Photo: Lux Helsinki / Lauri Rotko, Helsinki Marketing

International, lively and fascinating – Helsinki established guidelines for event city development

What kind of an event city is Helsinki being developed into and what are the goals with the events? How are the event organisers supported? Helsinki wants to be a functional platform and facilitator for diverse and original urban culture. The new Helsinki Road Map for Events and the associated concrete action plan captures the role, goals and development to a level, which supports the successful implementation of the City Strategy.

In the Helsinki City Strategy, the so-called eventness is an essential theme in the furthering of vitality and wellbeing, which has been developed with visible results for long. The City is a trustworthy stage for major events and one of the most popular conference destinations in Northern Europe. Of the several urban events that have been developed in Helsinki, many have been picked up around the world.

The guidelines of the Road Map for Events were established to ensure that organising events in Helsinki is even easier in the future. There has to be a sufficient number of functional event locations in different parts of the City and sorting out the permits with the City must be uncomplicated.

“The events hold a significant role in building up Helsinki’s agreeability, vitality and attractiveness. The local perspective is strongly visible in the City’s eventness and this is something that the City wants to strengthen in the future as well. At its best, the urban environment is a home to a diverse range of players, both in the large and in the small scale. In the eventness, Helsinki is not only a producer, but a partner and a platform as well. In the future, we want to be even better in all of these roles", notes Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.

Urban city culture to the conditions of responsibility and functionality

The Helsinki Road Map for Events has three main objectives:

1. The events support and realise the City Strategy’s goals of an international, lively and fascinating City of events in the best possible way.
2. The development of the events is based on responsibility.
3. The eventness is functional.

Helsinki wants to offer the best possible circumstances for urban good life. Urban culture is one essential enabler of good life. It extends Helsinki’s originality and attractiveness, increases the cultural understanding and reduces differentiation.

Helsinki is committed to responsibility in all of its operations and it is also at the core of the event development. In the Road Map for Events, responsibility is analysed from three perspectives: through environmental responsibility, social responsibility and financial responsibility.

A functional event environment that is safe for all is Helsinki’s strength and, at the same time, a prerequisite for the development of the event ecosystem. The City wants to be an even better partner for event players.

“We aim to streamline and systematise the co-operation with event organisers and improve the services aimed at them. In order to achieve this, we must also develop the City’s internal co-ordination and communications”, says Project Manager Päivi Munther, who is in charge of the development of the eventness.

International competition affects the increasing significance of events as well

Due to the urbanisation, the international competition between cities is constantly increasing. Events are used as a way of developing the City’s reputation and brand and developing an attractive local culture. Events hold an increasingly important role in tourism as well, but here, the mega-events are being ousted by local, original events.

“We want to expand the international profile and attractiveness of the essential Helsinki events in collaboration with event organisers and actively support the creation of new events. The events also offer experimentation platforms for different kinds of innovations, which are developed in co-operation with companies and event visitors”, tells Head of Marketing Sanna Forsström.

The Event Road Map was published to the players in the sector at Helsinki’s event seminar on 13 November 2019. In Helsinki, the implementation of the Road Map for Events and the development of eventness is co-ordinated by the Helsinki City Executive Office Communications.

The Road Map for Events covers a period of several years. The previous Road Map for Events was published in 2010. The Road Map was established using a vision, which was compiled from 43 interviews, 4 rounds of workshops with around 100 persons and 104 answers to an online survey. The interviews and workshops included participants from within the City organisation, event organisers and public authorities. The online survey was aimed at event organisers.

More information (soon also in English)