The competition for international congresses is fierce among organising nations, but Finland continues to hold its spot on the world’s top 20 list. What’s more, Finland also has considerable potential for growth.
The Union of International Associations’ annual statistic has Finland on a shared 19th place with Sweden. In 2017, Finland hosted 791 international congresses for various organisations with a combined total of 111,188 guests. The listing includes 166 countries and a total of 1,104 cities. Helsinki placed 20th.
“Finland hosts several times more congresses than our size and stature would predict. We have a strong international reputation as an event organiser,” says Mervi Toivonen from Business Finland’s Finland Convention Bureau.
The top spots on UIA’s list are held by household nations in Central Europe, where numerous international organisations are also headquartered. Finland’s main assets are safety and efficiency in addition to its fascinating location. Finland is currently enjoying a surge in international attention, which is also reflected in congress travel.
The event industry’s national marketing association, the Finland Convention Bureau (FCB), is part of the newly formed Business Finland organisation. Finland has pioneered an approach where acquiring and organising international congresses and promoting Finland as an event location is integrated into other operations that promote export, research and innovation.
In Finland, congresses are considered part of the travel industry, as they benefit many fields in the industry, such as hotels and airlines. Congresses also use a host of other products and services from various industries, such as event spaces and technology, security services, communication and advertising agencies, content production, print houses, logistics and transportation companies, restaurants and catering businesses as well as the experience industry.