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Paris| Exhibition World32| April 2011| Understandably, Paris is a premium destination.With a global reputation as one of the mostbeautiful cities in the world, the city's maincompetitors are traditionally other destinations incontinental Europe including Barcelona and Madrid. Now,with the recession behind it, Paris is striving to compete inan increasingly global market.The city hosts an average of 450 shows annually, whichattract a combined nine million visitors and 100,000exhibitors. It boasts 600,000sqm of covered expo spacedivided among 15 venues. The three major venues are ParisNord Villepinte (245,000sqm), Paris Expo Porte de Versailles(226,000sqm), and Paris le Bourget (80,000sqm). Thesenumbers don't take into consideration the museums, castlesand other unique historical attractions that add incentives orextra-curricular appeal to a business visit.Being at the heart of Europe makes it a heavilyconnected city as well, with daily direct flight connectionsto North and South America, the Middle East and Russia."Everybody loves Paris and this is what makes organisingan exhibition in Paris so magic," said Florent Latarjet, deputydirector of the city's promotional body Viparis. With such anarray of sites, it's a wonder any business gets done.However, as home to La Défense, the second-largestEuropean financial centre, it's no slouch. And with Viparistasked with promoting the top 10 event venues, Latarjethopes to see the city's international reputation for workbalance out with that for play."An important investment programme was created and isstill being carried out to upgrade some venues and providemore services to organisers and customers," he said. "Thiswill enhance the experience of visitors and exhibitors."Renovations include an additional 37,000sqm hall atParis Nord Villepoint bringing the total venue space toTHE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NETWorking in ParisEWlooks at Paris' position in an increasingly global marketplace.245,000sqm, and an extensive makeover for the CNITexhibition and convention centre at La Défense, making ita premium location for exhibitions up to 10,000sqm."Paris offers all the ingredients that help organisersmaximise the success of their shows. It is a destinationoffering a mix of pleasure and business," Latarjet said."This is why participation is often high."According to Latarjet, Viparis' goals are twofold:"Maintaining a strong market share in the exhibitionindustry and gaining new international events. Also,investing in venues and new services. As we have a strongposition in the French exhibition industry, this is our duty todeliver high-quality service especially to visitors who arethe customers of our customers."Although Latarjet is not in a position to give an objectiveview of Paris' pros and cons, he does say that the city hastwo hurdles to overcome on its way to exhibitionoptimisation: Reputation and availability.As it is, Paris' venues are so often full that new events canhave a hard time finding slots. This can be a pain not onlyfor organisers trying to break into the French market butalso local companies trying to expand.Although France has one of the highest qualities of life ofany country, frequent industrial action sheds an unflatteringlight. Latarjet expressed concern that France is perceivedas work-averse, although he said it's an unfair judgement."Strikes are a European problem in those times as wecould see some demonstrations in many countries. Therecent French strikes, over-broadcast by the media didn'thave a major impact on exhibitions that were held inOctober. The minimum service that is in place since a fewyears ago prevents us from having situations where there isno transport at all and enables everyone to take somedispositions and to plan things. However, it had an impacton people's perceptions about France."While the city's venue saturation might be fodder for thosewho say the European market is levelling off, its imageendures as a capital of business, culture and quality of life.Viparis VenuesParis expo Porte de VersaillesCarrousel du LouvreParis Nord VillepinteLe Palais des Congrès de ParisCnit Paris La DéfenseLe Palais des Congrès de VersaillesEspace Grande ArcheCNIT Paris La Défense

Paris, a world class destination for all your eventsAre you organising a conference, exhibition or event? Choose an extraordinary venue - Paris, international hub, decision-making centre, and capital of culture and leisure.Ten prestigious sites await you at the heart of the French capital:Paris expo Porte de Versailles - Paris Nord Villepinte - Le Palais des Congrès de Paris - Paris Le Bourget - Espace Champerret - Cnit Paris La Défense - Espace Grande Arche - Carrousel du Louvre - Palais des Congrès de Versailles - Palais des Congrès d'IssyFor a specially tailored welcome, Viparis and its partners offer the Welcome Pack, a free, turnkey solution provided in airports, train stations and at our sites to welcome your participants on their arrival in Paris.VENUESINPARIS.COMWelcoming outstanding events to ParisCrédits photos : Corbis/Getty Images.+33 (0)1 40 68 22 22 -