60 seconds with...Michel Dessolain, CEO of Viparis

C&IT caught up with Viparis' CEO Michel Dessolain as he presented the plans for the new Paris Convention Centre at an event held at Le Pavillon de l'Arsenal in Paris last night.

Michel Dessolain, Viparis' CEO
Michel Dessolain, Viparis' CEO

Why did you decide to build the new Paris Convention Centre at Paris expo Porte de Versailles?

Before this, we didn’t have the capacity to bring in the biggest international exhibitions and conferences with 25,000 to 30,000 delegates attending. Large exhibitions would go to the UK or Barcelona. But this new building will revolutionise Paris as a leader in the international conference market.  

What will the renovation involve?

There will be a ten-year programme of works starting this year, but it will not interrupt day-to-day operations. The  actual structure is scheduled for completion in 2017 and will host its first conference in March 2018. We’ve already started taking bookings now. The structure will be 72,000sqm in size with a main conference room that can accommodate up to 5,200 people.

 What will make the Paris Convention Centre stand out?

The convention centre is unique as the large conference rooms will be on the third floor, offering great views out over Paris. Unlike most convention centres, the Paris Convention Centre will also be in the centre of the city instead of on the outskirts. This means there will be great transport links and a Metro right outside. Its main conference room will be the largest of its kind in the whole of Europe.  


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