Lausanne, Switzerland was the venue recently for an IWGA Media Workshop organised for representatives of member federations and national sports organisations. Exceptionally, this was the second workshop of its kind this year, a response to the number of requests to get more information about conditions and opportunities in China, looking forward to The World Games in Chengdu in 2025.
“We have estimated that the work needs to be started now, to have the federations (and National Olympic Committees) ready for The World Games 2025. We couldn’t wait another year before we offered them the chance to learn more about China and entering the Chinese market,” workshop organiser Anna Jacobson, Head of Communications at IWGA, says.
From now on, the workshop will be held every autumn, i.e. the next one will be in the autumn of 2024. “For the first time, we also invited the National Olympic Committees (NOC) and national sports organisations to join our workshop. After the previous one held in March for our member federations and partner organisations such as FISU and the Paralympic Committee, several NOCs contacted us and asked to be included in the invitation list. We were happy to welcome them to join us this time,” Jacobson says. The workshop was held in hybrid format with 42 people on-site and 30 online.
“An absolutely unique opportunity”
After IWGA Deputy CEO Guillaume Felli welcomed the participants on behalf of the IWGA President, the workshop kicked off with presentations from the representatives of the International University Sports Federation FISU; the FISU World University Games were held in Chengdu in August this year. FISU representatives, with Head of Media and Communications, Olivier van Bogaert in the lead, could share with the audience their recent experiences from the host city of The World Games 2025. “This was an absolutely unique opportunity for us to hear from international multi-sports event organisers who organised their Games in our upcoming host city,” Jacobson says, and continues: “What struck me most was that they all started their presentations by congratulating us for going to Chengdu: they – and I – sincerely believe that we will have an amazing Games in 2025.”
After the workshop in March, one lecturer that many wanted to hear more from was Julian Gornall-Thode from Shankai Sports. The participants were not disappointed this time either, receiving a lot of useful tips about the culture in China. Gornall-Thode had also brought in Dr Lei Xiao from Alibaba Cloud to tell the audience about their recent actions on sustainability and in other fields.
As always, the workshop is an excellent opportunity to learn from peers, to see what other federations and organisations are doing, and what they might have found that works in communication – or what they have found out that does not work. Juerg Kihm from the International Floorball Federation and Eric Rupp from Powerlifting shared their experiences with the whole audience, and a panel discussion was held with representatives from four federations about promotion on the Road to Chengdu. In addition, the coffee and lunch breaks were opportunities for the federation representatives to mingle and to get to know each other better.
Practical tips for promotion
On the second day, IWGA Vice President Tom Dielen brought greetings from the Executive Committee to the workshop. The day concentrated more on broadcasting of The World Games 2025, including a presentation from International Sports Broadcasting. In addition, Krzysztof Kropielnicki, Head of Insights & Analytics at Quantum Consultancy gave a presentation about the metrics from The World Games 2022. The workshop concluded with practical tips for promotion on the Road to Chengdu, using material that the IWGA offers to the federations, and with ideas on what the federations and the IWGA can do together to promote the people that really matter: the athletes.
“All in all, I think we had a good two days in Lausanne. The arrangements at the Olympic House worked very well, and we were able to create an interesting and useful programme for the participants. Now it’s time to start promoting the Road to Chengdu, and we look forward to working on it together with our federations and athletes,” Anna Jacobson concludes.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association, organised with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The World Games 2022 was held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and 100 countries took part in the Games. The 12th edition of The World Games will be held in Chengdu, CHN, 7-17 August 2025.