Several hundred association executives and exhibitors from the meetings industry gathered in Gothenburg, Sweden, for two-and-a-half days of education, networking…and entertainment.
Associations World Congress kicked off with a special forum for medical associations and an uplifting musical reception with performances from various choirs and orchestras.
Business proper began when Paul Welander, senior adviser to the CEO of Gothenburg-based automotive company Volvo, gave the opening keynote speech on the power of collaboration.
This year’s event had a new format, with delegates encouraged to move between streams throughout the day, to allow people a greater degree of flexibility and wider scope for learning.
The event was clearly a big deal for Gothenburg, which has installed meetings as a central plank in the city's sustainable tourism strategy, and is celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2021.
Addressing the opening plenary session Ely Flyborg, Gothenburg City Councillor and former member of the Swedish Parliament, said: “We have a very close collaboration between the business community, the academic world, politics and the citizens of Gothenburg. We are growing in a sustainable way. In fact we are the most sustainable destination in the world."
She added: “In Gothenburg we know that meetings are of vital importance, because it develops competence, it boosts our tourism and it makes us grow and we will be better for it. We will be better if you come here, you will better for being here.”
A journalist for more than 22 years, AMI editor James
Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international
association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation
for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Page
proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk,
read, listen to music, and drink beer.