• International Surgical Week. Photo: Markku Ojala

Putting Finnish surgery on the world map

The biggest international association congress to be held in Finland last year, the International Surgical Week, exceeded all expectations.

International Surgical Week (ISW 2013) was organised last August at the newly refurbished Messukeskus, Expo and Convention Centre Helsinki. The congress attracted 2100 participants from nearly 80 countries around the world, making it the biggest international association congress to be held in Finland last year.

The congress was organised by the International Society of Surgery, and the local organiser was the Finnish Surgical Society together with Blue & White Conferences Oy. The Finnish Surgical Society was extremely satisfied with the success of the congress.

“The congress was of tremendous significance to Finnish surgery. We were able to form new international links, and many Finnish surgeons were invited to lecture abroad,” says Ari Leppäniemi, Chairman of the local organising committee, ‎Chief of Emergency Surgery at the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) and Professor of Surgery.

Messukeskus gets a makeover

The congress was held at the Messukeskus, Expo and Convention Centre Helsinki, which underwent a major refurbishment last spring and summer. According to the organiser, the new facilities worked well. “The arrangements at Messukeskus were excellent in all ways,” Ari Leppäniemi confirms.

The refurbishment of Messukeskus included a new visual appearance. The main exhibition space “Galleria” was fully renovated, and the restaurant complex was expanded and diversified.

The congress wing also received a makeover. The surfaces, materials, lighting and furniture in the lobby and main hall were all renewed, providing an even more attractive venue for successful congresses. The new lighting system allows the visual appearance to be adapted, for example by transforming the facilities into the brand colours of the host organization.

Helsinki highly regarded as a congress city

Helsinki has developed a fine reputation as a host city for large and successful congresses. In 2012 it was ranked as the 14th most popular congress city in the world by the Union of International Associations.

Feedback from congress organisers and participants alike has been positive almost without exception. Special thanks go to the quality of arrangements, as well as to accessibility, safety and security, and public transport.

Ari Leppäniemi received similar feedback from participants of International Surgical Week: “Finland as a country and Helsinki as a city were widely praised. We even received concrete wishes that the following congresses would also be organised in Finland!”

Text: Karoliina Saarnikko

Read further:

Record number of conferences in Helsinki in 2013

See also

Helsinki Convention Bureau



Updated 09/06/2015