London advised to model 2012 strategy on Manchester Commonwealth Games

Manchester's C&I success revealed at COOL conference

London 2012 Olympics
London 2012 Olympics

London must avoid focusing only on sport and consider wider opportunities for events to maximise C&I benefits from the 2012 Olympics, delegates were told today at the Commercial Opportunities from the Olympics in London (COOL) conference.

Marketing Manchester chief executive Andrew Stokes presented Manchester's 2002 Commonwealth Games a model from which lessons could be learned in the run up to 2012.

Stokes said hosting the Commonwealth Games boosted Manchester's reputation as a destination, improved its conference and hotel offering and helped attract key events after the Games such as party political conferences.

"Manchester had to look at its hotel stock and there needed to be a huge investment in hotel and conference facilities if it was to host such a major event," he said.

Hosting the Commonwealth Games enhanced Manchester's perception, with a Mori poll identifying the destination as the UK's second-most important city three months after the event.

It also resulted in visitor expenditure of £28m and 51,251 room nights with an average room rate of £96.

"In the year leading up to the Commonwealth Games, we became a centre for sporting conferences," said Stokes.

The Olympic Games should be seen as an opportunity to hold more events over a longer period, he advised: "The danger is that you only focus on the days where sports events take place and not on giving benefits to the wider community over a longer duration."


In 2002, Manchester produced a wider cultural events programme including the Culture Shock Festival, which ran for six months prior to the Commonwealth Games.

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