austrian national broadcaster and have focused on 2 main promotional factors: 1) The ViennaSphere which travelled to the BIG 5 countries along with Conchita! 2) An intensive pan-European promotion.
We have also organized a VIP trip for 110 of our international key accounts in order to showcase and promote Vienna along with the contest. Our special guests and clients will be shown around the city and will be able to check the preparations leading up to the Grand Finale of the Eurovision Song Contest.
ViennaSphere in Paris, photograph featuring the Mayor of Vienna Mr. Michael Haupl, Conchita Wurst (Eurovision 2014 winner), Arabella Kiesbauer (Eurovision 2015 host) and Mr.Norbert Kettner(Managing Director- Vienna Tourist Board)
What does Vienna have in store for Eurovision? How will the city dress up for the event? What has been prepared for the ESC?
We are preparing an intense programme for the delegations and press. We are planning to showcase the different facets of the city. The city has been branded with the Eurovision logo and theme and the motto Building Bridges! The whole of Vienna will be dressed for the occasion and Eurovision will be felt, seen and heard throughout the city!
The Countdown Tower at Rathausplatz, Eurovision Trams, welcome boards, rolling boards, flags will be all featuring the Eurovision theme and art work. Vienna’s international aiport has been branded for the ocassion, with its control tower welcoming everyone to Vienna and to the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.
Austrian Airlines will be welcoming each delegation upon its arrival. Conchita’s voice will be used for the transport system; in trams, trains and stations etc.
What legacy will the Eurovision Song Contest leave for Vienna?
Vienna’s image as a city of music will be boosted and the city will gain experience in hosting such large events as the Eurovision Song Contest. It will also serve as a role model for event managing and hosting. Vienna already has experience in hosting international congresses, which are more demanding.
What message do you have for the Eurovision fans and our readers at ESCToday?
Vienna is the capital of music- be it classical or contemporary, and is internationally acclaimed as the City of Music! People visiting Vienna during the Eurovision weeks will be aware of the Eurovision Song Contest. We are proud of welcoming you all to our city. Prepare yourselves for the most welcoming Eurovision Song Contest. We hope you enjoy the contest in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and discover its beauty! Welcome to Vienna and to the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest!
ESCToday would like to thank Mr. Norbert Ketnner and Vienna Tourist Board for the interview.