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Building Leaders for NBForum 2017 and Beyond

We at Nordic Business Forum take great pride in providing a world-class customer experience at our conferences. One of the most buzzed about parts of the experience has been the outstanding customer service executed by hundreds of volunteers and their devoted Volunteer Team Leaders.

How do the Volunteer Team Leaders get involved in Nordic Business Forum and what’s in it for them? Let’s take a closer look.

Every year, Nordic Business Forum provides an opportunity for selected people to become Volunteer Team Leaders in the next year’s event. They are enrolled into a tailor-made, almost year-long training, Nordic Business Forum Leadership Program.

The core purpose of the Leadership Program goes beyond preparing the Volunteer Team Leaders for their role at the event. Aligned with our company mission of building leaders who change the world, the program is built to equip these young people with concrete skills, confidence, networks and experience to prepare them for their next career steps and to empower them to make a real impact in the world.

As early as in November 2016, sixteen new Volunteer Team Leaders were recruited with Nordic Business Forum 2017 in mind. They were selected among 50+ applicants, all volunteers from our previous events.

What was the driver for these Volunteer Team Leaders to get involved and what are they expecting from the experience?

For most of them, the inspirational volunteer experience from the past Nordic Business Forum events was the key trigger for getting involved. Lisa Axam, one of the new Volunteer Team Leaders, said: “I was inspired to apply thanks to the amazing volunteer experience I had from the past two Nordic Business Forum events. Words can’t describe how much those experiences have impacted me personally. My main aim for this year is to give back, to spread the incredible, unique feeling I’ve experienced myself as a volunteer.” Soheila Assadi continues: “Working as a volunteer at Nordic Business Forum events before has given me so much both professionally and personally. Now as a Team Leader, I want to make our volunteers feel valuable and help them to get the best out of themselves and the whole experience.”

Many of the new Team Leaders, including Tommi Eloharju, Besnik Konjuhaj, Virpi Hiljanen and Veera Sorri, also emphasized the crucial role their own Volunteer Team Leaders played as role models. “I was volunteering for the first time at last year’s event and immediately fell in love with the way my Team Leaders supported us and helped us discover and leverage our strengths. I can’t wait to do the same with my own volunteer team in the autumn”, said Tommi. Virpi agrees: “From the very moment I started, I knew I wanted to be a part of that inspiring group of people. My goal as a Team Leader is to give our volunteers the keys to success and watch them accomplish great things.”

Rather than asking their team members to follow a strict set of rules, the new Team Leaders look forward to empowering their volunteer team members to become the best versions of themselves. As Petteri Saloranta put it on behalf of the group: “We believe that helping our volunteer team members be at their very best is the way to go. When all of us as individuals give our very best while working as a team, we can build something very special together. Everybody wins: our customers, the NBF organization, and us volunteers.” Abdimajid “Sufi” Abdirahim continued: “What’s been unique about NBF is that volunteers are encouraged to resolve the customer situations themselves. This approach has facilitated quick problem-solving and had a very positive impact on customer satisfaction.”

Johannes Somerkoski and Daniela Alén underlined the importance of team spirit in the customer experience: “Building a spectacular team makes it easier to create unforgettable experiences for customers. We believe the good spirit within the team directly impacts how our customers experience the service they get. It’s important to make volunteering fun for our teams!”

This group of Volunteer Team Leaders is driven to make an impact far beyond the event itself. “Before volunteering at NBForum, I had never really realized the huge impact and value of good leadership”, Arto Koivunen said. Emmi Nuutila and Sanna Honkasalo continued with him and the rest of the new Team Leaders: “For us, the best part of this Leadership Program is that with all the skills and knowledge we’ll gain, we will be able to impact people positively for the rest of our lives.”


The Volunteer Team Leaders for Nordic Business Forum 2017 include Daniela Alén, Soheila Assadi, Lisa Axam, Sanna Honkasalo, Noora Nikkanen, Emmi Nuutila, Veera Sorri, Virpi Hiljanen, Abdimajid “Sufi” Abridahim, Tommi Eloharju, Arto Koivunen, Besnik Konjuhaj, Ville Lehtinen, Otto Mellais, Petteri Saloranta and Johannes Somerkoski.

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