Lately, I’ve been having flashbacks to the year 2012. So much was new, and I was just about to establish my company. Almost exactly eight years ago today, I was working round-the-clock with a brand-new team to set up the first-ever viennafair art fair under new management at the exhibition center in Vienna. We were pulling all-nighters as the new owner’s requirements were constantly changing. It sort of reminds me of the challenges we’ve faced in this extraordinarily unique Corona year, 2020.

My commitment began in February of 2012 when—in the course of building my business—I was on the lookout for a part-time job  and began doing sales calls on a freelance basis. I started noticing that in so many industries, there was a lack of hospitality, and at the end of the summer I quickly took on additional responsibilities within the framework of the art fair… from VIP management to the full-on supervision of on-site hospitality. To this day, my areas of responsibility in terms of consulting and providing ongoing support have continuously changed. We had years of ups and downs. I was always given another chance to learn new things, which resulted in extraordinary professional and personal growth. From the challenges of that first year, when guests arrived way too early, long before the official opening times, and stormed the VIP area, on to those infamous last-minute changes to events minutes before opening… In the years that followed, we took on catering and sponsor support responsibilities, which helped us build long-term relationships with those partners. In the fourth year, I supported the team in their search for a new location, with the choice finally falling on the Marx Halle. It seemed like everything was finally in order, but we quickly learned that more challenges were to come. I was attending an event in Vorarlberg when I suddenly received a phone call at 7 in the morning, letting me know that the Marx Halle was on fire. I dropped everything and jumped on the next train back to Vienna, where I rolled up my sleeves with the cleanup crew and did everything in my power to make sure that the fair could still take place. Our enormous efforts paid off and we managed to completely rebuild the site in time for the art fair to open as planned, just one week later. So every year has brought new challenges with it.

And this year alike, a year full of uncertainties, has given viennacontemporary another set of annual stumbling blocks to overcome. How can the fair take place under the government’s strict regulations? What measures do we have to take to protect the health and safety of our art enthusiasts? There were so many new questions, ones that had me tuning in to each of the federal government’s press conferences so that I could devise a plan that, in the end, would ensure that the art fair again could shine in all its glory again this year, while navigating the new framework. VC might be smaller this year, but it’s certainly more exquisite than ever. I look forward to the numerous innovations and to a few diverse, but also demanding, days dedicated entirely to art and design. In particular, this year’s VIP lounge is my personal highlight and I’m already counting the days until the doors of the Marx Halle open again. I am also looking forward to giving you a warm welcome. Click here for more information.

All in all, I can say that the art fair has laid the foundation for many new clients. I am very grateful to Renger van den Heuvel and this year’s entire management team for putting their full trust in me from the beginning and for believing in me from the start. For that, thank you! “Together, we made it into the top 20 of the top 100 international art fairs. Christine’s eye for detail and her focus on hospitality has had a significant impact.” – To quote Renger, if I may. While this might have been a turbulent year with lots of last-minute changes, I look forward to providing many more years of service to modern art.