When a creative event agency and a very functional venue work together in Logomo, the audience get an unforgettable experience. Entertainment based on theatre and circus performances also thrill guests arriving at the venue based in the former railroad yard in the heart of Turku, Finland.

Live music plays loud and clear in the lobby of the Logomo venue. Venue Director Petteri Unkila leads the curious visitors upstairs and allows us to look down to the Logomo Hall through the box window. In the middle of an impressive set, people are rehearsing the music and cues for the live TV broadcast of The Voice of Finland- a reality show seeking new star singers.

-We can also use the same high-level technology for other events at Logomo. Bright Finland is a long-term event technology partner of Logomo. They also provide the technology for The Voice, Unkila says.

-For example, you could host a party at the set of The Voice where your employees get to be the stars, suggests the CEO of Tapahtumallinen Sanni Rostedt.

Logomo and Tapahtumallinen, the largest event agency in the Turku region, are excellent partners for companies and organisations looking to arrange memorable events. When the technology and premises of Logomo meet the creativity of Tapahtumallinen, the outcomes are parties and events in which the participants’ experience is combined with the organiser’s brand in recognisable and positive ways.

-We are very lucky to have Logomo here in Turku, since it is, absolutely, the most flexible and functional event venue in Finland, Rostedt states with pride.

Needs of professionals are met all the way to the implementation

The 19th-century locomotive workshop was given a new lease of life a decade ago when Logomo was built as the main arena for Turku’s year as the European Capital of Culture in 2011.

-Logomo was designed based on the needs of professionals, and these needs have also been met, Unkila says, praising the project. He mentions accessibility as one of the building’s top qualities.

-The first floor does not have a single threshold, so the rolling of transport boxes from one place to another is really easy.

Unkila would like the ‘roadies’ to feel a sense of relief, instead of dread, when they hear the name of the venue ‘Logomo’. The Venue Director himself came to Logomo straight from a tour bus and ended up staying.

-I was the lighting designer for the Club For Five band on their holiday tour in 2010. During the tour, I visited Logomo, where the Fire! exhibition produced by the Finnish Science Centre Heureka was being produced for the European Capital of Culture. And in the days between Christmas and New Year, I found myself taking a job interview here, Unkila recounts.

Unkila’s career in the event industry started as early as 1996 on singer Danny’s Light and Energy tour, where Unkila helped to set up the stage as a summer worker.

-I’ve seen tours and concert halls on four continents, so I can identify with a customer organising an event. When everything goes well for those behind the scenes, those buying the tickets will also get what they want – and sometimes even more.

The event agency will carry the burden

Sanni Rostedt remembers meeting Unkila and seeing Logomo when the great hall was still in progress. Unkila was wearing a hard hat and hosting a tour for visitors who were considering the venue for an event.

-I’d been hired to organise a large national-scale event for universities of applied sciences, which was quite a way to start in this industry. Before that, I had only arranged events for sports clubs and students as a hobby, but I was really drawn to this job, Rostedt says, smiling.

-Nothing can beat that rush of adrenaline at the start of an event.

Today, Rostedt is an experienced event producer and the energetic CEO of Tapahtumallinen. The agency can provide a full-service package from planning to implementation, if the customer so wishes. Invitations, decorations, orders, budget, risks, contracts – you can trust the experienced professionals with the entire project.

-Naturally, the customer can also be involved in the arrangements. We don’t take the joy of organisation away from them, only the stress and the worries, Rostedt emphasises.

Experiences for all the senses

Logomo has room for large gala dinners, meetings and congresses, since the total floor space of the halls equals a couple of football fields. Multiple events can be arranged at the same time, or the facilities can be easily combined for a single event. All meeting facilities contain modern technology, and the Kino Hall also works as an auditorium or an atmospheric cinema.

-Thanks to Logomo’s ingenious floor plan, people can move from one room or hall to another effortlessly. For a large scientific congress, the participants can be divided into nine separate sessions and then brought back together for an exhibition, coffee break, lunch or dinner, Unkila explains.

-There is plenty of floor space, so all the exhibitors can get a good and busy spot at the poster sessions or the commercial exhibitions. We also have all kinds of tables, round and long, perfect for all styles of table settings needed.

The speciality of the Logomo Hall, which has capacity for up to 3,500 people, are the modifiable acoustics implemented through the Meyer Sound Constellation electric acoustics system. Together with the high-quality sound system, the acoustics provide an ideal soundscape to all seats. The auditorium can even be moved by using air cushions, which sometimes confuses visitors when they see the changed hall.

-Often, customers say that they have visited Logomo before, but the space looked completely different the last time, Unkila says, laughing.

When needed, the large Logomo Hall can be divided into sections with curtains. For example, the seminar of the Tietokeskus company had a dark exhibition space behind the main hall.

-Tietokeskus seminars are more like festivals. One year, they started the day with a laser show, Rostedt says.

-Events should provide experiences for all the senses. Even food flavours can be tied into an event’s story. Logomo Kitchen’s manager Kristian Karnell innovates gastronomic experiences, and the dishes are always served at the tables at the right time.

As for Tapahtumallinen, the agency has conjured up wild props and atmospheres based on the event theme. For example, the Creative Business Camp event hosted by Turku Science Park involved tents and deckchairs brought into the premises, and a campfire was even set up at Logomo.

-The building’s doorways are so wide you can bring in absolutely anything. There was a staff party with a 1950s theme, so we brought in a car from that era as a prop.

Unkila even remembers having a locomotive at an event.

-I’d like to turn the gigantic old hoister above Logomo Hall into a permanent art installation. Maybe we could even hang a railway carriage or a media container from it.

Sturdy ceiling and walls

The building’s past as a locomotive workshop can be seen in Logomo’s sturdy architecture, which has its benefits. You can screw objects to the walls, lug them around and hang them up freely. The floor, walls and the high ceiling will withstand the weights.

-We’ve had trees, curtains and acrobats hanging from the ceiling. A curtain falling from the ceiling is an amazing element that can change the mood instantly, Rostedt says.

-You can trick the audience into thinking that they are at a ‘simple’ conference hall, and at the end of the day, you can reveal a glorious gala dinner setting or a stage with lights and a band from behind the curtain.

Rostedt encourages organisers to introduce elements from theatre and circus into parties and congresses. Tapahtumallinen can easily find talented partners, since there are circus artists and students, esteemed dance theatres, musicians and performers available in Turku.

-At Logomo, you can even thrill the audience with pyrotechnics. We have a trusted partner for them, and we know how to arrange the effects safely. We also offer guidance for permit applications, Unkila adds and praises the close and efficient cooperation with the local authorities.

-A few years ago, the working group that directs event safety in Southwest Finland even received the national safety award from the safety committee for social and health care services.

Currently, health and safety are an increasingly important part of organising events. Outdoor concerts are planned for Logomo for this summer, similarly to the summer of 2020. The terrace in front of Teatro Bar & Cafe will be expanded so that public events can be arranged even while the restrictions brought on by the pandemic are in place.

-Musical events will be arranged on a few nights a week. At other times, the summer terrace, furnished for about 500 people, can also be booked for private use, such as a company party, Unkila says.

-Tapahtumallinen is firmly involved in the visual design of the outdoor spaces. The idea is that the visuals can be changed to match the brand in question, Rostedt adds.

Unkila and Rostedt point out that professionally organised events are an excellent opportunity for a company or organisation to market itself and build its reputation. Entertainment and hospitality are also ways of thanking the participants for giving their time.

After all, nothing is more valuable than time.

Text: Merja Kallikari
Photo: Mika Okko