Helsinki is the 11th best city for congresses in the world

Helsinki is one of the best congress cities in the world. Helsinki has already become the 11th most popular congress city globally, according to a report by the Union of International Associations (UIA) published last summer.
Helsinki is known as a well-functioning congress city. The International Women’s Forum was held in Helsinki in June 2023.  Photo: Teemu Kuusimurto
Helsinki is known as a well-functioning congress city. The International Women’s Forum was held in Helsinki in June 2023. Photo: Teemu Kuusimurto

As a congress city, Helsinki is the most popular of all the Nordic capitals, all of which ranked well in the report: Oslo was the 13th, Copenhagen the 16th and Stockholm the 24th in the comparison. The world’s most popular congress cities are Brussels, Vienna and Singapore. The UIA report compared a total of 1,213 cities from 156 countries.

Helsinki hosted 160 international scientific congresses last year

In 2022, about 160 international scientific congresses were organised in Helsinki. This is a fine number, but it is still far behind the peak year of 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic. However, the number of congresses in Helsinki is clearly growing. There has been a clear return to physical events following the coronavirus years. Last year, only one in ten congresses was organised in a virtual format alone.

Helsinki’s share of all international congresses held in Finland last year was nearly 40%. The number of participants in international congresses in Helsinki came close to 30,000 last year. Helsinki will also maintain its position as a host for major congresses in the near future, as several large congresses will be held in the city in the next few years, especially in the field of medicine. For example, in May and June 2024, Helsinki will be nearly full of congress guests.

Investments in getting international congresses to Helsinki are worthwhile, as congress participants spend more money and stay longer than traditional leisure visitors. In addition, the promotion of congresses supports the work to attract investments, companies and experts,” says Nina Vesterinen, Tourism Director.

The world’s top experts in elder care to meet in Helsinki in September

Helsinki is increasingly hosting top-level congresses all year round. The next major congress will be the European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS) congress, to be held at the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre Messukeskus from 20 to 22 September. It will bring together nearly 1,500 professionals from around the world to discuss topics such as the treatment of memory disorders, the challenges of pharmaceutical care for the elderly, and the treatment of diseases common among the elderly.

Finland has a long and internationally known tradition of research into ageing and elder care. Participants to the congress share information, in particular, on how to ensure good ageing. In Helsinki, the focus will be on the prevention of memory disorders, loneliness, the use of telemedicine in the treatment of the elderly, and addictions of the elderly, among other themes. The EuGMS congress is now being organised for the first time in Finland, but in total the congress is already the 19th in the field.

Helsinki is a well-functioning and safe congress venue

The EuGMS congress is a fine example of the implementation of Helsinki’s city strategy, in which various events play an important role in building the city’s attractiveness. Helsinki is internationally considered a well-functioning and safe congress venue. Helsinki wants to be increasingly involved in organising major cultural and sports events and major international congresses together with operators in the field. Congresses such as the EuGMS play an important part in Helsinki’s growth, as they bring the latest information from different fields to the city while also increasing revenue to companies operating in Helsinki and improving Helsinki’s reputation. For Helsinki, long-term work to get major congresses in the city will continue to be important in the future.