The yearly SHFIT Business Festival was organized for the first time in the Turku Science Park area and Visitor Centre Joki 23.-24.8.2023. With over 40 speakers and 50 partners, the 8th business festival is the biggest, most inspiring, and unexpected B2B festival in Southwest Finland.
Real business cases on stage
This year, the program focused on concrete business stories. Representatives from e.g. Nokia, Fujitsu, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Vincit were seen on stage and facilitating interactive workshops throughout the two festival days.
The main themes – future readiness, responsible growth, and disruptive technologies – were chosen because they are not only actual but affect everyone’s business activities, regardless of the sector. “Visitors expect both inspiring and concrete content, from which they can draw new ideas for their own business. We feel that the expectations were met and the discussion during and after the speeches was delightfully lively,” says program coordinator Jasmin Jaako.
Encounters across industry boundaries are definitely SHIFT’s best asset.
Cooperation across different sectors
SHIFT focuses strongly on connecting people and ideas, and also this year a matchmaking tool for 1to1 meetings was made available to guests.
Guest were busy networking throughout the event. “Meeting statistics at SHIFT traditionally exceed the average, and this year was not an exception. Meeting requests are both sent and accepted very well via the matchmaking tool,” says Jutta Ruusunen, CEO at SHIFT Events Oy.
People come to the festival with networking in mind. “Encounters across industry boundaries are definitely SHIFT’s best asset. These interactions, whether through 1to1 matchmaking or relaxed mingling, are what create new business opportunities and the great atmosphere that SHIFT is known for,” Ruusunen continues.
Art and experiences have a place at SHIFT
This year, visitors were able to spontaneously try e.g. an escape game and speed-coaching, and experience magic and performance art. “The idea is, that you can come across new things to do and experience almost accidentally and meet new people while you are at it,” Ruusunen describes. According to Ruusunen, experiences feed the imagination and thus new innovations.
Top location – also for 2024
This year, for the first time, SHIFT organized a completely live event at the Visitor and Innovation Center Joki in the heart of Turku Science Park. The bustling business area hosts more than 500 companies, and building a live event amid them turned out to be a great choice. “We were received very well and the local companies participated in great numbers. We also had a record number of side events at companies’ own premises around Kupittaa,” says Ruusunen.
Visitor Center Joki and its surroundings turned out to be a versatile venue that enables the expansion of the festival in the future.
Visitor Center Joki and its surroundings turned out to be a versatile venue that enables the expansion of the festival in the future. “This year was a good starting point to proceed towards an even bigger festival in the area”, praises Ruusunen, and hints that tickets for 2024 are already available.
For the press release in Finnish and images, see media room