NUAS Communication Conference 2022 in Turku

Credits: Mika Okko

Credits: Mika Okko

The third time was the charm at the NUAS Communication Conference 2022

The international NUAS Communication Conference 2022 (NUASkom) is typically dedicated and organised by an international specialist organisation or a scientific association. NUAS, the Nordic Association of University Administrators, was founded in 1976 and its members include 65 Nordic universities. The purpose of the organisation is to improve administrative university work and to facilitate professional networking. 

Aimed at communication professionals, the organisation's NUASkom conference is held in the Nordic countries every two years, and Finland's turn to host it is once in every eight years. The conference was previously held in Turku in 2004. The pandemic forced the organisers to change the date of the conference twice. 

NUASkom was organised by Åbo Akademi University and the University of Turku in collaboration with Aboa Congress and Event Services

"We were asked to organise the conference because we received positive feedback on our arrangements for the Viestintäpäivät communication conference in 2019. And we in Turku had no shortage of ambition to begin planning this programme," says Thurid Eriksson, the Communications Manager of Åbo Akademi.

The content of the NUASkom conference is the responsibility of the Nordic organisation's planning group. Their aim is to create a programme that contains topical subjects but also useful and practical content for communication professionals who work at universities and are at different stages in their careers. The discussion in Turku was opened by so-called circus-style lectures, which involved roughly ten separate sessions of a 20-minute introduction followed by a chance to ask questions and discuss the subject. In particular, the topics that emerged in the discussion included crisis communication, promotion of universities' public relations and internationalisation, and how consulting help from communication professionals could support researchers.

Event professionals a big help for the success of the conference

Thurid Eriksson wants to give special thanks to the employees of Aboa Congress and Event Services for their expertise and flexibility in organising the conference.

"We had to change the date of the conference and all its bookings two times because of the pandemic. I have organised numerous events and know how much effort it takes to organise a conference in addition to your other work. Among other tasks, Aboa's professionals were in charge of producing the conference's website, conference registration, communications with the participants, as well as financial administration. Aboa also impeccably took care of the dinner arrangements, social programme plans and practical arrangements, which was a great help to us."

"We also received much praise for the colourful delegate bags provided by the City of Turku and the Convention Bureau of Visit Turku." The tote bags are sewn at the city's Employment Services Centre, Työpiste, and they are made of surplus textiles. "It was important to us that the idea was sustainable," says Thurid Eriksson.

Thurid Eriksson and Mari Ratia are happy with how the NUASkom conference arrangements succeeded and how much positive feedback the event has received. 

"This was the first live conference after the beginning of the pandemic. We expected 300 participants and ended up with 180 delegates, 115 of which came from Sweden, Norway, Denmark or Iceland." 

Conference Dinner at the Ruissalo Boatyard
Credits: Mika Okko

The original article by Sari Ruusumo was published on the Turku Convention Bureau website