• (c) Jussi Hellsten/Helsinki365

Record number of conferences in Helsinki


Last year more international association meetings were held in Helsinki than in any other previous year. These congresses attracted over 40,000 visitors to Helsinki and generated approximately 75 million euros in tourism income. Helsinki hosted almost half of all congresses held in Finland last year. This year’s recipient of the Pro Congress award is Tarja Kohila, PhD, an expert in laboratory animal science who was nominated by Helsinki.

A total of 310 international association meetings were organised in Helsinki in 2014, and they were attended by over 40,000 delegates. The majority of these congresses were in the fields of mathematics and the natural sciences, the social sciences and history, economics, management and communications, and medicine.

“Helsinki’s popularity as an international congress city is growing all the time. This was the third straight year that we have posted record numbers of congresses,” says Ines Antti-Poika, Convention Director at the Helsinki Convention & Events Bureau.

Helsinki was also listed as one of the top ten cities in the world for meetings – alongside Barcelona and Shanghai, for example – in the March edition of the US-based trade publication Smart Meetings. In 2013, Helsinki was ranked the 20th most popular congress city in the world in the annual survey by the Union of International Associations (UIA), and it is expected to do even better in 2014. The results will be announced in May 2015.

Indeed, it will be a very busy year for Helsinki in terms of congresses. The biggest meetings this summer include the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly at Finlandia Hall in July (700 participants), the 12th Convention of the International Confederation of Principals at Finlandia Hall in August (1500 participants) and the 11th biannual Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) at Messukeskus in August-September (1200 participants).

Pro Congress award goes to Helsinki’s nominee

The Finland Convention Bureau’s annual Pro Congress award has gone to Helsinki’s nominee Tarja Kohila, PhD, a highly respected expert in laboratory animal science both within Finland and internationally. Kohila is known especially for her achievements in developing laboratory animal science and drawing up ethical guidelines for the industry. Tarja Kohila has carried out research and published works in the field of toxicology, studying for example the central nervous system toxicity of alcohol, heavy metals, aluminium and lead.

This year’s Pro Congress award has been presented to Kohila in recognition of her long-term and successful work in attracting international congresses to Finland.

“Tarja Kohila has actively highlighted the importance of congresses and openly shared her experiences with other congress organisers, encouraging her colleagues and other scientists to attract congresses to Finland,” Ines Antti-Poika says.

Kohila currently teaches at the University of Helsinki and has also served as development director at the university’s Laboratory Animal Centre and director of the Viikki Laboratory Animal Centre.

The Finland Convention Bureau publishes annual congress statistics for Finnish cities.

Further information:
Ines Antti-Poika, Convention Director, Visit Helsinki/Helsinki Convention & Events Bureau, ines.antti-poika@hel.fi, t. +358 9 310 36154


Updated 09/06/2015