From 19th to 21st of November, the Nordic countries got together in the Nordic pavilion at the World Smart City Expo in Barcelona. The Expo and Congress attracted over 24,000 participants this year, including nearly 500 from the Nordic delegations. KPMG was the organizer for Finland, together with Business Finland.
KPMG Finland’s role was to coordinate the Finnish delegation on behalf of Business Finland and to create the Nordic Pavilion together with Nordic partners. This was the third year in a row that Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden set up the Pavilion for Nordic cities and companies within the Smart City cluster. This year, however, they were joined for the first time by an Icelandic delegation. The Nordic participants represented all operators in the Smart City cluster, including investors and companies of all sizes, cities and municipalities, non-profit NGOs and governmental organisations, not to forget ordinary citizens, as well.
As in previous years, the pavilion was visually attractive and well-located close to the stands of likeminded nations and appreciated partners for the Nordics – such as the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Microsoft and the UN’s U4SSC initiative.
The Pavilion’s central coffee bar was always frequented by eager coffee lovers, except during receptions when treats such as Finnish beer and tapas were served. There was enough room at the exhibitors’ stands for interesting discussions to take place, but for serious negotiations or private conversations the Pavilion’s meeting room was the go-to option.
Although the World Congress featured some 400 speeches, many of the Nordic participants joined the event only because of the Nordic Pavilion. This year, the three-day program was stretched to also include pre-events and delegation visits. The sole purpose of all events was to strengthen the Nordic brand and leadership within technology and sustainability, and to make a unified impact on global markets. In practice, the program consisted of inspirational presentations, start-up minded pitching sessions, round table discussions, networking receptions, workshops and speed meetings. These provided opportunities for companies, cities and regions to showcase their smart solutions as part of the Nordic pavilion.
The events that were most valued by participants were the round table discussions, where there was enough time to actually discuss and share possible solutions for cities’ cases. The Nordic Networking dinner and delegation visits also gained an exceptional number of appreciative comments this year.
The Nordic pavilion’s main partners are Business Finland, CLEAN, Cleantech Scandinavia and Innovation Norway.
We would like to thank all the participants of the Finnish delegation, our Nordic partners, and everyone who visited the pavilion.
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