Finnish Congress Heroes campaign kicks off

Credits: Julia Kivelä

Credits: Julia Kivelä

Finland Convention Bureau celebrates Finnish Congress Heroes


When the pandemic hit, congress and event organizers in Finland did not sit still but looked for new ways of working. Now, Finland Convention Bureau tells the inspiring stories of these heroes and shows how they managed to combine innovative event solutions and experiences with health safety.

Finland is a great country for business events also in the post-pandemic times. The country is known for its nature, room to roam and the world’s cleanest air. Finland is also serious about cleanliness, safety and social stability.

Finland Convention Bureau is presenting four inspiring stories about persistent congress and event heroes and their courage during the pandemic. In December 2021 and January 2022, Finland Convention Bureau will be highlighting these heroes and their stories on their social media channels and website. These stories show the congress organizers’ tireless work to create memorable experiences for their guests. The heroes also have an important role in contributing to the Finnish business events industry.

Get to know the Finnish Congress Heroes and their inspiring stories:

EAS Congress for the European Atherosclerosis Society in Helsinki

Katriina Aalto-Setälä, Congress Chair and Co-Chair Scientific Programme Committee
Vesa Olkkonen, Congress Chair and Co-Chair Scientific Programme Committee, Finnish Atherosclerosis Society

“Originally, the event was set for Messukeskus in Helsinki, where they have a great framework for inspiring, top-tier events. Due to the pandemic, we had to adapt our plans, guidelines and the whole process to the virtual realm. For a long time, we held our hopes for a hybrid event. However, we eventually decided on a virtual event where only the speakers from Finland travelled to the venue.”

The IEEE 23rd International Workshop on Multimedia Signal Processing in Tampere

Atanas Gotchev, Professor, Signal Processing, Tampere University

“The IEEE was organised as a hybrid event. We were thinking that it would be a success if we get 50 to 60 participants in person. The final number was well over that. We wanted both the in-person and virtual participants to get proper scientific feedback from their peers. I think this was achieved.”

European Bat Research Symposium EBRS in Turku

Eero Vesterinen, Adjunct Professor, University of Turku

“Bat researchers have met each other regularly since 1977 and the EBRS conference is organised every three years. We decided to apply for the symposium in order to increase awareness of Finnish bat research and create new networks and opportunities for co-operation. The EBRS was pushed back from 2020 to May 2021 and at the same time it was turned into a completely virtual event.”

Arctic Jukola in Rovaniemi

Sami Leinonen, Secretary General, Jukola Relay

“Jukola Relay is held in a different location each year. We’ve had the event in Rovaniemi once before, in 1980. This time, the corona pandemic extended the preparations to a whopping eight years. Originally, the race was slated for June 2020, but we pushed it back a year and then postponed further until August 2021. This may have been the first autumn race we’ve ever had.”