, Expo and Convention Centre responded to the pandemic challenge by building its hybrid business, reshaping its organisation and continuing its strong work for the health safety of events. The halls were introduced as testing and vaccination sites in the fight against COVID-19.
At Messukeskus, the year 2020 got off to a strong start, when all the major fairs at the beginning of the year significantly increased their number of visitors. When the Corona restrictions came into effect on March 12, 2020, Messukeskus suspended the ongoing events for the first time in its 101-year history and rescheduled major events planned for the spring. The year 2020 proved to be unprecedentedly difficult for the industry, and this year the same situation will continue. The turnover in 2020 decreased by two-thirds, and the total number of visitors was one-third of the number in previous years. Operations were adjusted by looking for savings, freezing investments, laying off personnel and applying for subsidies, eg. from the State Treasury and Business Finland, as well as land rent exemption from the City of Helsinki. Additionally, Messukeskus has built a bridge over the crisis by strengthening its virtual and hybrid business and consolidating its organisation.
„We will continue to work for the health safety of events.“
"Our digital strategy, which we have been implementing for several years, our strong trade fair brands and our subsidiary SVV, which specialises in audio-visual solutions, gave us an excellent basis to move into the hybrid business quickly. As vaccine coverage improves, we are already looking at a time when restrictions can be lifted. Our autumn 2021 programme is strong, and we are ready for the event season as soon as it is possible in the light of restrictions. We will also continue to work for the health safety of events. According to our extensive client feedback, there is a great need for events", says Anni Vepsäläinen, managing director of Messukeskus.