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International delegates have found their way back to Gothenburg

Large congresses, conferences, and fairs are back in Gothenburg. Autumn is peak season, which is noticeable by the number of delegates. Recently the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre hosted a congress on immunodeficiencies. As with several other congresses this autumn, the attendance was high. The international visitors have found their way back to Gothenburg.

Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre. Photo: Peter Kvanström/Göteborg & Co.

Nearly 2,000 specialists from 73 countries attended the Meeting of the European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID), in October.
Olov Ekwall, Professor, and Senior Professor Anders Fasth, both at the University of Gothenburg and Chief Physicians at Sahlgrenska University Hospital were the driving force behind getting the meeting to Gothenburg. Anders also hosted the 1996 ESID conference in Gothenburg.

The ESID meeting drew attention around Korsvägen area. Photo: Lisa Ehn, Göteborg & Co

Due to the pandemic, it had been three years since ESID could hold a physical meeting. Both Olov and Anders regard meeting face-to-face as important for international research collaboration.

“There was an unmet need for meeting in person, which probably contributed to the large number of attendants. Inborn immunodeficiency is a particular field, as most diagnoses are very rare. Therefore, there is a need for discussing research, diagnosis, and treatment with others. Networking with colleagues from across the world is important for future collaboration,” says Olov.

“As there is so much to discuss, you wish networking would play an even larger role in the future. Usually, the breaks do not provide enough time for discussions,” finishes Anders.

Throughout autumn and winter, there will be plenty of interesting discussions between specialists and researchers. The three largest meetings alone are attended by 4 400 delegates.
Annika Hallman, Director of the Gothenburg Convention Bureau, shares Olov and Anders’s view that delegates have missed seeing each other in person and that can be a contributing factor to the high number of delegates.
“After two years of a pandemic where many meetings were held digitally, we can see that the physical meeting takes centre stage. It has been a fantastic start to the autumn with largely fully booked meeting venues and number of attendants exceeding expectations. Unlike in the spring, we have seen that many international delegates have returned, which of course means a lot for the dissemination of research,” says Annika.

Gothenburg as a meetings destination is dependent on distinguished researchers, doctors, and experts wanting to take on the role of hosting a meeting. Anders and Olov had a strong drive to create a meeting that would be rewarding from a scientific point of view. The opportunity to put Gothenburg on the map within immunodeficiencies was also enticing. As was inviting a large number of specialists to discuss, learn, and network face-to-face. Anders is convinced that they will be able to “reap the rewards” for a long time to come in terms of contacts, collaboration, and goodwill.

For information on upcoming conventions and fairs taking place in Gothenburg, see the meeting calendar.