Is it worth going to VivaTech? A report from Paris


Europe’s largest technology trade show, organized by Publicis and the Les Echos-Le Parisien Group, brought together startups, entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, and politicians from around the world. This year’s edition focused on AI, sustainability, and mobility. So, is it worth going to VivaTech? Read my report below to find out. 

You’ll learn:  

  • what is Vivatech trade fair  
  • the most important innovations shown in Paris  
  • what’s new in B2B marketing?  
  • will AI have a positive impact on the climate and labor market  
  • is it worth going to Viva Tech in 2025?  

In May, I spent three days at VivaTech, the largest technology conference in Europe. Although the weather in Paris was not particularly excellent, the number of visitors exceeded all expectations. This year’s seventh edition of VivaTech attracted a record 165,000 attendees, including 13,500 startups (one of them being Contelia!). In comparison, the Infoshare fair in Gdansk, which took place at the same time, gathered about 7,000 participants. 

What is VivaTech  

The VivaTech show aims to be the European equivalent of CES in Las Vegas. It’s clear that the concept is gaining popularity, with the number of exhibitors already exceeding 2,800. According to the organizers, over 400 debates were held at the event, and more than 40% of the speakers were women. 

This year’s edition was highlighted by the appearances of the Williams sisters and Elon Musk, who wowed the crowd even via telecast. Other big names from leading U.S. digital companies also made the trip to Porte de Versailles. The event, co-organized by Publicis and Les Echos, usually takes place in June. This year, exceptionally, it was held in May due to the Olympic Championships. There’s no doubt about it: during the event, Porte de Versailles was one of the hottest addresses in Paris. Crossing the threshold of the main hall felt like stepping onto another planet, with the luxurious LVMH pavilion and AI Avenue showcasing booths from all the major tech companies. The presence of key French politicians giving keynote speeches seemed almost natural, as did the attendance of the heads of Microsoft, Uber, Google, IBM, and top Japanese dignitaries. This year’s country of honor was Japan. 

Innovations shown in Paris in 2024  

Several revolutionary technologies were unveiled at this year’s event. L’Oréal showcased cultured artificial skin and introduced a hair dryer that uses infrared light, which is designed to cause less damage to hair.   

AI applications truly work, and connected devices are, for the most part, genuinely useful. VR solutions have evolved from curiosities into tools that boost productivity and sales. For example, Connected Realities, in collaboration with Orange Poland, presented the Orange Business Metaverse in Paris—a virtual reality solution designed specifically for business. (see their case study movie here).   

Esper Bionics showcased an advanced hand exoprosthesis that adapts to the body. Scewo, on the other hand, presented a wheelchair capable of climbing stairs. Japanese company Messay demonstrated applications that use eye and head movements to control on-screen content. Without touching the screen, users can flip pages in the Kindle app while cooking or holding a baby. 

In addition, the show featured hybrid and electric cars, including various Tesla models. The Cybertruck made a grand entrance. Peugeot also presented a prototype of a futuristic vehicle, codenamed Hypersquare. 

A positive signal in Paris also came from local authorities, who are not content with brochures and pretty posters but prefer to showcase local innovations. Among them is the Time2Chat application designed by Orange as part of a pilot program in the French city of Issy-les-Moulineaux, which has a population of 100,000. Time2Chat uses IssyGPT to browse the city’s website on behalf of residents, providing relevant information such as phone numbers for specific offices and the opening hours of various services. If the tests are successful, similar services may be introduced in other cities as well. 

What’s new in B2B marketing  

What to choose in an area of 1,500 sqm among the offerings of 2,800 exhibitors? 

As a B2B marketer, I spent most of my time in the Exec Area, listening to agencies and clients, and on Stage 4, where talks included how to calculate Green ROI. During a speech by Jordan Chenevier-Tricher, CEO of Bulldozer, I learned that the role of marketing as a service is growing. There is increasing interest in the services of specialized agencies that support companies at specific stages of development or in particular areas. 


In addition, (2) Emmanuelle Kleinmann | LinkedIn, CMO at Payfit, outlined the future Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Today’s CMO role combines technology, data science, creativity, and storytelling—the most crucial skills. “Embrace technology, be versatile, and stay engaging” was the resounding message for marketers. 

Marion Jackson Taudiere from Quild presented a case study on using AI to enhance customer relationships while cautioning against pitfalls related to Generative AI. She highlighted concerns regarding data quality and the accuracy of results. It was also emphasized during the conference that while AI can generate vast amounts of content, there is less human demand for new content. What is needed instead is clear and transparent information to guide decision-making. 

viva technology

Will AI have positive impact on climate?  

In the panel discussion titled “Can Artificial Intelligence help us accelerate the energy transition?”, panelists expressed optimism. Hiroshi Matsuda, Regional Director at Mitsubishi Electric, highlighted innovations aimed at creating new cooling systems in data centers to reduce energy demand. Then, Thomas Spencer, Senior Analyst at the International Energy Agency, addressed concerns about the carbon footprint of artificial intelligence. He pointed out, “There are currently 5.4 billion Internet users worldwide. If each of us queried a chatbot three times a day, every day of the year, it would amount to 30 terawatt hours in electricity demand.” To put this into perspective, Spencer noted, “Global electricity demand is currently 26,000 terawatt hours.” Philippe Rambach, Director of Artificial Intelligence at Schneider Electric, remained optimistic on this issue. Of course, if we can reduce – with AI? – waste and energy consumption in the most carbon-intensive data centers. 

AI’s impact on the labor market  

Before AI impacts the climate, it is already influencing the global labor market. A global AI job offer barometer was presented at the conference. After analyzing over half a billion job postings across 15 countries, including France, the report reveals that:   

  • In France, the number of job openings requiring artificial intelligence skills increased 7-fold between 2018 and 2023.  
  • The sectors most open to AI are already experiencing productivity growth five times higher than other sectors.  
  • Jobs requiring #AI skills offer a salary advantage of up to 25% in some markets.  

At the conference, over 40% of exhibitors showcased innovations related to artificial intelligence. Despite AI being prominently featured, the conference lacked practical case studies on creating quality content in B2B. It appears that AI excels more in handling numbers than in dealing with language.   

Is it worth going to Vivatech in 2025  

The 3 days at VivaTech are a whirlwind of colors, discussions, and experiences. There’s really no need to ask the question “is it worth going?”—it definitely is. However, it’s worth preparing for the fair. I recommend planning your visit in advance (and thoroughly!) so you can efficiently navigate the shows and events scheduled at the booths. For more information, visit 2024 Edition | Viva Technology  

It would be disappointing to attend such a large event (over 1,500 sqm) without planning your schedule in advance. One last note: many speakers and exhibitors speak better English than French, so it’s wise to be prepared. 

Tickets for the 2025 edition are available for pre-sale until the end of June! Buy one ticket, get one free. What does this mean for Contelia? Next year, we’re sending two attendees! 

viva paris

Marta Smyrska