Commitment, collaboration and courage

It is not only trade fair visitors, hotel and restaurant guests, tourists and business travellers who meet here, but also many different trades and professions. We do our utmost to create the best possible experience for our guests and visitors.

Jakob Ryder i The Gallery på Gothia Towers

Jacob - Salesperson

From budget and market plan to implementation. As a salesperson for the Boat Fair, Jacob has a very wide role.

“My job is to get exhibitors in, but also to create an exciting meeting place for people. I can’t see how it would be possible to tire of working on the job I do today,” he says.

What gets you excited in your work?

“Creating a meeting place where our exhibitors can do good business” The best thing I know is when someone comes up to me during the fair and says ‘we have sold a lot of boats today’. Another thing that is important to me of course is the visitors, that they should have a fantastic day where they can experience the boating life and get a foretaste of summer.”

What kind of person do you think you have to be to succeed in your role?

“Very outgoing, service minded and always on your toes. Personal meetings are incredibly important, so you must reckon on having customer contact. Lots of customer contact. At the last fair we had 297 exhibitors! You also need to have the courage to dare to change, go outside the box and not think ‘we will do things as usual’. When we close the doors on the Boat Fair, we immediately start work on the budget and market plan for the next year, and then it is important not to get stuck in a rut. Of course collaboration is also very important.” We work as a team.”

What is the best thing about your job?

“The fact that it is so varied and that I get new challenges every day. No two days are the same. The Boat Fair is renewed every year and the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre focuses on employee development. 
And we also work in a fantastic environment. One day the place is full of dog lovers who have come for MyDOG, and the next it is the beer and whisky fair. Having all these people coming into the building every day makes by work extra cool.”

“Working on the Boat Fair is like starting up a new company – every year.”

  • Name: Jacob Ryder
  • Education: Business economics, IHM Business School
  • Works as: Salesperson on the Boat Fair
  • Employed in the group since: 2013
  • Leisure interests: running and football
Lina Ristori bakom disken i hotellreceptionen

Lina - Supervisor

Lina started as a hotel receptionist at Gothia Towers. Today she is a supervisor and describes her work as inspiring and challenging. What drives her every day? Meeting people from all over the world.

What do you do every day?

“I check the day’s agenda, coach employees, get involved in invoicing and am responsible for running the hotel reception. My job is about everything from questions on forms to checking in and out, regular guest programmes and forward planning.

During my education, I had job practice at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and Gothia Towers. I originally intended to work in the conference area, but after trying a number of parts of the group I was drawn towards hotel reception! I get on extremely well here, and I love being involved in customer relations. Being able to give our guests that little bit extra and seeing how they brighten up and become happy, that gives me energy.”

How would you describe Gothia Towers as an employer?

“As an employer of opportunity. It is so widespread with so many potential branches that opportunities for employees are endless. I think there must be something for everyone here. Plus. the environment is very creative and accessible. We are always looking for new thoughts and ideas. And it’s really enjoyable to be working at Europe’s fifth largest hotel.”

Have you any tips for anyone who might be interested in working here?

“Be unafraid, open, flexible and happy. And don’t be afraid to get stuck in where it is needed, because we all work together with other departments and really love to maintain our great team spirit. And of course, anyone who works here must really be enthusiastic about giving a service. It’s such a cliché, but it is also absolutely true. You have to think that it is genuinely fun to help our guests and meet different cultures.”

“My days are intensive, rewarding and exciting. And they simply fly past!”

  • Name: Lina Ristori
  • Education: in sales and conferences
  • Works as: Supervisor
  • Employed in the group since: 2013
  • Previous role in the group: Receptionist
  • Leisure interests: travel, films, history, art and literature. Visits Italy often and loves to make Italian food. Often out walking, especially in the countryside as we have a dog.
Nickla Rådberg i köket på Estrad

Nicklas - Sous chef

Nicklas is sous chef at Estrad – Gothia Towers main restaurant and party venue.

“Here no two days are alike. And the group has grown enormously in the last few years, so we are in an exciting development phase,” he says.

What do you do at work?

“I plan, order and work on lunches and dinners. The work is extremely varied and still offers plenty of challenges! The main reason I am so happy in my work is probably my colleagues. We are a good gang here. And we make good food! The fact is that, in spite of the large volumes, we make everything from scratch.”

What kind of person do you think you have to be to succeed in your role?

“Flexible is a really good word. You really have to be able to adapt. New things come at you quickly here. You never know what the next day will bring. One day we may be preparing a banquet for 1,700 conference delegates, and the next making lunch for 30. Obviously you also need a good temperament and to be a driven chef.”

Have you any tips for anyone who might be interested in working here?

“Be yourself. And rest assured that you will be coming to a good working group. We always look after new employees here so that they feel comfortable in the role and can grill the steak just right!”

“When we have finished serving a large gala dinner and all 1,700 guests are satisfied and happy – that feels really good.”

  • Name: Nicklas Rådberg
  • Education: restaurant at upper secondary level
  • Works as: Sous Chef with personnel responsibility, Estrad restaurant
  • Employed in the Group since: 2010
  • Leisure interests: skiing in winter and enjoying the coast in summer
Frida Edman på kontoret på Bok & Bibliotek

Frida - Business Developer

Frida came to the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre from a background as project manager and marketing manager. And she is really happy here.

“I develop new business in existing projects and test the ground for new initiatives. The environment is very inspiring and I am developing all the time,” she says.

What gets you excited in your role?

“I am excited about collaboration between us as owners of various projects and partners who can help us to strengthen our efforts, our content and our business. As I see it, this is about creating a win-win situation. We get better business, the customer gets a higher return and we exceed the expectations of the customer’s customers! Another thing I feel strongly about is development. I think it is really great to develop existing projects and processes. When it all comes down to it, change is something positive! Doing the same thing in the same way gets boring. That is partly why I get on so well at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre. Here we are challenged to think afresh, and I have a manager who listens and gives me room to try out new ideas.”

How do the core values help you in your job?

“For me, collaboration is a prerequisite for being able to do my job. That collaboration is one of our core values is perhaps self-evident and it confirms more than it challenges. The same with commitment. It is second nature to me and my collegaues. I have also really learned to appreciate the core value of courage. It takes courage to develop, courage to negotiate, courage to get involved in some circumstances and sometimes also courage to question antiquated ways of working. As long as my employer says that courage is important, then I will try to be courageous. This has helped me to be bold in many instances where perhaps previously I would have been more cautious.”

What kind of person do you think you have to be to succeed in your role?

“Driven. In my role, if you do not get stuck in you get nowhere. But when it comes down to it, you must also think that what you are doing is fun: that it is fun to travel, fun to make new contacts and even fun to get involved in slightly more difficult contexts, such as hard negotiation. It is also vital to have a high level of social competence and listen to the customer’s needs. In this way, you create business that favours everyone.”

If you could only choose one thing – what is the best thing about your job?

“That the focus is now on development rather than administration.”

“One day I am among publishers on the exhibition floor, on other days the lift up to the office smells of horses – and you never know who you are going to meet in the corridors. Unexpected meetings can be great!”

  • Name: Frida Edman
  • Education: upper secondary teacher training and exams in media and communication studies
  • Works as: Business Developer at Bok & Bibliotek, since 2015
  • Employed in the group since: 2013
  • Previous role in the group: Key account Manager
  • Leisure interests: the sea, finding a flea-market bargain and travelling
John Alder på kontoret på Svenska Mässan koncernen

John - Accountant

John swapped London for Gothenburg and loves the Swedish working climate. He gets a lot of responsibility here and often has the opportunity to test new and challenging tasks.

What do you do at work?

“I have a very wide role that covers everything from group accountancy and creating annual financial statements to monitoring our loan portfolio and handling the group’s fixed asset register. The workplace itself is developing and changing all the time, which also affects my job; it’s a bit like travel. Not a trip to the beach perhaps, more a voyage of discovery. It’s exciting!”

How do you notice the core values in the workplace?

“When we were breaking down the investment in the Triple Tower project, which was an investment of SEK 1.2 billion, into different components for the fixed assets register, it was obvious how well we work together and the commitment that is put in. For many of our partners this was a new way of working and we worked closely with each other to make sure it would work.”

What kind of person do you think you have to be to succeed in your role?

Three words: organised, proactive and thorough. Organised so as to keep pace with deadlines, proactive so as to be prepared, when closing the books for example, and thorough because attention to detail is important in this role. I also think it is important to appreciate the people you work with, behind all the ones and zeros. You always hear laughter in the corridors and this is infectious in your contacts with colleagues.”

If you could only choose one thing – what is the best thing about your job?

Year-end! It is always exciting to see how the group’s annual result falls into place.

  • Name: John Alder
  • Education: Auditing exam from the Institute of Chartered Accountants and MSc, University of Cambridge.
  • Works as: Accountant in the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre Group
  • Employed in the group since: 2007
  • Leisure interests: golf and curling (plays himself), family and football (favourite team is Arsenal)
Tomas Belfrage i entrén till Bok & Bibliotek

Tomas - Sales Executive

Tomas is excited about doing business that develops both the Book Fair and its customers.

“The highpoint of the year is the last Thursday in September when the Book Fair opens, when expectant visitors are getting off of full trams and forming a queue around the building,” he says.

What is a normal day at work like?

“The fun thing is that this is such a dynamic workplace that no two days are alike. As a sales executive I have many customers who want to see the halls and even this is a new experience because they are always being rebuilt. We change and develop the Book Fair concept during the year, often together with our partners, and this means that new ideas and discussions take shape that I then help to follow up on. I enjoy that, and with a meeting place that keeps changing there are many possibilities to explore, for collaboration both inside and outside the building.”

What qualities do you need to succeed in your role?

“I think it is important to be open to change, outward looking, goal-oriented and with a positive feeling. In my role, I focus a great deal on finding new forms of collaboration and solutions, so it is important to be part of the whole sales process from start to finish. Both the industry and the meeting place we work in are changing all the time and as a person you need to enjoy this and see the opportunities.”

How have you developed during your time with the Book Fair?

“We work very closely with the other fairs and companies in the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and that means a great deal. Among other things, I have been involved in a manager supply programme that gave us an insight into different parts of the group, including how we work on communication and finance. The workplace in itself has also contributed a great deal to my development. When I started here, there were eight of us – now there are more than thirty. This has made for a creative environment and the way we work now crosses many boundaries. I have also built up project management training and received sales coaching, both in a group and individually.”

  • Name: Tomas Belfrage
  • Education: IT and project management programme at Halmstad University College
  • Works as: Sales Executive on the Book Fair
  • Employed in the group since: 2004
  • Leisure interests: football (season ticket at Blåvitt), being with the family, running and fixing up the house and summer house
Malin Erlandsson vid ett ståbord i Gothia Towers lobby

Malin - Director Association Sales

Malin has overall responsibility for sales of Swedish, Nordic and international congresses. This involves complex sales work and big meetings with many delegates – with lead times of two to ten years.

“We work with a five to ten year time frame. Right now we are planning for business in 2020 to 2022. The lead times may be long, but the job is fast moving and varied. One day we may be receiving representatives and showing them the best that Göteborg and the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre group have to offer and the next I may be working on business development and coaching employees.

What gets you excited in your role?

“Seeing my colleagues succeed. You see them fighting to go the extra mile, and then you can see the happiness in their eyes when we win some business – that is really fantastic. I also get excited about building long-term relationships, which is an important part of my work.”

You started out in the hotel reception and since then you have had many roles at Gothia Towers. why did you choose to move and develop within the group?

“I have always been goal-oriented and driven. I still remember my interview for the job of project coordinator. They asked me ‘Where will you be in five years?’ and I said that I was certain that my future lay in sales! I realized I wanted to work here when I was studying Hospitality Management in Gothenburg. There is security here and the organisation is very sound. But at the same time there is also an insistent belief in the future and the will to be first. That is a powerful combination. The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre is a fantastic employer that is good at keeping employees who want to move forward. If you get stuck in, have patience and do a good job, there are as many career opportunities as you wish.”

How have you been able to develop as a manager?

“I learn a fantastic amount every day. Partly by watching how other managers act and partly through courses. Among other things, we can participate in the managers forum, which is held by the group’s head of HR. We meet four times a year and there are lectures and workshops.  At the next we will have some training in conflict management. I have very good contact with my colleagues in the management group for sales and marketing, so I have many people to sound out questions and ideas with. Not least I have my own manager, whom I look up to a great deal. She coaches me in my role as a manager.”

“As a manager, I believe I am honest, straight and open. And I have always been a bundle of energy who likes to engage others.”

  • Name: Malin Erlandsson
  • Education: Hospitality Management, Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • Works as: Director Association Sales, Gothia Towers
  • Employed in the group since: 2001
  • Previous roles in the group: hotel receptionist, project coordinator, project manager, Sales Manager
  • Leisure interests: the family, skiing, handball, football, travel, food and the summer house
Caroline Grimpe i mässhallen med en ritning i händerna

Carolin - Production planner

Whatever the working area, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre/Gothia Towers offers an international atmosphere marked by collaboration. Carolin started as a summer temp in the hotel lobby. She is now Production Planner, and designs layouts and coordinates internal building.

How has your journey through the group been?

“Right after my exams, I got a summer job with Guest Service in reception. After six months I applied for a permanent job in house and became a project coordinator. Since then I have continued to take on new challenges and have worked as coordinator, guest service agent and transport coordinator. I am now Production Planner, which means that I design layouts and coordinate internal building.”

What is the best part about working here at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre/Gothia Towers?

“The variety! One moment I may be working on a layout for one of our own fair brands and the next discussing the structure of our theatre production with people in the restaurant. At the same time, there are external events in our venues and Gothia Avenue is putting on festive colours before the opening of our new gallery exhibition. As one of Europe’s biggest hotels, we are constantly offering new impressions while our facility bubbles with life. As a foundation, we reinvest in our own development, which has enabled the building of our new meeting place with the third tower. We have the courage to aim to be ‘Europe’s most attractive meeting place by offering the best total experience’ and I think that feels great!.

Who do you think should apply for a job here?

“We need many different kinds of expertise – such as in service, administration, production, finance, sales and marketing. Whatever the role you are applying for, your job will be characterised by a great deal of collaboration. We have many departments in house, all with their own specialist areas, and in our day-to-day work we depend on each other’s expertise in various contexts. Whatever direction you take here, if you have drive and ambition, you will have the opportunity to develop within the organisation. If you like that kind of environment, then I think you should apply for a job with us.”

“For those who have drive and ambition, there are good opportunities to grow within the group.”

  • Name: Carolin Grimpe
  • Education: Service Management, Lunds universitet
  • Works as: Production Planner, since spring 2015
  • Employed in the group since: 2010
  • Previous roles in the group: Guest Service, Project Coordinator, Project/event Coordinator, Guest Service Agent, Transport Coordinator
  • Leisure interests: exercise (right now as part of En Svensk Klassiker), exploring new travel destinations and spending time with family and friends

One day I am among publishers on the exhibition floor, on other days the lift up to the office smells of horses – and you never know who you are going to meet in the corridors. Unexpected meetings can be great!