Founded by Csar Peter I of Russia on May 27, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713-1728, 1732-1918). Saint Petersburg ceased being the capital in 1918 after the Russian Revolution. It is Russia's second largest and Europe's fourth largest city (by city limit) after Moscow, London and Paris. 4.6 million people live in the city, and over 6 million people live in the city's vicinity. Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural center, and important Russian port on the Baltic Sea.
Saint Petersburg is often described as the most Western European styled city of Russia. Among cities of the world with over one million people, Saint Petersburg is the northernmost.
IBM, chose St Petersburg because of its proximity to the West and its great cultural heritage. This was a three day world wide satellite hook up with all of the company's larger assets around the world participating in the conferfence.