In 2023, Budapest celebrates its 150th birthday. However, since the city’s historical past dates back almost two thousand years, the 150th anniversary is not about its foundation but the unification of the three ancient parts: Buda, Pest, and Óbuda.
To mark the occasion, the destination intends to celebrate both historical and recent occasions where its people co-operated harmoniously with each other.
The rejuvenation and expansion of HUNGEXPO is a great example of such co-operation: GL Events Group, the owner of HUNGEXPO, teamed up with the Hungarian government to bring Hungary’s largest event site to a whole new standard.
The main highlight of the development was the addition of a congress centre that boasts 26 section rooms, modern audio-visual technology, and can accommodate up to 2,000 people in its largest room.
The plenary room is equipped with an ultramodern Gala Seats retractable seating system, which allows the venue to be transformed from an auditorium-like layout to a flat space in a matter of minutes. The 72sqm, high-definition LED wall behind the stage is also a record-breaker in Hungary.
The reconstruction and expansion included two brand new pavilions – one of 7,250sqm and one of 5,700sqm. It also included a new contemporary main building, as well as the renovation of three other halls; overall, more than 70,000sqm of indoor and 36 hectares of outdoor space were renewed.
The combination of two new exhibition halls with the well-established congress centre has made HUNGEXPO the most extensive multifunctional exhibition and congress venue in Central Eastern Europe, with the capacity to hold events with up to 15,000 participants.
Gábor Ganczer, CEO of HUNGEXPO says: “With the established congress facilities of HUNGEXPO, Budapest is now expected to become one of Europe’s top five conference destinations. Additionally, the Hungarian capital will be able to achieve a better ICCA ranking since it will be able to host bigger events with more frequency.
“The atmosphere and the beauty of the city make it exceptional. We have more than 20,000 hotel rooms with an abundance of nice properties, ranging from big brands to boutique hotels and many hotels in historic buildings of the grand Budapest era.
“The city is a very safe environment with a reliable economy, which also has the right infrastructure in place for events. For international congresses, the presence of Hungarian professors in international association boards is another advantage. Hungary is highly regarded for the excellence of its scientists and university faculties.
International connectivity is another key advantage – Budapest is connected to over 100 global cities by direct flights.”
More events expected
In 2022 HUNGEXPO hosted the Bocuse d’Or European Selection for the second time, this event ran parallel with SIRHA Budapest, the most significant international HoReCa and Retail Show of the CEE region. The prestigious chefs’ competition was followed by the European Congress of Endodontology (ESE), with over 1,600 participants occupying the congress centre for four days in September that year.
In addition to hosting AIPC’s annual congress on ’Reshaping the Future’ last year, HUNGEXPO was also the venue for Clarion Events’ Global Special Operation Forces Symposium Europe.
Last year HUNGEXPO also hosted a huge corporate event of a domestic financial institution, which brought its 6,500 employees to the venue for a one-day conference and gala. The event was organised in the two largest halls over 30,000sqm.
This year EFTTEX, the European Fishing Tackle Trade Exhibition (15-17 June) will open the international events season. The event is returning to the venue for the fourth time.
Two major medical congresses are set to take place at HUNGEXPO in 2023. The European Academy of Neurology’s (EAN) ninth Congress will bring together six-to-eight thousand participants 1-4 July, while the Congress of the European Pain Society (EFIC) will be held 20-22 September and is expected to draw 2,000-2,500 attendees from all across Europe.
For the coming years, HUNGEXPO has already secured several large international events like the 2024 annual congress of the European Psychiatric Association or the European Respiratory Society’s (ERS-ISIAN) congress in 2025 and the Transport Research Arena and Euro PM 2026. Some big international corporate clients have also already booked the venue for 2024.
Hotels and hospitality
Budapest has a wealth of experiences waiting for business travellers to discover, from its captivating attractions and sights, to its renowned culinary scene and upscale shops. With new hotels from top international luxury chains set to open soon, the city is on the cusp of even greater prominence.
The Klotild Palota St. Regis Budapest will soon open near Elisabeth Bridge, in the Klotild Palace. It is worth noting that the St. Regis chain currently only has six hotels in Europe, so the Budapest installation will be joining a prestigious group of hotels.
Additionally, Klotild Palace has its twin building on the opposite side of the road, Matild Palace. The locations are the exact image of each other, and a Luxury Collection Hotel has already opened in Matild Palace.
W Hotels, also a luxury brand of Marriott International, is scheduled to open its first Central European hotel in Budapest this year called W Budapest Hotel. The location will be the Drechsler Palace on Andrássy Avenue, better known as the former Ballet School. The location’s attraction comes from its immediate proximity to the State Opera House, and the panoramic neo-renaissance building will house 151 rooms and one suite.
Adding another five-star hotel to the list, The Dorothea Hotel will be part of the Autograph Collection, opening this year on Dorottya Street at the centre of Budapest. The hotel will include an enclosed courtyard covered by a glass roof, creating an internal garden that will be green all year round.
HUNGEXPO team will be attending IMEX in Frankfurt this year on the Hungarian national stand F330, and looks forward to meeting event professionals visiting this year’s show. Book your appointment with Anna Szabó, Director of Business development. Discover more about HUNGEXPO through the venue’s youtube playlist here.