On October 21 – 22 Moscow hosted inaugural World Olympians Forum, organized by World Olympians Association in partnership with the Russian Olympic Committee. The Forum becanu historically significant event – the first time in the history of the Olympic movement, the venue gathered Olympians from all over the world to exchange experiences, discuss most important issues and take a common stand for topical concerns.
The Forum whipped up representatives of National Olympic Associations from 120 countries, celebrity sportsmen, social and politic activists, as well as high-ranking leaders of the Olympic movement, among which were IOC Presiden Thomas Bach, ANOC President, His Highness Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, WOA President Joël Bouzou, WOA Patron and IOC Member HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, ROC President Aleksander Zhukov.
Vladimir Putin spoke at the opening ceremony of the World Olympians Forum, which is being held by the World Olympians Association. In his speech he marked the role of Olympians and Olympic ideals in the modern world – respect to the foreign culture, dedication their lives to public, state or political activities and becoming true ambassadors for peace. The Head of the State also emphasized that Olympic movement is fully in keeping with Russian priorities and principles and “We adhere faithfully to the Olympic Charter, which states directly that sportspeople must not be used for political goals. We consistently support the idea that sport is outside politics”.
“Proxy Centre” company was chosen as an operator of the Forum and responsible for coordination of the preparation and carrying-out processes. “We highly appreciate the confidence of the Russian Olympic Committee to us in organization of such prominent event” – tells Director General Sergey Lazutkin, - “We brought into action our best practices and experience in organizing events of national and international level”.
The preparation started in the end of July, 2015. We have elaborated specially-tailored online registration portal in 5 languages, where guests were able to fill in their personal details, leave preferences on complimentary services, such as air tickets and accommodation and inquire for visa telex number. Our Delegate-managers were dealing with international and Russian participants, providing informational, logistic and informational support, delivering complimentary tickets, VIP halls, assisting in accommodation reservation. They also were meeting and greeting guests in Moscow. Within the frames of informational support our specialists delivered WOF Guide for participants (main logistic letter) and WOF Handbook, where attendees were able to find all the necessary information about the Forum and their stay in Moscow.
Technical management department monitored available venues, most suitable for the event. Finally, the Ritz Carlton, Moscow hotel was chosen as the venue. Our specialists delivered venue plan, which included the format and the programme and important protocol issues connected with participation of the Chief Executive and high ranking leaders. We fully set up the venue, consisting of the working areas, coffee-break zones, press centre, plenary hall with presidium. Besides, the venue was decorated with banners and floral compositions, performed in line with the WOF corporate identity. Catering department developed special WOF menu, which took into consideration cultural and religious preferences of the guests and organized food and beverages for two days of the Forum.
Media support included national and international journalists’ invitation and accreditation, press materials preparation, coordination with Speakers’ press services, Press Centre operation provision as well as interview and press points’ organization.
During the meeting, Accreditation and Information desks were operating on the venue. Our delegate managers were also present and provided administrative, logistic and information support for the participants. There were congress managers in the Plenary hall, coordinating sessions procedures.
Transport services implied transfers for meeting and greeting, chauffeured company business-class cars for groups of participants and provision of buses for Gala Reception on the ROC behalf in the State Kremlin Palace.
The Forum was held on a very high level and became a unique platform to discuss topical issues and exchange views. “The Forum turned to be very useful, we delivered measurable recommendations, wholesome for our further work,” – estimated the WOF Claudia Bokel, member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the IOC Athletic Commission. Ioannis Melissandis also notes: “The Forum became a success! Congratulations to the International Olympic Committee! You have set the highest quality standard. The country which will host the event next time will have to work cut out in order not to low the bar”.
Resuming the Forum’s results, Joël Bouzou said: “”We are delighted that the inaugural World Olympians Forum has been such a success – it is fantastic to get the event off the ground and we look forward to it becoming a regular fixture on the Olympic calendar. We would like to thank the International Olympic Committee for their strong show of confidence in the WOA and our excellent hosts”.