Finlandia Hall, a concert and congress venue, has hosted historically significant political summits in
the centre of Helsinki for almost 50 years.

Finland will assume the EU Presidency on 1 July 2019, and planning and preparations have been
underway to host events for some time. However, this has not always been the case, and
sometimes political summits have been planned and executed to almost impossible timelines.

The news that Presidents Trump and Putin were to hold a summit in Helsinki on the 16-17 July 2018
was received one week prior to the event, in the middle of the Finnish summer holiday season. In
only five days, Finlandia Hall was transformed into ‘’the happiest media centre in the world’’, hosting
1500 journalist from around the world and catering for their every need. Finlandia Hall was able to
quickly and professionally deliver these requirements through decades of experience and expertise
in hosting world class events.

Finlandia Hall provided refreshments to journalists round the clock, drawing inspiration from Finnish
traditional cuisine as well as modern culinary innovations. Guests were provided with fully equipped
workspaces and multiple breakout areas such as an outside pop-up sauna and a roof terrace with
splendid views over Töölönlahti Bay and Park. The arrangements gained universal praise and positive
media attention for Finland, Helsinki and the Finlandia Hall.

Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1975 - the International Debut of the Newly
Built Finlandia Hall

The Trump-Putin meeting was not the first time Finlandia Hall has hosted a political summit to a
tight schedule. In 1975, in the middle of the cold war, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in
Europe (CSCE), was held at the Finlandia Hall. The Finnish President Urho Kekkonen proposed
already in 1969 that Finland should host the Conference, and Finlandia Hall was earmarked as the
location, even before building work was completed.

The long-awaited news that Finlandia Hall would host the CSCE arrived on 15 July 1975, only two
weeks before the start of the summit. Around 10,000 visitors were expected, and two scheduled
medical conferences were quickly found alternative locations.

Preparations were finished on time thanks to the hard work of the Finlandia Hall staff, who worked
in 3 shifts to ensure the deadline was met. Skills gained from hosting a conference of European
Foreign Ministers back in 1973 proved vital, and the concert hall was rearranged with every third
row of seats removed and replaced with black tables in teak. Booths for translators were built at the
back of the stage and a long table was placed centre stage for the symbolic signing of documents.
The table was custom designed and made using old school desks, which were fitted with a new,
curved table top.

Privacy was central to the success of the CSCE, and temporary private meeting areas were built in
the entrance hall. The Soviet leader Leonid Brežnev, who was suffering from poor health, requested
a personal medical room, which was built on the managerial floor and kept top secret throughout
the summit.

1350 journalist attended the summit and had use of the newly built congress wing. Finlandia Hall
also built an internal TV network, so that events in the main hall could be followed everywhere in
the building.

The security measures required for the CSCE were unprecedented in Helsinki. Guards were stationed
throughout, including the roof. The comic writer Kari Suomalainen satirised this in a famous drawing
called “President Kekkonen’s Fish Trap”, where world leaders were guided into a Finlandia Hall
surrounded by metal fences. Everything went to plan; the only incident being a hushed security alert
when suspicious men with binoculars were spotted on the roof tops in the nearby suburb of Kallio.
The “threat” turned out to be nothing more sinister than curious civil servants straining to get a
better look at the foreign dignitaries. Helsinki had established its reputation as a safe location for
meetings.

A Meeting Point and a Popular Place for Visitors

The CSCE founded Finlandia Hall’s reputation as the perfect location for global political events.
Finland’s position at border between East and West makes the country a natural choice for meetings
on neutral ground. Other global political summits held at Finlandia Hall include a 1990 meeting
between George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev during the Gulf War, and the 1997 negotiations
between Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin over the expansion of NATO.

Finlandia Hall is also famous for its architecture and is often visited by foreign dignitaries. European
royals as well as numerous statemen have walked along its corridors. Highly esteemed religious
leaders, such as Dalai Lama and Pope John Paul II, have delivered speeches at Finlandia Hall.

Finlandia Hall is also a leading concert venue and has showcased many different styles and genres to
a wide variety of music fans, for example ABBA, Frank Zappa, Patricia Kaas, Ella Fitzgerald,
Manhattan Transfers, Rupaul’s Drag Race and Björk.

Finlandia Hall Key Figures

Year 2018
Conferences, exhibitions, banquets and concerts
Visitors 200 000
Events 810
Turnover 8,7 M€
Finlandia Hall Key Figures

Year 2019
Conferences, exhibitions, banquets and concerts
Expected Visitors 250 000
Events nearly 1000
Turnover 14 M€

Finlandia Hall offers unique meeting and banquet facilities for small corporate events, glamorous
parties, world-class exhibitions, concerts by megastars and major international congresses. Whether
you are organising a meeting, concert, party or other event, Finlandia Hall will help turn it into an
experience. Finlandia Hall is a masterpiece designed by world-famous architect Alvar Aalto. It is a
popular tourist destination simply for its design and architectural features.