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Meeting ambassadors create value in Gothenburg

Inviting colleagues from Sweden or the rest of the world to Gothenburg highlights research fields, builds contacts and initiates cooperation. When subject areas are put on the map in a city, there is always a driving force in the background: a meeting ambassador.

Photo: The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and Gothia Towers

Göteborg & Co has used meeting ambassadors within a range of different subject areas for many years. These passionate professors, researchers, engineers, physicians and specialists have all contributed towards meetings being held in Gothenburg. Their subjects have been put on the map, research exchanges have taken place, and the city has developed.

Attracting a meeting to a city can sometimes be demanding work for the meeting arranger, but a wealth of support is available and there are many benefits for both the organisation and the city.

“Our role as a collaborative player involves providing support all the way, right from the initial contact through to implementation,” says Fredrik Lundgren, project manager at Gothenburg Convention Bureau. “We’ve worked with meetings for more than 30 years, and have built up an extensive network within municipalities, the region and industry. This collaboration is one of our strengths at Göteborg & Co, and we’ve won recognition for it.

“Sometimes we’re contacted by someone who works for an organisation and wants to apply for a meeting to be hosted in Gothenburg. But more often it’s us who seek out a potential meeting ambassador for a specific meeting within an area of interest for the city.”

Consultant surgeon Mattias Block is Head of the Colorectal Unit at Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra Hospital, and Johanna Hansson Wennerblom is a consultant surgeon at Sahlgrenska University Hospital’s Upper Abdominal Surgery Unit. They both worked to bring Swedish Surgical Week (Kirurgveckan) – a national annual event focusing on further training and research within surgery – to Gothenburg in 2021.

Mattias Block and Johanna Hansson Wennerblom. Photo: Fredrik Sellgren

Initially, the plan was for Swedish Surgical Week to be a physical event. Due to the ongoing pandemic, however, the meeting will now be held digitally in August 2021. It will still be broadcast from the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre in Gothenburg, where the physical meeting would have been held. Swedish Surgical Week – Kirurgveckan has been held in Gothenburg before, but in view of the opportunities that hosting brings and the city’s popularity, the decision was made to apply again.

“Hosting rotates between several locations in Sweden, and has done so since 1996 when Swedish Surgical Week began,” explains Mattias. “Gothenburg hosted the event in 2010, and we felt that the time had come to host it again – especially with the city celebrating its 400th anniversary. Arranging Swedish Surgical Week is a big honour, and brings opportunities to showcase surgery in Gothenburg, not least in scientific terms. But it’s also an excellent chance to show off our beautiful city to colleagues from the rest of Sweden.”

Mattias and Johanna say that it has been a time-consuming process, but it has also been extremely interesting and has brought many benefits.

“Arranging a conference like Swedish Surgical Week requires a great deal of time and effort,” adds Johanna. “We set up a working party early on, and came up with a structure for the week. We also made contact with the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre, Gothia Towers and Göteborg & Co at an early stage. So we’ve been lucky enough to work with extremely professional players who’ve been very accommodating and obliging in every way, throughout the process. And that’s something we really appreciate.”

Mattias goes on to describe the importance of arranging a meeting such as Swedish Surgical Week.

“Swedish Surgical Week is our annual national meeting which everyone looks forward to and prioritises. The latest research is presented and discussed, including talks about the very latest techniques. The aim of the meeting is to develop surgical care that benefits our patients. The social element and the networking are also important. As arrangers, we have a responsibility for showing the best side of our city and getting across the message of how great it is to live and work in Gothenburg. The meeting can also attract new colleagues to the profession.”

Listen as Mattias explains more about the importance of hosting a meeting like Swedish Surgical Week.

Do you want to find out more about what hosting a meeting in Gothenburg involves, or the support on offer? Get in touch with Gothenburg Convention Bureau.