Our history

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.


Mässaffischer från förr
  • 1923

    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.

  • 1936

    In 1936 the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre became a foundation.

  • 1953

    In 1953 the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre was internationalised and joined the Union of International Fairs (Union des Foires Internationales - UFI).

  • 1971

    The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre takes the further step of becoming a major fair organiser, buying a number of trade fairs.

  • 1984

    Hotel Gothia is inaugurated.

  • 1985

    In 1985 the congress ”Bibliotek ’85” was organised, later to become the Göteborg Book Fair.

  • 1993

    In 1993 the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre took over operation of the hotel and building began.

  • 2001

    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.

  • 2007

    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.

  • 2012

    In 2012 new record turnover of SEK 901 million was set.

  • 2014

    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.