In the spring of 2013 Trollhättan hosted “the Picture of the Year 2013” – a prestigious event that attracted around 500 people.
In the spring of 2012 the Press Photographers’ Club West (PFK West) was asked to host “the Picture of the Year 2013” in Gothenburg. A team, to which I belonged, was assembled. Thinking about facilities and restaurants gave us a bit of a headache and I started to lobby for the Picture of the Year’s Board to consider placing the event in Trollhättan.
After some sketch work to find hotels and showrooms I started calling around to interested parties to make sure it was technically and practically feasible to arrange the Picture of the Year event during the two weekends that had been suggested to us. The rooms we were primarily looking for – that were absolute must-haves were Konsthallen (the Art Gallery) for our large photo exhibition, Folkets Hus Kulturhuset (the Culture Center), Hebeteatern (the Hebe theater) for the awards ceremony, Nova Arena for the banquet, and possibly N3 for the party afterwards with dancing and live bands.
The Picture of the Year event attracts around 500 people; most of them coming from outside, so hotels are a must. In Trollhättan Scandic Swania, First Hotel Kung Oscar, Albert’s Kök Hotel & Konferens, and Hotel Bele, were contacted. Quality Hotel, and Arena Hotell in Vänersborg, as well as Ronnum in Vargön were also contacted.
The venues we needed were vacant and at the art gallery there was no exhibit at the time in question. The only small problem was a big youth hockey tournament that took place almost every weekend throughout the entire spring, which limited the number of hotel rooms. But with some work we managed to solve that problem too.
My team from Trollhättan and I presented our proposal and the Board was very impressed because they thought that all those involved in Trollhättan had been incredibly helpful. Now we had about a year to plan and fix everything before all participants would arrive in Trollhättan.
A normal Picture of the Year event includes an awards ceremony, a banquet and an exhibition opening, all in two days. We did not think this was enough time since we were to gather large parts of “photo-Sweden” in Trollhättan during a weekend in March. We decided that Trollhättan would change shape, from car city to card city for at least a week’s time. The result was 13 major exhibitions in environments that are not normally associated with photo exhibitions. We hung pictures in the Etage house at Överby Shopping Center, The Oden Shopping Center, University West, Arena Älvhögsborg, N3 and Folkets Hus Kulturhuset.
We managed to book one of the world’s leading documentary photographers, Stuart Franklin from England, to give a lecture at the Hebe theater. His lecture marked the start of our Picture of the Year Weekend, which had now been extended to three days instead of two.
Anki Sandberg, who at that time was working at Visit Trollhättan Vänersborg was contacted during the early stages of the process and she helped us with a lot of important information, but also with logistics, e.g. bus transportation etc.
The event received the grade “Best Picture of the Year event ever”. We had never been able to do this without the superb support we received from the Art Gallery, Nova Arena and Folkets Hus Kulturhuset (the Culture Center). Of course, the hotels were extremely helpful and solved all the problems surrounding the issue of lodging. The town of Trollhättan, headed by Culture Manager Christer Olsson, was also a very good sounding board for us.
Had I been given the chance to do this again, I would not have hesitated for a second to say yes. With all the good venues and people that Trollhättan has to offer it was a joy to organize such a large event.
Joachim Nywall, Nywall Media
Former Chairman of PFK West