Soihtu’s new Venue Manager is a multi-talent in events

Ilokivi Venue’s new Venue Manager Laura Partamies is a familiar face to many JYY members and employees. Formerly known as the event producer for JYY, moving to the Soihtu side of the organization has meant a change of perspective for the fast-paced worker.

– In my previous position as the Event producer in JYY’s advocacy organization, the focus was in consultation and expert work. As a Venue manager in Soihtu, I look at the same thing from a business perspective. The work is even more executive. Soihtu bears a great responsibility towards the student owners for what is left below the line, Laura explains.

The work of Venue Manager involves many elements that Laura is already familiar with. Ilokivi with its restaurants and the Student Union services, the history of the Student Union building and the Finnish student movement, and the role of Soihtu in the organization of the Student Union JYY. The versatile field of work of Venue Manager was not surprising either.

Soihtu bears a great responsibility towards the student owners for what is left below the line.

Laura Partamies, Venue Manager, Soihtu

– As an event producer, I collaborated a lot with my predecessor for a long time. I knew what everyday life at Venue is like. I got good documentation and orientation from my predecessor, and the start of the work has been really nice, Laura says.

New skills and variety to workday

The Covid pandemic still runs havoc among the event industry and the restaurant industry faces an unforeseen shortage of labor. To help out at the workplace, Laura has sometimes had the opportunity to work at the Ilokivi lunch restaurant. Laura has no previous experience of working at a lunch deli, but the staff of restaurant Ilokivi is familiar from her earlier JYY years. Laura is open-minded about work in general and welcomes occasional shifts in the lunch restaurant as an enriching and educational experience.

– The colleagues in the restaurant have received me quite wonderfully. Everyone has helped and been friendly. It is good to see the restaurant’s operations during the lunchtime as well, as to get to know all aspects of this workplace, says Laura.

Previous jobs as a cultural director in the municipality of Juva and a variety of volunteer work in event production have earned Laura the identity of a diamond-hard event producer. It’s the event organizing that she is looking forward to the most, when considering her role as the Venue Manager.

– I’m an event enthusiast to the core. I really like all the meticulous design that the background work in event production takes. And when the event is underway, it’s awesome to see customers, employees and artists enjoy themselves and have fun.

The manager of a sustainable production

Producing large events requires a great deal of advance work and case management. Ilokivi Venue also often hosts Student Union events. Laura’s previous role as JYY’s event producer gives her a broad understanding of the reality of the large student organization.

– I believe that I can provide a useful perspective for JYY’s event producer and the Board of Executives as for how to produce events in a commercially sustainable way.

Looking forward to the return of the event era

The corona pandemic and related restrictions have long restrained the culture and event management industry. In the middle of a pandemic, it is not the easiest time to start a new job in this field. However, Laura is looking forward to the future of Ilokivi Venue.

– There are several small events on the calendar, such as Ilokivi’s Game night and Free Cinema evenings. If the restrictions are relaxed during the spring, more can be done. If necessary, some of the events can also be live streamed. I’m looking forward to being able to offer culture after this corona swamp.

The interview is coming to an end and the new Venue Manager gets up to go. Venue’s Living Room with its café and bar are open a few days a week. In addition to customer service, there’s a plethora of administrative tasks, communication with event organizers, shift planning, product orders and content planning to invest time in. If gigs and clubs were to take place, their preparation would be done during the day, and in the evening the highlight of Venue Manager’s work would be to see the flair of celebration reflect on the daily lives of others. Today, however, there is still work to be done on the lunch line.

– That’s very much OK for me, everyone here is building the same better everyday life for the student, Laura says and continues her work.

Laura Partamies, the new Venue Manager of Soihtu, has a master’s degree in musicology from the University of Jyväskylä. Before working at Soihtu, she has worked e.g. in the positions of JYY’s event producer and Juva municipality’s cultural director. Laura Partamies has extensive experience in the field of events, also from the perspective of volunteering, working at various events and Jyväskylä Live Music Association Jelmu.

Laura Partamies, Venue Manager

“I really like all the meticulous design that the background work in event production takes. And when the event is underway, it’s awesome to see customers, employees and artists enjoy themselves and have fun.”

Ilokivi Venuen maskotti Esa ja Venue Manager Laura Partamies Ilokivi Venuen eteisessä

Soihtu Business Unit of JYY is owned by the Student Union. Soihtu’s task is e.g. to manage and develop the real estate properties of the Student Union JYY. Ilokivi and Ilokivi Venue are a part of Soihtu.

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