Policy statement: All-in-one concept generates growth – Plans and visions for the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre 2016-2030
During the 2000s, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre has really increased its momentum. We have invested successfully within the trade fairs and meetings, hotel, restaurant and culture and entertainment segments. We are now aiming to build on that and invest even more. New welcoming entrances that allow for greater interaction with our surroundings is one objective. Another is to strengthen the city’s and the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre’s new silhouette with a fourth and fifth tower. An additional objective is to attract visitors from around the world as Gothenburg augments its international profile. These efforts will make us Europe’s most attractive meeting venue.
Since completion of the third tower in 2014, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre has grown in all respects, including hundreds of thousands more visitors. Furthermore, we have increased turnover by just over 25%, an additional SEK 250 million, which has established us as a billion-kronor company. However, even more importantly: Our visitors have spent approximately SEK 2.5 billion with the rest of Gothenburg’s hospitality sector, e.g. other hotels, restaurants, transport and entertainment. We want to increase this substantially.
The foundations have been laid, the objective set and the plans have been formulated. Over the next 15 years the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre will expand further. This is good for Gothenburg and the whole of western Sweden.
We want to take Gothenburg to the world and bring the world to Gothenburg
One success factor for the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre is that the travel and meetings market is expanding throughout the world. People and organisations are demanding more inspiring, personal meetings set in an all-in-one context, with experiences beyond the actual trade fair or congress. Although this also means that competition to attract global visitors is increasing, since we are no longer competing primarily with meeting venues in Sweden. We are competing with the big conference cities of the world, such as Berlin, Barcelona and Singapore.
Thanks to the fact that we now rank highly as a host of international congresses, we can attract major cultural and sports events, world-famous artists and the most important dignitaries with the biggest agendas. We can also indirectly attract skilled labour and exciting establishment of companies to a more interesting and creative city. A city that holds its own amongst international competition, worth visiting and staying – where you want to spend your time and money.
City-centre location provides unique all-in-one concept
Being part of Gothenburg has always been good for the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre. The city is crucial to our overall ambition. It’s easy to get here and close to everything, both services and entertainment. It creates an authentic city experience for our visitors. At the same time they get to meet local residents here, as natural visitors to most of our events. Collaboration and integration with other organisations in the city also add to the all-in-one concept: academia, Gothenburg’s commercial sector, cultural organisations and, of course, our neighbours in the events zone, e.g. Liseberg amusement park, Universeum Science Centre and the Scandinavium sport and concert arena.
A long-term and effective foundation
Together with other stakeholders, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre wants to be involved in driving the development of Gothenburg. We are a private foundation with wide-ranging support among trade and industry, politics and society, which gives us two big advantages. The first is that we have no owners, instead we have a purpose. We exist for the purpose of promoting trade and industry. This means no share dividends or division of profits. All surplus is reinvested in the business. A foundation is bigger than specific individuals, which guarantees long-term commitments. The second is that we can effect our decisions quickly. Delaying support projects are rarely required. Only an efficient organisation with driving force to implement plans and visions.
The plan for 15 years of growth
The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre’s vision is to become “Europe’s most attractive meeting venue by offering the best total experience”. This is closer than you might think. There are not many other meeting venues with such a wealth of positive assets. We have numerous opportunities to make the most of our potential if we dare to think creatively and commercially.
New entrances interact with our surroundings
The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and Gothia Towers are already a hub in Gothenburg. It’s easy to get here and there’s lots to do. Once the West Link is complete it will be even easier. For the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, the West Link represents new potential for both international and local travellers, among other things. People will want to live, work and reside near Korsvägen station.
To enable us to coexist with the construction of the West Link, we will begin by developing our eastern entrance, at the corner facing Focus and Liseberg. This will serve as an excellent complement to our other entrances, create new visitor flows and enrich the cityscape in that quarter. The turf-cutting ceremony will take place in two years.
In the second stage, once the West Link is complete, our new main entrance will be the first thing that many long-distance visitors see when they arrive in the city. The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and other stakeholders around Korsvägen will be the gateway to and from Gothenburg, particularly when the north-western entrance in the direction of the Scandinavium, which is then next in turn for alterations, becomes a natural link to the city centre.
The fourth and fifth towers
The three towers of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre are a distinctive element of the Gothenburg city skyline. When the third tower took shape in 2013-2014 it became a kind of symbol of growth and belief in the future, for us here at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in particular, but also for Gothenburg as a whole. A city making rapid progress.
At roughly the same time we began work on the eastern entrance, we started building our fourth tower, located at the north-eastern corner of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, between Mölndalsån and Valhalla. In five years’ time it will be 110 metres high with 35 storeys – Gothenburg’s tallest building.
In connection with opening our new main entrance we will also build a fifth, slightly shorter, tower. Forming an extended line with the three current towers, it will enhance the already familiar silhouette.
City life and global visitors
Over the past decade we have added to Gothenburg city life, with new restaurants, a hotel with spa facilities and cultural events easily available at Gothia Towers. In the long term we will develop the whole trade fair and meeting venue and open it up as an even more natural part of everyday living, where global visitors and local residents will come and meet up in an open, enriching setting featuring a mix of shopping, dining experiences, culture and events.
An emerging all-in-one concept
In fifteen years’ time there will be no boundary between Gothenburg, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and the world. More visitors will come here via better travel routes. They will participate in more, better and larger events and meetings. Stay in one of our towers and eat in our restaurants. They will move freely in and out of the city and enjoy vibrant city living to the full. An unforgettable and enriching overall experience and good business for the city’s commercial sector and inhabitants. Just as our founders envisioned almost one hundred years ago.