Success story

The University of Jyväskylä and Finnish Society of Sport Sciences, with the International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity hosted the first Online International Symposium of Adapted Physical Activity (ISAPA) on June 15-18, 2021. ISAPA is a well-respected international scientific congress and is organised around the world biennially. The Online ISAPA 2021 was granted patronage by the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE).

Photo: Erwin Borremans

International congresses 2021 mainly virtual

Jyväskylä is a lively city for international meetings and congresses. However, the congress year 2021 was quieter than normal due to the pandemic. The organiser was mainly the University of Jyväskylä. The aim of the gathering was to share scientific research knowledge and strengthen international scientific networks.

According to statistics from the Jyväskylä Convention Bureau and the University of Jyväskylä, 33 international scientific meetings and congresses were organised in 2021. They were mainly organised as online events, either fully virtual or hybrid, with some participants on-site and some online. Some were postponed to future years and some were cancelled altogether. Before the pandemic, there were around 50 meetings per year, with an average total of 3800 participants.

– Although fewer congresses were organised than in previous years, the number of participants was about the same as before,” says Jaana Ruponen, Marketing Manager at the Jyväskylä Convention Bureau. This is because the virtual event lowers the threshold for participation, for example by reducing travel costs and saving time. Local accommodation, catering and social programme operators are of course not happy about this, as important tourism revenue is lost when people attend congresses from their home computers instead of coming to Jyväskylä,” Ruponen continues.

– Organising congresses online is easy with today’s technology. Whereas in 2020 the challenge was to increase technological know-how, now the aim is to improve the participant experience. According to international studies, face-to-face meetings, sharing research knowledge and creating international research networks and contacts are very important. That is why most of the congresses will certainly be organised on-site in the future – and this year will be no exception,” says Ruponen. However, the uncertain global situation makes researchers cautious about applying for new congresses.

The Jyväskylä Convention Bureau (JCB) helps organisers of international meetings and congresses to bring events in their field to Jyväskylä. It works through a network of 22 public associations and companies. The network is led by the City of Jyväskylä.

For more information:
Marketing Manager Jaana Ruponen, Jyväskylä Convention Bureau, tel 050 344 6496,

Health and safety are our top priorities

20 January 2021

When the time is right, all of us in the Finnish business events industry want to make sure that event planners and congress guests who come to Finland can enjoy their trip safely. Business events suppliers in Finland monitor and follow the advice of authorities regarding the corona virus situation and work together around health safety to ensure the safety of the facilities and services.

Finland is the most popular congress country in the Nordics

12 August 2020

According to the annual meetings statistics report*, published by the Union of International Associations in July, Finland is the most popular Nordic country for hosting international congresses. Finland ranks number 12, the top three countries being Singapore, Belgium and South Korea. The Finnish capital Helsinki also beats its Nordic neighbours and takes the 12th spot in the city ranking.

Jyväskylä in top 5 of the congress cities

4 March 2020

Jyväskylä was the fifth most popular congress city in 2019 according to the national statistics. There were 51 conferences and congresses held and they brought together 3736 participants to the city. Meetings and congresses were organized mainly at the University of Jyväskylä and aimed at sharing scientific knowledge and strengthening international networks.

The number of the congresses and the participants varies widely from year to year. 2016-2018 were record-breaking, while 2019 congresses were significantly smaller.

– Jyväskylä is a convenient city to organize congresses and the feedback from participants and organizes is generally excellent, says Jaana Ruponen, Marketing Manager from Jyväskylä Convention Bureau.

The feedback praises the compactness of the city and its great facilities to organize congresses. The professional service, the exciting adventure venues nearby and the variety of accommodation options are highly recognized. In addition to hotel expansions, the city has also recently raised the amount of more affordable accommodation options. Pure nature, cruises and walking along the beach were considered to be a refreshing experience after hectic congress day.

– The biggest challenge for Jyväskylä is accessibility. Participants from all around the world are annoyed by the low number of flights between Helsinki and Jyväskylä, Ruponen continues.

Jyväskylä’s congress marketing is based on a network of 22 public corporations and companies. The network is run buy City of Jycväskylä and channelled through Jyväskylä Convention Bureau (JCB). JCB helps organizers of international conferences and congresses to apply events to be organized in Jyväskylä.