Fira de Barcelona consolidated its recovery with a turnover of more than €211m and a record EBITDA of around €37m.
The venue says the figures were down to a progressive normalisation of activity throughout the past year and the holding of major international events.
The company says its focus is now on a busy 2023 calendar which promises to make a significant contribution to the economic and social momentum of the region.
Pau Relat, chairman of Fira de Barcelona’s Board of Directors, and Constantí Serrallonga, general manager, presented the main results for 2022 and the forecast for 2023, and were joined, 23 February, by the president of the Institution’s General Council, Ada Colau, the Mayor of Barcelona, and vice-presidents Roger Torrent, the government of Catalonia’s minister of business and work, and Mònica Roca, president of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce.
Relat highlighted the “excellent” 2022 results within a complex context and underlined Fira’s social commitment.
Serrallonga made a positive assessment of 2022, “a year we should classify as post-pandemic, although it should be recalled that it began with the postponement of some fairs”. He added that those figures, nevertheless, remained a benchmark for trade fairs.
It has been just over a year since Fira took over the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB), allowing it to acquire greater competitiveness and more comprehensively manage the city’s three major fairgrounds, the team reported.
Over 250 events were held at the Montjuïc, Gran Via and CCIB venues in 2022, including fairs and congresses. Important international events in the fields of technology, innovation and the food industry played starring roles, including MWC Barcelona, which opened the calendar together, with 4YFN, Alimentaria & Hostelco, ISE (held at the same time as the IOT Solutions World Congress), Seafood Global Expo and Smart City Expo World Congress, held alongside Tomorrow. Mobility and PUZZLE X, as well as the corporate events held by Gartner and VMware.
Medical events were also prominent, with the European Cardiology, Respiratory Medicine, Radiology and Breast Cancer Congresses and the World Gastrointestinal Cancer, Paediatric Oncology, Haematology and Vaccination Conferences. There was also the international event devoted to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
As for activity abroad, Fira co-organised Smart City Expo in Mérida (Mexico), Curitiba (Brazil), Santiago del Estero (Argentina) and, for the first time, Miami, as well as ExpoAntad & Alimentaria México and four fairs held in Cuba, in addition to the management of two fairgrounds in China and the design of a third.
New events in 2023
Expectations for 2023 are positive, and income is expected to again exceed €200m. Already ISE, the IOT Solutions World Congress and Barcelona Wine Week have been held this year with significant success. And this year’s MWC Barcelona, which is imminent, is forecast to deliver results close to those prior to the pandemic in terms of exhibitors and visitors.
These events will complement Seafood Expo Global, Smart City Expo World Congress, Automobile, Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, Piscina & Wellness Barcelona, CineEurope, Alimentaria FoodTech, Construmat, Expoquimia and Caravaning, as well as the World Parkinson’s, Osteoporosis and Gastrointestinal Oncology Congresses, the European Neurosurgery, Neuroscience and Medical Emergency Congresses and the national Oncology and Podiatry events.
New features will include the holding of the first Shoptalk, the main European fair devoted to retail, the UITP Global Public Transport Summit, a global conference on public transport, and the World Airports Congress.
Moreover, the Gran Via venue will once again host CPHI, the world’s largest exhibition for the pharmaceutical industry.
Looking abroad, Fira de Barcelona plans to continue with the management of two fairgrounds in China and co-organise exhibitions in other countries: Smart City Expo in Mexico, Bogotá, Brazil, Argentina, USA and China and HostelCuba.
Large infrastructure projects this year include the expansion of the Gran Via venue by more than 60,000sqm. Work recently began with the demolition of the building where most of the new hall is to be located, and the transformation of Montjuïc to turn it into a unique urban venue with the International Exhibition of Barcelona’s centenary in 2029 in mind.
Fira de Barcelona also hosted the vaccination centre of the Ministry of Health of the Government of Catalonia until December 2022. The facility inoculated 1.4 million people. Fira also set aside Hall 7 at the Montjuïc venue as a Reception Centre for displaced Ukrainians.
The venue continues to promoted sustainability initiatives and now only consumes green energy, 40% of its supply is zero kilometre and it has achieved the ISO 14001 standard for environmental management.