• Hotel lobby. Photo: Scandic Hotels
  • Paasitorni. Photo: Mikko Reinikainen
  • Paasitorni. Photo: Juha Nenonen

Renovated Paasitorni attracts praise

The historic conference centre Helsinki Congress Paasitorni reopened last August after a major renovation. The first major international association meeting to be held in the new facilities at Paasitorni was a huge success, and the venue received abundant praise from both participants and organisers.

At the end of August 2012 the Finnish Ophthalmological Society and Nordisk Oftalmologisk Komité held its Nordic Ophthalmology Congress, the leading event for the sector, at the newly reopened Helsinki Congress Paasitorni. The event brought together almost 900 ophthalmology experts, exhibitors and guests, most of whom were accommodated in the newly opened Scandic Paasi hotel, which forms part of the same complex. “As organisers we were delighted with the facilities and the service overall,” comments Tero Kivelä, the President of The Finnish Ophthalmological Society. “It would not have been possible to organise such an extensive congress without the new meeting and restaurant premises.”

CONGREX Blue & White Conferences, which helped the Finnish Ophthalmological Society with the practicalities of organising the NOK 2012 congress, was also impressed by Paasitorni. “Our work is guided by our motto ‘If you appreciate quality conferences, choose us’.  The services provided by Paasitorni are completely in tune with this guiding principle,” says Managing Director Jussi Saari. CONGREX Blue & White Conferences is one of the leading Finnish conference service providers with over 20 years’ experience of organising demanding conferences in Finland and abroad.  

Helsinki Congress Paasitorni underwent a major renovation from 2010 to 2012. The conference and restaurant facilities were expanded, and a new hotel was constructed in connection with the original building. The Scandic Paasi is one of the chain’s “story hotels” that has been inspired by the colourful events and personalities of the neighbourhood. The unique interior design touches pay homage to the circus that was once located in the same area, and elements of the 1920s, 1950s and even 2010s can be seen in the rooms.

The aim of the renovation was to create a full-service venue for congress organisers and participants. Having conference, restaurant and hotel facilities all in the same complex makes practical arrangements much easier and enables more individualised solutions. The unique hotel milieu also adds to the appeal. “We wanted to hold our congress in an environment that stands out and will be long remembered.  The high-quality accommodation under the same roof created added value for our guests,” says Professor Tero Kivelä.

Text: Karoliina Saarnikko