Events industry must start planning now for Olympic legacy

Event venues must begin planning for the Olympics now, if they are to see a long-term benefit from the games, according to one industry expert.

Dan Hawthorn, head of the London 2012 Unit for the Greater London Authority urged the event industry to plan ahead enabling them to see a ‘lasting impact’ from the global sporting occasion. Speaking at the Grass Roots Meetings Industry Forum in London last week, Hawthorn said that event managers must work hard now to promote their event spaces in a competitive arena.

London function venues could see the biggest impact from the games, with Hawthorn encouraging such establishments to ”grab the opportunity with both hands” and saying ”The message I want to give you is start planning now for how to turn this into something that has a lasting impact on your industry and the whole of the city.”

Former triple jump gold medallist, Jonathan Edwards also encouraged Londoners and local businesses to ride on the success of the games, saying to the Wimbledon Guardian, ”We are committed to ensuring that all communities across London know about London 2012-related opportunities and feel they can get involved.”

Cited in Meetpie, Mr Hawthorn answered critics of the games impact on the tourism and event industry, saying: ”People were not confident we could pull off the construction work but we are on time and on budget.”

Spurred on by the expert’s views, many venues in the capital are planning Olympic-themed parties and conferences to place their locations at the forefront of the Olympic event scene.