1 Meeting Destination – 3 B2B Influencers – 9 Challenges

MICE Influencer Challenge – Austria, a meeting destination put to the test

All three influencers – Maggie Childs, Ali Mahlodji and Hannes Krieger – are firmly anchored in the business world. Their current project? To take a close look at Austria as a meeting country. That’s because all its nine federal provinces want to demonstrate that the fringe events held around their meeting industry destinations and locations are truly diverse and extraordinary. With one female and two male B2B influencers chosen to deliver the evidence, the perfect choice was made. The MICE Influencer Challenge was born. 

  Accompanied by a film team, they each visit three of Austria’s federal provinces where they face daring, action-packed and creative challenges – all very different, but each one typical for the respective province. 

  Find out all the details about what Maggie, Ali and Hannes experienced during the MICE Influencer Challenge here.

Three B2B influencers on behalf of the meeting destination, Austria

Maggie Childs – The cosmopolitan

Maggie originally comes from New York, but lives in Vienna. With her wealth of knowledge of the American metropolis, she now wants to know what Austria has to offer as a meeting destination. The bubbly journalist, editor and producer worked for TV, print and online media, including Condé Nast Traveller, Wiley Publishing and the Associated Press. She has also reported on business and start-ups for the Austrian daily newspaper "Die Presse." Maggie is co-founder of the cross-media publishing house "Home Town Media". Additionally, the influencer is on the board of the non-profit think tank "AustrianStartups," and shares her insights about innovations, technology, economic philosophy, media and US politics on stages and screens all over the world. 

Maggie’s three challenges take place in Tirol, Upper Austria and Vienna


LinkedIn Maggie Childs 

Instagram maggie_childs  


Ali Mahlodji – The business mentor

Ali Mahlodji came to Austria as a child refugee and eventually dropped out of school. After trying out more than 40 different jobs – from cleaner to popcorn seller in a cinema – he realised that none of them really gave him any job satisfaction. Now, why should exactly Ali be our man to scrutinise Austria as a meeting destination? Because hardly anyone understands today's working world and the question of meaning and vocation like he does. From being a former “failure in the system," Ali took the plunge and made the transition to becoming a successful entrepreneur and expert on labour, education and youth. He founded the career guidance platforms "watchado.com" and "FutureRocka," and is also an international keynote speaker and mentor. He motivates and inspires predominantly young people on the topics of "Leadership Next Generation" and "Diversity Unplugged." By doing this, he is contributing significantly to making our society fit for the future. 

Besides that, Ali is a really cool guy who gives his all for his challenges in Carinthia, Styria and Burgenland


LinkedIn Ali Mahlodji 

Instagram ali.mahlodji.official 

Facebook Ali Mahlodji 


Hannes Krieger – Mr. Startup

To be successful professionally, you have to have a good network – and that, with the right people. Hannes Krieger is exactly such a person. Known as Mr. Start-Up, he is a business all-rounder and a brilliant networker. When not facing demanding challenges on behalf of Austria as a meeting destination, he can be found passing on his extensive experience as a venture scout and ecosystem builder to young entrepreneurs in various start-up and entrepreneurship programmes. Hannes launched, for example, the networking series of events "analog.space" and "space.wine." And as a techfluencer, he reports on high-tech and deep-tech start-ups too. 

Hannes takes on his challenges in the federal provinces of Vorarlberg, Salzburg and Lower Austria


LinkedIn Hannes A. H. Krieger 

Instagram krieger.hannes 



Ali in Burgenland: Relaxed domestic animal trainer for one day  

Today Ali is taking it easy in Burgenland, where he heads to the St. Martins Therme & Lodge for his challenge.

Combining conference rooms with a wellness oasis, this extraordinary location offers guests some fascinating flora and fauna, all thanks to it lying on the edge of a nature reserve. There’s always something new to discover here when out on a safari! Speaking of fauna – Ali's challenge also revolves around animals: "Train a chicken" is written on his to-do list! In the video find out how the influencer tackles this and what connection his task has with leadership training.


Ali in Carinthia: Ice-cold challenge for cool guys 

Ali’s challenge in Carinthia deals with "stepping out of your comfort zone." In the conference location Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Carinzia he meets up with the former professional athlete, speaker and corporate coach Dieter Kalt.


Armed with loads of motivational support, the influencer is happy to literally be taken for a spin on the ice. In this case, on the frozen surface of Lake Weissensee, where Ali has a shot at being an ice hockey player.

Ravenous from the daredevilry of his challenge, Ali then has a look around the kitchen of the hotel "Die Forelle" to discover what's behind the Slow Food movement – food sampling included, of course. More details in the video.


Ali in Styria: Pit stop in the wine country

Smoking tyres, a rush of adrenaline and fast lane frenzy: A truly challenging day awaits Ali at the Red Bull Ring. After all, this extraordinary conference location comes with a racetrack – and high-performance sports cars.

Whoever can take on the 300 HP challenge as courageously as this influencer, can surely master another task. And for that, it’s off to the idyllic vineyards of the Harkamp winery in southern Styria for something completely different. Here Ali has the pleasure of experiencing what attracts so many seminar participants to this beautiful region. Want to know more? Let’s watch! Roll!

Lower Austria

Hannes in Lower Austria: Escape the Castle 

"History meets Modernism" is the theme for Hannes and his trip to Lower Austria, one of the major winegrowing regions in the country. His challenge takes him to Grafenegg. This is a great place to hold and to experience events on the open-air stage called the Wolkenturm, or in the modern auditorium, as well as to celebrate culinary delights in the venerable castle. This challenge is called "Escape the Castle", a tricky task that companies also like to book as part of their team-building activities.

A meeting with Toni Mörwald is the perfect way to conclude his challenge day. Hannes attends cookery school under the guidance of award-winning Chef Toni. Watch the video to learn what the two of them get up to in the kitchen. 


Hannes in Salzburg: In Mozart's footsteps  

Fancy seeing how Hannes has a ball of a time with the puppets in the city of Salzburg? Then you shouldn't miss this challenge video. During his visit to the famous Salzburg Marionette Theatre, the influencer is initiated into the art of puppetry.

In addition, he also finds out just how the respected cultural centre manages to position itself as an impressive location, which can be booked by companies for memorable events. Was that all to his challenge? No! It goes without saying, that a musical task awaits Hannes in the City of Mozart. But go on and see for yourself!


Hannes in Vorarlberg: Winter wonderland’s leader of the pack 

Hannes takes a trip all the way to the western part of Austria to fulfil his challenge. Whilst there, he experiences the real Vorarlberg, full of diversity and covered in deep snow. On an idyllic snowshoe hike that proves to be quite physically demanding, Hannes makes a stop to warm up in the quaint, rustic lounge at the Rufana Alp.

His task for today is to drive a husky sledge, which holds true to the motto: "When in winter wonderland, do the real thing." Watch the video to find out how the influencer performs in his debut role as a pack leader and what this task centring around animals has to do with communication training.


Maggie in Linz: Immerse into the future  

Maggie travels to Upper Austria for this challenge. Her visit takes her to Linz, the largest industrial area in Austria dedicated entirely to technology and innovation.

It’s therefore hardly surprising that her tour of the voestalpine Stahlwelt and the Ars Electronica Exhibition Centre focuses on deep space, future labs, artificial intelligence and robotics. Her challenge? How could it be about anything else, but to build a robot! Will Maggie's homemade R2-D2 actually work? Check out the video!


Maggie in Tirol: Bold on the bar  

In spite of weak knees, Maggie definitely soars to lofty heights in Tirol. For this challenge, she finds herself perched on the start bar of the Bergisel Ski Jump in Innsbruck.

And it’s here, where otherwise tough, devoted ski jumping professionals normally hang out that Maggie learns more about this exclusive event location, which incorporates sports facilities and a restaurant. Is the influencer really so daring? Will she actually attempt a ski jump? And what are the “12 Tiroler” all about? Everything is revealed in the video.


Maggie in Vienna: Baking, till rescued by grandpa 

Maggie takes on this challenge in Vienna, her adopted hometown. Her day starts with a site inspection of the exclusive event location Libelle in the MQ, which offers a breathtaking view over the roofs of the federal capital.

After that, the big task for the self-proclaimed pastry rookie is next on the agenda: Bake a traditional Viennese Sachertorte – without a recipe! Will this turn out well? Does Maggie succeed in her challenge at Vollpension, the generation-bridging café? What does she learn from Grandpa Johannes? See it all unravel in the video. 

Looking for more inspiration for your conference? In this article, we provide you with some ideas for creative conference breaks in order to build successful teams. And you can find even more tips for exciting fringe events in this article