New visitors at the Helsinki Book Fair

Finland’s biggest event for literature, the Helsinki Book Fair, attracted a record number of new visitors this year. All in all the visitor number increased from last year as the Helsinki Book Fair and the Wine and Food event held simultaneously gathered 80,100 visitors to Messukeskus Helsinki in four busy days. According to a visitor survey, as many as 19 % of the visitors stated that this was their first visit.

Over half of the visitors (53 %) had visited the Helsinki Book Fair also last year. Nearly one fourth (26 %) had visited the event at least once before. The number of first-timers grew by 5 percentage points. The average age has gradually decreased each year and is now 40. More emphasis was also this year put on compiling suitable programme for younger visitors.

All these results are revealed by a visitor survey done by Katar TNS.

On average visitors purchased 5 books at the Helsinki Book Fair. All in all the visitors buy 13 books per year and read 17 books per year. The visitors were satisfied with what the event had to offer (98 %) and as many as 95 % reported that they will visit also next year.

E-books interest more and more and 19 % stated that they have a suitable device for reading e-books. 25 % had read e-books but don’t have a device for them. This number increased by 11 percentage points from last year.

Programme Director Jan Erola is very satisfied with the event. “In addition to attracting new visitors, the event clearly raised new questions and gave fresh ideas. On Sunday, in the discussion about exporting education, Saku Tuominen presented a great idea that Finland should establish a “Nobel Prize” for education in order to promote interaction in education”, Erola lists.

Kantar TNS interviewed 200 visitors that were selected randomly. The visitor survey is repeated each year with the same questions at the Helsinki Book Fair.

The Helsinki Book Fair gathered 314 exhibitors to Messukeskus Helsinki 27-30 October 2016. The 15 stages presented over 800 presentations, shows, interviews and other programme by over 1,000 authors, politicians and other influential figures. The event also introduced 48 authors from abroad. The themes this time were the literature and culture of the Nordic countries, immigration of our time and education.

The Helsinki Book Fair was this year organised for the 16th time. It is commissioned by the Finnish Book Publishers Association and the Booksellers’ Association of Finland. The Helsinki Book Fair is Finland’s largest literature event and a significant national cultural forum. The Antiquarian Book Fair was held simultaneously and it is organised in cooperation with the Finnish Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association. A special area was also reserved for a stamp exhibition.

The Helsinki Book Fair and the Wine and Food event are next time organised 26–29 October 2017.

The next events open for the general public at Messukeskus Helsinki are Skiexpo, BoardExpo, DigiExpo and GameExpo, 4–6 November 2016.

For more information, please contact:
Messukeskus Helsinki, Communications Officer Teija Armanto, tel. +358 50 376 0804,

Helsinki Book Fair, Programme Director Jan Erola, tel. +358 40 506 4612,

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Pictures from the event: