International KalaDOGi Show returns to Kalajoki 2020

Kalajoki attracts holiday-makers as well as event organisers. In 2020, Kalajoki will be hosting hundreds of international and Finnish events in the fields of sports, music and recreational activities. Once again, the calendar will include both major international events and top Finnish events that have become a tradition. Kalajoki attracts event organisers and visitors with exceptionally good accommodation and ancillary services.

Visit Kalajoki is actively involved in bringing events to Kalajoki, and it also helps arrange them, find cooperation partners and carry out marketing and event communications. In 2019, Kalajoki hosted 390 events that Visit Kalajoki helped promote in one way or another.

-The great growth in the range of events offered is spurred by the superb setting offered by Kalajoki: accommodation for up to 13,000 people, more than 20 restaurants, as well as many things to do, see and experience, thanks to the wide range of services offered by the tourist city, says Sales and Marketing Manager Heidi O’Gorman regarding Visit Kalajoki’s group and event cooperation.

The organisers of last summer’s KalaDOGi Show were impressed by the support offered by Kalajoki when the international dog show was held in Kalajoki for the first time.

“We’ve been absolutely astounded about how brilliantly everything worked out”

For several years, the Central Ostrobothnia Kennel District has held the international dog show in Kokkola and Ylivieska, among other places. When planning the dog show for 2019, the organisers were in for a real surprise when the City of Kalajoki inquired whether the organisers were interested in bringing the show to Kalajoki this time.

-Nationally, it is unusual for dog enthusiasts to be contacted by a city or municipality. You usually have to go cap in hand and ask them whether they have space for us, says Johanna Niemelä, one of the organisers of KalaDOGi Show.

The City of Kalajoki offered the use of the airfield to the dog enthusiasts and promised to make the surface material suitable for dogs, among other things.

– They immediately began to work on bringing stone ash, which was suitable for dog paws to walk on, to the area and made everything happen swiftly. They even called us again to ask which size we wanted when a truck was about to deliver the material!

All the necessary ancillary services were available near the event venue. There was no need for the organiser to worry about the accommodation of visitors arriving from farther away, as it was provided through Kalajoki Booking Centre to everyone who wanted it, right next to the event venue.

– Even on a European scale, it is exceptional that you can hold a show this close to services. We are typically directed to a racetrack that is designed for a completely different purpose, with no services available. At previous venues, the accommodation capacity ran out or was very close to reaching its limit.

Niemelä says that 3,500 dogs visited the show during the weekend. The conservative estimate is that there were 8,500 human visitors.

“The entire area was involved in our event”

The KalaDOGi Show succeeded beyond expectations. Niemelä feels emotional when reminiscing about the way in which everything worked out.

– The entire area was so involved in our event. Restaurants had signs on their doors that said, ‘Dogs welcome!’ The whole community of entrepreneurs also participated in the positive spirit. Whenever we were about to run out of faith, someone would pat us on the back and say: ‘It’ll be fine!’

From the point of view of both the organisers and visitors, there is one thing about Kalajoki that stands out above everything else: the chance to combine attendance in an event with a holiday for the whole family, for example. There are enough activities to keep the whole family occupied if not everyone wants to spend the whole time at the show.

– People were able to combine a holiday with the dog show on the same visit, and many said that ‘We’ll definitely come again next year!’

Niemelä has been very impressed with the way that the City of Kalajoki and Visit Kalajoki have asked about and listened to their wishes. Further development of the event has been discussed at joint debriefings. Niemelä could not be more satisfied and confident regarding the arrangements for the event in 2020.

– They are already working on the changes that we want for next summer. Our thoughts and wishes have been heard with a very keen ear.

Events in Kalajoki in 2020:

7 March: Perämeri Open – Open Finnish Championships in Ice and Snow Surfing

23–24 May: Extreme Run event

8–19 June: International figure skating camp

26–28 June: Bimmer Party, annual gathering of BMW enthusiasts

10–12 July: KalaDOGi Show, international dog show

28–30 August: Kalajoki Venetian Festival

For more information and assistance in planning and arranging events and finding the right partners, please contact:

Heidi O’Gorman
Visit Kalajoki
+358 (0)40 504 3596
heidi.o.gorman@visitkalajoki.fi

Janne Anttila
Kalajoen Hiekkasärkät Oy
+358 (0)44 5630 001
janne.anttila@hiekkasarkat.fi