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The Associations World Congress & Expo is approaching fast

With a few days to go before the event of the year in Gothenburg, intense preparations are underway and expectations are high. The Associations World Congress & Expo (AWC) will be held on 7–10 April at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg.

Close to 500 participants are expected to attend the AWC, and everyone involved is hard at work preparing for the congress. The AWC is an annual congress for leaders from international organisations. This event offers great opportunities to showcase the city and its strengths while reinforcing Gothenburg’s position as the ideal city for meetings. Industry press representatives from all over Europe are expected to visit the congress.

First time this year

This will be the first time that the AWC is held in the Nordic region, providing an excellent opportunity to showcase the Nordic market. The Nordic Pavilion is the only place at the Gothenburg congress where this will be done. There are many advantages of participating in the Nordic part of the exhibition. It is an opportunity, on the one hand, to present the best the Nordic region has to offer, and on the other hand to introduce the possibilities of holding future congresses in the Nordic region. The general theme this year is Midsummer, and participants will be invited to social activities with a Nordic touch. There has been enormous interest in the Nordic Pavilion, where all the spaces sold out a long time ago.

Distinguished list of speakers

More than 60 speakers have been booked, including Paul Welander, Senior Vice President Volvo Car Group, and Laura Sprechmann, Deputy CEO Nobel Media. Among other things, participants will learn how public activities organised during the European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC) contributed to the conference’s success, and how to effectively promote a scientific conference to the public. This subject will be addressed by speakers Turgut Tatlisumak, Professor of Neurology, and Christian Blomstrand, Senior Professor of Neurology, both from the University of Gothenburg. Guy Bigwood, Director of the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index), has long been a leading name in sustainability. In 2015 he started the annual Global Destination Sustainability Index to drive the development of sustainable destinations in the business tourism and events industry. Since 2016, Gothenburg has enjoyed top ranking in the GDS-Index, where the city is rated as the world’s most sustainable destination. Today, over 50 destinations are ranked in the GDS-Index.

List of AWC speakers

Follow this link for more information about the speakers at the AWC:

Those who have registered will be able to follow parts of the congress live online.

Environmentally certified congress

As the world’s most sustainable destination, it is natural that we should set a good example. For this reason, it was decided at an early stage that the AWC would be certified according to the Swedish Environmental Base (Svensk Miljöbas). One of the environmental aspects for gaining the certification is the food that will served to the + 400 participants. A large proportion of the food will be made with organic and locally produced ingredients, and only vegetarian meals will be served on one of the congress days. Great efforts are also being made to minimise food wastage at the congress. Moreover, each participant will be provided with a water bottle and encouraged to drink tap water.

Destination Day

After the conference, participants will be invited to remain in Gothenburg for an extra day to explore more of the city. Participants who stay on for this Destination Day will learn more about Gothenburg and its strengths, for instance how Gothenburg works to attract conferences and meetings, and about the city’s strong partnerships in the field of research and development.
AstraZeneca and Lindholmen Science Park are two of the places that participants will visit during Destination Day.

AstraZeneca och Lindholmen Science Park
Photo: AstraZeneca och Lindholmen Science Park


The Associations World Congress & Expo is an annual international congress for managers and decision makers in strategically important congress organisations. This is the first time the congress will be held in the Nordic region.

Associations World Congress & Expo Logo