Among other goals it is considering expanding its links with other groups in the sector – it is already part of the Forum of Associations that brings together the leaders in the meetings sector in Spain – and promoting the advantages of belonging to an association that, like ICCA, is a key to competing successfully in the international conference market, thanks to the usefulness of its data bank.
The gathering on Meetings Tourism that the Spain Convention Bureau (SCB) held at the start of June at the Palacio de la Magdalena conference centre in Santander -ahead of its annual meeting- was one of the latest occasions on which the Iberian Chapter of ICCA had a presence at one of the sector’s most important events. Among those attending was a group of associates who took part in the debates and made contacts with other delegates.
Dates for Gijón, Madrid and Bilbao
Two weeks later, it was the turn of the International Congress of AFE (The Spanish Fairs Association), held in Gijón, where members of the Chapter were present to participate in the presentation of the Forum of Associations. As well as the Iberian Chapter of ICCA, the Forum also includes the professional associations: the Spanish Federation of Professional Congress Organizers - OPC España-, the Spanish Fairs Association (AFE), the Spanish Association of Conference Centres (APCE), the Spain Destination Management Company (DMC), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), and SITE Spain.
The next professional events at which the Chapter expects to be represented by members are the specialist fairs “Evento Days” (Madrid, 3-4 July) and the Congress of the APCE (Spanish Association of Conference Centres), which will be held in Bilbao on 17-18 July.
Spain & Portugal, leading destination
Once again Spain occupied third place in the annual ranking of countries hosting international conferences drawn up by ICCA. Madrid and Barcelona held fourth and fifth places, respectively, in the list of those cities that hosted the most international conferences in the world. Portugal and Lisbon are also in the top 20 global destinations (17th and 15th respectively). These results show clearly that the Iberian market is an established destination on the international congress market scene. But it can still keep growing if more Spanish and Portuguese cities improve their strategies to attract these coveted conferences.