LA vs. Paris: Which Olympic City Wins for Meetings?

The International Olympic Committee made a historical announcement on July 11 in Lausanne, Switzerland, with the unanimous decision to award the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympic Games simultaneously to Los Angeles and Paris, which each made strong pitches during the bidding process. The city to go first will be determined at a later date.

The Olympics is essentially one of the largest meetings on earth. It brings together athletes, fans, broadcasters, organizers and volunteers from every continent except Antarctica.

What makes The City of Angels and The City of Lights such great host cities? It’s a level playing field when it comes to language. The official languages of the Olympic movement are English and French. According to the International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) 2016 rankings, the number- one city for international association meetings is Paris. However, the United States took home the most gold during the last summer games, in 2012 (France was only a few spots behind, in fourth place).

Other considerations:

Los Angeles

Los Angeles successfully hosted the Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984. The Southern California city is ready to take on its third Olympiad by utilizing pre-existing venues.

The Athlete Village will be on the UCLA campus, which has several venues for meetings. The Luskin Conference Center is the university’s newest event space. Open since 2016, it has 25,000 sq. ft. of conference space, 254 guest rooms, a restaurant and underground parking.

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JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live in downtown L.A. is close to the Los Angeles Coliseum, where the opening and closing ceremonies will take place for the third time in history. It’s also walking distance to Staples Center, home of the basketball competition, and the Los Angeles Convention Center, which will welcome athletes from the sports of fencing, taekwondo, table tennis and boxing. The JW Marriott has 76,687 sq. ft. of event space, 14 event rooms and 35 breakout rooms all under one roof.

Paris

Paris also hosted the Olympics twice previously, but it’s been a long time. Games were last held there in 1924, and before that in 1900. Yet France is deep in Olympic history. Paris was the original home of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters, until it relocated to Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1915.

Paris proposes that all Olympic action take place in two zones—central Paris with its historical backdrop and metropolitan Paris. There are 90,000 hotel rooms within roughly six miles of these two areas. The city boasts of the world’s best public transportation system to get people from destination to destination. Paris also emphasizes that 95 percent of the sporting venues already exist or will be temporary. Only two sites will be newly constructed.

Some of the attractions along the Seine river’s Olympic Trail are the Champ-de-Mars (at the foot of the Eiffel Tower), Parc de la Villette, La Defense and Chateau de Versailles, where the equestrian events will take place. Café de l’Homme will be at the center of much of the action and very close to the beach volleyball competition.

The restaurant is available for complete and partial rentals for up to 400 guests in its dining room, mezzanine and terrace. It provides the perfect setting for press conferences, seminars, product launches, breakfast meetings, lunches, business dinners and cocktail receptions with unobstructed views of the Eiffel Tower and Champ-de-Mars.

The gilded Palace of Versailles also offers extensive event space in The Gallery of Great Battles, The Crusades Room, The Orangery, Le Salon D’Hercule, Le Vestibule Haut de la Chapelle, La Galerie Basse, The Cotelle Gallery and Royal Opera House. Meeting professionals can book dinners, cocktail parties, performances and more for groups of up to 2,500.

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