International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach expressed his view that delegates present at the International Federations (IF) Forum here could feel a void left by Patrick Baumann following his sudden death last month.
As President of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), Baumann would have been a prominent figure at the Forum, which opened here today.
The Forum is the first major gathering of the International Federations since Baumann’s death.
Tributes were paid by Bach and Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) President Francesco Ricci Bitti.
Baumann died at the age of 51 last month after suffering a heart attack when attending the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires on October 13.
The Swiss official had attended a sport climbing demonstration before he collapsed and was rushed to the Argerich Hospital, where he died a short while later.
"You can feel the void he is leaving," Bach told insidethegames following the opening of the Forum.
"He was a central figure as the President of GAISF and all of his initiatives which were being taken in cooperation with us.
"Like the esports Forum and others.
"I think everybody in the room today felt this void.
"This is why everyone made a true homage to him."
In addition to his role with GAISF, Baumann served as an International Olympic Committee member, International Basketball Federation secretary general and Lausanne 2020 President.
Baumann also sat on the World Anti-Doping Agency Executive Committee and was IOC Coordination Commission chair for the Los Angeles 2028 Summer Olympic Games.
In addition, he was a Council member of ASOIF.
A memorial service was held last week here, with officials from across the sporting world and beyond in attendance.
GAISF senior vice-president Raffaele Chiulli, who will lead the organisation until a successor for Baumann is decided at next year’s SportAccord Summit in Gold Coast, was among the speakers as the Forum opened today.
A focus will be placed upon technology tomorrow with a session titled "The everchanging global landscape and its impact on sport" on Tuesday (November 6).
Discussions on blockchain technology will follow, along with 5G technologies and live streaming.
Delegates will also be able to gain information on next year’s SportAccord Summit.
The final day of the Forum will centre on esports, as the sport movement continues to dip their toes into the industry.
"The digital age offers huge potential, it is already happening and affects us all," Bach said.
"We need to adapt & develop - all of us in the sports movement.
"We need a coordinated approach if we are to make the most of these opportunities.
"What is clear is that there needs to be unity and a common approach towards the esports movement.
"We will work with GAISF and all the IFs to identify the best approach.
"We want you - the IFs - to give your input into the discussion."