Bizbarcelona and the Saló de l’Ocupació, from 21 to 23 September at the Montjuïc site, are the first events with visitor attendance that Fira de Barcelona has held since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the stoppage of all economic and social activities.

There can be no doubt that Fira de Barcelona’s return to active service is very good news. This revival is, for the moment, aimed at local participation, and the idea is to gradually reach outwards as we progress through new stages with 2021 on the horizon.

Trade fair activity has restarted in September, but not only with the shows mentioned above. There are also a number of other events that combine various formats: digital, hybrid and with attendance.

It makes a lot of sense – and is even symbolic to an extent – that the first fairs to welcome visitors back are Bizbarcelona and the Employment Fair, which are aimed at entrepreneurs, companies, the self-employed and those looking for work: it fits perfectly with Fira de Barcelona’s goal of being a driver of economic activity and the widespread concern about generating business and contributing to overcome the serious economic and social fallout from the pandemic.

The last four months of 2020

The calendar for fairs in the last four months of 2020 began with the digital edition of the Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, one of the leading international showcases for bridal fashion, which was held from 18 to 22 September, besides the Bizbarcelona and Employment fairs mentioned previously. Next up is the FHG Forum (28-29 September), which is a new forum on the future of food, gastronomy and tourism, held in a hybrid format with the participation of leading figures from the sector. The end of October (27-19) is marked by Liber, the fair for the Spanish language publishing industry which will be held in digital form, and November will see the Smart City Live event, organized by the Smart City Expo World Congress, hold a virtual debate on smart cities in the post-covid world (17-18 November) and the Ocasión show 21-29 November) which will welcome visitors, among others.

Fira is fully prepared to return to business with full safety measures, in accordance with the demands of the new situation. It is what you would expect from an institution determined to empower the economy of Barcelona,
Catalonia and Spain.

2021 on the horizon

In the coming months, Fira de Barcelona will be working at a more local level when it comes to events with visitor attendance or hybrid events, but we are looking forwards to the first months of 2021 when the situation for travelling visitors and exhibitors can permit the first of the major international events that are planned and which are part of the country’s economic and social recovery.

Fira is therefore expecting 2021 to be a year with major international fair and events for a diverse range of sectors, including MWC Barcelona, which has guaranteed its presence with Fira at least until 2024, ISE, the international reference for the audio-visual industry, which has until now been held in Amsterdam, Seafood, the most important products for sea products, which used to be held in Brussels, Alimentaria and Hostelco, the largest platform for food, restaurants and the hotel trade. Other fairs to be held include Automobile Barcelona, IOT Solutions World Congress, Expoquimia, Hispack, the Barcelona International Boat Show, Piscina & Wellness Barcelona and the Smart City Expo World Congress.

Motor for recovery

The chairman of Fira’s Board of Admininstration, Pau Relat, said that “the institution will be part of the reactivation, with the aim, more than ever, to be a motor for all sectors of the economy, to promote business and support professionals, entrepreneurs and companies, working together with public and private initiatives to overcome the situation. This is why trade fairs are so important, as one of the main drivers of the economic and social recovery we so badly need”.

For its part, the CEO of Fira de Barcelona Constantí Serrallonga set out the institutions’ priorities in clear terms: “to get back to business in a safe and profitable environment for all those attending, with the objective that their presence at an event can help to relaunch their business and networking”, while underlining the importance of “the great variety of business sectors that take part in the events and the economic and social impact that Fira has on the region”.

R.P.