This May and June, the BlueNordic conference in Helsinki brought together experts from the Nordic countries. The conference discussed the growth potential in blue bioeconomy – that is, the sustainable use of aquatic resources and doing business based on this expertise. The event also explored the innovative uses of renewable resources and the Nordic road map for blue bioeconomy.
(Picture (c): Erkki Oksanen, Luke. Picture on the panel discussion "Real Potential for Blue Bioeconomy - Sustainability and Markets".)
The conference was hosted by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MMM) and the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). The practical arrangements of the event were taken care of by SMT and its Event Managers Eeva Herranen and Raija Räty.
– The conference was part of a series of events connected to the Finnish presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2016, explains Project Coordinator Eero Mikkola at Luke. – The conference invited experts on blue bioeconomy and decision makers from the Nordic and Baltic countries and the rest of Europe. There were approximately a hundred participants on location, and video recordings of the talks were also freely available online.
Together with the MMM, Luke was in charge of the content of the conference and inviting the speakers. The organisations decided to arrange a competitive bidding process for outsourcing the other arrangements due to their limited internal resources. – This was quite a large event which was organised under a tight schedule, so we definitely benefited from having expert help, Eero describes. – We chose to partner with SMT because it offered the most promising price–quality ratio but also because it was a safe option as a seasoned expert in organising events. Eeva and Raija had lots of good ideas and a dynamic approach to making things happen.
SMT handled the practical arrangements before and during the event. Eeva and Raija contacted the various service providers, coordinating the conference and the accompanying programme into a smoothly running experience.
– The BlueNordic conference was a carefully crafted event that included two days of video streamed talks and optional evening programmes: a tram tour around the city, a dinner with entertainment in Suomenlinna and a trip to the archipelago, Eeva and Raija explain. – We provided the comprehensive presentation technology, built a website for the event at http://bluenordic.fi/, managed the registrations and invoicing of the participants and took care of the travel and accommodation arrangements for the speakers.
– The division of roles between us and SMT was very natural and our collaboration worked well, Eero says, satisfied. – The logistics between the conference venue – House of the Estates – and the accompanying programme was smooth, and the presentation technology really supported the conference. The videos on our website became quite popular and the comment walls encouraged people to participate by tweeting or texting. During the conference, #Bluenordic was the second most popular hashtag in Finland. SMT also suggested that we use a voting solution, which created added value and engaged the audience at the plan presentation stage.
– I could trust SMT with all the practical arrangements, knowing that Eeva and Raija can tell by their experience how things should be done and scheduled. The conference has received lots of praise from more than just the people involved, which means that the word is spreading. As the organiser, we are happy about this because the conference and the Nordic blue bioeconomy plan gained the visibility we were looking for and we can now continue with completing the road map towards implementation, Eero says.
Learn more about the BlueNordic conference: http://bluenordic.fi/