Success through partnership
”Partnership” is the word Roberta Mugnai, Executive Director of ECTS (European Calcified Tissues Society), used to describe her experience of working with the professionals at Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre (Messukeskus) to organize their annual congress in May 2022.
Helsinki won the bid to host the annual ECTS Congress of the European Calcified Tissues Society in winter 2020, just shortly prior to the Covid-19 outbreak. The emergence of the omicron virus in November 2021 did not slow down the execution plans of the congress. However, low registration numbers caused worries. Early bird registration fees failed to draw attendees in spring 2022. Low registration numbers are most likely the result of a new behavior of last-minute decision-making, confirmed by other congress organizers as well. Only 20% of the participants registered with the early-bird fee in 2022, compared to 80% of the pre-Covid years.
But finally, eager discussions, hugs, laughter and smiling faces filled the luminous halls of Messukeskus Helsinki in the beginning of May 2022. The joy of meeting face to face was tangible, as the very first hybrid ECTS conference attracted 730 people to Helsinki. Two hundred participants followed the scientific content online, but they missed the party of the year in downtown Helsinki that lasted to the early hours of the last conference day.