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FISU President George E. Killian opened the 1st City Events Conference in Brussels which FISU co-hosts with GL Events and with the support of TSE Consulting. City Events is the first international conference that brings together cities interested in hosting international sporting competitions as well as international and continental sports organisations looking for ambitious hosts for their events. Over 61 nationalities are represented at this first edition - bringing together a worldwide collection of ambitious host cities.
This year's conference theme 'From Sport Event to Citywide Experience' aims at strengthening the bond among all these stakeholders to create events that are much more than just sporting competitions, but which are for the benefit of all.Speakers at the opening also were Jacques Danger, co-founder of City Events and the Alderman of Sports of the city of Brussels Bertin Mampaka.
After the welcome speeches the first plenary session kicked-off focusing on 'the Venues'. Tom Dielen, FITA Secretary-General gave an insight in how FITA uses the city as 'the venue' for the Archery World Cup and raises both attention and revenue by rethinking the concept of venues and event organization. Rucheng Xie, Director of Venue Management for the 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China offered insight on the way of how reinventing sport infrastructure can improve overall presentation and entertainment. Mr. Xie gave the audience an overview of the top-notch venues that are being built for the event. Mr. Henk Stokhof, Director of Sports of the City of Amsterdam explained how a host can use an event to truly develop the city as a venue. Together with the attendants he explored ways to add value for events and host cities by looking outside the traditional venues and letting the city become a real venue.
After the coffee break two parallel sessions were held. In Session A 'Existing Venues' the panel of speakers looked into how a city can creatively adjust or refurbish its existing venues in a way that can attract and involve a larger audience. The speakers shared case studies from Istanbul (TUR), Berlin (GER) and Shenzhen (CHN). In Session B 'New Venues', the panel looked into how creative places have designed temporary venues that change the way sports events are brought to their audiences. Case studies were shared by representatives of Amsterdam (NED), Sport Events Denmark, FITA and FIBA.
The second day of the Conference will focus on 'the people' and 'the funds'.