The first World Sauna Forum took place in Jyväskylä, the Sauna Region of the world, located Central Finland, in 2017.
Around 150 sauna and wellbeing professionals gathered together to get educated about the authentic Finnish sauna experience and to hear about the latest news, trends, and research around Finnish sauna.
The event day was memorable and full of new encounters: new partnerships were formed, ideas exchanged, saunas and products tested.
Authentic Finnish sauna experience grew stronger roots both in Finland and abroad. It was clear that the World Sauna Forum was a much needed event for sauna and wellbeing professionals to get together and get updated about the trends of the field annually.
In the end of September 2018, participants from 10 different countries gathered together at Jyväskylä for the second World Sauna Forum.
The participants got to enjoy interesting talks and topics, memorable encounters, and a warm atmosphere with a shared excitement towards the authentic Finnish sauna. In addition to a wide representation of Sauna from Finland’s network, many new faces participated in the event.
World Sauna Forum also raised a lot of interest among the international media and was featured in publications such as GQ, Scan Magazine, and European Spa Magazine.
In 2019 the World Sauna Forum changed its scenery to Tampere, the Sauna Capital of the World. The programme of the event was even bigger and more comprehensive than before and included pre and post tours with sauna experiences of their own.
The actual two-day programme started with a casual yet elegant get-together with great food, chats, and sauna bathing. By the end of the whole event, the participants had enjoyed a varied selection of talks, panel discussion, networking, matchmaking, training and sauna experiences.
Once again the participants had a chance to get updated about the latest news and trends on sauna and wellbeing markets, and meet their current and future business partners.
World Sauna Forum has grown in size every year, and in 2019 the event hosted 350 participants from 16 different countries. The event reached an even bigger audience through the foreign media when it was featured in the Japanese media Toyo Keizai News and NHK, the Taiwanese EDN, the Chinese Lohas, and the French Le Figaro among many other media.
The year 2020 was exceptional. Due to the global pandemic, the live event had to be cancelled (it would have been held in Tampere, the Sauna Capital of the World, in the end of September).
However, team Sauna from Finland didn’t not panic. Instead of a live B2B event, the World Sauna Forum was organized virtually and modified to be accessible for all. The programme was built to represent different views on the authentic Finnish sauna experience, and participating the event was free of charge and possible regardless on the geographical location.
The first virtual World Sauna Forum was an success. The two day event hosted over thousand participants around the world and the event streams had over 4000 downloads. Many thanked for the opportunity to participate, especially during the difficult global situation.
World Sauna Forum will be held again in 2021.