UK media group organises annual international design event in Helsinki  

The inaugural Design Helsinki event will take place on 24–25 August 2022. Organised by UK-company Media 10 – with support from Helsinki Partners – the new annual event aims to attract a significant audience of international visitors.

Hanna Laikola
Challenge

Media 10 was looking for an ideal city location for an annual international design event.

Solution

The company chose Helsinki for its active local design scene and capabilities of handling a global event. They worked with local advisors at Helsinki Partners to make Design Helsinki happen.

Result

Media 10 opened an office in Helsinki and employed a local team to run Design Helsinki. The event is aimed at drawing an international audience to the city and elevating the presence of local designers.

We believe Helsinki’s design scene is full of untapped potential that we can activate.

Hanna Laikola – Brand and Showroom Manager at Design Helsinki

Helsinki has a longstanding relationship with design, notably associated with masters in post-war architecture, industrial design and fashion. Despite this heritage, Finnish design is often under-represented at international design fairs. Hundreds of studios – many of them in the capital Helsinki – are doing world-class design work, yet often struggle to gain the international recognition they deserve.

To address this challenge, UK-based event company Media 10 is organising Design Helsinki: an annual two-day event aimed at bringing the international design audience to Finland. The inaugural event will take place from 25-26 August 2022.

We scour the globe looking for countries and cities with the right ingredients for these kinds of events. Helsinki ticks all the right boxes.

Hanna Laikola – Brand and Showroom Manager at Design Helsinki

Media 10 specializes in organizing such global design events, including Grand Designs Live and the Clerkenwell Design Week in London, as well as design shows in Beijing, Shanghai and Johannesburg. The company also produces the quarterly design and architecture magazine ICON.

Helsinki’s design scene is full of untapped potential that we can activate. This is a fresh international event in Finland – one that is inclusive and accessible to all established and emerging designers and brands.

Hanna Laikola – Brand and Showroom Manager at Design Helsinki

Helsinki is a very manageable size and getting around is easy. Compared to other cities, Helsinki offers a good balance when it comes to wellbeing – having access to nature right on your doorstep.

Hanna Laikola – Brand and Showroom Manager at Design Helsinki

Designed for the international audience

Media 10 has opened an office in Helsinki and has built up a local team to run the event. The company used a similar model for Design Shanghai and now employs some 30 people in China.

The two day-event will highlight the best design showrooms that can be found in the city, using the spaces for product launches and other hosted events. An International Design Pavilion will also be built on the city’s Kasarmitori Square. Visitors can explore everything from sought-after brands and experiential installations to topical talks and exclusive parties. 

Helsinki is compact, so it’s possible to organise a walking tour for exhibitions located in different places in the city. Circles are small in Helsinki and people know each other, so it’s also easy to get help and tips in whatever you do. This is really a human-scale city.

Antti Lumiainen – Senior Advisor for Congresses and Meetings at Helsinki Partners

Helsinki is thought of as expensive, but unlike in many other countries the rent of technical equipment, air conditioning, etc. is included in the rental price of the event space. This helps in predicting the event budget.

Antti Lumiainen – Senior Advisor for Congresses and Meetings at Helsinki Partners

Event organising in Helsinki

The event is becoming a reality thanks to Media 10’s tight collaboration with Helsinki Partners. Business Finland has also provided support for the project.

Research is key when establishing an event of this nature. Knowledge of existing events, what is possible to do, and building bridges and collaboration – these things will take you a long way. Working together with Helsinki Partners has been a wonderful journey to solve any unexpected bumps in the road along the way. They have helped us make connections, opened doors and created opportunities for other companies to get involved too. There is always someone available to provide advice or get us connected with the right people.

Hanna Laikola – Brand and Showroom Manager at Design Helsinki

With the overall ambition of improving people’s well-being, welfare and city infrastructure, Helsinki considers design from a functional stance: as a way to understand and respond to public needs with innovation.

Finland is the hidden gem of the Nordics, that already has sustainability in design at its core. We believe it has a lot to offer that other countries can learn from. This is a brand-new concept for Helsinki and the design industry is very excited we’re bringing something fresh to the international calendar.

Hanna Laikola – Brand and Showroom Manager at Design Helsinki

Design Helsinki is free to attend, but registration is required. Click here to register for the event. 

Juhana Hurtig

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