Next week it is finally here: PulPaper 2018. The practical arrangements for this leading international event for the forest industry started with Messukeskus (Expo and Convention Centre in Helsinki) in full speed in September 2016, only few weeks after I had just started as the new MD for PI.
Together with the team from Messukeskus we had a passion to renew the event and try new things. For example, we on one hand wanted to focus even more on the conventional target groups such as technical experts from mill operations, but also attract fully new audience to the event. We wanted to change the structure of the seminars in order to make the participation more customer-friendly. We looked into synergies between the actors in our field in order to increase the attractiveness of our event. We wanted to highlight the strong transformation journey of our industry incl. latest investments and advances in new technology, but also bring forward the fully new players in the business. We did not want to forget the young professionals and students either.
But what eventually was implemented? The end result you can find from Messukeskus on 29 – 31 May 2018. Perhaps the most visible change relates to the new cooperation with packaging, bioenergy and wood industries. The exhibition hall number 6 is now fully booked, and almost 500 companies from almost 30 countries are present, when both PulPaper, PacTec and Wood exhibitions are brought together for the first time. Furthermore, it is especially great that we have a huge number of 25 start-up companies with us in the event. Nine companies out of them are also participating the first start-up pitching competition that will be held in connection with the PulPaper Conference.
The seminar programme has been renewed and divided into smaller entities with dedicated themes in order to make the participation easier for professionals with tight schedules. The executive steering committee for the PulPaper Conference, comprised of top professionals from our industry and chaired by Christine Hagström-Näsi from ClicInnovation, selected to the seminars topics that are relevant regarding the global future challenges. Such themes include breakthrough technologies, new fibre products, circular economy, biorefineries, changes in customer behaviour and digitalisation implications. In the new Business Forum we have interesting key note speakers and panelists addressing the future trends and leadership in transformation. Katariina Torvinen and Panu Lahtinen from VTT, together with FPInnovations from Canada, have coordinated an interesting seminar regarding 3D printing of biomaterials.
With the kind support of Kotkamills and Metsä Group we managed to include to the programme very interesting excursions, which depict the transformation of forest industry in the best possible way. Also, it has neither been a small change, that the seminar ticket prices have been dropped significantly, approximately to half of the earlier price level in 2014.
Together with the key exhibitors we also started to build up a new dedicated day for students and young talents. We got another partner to this work from Finnish Forest Industries Federation, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. As a result, FFIF’s Wood U Innovate innovation content semifinal will be one of the main events on 31 May.
One practical new element and aid, steered towards the mill professionals, is also the shuttle bus service, provided by PI and Messukeskus to employees at five focal Finnish paper, board and pulp mill sites. Thus, colleagues interested in participating PulPaper can hopp-on to a special bus towards Helsinki e.g. from Rauma, Äänekoski or Imatra, free of charge.
Dear PI member, experienced professional, young talent or student: please come and experience how PulPaper 2018 turned out to be and how we finally succeeded! For sure, our transformation journey will continue also after next week, and we’ll collect feedback and experiences for further development work, but I am confident that our direction has been correct.
All is set and Expo and Convention Centre in Helsinki is ready to take all PulPaper guests in. Welcome to visit Helsinki - the capital of not only pulp and paper, but also packaging, bioenergy and wood products – next week.
See you at PulPaper!
PI – Forest Products Engineers
1. Professor Markku Wilenius’ insights about the future; Opening Ceremony, 29 May, 10:00 Future Square
2. Entrepreneur Bruce Oreck’s views on innovation; Business Forum 29 May, 15.00, Hall 103A
3. Start-up pitching competition, PulPaper Conference 30 May, 10.45-12.00, Hall 103A
4. University students’ Wood U Innovate innovation contest semifinal; 31 May, 11.30, Future Square