From live to online at Messukeskus Helsinki: Redesigning EAS Congress in pandemic conditions

The European Atherosclerosis Society EAS organises a 3-day scientific congress annually in different European cities. In 2021, due to the pandemic, the plans, guidelines, and the whole process had to be adapted to the virtual realm. In Finland, with the support of Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Centre, the change was accomplished smoothly and successfully.

The local hosting organisation for the 89th EAS Virtual Congress was the Finnish Atherosclerosis Society, which promotes scientific research and education on atherosclerosis in Finland.

The event had been set for Messukeskus Helsinki, the largest congress venue in Finland, with a great framework for inspiring, top-tier events. Due to the pandemic, the plans had to be adapted to the virtual realm where only the speakers from Finland travelled to the venue.

Helsinki – the easy-going destination

Helsinki was chosen as the host destination for several reasons. Finland is sustainable, safe and stable. Deadlines and service providers are reliable. As the capital, Helsinki is easy to reach by road, rail, air and ship. Helsinki can provide reliable, high-quality congress services as well as responsible and unique experiences, great food, and inspiring services for all congress visitors. Finland is also known for its beautiful nature, forests, archipelago, lakes, clean air, and quiet surroundings.

Messukeskus fairgrounds are situated near the centre of Helsinki – an excellent location when it comes to transport connections. Messukeskus can be reached by foot or public transport from any hotel in the city centre. This makes it easy for visitors to enjoy the social programme, the city’s cultural offerings, sights and shopping.

Messukeskus excels in technique and service

In the past few years, Messukeskus has carried out major renovations on its facilities and upgraded its technical and digital services to a level required by top international events.

In EAS Virtual Congress, Messukeskus’ audio-visual team helped to plan the implementation of the event as well as to create a broadcasting schedule and configure the event platform. There were several parallel transmission units in use at Messukeskus, as well as recess rooms. All the facilities were located close to each other and proved to be functional.

The technical solutions provided by the Messukeskus’ audio-visual experts worked to perfection. During the performances, the team was responsible for streaming, visual file management, audio, filming, and recording. The cooperation and communication between the organiser and Messukeskus were smooth.

Finland: Hygienic conditions with lot of room

In recent years, Finland has consistently ranked among the top 20 congress destinations in the world. In 2019, Finland was the 12th most popular congress country in the world according to the UIA (Union of International Associations).

“I believe that after the corona pandemic, Finland’s prospects as an event destination are even greater. We can offer responsible services that are produced in safe conditions in a country with a lot of room to roam, spacious and functional facilities and highly accessible nature. All this makes it possible to have safe and effortless events,” says Congress Manager Paula Blomster from Messukeskus.

“Messukeskus is the first event organiser in Nordic countries to be awarded a COVID-19 certificate, and we have created new health-safe services and products to protect the health of the organisers and visitors as well as our own staff. In October, we already had a successful restart after pandemic organising the Helsinki Book Fair with 52,000 visitors. New processes for event planning include avoiding congestion and safe movement within venues and, for example, in and around catering services. Contactless payment is also in use in our premises,” says Blomster.

Image bank:

Meet us at the Finland stand G95 at the IBTM World 2021 exhibition.

Further information: Congress Manager Paula Blomster, mobile: +358 40 456 6066,, #messukeskus, #messukeskus100