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
BeSixth hires head of global strategic partnerships

BeSixth hires head of global strategic partnerships

The recently-launched event agency's new appointment will be based in the Los Angeles office.

What's happening at Italy at Hand, The Event, 2019 in Rome this year.

Case study: Australasian Animal Studies Association Conference

Case study: Australasian Animal Studies Association Conference

The conference in Christchurch, New Zealand focused on indigenous attitudes towards human-animal relations.

First look: The Eastside Rooms in Birmingham to open in 2020

First look: The Eastside Rooms in Birmingham to open in 2020

Opening spring next year, the new venue will house a 195-room hotel and large banqueting room.

An introvert's guide to networking in four easy steps

An introvert's guide to networking in four easy steps

From icebreaker questions to standing out in a crowd, one event planner offers tips for connecting in a roomful of strangers.

BCD Meetings & Events appoints new country director in China

BCD Meetings & Events appoints new country director in China

New Shanghai-based country director joins BCD M&E after recent roles with Uniplan and Pico.

How do you win a C&IT Award?

How do you win a C&IT Award?

Award winner-turned-judge explains what the panel was looking for in this year's entries and how accolades affect agency life.

4 things event tech fans should be excited about

4 things event tech fans should be excited about

The good folk of Clive show us some of the latest developments that have caught their attention.

TAG opens new office in Hong Kong

TAG opens new office in Hong Kong

The travel and event management company expands its reach in Asia and now has ten offices worldwide.

Gray Dawes Group acquires Amber Road Travel

Gray Dawes Group acquires Amber Road Travel

Travel management specialist boosts its presence in the north of England and will exceed £200m turnover.

LATEST JOBS