Learn from the experienced and get new ideas from inspiring event organizers!
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Glorious & Circular – Christmas Gala at Messukeskus Helsinki
1100 talented employees of AIA Thailand came together for the Gala dinner of the annual convention in mid-October and Messukeskus had the pleasure to host it. The enormous project was carried out in only 10 weeks!
Christmas arrived early at our venue this year and Planitswiss or we could say that Tomy Quevauillliers won the tender for the organization of the gala dinner. His plan included a Finnish Christmas market upon arrival at our entrance hall and the Northern Lights, Santa Claus’s living room and Finnish archipelago, were the main design elements in the dining hall.
“He had poured his heart and creative mind to a proposal, which dove deep in Finnish Christmas traditions. Respect for local cultures and knowing his client well, were Tomy’s ticket to win.”
Bringing creative ideas to reality
We turned Tomy’s ideas into reality! Our skilled designers wanted to focus on the sustainability of the event. A magical Christmas spirit was created with existing materials of our venue. Wooden house constructions, light installations of Northern lights and tile carpet etc. were used to send a clear message against single-use culture of events, without compromising the festivity.
Natalia and Marita, our designers, went the extra mile. A local theater borrowed their Christmas-green, old glamorous car, which was used for the entry of the President of the Convention was used for the entry of the President of the Convention. Real Christmas trees were from a regenerative forest. To keep a forest healthy, one needs to thin some trees time to time. The thinned spruces, prior they were turned to chips of industrial use, decorated our hall and entrances bringing along the scent of Christmas.
Cooperation is the key to successful event
Without this committed and talented team this large project would have not been possible. At our venue, the project team, project manager Riikka, catering manager Henrik met regularly with our designers Natalia, Marita, Juan, and Nico. Everybody involved says that they were learning from each other.
AIA Thailand is a leading life insurer serving customers in the country for more than 80 years. We have the biggest market share based on total premiums from all lines of business1, the largest and strongest agency network of 50,000 agents2 and the largest number of in-force life policies of over 7.8 million. We have 8.6 million3 in-force policies including personal and accident insurance as well as life assurance.
“Communication, planning and solving issues back and for within the venue and with Planitswiss, were continuous, engaging, and respectful.”
Success through partnership
ECTS 2022 at Messukeskus Helsinki
An event that attracts the brightest minds and holds them for many days – who wouldn’t want to host this?
That’s why the road to this congress was bumpy, starting with our two rivals Latvia and Lithuania who also wanted to host this event. The capitals of these two nations boast amazing attractions, such as the largest medieval center in Europe (Vilnius) and breath-taking Art Nouveau districts (Riga). And the cost of enjoying these beautiful cities was a distinct advantage over Helsinki.
That’s why we had to think wider. How to reduce the cost without compromising the quality of the service? The event management students from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences took over all the functions of the floor staff. ECTS also hired and event management student as and intern for six months.
A successful event after obstacles
In the winter 2020 the conference was finally confirmed to Helsinki. However, there were some obstacles due to the omicron virus in November 2021. Also, early bird registration fees failed to draw attendees, perhaps, we thought, due to the war in Ukraine. The low registration numbers were most likely the result of a new behavior of last-minute decision-making, confirmed by other congress organizers as well. But finally, eager discussions, hugs, laughter and smiling faces filled the luminous halls of Messukeskus Helsinki in the beginning of May 2022. The very first hybrid ECTS conference attracted 730 people to Helsinki. The joy of meeting face to face was tangible.
Positive feedback confirmed the success of the event
Sustainability was embedded in the congress execution; especially in the catering, which is the largest producer of emissions in events.
“Porcelain dishes and tap water, instead of bottled water, were some of the small actions to tackle the throw-away culture. A vegan day reduced the CO2 emissions by 958 CO₂e kg, while upholding the quality and innovativeness of the catering service.”
Our first international association conference after Covid-19 was very positive for our client as well. “Even though I was exhausted, I did not want to leave Helsinki when the congress was over. I was so happy there,” commented Ms. Mugnai, one week after the congress. Partnership truly is the way to happiness in Finland. ”Partnership” is the word Roberta Mugnai, Executive Director of the ECTS used to describe her experience of working with our professionals at Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre (Messukeskus) to organize their annual congress in May 2022.
The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a tool of the European Higher Education Area for making studies and courses more transparent. It helps students to move between countries and to have their academic qualifications and study periods abroad recognised.
“Even though I was exhausted, I did not want to leave Helsinki when the congress was over. I was so happy there.”
Roberta Mugnai | Executive Director, ECTS