Marta Gomes, deputy executive director of Viparis’s Sales Division and first vice-president of ICCA, looks back on the association’s recent 60th Congress, from the perspective of the European hub – her own Viparis host venue, Palais des Congrès d’Issy:
The ICCA congress this year was an opportunity to reconnect to discuss the topics that will shape the future of events, and how we can prepare for them. The rise of hybrid events and concerns around sustainability and diversity beg the question of why international events are important, how they serve to build and maintain communities and spark new ideas and innovation.
There was a palpable energy in the conference halls and evening events for what was for most people the first in person event they were able to attend since early 2020.
Meeting new people, having face to face interactions and discussions on the most important topics that will shape our industry, this is what international events are all about.
For Viparis, it was a strong message to show that it’s possible to hold successful international events: nearly 300 people chose to travel to Paris to attend, from 29 countries, mostly in Europe, and we were able to connect with meeting professionals worldwide in Cartagena, Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg, Seoul and Nagasaki.
It was a real-life experiment of what a multi-destination hybrid congress can achieve, to bring the world together. For the city and all the partners who worked on the programme, it was a chance to showcase all that makes Paris a unique and very special destination for business events: from the Art Deco convention centre to the visit of French Event Booster, the innovation acceleration platform for the events industry; from a guided tour of the city’s heritage to the newest rooftop venue facing a hydroponic urban farm; from the fun and games of the Fairground Arts Museum to the final evening at the iconic Polish embassy… Paris is always a good idea.