On the eve of its 19th anniversary, the Centre has undergone an unprecedented technological makeover designed to equip its facilities with the most advanced equipment and secure its position as the venue of choice for large meetings
The venue already has a solid track record in the industry, having hosted over 2,600 events which have been attended by 1.9 million visitors. Over 800 of these events have been congresses and conventions in which 540,000 delegates have taken part, making the Centre the city of Valencia’s leading meeting venue. In 2010, it was named as the World’s Best Convention Centre by the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC). This award, which is given based on the opinions of conference organisers, shows the high degree of customer satisfaction with the venue which, in the last year, has obtained an average score of 5.2 out of 6.
Much of its success in hosting events is down to the versatility of its facilities. Norman Foster’s distinctive design for the building was one of the reasons why it was chosen by the Royal Institute of British Architects as Best European Building shortly after it was opened.
Yet facilities have to be maintained, refurbished, enhanced and modernised in order to remain competitive, lead their field and continue to be a benchmark.
Therefore, the Centre has been refurbished on the inside and fitted out with ground-breaking equipment that enables it to maintain its leadership and continue to be a flagship building both at home and abroad. The initiatives scheduled for this project are part of a global plan for the facility for 2016 and 2017, promoted by the Valencia City Council.
The latest in technology, the leader in solutions
Following a €450,000 cash injection in 2016, the Valencia City Council has focused the project’s second phase of investment on making the Centre a technologically competitive building, so as to put it on the same footing as the industry’s most sophisticated conference centres. This has involved renewing the building’s fixed audiovisual equipment and replacing it with new, latest-generation devices, developments and connectivity in what is a revolution for the senses.
Sharpness, vividness and depth are just three of the many features of its new state-of-the-art projection system equipped with laser and DLP technology, which also delivers utmost energy efficiency. Its power reaches 30,000 lumens in Auditorium 1 in amazing colours which can even “paint” in black. Several simultaneous compositions can quickly be added, distributed in up to five independent image layers which, when projected onto the 11-metre screen, flood the view of the stage by combining videos, still images, live feeds and vibrant presentations.
The building’s other auditoriums and rooms have also been re-equipped with projectors appropriate to their size, which provide at least 5,000 lumens. All the building’s projectors have latest-generation laser and DLP technology.
There are also more options and features when capturing images of an event. The Centre has installed the latest innovations on the market including 4K technology cameras fitted with 20x optical zooms (equivalent to cinema cameras) and 24-mm wide-angle lenses (the widest in the sector) which provide peerless image sharpness and minimise ghost effects and reflections to deliver ideal innovative outcomes.
In addition to sight, there’s also sound. A new LINE ARRAY electro-acoustic system has been added to the main auditorium which reduces distortion to a minimum and provides high fidelity at high frequencies, ensuring impeccable sound which surrounds the audience. The Centre is the only specialised venue in Valencia to have this type of fixed technology.
The Centre has also been a pioneer in Spain in its acquisition of the new DICENTIS IP-based conference system and INTEGRUS digital simultaneous interpretation system featuring integrated solutions that connect the auditoriums and rooms through its computer network. Rooms which do not have conference or simultaneous interpretation systems or pre-wiring for them can use a portable rack that plugs into a computer network socket in the room to receive the interpretation from the existing booths. This technology ensures utmost intelligibility of talks and presentations to deliver debate experiences similar to face-to-face meetings.
The advantages of this audiovisual investment are threefold:
- It puts the building at the technological forefront of the conference market.
- It upgrades the venue by enhancing and leveraging its capabilities so it can host events with technical requirements which can only be met by venues equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
- It saves energy and therefore money while also ensuring sustainability.
This audiovisual upgrade in 2017 follows on from a first investment stage in 2016 which centred on improving safety, HVAC, stage lighting, general facility monitoring, internal connectivity and energy saving.
All these initiatives, which have made the Conference Centre more competitive, have a considerable impact on attracting new business.
The sales team is currently working on a portfolio of over 500 events, ensuring the continuity of the venue’s activities. The New Business Department is conducting a series of sales initiatives to convert this portfolio of possible events into tangible business for the city and for the Conference Centre.
In 2017, these initiatives have included over 90 sales visits in Spain and Europe and the team has also attended several international event tourism fairs and forums, promoting the Conference Centre in Madrid, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Brussels and France. In addition, 20 new bids have been presented.
All of these initiatives have led to an increase of 146 new events in our portfolio in 2017 as well as the confirmation of 47 future events, 32 of which are congresses and conventions. These future events have already been scheduled as far ahead as 2022 and will lead to 94,000 overnight stays, generating an economic impact of €50 million. As of the end of May, event confirmations are up 13% compared to the same period last year.
In 2017, the venue has already played host to the 15th Meeting of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics Conference, the 14th International Symposium on Myelodysplastic Syndromes, the Congress of the European Accounting Association and the 28th Congress of the Spanish Society of Anatomical Pathology, which was held together with the Congress of the Spanish Society of Cytology and the Congress of the Spanish Society of Forensic Pathology. On the corporate front, Mediolanum, Coinbroker and Nestlé are just some of the companies that have chosen the venue to stage their conventions.