This blog is a reflection of my collective experience of what I saw, heard and experienced from Sep 16 – 19th in Helsinki.
I have heard a lot about the Scandinavian conferences from James Finister, however this was my first time to speak and attend itSMF Finland Conference
The Theme of the conference was quite unique and refreshingly titled “ IT Feels GOOD!”
There were two tracks of English and Finnish speakers talking about diversified topics including SixSigma, ISO/IEC 20000, SIAM, Cyber Resilience, ITIL Practitioner, Personal ITSM Journey, Configuration Management, Responsive ITSM and many others.
The itSMF Finland Conference committee did a fantastic job of taking care of minute details to make all the speakers, delegates and sponsors comfortable.
For example, all the speaker arrival details, contact numbers itinerary plans were well communicated and tracked to precision. Special dietary provisions, such as Vegetarian, gluten-free foods were not only taken with due diligence but also ensured appropriate execution during the entire tenure
Christian, John, Thomas, myself, Tobias, Simone and Toby along with Paula, Stuart Rance
The itSMF Conference team had arranged a dedicated Tram exclusive for all the International delegates to have a glimpse of Helsinki with our tour Guide Thomas Hughes explaining us all the history, cultural heritage and places of interest.
The Conference started with full vigour on 17th Sep morning with a full house audience.
The making of this year`s conference was a treat to watch that showed how much committed and invigorating the crew were to make this conference a grand success
I would strongly recommend you to have a look at the way these guys have made this conferencea reality! Quite inspiring video
One of the highlight and special feature of this year`s conference was the Slient Stage presentation which spanned for 20 minutes on a topic that the delegates could hear hooking on to a headset anywhere around. It was quite a challenge for the speaker to do a compact presentation standing in front of a moving audience.
Silent Stage Image Credit: Terjo Aaltonen
I did manage to attend almost all the English-speaking slots which I should admit undoubtedly was job well done!
While every one of the presenters did a nice job of articulating the content fitting to the theme , there were 2 presentations that were really a stand out for me that resonated with the feedback and post conference discussions.
Tobias Nyberg session using props to deliver his talk on what kind of people you need for Configuration Management received a thunderous applause. The session was pragmatic and highly entertaining where people could easily relate to their roles and responsibilities. I would highly recommend his session.
The second one that I was mesmerised is about the personal inspiration story from Christian on his ITSM Journey. This contained practical tips and insights to use personal Kanban and other tools for personal benefits as well. I wish his leadership at itSMF Belgium to flourish in the years to come.
Entertainment & Gala Dinner
One of the key differences that I have observed between West and Norway/Scandinavian conferences is the fun element post the conference. itSMF Finland had a formalised schedule of entertainment and party from 19:00 Hrs on day1 until 03:00 AM on day 2. There were few of them whom I should appreciate did full justice to stay not only awake but also spirited high as shown below. They were truly deserving champs!!!
Lone Warriors – Simone, Thomas and Toby
Thanks to all of them who attended my session on “ Pitfalls, Challenges and Lessons learnt in your ISO 20000 journey. I was indeed glad to hear some great feedbacks and follow up discussions post the session. Thanks again to all the avid tweeters who voiced it over social media. You can follow all the tweets about the conference with hashtag #itsmfifg15
After an awesome 2 days, I definitely need to highlight that the Final keynote from Simone Jo Moore was a fitting tribute to bring down the curtain in royal style. All of us enjoyed her style, passion and above all engaging talk about reliving those emotions.
Interesting play time with delegates to voice different emotions
Key Highlights from the Conference
a) Every Speaker`s presentation was recorded which is a great asset and value for all speakers
b) The Sessions were placed adequately without any rush and giving plenty of room for networking and discussions
c) The Sponsors booths were close by within the same floor that people could easily walk just besides the dining area. The Quiz was a great idea to bump in to all sponsors and know about their key products and services.
d) The Fun element and personal bonding with the itSMF Finland crew
e) Silent Stage sessions along with practical takeaways from other presentations.
Post the 2 days conference, I and Christian were hosted by Aale Roos on his personal boat to travel around for almost a complete day and sight seeing Helsinki. It was so nice of him to have taken time off to explain us the history, areas of interest and cultural aspects. It was personally gratifying to have had some great conversations with both Christian and Aale along with adventure ride.
Overall, it was a brilliant and memorable time in Helsinki and I would like to register my special thanks to Paula Maattanen, Thomas Hughes , Hanna Nyéki-Niemi and rest of the itSMF Finland team to have taken care of us so much! We love you and your conference!! Keep rocking