INPUT conference in springtime Helsinki
Springtime Helsinki showed off its best for the many delegates visiting Finland for the first time, as the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE convened industry representatives from all around the world to the Finnish capital for four days.
As the organising body, YLE initiated the application process two years ago, when two of its experienced INPUT experts – INPUT Board Member Jouko Salokorpi and INPUT Moderator Liselott Forsman – began to promote the event. Practical preparations began one year before the conference.
“We wanted to introduce the conference to the Finnish media industry by partnering with various actors within the industry,” says Jasmiini Lappalainen, Executive Producer of INPUT 2014.
Helsinki - natural choice as the host city
Helsinki was selected to host INPUT 2014, as the International Public Television conference had never before been organised in Finland in its 37-year history. The conference has been hosted in Scandinavia once a decade.
Attracting the conference to Finland was helped by the excellent reputations of the country and YLE among the organisers. Finland’s location is also ideal in Europe and for delegates arriving from other continents.
Helsinki was the natural choice as the host city, as the country’s main media operators are all located here. The Finnish capital is also a diverse and interesting destination for delegates visiting for the first and perhaps only time in their lives.
Successful marketing and arrangements
The marketing and arrangements for INPUT 2014 were a big success, attracting over 900 media professionals from around the world. This represents the largest number of participants at an INPUT conference this century.
Springtime Helsinki was easy to promote, and Finland as a congress destination was considered an interesting and appealing choice.
According to the large amount of feedback received, the arrangements for INPUT 2014 were very successful; visitors felt themselves expected and welcome. Scandic Marina Congress Center with its fine location and the services that were brought there made a big impression on visitors. The welcome reception at Helsinki Music Centre and midweek party at Kattilahalli in Suvilahti presented different sides of the city and Finnish culture.
The keys to the success of the event were the careful arrangements and the relaxed and playful atmosphere, which received a lot of thanks during the conference.
The main marketing channels for the event were social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and various international media festival catalogues. Traditional e-mails were also sent to delegates and kept them up to date about the arrangements leading up to the event.
"Finland, it works"
On the basis of feedback from participants, Helsinki was praised highly: the friendly and happy residents, the ease of getting about, the city’s many sides and, of course, the location of the conference by the sea with shapes sailing by made a big impression.
The slogan “Finland, it works” also rang true. The fact that all the scheduling, arrangements and transportation were so efficient, making life for the visitors easy, was a positive surprise for many.
“YLE and the Finnish media industry in general benefitted greatly from hosting the four-day conference here in Finland. We all learned a lot, made many new contacts and discussed co-operation with our international colleagues. Organising the event together with local partners was a joy for everyone at YLE. INPUT 2014 also succeeded in bringing together Finnish media actors, which is important stakeholder work; as a publicly funded company, YLE demonstrated how it benefits the entire industry,” summarises Jasmiini Lappalainen.
The event demonstrated YLE’s expertise and its ability to organise international events, at the same time presenting its skilled, dedicated and enthusiastic employees. INPUT 2014 was a team effort that left a positive impression on all who were involved. Many learned a lot in their own areas of expertise and surpassed themselves by willingly leaving their comfort zones. They will be able to benefit from all the international contacts they made for years to come – perhaps even to organise a similar event in the future!