Finland is a country to be discovered

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.”



Turku hosts major conference on plant biology June 25-29, 2018

The city of Turku is hosting this year’s International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR). ICAR gathers 700 scientists and researchers to Finland. The conference is held at Logomo, Turku’s showpiece conference and cultural venue converted from a former railway workshop.

The city of Turku is hosting this year’s International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR) from June 25th till 29th, 2018. ICAR gathers 700 scientists and researchers to Finland. The event is annual and rotates through America, Australasia and Europe, with the last two events held in South Korea and St Louis, Missouri in the USA.

This year’s conference is held at Logomo, Turku’s showpiece conference and cultural venue converted from a former railway workshop.

Conference organiser Dr. Michael Wrzaczek says that “we wanted to hold the event in a smaller city” of why Turku was chosen as the event’s destination.

“It has never been held in northern Europe before,” says Wrzaczek. “This time we were offered the chance, and since most of the work in this kind of plant research in Finland uses Arabidopsis it was regarded as a great opportunity to bring the conference here.”

One Finnish strength in the context of ICAR, he continues, is the unique opportunity to bring together Finland’s considerable expertise in the field and imprint it on the conference, integrating research areas that are traditionally fairly separate.

Read more at www.meetturku.fi.


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Finland reaps success in congresses, places in global top 20

Finland continues to hold its spot on the world’s top 20 list. In 2017, Finland hosted 791 international congresses for various organisations with a combined total of 111,188 guests. Finland also has considerable potential for growth.

The competition for international congresses is fierce among organising nations, but Finland continues to hold its spot on the world’s top 20 list. What’s more, Finland also has considerable potential for growth.


Finland is ranked highly on international lists of top nations for congresses. The Union of International Associations’ annual statistic has Finland on a shared 19th place with Sweden. In 2017, Finland hosted 791 international congresses for various organisations with a combined total of 111,188 guests. The listing includes 166 countries and a total of 1,104 cities. Helsinki placed 20th.

“Finland hosts several times more congresses than our size and stature would predict. We have a strong international reputation as an event organiser”, says Mervi Toivonen from Business Finland’s Finland Convention Bureau.


Finland is the new hot ticket

The top spots on UIA’s list are held by household nations in Central Europe, where numerous international organisations are also headquartered. Finland’s main assets are safety and efficiency in addition to our fascinating location. Finland is currently enjoying a surge in international attention, which is also reflected in congress travel.

“When all the familiar destinations become old hat, new options start to make sense. Travellers are more interested in Finland than ever before, and we should definitely strike while the iron is hot. Resources spent on travel marketing also benefit other export industries – especially the event industry”, Toivonen explains.

Sweden caught up with Finland this year, and Denmark and Norway are right on our heels.

“We’re putting in great work, but so are others. The competition is very tough, and landing a congress seems to take more and more effort every time. Globally, the congress industry is worth billions of euros. With more effort and funding, we could truly become a major player in the field”, Toivonen adds.


Congresses improve national brand image and employ Finns

The event industry’s national marketing association, Finland Convention Bureau (FCB), is part of the newly formed Business Finland organisation. Finland has pioneered an approach where acquiring and organising international congresses and promoting Finland as an event location is integrated into other operations that promote export, research and innovation.

“Exporting Finnish know-how and innovations is much easier when we have more congresses in our country. Remember, there are congresses for every industry and field imaginable. This is why we as Finns should promote Finland as a location for congresses when we travel and meet with international partners. Every congress organised in Finland brings in considerable revenue and other benefits, both for our economy and our national image”, Toivonen says.

In Finland, congresses are considered part of the travel industry, as they benefit many fields in the industry, such as hotels and airlines. Congresses also use a host of other products and services from various industries, such as event spaces and technology, security services, communication and advertising agencies, content production, print houses, logistics and transportation companies, restaurants and catering businesses as well as the experience industry.

“A smooth event requires expertise and effort from many different fields. The industry already employs a significant number of Finns and creates considerable tax revenue.”



Mervi Toivonen, Manager, Global Sales and Business Events, Visit Finland | Business Finland, +358 50 554 5050, mervi.toivonen@businessfinland.fi

Salla Salovaara, Communications Specialist, Visit Finland| Business Finland, +358 40 526 0100, salla.salovaara@businessfinland.fi

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FCB and partners at The Meetings Show 27-28 June in London

The FCB team and our partners will be attending The Meetings Show 2018 in London between 27-28 June. You can find us at the stand D501.

The FCB team and our partners will be attending The Meetings Show 2018 in London between 27-28 June. You can find us at the stand D501.

At our stand you can update your information on Finland, a Nordic country that is both a winter wonderland and a serene summer haven – and, according to the UN, the world’s happiest country, too.

Finland has a strong international reputation when it comes to organising corporate events and conferences. Finns are experienced event organisers, and all services are first class. In recent years, Finland has consistently ranked among top 20 congress destinations in the world.

Please read more on our exhibiting partners at The Meetings Show and book your appointments.

We are excited to #MeetYouAtTheShow!


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Marriott International arrives in Finland and opens its first hotel in Tampere

At the end of 2019, the Marriott International hotel chain will open its first hotel in Finland in connection with Tampere Hall. The hotel to be built in Tampere is part of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel brand, which is directed at modern business travellers and families.

n the Tampere Courtyard by Marriott hotel, there will be 11 aboveground floors and 229 hotel rooms. Reservations for rooms can be made starting 6 months before the hotel opens. The hotel project is expected to have a great impact on Finland’s attractiveness and the international recognition of the entire country

‘It is important for Marriott International to establish a larger presence in the Nordic Countries and particularly in Finland. Tampere is one of the central cities in the country. It is a growing and vibrant city whose multiple development projects promise an interesting future for it. We expect our hotel to attract visitors and events to Tampere from across the world’, describes Tuomas Laakso, the development manager of Marriott International in Central and Northern Europe.

Lauri Lyly, the mayor of Tampere, is pleased with the fact that of all the cities in Finland, Tampere is the place where the first Marriot hotel will be opened: ‘The hotel will give a nice internationality boost to our city, and it will make a great addition to our event, culture, and travel offering. The Marriot hotel chain has over 100 million loyal customers around the world, and now they will have a good reason to come to Tampere’, says Lyly.
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