Impact of the Olympics on London Event Venues

Olympic Stadium, London 2012 OlympicsLast week Cvent's Event Blog showcased some of the event venues in cities that have hosted the Olympics. As Beijing has discovered, the transition from Olympic to post Olympic use isn't always easy.

According to the Financial Review's report, London's Olympics venues: Now you see them now you don't, London did not want to end up with white elephants. For this reason, London has taken  a very careful and strategic approach to infrastructure development and legacy planning for the long term use of  the 2012 Olympics events venues.

Careful planning has incorporated the effective use of pre-existing event venues. Olympics events are being held at venues outside London and at about 13 London venues including Horse Guards Parade, Wimbledon, Wembley Stadium, Wembley Arena and Greenwich Park.

Olympic Stadium, the Aquatics Centre, the BMX track and Velodrome are among the venues that have been constructed at Olympic Park in Stratford, just east of London .

Olympic Park, Londeon 2012 Olympics

London 2012 Olympics: Legacy Planning for Event Venues

The official London 2012 website, the Financial Review report and London Info. Guide provide excellent overviews of Olympics event venues, and how they will eventually be utilized.

  • Olympic Stadium: Ownership will be transferred to West Ham United. The stadium has been constructed so that the top tiers can be removed to reduce capacity from 80,000 to 20,000.
  • Basketball Stadium: This temporary facility is likely to be shipped to Brazil for use during the 2016 Olympics
  • Aquatics Centre: This venue will continue to be used after the Olympics. It has been designed so that seating in the wings can be removed to reduce capacity.
  • Olympic Athletes Village: London Info. Guide reports that, after the Olympics, the accommodation for the athletes will be converted into about 3,000 residences for the local community 

Impact of the Olympics on the Hotel Sector

Two benefits that Olympics host cities hope to realize are:

  • an increase in tourism during the Olympics
  • a heightened awareness of the destination leading to an increase in leisure and business travel after the Olympics

London is well on its way towards achieving both objectives.

The 2012 London Venues Business Report recently released by Westminster Collection (TWC) and Custard Communications had some significant highlights. London hotels have booked £17.42-million worth of business for the Olympics.

Of the 100 event venues surveyed:

  • 31% have experienced a increase in revenue during the May – July period
  • 48% are reporting an increase in business for the upcoming September - December period.
  • 87% of respondents were optimistic concerning the long-term impact of the Olympics on London event venues

According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the London hotel sector is highly profitable:

"The luxury hotel market in London has grown 33% since the Games were announced "

With careful planning, host cities for the Olympics and major exhibitions and expositions (e.g. the World's Fair) can benefit from new and expanded hotels, event and meeting venues. With the right strategy in place, this can increase the attractiveness of a destination for sporting events, conferences, business meetings and corporate events.

Photo Credits: Government Olympic Communications

To learn more about meeting planning in London, go the Cvent Destination Guide.

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