It’s hard not to conjure up clichés when it comes to organising a conference in Paris. The ‘City of Light’, as it is often referred to, is one of the international meeting capitals par excellence, drawing thousands of tourists and delegates from around the world every year. A glorious city renowned for its historical heritage, awe-inspiring architecture and café culture, among many more attractions, it is also where things can get big, as they will for the European Cardiology Congress which will be held in conjunction with the World Congress of Cardiology this summer.
The numbers speak for themselves.As Europe’s preeminent healthcare and life sciences region, the Paris area hosts a multitude of research institutes, international corporations and pharmaceutical laboratories. 1,000+ life sciences organizations, 300+pharmaceutical companies, 200+biotech companies, and360+ medical technology companies… the list can go on and on. Home to Europe’s largest hospital networkand Europe’s largest hospital, the Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris and its surrounding region are a world-class research centre, with 11,800 life sciences researchers andglobally renowned institutions like the Pasteur Institute, Curie Institute, the Gustave Roussy cancer research centre, or INSERM (the French institute of health and medical research).
In this context, it’s only fitting that Paris will play host for the world’s largest cardiology congress in August 2019 because it’s a major player in the field, with a strong network of scientists, partners and collaborators, and literally dozens of research centres across the Ile-de-France region. Jointly organized by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the World Heart Federation (WHF), it willpromote excellence in cardiology research in Europe and the world at large and facilitate the exchange of knowledge – in this regard, Paris seems to be the ideal place to do so.
“It is definitely a big responsibility to organise the world’s largest cardiology congress!” says Isabel Bardinet CEO of the ESC. “Clinicians and scientists will come from all over the world to learn about the latest science, innovation and research in cardiology. We expect more than 30,000 delegates to attend more than 500 sessions during the five-day conference – and there is a lot at stake, as the main spotlight for this year’s conference will be on Global Cardiovascular Health.”
The ESC decided on this theme because cardiovascular health is becoming a major concern not only in Europe but across the world. Ischaemic heart disease and stroke are the world’s biggest killers and have remained the leading causes of death globally in the last fifteen years. Reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease is a common goal for the ESC and the WHF, so it seemed like the perfect topic for this joint congress. “During ESC Congress, we will also offer several sessions and specific activities like its Meet & Share Forum bringing together experts from many international foundations and societies to identify specific challenges and discuss solutions,”adds Bardinet.
Paris has been extremely active in promoting healthier lifestyles. In 2015 the city launched an ambitious Health Plan that includes promoting physical activity and reducing air pollution, two prevention topics strongly connected to cardiovascular health. “At the Congress, we will launch a new project called Heart Healthy cities,” says Bardinet “It aims to provide elected officials with scientific evidence on the link between the urban environment and cardiovascular diseases and support the promotion of measures to reduce the social and economic impact of cardiovascular diseases. The City of Paris has welcomed this initiative, that we hope to continue in other cities where ESC Congress will be held in the future.”
The Project has clearly been designed as a legacy programme. The Congress is set to have an impact not only on the people attending the event but also the community at large.“Heart Healthy Cities will support the existing policies put in place by Paris’ Mayor Anne Hidalgo and help promote healthy lifestyles among citizens,” comments Isabel Bardinet. “The ESC in collaboration with the Société Française de Cardiologie is also organising a public event over the weekend to give Parisians practical advice on how to look after their hearts.”
It is actually not the first time the ESC has chosen Paris to host the event,“but it will be the first ESC Congress to be held at the Paris Convention Centre – Europe’s largest conference venue”says Bardinet. “And we are very excited to welcome our delegates in this newly designed venue in the heart of the capital.”
As a conference destination, Paris offers many advantages. It is served by extensive public transport links and Paris airports can be reached in less than three hours from every European capital, which is a great asset for delegates. “You can imagine that bringing 30,000 people into a city implies a huge logistical challenge,” concludes Bardinet. “Our needs include ensuring hotel capacity for our delegates, collaboration from transportation authorities to help visitors move around town, security issues, working with airlines and much more. We ‘implant’ a mid-sized town for five days into a major city with all that this may mean, and Paris, all across its suppliers’ chain, starting with the Convention Bureau, has been incredibly supportive.”
This article was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Remi Deve. The right to use, part or all of it in subsequent works has to be granted by the Publisher.