"For me, work is collaborative pulling together"
Wolfgang Urstadt has been technical director of both Kongresskultur Bregenz and the Bregenz Festival since June 2015. In this interview he takes stock and speaks about his new start, sustainability and the perfect conditions for holding congresses.
Mr Urstadt, you have been in Bregenz for nearly two years. How have you settled in?
Changing jobs is something of a new start every time. It was easy for me and my family in Bregenz. People here are very direct, but always objective. You immediately know where you stand. For me, work is collaborative pulling together. It's nice that this collaboration has developed in so short a time.
How does working for Kongresskultur Bregenz differ from your work at Graz Opera?
The principal difference between opera and the convention business is that, in the convention business, you don't produce anything; you provide a service. We are responsible for creating optimal conditions for productions that come to us ready-made.
What advantage does Kongresskultur Bregenz have over other congress centres?
Mainly the cooperation between the congress centre and the festival. We've got personnel with very great expertise in the festival business and we can deploy them for Kongresskultur, and vice versa. This combination probably can't be matched by any other organisation. In addition to that we have a very flexible team that knows how to make the most of these synergies.
And then there's the landscape and adaptable venues that provide space for small groups and as well as for large events with several thousand people.
The congress centre is also home to a festival – how can convention holders benefit from that?
Through the very great expertise in media and sound technology. The people who work here are a bit like chameleons, moving between both worlds and applying their know-how there. In the meetings industry today there's a very strong emphasis on visuals, using images and film. We're very well positioned because of the combination of the convention business and art; we set standards.
What's new in the festival and congress centre?
We have implemented a complete change of system. Now we use one and the same media server. The immediate benefit for the customer is that there are no interface problems any more. Whatever programme the customer has on his stick, it will be compatible with our devices.
The interview was conducted by Jutta Berger.
Photo: Dietmar Mathis