Helsinki. The Helsinki Tourism Foundation granted the award as special recognition of the long-term work done by Messukeskus in promoting international congress tourism. Celebrating its centenary this year, Messukeskus annually organises or hosts 1,500 meetings and congresses. It has become particularly well known for its major international science and organisational congresses, which are attended by thousands of people.
The Helsinki Travel Award, which has been presented since 2015, highlights organisations and actions that have had a positive impact on Helsinki tourism in terms of development, reputation, and customer satisfaction. The recipient of the award is chosen by the board of the Helsinki Tourism Foundation.
“For decades, trade fairs and events have been an important method for many industries to enable encounters; showcase expertise, products and innovations; promote business; achieve goals; share and obtain information; and network and build relationships. The fact that we have an attractive and internationally competitive venue that can be adapted for meetings of any size and type is a key success factor for Finland and Helsinki. In Helsinki, Messukeskus does significant work to enable events and encounters. The great variety of industries and the thousands of events are a huge indication that the future is being built through encounters”, says Mikko Leisti, chair of the board of the Helsinki Tourism Foundation.
“With events designed in a goal-oriented manner, by listening to customers, continually and sustainably developing new things, and improving service, Messukeskus is clearly rising to the challenge and exceeding expectations. Messukeskus works to create the conditions for success for Finnish know-how, business, experts and, of course, customers. The total number of visitors in 2018 was 1.2 million. As long as we enable events and encounters, Finland and Helsinki have what it takes to succeed. It is a pleasure and an honour to grant the 2019 Helsinki Travel Award to Messukeskus”, says Leisti.
“Messukeskus is traditionally known as a fair venue, but meetings, congresses and international business events are our other business area, which is showing rapid growth. We are very pleased and grateful to the Helsinki Tourism Foundation for the award, which will crown our centenary year and will highlight the importance of congresses for countless industries. There is a strong demand for congresses at the moment, because in our digitalised world, it is also extremely important to meet face-to-face”, says the CEO of Messukeskus, Anni Vepsäläinen.
“We want to celebrate this award together with our partners. We at Messukeskus work hard on events, but we cannot succeed alone. Our fine facilities would remain empty if we did not work closely with Finnish companies, scientific communities, the City of Helsinki, and many other important stakeholders. We want to continue this cooperation. We are not only selling Messukeskus, but Helsinki and all of Finland”, says Vepsäläinen.
Congresses and corporate events in the Messukeskus autumn programme include: the EAIE education conference; the EUROSPINE congress focusing on the treatment of spinal diseases; the Cyber Security Nordic event for cyber-security experts; the Nordic Business Forum business and leadership conference; and the Slush event for investors and start-ups.
• 65 fairs and 1,500 meetings, congresses, corporate events and functions annually
• events attended by 1.2 million visitors/year
• economic impact of €282 million in the Helsinki region (Haaga-Helia 2018)
• a congress tourist spends an average of €1,833 while staying in Helsinki (FCB: Delegate Survey 2016)
• upcoming international congresses at Messukeskus with attendances: TRA2020 – Transport Research Arena, 4,000 participants. EAPC 2021 – World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care, 2,800 participants. EAS 2021 – European Atherosclerosis Society, 2,500 participants. EAN 2022 – European Academy of Neurology 2022, 6,000 participants.
• the Messukeskus responsibility promise: to be a 110% carbon-neutral event venue by 2029