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Service Design meets Tourism

Playday 12.11.2020 Pärnu



Service design conference PLAYDAY is happening in Pärnu already for the 3rd time and we are waiting for YOU to participate!

At the conference, on November 12, we will discuss how to turn off-season into TOP season in the tourism sector.

Conference participants are guaranteed a lot of new inspiration and an overview of innovative solutions, getting answers to the following questions:

1) Why is it necessary to design the service during low season or in extreme conditions (eg travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, etc.)?
2) How to design the service and adapt to change?
3) What are the innovative possibilities and effective digital solutions in service design?

Many internationally recognized experts will share their experiences at the conference, such as Nick Hall (Digital Tourism Think Tank founderUK), Dr Willy Legrand (Professor of Hospitality Management and international lecturer, Germany), Mario Sepp (service designer, founder and creator of Gastspiel, Austria), Alex Crevar (sustainable and green tourism expert, Slovenia) and others.

The day will end with a BANG and a musical performance by the LEXSOUL DANCEMACHINE!

Playday 2020 is happening in the result of cooperation between Pärnu City Government, Pärnu College of the University of Tartu, EAS and Lääne-Eesti Tourism.

NB! The conference will be held in English.

New developments are not born overnight, but by understanding them and learning from others, we are a big step closer to that – see you at PlayDay in Pärnu!


November 12, 2020

November 12, 2020

November 12, 2020


Moderator: Heleri Rande

The visitor economy is impacted more than any other industry by covid-19 and will take many years to return to 2019 levels. Whilst there is increasing optimism throughout the industry, uncertainty remains and businesses face many practical, operational challenges, coupled with weaker demand from international visitors. These challenges require a human centred design-led approach using creativity, empathy and visioneering to shape new ideas around user needs. With an entire sector facing new realities and challenges, Nick will explain why now is the time for service design and how the tourism industry can apply design to find solutions in the ‘new normal’.

The Service Design Process has evolved tremendously over the last years, but the biggest challenge has always been the sustainable implementation of the designed customer experience measures throughout the whole organization. Especially employees with direct guest contact have to be in the position to stage the designed customer experience in their daily routine, regardless of their length of affiliation with the company, their professional or cultural background. The Content of this session for the “2020 Playday” audience will therefore include a convincing summary of the whole service & experience development process – with a lot of interesting insights, expressive extracts & practical takeaways from an exciting tourism project for “Edelweiss Bike Travel” – the world’s leading motorcycle touring company. It will clearly demonstrate how great service design and improved customer experience can increase guest loyalty and make life easier for both guests and employees. Perfect customer experiences do not happen by chance.

ÖÖD Hötels – how, where, and why does ÖÖD Hötels operate? We’ll talk about our experience with COVID-19 in the tourism sector and its impact. Additionally, we’ll talk about our vision of the future, inspired by the COVID-19.

Karin will share their team’s experience on how service design helped them to innovate and bring city services to the next level. Their challenge was to figure out how to bring the citizens and local service providers closer to one another and the outcome was a single digital channel now called Bliggit. You will learn tips and tricks on how to ideate, involve actual people, generate an innovation hub like attitude and come to real measurable solutions in your projects/companies.

The concept of Regenerative Tourism has gained traction as a model addressing the challenges linked to climate emergency and biodiversity collapse, to which the tourism industry is a fair contributor. Some entrepreneurs, however, have managed to build and operate hotels that produce sustainability instead of only repairing, recycling, offsetting or limiting the impact of hospitality buildings and operations. We label such endeavors production of sustainability (Legrand, et al. 2020) or regenerative hospitality. While ‘sustainable production’ is achieved when the output is in ecological balance with the input, regenerative hospitality takes place when the ecological, social or climate systems are in better condition because the company is present and operates in society. Regenerative hospitality is less about bucket lists and trophy collection and more about economies of meaning. Environmental connections along with personal fulfilment, and hospitality products and services that share similar values support pro- environmental behavior. Regenerative hospitality is equally about restoring the external environment as it is about individual serenity. This talk is about regenerative hospitality stories, the challenges, opportunities and implications for both sustainability endeavors and guest experiences.

The GoodPlace Sustainable Tourism Factory story began in 2012. At that time, the GoodPlace founders group already had many years of experience in Slovenia as well as internationally in various fields: in sustainable tourism development, in area of social responsibility, in promotion, education, research, congress industry, tourism management, tourism product design and innovative ideas and technological solutions. Since the beginning, the Institute´s primary purpose was to implement sustainable principles in the Slovenian, European, and global tourism sectors. This is achieved through cooperation with various governmental and non-governmental organizations, destinations, and other stakeholders in tourism. Together with the Slovenian tourist board, we have developed the multiple award-winning Slovenia Green certification scheme. We are accredited partners for the implementation and coordination of Slovenia Green consortium, with whom we inform destinations, accommodation providers, and travel agencies about sustainable tourism.

Tallinn airport is the cosiest airport in the world. This is our motto. In order to keep it that way, we organized a passenger service design project with an international service design and branding company Brand Manual last autumn. Our goal was to get a better understanding of who our passenger is, what is (s)he thinking, feeling and doing in our airport and what is his/her pain and gain during the journey from home to plane.
We also wanted to design services that would be right for our passenger. A lot has changed this year. Because of the additional restrictions and the fear of virus, flying has become a process that causes great anxiety for people. The task of Tallinn airport is to adjust to the changing conditions and support the passenger on his/her journey.

The journey of Comodule and Tuul. How the global leader in IoT solutions for light electric vehicles ended up expanding its offering to B2C e-scooter rental business.

Like many other events, Estonia’s flagship startup and tech event Latitude59 was also forced to rethink its format and took place on 27 and 28 August instead of its usual end-of-May dates. With a lot of hard work and some luck, the conference was organised as a hybrid event, meaning that attendees were present both online all over the world and on-site in Tallinn. Latitude59 attracted almost 2000 participants from 55 countries and was the first hybrid tech event on such a scale to take place in the region, perhaps even in the whole of Europe. In her talk, Maarja will share some of the key lessons and takeaways from the organising process.

2020 was a surprise for everyone. As humans, we are mostly well equipped to handle shortlived surprises. We treasure the pleasant, and dodge or absorb the punches of the unpleasant ones. The tourism landscape has seen an unprecedented level of change in a very short time. How can you, the people in the industry, care for your emotional wellbeing as to come out stronger at the other end? What is most useful to know about how people are wired to handle stress? We will look at the basics of Emotional Intelligence and the neuroscience of Mindfulness to understand how to develop our mind’s resilience and agility when everything is in constant change.


Reserve your ticket already today!

Reserve your ticket already today!

Reserve your ticket already today!



STUDENT ticket




Dr. Willy Legrand

Dr. Willy Legrand

Professor of Hospitality Management

Dr. Willy Legrand is Professor of Hospitality Management at the IUBH International University of Applied Sciences located in Bad Honnef – Bonn, Germany. Prof. Legrand holds undergraduate and graduate courses on sustainable development and business management, sustainable hospitality and tourism in Germany but also as a visiting professor at universities in China, Dubai, France, India, Peru, Singapore and the United States. He is the lead author of Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Principles of Sustainable Operations with the 4 th edition set for 2021. He is the co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Food and Gastronomy. He is the Guest Chief Editor of the Hotel Yearbook Sustainable Hospitality 2018 and 2020 Special Editions. Prof Legrand is dedicated to working with students, industry professionals and academics on solutions towards a hospitality industry with greater resiliency (e.g. facing climate emergency, biodiversity collapse, pandemics etc.); join him and 100 industry experts on the HospitalityNet World Panel on Sustainability in Hospitality.

Alex Crevar

Alex Crevar

GoodPlace Co-Founder / freelance writer and editor

For more than 20 years, Alex has worked as a travel journalist and media consultant. He is a regular contributor to New York Times, National Geographic Travel, Lonely Planet, and Adventure Cyclist magazine. Since 2010, he has worked as a development and promotion specialist, focusing on responsible-tourism projects across the planet. For more information, please visit: alexcrevar.com.

Crevar is also part of the GoodPlace team, a Slovenia-based organization that creates a supportive environment for sustainable tourism at all levels. GoodPlace acts as a representative in the green certification process, engages in international organizations and projects, and brings together key experts in various areas of sustainable development and business.

Nick Hall

Nick Hall

DTTT Founder & CEO

The Digital Tourism Think Tank was developed by Nick, who is widely considered as one of the world’s leading experts on digital trends and transformation in the field of tourism. With two decades of experience, there is hardly any DMO that Nick has not advised. He has been personally behind change for so many DMOs and continues to drive the conversation around industry trends today. Nick continues to grow and develop the DTTT, helping it to evolve beyond digital to tackle existential topics, such as sustainable leadership. He also continues to speak at leading industry conferences on the biggest trends impacting the industry, as well as working on exciting projects and initiatives, together with public sector organisations who want to change the leisure economy for good.

Mario Sepp

Mario Sepp

Gastspiel CEO

Mario Sepp, MBA {MCI) spent 20 years in the aviation industry. He started as an electronic engineer and made his way through various national & international assignments to become Senior Vice President Strategy, Business Development & Marketing at the World’s second largest technical service provider to the airline industry. After finishing his Executive MBA, he deepened his knowledge on customer centricity at the Harvard Business School with Prof. Ranjay Gulati.

Mario’s efforts in the field of Service Design were internationally recognized and honoured with the coveted Budgie Award in London, in the category of worldwide “Best Service Provider”, a fitting accolade bestowed on him for his innovative and exceptional service design concepts for easyjet – the second largest low-cost airline in Europe. This international award ceremony marked a crucial turning point in his career, as he became increasingly aware of the possible applications of Service Design in various industries. In spring 2012, Mario Sepp founded his own company – Gastspiel – located in Tirol/Austria, delivering Service Design, Business Innovation and Customer Experience solutions.

He has been able to implement very successful projects for large national and international corporations {eg. SWAROVSKI – the world leader in precision-cut crystals and fashion jewelry, MediaMarkt/MediaWorld – europe’s largest  retailer for consumer electronics, TUI – the largest leisure, travel and tourism  company in the world, Edelweiss Bike Travel – the world’s leading motorcycle touring company,…) as well as for small-to-medium-sized enterprises, from a cross-section of various sectors in the fields of production and service delivery.

Karin Salu

Karin Salu

Nortal, Senior UX Analyst (Bliggit)

Karin is senior UX analyst with MSc in User Experience Design. She has experience in user centric service projects both in public and private sector from Estonia and elsewhere. Her specialties are user research, UX design and usability testing. She believes that listening and understanding the complex characters and variations of your users is the key to forward looking UX.

Heleri Rande

Heleri Rande

Partner, THINK Hospitality

Originally from Estonia, Heleri has lived in seven countries and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from New York University in Economics and Business, as well as an executive MBA in Hospitality Administration from École Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) in Switzerland.
After leading Puccini Group’s growth in EMEA for two years after graduation, she has partnered with Think Hospitality to deliver on hospitality strategy projects helping brands and owners assess the market, find the right concept positioning and/or operator and chef for the properties through strategic advice and review.
She writes for Supper Magazine and acts as programme director at various major hospitality events around the world. She co-founded Ideas-Flavours-Experiences, the leading gastronomy event in the Baltics and the New Baltic Hospitality Forum, the first hotel focused event in the region. Heleri also sits on the board of the Global Restaurant Investment Forum and is the Stammvater of the UK Chapter of EHL Alumni Network.

Marko Lepik

Marko Lepik

Mindfulness Coach, SIY Certified Facilitator, Genos EI Practitioner

Marko Lepik (MSc LSE/London, MA Tartu) is a workplace oriented mindfulness and emotional agility coach at EQversity.com. His prior background combines experiences in strategic communication and systematic approaches to mind-training. Upon witnessing first hand what a burnout felt like over a decade ago, he became a passionate advocate of science-based self-management tools for teams around the world. He has instructed people in emotional intelligence and resilience skills in the US, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Canada, Belarus, Moldova, Thailand, and Estonia. He is a teacher of the Search Inside Yourself EI program born at Google, and a Genos Workplace EI practitioner.

Katrin Hagel & Kaarel Mikkin

Katrin Hagel & Kaarel Mikkin

Tallinn Airport & Brand Manual

Katrin Hagel has worked as Head of Passenger Services at Tallinn Airport for a year. Previously worked more than ten years in AS Nordea Finance Estonia heading Customer Service on Baltic level.

Kaarel has worked at Brand Manual since day 1. Over time he has had various roles ranging from project
manager to strategist, creative lead, copywriter, mentor, researcher all the way to CEO, janitor and even
He’s always been good at gathering insights, digging up information, getting to know people, their needs
and wants. Which is not a bad skill when working with brands, products and services where customer
experience is the key element of success.
Aside from research his „thing“ is brand strategy – he even knows the difference between vision and
mission and can easily explain to you why your company needs neither;) It’s all about defining the
uniqueness and having a structure to build on top of that. His approach has helped €100 million
international corporations as well as small family startups – the tools and methods are the same.
He gladly shares and teaches this Brand Manual approach at conferences and public events as well as
educational programmes for universities (EBS Executive Education) both to public sector organisations
and entrepreneurs. Whether you need a 2-hour workshop to engage your team or a 6-month long
product development masterclass, he can help.
Kaarel has an MBA in political science. This gives him a good understanding of how the world works and
why everyone should get a real job instead of becoming a politician.
“Working at Brand Manual has been like riding a rollercoaster“ Kaarel says. “When everything seems to
be ready for takeoff we start asking questions, digging deep and often end up going in a completely
different direction. Sometimes win, always learn!”

Maarja Pehk

Maarja Pehk

Latitude59 CEO

Maarja has been active in the startup ecosystem and the cultural and creative industries for the past ten years, both in Estonia and the UK. She has worked with numerous startups and has run startup programmes for incubators and accelerators, including Buildit hardware accelerator and Storytek mediatech accelerator. For the past two years, Maarja has been the CEO of Estonia’s flagship tech and startup event Latitude59, which attracts 2500 people from more than 50 countries every year.

Diana Kross

Diana Kross

ÖÖD Mirror House, COO

Diana has a demonstrated history of working in the management consulting industry. Skilled in Design,
Business Management, Sustainability Leadership, Corporate and Governmental Communication. Her
academic background is from the University of Arts London, continued with the Outdoor and
Environmental Studies and finished with the Business Sustainability Management Studies at the
University of Cambridge.
As a strong advocate for experiencing the outdoors, as it is, without any disruptions Diana has inspired
people to get outdoors- explore, reflect and refresh. Now in ÖÖD she specialises in giving a new meaning
to the service design in the hotel business and helping people to combine and experience rural outdoors
in comfort, without compromises.

Jaan Kekišev

Jaan Kekišev

Owner of Tuul e-scooter rental service in Comodule

After studying logistics in bachelor and supply chain management in masters, Jaan has gathered experiences from various industries. He has worked as a management consultant in internal management consulting unit in Ericsson, supporting the Ericsson Leadership Team with strategy and operational improvements. After moving back to Estonia, Jaan was COO in a medtech start-up leading product development and clinical trials of a sensor to monitor the quality of kidney replacement therapy. Jaan has found the way back to the mobility industry being the Business Owner of Tuul e-scooter rental service in Comodule.



Lexsoul Dancemachine is a raw smoking hot funk beast from Estonia. It’s here to wake you up, it’s here to make you stomp your feet and jive!

Raw street funk on one side, with sweet soul on the other— based in Tallinn, Estonia the 6-man groove band Lexsoul Dancemachine is known for tearing venues apart with their stage presence. Active since 2013, the aim of the machine is to hypnotize feel-good music lovers with thumping bass lines, syncopated rhythms, repetitive grooves and soulful vocals. It’s the kind of music you can break dance to, although in between those hard-hitting sounds you’ll find some more tender grooves.





Location of the conference


Parking is free in the Strand Spa & Conference Hotel parking lot and on the surrounding streets.

Special accommodation offer

The following special prices* apply to PlayDay conference participants:

*Prices are subject to availability.

A. H. Tammsaare puiestee 35, Pärnu

Double room 58€
Single room 54€

Keyword “PlayDay”
Information and booking:
+372 4475 370

Ranna puiestee 1, Pärnu

Single room 63€
Double room 75€
Superior single room 79€
Superior double room 91€

Keyword “PlayDay”
Information and booking:

A. H. Tammsaare puiestee 24-B, Pärnu

Double room 29€

Keyword “PlayDay”
Information and booking:
+372 5562 2818

Rüütli 44, Pärnu

Single room 38€
Double room 48€

11. – 13.11.2020
Keyword “PlayDay”
Information and booking:
+372 447 8902

Mere puiestee 7, Pärnu

Deluxe single room 63€
Deluxe double room 69€
Junior Suite 99€

Keyword “PlayDay”
Information and booking:
+372 447 3888

A. H. Tammsaare puiestee 4a / 6, Pärnu

Double room 69€
Single room 59€
Information and booking:
+372 4401 017

Supeluse 26, Pärnu

Single room 39€
Double room 49€

Keyword “PlayDay”
Information and booking:
+372 5646 0500

Seedri 6, Pärnu

Double room starting from 50€

Keyword “PlayDay”
Information and booking:
+372 447 9200

Side 14, Pärnu

Double room starting from 60€

Keyword “PlayDay”
Information and booking:
+372 447 9219

Sadama 15, Pärnu

Double standard room 50€
Double superior room 60€

Keyword “PlayDay”
Information and booking:
+372 449 0505

Papli 13, Pärnu

Single room 38€
Double room 45€

Keyword “PlayDay”
Information and booking:
+372 442 5736

Ranna pst. 2, Pärnu

Single room 29€
Double room 35€
Triple room 52.5€

Keyword “PlayDay”
Information and booking:
+372 525 3005



Your health is important to us – we follow the orders of the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Health Board.

When organizing the conference we make sure that:

– we would all have enough room to keep a safe distance, which is why we have limited the number of participants;

– disinfectants are available, when entering and leaving the room and also inside;

– during breaks the conference room is ventilated.

To participants:

– we recommend that you wear a mask;

– Download the HOIA mobile app on your phone via Google Play or the App Store, which notifies you if you’ve been in close contact with a corona virus carrier. You can also inform other users anonymously about your illness. Read more at www.hoia.me

Please do not attend the conference if you are ill or have felt unwell or have been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person for the past 14 days.

If the corona virus spreads, changes will take place: in this case, the conference will only take place online. All people registered for the conference will be notified of the changes.