Fira de BCN kicks Covid with record sales of 250 million

Fira de BCN kicks Covid with record sales of 250 million

“People from the just world want to come to Barcelona.” The president of Fira de Barcelona, ​​Pau Relat, summed up in a press conference yesterday the “historic” year 2023 that will conclude the institution he heads with this phrase, with a record turnover that will exceed 250 million euros for the club. First time. Conferences and other trade events have finally shaken off the ghost left by the coronavirus, which predicted that attendance at exhibitions would never return to its old normal levels.

Since the exhibition, with the maximum turnover expected to be exceeded again in 2024, they have been surprised by the speed of the recovery, as they did not expect to recover 2019 income (€219 million) until next year. They ended the year with an EBITDA of €39 million, 6.6% higher than the previous year. As “a thermometer of how the Catalan economy is performing,” as defined by the Minister of Business and Employment, Roger Torrent, “we are in a very good dynamic.”

The surge in fair activity in Barcelona – where 270 events were held in 2023 and nearly 300 scheduled for 2024 – is about to saturate. “Barcelona is again the city in the world visited by the most managers,” celebrated the President of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Josep Santacro, while reviewing a report on the subject that will be presented in January to the City Council. To the point where the fair realizes that by 2025 it will no longer be able to accept any more events. In order for the success not to die, the various public and private departments that participated in managing the exhibition put their tools in place.

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Barcelona Mayor Jaume Colboni wanted to highlight the “historic leap” that will be the expansion of the site located in Europe Square, directly on the border between the Catalan capital and Llobregat Hospital, where Vera aspires to have 60,000 meters of exhibition space. The work schedule expects that these facilities will be completed in the fall of 2026, and that the 2027 edition of the Mobile World Congress will be able, among other things, to expand its platforms there.

Montjuïc update

Next year Fira is also scheduled to submit a bid for transformation and modernization works for the Montjuïc site, the other large space it manages for fair activity that hosts events such as historic cars, among others. Relat explained that his calculations indicate that the works will be completed by 2029, coinciding with the centenary of the Barcelona International Exhibition in 1929.

The Fira de Barcelona Festival will start in 2024, as it has done for years, with a high level of activity. The audiovisual and systems integrator exhibition Integrated System for Europe (ISE) will start on January 30, a month after the arrival of Mobile World Congress – the crown jewel of Barcelona’s exhibitions – and before the end of the quarter, Alimentaria – which attracts more visitors than MWC –. Between the three of them, they contribute to a third of the sales volume collected by the exhibition throughout the year.

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