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From the Managing Director

Building a growth-focused corporate culture

Managing Director Anni Vepsäläinen

The events sector is thriving. In the midst of the digital revolution, it’s become clear that digitalisation in fact increases the significance of encounters. Event marketing is also on the rise globally: as many as 71 per cent of marketing decision-makers believe that investing in experiences is critical for the success of their brands.

We at Messukeskus, the leading company in the Finnish events sector, see massive opportunities in this. The rise of experiential marketing promises strong growth for the entire sector in the years ahead. How will Messukeskus respond to this growth challenge?

For Messukeskus, growth will entail proactive acquisition of new customers, careful management of the product portfolio, sales of solutions to customers and the continuous development of our premises. For us Messukeskus employees, growth will require the constant development of expertise. We use LEAN lessons in our day-to-day efforts to improve operations. We also continue to successfully combine digital and events. We promote the digital transformation in our culture and systems, and pursue turnover growth from digitalisation.

We nurture the event experts of the future by engaging in closer cooperation with the field. In 2018, Messukeskus launched the annual Mesoaja Gala in cooperation with the Finnish Fair Foundation and other actors in this sector. The Gala highlights and rewards the best performers and new solutions in the entire Finnish event sector.

The Finnish Fair Corporation is celebrating its centennial in 2019.  Our mission sets its sights on the distant future. We will continue to support Finnish trade and industry by enabling profitable encounters.

Anni Vepsäläinen | Managing Director

At Messukeskus, all employees develop their expertise and customer focus with LEAN quality thinking.

Strategy

Messukeskus’ strategy is encapsulated in five points:

  1. We actively help our clients to succeed by renewing exhibition media.
  2. We will grow in the event industry through unique and competitive facilities and services.
  3. We are turning digital services into new business and a factor that enriches genuine encounters.
  4. We will make Messukeskus into the leading venue for events in the Nordic countries at the heart of the evolving Pasila district by modernising and moderately expanding our current premises.
  5. We will offer heartwarming services for our customers through our excellent corporate culture and highly competitive partner network.

The strategic goals in 2018 were to achieve growth in sales of digital services, modernise the customer management system, improve long-term profitability with organisational reforms, mobilise LEAN methods in day-to-day management, renew the hotel and restaurant world, and develop the Messukeskus area in the evolving Pasila district.

Key figures

MAMMA MIA! Musical Helsinki

The MAMMA MIA! musical at Messukeskus Amfi was a successful first entry into entertainment productions. MAMMA MIA! Helsinki 2018. Photos by Brinkhoff/Mögenburg.

The Finnish Fair Corporation Group’s operating profit was EUR 1.2 million (EUR 2.8 million in 2017) and its turnover was EUR 56.4 million (60.3 million) in the year under review.

In 2018, Messukeskus attracted 1,214,787 visitors (1,180,869 in 2017). The public event that drew the greatest number of visitors was the Helsinki Book Fair – together with the Wine, Food & Good Living Expo, held at the same time, it broke previous records with 85,616 visitors. Of the new events, the Agricultural Machinery Trade Fair – Finland’s largest indoor exhibition of agricultural machinery, held for the first time – attracted 16,820 visitors from all over Finland. Of entertainment productions, the Abba musical MAMMA MIA! drew 93,000 people to Messukeskus Amfi musical theatre.

The most popular third-party events were Koiramessut – Dog Fair Finland, organised by the Finnish Kennel Club (37,000 visitors), the American Car Show (25,000), SLUSH (22,500) and Tubecon, held for the first time at Messukeskus (17,000).

Messukeskus organised or hosted 98 fairs, business events, congresses, entertainment events and festivals (87 in 2017).

A total of 96 fairs and third-party events were held with 8,941 exhibitors participating. 1,440 meetings were held (1,853). Two (8) international congresses were held: the largest was the convention of the European People’s Party (EPP), which in November brought 3,000 European politicians and media representatives to Messukeskus.

A total of 8,941 exhibitors participated in our events (9,393). A total of 254,580 m2 of exhibition space was reserved for own and third-party events and entertainment productions (in 2017: 277,270 m2).

Messukeskus in numbers

Messukeskus Economic Impact

Exhibitions business unit

A record-breaking year

Mikko Horppu

Director Mikko Horppu

The Exhibitions business unit is responsible for the production of Messukeskus’ own trade and public fairs.

2018 was a record-breaking year for the Exhibition business. Growth was enabled by a strong programme, event development, the successful launch of new products, growth in solution sales, the offering of digital products for customers and the underlying positive trend in the national economy.

The CRM/ERP system modernisation drive was expanded into a transformation project encompassing not only these systems but also sales, marketing and production methods and the entire organisational culture. We developed the online visibility of our events by harnessing data, testing and efficient mobile optimisation. We also started work on the further development of augmented reality (AR) and new sales tools.

The year’s programme included 44 exhibitions organised by Messukeskus, in which 7,326 exhibitors participated. The public event that drew the greatest number of visitors was the Helsinki Book Fair – together with the Wine and Food Exhibition, held at the same time, it broke previous records with 85,616 visitors. The successful overhaul of GoExpo Winter and GameXpo was rewarded with a 26 per cent increase in visitor numbers. At the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair, in turn, 23 per cent of the visitors came for the first time (TNS Gallup, MATKA Nordic Travel Fair visitor survey).

Relative to the number of population, Finns are very active fair visitors. Last year, Messukeskus commissioned Kantar TNS to carry out a survey of Finnish fair visitors. According to the survey, fair visitors are looking for new things and spend more money than the average Finn. Fair visitors boldly try new brands and their opinions influence the purchase decisions of other people, too.

Kantar TNS’ survey confirms that experiential event marketing is a multifold opportunity for businesses. Fairs reach active trailblazers, and event marketing has an impact when the fair visitors recommend the new products they have tried and purchased at the fair to their circle of acquaintances.

Mikko Horppu | Director, Exhibitions business unit

MaatalousKonemessut

Of the new events held in 2018, the Agricultural Machinery Trade Fair – Finland’s largest indoor exhibition of agricultural machinery, held for the first time – attracted 16,820 visitors from all over Finland.

Habitare

Exhibition media supports sustainable development. The need for travel is reduced when experts from different fields meet in one place and hold many meetings and negotiations.

Events, Meetings and Congresses business unit

New business and overhauling space and service concepts

Kristina von Konow

Director Kristina von Konow

The Events, Meetings and Congresses business unit is responsible for sales of space in 40 different-sized meeting rooms, seven halls, 21 restaurants and other premises at Messukeskus, as well as for arrangements for third-party events. We seek growth by offering our customers unique and competitive facilities and service solutions for organising successful meetings, congresses, celebrations and other events. Our goal is to make organising events inspiring.

In 2018, Messukeskus held 1,440 meetings and 52 guest exhibitions, two of which were international congresses. The most popular third-party events were Koiramessut – Dog Fair Finland, organised by the Finnish Kennel Club (37,000 visitors), the American Car Show (25,000), SLUSH (22,500) and Tubecon, held for the first time at Messukeskus (17,000). The convention of the European People’s Party (EPP) brought 3,000 European politicians to Messukeskus in November and generated massive favourable publicity for it as a meeting venue.

With its concert, festival and musical productions, Messukeskus seeks a new kind of business for its low seasons in partnership with ACE-Production AB. Messukeskus successfully ventured into entertainment productions. In the report year, the 3,000-seat Messukeskus Amfi staged the MAMMA MIA! musical for the first time in Finnish. The Abba musical was a success and was seen by 93,000 people.

The major investment in 2018 was the overhaul of Holiday Inn Helsinki – Expo and the Messukeskus restaurant world. The hotel was closed for almost a year while the renovation was ongoing, which meant that 2018 was a hiatus year, especially for congress sales. The renovation encompassed the entire property – from hotel rooms to service points and from technology to interior decor – as well as the kitchens and restaurant world. The service concept was customised to meet the needs of clients participating in Messukeskus events.

In 2018, the visual image of Messukeskus’ conference centre was also revamped. The centre was rebranded Messukeskus Siipi.

Messukeskus is an exciting world-class venue for all our customers, 24/7 and all-year long, thanks to impressive events, our enticing new restaurant world and an event hotel that’s been given a full makeover.

Kristina von Konow | Director, Events, Meetings and Congresses

NBF

Nordic Business Forum is one of Messukeskus’ growing guest events. Seminar guest Barack Obama was the most famous guest at Messukeskus in 2018. Photo: Tiia Öhman | Nordic Business Forum.

hotelli

Holiday Inn Helsinki – Expo and Messukeskus restaurant world with their service concepts were thoroughly revamped in 2018.

Subsidiaries

The Finnish Fair Corporation Group consists of the Finnish Fair Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiaries Expomark Oy and SVV – Sound, Vision and Videoprojection.

Expomark

Expomark successfully launched the Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation event in Helsinki in 2018.

Expomark Oy
The subsidiary Expomark Oy organises trade shows for the industrial and health care sectors around Finland, drawing on 30 years of experience and working with the most important organisations and players in different fields. In 2018, Expomark successfully organised the Northern Industry and Energy events as well as launched the new Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation event, held at the same time as the Good Age fair in Helsinki. In 2018, Expomark had record-breaking turnover of EUR 2.7 million.
www.expomark.fi

EPP:n puoluekokous

SVV participated in the AV implementation of more than 150 events held in Messukeskus facilities, one of them was EPP’s convention in November.

SVV – Sound, Vision and Videoprojection 
SVV Oy continued to provide equipment and AV services for Messukeskus, elsewhere in Finland and the neighbouring areas alike. SVV was in charge of some of the technologies used at events such as the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, Helsinki 2018 summit and the convention of the European People’s Party (EPP). In 2018, SVV participated in the AV implementation of more than 150 events held in Messukeskus facilities. New equipment acquisitions included Infiled LED screens.
www.svv.fi

Operating environment

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, estimates that companies are spending an ever-larger slice of their marketing budget on events and digital marketing. Digitisation is introducing new business models to events. Hybrid events are becoming more common, blurring the boundaries between fairs, congresses, festivals and live encounters.

In Finland, the marketing spend of companies on fairs grew by 12% year-on-year in euro terms. Fairs accounted for 4% of total advertising. This information is based on Kantar TNS’ survey of media advertising volume.

The business of the Finnish Fair Corporation Group is sensitive to cyclic fluctuations; this is a late-cycle industry. Success can only attend the trade fair business if enterprises are willing to exhibit at trade fairs in support of their marketing. A proportion of conferences and meetings are related to fairs. Furthermore, profits from technical services and rental services fluctuate in line with the exhibition programme. The exhibition portfolio includes trade fairs in various sectors. This evens out the risk of cyclic fluctuations in any one sector. There is growth ahead for the Events, Meetings and Congresses business.

The average Finnish fair visitor is 42 years old, well-educated and affluent. Fairs are visited by men and women alike (50%/50%). The portrait of a fair visitor unfolds in an extensive survey conducted by Kantar TNS for Messukeskus. Fair visitors were picked up for a closer look from the TNS Mind database consisting of 2,582 people. The data was compiled from January to June 2018.

According to the survey, fair visitors boldly try new brands and their opinions influence the purchase decisions of other people, too. Fair visitors spend as much as 40% more on travel in a year than the average consumer and purchase 600 euros worth more entertainment electronics, home decor items and other durable goods than the average consumer. When the shopping list includes technology, fair visitors often choose a car or household appliance that is more expensive than average. Almost half (46%) of fair visitors are home decor addicts. Fair visitors spend 650 euros a year on interior decoration, while the average consumer makes do with 480 euros. Fair visitors are also enthusiastic about organic food and purchase responsibly produced and fair trade products more often than the average Finn.

Slush

As a global trend, the interface between congresses, festivals and live meetings is becoming blurry. Picture of the SLUSH event held at Messukeskus.

Pasilan Tripla

Messukeskus is part of the vigorously developing Pasila district, a new urban centre.

Corporate responsibility

Messukeskus – sustainable experiences

Corporate responsibility is one of Messukeskus’ values. It comprises responsibility for people, the environment and the economy.

Work and income for the entire Helsinki metropolitan area

During the report year, Messukeskus provided a unique learning environment for Vocational College LIVE students in the fields of business and administration, TELMA (preparatory training for work and independent living), artisanship, massage, household and cleaning services, and real-estate services.  Cooperation between UNICEF Finland and Messukeskus enabled almost 20,000 children to attend school for a year and vital polio vaccinations for more than 1.8 million children during the report year.

Messukeskus supports the well-being of its employees with training, occupational health care, good work ergonomics, a lunch benefit and ePass, as well as by subsidising the activities of the employees’ social club. In addition to its own personnel, Messukeskus employs a network of around 30 partner companies on its premises.

Fairs, meetings, congresses and other Messukeskus events provide a significant boost to employment in the entire Helsinki metropolitan area by creating jobs and generating income for hotels, public transport and restaurants, for instance. The economic impact of Messukeskus on the Helsinki metropolitan area is EUR 282 million annually (Haaga-Helia study 2018).

LIVE ammattiopisto

Massage students from Vocational College Live have offered their services at the Messukeskus Exhibitor Lounge and Press Centre, for instance.

Climate goals announced

In 2018, Messukeskus became the only Finnish event organiser to be granted an ISO14001-2015 environmental management certificate as well as an ISO9001-2015 management system certificate.

On 31 October 2018, Messukeskus joined the Ilmastokumppanit (‘Climate Partners’) network of the City of Helsinki and the business sector. The network aims to make the city carbon-neutral. The climate goals were encapsulated in three main points: We will reduce our energy consumption by 10 per cent by 2025. We will substantially increase the share of renewable energy, such as by making use of solar power. We will develop our procurements to be even more environmentally responsible and continue to make efficient use of wastes.

Services to electric motorists were enhanced in cooperation with BMW Finland and Fortum Charge & Drive by adding 24 new charging stations to the car park. Messukeskus also cut down on the use of disposable products, campaigned to reduce food wastage in cooperation with its catering partner Fazer Food Services, and increased efficiency in communicating about environmental issues. At the end of the year, Messukeskus decided to generate solar energy in cooperation with the energy company Helen – a plant comprising more than 2,000 solar panels will be built on the hall roofs in summer 2019. It will be one of the largest such plants in Helsinki.

Ilmastokumppanuus

Messukeskus became a Climate Partner by signing a climate commitment with Deputy Mayor Anni Sinnemäki (on the right). Maria Mroue, Director, Marketing and Communications, signed the commitment on behalf of Messukeskus.

The Finnish Fair Foundation provides support and rewards

The Finnish Fair Foundation is one of the owners of Messukeskus. The Finnish Fair Foundation promotes Finnish business and raises awareness of Finnish industry, trade and other business by supporting Finnish expertise and granting awards to successful projects and persons. Every year, the Foundation awards scholarships, grants, rewards, and commendations worth approximately EUR 400,000 in total.

Aapo Cederberg

Colonel (ret.) Aapo Cederberg won the Cyber Security Nordic 2018 award. The Finnish Fair Foundation, F-Secure, Insta DefSec and Sähköturvallisuuden edistämiskeskus STEK ry all contributed to the EUR 25,000 prize.

Messukeskus’ responsibility steps


2019

  • A barrier-free parking system results in smoother traffic and reduces running idle on the entrance lanes.
  • Part of the ticket proceeds from the jubilee year will be donated for protecting the Baltic Sea and the wellbeing of children, young people and women in developing countries
  • Helen’s solar power plant to be installed on the Messukeskus roof
  • Environmental perspective for all procurements

2018

  • New environmental policy steers environmental efforts
  • Messukeskus is the only Finnish event organiser to be granted an ISO14001 2015 environmental management certificate as well as an ISO9001 2015 management system certificate
  • Corporate responsibility themes for 2018 clarified: communications, reducing food waste and disposable products, helping those with limited capability for work
  • An EU Disability Card site
  • Cooperation with Vocational College Live and UNICEF Finland begins
  • 24 new charging points for electric cars
  • Joining the Climate Partners network of the City of Helsinki

2017

  • An award from the Energy Authority and Motiva for energy efficiency efforts
  • The first electric car changing points were installed in the Messukeskus Car Park
  • Introduction of an energy efficiency programme aiming at energy savings of 7.5%, extending to 2025

2016

  • We exceeded our targets for the energy efficiency programme: 9% -> 26%
  • Olohuone recycling restaurant opened; interior decoration created in association with the Helsinki Reuse Centre
  • Messukeskus office renovated, old furniture recycled, and lighting replaced with an energy-saving solution
  • More organic and local food served at meetings; monitoring of food wastage started

2015

  • Business gifts from recycled fair carpet

2013

  • New heat recovery system and energy-saving LED lighting for Galleria
  • Renovation of the Exhibition Office, with ecological domestic products used in its interior decor
  • The first Local & Organic Food Fair

2012

  • The meeting rooms of Messukeskus were included in the Sustainable Scandinavian Meetings Region of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)
  • Participation in WWF’s annual Earth Hour climate event

2011

  • Introduction of an energy efficiency programme aiming at energy savings of 9%, extending to 2016

2009

  • First Finnish exhibition and convention centre to be granted ISO 14001 environmental certification

2008

  • The first Working for the Environment award handed out by the Finnish Fair Foundation

Report of the Board of Directors 2018

Messukeskus ilmakuva

The Finnish Fair Corporation Group’s operating profit was EUR 1.2 million (EUR 2.8 million in 2017) and its turnover was EUR 56.4 million (60.3 million) in the year under review.

In 2018, Messukeskus attracted 1,214,787 visitors. The public event that drew the greatest number of visitors was the Helsinki Book Fair – together with the Wine, Food & Good Living Expo, held at the same time, it broke previous records with 85,616 visitors. Of the new events, the Agricultural Machinery Trade Fair – Finland’s largest indoor exhibition of agricultural machinery, held for the first time – attracted 16,820 visitors from all over Finland. Of entertainment productions, the Abba musical MAMMA MIA! drew 93,000 people to Messukeskus Amfi musical theatre.

The most popular third-party events were Koiramessut – Dog Fair Finland, organised by the Finnish Kennel Club (37,000 visitors), the American Car Show (25,000), SLUSH (22,500) and Tubecon, held for the first time at Messukeskus (17,000).

A total of 96 fairs and third-party events were held with 8,941 exhibitors participating. 1,440 meetings were held. The largest of the international congresses was the convention of the European People’s Party (EPP), which brought 3,000 European politicians and media representatives to Messukeskus in November.

Growth is the driving force of our strategy

Messukeskus’ strategy is encapsulated in five points:

  1. We actively help our clients to succeed by renewing exhibition media.
  2. We will grow in the event industry through unique and competitive facilities and services.
  3. We are turning digital services into new business and a factor that enriches genuine encounters.
  4. We will make Messukeskus into the leading venue for events in the Nordic countries at the heart of the evolving Pasila district by modernising and moderately expanding our current premises.
  5. We will offer heartwarming services for our customers through our excellent corporate culture and highly competitive partner network.

The strategic goals in 2018 were to achieve growth in sales of digital services, modernise the customer management system, improve long-term profitability with organisational reforms, mobilise LEAN methods in day-to-day management, renew the hotel and restaurant world, and develop the Messukeskus area in the evolving Pasila district.

Measures to improve profitability

The codetermination negotiations initiated at the end of 2017 were concluded in January 2018. The negotiations sought permanent and structural solutions to improve the profitability of the core business with a view to achieving total savings of EUR 1.7 million. At the same time, we sought more efficient models for organising operations and developing expertise. As a result of the negotiations, the number of personnel was reduced by 17. Marketing throughout the company was reorganised, the event portfolio of the Fairs business was pruned, the organisation of the Events, Meetings and Congresses business was streamlined and the tasks of the Hall Service were expanded. In addition to the organisational changes, an extensive cost-savings programme was carried out.

Digitalisation of sales, marketing and production

The development of business operations by means of digitalisation continued. The CRM/ERP system modernisation drive was expanded into a transformation project encompassing not only these systems but also sales, marketing and production methods and the organisational culture. The mobile app was phased out and the focus was shifted to the development of the Internet site and its mobile use. The Internet site was developed on the basis of data on online customer behaviour and testing. Work started on an AI-based customer service chatbot, further development of an AR solution and new sales tools.

Management of customer registers was aligned with the EU General Data Protection Regulation that came into force in May.

LEAN introduced into day-to-day management

The improvement of productivity and customer and personnel satisfaction continued with LEAN projects and exercises. Customised LEAN training for supervisors began with the aim of mobilising LEAN tools in day-to-day management and the continuous improvement of the work of Messukeskus employees.

Major investment: hotel and restaurant overhaul

Holiday Inn Helsinki – Expo was renovated in a project that lasted the entire year. The hotel was closed during the renovation from 20 February 2018 to 28 February 2019. The renovation encompassed the entire property – from hotel rooms to service points and from technology to interior decor – as well as the kitchens and restaurant world. The service concept was customised to meet the needs of clients participating in Messukeskus events. The renovation partner was YIT Talo Oy. The hotel is part of the Scandic hotel chain and IHG, one of the world’s largest hotel companies.

Revamped Conference Centre and exhibition halls

The Conference Centre was given a new look and renamed Messukeskus Siipi in the report year. Messukeskus Siipi comprises 40 different-sized, convertible meeting rooms and the 4,400-seater Amfi Hall auditorium.

A decision has been made to focus future investments on the Messukeskus area in Pasila in both current and any potential future property development projects. As a result of this decision, the sale and handover of the Wanha Satama property to a new owner was concluded.

Parking services enter the digital era

At the end of the year, the carpark and Siipi parking area introduced the barrier-free EuroPark Autopay parking system. This streamlined customer parking and introduced more payment alternatives to customers. The system is based on identifying vehicle registration plate numbers during entry and exit.

New partnerships – new business

Messukeskus Amfi made its debut as a musical theatre – the 3,000-seat arena staged the MAMMA MIA! musical for the first time in Finnish. The musical was a success and was seen by 93,000 people. The project partner was ACE-Production AB. With concert, festival and musical productions, Messukeskus seeks a new kind of business for its low seasons, with the same partner.

During the report year, Messukeskus also signed an agreement on bringing the annual HIMSS Europe and Health 2.0 digital healthcare congresses to Finland and holding them at Messukeskus in 2019-2021. The confirmed partners are the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Sitra, Business Finland, the City of Helsinki, the University of Helsinki, HUS Helsinki University Hospital, OuluHealth and Turku Science Park.

Major steps in environmental responsibility

Messukeskus joined the Ilmastokumppanit (‘Climate Partners’) network of the City of Helsinki and the business sector. The network aims to make the city carbon-neutral. Messukeskus’ climate goals were encapsulated in three main points: We will reduce our energy consumption by 10 per cent by 2025. We are significantly increasing the share of renewable energy, for example by exploiting solar power. We will develop our procurements to be even more environmentally responsible and continue to make efficient use of wastes.

During the report year, Messukeskus increased efficiency in communicating about environmental issues, cut down on the use of disposable products, and added 24 new electric car charging stations. At the end of the year, Messukeskus decided to generate solar energy in cooperation with the energy company Helen – a plant comprising more than 2,000 solar panels will be built on the hall roofs in summer 2019. It will be one of the largest such plants in Helsinki.

Economic impact: EUR 282 million

In 2018, Messukeskus employed and brought income worth EUR 282 million to the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The employment impact for the Helsinki region was 3,957 person-years, of which the direct employment impact amounted to 2,486 person-years. The increase in sales for hotels and restaurants in the metropolitan area was EUR 88 million. The report by Haaga-Helia takes into account both the income brought by exhibitors and visitors as well as the employment impact of the events.

Work begins on the Messukeskus 100 jubilee year

The trade fair business was launched in Finland when the Finnish Fair Corporation was established on 19 October 1919. During the report year, Messukeskus prepared for its centennial. The goal is that the jubilee year will be featured in the visual image, premises, events and marketing communications. The campaign theme is “an unforgettable beginning to dreams”. The year will culminate with a gala for customers, partners and other stakeholders. Its theme, “Initium”, means a new beginning and symbolises looking into the future.

Subsidiaries

Expomark Oy
The subsidiary Expomark Oy organises trade shows for the industrial and health care sectors around Finland, drawing on 30 years of experience and working with the most important organisations and players in different fields. In 2018, Expomark successfully organised the Northern Industry and Energy events as well as launched the new Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation event, held at the same time as the Good Age fair in Helsinki. In 2018, Expomark had record-breaking turnover of EUR 2.7 million.
www.expomark.fi

SVV – Sound, Vision and Videoprojection
SVV Oy continued to provide equipment and AV services for Messukeskus, elsewhere in Finland and the neighbouring areas alike. SVV was in charge of some of the technologies used at events such as the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, Helsinki 2018 summit and the convention of the European People’s Party (EPP). In 2018, SVV participated in the AV implementation of more than 150 events held in Messukeskus facilities. New equipment acquisitions included Infiled LED screens. www.svv.fi

Ownership

The Finnish Fair Corporation is owned by its members. The corporation has 197 members, including enterprises, the City of Helsinki and the Finnish Fair Foundation.

Financial performance

Turnover and result

The Finnish Fair Corporation Group consists of the Finnish Fair Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiaries Expomark Oy, Helsingin Messut Oy, and SVV – Sound, Vision and Videoprojection.

In 2018, the Finnish Fair Corporation Group had a turnover of EUR 56.4 million (in 2017: EUR 60.3 million), representing year-on-year change of -6.4%. Of the subsidiaries, Expomark Oy saw an increase in turnover of 159%, while the turnover of SVV – Sound, Vision and Videoprojection remained unchanged.

Operating expenses came to EUR 55.7 million (57.5 million), of which planned depreciation accounted for EUR 9.6 million (9.6 million).

The Finnish Fair Corporation Group’s operating result for the year under review weakened compared to that of the previous year, amounting to EUR 1.2 million (2.8 million). The net profitability was 2.1% (4.6%).

The profit before appropriations and taxes came to EUR 0.8 million (2.7 million).

The major reasons behind the decline in the figures were the closure of the hotel for renovations and the small number of international congresses in 2018.

Financing

Cash flow from operations totalled EUR 11.5 million (13.5 million). Cash flow from investments totalled EUR -17.7 million (-6.8 million).

New long-term loans amounting to EUR 15 million were drawn. Instalments were made on loans according to plan, totalling EUR 2 million.

Interest-bearing liabilities totalled EUR 15 million at the end of the financial year (2.0 million). The balance sheet total was EUR 125.8 million (108.8 million). The financial statement shows that the equity ratio was 77.0% (88.2%).

The debt ratio is 16.0%.

Taxes

The Finnish Fair Corporation Group’s taxes were EUR 0.3 million (-0.53 million).

Investments

The Finnish Fair Corporation Group’s investments totalled EUR 22.8 million (6.8 million), representing 40.4% (11.3%) of the turnover. Premises-related replacement and maintenance investments amounted to EUR 20.6 million, information technology investments amounted to EUR 0.7 million, and AV technology purchases totalled EUR 1.1 million.

Outlook for 2019 

It is believed that the hotel renovation and restaurant world overhaul, completed at the beginning of March 2019, will increase both meeting and restaurant sales. Development of operations aims at increasing sales of digital services and improving cost-efficiency in all operations. The fair programme will be developed further by improving current fairs and launching new ones. In addition to finalising the hotel project, investments focus on IT system projects and building digital services.

Risks and uncertainties

The business of the Finnish Fair Corporation Group is sensitive to cyclic fluctuations. Success can only attend the trade fair business if enterprises are willing to exhibit at trade fairs in support of their marketing. A proportion of conferences and meetings are related to fairs. Furthermore, profits from technical services and rental services fluctuate in line with the exhibition programme. The exhibition portfolio of the Finnish Fair Corporation includes trade fairs in various sectors. This evens out the risk of cyclic fluctuations in any one sector.

Safety is an indicator of event quality. The safety and security expertise of Messukeskus includes comprehensive security systems, well-trained staff, well-maintained property, continuous surveillance, safety and security planning, and close cooperation with the authorities.

Systematic risk management is undertaken to avoid the realisation of personal and property risks. Non-life and business interruption insurance policies have been taken out to hedge against the financial impacts of risks.

Personnel

During the year under review, the Finnish Fair Corporation Group employed, on average, 210 full-time employees (227) and three part-time employees (12). Wages and salaries totalled EUR 11.5 million (12.7 million).

Administration

Supervisory Board as at 31 December 2018

Chairman: Mr Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor

Vice Chairman: Mr Jussi Herlin, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors

Mr Jukka Moisio, President and CEO

Mr Kimmo Alkio, President and CEO

Ms Tuija Brax, Secretary General

Mr Taavi Heikkilä, General Director

Mr Mikko Helander, General Director

Ms Annikka Hurme, President and CEO

Mr Jyri Häkämies, President and CEO

Mr Timo Jaatinen, President and CEO

Mr Kari Jordan, vuorineuvos

Ms Pia Kalsta, CEO

Ms Meri-Tuuli Kousa

Mr Matti Kähkönen, President and CEO

Mr Timo Lappalainen, President and CEO

Mr Matti Lievonen, President and CEO

Mr Heikki Malinen, President and CEO

Mr Veli-Matti Mattila, CEO

Mr Ilkka Paananen, CEO

Mr Juhani Pekkala, Managing Director

Mr Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO

Ms Leena Syrjälä, CEO

Mr Pekka Vauramo, President and CEO

Mr Ben Zyskowicz, MP

Ms Gunta Ahlfors

Mr Pentti Arajärvi

Mr Jaakko Hirvola

The General Meeting held on 10 April 2018 re-elected the following members of the Supervisory Board for a three-year term: Timo Lappalainen, Matti Lievonen, Jukka Moisio and Ben Zyskowicz. The General Meeting also elected the following as new members of the Supervisory Board for the term ending in 2021: Gunta Alfors, Pentti Arajärvi, Tuuli Kousa and Jan Vapaavuori. The General Meeting also elected Jaakko Hirvola as the successor of Jorma Turunen for the term ending in 2020.

Members of the Supervisory Board receive an attendance allowance of EUR 750 per meeting. In addition to attendance allowances, a monthly remuneration of EUR 750 is paid to the Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors has five members. As at 31 December 2018, the members of the Board of Directors were:

Chairman

Mr Hannu Syrjänen | Chairman of the Board

Vice Chairman

Mr Juha Rantanen | vuorineuvos

members

Mr Sam Nieminen | CEO

Ms Leena Niemistö | Board professional

Ms Anu Nissinen I CEO

Members of the Board of Directors will receive an attendance allowance of EUR 2,000 per meeting in 2019. In addition to attendance allowances, a monthly remuneration of EUR 2,000 is paid to the Chairman.

Executive Board

Ms Anni Vepsäläinen, Managing Director

Mr Mikko Horppu, Vice President | Fairs

Ms Kristina von Konow, Vice President | Events, Meetings and Conferences business unit

Ms Maria Mroue, Director, Marketing and Communications

Mr Petteri Nissinen, CFO

Mr Mika Vakkilainen, Service and Production Director

Auditors

Principal auditor

PricewaterhouseCoopers Oy, auditing firm

Patron

President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö

Combined numbers of members and shares in the Corporation

As at 31 December 2018, the Corporation had 197 members holding a total of 44,278 shares.

Proposal of the Board of Directors for distribution of the profit declared by the Finnish Fair Corporation

DISTRIBUTION OF PROFIT

Retained earnings 2,801,452.62
Profit for the financial year 2,062,323.87
Amount disposable by the General Meeting
pursuant to the By-laws of the Corporation 4,863,776.49
The Board of Directors proposes that out of this amount:
a 6% interest payout on participation shares be paid:     53,133.60
leaving under retained earnings: 4,810,642.89

 

Messukeskus johtoryhmä 2019

The Executive Board of Messukeskus in 2019. From left to right: CFO Petteri Nissinen, Service and Production Director Mika Vakkilainen, Managing Director Anni Vepsäläinen, Director, Marketing and Communications Maria Mroue, Director, Exhibitions business unit Mikko Horppu sekä Director, Events, Meetings and Conferences business unit Kristina von Konow.

Exhibitions organised by Messukeskus in 2018

Exhibition Exhibitors m2 Visitors
Agricultural machinery trade fair 375 32 583 16 820
Auto 70 18 045 26 893
Automotive Aftermarket Fair 67 3 515 5 643
Beauty Pro 32 391 6 680
Caravan 41 5 110 56 238
Child Fair, Scale Model and Hobby Exhibition, Arts&Crafts spring, OutletExpo 364 8 380 47 030
Cyber Security Nordic 18 202 799
Doctor 131 2 315 6 760
Educa 318 3 959 17 869
FinnBuild, FinnBuild Infra 528 17 926 25 195
Finnish Nursing Exhibition 123 1 332 4 195
Gastro Helsinki 306 6 296 16 116
GoExpo Winter, GameXpo 204 9 094 31 536
GoExpo, Photo, Video & Camera, Ball Sports, Helsinki Horse Fair 384 10 781 36 504
Habitare, Antiikki, Habitare Pro 494 14 208 59 143
Helsinki Book Fair 425 10 292 85 616
Helsinki International Boat Show 318 25 252 64 461
Helsinki Motorcycle Show 167 11 434 58 997
I love me 427 9 727 49 174
Matka Nordic Travel Fair 881 9 426 63 458
Meal 41 232 753
On the Plate 79 1 051 4 317
PromoExpo, Yritys, Marketing Week 83 1 110 3 425
Pulpaper, PacTec Helsinki, Wood & Bioenergy 463 6 970 9 200
Sijoitus Invest 47 443 3 826
Spring Fair, Local & Organic Foor Fair 526 15 155 46 544
Studia 152 2 203 13 021
The Finnish Dental Congress and Exhibition 110 2 400 9 149
Wine and Food 152 2 203 13 021