Olympics should raise London's profile as an event venue

London being chosen to host the 2012 Olympic Games, should raise its profile among businesses searching for event venues.

During the International Special Events Society (ISES) forum, some senior figures within the industry expressed concerns about London’s ability to host large events.

Mike Kershaw, MD of Concerto Group told the group that not enough was being done to promote events in London. He is cited in Meetpie as saying: “We’re not making people understand events are incredibly good things for the economy as a whole.”

The meeting between the ISES and the London Mayor’s office was held to discuss the city’s position as a centre of excellence for hosting major business events.

President-elect of ISES Richard Foulkes, said he did not believe enough was done to promote the London 2012 Games at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, this year.

Dan Ritterband, director of marketing for the Mayor of London, explained: “Visit London gets £14m from the chancellor of the exchequer in comparison to Visit Scotland which gets £40m. The Olympics are a great opportunity to position ourselves in people’s mind.

“Research we’ve done in emerging markets show that people still think we all ride Penny Farthings and have Monocles! What we have to do is make people come and see the city and see we’re getting ready for the Games. During that build up is the time to showcase stuff,” he added.

However, it would appear that being the city chosen to host the Games has had some good influence. Amanda Jobbins, vice president of European Marketing at Cisco admitted the lure of the Olympics was enough to make her company host its annual Cisco Live event in London for the next two years.

“We will be taking people to see the Olympic facilities; it’s very exciting,” she said.