Travel conventions and trade shows can be quite an intimidating experience with dozens of maze-like alleys connecting thousands of travel companies and vendors. Even for the most intrepid travelers with excellent navigational skills, you will get lost a couple times.

This past January, I was at MATKA, one of the largest Nordic travel conventions held in Helsinki, Finland as part of the Nordic Bloggers Experience, and right away, there was a smaller, more intimate feel to this convention. While it is relatively small compared to ITB Berlin or World Travel Market in London, still, there was a more laid back vibe which permeated this trade show. That laid back Scandinavian vibe I’ve come to know so well.

From Hungarian pastry chefs whipping up sweet puff pastries and funnel cakes to Finns from Rovaniemi teaching us how to make wooden gnomes as ornaments for Christmas trees, here are a few fun snapshots from MATKA in Helsinki, Finland.
















View more photos from MATKA and the Nordic Bloggers Experience in my imagebank.

  • Yes, it definitely was!

  • Monica-USA

    Lola, it looks it was a lot of fun? What a wonderful experience.

    • LolaAkinmade

      Yes, it definitely was!

  • What language do most people speak at this convention? One of our current foreign exchange students is from the outskirts of Helsinki, so it’d be fun to combine this convention with a visit with her, but I’d want to make sure I understand what’s happening on the trade show floor!

    • @JoAnna – English is the main language because there are companies, DMOs, and tourism boards from all over the world. Also, keep an eye out for the next installment of NBE (Nordic Bloggers Experience – which should be announced this fall. They run it in conjuction with the convention and it’s an application process where they select roughly 40 bloggers to participate in hosted activities, dinners, comped hotel stays, and more. I don’t think they cover airfare, but they cover just about everything else on land. I was part of the inaugural one this January.