Line Up: Stockholm Convention Bureau "incredibly helpful"

Rob Leach, Managing Director of Line Up

During the summer of 2009, the global sales force flew into Stockholm to test-drive the all-new Volvo V70 and XC70; 6,500 people from around the world had a chance to become acquainted with the new cars and the Swedish capital. The help from local authorities and the Stockholm Convention Bureau was highly appreciated.

Rob Leach, Director of Line UpRob Leach, Managing Director of Line Up, the company that arranged this huge event, tells us about the nine intense summer weeks of 2009. Groups of 150–200 people arrived for a 48-hour immersive car experience; when one group left, another group arrived.

Why did you choose Stockholm?

We chose Stockholm partly because of Volvo’s Swedish heritage, but also because of the great atmosphere in Stockholm. The city really suited the vehicles we were talking about at that time. Stockholm is a very cosmopolitan city; it feels very modern and edgy.

What is your impression of...

…the Stockholm Convention Bureau?

My team found them incredibly helpful; they gave us information and came up with some ideas. We really enjoyed working with them. The broadness of the support and the knowledge were much appreciated.

…hotels in Stockholm?

We stayed at Clarion Hotel. It has a cool, clean Scandinavian design feel with modern bedrooms, and although it was slightly small, it was still very comfortable. The Clarion staff was very supportive; they worked hard to ensure every detail was looked after—so much so that they really felt like part of the team. Overall, we and our client Volvo were very happy with the hotel.

…local authorities and the local community?

We built a test track in Malmby, just north of Stockholm. The support from the local authorities was great. They allowed us to build temporary buildings in Malmby in order to produce the sort of event that we wanted.

Having such good connections and that support at a local level was incredibly helpful. This kind of event is a lot harder to do than regular meetings. You have to consider the effects on the local community for a period of time. 50 cars were driving through their area every day, for nine weeks straight.

We recruited a lot of local staff, and they were really helpful and keen to get involved. Language skills are very good, which is important when you are organizing an international event.

Would you recommend Stockholm as a meeting destination?

Yes, absolutely. It makes a very interesting alternative to other European destinations. Stockholm has a cool Scandinavian design and artsy edge that is very special and unique. The city has good flight connections and the flights are regular. Perhaps you have to work a little harder to get there than to more centrally located airport destinations, but it certainly rewards you with a different atmosphere.