Fira de Barcelona is ending 2018 with important news. One of the most important items is the new record for turnover and business over the year, but there have also been new appointments to the Board of Administration, including a new president and the preparation of a strategic plan for fair infrastructures. The Board Meeting of the institution, held on December 14th, was a sounding board for these new developments.

Constantí Serrallonga, director general de Fira de Barcelona

Constantí Serrallonga, Managing Director of Fira de Barcelona

Revenue of 210 million

Fira has ended 2018 with exceptional earnings and has broken the barrier of 200 million euros for the first time, earning 210 million euros, which is 12% more than the previous financial year, and more than any other year. The Ebitda were more than 29 million euros, 44% more than 2017 (20.48) and 2016 (20.39).

The Managing Director, Constantí Serrallonga, said that this remarkable outcome “is the result of good progress in Fira’s main areas of business, namely the improvement in our in-house fairs, the scale of many of the events organized by outside operators, our overseas business and our constant efforts to innovate, to sell, our international expansion and knowledge transfer”.

The results show how Fira has acquired financial and organizational muscle through its recent emphasis on growth-oriented management, diversification of its portfolio and investment in technology and infrastructures to guarantee resources that are used to finance its activities and its first-class sites and services.

A great year

This is 2018, in a nutshell:

  • 153 salons, congresses and corporate, social and cultural events held above all at the Montjuïc and Gran Via sites, but also in other countries where the institution has collaborated in fairs (Brazil, Turkey, Morocco, Japan, Mexico, India, Cuba, Qatar).
  • Over 1,000 activities organized in connection with the fairs.
  • Important traditional annual events:
  • SThe second edition of Barcelona Industry Week combined In(3D)ustry, IoT Solucions World Congress and Healthio.
  • The growing international impact of Smart City Expo World Congress, a reference for smart cities.
  • Another successful edition of the Mobile World Congress.
  • Major salons and congresses: Gastech, the fair of the gas industry was held in Barcelona for the first time; The World Ophthalmology Congress and the corporate meetings of VM World, Cisco Live and SAP TechEd.
  • The success of Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, Caravaning, Barcelona Games World, Saló Nàutic, Ibtm World, Manga, Saló de l’Ocupació Juvenil and the second edition of Smart City Island in Mallorca, among many others.
  • The announcement that from 2021 ISE, the most important event for the audio-visual industry, will be hosted here.

President Relat

The business manager Pau Relat, delegate board member for the MAT Holding group, was chosen as the new president of the Board of Administration to take over from Josep Lluís Bonet.

His first words in his new role were a clear message in favour of collaboration at work: “We have to work together for the future, building, as always, broad consensus that can make us even stronger” and accepting the challenges facing the institution: “to continue pushing for the growth of Fira, its leadership, international expansion, its role in the relations between businesses and entrepreneurs, the manufacturing sector, the drive for innovation and answers to the technological transformations that affect companies and society at large”.

Josep Lluís Bonet y Pau Relat

Josep Lluís Bonet cedes the witness to Pau Relat as president of the Board of Administration of Fira

The legacy of Bonet

For his part, Josep Lluís Bonet, who has overseen the Board of Administration of Fira for 14 years, underlines his contribution, along with many other people and institutions, “to the development of Fira, consolidating a successful model of governance and achieving the goal of providing Barcelona with a trade fair capable of meeting the highest international standards”.

Bonet emphasised his main definition of Fira as a national project and praised its consolidation as an international platform for business, knowledge and innovation, its steady expansion abroad and the leadership it has achieved in Spain and its positioning within Europe.

 

Strategic infrastructure plan

Faced with the increase in Fair activity and the need to plan for the future, the Board Meeting requested the preparation of a strategic plan for trade fair infrastructures, which involves a medium-term view of the changes that will be made to the Montjuïc and Gran Via sites. Fira de Barcelona is clearly preparing to claim a more important role in the sphere of international trade fairs at a time when competition between major cities and their facilities is more intense than ever.

R.P.