The end of the year is both an opportunity to take a look in the rear-view mirror at the past 12 months and to look ahead to next year’s crop of events.
I would like to note the following features of the 2009 events, owing to their particular significance and not in order to disregard others.
This first financial year of Palexpo SA has already demonstrated how justified it was to adopt a new legal status. Under the presidency of Robert Hensler, our activities took place harmoniously and efficiently with, inter alia, the inauguration of the renovated Congress Centre in the spring and that of the new entrance lobby this autumn, which forms part of our Vision 20XX project.
In the middle of the economic crisis that affected its sector particularly badly, the Geneva International Motor Show was able to stay on course better than all its competitors and to confirm its leading position at the global level. It did so thanks to a combination of specific characteristics that is unique to our Motor Show and which it has been able to cultivate against all the odds.
In a completely different area, the Depeche Mode concert illustrated the incredible adaptability of our infrastructure by accommodating 17,000 or so spectators in Hall 6 for the largest indoor concert ever held in Switzerland.
The organization in record time of the Automnales following the late cancellation of the Geneva Fair enabled us to highlight our company’s fundamental values, which all our staff members have jointly agreed on: customer orientation, conscientiousness, flexibility, efficiency and team spirit. And to accomplish our mission, which is to serve the community and to ensure economic and media spin-offs, while remaining completely financially independent.
Turning my attention to 2010, I note that all our traditional events are firm fixtures in our calendar and that there will be a particularly large number of congresses. For the second time the lenses of the media from around the world will be trained on Palexpo for the World Cup Show Jumping and Driving finals; lastly, with the new trade fair Gourmet and the holding of the final of the Bocuse d’Or Europe competition organized by Sepelcom (Lyon), we will be achieving one of our objectives: to open up across the border with the neighbouring part of France.
The works on the project 20XX will obviously continue in order to consolidate Palexpo’s position in the international market for trade-exhibition and congress venues.
It is thus with serenity, enthusiasm and commitment that I convey to you all my best wishes for a new year of health, happiness and prosperity.