I caught up with Marju Paju, Marketing Director at the iconic Helsinki Olympiastadion ahead of TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Summit to complete a speaker preview:
So, Marju what made you want to join the Summit?
“For us here at Helsinki Olympic Stadium we want to meet and network with a variety of professionals involved in the construction, refurbishment and venue management. But, like any other project we want to learn and avoid issues others have faced. These are very important elements to us and without doubt make the Summit worth being apart of.”
What are you going to be speaking about at the Summit?
“We will be discussing how The Helsinki Olympic stadium [dating back to 1938] has continually developed over time and the upcoming modernization will make the Stadium a multi-purpose venue meeting the international requirements for large events and is in daily use by both citizens and visitors.”
Are there any stadium projects in the world you look up to and benchmark against?
“We admire Olympiastadion Berlin, this has been our closest benchmarking target. Of course we have also become very familiar with other stadium projects and met their architects, constructors and management, but Berlin was a key one for us.”
How are you shaping and improving the customer experience at Helsinki Olympic stadium?
“We have created a new visitors’ centre, improved restaurant premises, sanitary facilities, versatile conference rooms and revamped VIP and corporate boxes.
“In 2016/17 we’ll be working with some technology matters and new innovations which will add to the complete stadium experience here at Helsinki. It’s all very exciting and we hope to be extremely innovative.”
“All these will be ready 2019 when construction is completed.”
What are the secrets to your success?
“That’s a good question. One of the main reasons we have been so successful over the years is because we have fantastic co-operation with a variety of stakeholders, including architects, event organisers, City of Helsinki and even the Finnish Government. Without doubt this is one of the most important components of our success.”
Without giving too much away, what’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
“It’s been quite a smooth journey since the project started back in 2009. However, a noticeable issue was getting the financial decisions confirmed and authorised by the relevant bodies; that was challenging.”
Okay, finally, what’s in the pipeline for Helsinki Stadium moving forward?
“It’s taken years of planning and designing for construction to begin, but as of 2016 it’ll be underway. I don’t want to say too much now, but we are really looking forward to sharing and discussing the project in London next month!”
Join us for TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development 2015 to meet, share and learn with Marju and over 60+ stadium projects! Register here.