In 2019, the HLF Krems, where Christine went to school, founded an alumni association. Christine was chosen as the association’s chairwoman. She had the opportunity to share the story of her career path—from her graduation from the HLF Krems to where she is today—in an article on the school’s website. You can read the article in English below, or in German on the HLF website under “Absolventenstories”.

Christine Friedreich – Hospitality Ambassador

As the daughter of a business owner, Christine Friedreich knew from an early age that she wanted to be self-employed, and her dream was to start her own business one day. After graduating from the HLF Krems, she went on to study Sports, Culture & Events Management, laying the foundation for her current expertise. After working different jobs within the fields of  tourism and event management, Christine landed her first job in hospitality after completing her studies working for the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship. As part of her role, she organized the social program and individual VIP events at various match venues in Switzerland and Austria. She then worked for Milka, managing guests at the 2009 Alpine ski world championship in Val d’Isère, and at the Austria House at the 2012 and 2014 Olympic games in London and Sochi.

In 2012, Christine finally took the plunge and founded her own company, “Friedreich Hospitality,” offering hospitality consulting services to help organizations and businesses focus on the well-being of their guests and customers. She realized early on that “there are many good events, but the needs of the guests and customers are sometimes neglected.” The importance of placing guests and customers at the center of event management and business has become a guiding principle of her company. Her first project as an independent business owner was working with the prestigious “viennacontemporary” art fair (formerly “viennafair”). For the past seven years, she has been responsible for everything from catering and decorating, to selecting and training hosts, and managing collectors and the hotel selection.

Christine and the World of Soccer

After the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship and other smaller projects related to soccer for the SKY television network, FIFA reached out to Christine with an exciting opportunity at the end of 2017. “I have always been focused on the question of what hospitality is and what it means. What kind of atmosphere makes guests and customers feel welcome and feel good? As a hospitality specialist, I like to slip into my client’s shoes to figure out what they are thinking, how they feel, and what their needs and wishes are. This allows me and my clients to work together to create a welcoming atmosphere for guests.” This way of thinking combined with Christine’s expertise and her willingness to go the extra mile for guests and clients all came into play when FIFA called her in to address the dire situation at the 2018 World Cup VIP areas in all 12 Russian stadiums. Christine sprang into action, developing design concepts, service guidelines, training programs, and catering plans to ensure that the quality of the VIP areas was just as high as the level of play on the field. Her success working on this high-profile project and other engagement even led to an exciting request from Mumbai, India. One of the key puzzle pieces that led her to where she is today, and where it all began, was the time she spent at the HLF Krems.

Enthusiastic Lecturer and Passionate Educator

In addition to being a regular lecturer at universities (including IMC Krems, University of Azerbaijan, Vienna University of Economics and Business Executive Academy, and others), Christine has been sharing her expertise in lectures and workshops since 2017. Her aim is to not only share her knowledge about hospitality, service, and event management, but also to inspire enthusiasm for entrepreneurship. In one of her more recent speaking engagements, she was invited to participate in a podium discussion on “Hospitality the Vorarlberg Way” as part of the 7th annual Vorarlberger Convention Forum. Although Christine is passionate about teaching, she believes that there is no better teacher than practical experience on the job: “I always worked in addition to my studies, ever since my school days. Education gives you a foundation, but this has always been true for me: The best way to learn is to learn by doing, and to learn from experience. That is my personal belief.”

Christine Friedrich is the chairwoman of the alumni association “HLF Krems Alumni.”