Helsinki a winning congress city

HELSINKI, 10 March 2017: A total of 286 international association meetings were held in Helsinki in 2016  attended by 60,790 congress visitors, according to Helsinki Convention and Events Bureau.

2016 turned out to be a busy congress year setting a new record that exceeded  2014, the previous best year when congress visitors reached almost 41,000.

Congress visitors spend on average 1887 euros per person in Helsinki (Finland Convention Bureau’s 2013 Delegate Survey), creating a significant economic impact on the metropolitan area.

Several the major congresses attracted over 500 participants.

These included the Congress of the International Council on Combustion Engines (28th CIMAC World Congress), the 40th Nordic Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (NFOG 2016), the ICANN56 Policy Forum (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE 2016) and the European Association of Urban History’s 13th International Conference on Urban History held at the end of August.

“The growing hotel capacity in Helsinki will help us compete for bigger international congresses in the future. Last year alone our hotel capacity increased by a thousand new rooms, and this positive trend will continue with the opening of the St George in 2017 and the Lapland Hotel Boulevard in 2018,” said Helsinki Convention & Events Bureau, convention director, Ines Antti-Poika.

Helsinki is one of the world’s most popular congress cities. Based on  the latest Union of International Associations (UIA) statistics, Helsinki is now ranked 24th for international congresses.

In June, Helsinki will host the world’s biggest annual scientific meeting in the field of allergology and clinical immunology.

An estimated 8000 people will be attending EAACI 2017 at the Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Centre.

The congress is expected to generate over 15 million euros in tourism income for Helsinki. This is the first time that Helsinki will host the annual congress of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

“We have been trying to attract the EAACI congress for over 10 years, and now finally all the hard work has paid off,” said Antti-Poika.

Several major congresses will be held in Helsinki this summer. In June, the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra will host the World Circular Economy Forum, which will be attended by an estimated 1000 participants at Finlandia Hall.

Also in June, the 7th World Glaucoma Congress will be attended by 3,000 experts at Messukeskus.

In August, the Worldcon – World Science Fiction Convention 2017 will be attended by 3000 science fiction fans at Messukeskus.

Also in August, the Annual Conference of the Association for Medical Education in Europe will attract 3,500 congress visitors.