2013 best year ever. The Finland Convention Bureau (FCB) monitors the experiences of people attending international conferences in Finland every three years. In 2013, a total of 662 international conferences took place in Finland, garnering a combined total of 71,761 attendees. This was the best year ever in terms of the number of conferences held. The average number of attendees to a congress was 108.
According to the “Delegaattitutkimus 2013” survey, implemented in co-operation with Taloustutkimus, each conference attendee spent €356 per day, including trips. In total, congress tourism provided Finland with €117 million in 2013. In the previous survey (2010), this figure was €72 million. This marks an increase of 63%.
The Helsinki region is the location for more than half of international congresses in Finland, but major events also take place all year round in all of Finland’s largest towns. The ski resort of Levi was a surprise last year: its number of attendees was close to those of the big towns.
FCB convention manager Leena Sipilä is happy with the survey results and the increase in tourism income: “Getting even one major congress in Finland requires years of work and close co-operation between everyone involved”, says Sipilä. “It is not easy, but Finland’s particular strengths mentioned in the survey include safety and being easy to reach.”
Elise Kosunen, professor of medicine at Tampere University, received the Pro Congress 2014 award. The expert jury justified the decision by Kosunen’s contribution to the 18th Nordic Congress of General Practice, where she was the chairwoman of the organising committee. The congress was very successful; it attracted almost 1,200 attendees to Tampere Hall. It was the largest academic congress in Tampere last year. Kosunen also has solid expertise in organising significant conferences in her field and in active international operations. She has successfully combined her marketing skills with academic know-how.