Nordic Business Forum 2022

World-class business conference, Nordic Business Forum, returned more spectacular than ever to the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre in September 2022, after a three-year break. Technical solutions and design of the large-scale Nordic Business Forum were planned over the course of three years by Creative Technology (CT) and CT’s visual design unit Visual45. This year we got to play a bigger role than ever in creating the production’s technical entity and design together with Visual45.

“We were responsible of the technical design in both halls, 6 and 7, and the visual design of the main hall 7. In addition to design, we also supplied majority of the event’s technology this year. We delivered the lighting, audio technology and video control of hall 7 and the lighting, band stage including it’s audio, and video control of hall 6. We have experience from previous years in the design and content production of Nordic Business Forum, so we had a strong foundation on which to build the technical production as well”, tells CT Finland’s Sales Manager Hannu Hautalahti.

Nordic Business Forum is one of the biggest productions of the year for us. In addition to the increased responsibility from previous years, a tight schedule added extra spice to the project.

“This year, the construction time was shorter in relation to the size of the production. The technology had to be built almost entirely in a couple of days, whereas previously it had taken almost a week. Our delivery included around 1650 lights, 2,4 kilometers of truss, 160 speakers and 2,9 kilometers of speaker cable, so building the event in this time was a big effort in terms of workload and production,” says Hautalahti.

To make the job as easy and efficient as possible onsite, our team was preparing the technical equipment beforehand at our warehouse in Vantaa.

“For a week, we prepared lots of equipment in advance, for example trusses, on which the lighting fixtures can be furnished. Transporting and hanging the light elements in the halls of the venue sped up production and was a critical part of the success,” Hautalahti describes.

How did we succeed from the organizer’s point of view?

“CT has experienced professionals in every department of audiovisual productions and they also got the needed equipment. The majority of the audiovisual production of the event came from CT. We are satisfied: the event looked good and the technology worked. Everything went really well,” says Nordic Business Forum CEO Hans-Peter Siefen.

Hautalahti sums up the project:

“CT’s strengths are reliability, flexibility and extensive resources. In addition to our own equipment in Finland, we are able to resource equipment from our other European locations. The same applies to the staff; this project also involved event technology know-how from outside the borders of Finland. During the construction, at best, 100 event technology professionals worked on the project at the same time and 25 operators and system managers worked on the event days. These resources, combined with strong pre-production and planning, make us a reliable partner even for projects of this size.”

Visual45 in a key role

Our visual design unit Visual45 was strongly involved in the project.

“I have been responsible for the event’s visual appearance and sets, as well as the coordination and production of the content production in the main hall for several years,” says Visual45’s Kai Lainkari.

For the first time, Creative Technology had an overall responsibility for the production of the event’s technology.

“As a large operator, Creative Technology and Visual45 can handle a large responsibility in the overall delivery. When the content and technology come from the same place, it is easier to make changes when the situation changes. We finished a huge ensemble in a strict schedule,” says Lainkari, who worked as a designer and producer.

Lainkari characterizes the production of Nordic Business Forum as a happy pandemic story: even though the project stretched to three years, through it all there was confidence that it will be done.

“The design and contents were originally made for 2020. In the end, the third version was completed. The plan has always been adjusted according to the covid situation, and we created scenarios for different situations and fluctuations in the number of customers.”

This year, NBF had 7000 visitors, the same level as before the pandemic. Because of the covid period, no big leap was made in design from the previous year. Visitors were always kept in mind: it feels safer when there is something familiar from 2019.

“However, we added quite a bit of drama to the lighting. A space over a hundred meters wide offers a good opportunity for massive wave movements. Big moves for a big atmosphere,” says Lainkari.

Part of the design is planning the set and thinking about how the speakers get on stage and how everything looks.

“We also went into small details, everything was taken into account. I am very satisfied that we achieved an overall design in which the staging, lighting and the appearance of the entire hall was consistent”, Lainkari describes.

This year NBF was implemented as a hybrid event. The entire event was streamed to a large remote audience. The best experience was guaranteed live, but the camera angles were also carefully planned. Lainkari considers NBF’s successful concept to be a combination of a top-notch show production and a business seminar. World-class speakers get an experience of a rock star on stage.

“We did everything from the concept design, visuals and technology solutions with great passion and know-how, all from the same company. The co-operation with the client was smooth and our large team of professionals did excellent job”, Lainkari sums up.


Photos: © Nordic Business Forum, Creative Technology

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