Dubai Expo – Creative Concept Planning for Finnish Education Excellence

Dubai Expo – Creative Concept Planning for Finnish Education Excellence

I was excited to get back to Haaga-Helia after spending an exchange semester in Pécs, Hungary. Luckily, there was an international project waiting for me at Creative Agency Krea! I joined a team whose task it was to design a social media campaign concept for Finnish education export companies for the next World Expo to be hosted by Dubai.

What World Expo?

World fairs or Expo events are huge international exhibitions displaying industrial, scientific, and cultural achievements around the globe. These exhibitions are on display usually for a period of 3-6 months. Since around 1850, more than 100 World Expos have been held in more than 20 countries.

Because of the Covid-19 situation, the current plan is to postpone the start of the Expo in Dubai at least for a year, until late 2021 – early 2022. It is clear that now is not the time to gather together for a large international event. However, when the Expo does get started, the plan is to have a total of 192 countries from all over the world displaying their innovations on almost every possible field you can think of. The Expo in Dubai will be the largest event ever staged in the Arab world.

You can check out the latest news and developments at the Expo 2020 website!

Creative Agency Krea’s Expo Project: Promoting Finnish Education

My campaign concept planning team consisted of five creative students, who did not know each other at all from our studies before. During the first lessons, we did quite a lot of research on the subject, searching for insight. At the same time, we also got to know each other better.

We read through our brief as well as lots of other material we could find online about Expo 2020 and the Finnish country brand. As next steps, we started to throw around ideas using design tools like audience empathy maps, customer persona templates, idea generation methods, and models and tools that helped us differentiate the best ideas from the more general ones.

Using these tools, we improved our understanding of why we are doing this campaign, what our target customers’ needs and wants are, and how we should promote Finnish education and the knowhow of our education export companies participating in the Expo in Dubai.

Strategic and Creative Concept Planning to Support Campaign Storytelling

This has been in many ways an eye-opening journey to how exactly we want and can promote Finnish education for the world. Using different kinds of innovation methods and concept planning techniques, we now have a campaign concept with strategic messages and a bunch of content concepts ready.

Based on the strategic and creative campaign concept, Krea student teams of 2020 will keep on producing illuminating and inspiring stories of Finnish education excellence for the actual campaign in English. Luckily, the creativity and high quality of Finnish education is not going anywhere any time soon. We are happy to wait for the Dubai Expo to start, and when it does, Creative Agency Krea is ready to start sharing our stories of Finnish education excellence with the world.

I had an extraordinary team to work with, and I am proud of what we accomplished!

Historical facts about World Expos

  1. The history of World Expos dates back to year 1754 in England.
  2. Originally, World Expos combined trade shows with carnival-like public entertainment.
  3. Modern-day World Expos are considered to have begun with the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations (also called the Crystal Palace Exhibition), held in Hyde Park London in 1851.


Text: Jaakko Kalliomäki

Image: Nikki Britz,

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