Michel Dessolain, Managing Director, Viparis

"The events industry is constantly changing. Viparis is pleased to contribute to the acceleration of this change through this initiative supported by ESCP Europe and UNIMEV. As an industry leader, we attach great importance to the transmission of our knowledge and the enhancement of our professions to ensure their attractiveness and longevity."

Michel Dessolain, Managing Director, Viparis

Thierry Hesse, Chairman, UNIMEV

"I have considered training and reflection on our professions to be a priority for UNIMEV for years: a profession that does not think of its youth and its continual reinvention is a profession that dies. This Professorship, which combines applied research and high-level education, is an important step in this strategy as, in addition to an ambitious partnership with one of the best higher education institutions in our country, it also honours partners who embody the richness and diversity of our industry, the first of which being Viparis, whom I wish to congratulate for its leading role in this initiative."

Thierry Hesse, Chairman, UNIMEV

Professorship in Economics and Marketing in the Professional Events Industry

The creation of this new Professorship reflects the desire to recognise the events industry as one of the major current economic opportunities.

How did this Professorship appear?

On Tuesday 23 February 2016, an partnership agreement was signed to create a new Professorship dedicated to the theme of events marketing.
This ESCP Europe Professorship, under the auspices of the Foundation, has several partners: UNIMEV (French Events Trade Union) Viparis (manager of the 10 congress/exhibition sites in the Paris region), Congresses and Exhibitions of Bordeaux, Eurovet, FG Design and Hopscotch.

The Professorship will be led by Olivier Badot, Associate Dean for Research at ESCP Europe.

The meaning of the partnership with UNIMEV and Viparis

The creation of this new Professorship reflects the desire to recognise the events industry as one of the major current economic opportunities, to structure its processes and to increase its scope.
Yet the wealth of professions therein is too often overlooked by the student community. It is precisely the role of a school such as ESCP Europe to open its students to new horizons.

In this context, it was essential to join with major players of influence and who share the ambition to bring Schools and Industry to events.

Thus, the necessity for strong partners led us to the obvious choice of Viparis European leader in conventions and trade fairs, managing the ten major convention centres and exhibition/events/show venues in Paris Ile-de-France - including the Carrousel du Louvre, Palais des Congres de Paris, Paris Nord Villepinte ... and the French Events Trade Union (UNIMEV) which, with its over 400 members, represents 85% of this sector in terms of value.


What is the purpose of the Professorship?

The agreement covers a 2 year period and has five priorities:

  • To provide a professional base for academic work
  • To foster the production and dissemination of research and teaching on the subject of events marketing 
  • To contribute to the professionalisation, excellence and differentiation of the French events industry and its players
  • To raise awareness of the strategic role of the meetings and events industry in the development of businesses, sectors, communities of stakeholders and geographical areas
  • To promote research on the trade fair and exhibitions sector and on the meetings and events industry within student, academic, professional and institutional communities.

What lines of research?

Academic research will focus on the following themes: conceptualisation and methodology of evaluation of the brand and intellectual capital of events; contribution of the event to the brand and to the intellectual capital of the sectors, communities and geographical areas concerned; and the conceptualisation and methodology of systems for analysing the experience of participants in events.

The Professorship will cover the academic supervision of PhD theses in Management Sciences, ESCP Europe (Master in Management and/or Master in European Business) research papers, and teaching and lectures constituting "postmodern, experiential and sensorial marketing" teaching at ESCP Europe, renamed "VIPARIS/UNIMEV teaching in postmodern, experiential and sensorial marketing".

"If international research in Management Sciences has been highly interested in experiential marketing in sales outlets and the analysis of customer experience in a retail (but also cultural) environment for the last thirty years, few studies exist in the field of events: professional and academic events (fairs, exhibitions, conferences) or culture and sports.

This would seem to constitute a deficit in theoretical and empirical knowledge, all the more so as the engaging and sensory experiences of visitors have been present since their original forms at medieval fairs or universal exhibitions of the 19th century.

In this perspective, the academic objective of the Professorship is to produce a body of knowledge of the experiential marketing of these meetings, by also studying the capacity of events and destinations that welcome them to develop a brand strategy to enhance the experiential dimension."

Olivier Badot, Associate Dean for Research, ESCP Europe
Scientific Director of the Professorship