Marseille has recently made headlines with its remarkable ascent in the ICCA rankings, a widely recognized barometer for eval- uating cities’ performance as international meeting destinations. Surging from 142nd place in 2012 to its current 43rd position, Marseille now stands as France’s third-largest city for international conferences. This achievement underscores the city’s dynamic spirit and its unwavering dedication to attracting and supporting international gatherings. Collaboration between local authorities and event industry professionals has yielded innovative solutions that cater to the diverse needs of organizers and participants.
To accommodate the growing demand for international con- ferences, Marseille’s infrastructure is rapidly expanding. Venues such as the Palais du Pharo, Marseille Chanot, World Trade Center Marseille Provence, and Aix-en-Provence’s conference centre have emerged as top choices for hosting events. These modern, well-equipped spaces offer tailor-made facilities to accommodate conferences and provide exceptional event experiences. Worth noting is that Marseille is the leading city in France in terms of the percentage of hotels holding the Green Key label: 30% of the hotel inventory and 70% of 4 and 5-star hotels. Meanwhile, nature is just a stone’s throw away, thanks to the stunning Calan- ques National Park, offering an idyllic playground for post-con- ference relaxation and enjoyment.
THE CASE OF ESMINT
ESMINT, the European Society of Minimally Invasive Neurolog- ical Therapy, annually hosts a prominent event that serves as a vital platform for medical practitioners and scientists specializing in various neurointerventional fields. The 15th ESMINT Congress was held in Marseille at Palais du Pharo in September and brought together a record number of 1315 delegates. It aimed to foster inter- disciplinary discussions among professionals in neuroradiology, interventional neuroradiology, neurointerventional surgery, end- ovascular neurosurgery, and vascular neurology.
President Prof. Paolo Machi expressed his excitement about the event’s relocation to Marseille, emphasizing the fresh energy it brought to the research community. The congress featured cutting-edge plenary sessions, clinical research findings, case presentations, and discussions on topics ranging from robotics and artificial intelligence to regulatory aspects of device devel- opment. Collaboration with sister societies, interactive sessions, morbi-mortality discussions, educational activities, and a vibrant social program added to the event’s richness.
He added, “The annual ESMINT Congress is one of the most impor- tant events in our specialty held around the world. As the host city for our event, Marseille provided the ideal setting not only for knowledge exchange, but also an exciting social program with plenty of opportu- nities in stunning locations.”
Nisan Bartov from CONGREX, the PCO that organized the event, lauded Marseille as an ideal conference destination. He cited the city’s outstanding congress venue, easy accessibility to hotels and restaurants, and the proactive support from Marseille Convention Bureau as key factors contributing to its appeal.
“Marseille Convention Bureau offered comprehensive assistance to us as the organizers, including introductions to suppliers, support during nego- tiations, timely problem-solving, a crucial grasp of local perspectives, and the translation of our international requirements, greatly simplifying the entire congress organization process – and its success,” he concluded.