Spain's economic recovery is closely linked to the revival of the activity in the congress and business events industry. An economic impact that translates into more than 10,800 million Euros added to the national GDP and more than 83,000 jobs. Furthermore, according to the ranking of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), in 2018 Spain held 595 international congresses attended by 297,000 professionals. These figures place Spain in the third place by number of events hosted, behind the United States and Germany, and in second place by number of attendees, only behind the United States.
Given this decisive impact on Spain’s economy, the main players of the industry have already redesigned how these events are celebrated while implementing several protocols with security and safety measures, in order to resume its activity sooner as possible and guarantee visitors and exhibitors' health in the current context. “Tradeshows and events are the instruments for rebuilding economies and sales in each industry. Business events are platforms made to transfer technology, face-to-face networking to discuss business opportunities and a place where leaders can join to define the roadmap to recover our economies”, states Albert Planas, CEO of NEBEXT.
One of the leaders in Spain is NEBEXT (Next Business Exhibitions) that is boosting the industry through physical B2B events in a safe environment with the highest safety measures and hygiene protocols designed. With this guidance, NEBEXT organized REBUILD 2020, the national congress for the building and architecture industry. The event took place last week during three days from 29 September to 1 October in Barcelona, becoming the first 100% presential professional congress and fair celebrated in Spain after the lockdown. REBUILD celebrates its third edition with great success in terms of attendance, reuniting more than 4.600 executives from the building industry and with an economic impact for the city of Barcelona with over 6 million euros. This reflects how important are professional events as levers in economic recovery, helping also to draw new ways of development through collaboration, industrialization, digitalization, and sustainability.
“REBUILD has been a complete success in terms of health and safety measures, as well as giving a new start to professional events in the city and acting as a driving force in the sector. We confirmed that tradeshows and conferences are strategic platforms to discuss and to find business opportunities to transform organizations and grow businesses”, states Planas. “I trust that we can count on the support of the public administrations so that such a fundamental activity as trade fairs and congresses can continue to contribute to the economic improvement of the country”, adds Planas.
NEBEXT organized REBUILD under a “Business Safe” protocol following all the local, national and international recommendations and regulations from UFI, World health Organization and health authorities, to guarantee the security both for visitors and exhibitors.
Business events are key drivers for Tourism
Another great contribution of trade fairs and professional events is the incomes generated by visitors’ expenditure on the areas where they take place helping to deseasonalize and improve national tourism. In fact, business tourism generates twice as much economic impact as leisure. While sun and beach tourists spend around 146 euros a day, professional tourists spend 208 euros. This is due to the fact that their purchasing capacity is usually higher and, in addition to attend the event, they consume a series of services during their stay, such as transport, restaurants, hotels, planes, car rental, shopping, as well as leisure and culture, such as visiting museums or theatres.
These figures show how trade fair and professional events industry helps to boost tourism around the world, a key industry for the economic recovery that is suffering a deep impact due to the health crisis. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the tourism sector accounts for 10.4% of world GDP employing one in ten workers in the world, while in Spain it generates 15% of GDP and 14.7% of employment. These results turn tourism into the main engine of the Spanish economy. However, prediction for 2020 states the sector will suffer losses of 55 billion euros only in Spain, due to the health crisis caused by the Covid-19.
Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.