Finland Convention Bureau


2.9.2013

New Espoo Ambassador Appointed

Visit Espoo has appointed Tapio Lokki (pictured right) as Espoo Ambassador 2013.

Lokki works as Associate Professor at the Department of Media Technology at Aalto University, leading the virtual acoustics team jointly with Professor Lauri Savioja.

Earlier this year, Lokki and his team were presented with an International Commission for Acoustics Early Career Award in Montreal, Canada.

The Espoo Ambassador award is an annual token of recognition handed out to an active member of international scientific associations representing one’s own university and the Finnish scientific expertise and research work.

The Ambassador operates as a congress ambassador for the city of Espoo, both in Finland and abroad.

Professor Lokki is the 5th Espoo Ambassador since the award’s inception in 2009.

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News

26.10.2017

Finland for Meetings, events & incentives 2/2017

Meet celebrating Finland at IBTM Barcelona! Find out about Finland’s high class services in stunning natural surroundings at our stand E05

Meet celebrating Finland at IBTM Barcelona! Find out about Finland’s high class services in stunning natural surroundings at our stand E05

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7.9.2017

Docent Pia Siljander is this year’s Scientific Conference Power Player

This year’s Scientific Conference Power Player prize was awarded to Docent Pia Siljander from the University of Helsinki.

Pia Siljander was awarded for her efforts to promote the organisation of international scientific conferences in Finland. The EUR 5000 award was donated by the Finnish Fair Foundation. Docent Pia Siljander works as a University Lecturer in the Biochemistry Of Health in the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Helsinki.

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6.9.2017

Professor of Wood Architecture Pekka Heikkinen awarded as the Espoo Ambassador 2017

Professor Pekka Heikkinen from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture has been selected as the Espoo Ambassador 2017.

Pekka Heikkinen is considered to be Finland’s leading expert in wood construction and eco-efficient building design. He has been awarded in several architectural competitions. In 2011, Heikkinen won the prestigious Schweighofer Innovation Preis with TU Munich, NTNU Trondheim and Aalto University’s joint TES Energy Facade research project. Last year, the Wood Architecture Student Group Wood Program was awarded with the international World Architecture News Award.

In June 2016, Heikkinen was the lead organizer of the International Forum Wood Building Nordic conference at the Aalto University Otaniemi Campus, in Espoo. The conference, as a part of the German International Forum Holzbau concept, is the main event of wood construction in the Nordic countries. It gathered almost 400 construction industry researchers, architects, developers, authorities, and industry and trade representatives to Espoo.

(In the picture from left Mayor of the City of Espoo Jukka Mäkelä, Professor and Espoo Ambassador Pekka Heikkinen, CEO Espoo Marketing Jaana Tuomi)

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14.7.2017

Finland is a country to be discovered

Delegates attending the Meeting & Incentive Forum in Helsinki said that they would absolutely consider bringing customers to Finland and spending some leisure time here, too.

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.”

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10.7.2017

M&I Forum draws lucrative business events to Finland

The event will introduce many visitors to Finland, increasing awareness on international markets.

The first ever Meeting & Incentive Forum in Finland is a notable opportunity to market the country as a destination and to convince a large group of international event organisers of Finland’s offerings and services. The event is believed to bring in more business events to Finland, increasing revenue from travel.

The M&I Forum, held at Clarion Hotel Helsinki on 9–13 July, will be attended by 130 experts from the international business event and congress industry. They are looking for new, exciting venues for meetings, incentive trips, product launches and customer events. The attendees are mostly from Europe, but buyers from Asia and the Middle East are also present. These markets are especially attractive for Finland, as their potential is mostly untapped.

Seeing is believing

The visitors not only get to meet sellers from several countries, but also have a fantastic chance to see and explore Finland and its capital. The event will introduce many visitors to Finland, increasing awareness on international markets.

“The event is a great opportunity for Finnish service providers to create truly memorable experiences. It offers a chance to showcase our expertise and sell services in a very tangible manner. Positive experiences will foster our image and help Finland get on the shortlist for more future events”, Mervi Toivonen from Finpro’s Finland Convention Bureau states.

Travel industry expected to benefit significantly

Congresses and business events are universally desirable for the considerable revenue they bring to the hosting nation. These events have considerable budgets, but the attendees also spend many times more during their trip than typical holidaymakers. Successful events are bound to increase the hosting nation’s reputation and appeal among event organisers.

Previous M&I Forums are estimated to have brought in millions of euros for their hosts. The size and audience of the Helsinki Forum merit a projection of 211 of new events and €16.9 million of travel revenue for Finland, the average budget for each event being €80,000.

“Naturally, it is impossible to accurately predict the overall impact of a positive experience, but word of mouth is known to be a very effective marketing tool in the event industry. We expect the event to attract customers that would be hard to reach through other channels”, Toivonen says.

 

For more information, contact:

Mervi Toivonen, Manager, Global Sales and Business Events, Finpro, Visit Finland, Finland Convention Bureau, +358 50 554 5050, mervi.toivonen@finpro.fi

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3.7.2017

Scandic to open a hotel in Helsinki Railway Station

Scandic Hotels will open a hotel consisting of 500 rooms in the facilities in 2020, which will splendidly complement the hotel provision in Helsinki and respond to the growth in work and leisure time travel. This hotel, functioning as a Helsinki landmark, will be one of Scandic’s largest.

Scandic Hotels will open a hotel consisting of 500 rooms in the facilities in 2020, which will splendidly complement the hotel provision in Helsinki and respond to the growth in work and leisure time travel. This hotel, functioning as a Helsinki landmark, will be one of Scandic’s largest.
– For us, it is an honour to be able to open these historically significant premises to the public. We want to offer adventurous hotel stays to our clients that nurture the heritage left by Eliel Saarinen, relates Aki Käyhkö, Managing Director for Scandic Hotels Finland.
– We are satisfied and enthusiastic about the fact that we can plan and renovate the site together with Scandic. The location for the hotel is the best possible, and Scandic as the largest hotel operator in the Nordic countries is a marvellous partner in the project, Ari Talja, Exilion’s Managing Director, commented.
The main Helsinki Railway Station property was designed by Eliel Saarinen. The office premises of the Finnish Rail Administration, i.e. VR’s current head office section, were completed in 1909.

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15.6.2017

Finland is Nordic number one in congresses

Finland hosted more congresses last year than any other Nordic country. Congresses form a considerable source of revenue for the travel industry.

Finland hosted more congresses last year than any other Nordic country. Congresses form a considerable source of revenue for the travel industry.

The Union of International Associations’ yearly report declares that Finland hosted the most international congresses among the Nordic countries in 2016. Finland hosted 651 international congresses for various organisations, with a total of 101,514 attendees.

The number of congresses varies greatly year to year. Last year saw many major congresses that are not organised every year while the overall number of congresses was also high.

“We have worked hard to make Finland an attractive venue for congresses, and it shows in the statistics”, Mervi Toivonen from Finpro’s Finland Convention Bureau explains.

Solid Finnish know-how

The main reasons to organise congresses in Finland include safety, stability and strong infrastructure. When deciding on a region, one key element is accessibility.

Around 70% of the congresses were held in Helsinki, but organisers are starting to show interest for other locations as well as capital cities. The second city for congresses was Tampere, but Turku, Espoo, Jyväskylä and Oulu also hosted a number of large international congresses.

Finland has a strong international reputation when it comes to organising conventions and congresses.

“We have a committed, professional workforce with training and experience in events along with a network of volunteers. We have a genuine interest in producing welcoming, high-quality events for all. Finland is simply a joy to visit”, M.sc Tarja Kohila summarises. She has worked actively over the years to bring international congresses to Finland and has encouraged other scientists to hold their events in Finland as well.

Investment in congresses would benefit tourism in Finland

Finland has the potential to become an even more attractive destination for congresses and business events, but domestic investments have been conservative so far. One limitation for major congresses in Finland is our insufficient accommodation capacity.

“We welcome all new hotel projects with open arms. At the moment, we can organise a congress for 8,000 attendees, but that’s our limit”, Toivonen states.

Finnish university cities have their own Convention Bureaus that work tirelessly to bring large congresses to Finland. However, their staff is limited, and to make matters worse, universities have been forced to downsize their human resources, hindering their ability to compete for events.

The average congress visitor is likely to spend up to five times more on their trip than a typical tourist would. Additionally, many visitors would consider coming back for a holiday after a congress.

“We could grow our congress industry even more through investments, as our robust science communities and dependable organisers form a solid platform. The great thing is, the demand is there”, Toivonen encourages.

 

For more information, contact:

Mervi Toivonen, Manager, Global Sales and Business Events, Finpro, Visit Finland, Finland Convention Bureau, +358 50 554 5050, mervi.toivonen@finpro.fi

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22.5.2017

ScanVir congress to Turku, Finland in 2019

The three-day Nordic ScanVir 2019 congress will be organised in Turku between 6 and 8 May 2019 and will be hosted by the Department of Virology of the University of Turku Faculty of Medicine.

A total of 250-300 virology experts from Scandinavia and elsewhere from Europe are expected to participate in the congress.

Virology researchers PhD Sisko Tauriainen and PhD Laura Kakkola from the University of Turku say that in the end, Helsinki and Turku were the two cities competing to host the congress. The virologists stress that the decision to hold the congress in the facilities of the Radisson Blu Marina hotel was based on good experience.

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9.5.2017

Robots invade Tampere Hall in spring 2018

The European Robotics Forum (ERF), the most influential meeting of the robotics community in Europe, will be held in Tampere in March 2018. 1000 European robotics top experts are expected to attend the conference.

The European Robotics Forum 2018 (ERF2018) will be held in the Tampere Hall on 13─15 March 2018. ERF2018 covers current societal and technical themes related to the field of robotics. Interesting subjects will be discussed, including human-robot-collaboration and how robotics can improve industrial productivity and service sector operations.

The conference also showcases the newest research in the field, and the projects funded under EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme. The event offers Finnish companies a unique window to the European markets.

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12.4.2017

Finland for Meetings, events & incentives 1/2017

Celebrating Finland and White Night Magic at IMEX! Find out about high class services in stunning natural surroundings

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15.3.2017

2016 marks a record-breaking year for international congress attendees in Finland

The number of international congress attendees visiting Finland grew by a whopping 33 percent in 2016. The record-breaking growth was especially visible in Helsinki, but other cities recorded considerable growth figures as well.

Altogether 101 515 international congress attendees visited Finland in 2016. In 2015, the comparable number was a fraction less than 76 000. The increasing number of large-scale international congresses held in Finland is chiefly responsible for the immense improvement.

“In recent years, the annual number of congress visitors in Finland has most often settled at a little less than 80 000,” says Mervi Toivonen, from Finpro’s Finland Convention Bureau. “The main catalyst for such growth is an exceptionally busy year, with large international congresses that draw thousands of delegates.

According to Toivonen, the results underline the long-term work of Finland in attracting international congresses. In future, keeping up with the current growth rate requires, among other things, upholding the appropriate hotel capacity.

“It is not an easy task to attract events like these to Finland,” Toivonen comments. “The application processes are typically long and international competition fierce.”

Besides, international congress attendees have a significant economic effect. A single congress delegate spends on average 1 635 euros during a visit to Finland. That is four-to-five times more than a regular tourist does. Thus, the 101 000 congress attendees of 2016 spent almost 166 million euros in Finland.

Helsinki and Tampere fared especially well during the busy congress year, forming the top duo of Finnish cities by number of congress attendees. Turku, Jyväskylä and Oulu rounded out the top five.

The amount of international congress attendees in Helsinki grew by 72 percent in 2016. In Tampere, the growth rate also soared, at 45 percent.

“Globally, organizers are becoming increasingly aware of all the potential locations to stage a congress, not just the big cities and capitals,” Toivonen says. “The statistics indicate perfectly that Finland has a multitude of internationally recognized congress cities. Overall, this is excellent for Finland as a congress country.”

Top 5 Finnish cities by number of international congress attendees in 2016:

  1. Helsinki 60 790
  2. Tampere 10 797
  3. Turku 6 299
  4. Jyväskylä 4 540
  5. Oulu 4 248

More information:

Mervi Toivonen, Manager, Global Sales and Business Events, Finpro, Visit Finland, Finland Convention Bureau, puh. 050 554 5050, mervi.toivonen@visitfinland.fi

 

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6.2.2017

Meet Espoo News

Espoo has a lot to offer for Finland´s centenary celebration year, for example Conference hotel Hanasaari opens after renovation and Espoo hosts ICCA Scandinavian chapter meeting in March.

Espoo, the second largest city in Finland, is a vibrant city full of contrasts. In Espoo, modern architecture, large corporations and culture meet the unspoilt willderness.  This innovative environment and spirit, complemented by the main campus of Aalto University, attracts continuous interest from science and research professionals worldwide.

Large natural areas are characteristic of Espoo: seashores, the archipelago, the wilderness in nature reserves and the waterways of the lake highlands. The cultural landscapes, constructed environments and natural areas of Espoo are like Finland in miniature. This, combined to Espoo’s location, right next to capital Helsinki, creates vast opportunities to all sorts of business events. With Helsinki just a 15 minute ride away combine an event in Espoo with the Finnish capital and you have the very best of both worlds.

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24.1.2017

The 49th Congress of the International Academy of Ceramics (IAC) has been awarded to Finland

The IAC General Assembly is a well-known and highly appreciated congress in the field of ceramics. Every two years the event brings together world-class artists and actors from the ceramic world to discuss about contemporary ceramic issues and to showcase their artwork. International Academy of Ceramics has been an official partner in the cultural sector of UNESCO since 2001.

More or less 300 people from 50 different countries are estimated to attend the congress in Lapland in the autumn 2020. The preliminary theme of the congress is ”On the Edge”. For the first time in its history, the event will take place in Finland with Rovaniemi and Posio as the main venues for the conference and the exhibition programme.

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3.1.2017

International Congress of Entomology in 2020 has been awarded to Finland

The largest scientific congress of entomologists – International Congress of Entomology (ICE) will be held on 26-31 July, 2020, at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki.

The congress will be hosted by the entomological societies in Finland.

The vision of prof. Hokkanen, who is also is the coordinator of a new UA Thematic Network on “Sustainable Production and Foraging of Natural Products in the North“, is to connect the ICE 2020 with the work and activities of the UArctic.

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2.1.2017

Finlandia Hall transfers to solar power – among the first congress centres in Europe

Solar panels will be installed on the roof of congress and event centre Finlandia Hall Ltd. by the end of 2016. Finlandia Hall
is among the first event centres in Europe to utilise solar energy for the energy needed in the premises.

A total of 150–170 solar panels were installed on the roof of Finlandia Hall. Experts have calculated the size of the system
to be 41 kW. The electricity provided by the system is estimated to cover a maximum of 20–25 percent of Finlandia Hall’s total
monthly energy consumption.
“Finlandia Hall has strongly invested in environmental and energy matters over the past few years. Five years ago we started a
development project during which the building, originally built in the 1970s, was turned into an energy efficient one. District
heating consumption has been reduced by 50% and electricity consumption by 30%. These renewals have accumulated cost
savings worth hundreds of thousands of euros. The solar panels are a natural next step in this development,” says Johanna
Tolonen, Managing Director at Finlandia Hall Ltd.
Finlandia Hall has undergone a total transformation of operating culture, and the personnel have been strongly committed to
taking environmental issues into account in all their activities. The long-term development work culminated in Finlandia Hall
receiving the ISO14001 environmental certificate last autumn. Only less than one percent of Finnish companies have received
the certificate.
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1.1.2017

Helsinki won the Innovation Award for their pioneering Greening Events project

The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) has released its first-ever ranking of the sustainability performance of 35 participating cities worldwide.

The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) has released today its first-ever ranking of the sustainability performance of 35 participating cities worldwide. The results were announced at the 2016 ICCA Congress, with the Leadership Award going to Gothenburg for attaining the highest overall score and the Innovation Award to Helsinki for their pioneering Greening Events project.

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