Emiliano García draws attention to the seven million euros investment in innovation in the same period
Over the last seven years, Valencia Conference Centre has set in motion a strategy which opts for the economic and financial solvency of the venue, continuous investment and the empowerment of its human capital. As a result, an increase in the internationalisation of activity has been witnessed, and, taking into account forecasts for 2023, a 36% growth in business.
Emiliano García, councillor for Tourism and president of the Conference Centre recalled that “at the end of 2015, the Conference Centre experienced a critical time due to the difficult economic situation and its outdated infrastructures, with a financial debt to credit institutions and providers of more than 5.5 million euros. Thanks to the good economic results and municipal contributions, the Conference Centre was able to pay off this debt in 2019 and since then and until now, it has been in a situation of economic and financial solvency”.
“To achieve this goal, it was necessary to make continuous investments which helped to strengthen the growth of the business”, stated García, who pointed out that the “ total amount of investments during the 2016-2023 period is almost seven million euros and 85% of the capital was invested in the digitalisation, innovation and sustainability of the venue”.
Another key aspect to improve its productivity, in addition to investment in infrastructures, is its human resources. The president of the municipal body highlighted that “the Conference Centre has armed its staff not only with knowledge but also with skills to take on new challenges. Among other initiatives, the staff benefits from a labour agreement, an agreement regulating the career and performance appraisal system and an equality plan”.
The combination of the commercial action of the team and the benefit of the investments made in the building have allowed, taking into account the forecasts for 2023, the increase in business since 2016 to stand at 36%. It is worth highlighting the importance of attracting and holding congresses as a revenue-generating factor, as in 2022 alone, this type of event accounted for 73.6% of business. Revenues from international activity have increased by 88%, from €686,706 in 2016 to €1,293,000 in 2022.
Sylvia Andrés, manager of the Conference Centre highlights: “As well as economic sustainability, the Centre has obtained hugely positive results in environmental and social areas. To this end, it has promoted actions in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and has shared strategies for minimising the negative impact of its activity and the creation of off-setting projects.
Andrés gave some examples of pioneering projects in environmental matters such as “the calculation, certification and verification of the carbon footprint of the building’s activity; the actions set out in the collaboration agreement signed in 2022 with CEMAS to reduce food waste and calculate the nutritional footprint; and the creation of work teams such as the Sustainability Advisory Committee, whose aim is to turn the Centre into an ideas laboratory to share experiences and extrapolate dynamics to other venues”.
The Centre today
The Valencia Conference Centre has become an emblem of the new Valencia. With cutting-edge design and never-ending activity, it has accompanied and contributed to the extraordinary shift witnessed in the city since its inauguration, as one of the main players in this change.
On the cusp of its 25th birthday, the venue has hosted 3,200 events attended by more than 2.3 million people. This activity has generated close to 2.4 million overnight stays, reinforcing the building’s position as a powerful stimulus for the local economy.
The work carried out and the initiatives implemented over the years have contributed to a high level of public satisfaction, which has led to its recognition by the International Association of Conference Centres (AIPC) as the Best Conference Centre in the World in 2018.
As a part of its strategy, it mainly aims to attract domestic and international business tourism mainly, but with a particular sensitivity towards its environment, to which it is firmly committed, involving its staff, suppliers and events organisation companies. All strategic and operational planning of the venue is imbued with sustainability, allowing the interaction between the building and the events held there to ensure the preservation of nature and the well-being of society.