Aalborg’s leap in ICCA rankings is based on strong local collaboration

Published on : Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Aalborg's leap in ICCACongress city Aalborg in north Jutland is on a roll! The city has entered the Top 100 of ICCA’s (International Congress and Convention Association) European City Ranking in 2013 and thus, climbed the ranks In 2013 Aalborg climbed from no. 106 to no. 84 on ICCA’s European listing. Aalborg also went from no. 206 to no.164 on ICCA’s global ranking list last year.


It is a strong local collaboration and confidence from a series of successes that has whetted VisitAalborg and Aalborg University’s appetite for winning more international scientific and technical conferences. One such win was the prestigious European Control Conference (ECC) 2016 where 600-800 professors, researchers, academic staff and industry partake, and the good results of Aalborg are reflected in the ICCA ranking of the world’s most popular congress cities too.


– Aalborg has experienced strong growth in 2013-14 and naturally we are delighted to have entered ICCA’s top 100 European City Ranking in the latest ICCA Survey, says Hanne Kristiansen, Convention Manager at VisitAalborg, the local convention bureau.


According to Hanne Kristiansen there are two reasons for Aalborg’s success. Firstly, Aalborg University has increased their interest in attracting scientific conferences to the city and secondly, VisitAalborg has intensified its outreach work.


The Danish Convention Manager and her team collaborate with Aalborg University on bidding for both small and large-scale conferences and focus on bidding for conferences that are of special interest to the local Professors and the Academic Staff at Aalborg University. Conference wins include the before mentioned ECC 2016 (600-800 participants in four days) and the REHVA’s World Congress CLIMA 2016 (800 participants in four days) – and thus, the conferences won are generally larger and more prestigious than before.


With more prestigious conferences comes big responsibilities, however, and a strong collaboration between relevant partners is key. To Eskild Holm Nielsen, Dean at the Faculty of Engineering and Science at Aalborg University, it is crucial that the huge responsibility of hosting a conference is equally distributed, with the academic staff focusing on the scientific part of a conference while VisitAalborg and business partners deal with the practical matters of a conference. It is this fruitful working relationship between Aalborg University and VisitAalborg that the city currently is reaping the benefits of.


– Without the close working relationship we have in the city of Aalborg, we wouldn’t be able to attract this many international conferences. It has given our academic staff motivational experiences and whether it’s a small workshop or a large-scale conference, it is crucial that the event is successful when we gather peers and industries from across the world. Repeatedly, when our staff initially is involved in smaller events and comended by their foreign peers, it wets their appetite for bidding for larger-scale conferences too, says Dean Holm Nielsen.


According to the latest figures by VisitDenmark a foreign delegate spends approx. EUR 400 per day in Denmark and the ECC 2016 alone is expected to result in a turnover of approx. EUR 1,000,000 in Aalborg.


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