Let the Games Begin

New in Events is a new podcast by IBTM. In episode six, Mike Fletcher and Paul Cook talk about advocacy and the Paris Olympics with ICCA President Marta Gomes and Martin Fullard from the Business of Events drops by the podcast booth.  

Short for time? Scroll to the bottom to discover the key takeaways.

Last month, Visit Brussels brought a collective of global trade associations together with EU policymakers as part of the Belgian presidency of the European Union.

As President of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Marta Gomes was one of the MICE industry leaders in attendance, helping to advocate for the key role that meetings and events play in shaping Europe’s future path.

“We found a lot of common goals with EU policymakers around competitiveness, resilience and sustainable development,” she says. “We addressed many interesting topics: the strategic value of business events, navigating green policies, accelerating sustainable mobility, trade and visa policies, talent and skills and inclusion, the EU tourism pathway, statistics and data, digital transformation and innovation.”

Advocacy is a fundamental necessity for the business events industry to highlight and emphasise its relevance, and importance to global enablers, policymakers, industry stakeholders and the global business events community.

Last year, ICCA launched its Global Advocacy Alliance initiative and a few weeks after this year’s Brussels event, it teamed up with the Business of Events to bring 200 industry leaders together to discuss sharing best practices and advocating for the event sector to governmental bodies at local, regional, and national levels. 

In episode six of ‘New In Events’ - a podcast by IBTM, Marta talks openly about the importance of advocacy in an industry, which is often misunderstood and was the first to shut down during the pandemic and last to reopen.

Marta is also Executive Director of Sales for Viparis Group - a collection of venues in Paris.

Viparis venues host around 1,000 events a year in the French capital and this summer they’ll be helping to stage the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Marta gives a fascinating insight into how the ‘City of Light’ is preparing to host the Games, what the Olympic legacy will be for Paris and why it has such strong appeal for planners of major events.

Continuing the advocacy theme, in episode six we also hear from the Business of Events’ Martin Fullard in our regular series of interviews from the podcast booth on the show floor at IBTM World in Barcelona last year.

Martin had just come off stage having revealed the findings of the 2023 Global Destination Report - an annual survey of destinations and convention bureaux. The report can be used as another advocacy tool when talking to governments about the importance of funding and the value that business events bring to a destination.

Martin says: “Destinations play a vital role in advocating for a strong business events sector within their cities, regions or countries. They are on the front line of understanding buyer trends and are well-positioned to advocate for the sector.”

To hear more from Marta and Martin, download and listen to New In Events, episode six from Spotify and then catch up on any of the episodes you may have missed.

Be sure to subscribe so that you never miss an episode and if you’re enjoying what you hear, why not share the pod with other global MICE professionals?


Key takeaways from Episode Six of New in Events 

  • In 1667, Paris became one of the first cities to have street lighting, which is how it got its nickname, ‘City of Light’. Today, the glittering Eiffel Tower shines like a beacon each night with 40km of illuminated garlands made up of 20,000 light bulbs.
  • Notre Dame Cathedral will reopen in December this year. It was heavily damaged in a fire that broke out in April 2019, causing the collapse of the landmark’s upper section including its famous spire.
  • During the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, ViParis venues will play a key role. Paris Nord Villepinte becomes the North Paris Arena and will host boxing, pentathlon fencing and sitting volleyball. Paris expo Porte de Versailles becomes the South Paris Arena and will stage boccia, goalball, weightlifting, para table tennis, table tennis and volleyball. Paris le Bourget will serve as the International Broadcast Center (IBC)  and The Palais des Congès will be the Main Olympic Press Centre.
  • As part of the Olympic legacy, The Palais des Congès will gain a new metro station which connects the venue to Gare du Nord station in only ten minutes.
  • Paris 2024 hopes to inspire future events with initiatives like the Carbon Budget - a pre-Games sustainability target that forces organisers to plan their carbon emission reductions in advance. 


Looking for something else?