You think planning a sales conference at a Chicago hotel ballroom is tough, try planning the 2024 Summer Olympics. The games stretch from July 26 to Aug. 11. To be closely followed by the Paralympics from Aug. 28-Sept. 8.

The Olympics opening ceremony, for the first time in the history of the summer games, will not take place in a stadium, but will see 10,500 athletes from 205 international delegations glide along Paris’ River Seine on more than 80 boats as the sun sets. The spectacle will last more than four hours. Security will be massive.

woman wearing light and dark brown patterned shirt
Catherine Chaulet

“Meeting planners can actually appreciate the organizational strengths of the Olympic Games, seeing how everything is organized in a way that ensures security measures are in place,” says Catherine Chaulet, president and CEO of Global DMC Partners, based in Washington, D.C., and serving more 500 locations worldwide.

As a group magnet or deterrent, the ripple effect of the games is enormous, Chaulet observes, with some planners and their groups avoiding Paris during the competitions “because of the logistics around them, as well as some cost elements.” She notes that the group footprint in the City of Light normally tends to be lighter at this time of the year anyway, because it’s peak tourist season.

Yet many groups are heading straight for Paris this summer, especially Olympics-sponsoring companies or partnering organizations.

Read More: 4 Lessons for Planners From the 2026 Rio Olympics

Chaulet is confident that, even if there is some disruption in the availability and pricing of airlift and hotel rooms in Western Europe due to the Games—not only in Paris but also in other destinations that might see more visitors in lieu of the French capital—the meetings options in Paris will only be better going forward.

“There has been a big investment in infrastructure development for the Games, so that allows meeting planners to have access in the future to the venues that have been built,” she says. “Also, some logistics that have been implemented that facilitate transfer, for instance, from Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to the city center.”

But perhaps some of the biggest winners in France from the games’ impact on future group gatherings lie beyond Paris itself. Several Olympic events will occur in the outskirts beyond Paris and elsewhere in the country. “Just outside of Paris,” Chaulet continues, “there are opportunities meeting planners are not always looking at. And now they’ll see how easily accessible these are—you know, half an hour from Paris.”

Lesser-known French cities may benefit even more from the worldwide exposure. Marseille is hosting sailing events as well as soccer matches. Bordeaux Stadium, in the country’s wine capital, will host other soccer contests and showcase its solar panel-covered roof and system of rainwater catchment for irrigation. Nice and Lyon are also hosting soccer matches. Villeneuve-d’Ascq, about an hour from Paris, will see the handball contests.

Even French Polynesia will share in the media glare. Surfing events take place in Tahiti, at Teahupoo, where there’s a fabled surf break.

Read More: What Business Events Can Learn From the Olympic and Paralympic Games

Is it too late to plan something at the Games? “There is actually a trend right now, where some of the hotel rates are going down,” Chaulet says. “Occupancy is maybe not as high as expected. So, I would recommend to meeting planners to look at Paris, especially toward the end of the Games, and they may be able to find some interesting deals. Our industry is so last-minute now.”

Another pro tip from Chaulet: “We don’t speak enough about the Paralympic games that are after the Olympic Games. Generally, prices go down dramatically. And it’s a fantastic event.”

Oh, and Chaulet says maybe bring your bathing suit. The native Parisian grew up picnicking and relaxing on the banks of the Seine but has never dipped more than a toe in it. $1.5 billion has been spent by the government to clean it up, in hopes of staging the Games’ swimming events in its waters.

“Will it happen? I’m still waiting to see,” she says. “I mean, the mayor of Paris is saying it might be possible. But I will make sure of that before I jump in.”