On 3 September, the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland stated that the obligation to divide audiences into blocks and the two-meter safety distance obligation can be waived at public events in the Uusimaa region as well. The long-awaited decision gives Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Centre the opportunity to fully start event preparations.
-At Messukeskus we are very relieved that restrictions regarding public events are eased. Fairs and corporate events have opened up in numerous European countries and other places in Finland in a safe manner. The Uusimaa region is finally following, says a delighted Anni Vepsäläinen, Managing Director at Messukeskus.
Several public and professional events are being prepared for October-November. The maximum capacity requirement by the Regional State Administrative Agency which currently is 50% of the maximum number of participants will not be a problem at Messukeskus and will not limit the number of visitors.
The extensive premises are designed with wide corridors, spacious programme areas and safe distances and access arrangements. If an exceptionally large number of visitors per day is expected, those who have purchased a ticket and registered will be contacted well in advance and informed how to book a graduated arrival time of their own choice.
Hygiene requirements in accordance with the law and instructions are followed with the same precision as up to now. Messukeskus is fully prepared for the health-safe implementation of events, and has comprehensive safety guidelines and internationally certified arrangements. Event safety is enhanced even further through advancing vaccine coverage. According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare’s instructions, a person who has received a full series of vaccinations will no longer be set into quarantine, even in the event of exposure.
Voluntary Covid pass to strengthen safety
Messukeskus is prepared to use the national Covid-19 pass as soon as it is possible in Finland. As the decision on this is still pending, a voluntary Covid pass will also be introduced at some autumn events. The Covid pass is based on voluntary insurance when registering and purchasing a ticket. Clients are required to have either full vaccination protection, insurance that they have had Covid-19 during the last six months, or a negative Covid-19 test result. The voluntary Covid pass does not apply to children and young people born in 2006 and after.
-The Covid pass is commonplace in many countries and the City of Helsinki has also piloted a similar one. This way, we will further strengthen our clients’ confidence in event safety and it will enable us to revive business through events, says Vepsäläinen.
The short-term nature of the authorities’ decisions has resulted in a loss of turnover by millions of euros
The unpredictability of the authorities’ restrictions and lack of a long-term exit plan have caused significant losses for event organisers. The planning span for large events is long and final arrangements, as well, have to be specified weeks before the event. In August alone, the restriction decision to divide audiences into blocks caused Messukeskus a loss of nearly EUR 10 million.
At the same time, trade fairs and corporate events have opened up in many European countries in a safe way. In Finland, fairs have already been organized in Turku, Oulu and Tampere, for example. In Sweden, exhibition centres are comparable to shopping centres and are treated with the same rules. An international comparative study by SAFE Asset Group shows that visiting a trade fair is even safer than a visit to a shopping centre.
Messukeskus is a people-oriented media and an event house awarded for its safety, which creates growth through genuine encounters. Finland’s largest event organiser produces high-quality events and rents its facilities and services as an arena for live, hybrid and virtual events. In 2019, 1.1 million guests visited the events of Messukeskus. | www.messukeskus.com @messukeskus
More information: Messukeskus Helsinki, Managing Director Anni Vepsäläinen, tel. +358 40 040 0074, email@example.com, Communications Manager Tarja Gordienko, tel. +358 50 5847 262, firstname.lastname@example.org