17 000 square meters, 6 000 light fixtures, 3000 meters of truss, 35 000 meters of cable, 1 500 workers. That is Slush 2014.
After four years at the old Nokia Cable Factory, Slush is moving to a new venue: The Messukeskus Expo and Convention Centre. “The industrial and rebellious feel of the Cable Factory has been a crucial part of the identity of Slush. Ultimately, it was easy to conclude that this feeling will not be lost when switching to a new venue. This year, we can create an event that Scandinavia has never seen before”, says Miki Kuusi, the main organizer of Slush. In fact, Slush 2014 will be the biggest technical event production ever executed in Finland, leaving behind events such as the Eurovision Song Contest organized in Helsinki in 2007.
“Last year the venue was way too small and labyrinthine for Slush, so we actually had to build a whole new extended venue outside the building and ended up even adding a couple of boats to the backyard dock to make the event work better”, says Atte Hujanen, the Executive Producer of Slush. “The new venue gives us new opportunities to push the limits even further than what we were able to do back at the Cable Factory. It’s a conference centre, but after we’re done with it, it’s not like any conference centre you’ve ever been in.”
The new venue holds a capacity for 6000 pre-arranged meetings between investors and startups, double the amount compared to last year’s venue. 240 companies will present their products at demo booths and at the same time, over 5000 people can follow the keynotes presented on five different stages. We have picked 20 of our favourite restaurants from downtown Helsinki to keep the attendees’ energy levels up. A big part of the materials used for making this all happen are recycled and collected from other event organizers and old event productions.
Jenni Kääriäinen, who is responsible for the visual appearance of Slush, tells about her philosophy behind the event design: “This year we went all out and brought punk back to startups. Slush in 2014 is going to feel like one of those underground clubs where you weren’t quite sure if it’s all legal, will the police come and what’s going to happen next. Imminent sense of danger looms in the air, as it usually does in a startup.” The visual designer also points out that “Slush is built for people who hate conferences.”
There’s more to come: a deeper look into the venue and the preliminary agenda will be published in the coming weeks.
Please note that the early-bird ticket sale for Slush 2014 ends today! Get your pass here.