The major congresses held over the year included the 37th International Conference on High Energy Physics, the 21st International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques.
Despite the difficult economic situation, the Valencia Conference Centre saw significant growth in the number of congresses hosted in 2014, rising to a total of 36, i.e. an 80% increase over the previous year. In addition, and more importantly, the number of congress delegates also increased by 50%, to 25,381 participants.
The major congresses held over the year included the 37th International Conference on High Energy Physics, the 21st International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques, the 3rd Spanish Transplant Society Congress, the 28th National Congress of the Spanish Outpatient and Primary Care Paediatric Society, the Global Russia Business Meeting, and the 56th Annual Meeting of the Spanish Neurology Society (SEN).
The venue also hosted nine conventions which were attended by 8,600 delegates from different companies such as Carrefour, Santander Bank, Seguros Santa Lucia, and Janssen Laboratories, as well as 30 conferences with 25,700 visitors. In total, the Valencia Conference Centre staged 101 events and 76,521 participants.
Another of the key factors in the positive evolution of the year was the sharp increase in the numbers of international events and visitors, which rose by 127% and 46%, respectively, whilst national events and visitors also went up by 20% and 47%.
These figures enabled the venue to increase its daily occupancy rate by 20%, and directly generate a greater economic impact for the city, which stood at €64 million. Since it opened in 1998, the cumulative impact contributed by the Centre has reached €922 million, i.e. over 30 times the amount it cost to build the facility.
In keeping with these efforts, the Centre continues to work to do the job it was built for: to bring wealth to the city, by attracting the largest possible number of national and international business meetings and visitors to Valencia, thanks to its unique facilities and services, which are synonymous with quality and innovation. Accordingly, the technological investments made by the Centre have maintained its leading position in new technologies. These include new projects such as the installation of a fixed wi-fi network for 3,000 users, and pioneering tools to develop events such as beacon technology (to send messages to participants and geolocation in the building) and customised Apps.
These global efforts have made the Conference Centre the city’s leading congress and convention venue, and have contributed to Valencia’s meteoric rise on the international congress rankings. It is currently is the third-ranked Spanish city in terms of international congresses, and the sixth in Europe, excluding capital cities, according to data provided by the Union of International Associations (UIA). Statistics supplied by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) confirm that since the Centre opened, the number of international meetings held in Valencia has increased by 300%, from 10 meetings in 1998 to 40 in 2013.
These figures are the result of a strategy which has involved the investment of €9.6 million of its own funds in the Centre’s facilities, 40% of which have been environmental initiatives, such as the installation of the photovoltaic roof which, in 2014, had generated two million kWh of energy since its start-up. These initiatives have made the venue a world benchmark in terms of environmental conservation.
As a result of its management and quality policies, the facility has obtained numerous certifications, making it the leading venue in Spain and one of the most highly certified centres in Europe. In 2014, it satisfactorily passed all the follow-up audits for its ISO 9001 Quality Management, ISO 14001 Environmental Management, and ISO 50001 Energy Management certificates, and also renewed its “Q” Tourist Quality certificate. The Centre also holds the EFQM’s Recognised for Excellence (4 stars) award, and the BREEAM® ES In-Use standard, the latter being obtained in 2013.
Thanks to the efforts made, and to our sales strategies designed at increasing loyalty amongst our opinion leaders so they continue to attract event tourism to the city, the venue won a total of 41 event bids in 2014 and the amount of business generated rose by 35% compared to 2011, which further improves prospects for the future. Major events scheduled for 2015 include the 12th European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology Spring Symposium, the 26th National Congress of the Spanish Diabetes Society, the 37th National Congress of the Primary Care Medical Society, and the 59th Congress of the International Association of Lawyers.
Thus, the venue strengthens its commitment as a focal point for event tourism, and remains competitive as a venue of choice for major events, making Valencia a leading destination on the international congress rankings.