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Helsinki Travel Marketing Ltd is Now Helsinki Marketing Ltd

Helsinki Travel Marketing Ltd has extended its business operations and changed its name to Helsinki Marketing Ltd in mid-January. Helsinki Marketing Ltd is in charge of the operative city marketing operations, including tourism, congress, event and business marketing and the application procedures of major events and congresses, as well as tourist information services and some of the city’s event productions. The fully city-owned company works closely together with the Helsinki City Executive Office’s Economic Development division. The Economic Development division’s city marketing department, which aims to promote the attraction and reputation of Helsinki, is in charge of the operational strategy.

In connection to the renewal of the City’s central administration, 23 employees from the former Helsinki Tourist & Convention Bureau, Event Unit, Economic Development Department and International Department transferred to the company, increasing the number of the company’s permanent employees to nearly 40. During the summer season, the amount of staff nearly doubles, as Helsinki Helpers and summer workers of the tourist information services begin their work. Tuulikki Becker continues as the CEO of the company.

An extensive group of tourism businesses, event organisers and other business representatives are included in the company’s vast partner network.

“Helsinki is being advertised comprehensively, regardless of whether we are promoting tourism, events or the city’s business life. The renewed company reinforces our marketing operations, both nationally and internationally, and also aims to extend our partner network even further. As a company, we are able to work with other businesses more flexibly than the city,” Becker said.

Together, Inspiration and Welcome

In addition to Management, the company has three units: Together, Inspiration and Welcome. The assignments of the Together unit include the management of customerships, marketing operations and partnerships in Finland and abroad, as well as applications for congresses and major events. Vappu Mänty is in charge of the unit's operations. The Inspiration unit is in charge of marketing campaign planning and implementation, the Visithelsinki.fi website and other online channels of the company, marketing publications, event productions and PR operations. Maarit Pitkänen is in charge of the unit's operations. The Welcome unit manages tourist information services and their sales operations. Sanna Salonen is in charge of the unit's operations.

Last year, over 806,000 customers visited the tourist information centres managed by the company in Pohjoisesplanadi, railway station, Hernesaari and the airport, which was 90,000 more than the previous year. Helsinki Helpers served almost 158,000 customers, between June and August, on the streets and at the Information point on the Market Square.

The official Helsinki tourism website, Visithelsinki.fi, had approximately 1.5 million individual visitors, which was about 400,000 more than the previous year.

The company offers advice to event organisers and implements some of the city’s own events, such as New Year at the Senate Square, Lux Helsinki urban festival of light, Helsinki Day and the Independence Day celebration for fourth graders, which have hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.

In regard to business marketing, the company will be in charge of the joint stand of Helsinki and Finland during the MIPIM real estate show in Cannes.

Copenhagen: A City in Demand

The number of bids and leads won in 2013 show that event organisers are in no doubt as to Copenhagen's appeal. A record number of both international conventions and corporate events have chosen Copenhagen to be their host city, underlining the Danish capital's position as a world class meetings destination. Copenhagen's new convention director, Jonas Wilstrup, looks forward to building upon this success.

As the books are closed on 2013, it has been another record-breaking year in terms of events secured for the future: 57 international conventions and 277 corporate events have been confirmed for Copenhagen in the years to come, which makes 2013 the third consecutive record year in terms of bid and lead wins.

In recent years Copenhagen has underlined its position as one of the world’s most appealing meetings destinations, most recently ranking number eight on the ICCA's list of 'the world's most popular convention cities’.

The success can partly be explained by the fact that Copenhagen has all the ’hardware’ securely in place: easy accessibility, world class infrastructure, state-of-the-art venues and excellent hotel facilities. And the city's hotel and venue capacity is continuing to rise.

You have to offer more than hardware

However, to stand out as a meetings destination you have to offer more than hardware, as Jonas Wilstrup, Wonderful Copenhagen's new convention director, who took up the post on 1 January, explained:

“The meetings industry in Copenhagen has done a great job developing its product over the years, making sure that the city not only offers the required hardware, but also the software. Its strong points include the various achievements with sustainable events management - the latest being the ISO-certified Danish European Union Presidency in 2012 - and the focus on meetings design, manifested in the Danish Meetovation concept.”

Copenhagen is a university city and has a long tradition as a knowledge hub with a strong reputation within clean-tech, life-tech and IT, to mention a few key fields, all of which are important when trying to attract association congresses.

The Danish capital is also known as a clean and safe destination offering a high quality of life for both Copenhageners and visitors alike, also essential for every organiser. As well as this, Copenhagen has a united meetings industry in which all the major players work together in the Meetingplace Wonderful Copenhagen network. This has significant benefits for customers. Jonas Wilstrup commented:

“The 100 most important suppliers in the Copenhagen meetings industry are united in the Meetingplace Wonderful Copenhagen alliance, making it easy for any organiser to work with us. We know each other and are used to working closely together, which means that we are more efficient and flexible. I look forward to building on our successes and to continue developing Copenhagen as a destination for international conventions and meetings.”

Photo: Jonas Wilstrup, Wonderful Copenhagen CVB’s new convention director

Detroit Metro CVB Announces Rise in Convention Bookings and Hotel Room Nights

Convention bookings and hotel room nights in metro Detroit are up for 2014, and an impressive list of major conventions are headed to the region in the coming years, the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) announced today at its 2014 Annual Membership Meeting at Cobo Center.

“The hospitality industry has gone through much adversity over the past few years, but we’ve made the turn,” said Larry Alexander, DMCVB President & CEO. “Through an economic downturn and serious financial issues in our core city, we’ve turned adversity into opportunity,” he said.

According to the DMCVB, bookings are running at 208 percent of pace for 2014 and 2015. The Bureau has confirmed 236,000 room nights for 2014 compared to 129,000 in all of 2013. Metro Detroit will host 12 multiple hotel meetings in 2014, which is more than double of what was hosted in 2013.

The DMCVB has also set an all-time record in the number of rooms occupied in the history of the region. For 2015, there are 165,000 room nights on the books with another 258,000 in various stages of the bid process. The Bureau also reported that the booking pace is ahead for 2014 through 2018.

Alexander attributes the rise in bookings in part to the expansion underway at Cobo Center and new investment from the private sector, which is transforming Detroit into a vibrant city center with considerable appeal to meeting planners. He also said the DMCVB’s marketing campaign themed “America’s Great Comeback City,” that tells the story of new development in the region, has resonated with planners and visitors.

Upcoming major conventions booked by the DMCVB sales team in 2013 include:

  • Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses International District Assembly, June 6-8, 2014 and July 24-27, 2014, 60,000 room nights and 90,000 total attendance
  • USA Volleyball Open National Championships, May 18-27, 2015, 14,000 room nights and 10,000 total attendance
  • Communications Workers of America 75th Convention, June 1-11, 2015, 8,700 room nights, 1,400 total attendance
  • American Communications Network, Inc. ACN/GE Planning, Sept. 6-10, 2017 and Sept. 4-8, 2019, 8,000-plus room nights each year and 18,000 in attendance each year
  • Automotive Services Association NACE-CARS Industry Week, July 25-Aug. 5, 2014 and July 17-28, 2015, 8,400 room nights and 800 in attendance each year
  • Nation of Islam The Saviours’ Day, Feb. 20-23, 2014, 7,000 room nights and 5,000 total attendance
  • NeighborWorks America Training Institute, Aug. 7-12, 2016, 7,800 room nights and 1,200 total attendance

Alexander also said that the Detroit Sports Commission, a subsidiary of the DMCVB, will pursue opportunities to bring individual Olympic sports organizations together and create one multi-sport competitive event in 2014, as well as pursue college events and identify new regional facilities so they can grow this important sports market in the region.

The DMCVB Annual Meeting featured an energetic five-person panel of dedicated advocates and influencers in the region including Faye Alexander Nelson, President & CEO, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy; Deb Dansby, Vice President, Rock Ventures; Sue Mosey, President, Midtown Detroit, Inc.; Melissa Roy, Assistant County Executive, Macomb County; and Bridget Russo, Marketing Director, Shinola. The panel was moderated by Christy McDonald, MiWeek Anchor for WTVS.

Over One Million Visitors at Messukeskus Helsinki Last Year

Last year Messukeskus, Expo and Convention Centre Helsinki, attracted altogether 1,107,522 visitors to its exhibitions, congresses, corporate events and other happenings. One million visitors came to visit exhibitions and the remaining over 100,000 to other events.

Last year exactly 100 exhibitions of different industries and fields of interest were arranged. Altogether 9492 exhibitors came to Messukeskus to exhibit at events organised by Messukeskus or by other event organisers.

Messukeskus also hosted 1368 meetings, congresses and other corporate events.

Starting new eventful year in renewed facilities

"Year 2013 was full of action in Messukeskus. In addition to hosting and organising hundreds of events, the corporate image and indoor facilities went through a complete makeover. The Gallery, restaurant world, northern entrance and a number of our meeting facilities were refurbished. Messukeskus also got a new digital signpost system with hundreds of screens, which improves the quality of service for our visitors and creates a totally new form of advertising for our partners," said CEO Christer Haglund from Messukeskus.

The next event for the general public at Messukeskus is MP 2014 Motorcycle Exhibition on 31 January - 2 February.

Photo: Riitta Supperi

London Launches Ambassador Programme to the Capital’s Medical Elite

London & Partners, the official promotional organisation for the capital, has officially unveiled its inaugural ambassador programme to an audience of the city’s leading medical experts at the Museum of London’s event space yesterday (Tuesday 21 January 2014). Celebrating London’s reputation as a thriving centre for life sciences and medical research, the event underlined the Mayor of London’s commitment to establishing the city as a global hub for medical advancement and discovery.

At the event, Gordon Innes, Chief Executive of London & Partners, invited guests to join the London Ambassador Programme and champion the city within the medical community and life sciences sector. Potential Ambassadors were told of how they could utilise the expertise of London & Partners Convention Bureau to bring their congresses and events to the city, and the role they could play in shaping the future development of London as a city of medical and life sciences hub.

Speaking at the event, Kit Malthouse, Chairman of London & Partners and Deputy Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise, said: “London has a long history as a place of medical and scientific discovery. Today, as the home to some of the finest medical and research facilities, it is a world leader in life sciences and medical innovation. This hugely important sector is one of the Mayor’s upmost priorities for the city and as such we are driving forward an ambitious programme of investment and infrastructure into London’s life sciences eco-system, underlined by the opening of the Francis Crick Institute in 2015.”

An exciting new chapter

Gordon Innes, Chief Executive of London & Partners, added: “The London Ambassador Programme is an exciting new chapter in the work of London & Partners. By launching this initiative we are recognising the vital role that our industry leaders play in promoting the great city of London on the global stage. Through this exclusive programme we are not only creating a city-wide network of expertise, we are working in partnership with senior professionals and academics to raise London’s profile internationally and help attract industry events and congresses to this city of innovation and expertise.”

At the event, Professor Francis Hughes, Chair of the Europerio Congress, shared his experiences of bringing an international event to London. He said, "There really is nowhere better to host your event or congress than London. Not only is hosting an event in your own city a fantastic opportunity to build the profile of your discipline nationally, it is a wonderful chance to showcase your home city - and its culture, heritage and of course scientific innovation - to colleagues from around the world. Though the prospect of bidding for a congress or event is daunting, working with London & Partners makes putting together a bid not just feasible, but a real pleasure. I hope you will be inspired to help bring your discipline's event to London and like me can look forward to welcoming friends and colleagues to our wonderful city in the not too distant future."

Copenhagen Named European Green Capital 2014

Copenhagen was named European Green Capital 2014 by the European Commission ahead of 17 other European cities. The Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen was in Brussels to accept the award that recognizes Copenhagen’s ambitious climate plans.

"It’s a pat on the back for all Copenhageners and the city’s green businesses who do what they can every day to make Copenhagen a greener and more sustainable city," said Frank Jensen in a press release.

Among the jury’s arguments for presenting the award to Copenhagen were the city’s efforts to increase the number of cyclists, become carbon neutral by 2025 and ensure Copenhageners better access to green spaces.

EU environment commissioner Janez Potočnik congratulated Copenhagen on the award.

"The rest of Europe could learn a lot from Copenhagen’s climate efforts and the high quality of life that Copenhageners lead. This prize reflects the fact that Copenhagen is making significant efforts to develop its urban space in order to deliver a more healthy and sustainable city for Copenhageners," said Janez Potočnik.

Copenhagen will celebrate the green capital title by organizing events throughout 2014 together with 75 partner organizations and businesses.

The events will be kicked off on January 22nd at City Hall Square and other public spaces around Copenhagen city centre. A full programme will be published in January.