Fira’s best ever year…so far

2016 was an exceptional year for Fira de Barcelona. This is not a cliché. It is a fact reflected in our financial results, the impact of its activities and its plans for the future.

The institution ended the year with a turnover of 165 million euros, which is far above (almost 17%) its initial budget and the previous record set in 2014 when it had a turnover of 152 million. Its Ebitda, at 20 million euros, must be considered a record. Constantí Serrallonga, the Managing Director, set it out clearly for the media: “we have been able to achieve the best ever results for Fira thanks to the good performance of its three main business areas, by which I mean the positive growth of the fairs themselves, the importance of the major international events held by Fira and organized by other operators and our expanding international business with events held in other countries”.

For the President of the Board of Administration, Josep Lluís Bonet, these results are the reward for a strategy “carried out with a view to the future which enables us to have a solid presence in a highly competitive market and to reinforce our position among European Trade Fairs”.

Industry and innovation

Together with the drive towards innovation, especially in technological and industrial sectors, this has made Fira a powerful business catalyst in the region, with 65 shows and congresses at the Gran Via and Montjuïc sites, as well as 9 held abroad, and over 50 corporative activities; making a total of around 120 events. Then there were a thousand training sessions, conferences, debates and workshops held in the fairs themselves.

One of the defining features of the year in question was the prevalence of technology, the new industry 4.0. and the sustainable growth of cities. With relatively new shows such as In(3D)ustry, the Internet of Things Solutions World Congress (IoT) and other consolidated fairs like Smart City Expo World Congress, which coincided with the first edition of Iwater (on the complete water cycle), Circular Economy (reuse of waste) and European Utility Week (supplies).

Other major events were: Alimentaria, Salón Náutico, Caravaning, Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week and Liber. Without forgetting Hostelco, the Manga and Cómic shows, Bizbarcelona or Training Week. 2016 was also notable for the first edition of Barcelona Games World for the videogame sector, and the return of the Motoh! Fair, which covers a sector of great importance in Barcelona and Catalonia. And there are many more besides.

International

We must also highlight the importance of the major international meetings organized by other operators, such as the Mobile World Congress (MWC), CPhI Worldwide (the world’s foremost pharmaceutical fair), 4YFN, IBTM World or Euro attractions, besides corporate meetings in areas like health and technology.

Fira’s foreign business also showed its strength last year with the joint organization of fairs in several countries: Mexico, Cuba, Qatar, the editions of Smart City Expo held in Kyoto, Puebla (Mexico), Istanbul and Casablanca; the shared running of sites like the Convention Centre of Doha, and consultancy services in Morocco and Ethiopia.

3 notes for 2017

– Fira has forecasted 160 million euros turnover and will host over 60 shows and congresses.

– Events to showcase innovation and new industries will be protagonists with the co-hosting at the Gran Via site in October of a week which will bring together technology (IoT Solutions and In(3D)Industry) and advanced chemistry (Expoquimia, Equiplast and Eurosurfas, the World Congress for Chemical Engineering and the World Chemical Summit and the Smart Chemistry, Smart Future event.

– Health will be present with the launch of Healthio, which applies the experience of MIHealth to new technological applications in the medical sector. There will also be a new edition of the European Cardiology Congress, the most important in the world for this specialization, bringing over 30,000 experts.

R.P.