Due to a growing need for capacity and strong international demand, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre is bringing forward plans to further expand its facilities with new, flexible meeting areas. An additional storey will be built on top of the existing hall area to create an extra 14,000 square metres of space. The new storey will include an auditorium.
“We have enormous need for increased capacity,” says Carin Kindbom, President and CEO, Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre. “Our national exhibition and meeting business is booming, and our international business has also exploded since we upgraded our facilities two years ago, our biggest investment ever.”
As part of this SEK 1.2 billion investment, a third tower was added to the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre’s Gothia Towers hotel, making it one of Europe’s ten largest hotels with a total of 1,200 rooms. This has generated a strong increase in demand, for instance from global companies eager to book meeting facilities, accommodation and restaurants under a single roof.
“We need to expand our flexible exhibition and meeting space to meet the market’s demands and remain internationally competitive,” explains Carin. “With the additional storey, we will be first in Scandinavia to offer an exhibition centre on two levels.
Building the new hall and meeting facilities on a third storey will allow the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre to implement its strategy of moving certain activities upstairs, thus freeing up space at ground level for activities that promote interaction with the surrounding city and its social life.
“For instance, shops and other facilities might be installed on ground level,” says Carin. “Meanwhile, we are working on extending our entrances, partly in preparation for the planned construction work around Korsvägen.”
In December 2015, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre applied for a development permit to expand the facility over a 15-year period, a project that includes two new towers, a new arcade, larger entrances and an additional storey. The expansion will be implemented earlier than planned and in a different order, to more quickly meet growing demand for flexible meeting and event facilities.
There are also future plans to construct two new towers which, among other things, will contain more hotel rooms. The aim is to increase the hotel capacity to 2,000 rooms to meet rising demand for large international events.
“We aim to continue growing, making Gothenburg more attractive and helping to promote local trade and industry,” says Carin. “Our vision is to become Europe’s most attractive forum by offering the best overall experience, and this requires investment and boldness. We have no other option if we want to compete in the global market.”
The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre is a financially independent foundation with no owners or investors.
“All investments are made on the Foundation’s merits and all surplus is reinvested in the business,” comments Roger Holtback, the Foundation’s Chairman of the Board. “Thanks to our strong financial development in recent years, we have the resources to continue developing and improving the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre’s facilities to accommodate our growing exhibition and meeting business.”
ABOUT THE SWEDISH EXHIBITION & CONGRESS CENTRE
The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre Group, of which Gothia Towers is a part, is owned by the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre Foundation and has the mission of promoting industry. The Foundation is financially independent so has no owners or investors. All investments are made on the Foundation’s merits and all surplus is reinvested in the business. The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre’s vision is to become Europe’s most attractive forum by offering the best overall experience.