Autumn is often associated with dark and cold pre-Christmas times. That hasn’t been the case at Siddis Center this year.

With the 3 Lakes Race, Norwegian Championship in Taekwondo, Humor Gala, Schizophrenia Days, Stavanger Oilers matches, Handball World Championship, Veteran Norwegian Championship, Offshore Technology Days (OTD), concerts, and more, there has been a lot of activity and excitement in the area this fall.

The 3 Lakes Race organised by GTI Athletics Club.

The activity at Siddis Center means joy, achievement, knowledg-sharing, regional exposure, increased hosting skills, and positive figures for the tourism industry with good synergies across the region, for the stakeholders in the area, and visitors. This fall has shown how important it is to exploit the area for the potential it holds, and further development of larger events and conferences.

Handball World Championship in DnB Arena

The highlight for many was the IHF Women’s Handball World Championship, which took place from late November. The championship was organised in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Preliminary rounds (2 groups) took place in Stavanger before moving on to Trondheim, Frederikshavn, Herning, Helsingborg, and Gothenburg.

Handball World Championship in DnB Arena organised by the Norwegian Handball Federation, NHF Region Southwest, and IHF.

Norway national team coach Thorir Hergeirsson praised Stavanger as the hosting city to local newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad and gave the city a rating between 9 and 10 on a scale from 1 to 10.

“It has been fantastic. The arena, facilities, and the audience top it all. It’s really, really good,” he said to Stavanger Aftenblad.

“It’s very exciting that we have so many enthusiasts in the region who take on the task of organising fantastic events like the Women’s Handball World Championship. In addition to thousands of visitors and economic benefits for businesses, this creates invaluable social synergies for the great joy of the local community.”

Anette Larsen Bognø, Director of Events Region Stavanger

Clear impact for the hotels

Region Stavanger actively works to generate more demand for tourism across multiple segments. Congresses and events are the most measurable segments being focused on. It is also in these areas that synergies and long-term effects on the local community are significantly influenced.

Graph 1. Number of sold hotel rooms in the period Oct 16 – Dec 3.

Graph 1 illustrates the number of rooms sold over a period of approximately one and a half months. The statistics demonstrate a clear pattern of events impacting hotel occupancy in the region. The midweek numbers remain consistently high due to business travelers. The so-called shoulder nights, including weekends and nights before/after weekends, are crucial for the tourism industry to boost, and in this context, events are essential.

The two weekends in the middle of November (10-12th and 17-19th) had the lowest hotel occupancy, which aligns with the observation that there were not many events with out-of-town participants taking place in the region during that time.

For hotels on site like Thon Partner – Stavanger Forum hotel it’s particularly visible impacts during events. This hotel is now gearing up to accommodate more guests through its renovation, which is expected to be completed in the winter of 2024.

With a completely renovated hotel, where many of our rooms are multi-bed rooms, we are well equipped to welcome conference guests, sports groups, and families. Additionally, the individual guest who appreciates a good start to the day with breakfast and the city’s very best view can enjoy our facilities.


Benchmarking Alliance

Region Stavanger, like most hotels in the region, has a strong collaboration with Benchmarking Alliance, which provides comprehensive market data knowledge and statistics of hotels in the Nordic region. By using BA, weaknesses and strengths for the hotel industry can be identified, providing an opportunity to compare the industry with other cities. Region Stavanger is working with the same market data as the hotels, but in a different way.

An important initative employed by Region Stavanger is the use of BA calendar to register upcoming events. This serves two important purposes:

1. Providing an overview of significant upcoming events to assist in planning and influencing the choice of dates for new events in collaboration with organisers. In this way, Region Stavanger endeavors to influence where and when new events should be organised to avoid conflicts with others and to create a more consistently high influx for the tourism industry.

2. As demonstrated in the example of Graph 1, the events registered by Region Stavanger are measured against key metrics such as occupancy rate, number of rooms sold, RevPAR (revenue per available room), average rates etc. This provides valuable insights for the concrete identification of development needs.

Region Stavanger has taken important steps in collecting data within the tourism industry and effectively utilizes the calendar function to measure events/conferences against hotel statistics. This is a valuable tool that is gaining increased international interest, and Region Stavanger is leading the way in its implementation.

Per-Anders Pettersson, Co-founder Benchmarking Alliance

Development Potential

Siddis Center experiences periodic high activity, reaching its peak every other year when ONS is held in late summer. However, it is not fully utilized, and several stakeholders are working towards increasing activity in the area. One of Region Stavanger’s mandates is sales and marketing for Siddis Center, targeting events and conferences that attract visitors. This often involves collaborating with clubs, associations, and federations at the local, national, and international levels. Region Stavanger frequently participates in trade shows and conferences abroad to promote the area. In 2023, the project manager for Siddis Center has participated in:

  • IMEX Messe, Frankfurt
  • ICCA Nordic Association Forum, Tampere
  • MEI Host & Federation Summit, Lausanne
  • ICCA Global Association Forum , Torshavn
  • International Sports Convention, London
  • Host City Conference, Glasgow
IMEX Expo in Frankfurt in May 2023

Several hundred meetings with relevant decision-makers have been conducted throughout the year, and Siddis Center has become a new and attractive potential location for several organizers in the future. Beyond the Tjensvoll area, it is naturally important to sell the idea of Norway and the region. Customers appreciate the broad knowledge offered by Region Stavanger as the Visitor & Convention Bureau.

From ONS trade fair 2022, returning as one of Norway’s largest events 2024. Foto: Jan Inge Haga

Region Stavanger has been working for several years on the sales and marketing of conferences for the entire region, including the members in the Tjensvoll area. However, it wasn’t until 2021 that the sale of Siddis Center became a separate project with funding from the Stavanger municipality. This is a three-year project that Region Stavanger hopes will become a permanent and strengthened initiative. For Siddis Center to evolve into an area with consistently high activity for international events and conferences, it requires investment with a long-term perspective and continued commitment with an anchored desire to develop the Stavanger region into a sought-after congress destination for hosting prestigious events.

For more information about the possibilities at Siddis Center: