What was the event in question?
ICANN56, which was hosted by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority.

How many people attended?

What was best about the event?
ICANN’s meetings are open to everyone who is interested in the internet, and the agenda this year also included a wide range of internet-related themes.

ICANN is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation that was founded in the USA in 1998 and that includes a community of international stakeholders. ICANN and the ICANN community are dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. Through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet.

ICANN is also dedicated to promoting competition, coordinating the upper level of the Internet’s naming system, and developing the management of unique Internet identifiers.

Did everything go well and why?
The meeting was supposed to be held in Panama, but due to the outbreak of the Zika virus it was decided to change the venue to Helsinki just three months before the event.

Despite such short notice, the hosts managed the challenges created by the tight schedule very efficiently and successfully. Attendees were very impressed by the excellent IT connections at the venue, and Finlandia Hall on the whole was very suitable for the event. The joint stand of the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority and the City of Helsinki was very effective at providing services to attendees.

How were the people?
Enthusiastic and knowledgeable. The ICANN56 Policy Forum  in Helsinki was supposed to be a “small meeting” according to the organisation’s new guidelines, but it still attracted over 1400 attendees from around a hundred different countries who were either responsible for Internet-related issues or simply interested in them.

Other comments?
Moving the ICANN56 Policy Forum to Helsinki with such short notice was possible thanks to the flexibility of such a small city. All the relevant actors know each other well, trust each other’s expertise, and were therefore able to create a functional event by working together efficiently. Helsinki has an excellent and reliable reputation as a congress organiser, and the ICANN56 Policy Forum helped to further boost this reputation.

Johanna Vappula

Project Manager

Johanna Grönberg

Project Manager

Helsinki Convention & Events Bureau, Helsinki Marketing Ltd.