Ingång till kongresshall - ESOC

The world’s largest stroke congress, ESOC (European Stroke Organisation Conference), held at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg, was a great success. The conference enjoyed an all-time-high attendance and broke all records for the association.

More than 4,500 specialists from over 90 countries visited the city. And they were satisfied! The overall impression of the destination was high; Gothenburg scored 6.4 out of 7 in the delegate survey (service, selection of restaurants/cafés, shopping etc. is rated). Almost 80% of the respondents consider returning for pleasure. 88% can also consider recommending Gothenburg as a travel destination to relatives and friends.

Föreläsning om stroke på Göteborgs Universitet
Lecture about stroke at University of Gothenburg

ESOC enjoyed high media attention both nationally and internationally, and the topic also attracted the public. The Göteborgs-Posten morning newspaper featured Magnus Hesselgren and Ann-Christine Jademyr who both suffered from stroke and their recovery. Several public lectures were held during the week. Among them a public seminar “How can I reduce the risk of stroke?” arranged at the University of Gothenburg, where Magnus and Ann-Christine spoke about their experiences. A team of specialists informed about how to prevent stroke through proper diet and physical activity, and how mental health, stress and music can affect. In conjunction with the congress, all delegates were also given the opportunity to run the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon in the Region Västra Götaland start group.

Another important part of the program and the congress legacy, was school visits in four secondary schools in Gothenburg. Students in natural science and care programs received visits by congress participants who lectured and raised interest about stroke. 20 of these students also made a study visit to the ESOC congress.

ESOC was held at the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Center in Gothenburg during warm summer days in mid-May. In 2019, ESOC is held in Milan, Italy.

It has now been confirmed that Lebanese superstar Nancy Ajram will perform in Götaplatsen square at Gothenburg Culture Festival on 17 August. 34-year-old Nancy, whose singing career began 20 years ago, is one of the biggest stars in the Arab music world.

“It feels absolutely fantastic that we will finally see such a pop icon at Gothenburg Culture Festival this summer. I’m looking forward to an unforgettable evening for all our visitors,” says Tasso Stafilidis, General Manager for Gothenburg Culture Festival at Göteborg & Co.

This will be the fourth year in a row that a top Arab performer has appeared at Gothenburg Culture Festival, reflecting a strong and targeted cultural initiative.

“I am so proud that our bookings are helping to spark visitors’ interest in culture, as well as offering terrific Arab pop performances. We have succeeded in making people feel a stronger sense of belonging in our community. This is what integration is really about,” says Tasso Stafilidis.

Nancy Ajram comes from Lebanon and has been called the Britney Spears of the Middle East. She began her career as a child and released her first studio album at the age of just 15. A further eight albums have been released since then. Nancy Ajram has won a string of international and regional awards and served as a judge on Arab Idol.

Top Arab world performers who have appeared at previous Gothenburg Culture Festivals include Elissa, Najwa Karam and Nawal El Zoghbi.

The concert by Nancy Ajram is being funded outside the regular budget of Gothenburg Culture Festival and has been made possible thanks to support from Västra Götaland Cultural Affairs Committee and the Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co.. Like all the other events at Gothenburg Culture Festival the concert by Nancy Ajram is free and open to everyone.

The 2018 Gothenburg Culture Festival and EuroPride 2018 will both take place on 14–19 August and the programme content and event spaces will be coordinated in central Gothenburg.

With hundreds of activities and about 70,000 visits The International Science Festival in Gothenburg is one of Europe’s leading popular science events and the only one of its kind in Sweden.

Photo: Dick Gillberg/Göteborg & Co.

This year the theme is: What are we? The International Science Festival thoroughly investigates the meaning of the collective. Why do we follow current trends? And why do we distance ourselves? Activism and movements arise in times of uncertainty, but what mechanism makes us organize ourselves?

The International Science Festival explore how large networks collaborate – from how metabolism and cells in our bodies operate to what structures influence our behaviour in social media. We will be more intertwined with The Internet of Things than ever before. Are we prepared for that – and what actually are we?

“The International Science Festival is a unique forum in Sweden where the public, science world and decision makers can meet for dialogue and problem solving. This kind of platform plays an important role for democracy, especially in a world where knowledge and facts are regularly questioned” says Carl Johan Sundberg, professor in physiology at the university Karolinska Institutet and chairman of the board at the Swedish Research Council.

The Science Festival is divided into three branches, the public programme, the school programme and the specialist programme. There is something for everyone during the festival. Public programme 2018: April 17-22.

The European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC) will be held 16–18 May at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg. The Gothenburg Convention Bureau initiated the process of arranging to hold the meeting in Gothenburg already in 2013. It is therefore extremely rewarding to be able to welcome the ESOC this May.

The latest research findings will be presented at the conference, which is guided by the motto “The Voice of Stroke in Europe” and is the world’s largest conference focused on strokes. The conference, where more than 4,000 delegates are expected to attend, is being arranged by the European Stroke Organisation (ESO) together with the local committee, Stroke Centre West, Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

To make the conference accessible to a wider audience, a seminar that is open to the public and free of charge will be held at the University of Gothenburg auditorium in Vasaparken on 16 May.  The heading of the seminar is “How can I reduce the risk of stroke?”, with lecturers including Christian Blomstrand, Professor Emeritus in Neurology at the University of Gothenburg, and Mats Börjesson, Professor of Sports Physiology at the University of Gothenburg and a cardiologist at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. Seminar attendees will also have the opportunity to hear Ann-Christin Jademyr, an assistant nurse who works in the stroke ICU, and who after falling victim to a stroke herself has returned to work full-time following a her long and successful rehabilitation.

The seminar is being held in part to report on the major advances that have been made in stroke care, but also to discuss lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of stroke, since the disease now appears to be striking at younger and younger ages. The lecture will also provide information on what to do if you or a relative should suffer from a stroke.

You can read more about the seminar here (Swedish only):

Photo: Henrik Sandsjö/Göteborg & Co

The day after the ESOC adjourns, the annual half marathon Göteborgsvarvet will be held. Since physical activity prevents stroke and running is usually recommended by healthcare providers as an effective way to lower blood pressure and reduce stress, conference participants will have the opportunity to run with the starting group for Region Västra Götaland. Under the theme “Run fast against stroke”, the ESO hopes that as many participants as possible will take the opportunity to run, while enjoying the sights of Gothenburg.




Photo: Bernstone Fotografi AB/ Göteborg & Co

In early March the Gothenburg Convention Bureau attended the ICCA Scandinavian Chapter’s membership meeting in Denmark to exchange experiences with Scandinavian colleagues at the various workshops and seminars that were arranged. 

Photo: Jonas Fotografi

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us as a meeting destination, and for others working in the meeting industry, to learn from one another and contribute to the development of international meetings in Scandinavia. By networking with others in the industry, we can further sharpen our offering and in the long term attract more meetings to Gothenburg,” says Anneli Stahre, project manager at the Gothenburg Convention Bureau.

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has over 1,000 members from 100 countries worldwide. Members include convention bureaus, conference facilities, hotels, airline companies and conference arrangers.

More than 3,200 delegates participated when Gothenburg and the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre hosted the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) 21–23 March. The annual congress of the EAHP is the largest congress for hospital pharmacists in Europe and has participants from all over the world.

This year’s conference was the 23rd and the theme this year was “Hospital pharmacists – Show us what you can do!” The conference showed what hospital pharmacists have achieved and gave inspiration for future development in hospital pharmacology with its accompanying challenges.

The Associations World Congress (AWC) was held 12–14 March in Antwerp, Belgium. The AWC is an international congress for managers involved in international and strategically important meeting organisations.Since Gothenburg, along with the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and MCI Norden will host the conference in 2019, representatives were in Antwerp to market Gothenburg.

On the last day of the congress the baton was officially transferred to Gothenburg and Annika Hallman, Director at the Gothenburg Convention Bureau, welcomed participants to attend next year’s conference.

On stage: Per Ankaer, MCI Nordics, Malin Erlandsson, Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, Annika Hallman, Gothenburg Convention Bureau

Ann-Catrine Boldyn, project manager for AWC 2019, will have a full schedule handling the many preparations.

Ann-Catrine Boldyn
Ann-Catrine Boldyn, Project Manager Associations World Congress 2019 in Gothenburg.

“At the Gothenburg Convention Bureau we promote and market Gothenburg as a meeting destination. My job is to plan for the congress in Gothenburg and work with our partners. Obviously, marketing and communication play a major role, but cooperation in the city is also important as we work together to package and deliver the best visitor experience. We want as many people as possible to participate and see the advantages of arranging conventions in Gothenburg,” says Ann-Catrine and continues, “AWC is an important strategic congress for Gothenburg as a meeting city, since the outcome may be many new meetings for years to come.”

In November the contract with the arranger, the Association of Association Executives (AAE) was finalised. After several years of work, the contract was signed at IBTM in Barcelona in November last year. The AWC is an important congress with great opportunities to showcase the city and its strengths, while enhancing Gothenburg’s position as the ideal city for meetings.

Up to 400 decision-makers are expected at AWC 2019. These key individuals are part of AAE’s members, representing a total of over 9,000 annual meetings.

Associations World Congress 2019 logo

Jibril Jallow, Malin Engelbrecht and Lennart Johansson. Photo: Göteborg & Co/ Pauline Pontois

After five years as chairman of the Trade & Industry Group, Malin Engelbrecht is handing over the baton to Jibril Jallow, Regional Director at SEB, one of Sweden’s largest banks. Hello Jibril!

Hello Jibril! Tell us about yourself

I am Deputy Regional Director of SEB, and after moving to Gothenburg two years ago I already feel at home in the city. I’m an inquisitive person who is thirsty for insight and is constantly learning from fresh encounters and people.

What are your aims in this role?

First, I want to build on the unique and very special tradition of collaboration between trade & industry, academia and the city.

Second, I want to build on the strength that exists in the Trade & Industry Group and combine this with the individual strengths and unique skills of our members.

It is also important to further develop what we can contribute as a group, aside from monetary support. There is so much expertise within each organisation that we can use even more effectively to make an even bigger difference in the Gothenburg region together.

What do you think should be the main focus of development in Gothenburg right now?

The most important thing is to make the city even more attractive as a place to live, work, study, visit and develop in. This is the absolute priority; people need to feel a sense of belonging and community as residents, in just the same way as our companies do in the Trade & Industry Group.

This year’s Junior Achievement fair took place at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre on 5 March, where the theme was Entrepreneurship for Real. Junior Achievement gives high-school students the opportunity to set up, run and wind down companies within an academic year. The JA fair brings together 1,200 young people from 44 schools in the Gothenburg region to exhibit, display and sell their products and services. This year’s fair was a big success, drawing a record number of exhibitors.

Photo: Pauline Pontois/Göteborg & Co

There was non-stop activity at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre on this Monday afternoon. The students, who have spent the past year developing their companies, are very enthusiastic about selling their products. Some use flyers or attractive stands to grab attention, while others stand in the aisles and try to entice potential customers. Among the 323 exhibitors we meet high-school students Ella Landqvist, Karin Nilsson and Cornelia Hernheimer from Mikael Elias Gymnasium. They are behind the company Green Taste, which offers an environmentally inspired tea kit. Their kit includes a mug with a pattern they designed themselves, a selection of organic teas and home-made chocolate truffles. The fair has been a success for them, they explain with big smiles.

“It’s actually a lot of fun standing here. I thought it would be quite hard work standing here for seven hours, but it’s great fun meeting new people. We’ve sold more than we expected, which is a bonus!” says Ella Landqvist, webmaster at Green Taste UF, Junior Achievement.

“Lots of people want to get in touch and talk – you can discuss your product or stand, get new perspectives on them and learn how to evaluate your product. It’s very rewarding,” adds Karin Nilsson, who is CEO of the JA company.

Karin Nilsson and Ella Landqvist from Green Taste UF. Photo: Göteborg Co/Pauline Pontois

The Trade & Industry Group is a partner to Junior Achievement, as well as hosting the big JA Company of the Year competition, in which the Safe Steps JA company from Engströms Gymnasium won the gold medal. Safe Steps manufactures a training vest with reflectors and an embedded panic alarm. The company wants to draw attention to violence against women and influence attitudes in society. The prize was awarded by Christian Westerberg from the Trade & Industry Group, who explained the choice as follows:

“By creating a solution to a clear problem the company has shown impressive entrepreneurship. They have laid the foundations for their success with a thorough market survey. They have completed the Junior Achievement year with style, from start to finish. Above all, they let everyone feel they are on a safe track, for as long as is needed. The track now leads straight to the Swedish championships!”

Photo: Ung Företagsamhet

More than 1,100 people came to the Radisson Blu Scandinavia hotel in Gothenburg to visit the Skarpt Läge jobs fair. For the fifth year in a row young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 are matched with companies that can offer them a job on the spot.

Photo: Fredrik Karlsson/Skarpt Läge.

“Visitors bring their CVs, come to the fair and get to meet 51 exhibitors who all have something to offer. This year there were around 850 jobs available and we had a wide range of businesses represented,” said Fredrik Karlsson Project Manager for Skarpt Läge.

There was a lot of interest in Skarpt Läge 2018, and during the three-hour fair 1,146 people visited the fair, which is a slight rise on last year.

“The level of interest is high and considerably more young people came on their own this year. It’s clear that we have reached a bigger audience than before,” says Lotta Forsberg, who set up Skarpt Läge together with Fredrik Karlsson.

“Last year over 200 of the visitors got jobs, and six months later just over 120 of them still had those jobs. We will find out what the figure is for this year on 12 April. But I do know that one of the visitors was given a job trial as a chef two hours after visiting Skarpt Läge. If everything goes well that will lead to a permanent job.”

The exhibitors this year included Telia, The City of Gothenburg, Friskis & Svettis and Jollyrum.

Skarpt Läge is a joint initiative between Team Göteborg and the Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co, Radisson Blu Scandinavia, the Swedish Public Employment Service and Visita, with the goal of becoming the best job event for young people in Sweden.

The Gastrogays blog focuses on food, travel and Eurovision, and the duo behind it are currently visiting Sweden for six weeks to explore the country, sample Swedish cuisine and follow Melodifestivalen, the song competition that decides the Swedish entry for Eurovision. They spent one of their six weeks visiting Gothenburg.

The pair behind Gastrogays, one of the biggest food and travel blogs in Ireland, are Russel James Alford and Patrick Hanlon. When we meet them in Gothenburg they already have a long list of restaurants they want to visit.

“The food we’ve eaten so far has been fantastic! It’s been local, seasonal food with a global character. When we travel, we focus on the food, but we also want to gather experiences and get to know the people and culture,” says Patrick.

Russel and Patrick say they try to find the unique aspect of every place they visit and it is important to them that what they do is authentic. Their reason for spending a full six weeks in Sweden is that they like the country and want to see what it has to offer outside Stockholm. Aside from that, they love Eurovision and realised this was a chance to follow Melodifestivalen. Before they arrived in Gothenburg they spent a week in Karlstad.

“Gothenburg is big compared with Karlstad, but it’s still small enough to get around easily. We’ve been in Gothenburg for two days so far and think it’s great fun here; there’s lots of excellent, good-value food and plenty of local beers, which we like! And the people here are ultra-friendly,” says Russel.

On 7–8 February, this year’s Connect2Capital event was held at the Clarion Post Hotel, where investors and growth companies meet to match up ideas with capital. Drawing around 450 participants from 14 countries, the event continues to generate valuable meetings with companies that are seeking capital and investors.

Photo: Cim Ek

For two days each year, local, national and international entrepreneurs and investors take over the Clarion Post Hotel. The Connect2Capital event enables companies that are seeking capital to meet investors and business angels at a single venue.

“It can sometimes be difficult to reach out with your product, so this is a great opportunity to meet everyone at the same time,” said Marlene Sjöberg, founder and CEO of the IT company RaceOne, which is developing an app for monitoring competitors in various sporting events.  “This is the first time I’ve taken part at Connect2Capital, and I think it’s a great idea and a natural meeting place for networking.”

In addition to a stage programme with keynote speeches and pitches by companies, the entrepreneurs have an opportunity to pre-book individual meetings with investors to sell their ideas as effectively as possible.

“It’s important for the participants to prepare in order to make good deals. Companies that are seeking capital need to practise their pitches and business angels need to do their research. One development opportunity could be to arrange a number of smaller meetings during the year as practise sessions,” says Stina Jernhed, Business Developer at Connect Väst and Project Manager for Connect2Capital.

The Trade & Industry Group has been co-arranger of Connec2Capital since 2014.