SMTnetwork, the major forum for business travel and events management, gathered together the purchasers and producers of services at Korjaamo Culture Factory in Helsinki on the last day of September. Check out the mood video on the event here.
The participants of SMTnetwork received the latest news on business travel and events. Juha Järvinen of Finnair offered the first glimpse of the new A350 plane, which started flights from Finland in October. It has received a huge amount of attention in both social and traditional media. You can also become acquainted with this super-celebrity in an article in SMTtrends.
Mikael Castrén brought to the stage SMT's newest developments: the electronic tools developed to meet the needs of Finnish businesses, which our customers will be able to use already this autumn. The handy services will help businesses to arrange events with measurable results and to administer business travel and travel purchases from mobile phones. Read more about our new services here (link).
New things will not start from tidy environments. You have to rough it up." - Miki Kuusi
Miki Kuusi, managing director of Wolt and founder of the Slush startup event, brought to the stage the sort of boyish enthusiasm and openness to new things that is needed in events today. "You always need to surprise the participants at an event; to bring to them something new and different", he said. A good example is the Slush events. This year, more than 2,000 professionals in the events field were involved in them, including people from SMT.
What is a good event like according to the best experts: the participants and event arrangers? Our paparazza (head of communications), Tuulia Taipale, tested the one-to-one meeting services and walked around in the group of guests.
Päivi Henttonen is responsible for the Outokumpu group's events, fairs and customer events with 27 years of experience. "The events are more and more focused and experience-oriented, but they also have to be cost-efficient", she emphasised.
The results from events are monitored and reported in more and more detail." - Päivi Henttonen, Outokumpu
Technical development has enabled communication both before and during the event, making the presentations more versatile. On the other hand, this is more demanding for the speakers: the listeners have higher expectations and you have to maintain their interest." The persona of the speaker is very significant. Miki Kuusi is a good example of this.
As rising trends in events, Päivi names the time-saving Lunch & Learn mini-seminars, one-to-one meetings and small group meetings. Of these, the last two were also used at SMTnetwork. "Twitter is now present at practically every event. Less and less material is distributed on paper. Electronic registration, mobile programmes, information boards and text messages are utilised at events instead."
Despite the development of technology and the popularity of webinars, Päivi continues to believe in the popularity of events: "Face-to-face meetings will never disappear. People have to get to meet people in person. I myself always want to participate in events arranged by others and see how they do it. This is my first time at Korjaamo, for instance."
Later at night, a happy group of people swayed to the music: "You make new acquaintances here. You are able to network and meet different kinds of people. We didn't know each other before either", laughedMaija Lehtinen of Maillefer, Pirjo Kotajärvi of HOAS and Aija Paasu of Kauppalehti, as Axl Smith and the Higher Ground gospel choir were swinging in the background.
"The event was stimulating, inspirational and delightful", said Aija Paasu. "Miki Kuusi was an excellent speaker and truly made us believe in the future."
"This was one of the best events for professionals I have ever attended, if not the best", said Jaakko Kievariof KLOK. "It directs you to meet interesting people – and the location was almost in my own backyard."
It was Miki Kuusi who probably had the strongest effect on the participants. One of the guests whispered to me: "I felt like tweeting him the message: 'Are you married?'."