Discover your sauna spirit at Slush Helsinki 2018

For the second year in a row, the 20 thousand visitors to Slush, the technology mega-event in Helsinki on Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 December, will have the opportunity to treat themselves to the authentic Finnish sauna. Slush Helsinki and sauna have always been connected. Already during the early years, attendees went to sauna and took refreshing dives into the Baltic Sea. Yes, in winter.

However, the venue is not next to the sea anymore but at Helsinki’s Messukeskus Expo and Convention Centre. Outside, adjacent to the main hall, a 900-square-metre Sauna Village has been built for conference goers to try different types of sauna and have a dip in a hot tub or cold pool.

No, no skinny-dipping. When you buy your ticket for 30 euros, you get a towel, a bathrobe, slippers, and swimwear in a bag. Shampoo and soap are provided at the showers and the change rooms have lockers. Drinks and snacks are available from the sauna lounge. This time there is even a shop inside the lounge where you can buy soap, shampoo, scents, skincare products, textiles and sauna accessories such as thermometers and sauna heater stones.

Sauna from Finland, a business promotion network of nearly 200 companies in the sauna industry, partnered with Slush to arrange the Sauna Village and gather a variety of participating companies providing saunas, sauna equipment and accessories, and services.


Sometimes, more = more

“I was told that Slush never does the same thing twice,” says Elina Heininen, Project Coordinator with Sauna from Finland. “Well, having the Sauna Village appears to be the exception to the rule. Last year we served 500 sauna bathers in the village. This time we hope to double that amount.”

The area is nearly twice as big as last year and more easily accessible from within the Messukeskus Congress Centre’s main conference hall, through Sauna from Finland’s booth 6B.10, open on both days between 09:00 and 18:00 hrs. “We have big signs and the village is mentioned on every map,” says Anssi Laurila, Creative Producer at Slush “It has a bigger door now, about half-way the venue near the Pink Stage. It’s much more visible than last year.”

There are now eight different saunas (+2 compared to last year), three hot tubs (+1), and two ‘avanto’ pools. Finns use the word avanto for a hole in the ice.

Harvia, one of the world’s leading suppliers of sauna and spa, has three different sauna’s for visitors to test and relax in: a traditional finnish sauna, a hybrid sauna with infrared radiator and electric heating, and a steam room. There are also more stewards and stewardesses this year to answer people’s questions, help first-timers have a pleasurable personal experience, and generally make trying things out as easy as possible.

Listen to your body

An increasing body of evidence supports the reputed health benefits of sauna bathing, as it can increase cardiovascular health, improve the bather’s metabolism, and reduce or delay the progression of dementia.

“The main message we’d like people to take along is that the experience should be a relaxing one,” Elina explains. “Listen to your body and create your individual routine at your own pace. There are no rules for how hot or humid it should be, or how soon or often you should change between the warmth inside and the cold outside.”

In the hectic day-to-day of the technology business, what could be a better way to re-energize than by having a relaxing sauna bath? When your mind starts running rampant, slow down and just be present in the moment, in the comfort of your sauna. Last year, many visitors to the village got inspired by the idea of having business meetings in sauna. Board members of a Norwegian venture actually decided to have a strategy meeting in the whirlpool tub.

Many companies in Finland have sauna facilities at their premises, used by their staff and business guests. “Indeed, in sauna, everybody is equal,” says Anssi. “You leave your visible status symbols at the door. In business, sauna can be a great ice-breaker.”