Loviisa Housing Fair
Haaga-Helia students participated in a semester project for the Strategic Events Solutions course regarding Housing Fair in Loviisa 2023.
Challenge: Develop concepts that can include and bring together all housing fair participants and enable them to experience Loviisa in interactive and modern ways.
A concept born more than 50 years ago, to this day attracts tens of thousands of people from all over the country. For a month, the attention of many Finns is focused on one location and one event. It’s like the Olympics, but instead of medals, people get inspiration, new knowledge, and their imagination expanded.
The housing fair, or asuntomessut in Finnish, is a traditional event which changes its location every year. As for any other major event, hosting the event is a highly enticing opportunity which leads to a race – several cities submit their carefully prepared bids and excitedly wait for the decision.
Housing fair is a special opportunity for the host city to showcase its best qualities, additionally, the event can leave a lasting mark on the town and its people, and the quality of life.
Housing Fair in Loviisa 2023 is already undergoing construction. Loviisa is transforming a part of the town into a new living area, that will host thousands of people in a couple of years and later become home to Loviisa’s locals and newcomers.
Housing Fair in Loviisa has been an active collaborator with Haaga-Helia and has provided the students with many interesting tasks.
Our team has been tasked to ideate possible side-event and activity concepts for the upcoming housing fair. Our mission was to develop concepts that can include everyone participating in the fair, find what could bring people together, and help people experience Loviisa in interactive and modern ways.
We have used several methods throughout the semester that assisted in the ideation process: interviews with possible attendees, a visit to Loviisa and the event area, group discussions, service design approach.
The result of the process is 6 different but interrelated suggestions that promote Loviisa as a destination and make the attendee experience more versatile and engaging.
A family-friendly virtual activity, during which the attendees can look for the checkpoints that are scattered around Loviisa and the fair area. In the checkpoints, the attendees will get a virtual task that can be connected to local history, businesses, or event partners. Attendees can score points and receive a small prize, such as sponsor prizes or event merch.
Bird house and bug hotel workshops
Workshops that would invite both adults and children to show their creativity and improve their handicraft skills. The workshops would promote sustainability as the materials would be gathered from the construction leftovers of the fair area.
As Loviisa has a limited number of hotels, the attendees would be encouraged to consider camping during their visit to the fair. Loviisa has several camping areas, and it would help the attendees to not only experience the fair and the city of Loviisa, but also the nature that surrounds it.
Boat tour and water activities
Water is a big part of Loviisa’s identity, and the housing fair area is right next to the shore. Various water activities can be accessed directly from the fair and give a unique overlook of the The Queen’s Shore – the fair area.
Social media presence is a very important aspect of any event. User-generated content is a powerful promotion, and it can be enhanced by providing the spots around Loviisa that are visual and unique. The attendees will be encouraged to take pictures and post them on social media with the official event hashtags and location.
Food is another important aspect as people usually spend almost all day in the event this big. An area for food trucks can encourage local restaurants to try out a new way of functioning and help other local businesses stand out, such as those working in the fishing industry.
Our team was happy to work with such an exciting project and would like to share some of our learnings and reasons why people should start getting excited for Housing Fair in Loviisa 2023!
Students' comments on their learning experience
Kristina: I have learned about the attendee experience of the housing fairs which is going to be valuable knowledge if I get a chance to work on big scale events in the future. The Housing Fair in Loviisa will stand out - this lovely host town will offer a friendly atmosphere, beautiful nature, and teach people what it's like to literally live on water.
Sem: For me, the housing fair was a completely new concept, so it was a great learning process. Everyone should visit the housing fair, even if you’re young or don’t have much interest in housing – it will be a nice experience!
Cathreene: I have learned that it takes a lot of work and time to make this kind of huge event happen and I was happy to contribute - even if it was a small part. People should be excited about the Housing Fair because the people behind it are working hard to make this event a great experience – you won’t be disappointed!
Markus: I got to learn about the concept of the housing fairs and how it can be an exciting experience for the visitors. People should visit the fair because there will be the first floating houses in Finland!
Cindy: I've learned more about event concept designing and more about the need to plan accordingly to the customer and customer profiles. Customer understanding is one of the most important parts in planning services for people. After visiting Loviisa and being warmly welcomed, I would highly suggest visiting the housing fair too. I'm sure the whole town will welcome all the visitors warmly and showcase not only the fair but their lovely town as well.
Result: 6 different but interrelated suggestions that promote Loviisa as a destination and make the attendee experience more versatile and engaging.
Course: Strategic Event Solutions.
Text: Sem Theunissen, Kristina Laurinciukaite, Cindy Laukkanen, Cathreene Manalili & Markus Heikkilä
Pictures: Cathreene Manalili