- Between August 25 and 29, 2012, the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) is taking up the entire ICM – Internationales Congress Center München, plus seven exhibition halls.
- Munich, the capital city of Bavaria, and Messe München International are working hand in hand to prepare an especially warm welcome to the over 30,000 participants from more than 150 countries.
- The people of Munich also get a chance to get involved – in "Alles fürs Herz" (Everything for the Heart), an open event being held at Wittelsbacher Platz, on August 24 and 25, 2012.
Between August 25 and 29, 2012, Munich will again be transformed into the "World Capital of Cardiology". Over 30,000 heart specialists from all around the globe will be traveling to Munich for the congress of the renowned European Society of Cardiology (ESC), taking place in the ICM congress center and parts of the adjacent Messe München exhibition center. This year is the third time the ESC has opted to hold its annual congress in Bavaria´s capital, following on from the congresses of 2004 and 2008. Under the motto of "From bench to practice" the 2012 congress focuses on giving delegates valuable new ideas for them to apply in their day-to-day work; the program covers the entire spectrum of cardiovascular disease and the latest diagnosis and treatment methods.
"The City of Munich is delighted to host a top congress of such international significance and appeal. Congresses of this size position Munich as an outstanding congress destination. They are also highly attractive for the local tourism economy," said Dieter Reiter, Head of the Department of Labor and Economic Development of the City of Munich. The ICM guarantees a smooth-running event; the organization of this large-scale congress has been carefully planned in great detail for months, and all the processes perfected. For example, seating for an additional 16,000 is being provided in the exhibition halls alone.
"Anyone walking through Munich with open eyes in the days before and during the congress will sense the energy the city is putting into this event and see the appreciation of the cardiologists for this warm welcome. As Messe München we are helping ensure the success of this congress, by providing a high-tech congress and exhibition center and specialist services. All in all, however, the success of the congress and the positive impressions the delegates will be taking home with them, come from everybody working together," summed up Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, the managing director at Messe München GmbH with responsibility for congress business. His words echo the feelings of all the partners involved in the successful concerted effort over the past months.
Munich shows its heart
The City of Munich, its hotels and restaurants, the airport and Messe München International, plus many other local businesses are implementing a whole range of events and city-marketing initiatives under the motto of Munich welcomes ESC Congress – all in honor of the ESC Congress. For example, the flag of the European Society of Cardiology is being hoisted at central locations in the city. And, for the duration of the congress, taxis and buses will be sporting the Munich welcomes ESC Congress branding, specially developed for the ESC Congress. Also, for all the hostesses and employees of the participating partners, "Welcome" button badges have been produced in the same design. At the airport, the Central Station, Marienplatz and in selected subway stations, information counters are being specially set up, staffed by hostesses and guides ready to help the incoming delegates. A branded orientation system, for car drivers and those arriving by public transport, guides the delegates to the congress venue from Munich Airport, the Central Station and all the key interchanges in the city center.
The cardiologists clearly feel at home in Munich, a city whose official marketing slogan, from 1962 to 2005, was "Weltstadt mit Herz" (A World City with a Heart). Maybe that was another reason why the organizers again selected Munich as the venue for their congress. However, it was by no means a foregone conclusion: Competition from locations in Germany and abroad to hold high-ranking medical congresses is strong. Even with important events that have already been held in Munich, the host city has to put in a strong bid each time to attract them back again. Today more than ever, success in event acquisition is decided by the attractiveness and identity of the congress destination itself. Straight after the successful ESC Congress 2008 in Munich, Messe München and the Congress Office of the City of Munich continued negotiations to hold this year´s ESC Congress, and in 2009 they were given the go-ahead to host the event for the third time, in 2012. The standards expected of the host city, both by the organizers and the delegates, are constantly rising – first-class hotels and restaurants are required, the city has to be easy to reach, with direct flights from many cities, and the facilities for leisure and relaxation at the destination must also be top class. Munich delivers all of this at the very highest level.
"Everything for the heart"
The people of Munich, too, will benefit from the presence of international cardiologists in their midst, and have the chance to become actively involved in the theme of the congress. On Friday, August 24 (14:00 to 18:00) and on Saturday, August 25 (10:00 to 18:00), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kardiologie and the Deutsche Herzstiftung, in cooperation with the ESC, will be putting on an initiative entitled "Alles fürs Herz" (Everything for the Heart). The place this is being held is Wittelsbacher Platz. On offer here will be lots of practical information and advice in the form of free health checks, lectures, demonstration cookery, sporting exercises and explanations on CT and MRI scanning of the heart.