3.5.2013

Finland Marks Record Congress Year

Latest statistics by Finland Convention Bureau (FCB) show that a record-breaking 635 international congresses were held in Finland in 2012. The number of attending delegates reached 77 222.

Compared to previous years, the number of international congresses organized in Finland went up by approximately 60 per cent.

A key factor in the impressive rise in total congress numbers is the excellent co-operation between institutes of higher education and various organizations.

City convention bureaus work closely with FCB and branches of industry. In addition, regional congress organizations have great processes in place for gathering statistical data. Recently set up Congress Network Finland is an organization aiming to develop the congress industry and educate professionals in the field.

– Information sharing, industry meetings, education and networking have been keywords among Finnish congress professionals of late. The whole industry has drawn from previous years’ experiences and started working together towards increasing figures with great results, says Leena Sipilä, Convention Director at FCB.

In 2013, FCB is carrying out a detailed survey on congress delegates, aiming to further investigate delegates’ use of money as well as their impressions of Finland as a congress destination. Another main objective is to investigate the effects congresses have on local income and employment.


Top 5 Finnish Congress Cities in 2012

City Number of congresses Number of delegates
Helsinki 254 40 478
Espoo 78 8 001
Tampere 73 7 300
Turku 65 5 074
Jyväskylä 63 4 802
Total (whole of Finland) 635 77 222

News

28.6.2016

Germans impressed with Finland’s innovative conference expertise

German Convention Bureau (GCB), the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, conducted a benchmarking visit to Finland in May together with Finpro’s Finland Convention Bureau, Helsinki Convention Bureau and Visit Espoo.

As one of the leading conference countries in the world, Germany is constantly developing and renewing its activities. One of the latest innovations is the Future Meeting Space project built around the idea of a shift in conference culture and the utilisation of current development trends.

The institutions behind the project, the German Convention Bureau (GCB), the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, conducted a benchmarking visit to Finland in May together with Finpro’s Finland Convention Bureau, Helsinki Convention Bureau and Visit Espoo. For two days, Finns presented their expertise in eight locations. Special attention was paid to Huone Events Hotel for its original service concept and story, the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia for its exotic atmosphere, and Finlandia Hall and Helsinki Music Centre for their beautiful architecture.

“Our trip to Finland was truly an eye-opening experience. Helsinki is a great place for mapping innovations and new ideas related to conference travel. Some of the most fascinating things included focusing on new sustainable solutions and the integration of the young generation,” says Heike Mahmoud of visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office, one of the five supporting partners.

“Finland is a country full of creativity, thrilling ideas, sustainability, a content-related link between science, research and innovation for meeting spaces.”, tells Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of GCB German Convention Bureau e.V.

Finland was visited by 76,000 conference tourists last year. Finland attracts visitors particularly with its unspoilt nature, start-up culture and exotic charm.

Read more
22.6.2016

New event facilities in Tampere Hall

Concert and Congress Centre Tampere Hall is experiencing the biggest makeover in its 25-year history. Several projects are intended to boost the Hall’s competitiveness: the new event facility extension in May 2016, revamped restaurants and lobby point in Winter 2016 and Spring 2017, and the Moomin Museum, which will open in May 2017.

Concert and Congress Centre Tampere Hall is experiencing the biggest makeover in its 25-year history and driving for an increase in revenue and visitor volume in the upcoming years. Several projects are intended to boost the Hall’s competitiveness: the new event facility extension in May 2016, revamped restaurants and lobby point in Winter 2016 and Spring 2017, and the Moomin Museum, which will open in May 2017, just in time to celebrate Finland’s 100th independence anniversary. Valued at around EUR 22 million, the overall renovation of the Hall and its services serves to increase the already-strong appeal and development of the Tampere region.

The extensive investments of Tampere Hall made in 2015–2017 are the result of collaboration between its owner, City of Tampere authorities, and various regional and national partners. The first visible results of the project were revealed in May 2016, when three new meeting and event facilities – Maestro, Riffi and Duetto 1 & 2 – were opened in the renovated area.

Read more

Read more
18.5.2016

New Scandic Hotel to open in Vaasa

Scandic Hotels, the largest hotel company in the Nordic countries, has signed a long-term lease agreement with Airaksinen Capital to take over the operation of the former Kantarellis hotel in central Vaasa from June 2016.

The hotel, which has 68 rooms today, will be expanded to include close to 140 hotel rooms at the same time as the hotel’s conference and congress facilities will be expanded. The expansion is expected to be finished at the end of 2017.

“Finland is an important growth market for Scandic and today, we are already the biggest hotel company in the Helsinki area. With Scandic Vaasa, we are further strengthening our network in the Finnish market”, says Frank Fiskers, President & CEO Scandic Hotels Group.

“Vaasa is the largest economic center in the Österbotten region and part of Finland’s fastest growing area. By opening Scandic Vaasa we will further contribute to the attractiveness of the destination”, says Aki Käyhkö, Head of Scandic Hotels Finland.

Read More

Read more
14.4.2016

Nearly 76,000 conference tourists visited Finland in 2015

Nearly 76,000 conference tourists spent approx. EUR 124 million in Finland in 2015. Conference tourists are an important source of income for conference sites in Finland and everywhere in the world.

The competition for conference tourists is intense. Last year, the five most popular conference cities in Finland were Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Espoo and Oulu.

Finland continued its run as an attractive conference country last year, hosting a total of 682 conferences (708 in 2014) and 75,846 delegates (79,000 in 2014). According to delegate numbers, the most popular conference cities were Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Espoo and Oulu.

  • “Even though the number of hosted conferences decreased slightly from last year, the overall performance was good considering the global economic situation. We must continue our persistent efforts to attract conferences, because international events constitute a highly significant source of income for Finland. The many people attending the events use plenty of tourist services in different areas during their short visit,” says Mervi Toivonen of Visit Finland. Finland Convention Bureau, a part of the same organisation, is responsible for promoting the visibility of Finland as a conference country.

Nearly 76,000 conference tourists spent approx. EUR 124 million in Finland last year. The sum has increased by nearly 50% since the beginning of the decade; in 2010, conference tourists spent slightly over EUR 70 million in Finland. A conference tourist spends 4–5 times more during a visit than a regular tourist.

Helsinki by far the most attractive conference location

Helsinki attracts the most conferences and conference tourists per year. While Helsinki hosted slightly over 270 conferences with over 35,000 attendants, runner-up Tampere hosted 66 conferences with over 7,000 conference tourists.

  • “Helsinki is a relatively obvious choice as a conference site in Finland, because it is easy to reach internationally and provides many opportunities for international events. However, Tampere, Turku and Oulu, also in the top five, have managed to find their strengths and attract conferences with their novelty,” says Toivonen.

On an international level, Finland’s strong points are a good reputation and competence as a conference host as well as its novelty as an event destination. Compared with better known conference countries, Finland’s competitive edge in the race to attract conferences also includes cleanliness and an exotic quality.

  • “We invest in increasing awareness of Finland as a conference destination, particularly in the growing markets in Asia. The Asian market is viewed as a major opportunity for conference travel. In March, we hosted our first Meetings Industry market event in China. The event attracted plenty of interest and proved that Finland is an interesting destination for event organisers,” says Toivonen.

TOP 5 conference cities based on the number of conferences in 2015:

1st Helsinki 275
2nd Espoo 86
3rd Tampere 66
4th Turku 58
5th Jyväskylä 53

TOP 5 conference cities based on the number of delegates in 2015:

1st Helsinki 35,253
2nd Tampere 7,068
3rd Turku 6,011
4th Espoo 5,954
5th Oulu 4,289

 

 

 

Read more
More News