Paris 2024 Olympics: a new era for the MICE industry

The Paris 2024 Olympics MICE industry benefits

As it gears up to host the 2024 Olympics, the City of Light is shining brighter than ever.

As Audrey Hepburn once said, “Paris is always a good idea,” but don’t let its timeless allure deceive you. With the 2024 Olympic Games on the horizon, Paris is embracing change, reinventing itself and welcoming new opportunities for the Meetings, Paris Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) industry. It’s not just the Eiffel Tower that now sparkles; beloved venues like the Grand Palais have undergone restoration work with brickwork cleaned until it glimmers, areas in Paris have been rejuvenated and new, sustainable, ways to travel around the city created.

We took a recent trip as guests of Paris je t’aime to discover what’s new and also to understand the Paris 2024 Olympics MICE industry benefits and how the legacy of the 2024 Olympics Games is opening up new opportunities for the MICE industry. Read on to discover why there’s never been a better time to choose Paris to host your events. Let’s explore how the City of Light is gearing up to shine even brighter.

Paris 2024: a spectacular waterborne opening and sustainable legacy

The grand opening ceremony planned for July 26 promises a spectacular waterborne extravaganza. Picture this: over 10,000 athletes and national officials gracefully sailing down the Seine aboard 160-plus open-topped boats, while a mesmerised audience of 300,000 spectators lines the river banks to witness this awe-inspiring spectacle. But that’s just the beginning.

Throughout the Olympic Games, the Seine will transform into a dynamic arena for various sporting events, including marathon swimming, triathlon and para triathlon. The river will pulsate with the energy of competition, further igniting the Olympic spirit.

Yet, the Paris 2024 Olympics MICE industry benefits and the legacy of these events extends far beyond the Games themselves. Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, unveiled plans to create three new areas along the Seine—Bras Marie, Grenelle, and Bercy—dedicated to river recreation. These designated swimming spots, marked by buoys and accessible via pontoon, will offer amenities such as changing facilities, showers, and storage areas on the quays.

In an era of rising temperatures and urbanisation, the initiative to promote urban water swimming is both visionary and commendable. Considering that bathing in the Seine has been banned for a century, the realisation of this ambitious goal would indeed mark a triumphant moment for the French and inspiration for cities all around the world.

Unveiling Paris’s underground: a unique journey through the sewer system

Addressing one of Paris’s most significant environmental challenges involves tackling the issue of wastewater, stemming from both domestic and industrial sources. This necessitates substantial investments in the city’s sewer infrastructure to ensure effective management.

Curious to learn more, I embarked on a journey below ground to visit The Paris Sewer Museum to see the intricate workings of the city’s sewage system. While exploring the depths of the city may not be the typical tourist activity, it offers what can only be described as a truly unparalleled and memorable experience.

The tour takes visitors through the actual sewer system, navigating along an open yet safely netted-over working sewer main. Illuminated side passages reveal the intricate network beneath the streets, with each thoroughfare in Paris boasting its corresponding sewer.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering about the, ahem, olfactory aspect of such an expedition. Yes, there are moments when the distinct aroma of the sewers permeates the air. But to be honest it was nothing unbearable (thankfully the raw sewerage is transported in fully enclosed pipes). So, while not your conventional Parisian escapade, a visit to The Paris Sewer Museum promises an unparalled and memorable sensory experience.

Revitalising the riverfront: exciting developments along the Seine

Amidst the flowing waters of the Seine, a wave of new developments emerges. At the heart of Paris stands the iconic Pont Alexandre III, a majestic bridge that links the city’s two banks and is adorned with timeless monuments. During the Paris 2024 Games, this architectural gem will serve as the backdrop for several events.

Nestled within this historic bridge lies The Bridge, a remarkable hybrid venue spanning over 1100 m² of adaptable space. Boasting three modular areas, including riverside terraces offering breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower, this venue is a testament to versatility. With a capacity to accommodate up to 1100, its two main arches provide an ideal setting for grand events, ranging from prestigious press days to captivating fashion shows.

Embracing freedom: Quai Liberte’s unique concept and social mission

Nestled further along the Seine, you’ll find Quai Liberte, a unique floating restaurant situated on the former barge Thalassa, offering panoramic views of the Statue of Liberty. Embodying the spirit of freedom, Quai Liberte is more than just a dining destination—it’s a beacon of hope. Through its partnership with Wake up Café, the venue supports prisoners transitioning back into society by providing them with opportunities for sustainable reintegration and training for hospitality roles. By choosing to host your event here, you contribute to this worthy cause.

Indulge in a culinary experience crafted from fresh seasonal produce, complemented by a 1000m2 guinguette (reminiscent of an open-air bar) serving delectable street food, beers and cocktails during the summer months. With a capacity for 80 covers and versatile meeting spaces, Quai Liberte offers a perfect blend of gastronomic delights and meaningful impact.

A sustainable revolution and historic venue showcase

The river is just one aspect of how the 2024 Games are propelling Paris towards a green revolution, with a commitment to hosting the most sustainable Olympics to date. Paris aims to achieve this by utilising existing structures or temporary venues in the heart of the city for many events. Imagine beach volleyball set against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower, or the adrenaline-fueled BMX freestyle and skateboarding competitions at Place de la Concorde, making these sports must-watch events.

For prime viewing of these thrilling activities, there’s no better vantage point than the imposing balconies of Hôtel de la Marine. Recently reopened after a €132 million restoration project, this historic landmark, designed in 1758 by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, has a storied past. From serving as the Crown’s furniture storage unit to housing the headquarters of the French navy for over 200 years, it has witnessed pivotal moments in history, including the theft of the Crown Jewels during the Revolution in 1792 and the signing of the decree abolishing slavery in France and its colonies in 1848. With approximately half of its 12,000 sq. m site available for events, including a heated interior courtyard with a stunning glass roof, ceremonial salons adorned with gilded ceilings and hanging chandeliers, and three smaller salons, Hôtel de la Marine offers a majestic setting for unforgettable occasions.

Maxim’s reimagined: a blend of timeless elegance and modern cuisine

Another milestone in the history of a Parisian icon comes in the recent makeover of Maxim’s restaurant, marking a new chapter in its illustrious history. Throughout the years, Maxim’s has welcomed an array of luminaries, from Proust and Piaf to Cocteau and Greta Garbo, alongside modern icons like Bing Crosby, Gainsbourg and Birkin. In 2023, the restaurant was reborn, maintaining its exquisite Art Nouveau decor adorned with timeless features such as frescoes, bronze foliage, and stained glass, while introducing a culinary evolution. Talented chefs now offer a tantalising blend of French classics infused with contemporary flair. With live jazz performances on the lower level and elegant salons on the first and second floors, Maxim’s has become a quintessential venue for cocktail receptions and exclusive corporate gatherings. During Paris Fashion Week, it becomes the epitome of glamour, serving signature cocktails with names like “The Streisand,” providing a new playground for the city’s elite.

Transforming spaces: innovation in industrial event venues and urban development

The initiative to repurpose existing structures extends to the creation of innovative industrial event spaces. The RATP Group, a state-owned public transport operator, has identified underutilised industrial buildings with immense potential in their property portfolio, transforming them into versatile venues for events and coworking.

Urban Station, situated in the 10th arrondissement near Notre Dame, once a power station, exemplifies this approach among over 100 similar venues to follow, including former bus depots and maintenance workshops. These spaces offer a unique blend of industrial charm and urban design, addressing contemporary urban challenges such as density and climate pressures.

Paris 2024 also unveils new areas ripe for exploration and development. Saint-Ouen emerges as a hub, hosting over 14,000 athletes as part of the Olympic Village, with plans for social housing and modern office spaces to leave a lasting legacy. Additionally, the northern outskirts of Saint-Denis boast the only new venue, Centre Aquatine Olympique, a cutting-edge swimming venue linked by a footbridge to the Stade de France. Improved transport infrastructure, including REN and Metro lines, seamlessly connects these areas to the heart of Paris, enhancing accessibility for residents and visitors alike.

Exploring Paris: sustainable transportation options

Discovering Paris on foot is undeniably one of life’s pleasures. However, with the addition of 400km of new bike lanes, Paris has transformed into a cyclist’s paradise. Whether on foot or on wheels, exploring the city’s iconic streets and landmarks has never been more enjoyable. For those seeking a unique group experience, fully electric Toot buses are available for hire, offering optional servings of champagne and macarons as you toast the breathtaking views of Paris. Additionally, travellers from the UK will find it exceptionally convenient to journey sustainably to Paris via Eurostar, who will be playing their part in Paris 2024 by ferrying teams from Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Brussels directly to the Games.

Interested in learning more about the Paris 2024 Olympics MICE industry benefits and about hosting events in Paris? Reach out to the Evolve Events team today to start a conversation about creating memorable and sustainable experiences. And if you’re looking for some inspiration then discover some of our favourite sustainable destinations for events. Together, let’s shape the future of events.

TEL : 020 7610 2808 – EMAIL :