The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre throughout the years
The Göteborgs Allehanda organisation put forward a proposal for a trade fair as long ago as 1804: “a meeting place for professionals in Swedish industry so as to provide both their own countrymen and foreigners with more information about Swedish industry and thus better conditions for its dissemination: what could we not hope from the respectable, honest and patriotic businessmen of Gothenburg?”.
It was not until August 1917, when Doctor Sigurd Hansson wrote a leading article in Göteborgs Handels- och Sjöfartstidning, that plans for a Swedish trade fair in Göteborg began to be discussed seriously. In November that year, the Chamber of Commerce established a committee to investigate the possibility and a few months later, on 8 July 1918, His Majesty King Gustav V and Queen Viktoria inaugurated the country’s first trade fair.
The first exhibition hall, Stora Maskinhallen, was built on approximately the same spot where the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre stands today. This was a huge hall of 40,000 m2, which was used for the jubilee exhibition to mark 300 years of Göteborg.
In 1936 the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre became a foundation.
In 1953 the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre was internationalised and joined the Union of International Fairs (Union des Foires Internationales - UFI).
The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre takes the further step of becoming a major fair organiser, buying a number of trade fairs.
Hotel Gothia is inaugurated.
In 1985 the congress ”Bibliotek ’85” was organised, later to become the Göteborg Book Fair.
In 1993 the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre took over operation of the hotel and building began.
In 2001 Gothia Towers' second tower was inaugurated. In the same year, a European Summit was held at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, chaired by Sweden.
In 2007 the Nordic record for the number of people staying in a hotel during the course of a year was broken: 277,733 bed nights at Gothia Towers.
In 2012 new record turnover of SEK 901 million was set.
In 2014 the third tower was complete and the vision of being Europe's most attractive venue by offering the best total experience was launched.