The first ever Meeting & Incentive Forum in Finland was held in Helsinki on 9–13 July. The 130 experts from the international business event and congress industry did not only get a chance to meet suppliers from several countries, but also had a fantastic opportunity to see and explore Finland and its capital.
We interviewed a few of the delegates at the end of their second day at Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa. None of them had ever been to Finland before and had little expectations, if any. Attending the M&I Forum in Helsinki was a good reason for them to come and to experience the destination with their own eyes.
During their two days in Helsinki they discovered a few of Helsinki’s top meeting and congress facilities and experienced a range of activities the city and the surrounding archipelago has to offer. They considered Finnish people to be friendly and welcoming and said that they would absolutely consider bringing customers to Finland and spending some leisure time here, too.
Things they said
Jo le Hec’h-Besson, International Venue Finder, Helms Briscoe, France says she is now able to propose Finland to her clients: “I wanted to come here first to see it with my own eyes, to be able to speak to my clients about Helsinki and Finland. I am very impressed by its simplicity, nature, ecology and safety – yes, it seems very safe and very clean. I am really going to talk a lot about this place!”
“Finland is about going back to the real values. We Israelis are very close to nature as well. We like trekking, cycling and doing sports… so being in such a country that has so much water and so much greenery, for us it’s like WOW! From what I’ve experienced people are very lively and all in all, it’s an extremely welcoming country. I would say: to be discovered!” says Eric Ben-Harrous, Corporate Dept Manager, Kenes International, Israel.
“I’m kind of exploring the North. Finland is famous for its school system and for the way of living. I’ve heard people say that ”they are doing everything right in Finland” so I thought okay, let’s have a look!” says Alexandra Seppi, Head of Congress Department, AIM Group, Austria. “I’d like to see the aurora borealis and, oh, the white nights! I’m really enjoying it, because yesterday evening I wasn’t tired! I didn’t get tired because if it’s still bright outside, why should I go to bed?”
“My first impressions on Finland are friendly people, a lot of nature and some really nice activities to do around”, says Andreas Miksche, Country Manager, Mertel Events, Austria after winning in a game of “Mölkky”, which is a very popular Finnish throwing game. “Yes, I refer to Mölkky, which is one of them”, he says laughingly, “but also the other things like sightseeing by tram, rib boat travel and things like that. It’s always nice to have a range of activities to offer to clients. In Finland I would target to Lapland because my clients are mostly interested in winter sports and activities.”