• Networking at the NJK restaurant. The yacht club’s pavilion was inaugurated on 31 August 1900. The numerous friendship flags from yachting clubs around the world reflect the club's long yachting traditions. (c) GCB

German Convention Bureau visits Helsinki and is impressed by what it sees

“Unique and creative solutions, as well as innovative and young expertise!” commented the German Convention Bureau (GCB) about Finland’s meetings culture.

Finland has lots to offer the international meetings market. This was the general impression gained by representatives of GCB during their visit to Helsinki this May.

“Finland combines science and research in an innovative way, so we wanted to find out how this can be seen with regard to meetings and congresses,” says GCB Managing Director Matthias Schultze.

“Finland combines science and research in an innovative way, so we wanted to find out how this can be seen with regard to meetings and congresses,” says GCB Managing Director Matthias Schultze. (c) GCB

GCB is currently carrying out a project entitled “Future Meeting Space”, which is exploring the future potential and needs of meetings and congresses. According to Schultze, interactivity, flexibility, efficient time management, safety and security, and the overall experience will be highlighted in the congresses of the future, and Finland happens to have innovative expertise in all these areas.

Germany is one of the leading congress countries in the world, and it is continuously developing and improving its activities in this area. The aim of the Future Meeting Space project is to review social, commercial and technological development trends and innovations, as well as to study their impacts and applicability for carrying out meetings and congresses in the future.

The project follows a study made by GCB that outlined the megatrends of the future: the changes that will affect all aspects of life. On the basis of this research, an “innovation catalogue” was compiled that covers social trends, new methodologies and learning concepts, new types of mobility, technology and infrastructure.

“We are now working on the next phase, in which the trends are evaluated in practice. We are also compiling the Future Meeting Guide on the basis of visits and interviews, so our visit to Finland will also leave its mark. The guide should be ready by the end of 2016,” Schultze promises.

The fine view from Paasitorni in Helsinki. (c) GCB

The benchmarking visit by GCB was organised in party by Finpro’s Finland Convention Bureau, the Helsinki Convention & Events Bureau and Visit Espoo, which prepared a comprehensive two-day programme together with GCB.

“Our guests were particularly interested in the unique concept of the Huone Events Hotel and the Startup Sauna, which is promoting young expertise. The architecture of Finlandia Hall and the Helsinki Music Centre also captivated our German colleagues,” says Mervi Toivonen of the Finland Convention Bureau.

One of the highlights of the programme was a visit to the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia, which the GCB representatives found to be an inspiring and surprising event venue.


“The Finnish society made a lasting impression. It gives young people the freedom to develop and realise their creative ideas in an environment that is suitable to them.” Claudia Delius-Fisher, Messe Frankfurt Venue GmbH

“Our visit to Finland was a real eye-opening experience. Helsinki is an excellent place for finding innovations and new ideas. The Finnish focus on new sustainable solutions was particularly fascinating.” Heike Mahmoud, visitBerlin, Berlin Convention Office

Places in Helsinki and Espoo visited by GCB during their Future Meeting Space visit in May 2016:

Updated 04/07/2016