Social Media Tourism Symposium in Rovaniemi

For the last two days (Wednesday and Thursday), Rovaniemi was hosting the Social Media Tourism Symposium, aka #SoMeT14EU. From those four words, I love three of them (‘social’, ‘media’ and ‘tourism’) and the fourth (‘symposium’) means something like you-will-learn-a-lot-for-sure…. so there I went, to the Arktikum Museum, which beside being a great museum and the Arctic Science Center, is the perfect place for a symposium, conference or meeting.

SoMeT14EU is a symposium where DMO (destination marketing organizations… well, what you most probably know as  travel, convention, visitors or tourism bureaux) show their experiences and debate about what to do and how to do marketing in the social media channels.

Santa Claus welcoming participants of SOMET14EU

Sanna Kortelainen and Santa Claus welcoming participants of SOMET14EU in Rovaniemi, Lapland

Everything started few months ago

How is a town chosen to become the host of such an important event? Well, social media is about engagement, about having a community of fans and supporters behind. This was well discussed during the two days, and Rovaniemi proved that has a super community behind. Rovaniemi was competing with bigger cities and towns in Europe to get to host the event, and they all had to convince their communities to vote for them. And here we are, in a town of just a bit more than 60000 inhabitants, but loved by the rest of the Finns and thousands of visitors who come every year.

Sanna Kortelainen (Managing Director of Visit Rovaniemi) explained it very well to the participants during her presentation. And well explained is also in the video produced for this occasion (see bellow).

Success Story: How Rovaniemi become the host city of #SoMeT14EU

It was not easy, but as Hanna Mari ‘Pyry’ Talvensaari (Marketing Director of Only in Lapland) told during her speech, OnlyinLapland (and Rovaniemi is in Lapland) has the happiest community in the world. So everybody worked together those days to help Rovaniemi to become the winner city.

By the way, Pyry lapified all of us with the Laplication, an iOS app to watch Northern Lights where ever you are. Well, you can check the result of our lappification  :)



Participants from SOMET14EU lappified



Since this is not a blog of Social Media, lets don’t get very deep in the subjects that were  presented there during those dates. If you are interested, you will be able to check the posts that Social Media Tourism Symposium will be publishing from each presentation in their blog. And I hope that soon we get also the videos produced by Flatlight Films.

The whole event was great, and I enjoyed a lot the presentations from all the speakers. They shared their experiences in their different destinations, and we all learned how to do it better.

It was fantastic to get to know how other destinations are doing: Australia, South Africa and many others. And to know also some closer cases, like the success in Internet of Santa Television explained by Tommi Lappalainen.

It was good too, the  tremendous  friendly fight between all the nordic countries about who owns the Northern Lights. Which it is, as we all know, a non-sence fight, since the best place to enjoy them is from Lapland. Finnish Lapland, I mean :)

SOMET14EU participants

SOMET14EU participants

Thank you all for such a great Symposium! I hope I will be able to atend to the SOMET15EU :)

Author: Julián Amorrich

A Spanish happily living in Lapland for the last 14 years. Passionate about Finland and her nature. Working in tourism, at Lapland Safaris, running on the forest no matter the weather, writing at and

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