Objective: Growth – but not too fast

Since 2002, Akademikliniken, one of Northern Europe’s largest private cosmetic surgery clinics, has held twelve conferences and exhibitions in Stockholm, where the clinic has its headquarters, under the title Beauty Through Science. Between 26-28 May 2016, the event was held for the sixth time at the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel and Waterfront Congress Center, right on the waterfront in the capital city.

“Beauty Through Science, which is also the motto of the clinic, aims to be Scandinavia’s most important forum for everyone involved in cosmetic surgery. This is where you can catch up on the latest scientific achievements, the newest technologies and the most recent research findings and treatment methods.”

The founder’s baby

This is how Anna Eliasson, Executive Assistant to Per Hedén and project manager for the grand annual event describes it. “Per Hedén is one of Akademikliniken’s two founders. It was he who originally kick started Beauty Through Science and he is the conference’s executive director each year. It’s his baby,” she says.

One concrete goal of the event is to come out even financially. The idea is not to make money from it, but to increase the number of participants so that turnover goes up each year. This enables more and more activities to be carried out and the world’s leading experts to be invited to Stockholm as lecturers. In real terms, the goal this year is for 800 people to take part and for that number to increase by 100 every year from now on.

Participants from 45 countries

“Last year, participants came from not just all over Scandinavia, but from 45 countries around the world,” says Anna Eliasson. “Sponsors and exhibitors contribute, of course, to the turnover,  and the participants, many of whom are our competitors as well as colleagues, also pay to come and learn more about our industry. By and large, we want to cover the entire industry to the greatest extent possible, so we have a growth strategy – but it needs to be controlled growth to ensure we are able to keep up with it ourselves,” she says.

The cosmetic surgery industry has two main areas of focus: procedures requiring surgery, and so-called non-surgical treatments. This latter is a steadily growing field of specialisation and includes laser technology and injection treatments. The 2015 event displayed one example of the event’s growth criteria in that, for the first time in a conference context, we put on parallel sessions for these two areas. Another objective we have is to attract new interest groups, such as dermatologists.

Room to grow at the Waterfront

“At the Waterfront, we’ve been able to extend ourselves because there are so many meeting rooms and large exhibition areas available, and we can continue to do that over the coming years. The exhibition, which in 2015 included 24 suppliers of implants, instruments and a lot of other items used in the industry, will this year grow to at least 30”, Anna says

Originally, the Grand Hotel in Stockholm hosted Beauty Through Science every other year, but two things happened in 2012 that forced the event to move to the newly built Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel. Firstly, it had become too big for the Grand Hotel and the second issue was that a restriction was imposed in Sweden – as in so many other countries – stating that conferences in the medical industry were no longer allowed to use five-star hotels. “That suited us fine,” says Eliasson, who goes on to say: “as far as we’re concerned in our collaboration, the service at the Waterfront is five star anyway!”

Since 2015, Akademikliniken has successfully collaborated with congress arranger MCI Nordic regarding everything related to the logistics of the conference and exhibition.

Akademikliniken runs private hospitals in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö (with an associated practice in Copenhagen) as well as in Oslo and an additional six walk-in clinics in Sweden and five in Norway.

By Lars Blicher-Hansen

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