Event creators in their own words

All events are unique. In order to implement an event, you must trace its own route and map the necessary steps. Good networks and sharing tips help with creating an event.

Experiences of various event organisers related to different phases of events have been collected on this page. The examples describe what event organisation can be in practice and how the different requirements have been resolved in these situations.

Espoo Ciné outdoor screening

Espoo Ciné outdoor screening in a summer evening at the Sun Terrace in Tapiola. Photo: Jussi Helimäki

“The outdoor screening held at the Espoo Ciné film festival has become a tradition, and it is an important part of the festival. The aim is to offer hundreds of viewers with their picnic baskets an opportunity to enjoy classic movies for free at an amazing location in the atmospheric August night. However, an event that lasts only a few hours still requires a lot of preparation.

The film to be screened as well as the time and place of the screening are already decided in the spring.  When selecting the film, it is important to find out who owns the screening rights and ensure that a functioning copy of the film is available for the screening. When choosing the time, the seasonal weather and the time of sunset are taken into account, as the sun determines when the screening begins. The production also requires external expertise, and as regards technology, the costs of the movable projector, sound system and screen structures as well as the price of work including construction and equipment operators must be investigated.

Many different kinds of permits are required for organising the event, and their processing times vary from a month to a week. An agreement on a screening licence for the film is made with the party that holds the Finnish distribution rights. The rights to many movies are owned by an international party; therefore, time should be reserved for investigating the issue. The approval of other users if the area is requested for the event plan that is required for permission to use the area (the cultural and sports services for the Sun Terrace, for example), after which official permission to use the area is requested from the city’s Plot Unit (or the possessor of privately owned land).

In addition, an application for a screening licence for the event is submitted to the Department for Media Education and Audiovisual Media, and the police must also be notified of a public event. A safety plan and an agreement on the sufficient number of security stewards to be hired in relation to the estimated number of viewers are also made at the same time.

The outdoor screening is a part of the official festival programme, and information about the event is provided via the festival’s own communication channels as well as by the partners. In addition, the residents of the area are informed about the event and the possible noise disturbance it may cause.

On the day of the screening, the construction of the screen and the sound system starts early; in addition to the hired technical professionals who ensure that the construction is done safely, volunteers also participate and assist in the work. During the screening itself, there must be a sufficient number of security stewards present, and there must also be a toilet available for the viewers during the whole screening.

Dismantling the structures and cleaning the area begins immediately after the screening. Later, the number of viewers is reported to Teosto, because when films are screened, the Teosto fee is paid to the creators of the music in the film in question.

A successful event consists of a well-chosen film, well-working technology, a plan on the course of the evening that has been thought through to the last detail, a sufficient number of responsible persons, and first and foremost, the film lovers who come to the event and create its spirit.”

in May 2016,
Mia Vainikainen
Espoo Ciné

Day of Hiphop

Miro has been organising hiphop events or assisting at other youth events since he was 15. Photo from Kannusali in 2015. Photo: Heidi-Hanna Karhu

“The Day of Hiphop is an open and free music event targeted at young people. It has already been held six times in different parts of Espoo. The idea of the Day of Hiphop was born when I realised that there were not enough youth events organised in Espoo. I decided to start organising an event and invited other young people to join in the planning and brainstorming. The event supports young people by giving them an opportunity to perform on the stage, see their favourite artists and participate in organising the event.

The Day of Hiphop Vol 5 event was held at the Sello shopping centre on 15 November 2013 at 16:00–20:30. The event planning started six months before the event.

A project grant application was submitted to the City of Espoo Culture Committee, which awarded the grant. The Sello shopping centre and the Leppävaara parish helped with organising the event.  The grants were used to pay for the technical needs, backstage meals, marketing, artists’ concert fees and travel expenses.

Together with the Sello shopping centre, we planned the direction of playing music at the event and the construction of the stage, taking the shops at the shopping centre into account. I was the person responsible for both planning and organisation. I recruited 15 young people as volunteers for various tasks at different points, such as the lottery and lyrics competition point and backstage, and to help with guiding the artists. The sound reinforcement at the event was provided by Vesatel Oy.

I submitted a public event notification to the police and a rescue plan to the Länsi-Uusimaa Rescue Department. The shops and restaurants were taken into account by monitoring the volume of music in decibels and by including breaks in the event during the day to prevent noise disturbances.

The event was advertised on Facebook and at the Sello shopping centre with audio advertisements and posters designed by me and produced by my friend. One month before the event, we also organised a few marketing campaign days at the shopping centre, where a big banner of 12 m x 2 m was displayed with the event name printed on it. The banner was coloured in by having young people sign their names on it while we told people about the event. At the end, the banner was hung from the Sello ceiling.

The event attracted 300 young people. Word had also reached neighbouring areas, and groups of friends from Vantaa, Pornainen and Nummela came to the event.

The event has been held since the autumn of 2011, which is when I got interested in organising events. The first time the event had no budget to speak of, because all performers were young artists just starting out, and the venue was Youth Centre Sentteri in Suvela. Today the content has developed further, and the main artists include some of the top names in Finland. The marketing and budget have grown larger and larger since the first years, and the event has become a well-functioning concept. We have taken many steps forward from those first few years, and the event has gained a faithful following among the young people from Espoo.”

in May 2016,
Miro Kotonen
Day of Hiphop

Tapiolan Talvirieha winter festival

The Tapiolan Talvirieha winter festival and the Ystäväluistelu (Friendship skating) event were organised at the same time in February 2016.

“The pleasant pedestrian centre of Tapiola is filled with events organised throughout the year. One of the most popular is the Tapiolan Talvirieha winter festival held early in the year. In 2016, the theme was inspired by Valentine’s Day; the event was organised on Saturday 13 February at 10:00–18:00 and attracted thousands of visitors. The content consisted of activities targeted at families with children, such as a circus school, crafts and dogsled rides as well as food sales.

We at the Tapiola Toimii association are responsible for coordinating the event, its arrangements and the marketing. The implementation is traditionally carried out in cooperation with the Lions Club of the Espoo area as well as the companies in the Tapiola area, and they are already invited to join the brainstorming at an early stage. In 2016, one of our partners was the Espoo Cultural Centre, which organised a friendship skating event in the Ice Garden at the Tapiola Central Basin.

The event planning starts in late October – early November. The Tapiola Toimii association takes care of the basics, such as the permits, electricity and the facilities. We draw up the safety plan and notify the police of a public event. We order security stewards, first aid service and the organiser’s third party insurance from the Folksam Non-Life Insurance Company. We loan equipment, tables and facilities to the actors. We arrange for snow to be transported in the area for the snow slide and dogsled rides and arrange for tables at different event points and event signs in the area.

We also produce free content for the public at the events; in addition to the costs, the production also takes time, human resources and cooperation with the City of Espoo. The representatives of the Lions Club are responsible for the arrangements and staffing of their own event points. Their profits go to charity, such as Karjalan Apu, the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare or the SOS Children’s Villages. In 2016, companies participated with their Valentine's Day offers. In addition, the shops organised presentations, open doors events and tastings.

The event is advertised widely in many different ways. In 2016, we reserved Abribus places in the area and ordered posters at sizes 70x100 and A3 and distributed them at companies and day-care centres. We ordered 3000 pcs of 4-page flyers in A5 size with the event programme and event offers by shops to be distributed in the centre area. We distributed them on two weekends in the Tapiola Centre area. We produced signs to the event points and programme posters for A-boards.

We also had a striking ½-page advertisement on the front page of the Länsiväylä magazine. We sent press releases to different media and updated event notices online. On the Tapiola Toimii association's own website, we created a subpage dedicated to the event with programme information and offers by the shops. We use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter comprehensively in our events. We also advertise using paid Facebook advertisements and several event posts.

The event is developed further every year based on the experiences and feedback from previous years. Through social media, we also get spontaneous feedback directly from the event visitors. The feedback has been almost invariably positive, which says that there is a need for events like this and that people see them as valuable for the community.”

in May 2016,
Krista Östman
Tapiola Toimii ry


Living Advent Calendar in Kauklahti

“Kauklahti is a small, idyllic village and the oldest residential area of the city, located in the western part of Espoo. In March 2015, the local Kauklahti-seura neighbourhood association had the idea of organising a series of events in the area. The Living Advent Calendar would consist of events organised by local actors from the 1st to 24th of December. At the association board meeting, we decided that the association would coordinate the event and that I would be the contact person between the association and the actors.

With the event series, we wanted to realise the goals of the Kauklahti-seura association: uniting the actors in the area through cooperation. In fact, we started by mapping out which parties operate in the area, such as different associations, schools, the library, the youth centre, the City Garden and the parish.

We held our first joint brainstorming meeting in May. However, hardly anyone showed up. We realised that with a new idea like this, you need more personal contacts than just an e-mail to lower the threshold. Having learnt the lesson, we called the different parties after the summer holiday and told them more about the idea, and received a much more positive response.

We started to think about what kind of content the event series could consist of, and learned about similar events organised elsewhere. Soon we realised that it would be the best if the actors could think up their own ideas and create their own kind of content for their event day.

Because all organisers had their own wishes concerning the time and day of the week, the next challenge was to schedule all events in the same calendar without overlap. Everyone’s wishes were taken into account, and the empty days were filled with events organised by the association.

Each party involved marketed the calendar on their website and social media. We also posted notices about the events on online event calendar pages. The largest cost of our event was mailing the event brochure we had created to all of the 3,323 households in the Suur-Kauklahti area in November. Due to the postal strike, we were concerned whether the brochure could reach the recipients in time, but fortunately our fears were unfounded.

We received a project grant from the Espoo Culture Committee for the brochure. The association had no other costs, because the actors organised their own events at their own facilities, with their own materials and the necessary personnel.

When December finally arrived, we were very excited about the amazing programme everyone had planned for the residents. Among other things, the calendar included a torchlight parade, a Christmas elf-themed disco, origami, animals, mulled wine and Christmas cookies, and naturally also a lot of shared moments.

After the event we had a feedback discussion, based on which we started planning the next year’s Advent Calendar.”

in May 2015,
Hanne Österberg
Kauklahti-seura ry


Karakallio day

In 2015, almost 500 Karakallio residents participated in the Karakallio Day that was celebrated in August.

“The Karakallio Day is a free event for the whole family held at Karakallio market place on Espoo Day in August, targeted at the residents of the area. The main organisers are Karatalo and the Karakallio-Seura association. In addition, local associations and actors, such as the Scouts, sports clubs and other associations have participated in the event arrangements.

The event planning starts eight months in advance. It is implemented by volunteers, and the costs are divided among the main organisers. The event includes four hours of music, dance and circus performances, workshops, a flea market, selling food and crafts, small competitions, and awarding the title of the Karakallio Resident of the Year.

Marketing is done together throughout the summer. Information is updated on the actors’ websites and free event calendar pages. During the event, information is shared via Facebook and Instagram. Sometimes we also purchase an advertisement in the Länsiväylä newspaper. On the day before the event, laminated signs that we have made ourselves, and for which we have a permit, are posted on the sides of the streets to welcome the visitors.

The police are notified about the Karakallio Day as a public event, and the permission to use the market place, a noise notification, the stage structure safety certificate, the rescue and safety plan (risks and prevention) and a map of the market place are attached to the notification. The need for a noise permit is verified from the environmental inspector at the Espoo Environment Department. Because this is a family event in the middle of the day, a noise permit has not been necessary in the previous years, since a notice of the event is posted on the notice boards of the nearby blocks of flats. We check with the police to verify how many security stewards are needed so that we can order the right number. Additional traffic control is not necessary for this event, because there has been no need to close off streets or set up temporary traffic signs or make parking arrangements. There has also been enough parking space around the market place and in the neighbouring areas.

We prepare for rain by ensuring that the electrical equipment is covered. To avoid tripping, we cover cables with exhibition cable mats and channels. We ensure that the tents are sufficiently weighted in case of wind and that the fabric is fireproof. Fire extinguishing and first aid equipment are kept in reserve at the market place. In addition, the Finnish Red Cross has participated by presenting their activities, which means that they bring in people with first aid skills. The workshops operate safely and use protective gloves, if necessary.

Based on invitations to tender, a stage, sound system, tables and benches suitable for outdoor use and enough portable toilets for the estimated number of visitors, one of which is a toilet for the disabled, are rented for the market. An agreement on electricity usage is made with the local Karakallion Huolto real estate management company. A sufficient amount of refuse sacks is reserved, and the actors ensure that their own tents stay neat. In the end, the organisers ensure that the market place remains clean.

We were lucky that the day was warm and sunny in 2015, and there were a total of 400 visitors at the market place.”

in May 2016,
Marianne Marttila