Tracy Halliwell: The London 2012 Olympic Games legacy

Tracy Halliwell, director of business tourism and major events at London & Partners talks to C&IT about the legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games.

London & Partners' Tracy Halliwell
London & Partners' Tracy Halliwell

The Rio 2016 Olympics are due to kick off in just a few days, four years on, what impact do you think the 2012 Games had on the capital?

I think the biggest impact of the Olympics has been the regeneration story. We’ve seen some fantastic new venues opening, including HereEast and the Copper Box, which are still being hired out for corporate events. The Games fast tracked the regeneration of London, with investment to the whole of the east including the Olympic Park and ExCeL. 

Around £6.4bn was spent on transport in the lead up to the events, which also added to the city’s incredible boost. We’ve seen 18,000 new hotel rooms opened and that growth has only boomed since, with a further 16,000 in the pipeline by 2018. What the games did was to show everyone around the world that we were creative and that Britain could successfully host events of this scale.

Has London witnessed a rise in the number of events as a result of the Olympics?

In terms of attracting major events to the city, the Olympics gave us the chance to come together, creating cross-London working groups. Since then it’s become much easier to pull the city together for big events and we’re attracting more as a result. One example is the European Society of Cardiology, which attracted more than 30,000 delegates to London and sporting events such as the European Hockey Championships.

We built numerous great sporting facilities before the Olympics, including the aquatic centre, the white water rafting centre and the velodrome. In addition to attracting big events, it means corporate companies can use these venues for teambuilding and incentive activities.

In the run up to the games we saw more sport-themed events. Since then there hasn't been a rise in sport-themed events as such, but it has opened up options for people to use these great sporting venues. 

How has the games changed London venues?

The games gave us the chance to be more creative as a city and I think that’s become a lasting legacy. It introduced the ‘pop-up’ scene to the capital in a big way and we’re still seeing that creativity and innovation increase every year, with new bars, restaurants and activities on offer. More traditional venues realised they had to break away away from their normal routine and offer something different.

It’s definitely put east London on the map as a creative region for international events. This year we’ll be celebrating the Rio Games with a screening at the Team GB FanZone at BeachEast. There’ll also be a smaller version at The Scoop at London Bridge. 

More:

GPJ to create Cisco House for Rio Olympics

Müller appoints Corporate Events for Rio Olympics engagements

Brazil: Event agencies praise Rio and Salvador

• For more in-depth features, breaking news and case studies, sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
How events can save the world

Crisis planning, sustainability, wellbeing and inclusion can cause difficulties for event organisers. So is it possible to host a truly ethical event?

Wellbeing makes 'good business sense'

Wellbeing makes 'good business sense'

Annie Metcalfe from Clear Partners says planners must adapt to the changing demands of incentive travel programmes.

Amex GBT appoints new general manager for meetings and events

Amex GBT appoints new general manager for meetings and events

Gerardo Tejado has held a number of commercial and client management roles at American Express GBT over the past 17 years.

Incentives are coming: 7 Game of Thrones-inspired destinations

Incentives are coming: 7 Game of Thrones-inspired destinations

From Croatia to Northern Ireland, the fictional land of Westeros has filming locations around the world ideal for meetings and events.

What does an HR expert look for in Best Places to Work accreditation?

What does an HR expert look for in Best Places to Work accreditation?

An independent HR consultant explains what judges are looking for in accreditation like C&IT's Best Places to Work.

Events budgets return to steady growth, Bellwether Report finds

Events budgets return to steady growth, Bellwether Report finds

UK companies increased their marketing spend in Q1 2019, in contrast to flatlining budgets at the end of last year.

'Unlocking the best parts of destinations' is key for event planners

'Unlocking the best parts of destinations' is key for event planners

Venues should use their expertise to help familiarise planners with a new destination, says panel at the C&IT Association Forum.

Case study: CoinGeekWeek conference

Case study: CoinGeekWeek conference

CoinGeek transformed The Mermaid London for its three-day conference on cryptocurrency and blockchain.

New senior account manager for Top Banana

New senior account manager for Top Banana

Natalie Benson joins from ACA Live and will work on finance, automotive and retail accounts.

Facial recognition will change the way we measure audience engagement

Facial recognition will change the way we measure audience engagement

This kind of technology could scientifically prove the value and impact of events, says Dan Broadberry from Brands at Work.

LATEST JOBS