When I was assigned with the task to write about the reasons why you should come to Tallinn and Estonia for a conference, I must admit, I felt a bit overwhelmed. Over the years I’ve heard and encountered so many different reasons, both from the organizer’s and delegate’s perspective, that I have come to a conclusion – there are simply too many to list (and all of them good).
To narrow this task down a bit, I started thinking about the central question „Why?“. It is one of the key questions that we ask ourselves on a daily basis, knowingly or not. Why do we do what we do? Why do we make such choices? So, naturally, you might at some point find yourself facing the question – why Estonia? Why Tallinn? Why this conference?
As there are a myriad of answers, I have selected just a few of the reasons, based on the delegates feedback, general statistics, and my own personal opinions. The reasons listed are in random order.
A potpourri of history and novelty
If you have heard of Estonia and Tallinn before, the odds are it’s linked to either the medieval Old Town, included in the UNESCO World Heritage list for the best preserved medieval city in the Northern Europe, or the Estonian digital society, named ‘the most advanced digital society in the world’ by Wired. These are the highlights, for sure, and walking around in the beating heart of our capital (by the way, the Old Town, when viewed from above or on a map, actually resembles the shape of a true heart) you will get to experience the unique way these two elements have mixed and mingled. It is a natural blend and a perfect example of how the old and the new can co-exist, allowing the residents and visitors alike to marvel at the wonders of old and the achievements of the new. And those of you who have traveled here before – well, you already know what I’m writing about.
Small in size, but great in spirit
Tallinn, the main location of this conference, is our capital city. Now let me tell you a true story to paint a perfect picture with words of how people who are used to huge cities can see this place. A woman from New York once approached me to say how much she has enjoyed her time in Tallinn, walking around the cobblestone streets, taking in the cozy and peaceful atmosphere, the beautiful scenery, warm and welcoming people. It was her first visit and she had one question to ask that really took me by surprise: “Do you have any other lovely villages like this in Estonia?” By the way, she has now been coming to Tallinn once a year for already seven years in a row, to “get lost” in the winding streets of the historical Old Town. She calls it a form of therapy.
The city is so small and compact that most hotels, restaurants, shops and conference venues are just a short walk away from each other, thus virtually eliminating the need to use transportation. And the airport? Wait for it, wait… the airport is just a 10-minute drive from the city center and from all of the main hotels. Now that’s what I call convenient.
But there’s even more to that then just short distances and lovely Old Town. There are several areas in the City with their own unique vibe well worth exploring: Rotermanni quarter with it’s amazing architecture, Kalamaja bohemian area and colorful wooden houses, Telliskivi Creative City – the home of design and artistic influences that pave the way for seeing, feeling and experiencing the community around us in a completely different way. These are great examples, just to name a few, but there’s more to discover. What exactly, I’ll leave for you to find, so that you can unlock these treasure chests yourself (I might give you some hints along the way, though).
Off the beaten track and great value for money
Estonia is a small and relatively undiscovered destination. Each new year brings more and more events and delegates to Estonia (hence the “relatively”), as the organizations are looking for something new, inspiring and affordable. Estonia and Tallinn offer conference event locations that are the embodiment of all these aspects, and more. Want unforgettable venues? The selection is wide, from medieval halls of the Blackheads Guild to former power plant turned high-tech wow-venue of Creative Hub, and to the Seaplane Harbour’s massive hangars ideal for large gala dinners.
Require high quality hotels and restaurants? Look no further, both are within an easy reach and satisfaction guaranteed even for the most demanding. Choosing the right elements for your event from boutique to business luxury hotels and from artsy to fancy award-winning restaurants is really made easy in Tallinn and Estonia in general. And what does this mean for the delegates? Pure joy, moments of wow, and precious memories! After all, the knowledge nomads who travel far and wide to gather new information, exchange ideas that change lives, can truly appreciate the new experiences, discoveries and widening of the horizon that each new destination brings them.
So now you know. There’s so much more of what my words fail to deliver, but perhaps this verbal glimpse has inspired you to keep exploring, has sparked your curiosity and has given you an answer of sorts to that simple yet profound question that drives all our decisions. Why? Why not!
For more information, here’s a selection of informative sites that help you get started: