Who are you, what do you do at Wanha Satama (WS) and how did you come to work here?
Miika Korsman, 41 years young, managing partner of WS. I am a passionate developer and am enthusiastic about creating new things. Due to my developing skills, I was offered this position in the summer of 2017. This project sounded very interesting. It was also something I had not done before.
Can you tell us about the history of WS? And the Katajanokka neighborhood?
WS is a multi-venue old warehouse with beautiful brick walls and a unique atmosphere. WS is located close to one of the harbors on the eastern shore of downtown Helsinki. Its history goes all the way back to the year 1897 when it was first established as a warehouse for imported goods. WS is well-known and is the most valued event venue in Finland.
What are the functions of WS nowadays?
Our true mission is to create an atmosphere where deep feelings and experiences are created which incite the passion to scale up businesses. We are the best venue for conferences, business events, meetings, private events, galas, exhibitions, seminars, product launches, press conferences and whatever our customer needs. Regardless of whether you desire a healthy and uplifting breakfast, a fine dining dinner or a cocktail party, our in-house professionals, who have an extensive background in the food and drink industry, can fulfill all your culinary requests and custom-tailor them to your needs. This exemplifies that WS is a location where everything is available in order to meet your requirements.
WS is an adjustable platform for different kinds of business models. For example, one of the oldest art and design galleries is located in WS, as are several other smaller companies. In collaboration with our partners, we are pulling together our skills and knowledge to make our business bigger and better. Furthermore, we have our own productions and exhibitions, like ”Meetings & Events”, which is scheduled for the 1st and 2nd of October, 2019.
What is your view of sustainability and how do you see it being applied to event management?
Our focus is to provide both a unique experience and the most economical and environmental solution for our client. For example, we plan the most logistically efficient way and we take the necessary means to secure high-quality customer service. It is all about the people that visit our venue. They deserve an unforgettable experience, not just another seminar in a boring place. The feedback we are gathering and receiving from our visitors tells us that we are very much on the right track.
How is WS applying sustainable business conducts at the moment? (energy, waste management, logistics) How do you measure the effectiveness of said applications?
We feel privileged to operate in this kind of high-valued property. Our business model is to honor its history and to make our new practices combining old and new. We have found that, when new business models value the history of an old property, it can be very successful. A building like Wanha Satama’s history needs attention when planning new operations. We also take environmental aspects into consideration in all of our activities. We are always exploring new opportunities in which we can operate in a more environmentally friendly way. For example, we use 100% wind-produced electricity.
When organizing an event, how do you go about sourcing reliable partners and suppliers? How important are their practices of sustainability as a criterion?
Our main focus is customer service and we are looking for the best solutions from this point of view. However, our current and future partners have to share the same values that we do. We are committed to continuous improvement and we ensure that our customers receive at least the minimal result that they expected with high-quality customer service. We like to see that our clients are happy. Our professionals have a lot of experience in the field, which guarantees that the quality of our work always meets client requirements. So we choose our partners and suppliers according to our own high quality standards.
How do you think WS can improve sustainable practices in its event management in the future? Are there any plans in motion for the future?
We are constantly looking for and testing new practices and processes for how to manage events in a more sustainable and efficient way. It isn’t just the people working on our team, either. With our passion and company culture as a core fundamental—together with our clients—we aim to utilise the uniqueness of WS for at least another 100 years.