The SportAccord 2024 Summit proved to the world that they are back as one of the most important international meeting places within sports after several years of intermission due to the pandemic. The conference took place from April 7th to 11th in Birmingham, with a total of 1600 global leaders and key stakeholders from around the world attending.

A delegation from Norway participated, consisting of representatives from Innovasjon Norge, Region Stavanger, Oslofjord Convention Center, as well as Norwegian representatives in international federations and the IOC (International Olympic Committee). For the host cities present, the main focus was on creating contacts and sales meetings with the international federations to promote Norway and the Stavanger region as hosts of international championships and events. Anette Larsen Bognø, Director of the B2B team at Region Stavanger, was among the participants.

The SportAccord Summit is the most important meeting place we attend in our work within Events. It’s reassuring to see that the organizer is able to deliver a conference at the same level as before the pandemic. Virtually everyone is present here at SportAccord. So it’s important to make good use of our time while we’re here, networking and meetings from morning till evening, and ensure we establish good contacts within the international federations. This year’s SportAccord was excellent, with many meetings and relevant contacts.

ANETTE LARSEN BOGNØ, Director B2B at Region Stavanger
The SportAccord Summit consists of 4 parts:
Media Accord, Health Accord, Law Accord & Host Accord.

Diversity, sustainability, and digitization within sports were the main pillars of themes that were debated and presented. The conference is undoubtedly the most important meeting place for host cities focusing on events, international sports federations, the IOC, and commercial entities.
The conference lasts for 4-5 days depending on which side events one participates in. In addition to the more traditional sports, SportAccord also showcases the lesser-known sports and the vast diversity of sports that exist globally. 

Birmingham as host city absolutely delivered

For many participants, Birmingham was a relatively unfamiliar city, and few were aware that it’s actually one of England’s largest cities, second only to London. The city is establishing itself as a premier host, having hosted the Commonwealth Games 2022. Many of the volunteers who worked during those games also volunteered for SportAccord, now two years later. This was a topic of conversation during the conference, as the volunteers stood out remarkably positively with their fantastic pride, enormous service attitude, and many smiles.

The entire city bore the mark of SportAccord. With clear venue dressing including signage and gimmicks everywhere, flags prominently displayed in the cityscape, and a perfect congress center featuring a wonderfully profiled stage, expo, and networking area, located adjacent to the concert/cultural venue where the opening ceremony was held, the conference in Birmingham confirmed its place back in the top tier of international conferences.

the International Association of Event Hosts (IAEH)
Many organizations and committees took the opportunity to hold their own meetings and gatherings, and the International Association of Event Hosts (IAEH) held its annual meeting including relevant professional presentations followed by dinner during SportAccord. Region Stavanger became a member late in 2023 and has already greatly benefited from networking and the shared experience and expertise from other host cities. SportAccord CEO Martin Gibbs participated in both the professional part during the annual meeting to share his experience with SportAccord and the dinner the following day.

Nordic Gathering during SportAccord Summit
Innovation Norway and the national representatives from the Nordic countries within IAEH took the initiative to convene a gathering of the Nordic host cities, national agencies, and Nordic representatives in the global sports world. This gathering was successful, confirming the need for more meetings like this – both from the host cities and the IOC representatives. This was the second gathering of the Nordic stakeholders after Innovation Norway initiated the Nordic Event Hosts Meeting in Oslo in January – two days of knowledge sharing among the cities.

If you have any questions about the SportAccord Summit or Region Stavanger’s work in events, please contact Anette Larsen Bognø, or check out our industry page at