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March 27, 2015

Helsinki Saw Record Conference Numbers in 2014

Last year, Helsinki hosted more international association meetings than in any other previous year. These congresses attracted more than 40,000 visitors to the city and generated approximately 75 million euros in tourism income. 

Helsinki hosted 310 events, almost half of all conferences held in Finland last year. 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.

“This was the third straight year that we have posted record numbers of congresses,” Ines Antti-Poika, Convention Director at the Helsinki Convention & Events Bureau, said in a statement.

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.

This year is also expected to be big for Helsinki. 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 (1,500 participants) and the 11thbiannual Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) at Messukeskus in August-September (1,200 participants).

Pro Congress award goes to Helsinki’s nominee

The Finland Convention Bureau’s annual Pro Congress award went to Helsinki’s nominee Tarja Kohila, Ph.D., an 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 was 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 said.

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.

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