In this blog, I give detail to the official first event that I attended in Finland.
I have written this article already for Glow events but still felt the need to share here and reiterate on how different my experience was, compared to the way events are planned and celebrated in Nigeria.
First official event with Glow took place on the 30th of September 2017 and the venue was in Kotka, South Eastern part of Finland. This was a Graduation Party combined with a Marketing event in honour of Mia, the head supervisor of Glow event. Now, the reason or name of this event might not necessary sound as interesting as what went down at the event but I will give a tip, it was a crazy weekend!! Crazy in all forms of fun, glitz and glamour. You might have imagined or expected a “Traditional” or would I say academic kind of event since it was a graduation party in Finland, and as for the marketing part, something a bit more corporate or serious because I had many assumptions that the Finns are a bit more serious minded. But well, I would say it was serious business because the planning and detailing was not a mere joke and of course Glow events does take business seriously.
I will break down the event into stages and segments of what went down at each moment in time and what the experience in general felt like.
Planning: The planning of the above mentioned took long before I joined Glow. I was put up to speed of what was already put in place and how the whole process would take place. This had to do with a lot of merchandise, accessories and decoration props for the event. The colour of the day was white, black and gold and all the props, I mean ALL of them had a touch of white, black and gold. There were lights, fabrics, table stands, runners, balloons, plates, cutleries, glasses, shishas, candles, decorations stands, floaters and so many other tiny details that were all matching with the primary colours of the day. We had several meetings trying to put things together and marking the checklist to ensure nothing was left out. All these items including the very fragile ones were carefully transported to Kotka which is over 250 kilometres away from Tampere In Finland.
The Venue Setting and arrangement: The venue was a nice and cozy hall located somewhere in Karhula, Kotka which had a main entrance leading to the main hall, a pool, a shower room and a Sauna. Most of the arrangement had to be done a day before, like laying the tables and setting the runners and tables stands, decorating the pool side with beautiful large candle frames, helium balloons, pool drink carriers, seats and shishas. A stage and music corner was also carved out and all these angles were beautifully decorated. The shower room, the sauna and the conveniences were not left out. The general theme of the event was a little bit coded and only viewers of the popular TV series “How I met your Mother” could understand the theme but the general ambience was warm and easy to fall in love with. The theme was chosen because it is the celebrant’s best TV show and this goes to show how any of your favourite things in life could be attached to your special day.
Arrival of guests: First set of guest arrived about 4pm for coffee, guest were warm with smiles, hugs and gifts for the celebrant and were welcomed with a glass of champagne at the entrance. This melted my heart to see how patiently they waited at the entrance to have time to congratulate and present their gifts to the celebrant. Where I come from, People hardly give gifts at the entrance, they come in straight and until they have had their fill of the day and are about leaving the event, that is when they present their gifts. I found the style here really heart-warming because when parties in my home country are thrown or organised, people mainly come for the food and drinks. Gifts come second. But it was amazing to see how much people really wanted to congratulate the celebrant and present gift. A cup of coffee or tea and some cake was enough to keep guests cheerful and social. The guests arrived, trickling in small groups, and were welcomed with a glass of champagne each with an option of alcoholic and non-alcoholic champagne. They were also greeted by the warm ambience of beautiful lights and low music at the background. This was followed by a toast and well wishes for the celebrants after which guests continued to chit chat and catch up with themselves. The cake was also unveiled and cut and the atmosphere was peaceful and easy going. Everything seemed blissful.
Dinner: Dinner was like second half of the event. Some guests stayed back after coffee and new set of guests arrived. This set were more like the young stars. Same process, warms greetings, champagne, wines, pleasantries and then a breath-taking live performance by Stella Christina music band. There were five different kinds of salads and different kind of drinks. I believe everyone that came, ate and drank to their fill.
Side Attractions: There were also some side attractions which included a glamorously decorated bar loaded with all sorts of drinks and run by a brisk bar tender for a couple of hours. This bar served assorted kinds of mixed drinks and punch drinks. Just name it, and it was served! There was also a puzzle game at the bar were guest would spin a drink board and let a black arrow point towards a drink option, letting it decide what they drink. It was themed “Let the World Decide what you drink! Drinks were also served based on request and preferences.
Secondly, there was a harsh tag printer. This printer would print automatically pictures posted on Instagram with the specific harsh tag £challengecompleted17. This was fun because beautiful and exciting moments were captured, and all the pictures were printed. There was a clipboard to clip pictures for the celebrants for those who were generous enough to clip theirs as a gift to the celebrant.
One of the most exciting side attraction was the pool. A different kind of music played in the pool area and there were beautiful lights stands, balloons, noodle drink holders and seats. I call this “game on!” Where all the craziness went down. First the celebrant, Mia, launched the pool by jumping in fully dressed and in her shoes! This brought on the energy and vibe needed for the pool area and soon after, everybody else got in the mood!
Sauna! I will not forget the sauna! There was a shower room for the sauna and to my greatest surprise the sauna and the shower were meant for both sexes. Everybody was free to take a shower or sauna at any time they pleased. It’s funny how easy it is for the Finns to get naked without and hop into a shower or sauna regardless of the presence of the opposite sex. This I am sure would never happen in Nigeria! I call the shower, the sauna and the pool moment, a “Let’s get naked” moment. Now I know, that there is a “let’s get naked” moment in most of Finnish parties and celebrations.
Now there was so much to drink that there were even can beers in the shower, sauna, unopened ones inside the pool, left over chops and other kinds drink. No doubts, the event was a blast and I can bet that very few escaped a hangover the following morning. But despite these, myself as a part of Glow and the entire team of Glow were extremely pleased at the success of the event. It was indeed a wonderfully experience. This event has paved the way hopefully for many more parties to come and readiness for me for any other “let’s get naked moment”. J cheers to Glow!