Fira de Barcelona exceed 250 million euros in revenue in an intensely busy year

Fira de Barcelona will end 2023 with its best results ever with a record 250 million euros in revenue and 39 million in EBITDA. The institution will once again produce exceptional numbers in a bustling year, which has seen the celebration world-class events, reaffirming its place atop the congress and fair industry at the national and international level and allowing it to push forward into 2024 with excellent prospects, a year marked by a busy calendar and important strategic projects under way.

Historic results for Fira de Barcelona, which expects to close the year with 250.2 million euros in revenue, 17.9% higher than 2022, as well as a record EBITDA of 39 million euros, 6.6% above the previous year. Such magnitudes that have never before been reached by the institution, in a year of intense activity with over 270 shows, congresses and a wide range of events held in its Montjuïc and Gran Via venues and the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB), in addition to those held abroad.

Pau Relat, the Chairman of Fira’s Board of Directors, and Constantí Serrallonga, the General Manager, are presenting these results and the good forecast for 2024 at today’s meeting of the Institution’s General Council, presided by Jaume Collboni, the Mayor of Barcelona, and vice-presidents Roger Torrent, the Government of Catalonia’s Minister of Business and Work, and Josep Santacreu, President of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce.

Solvency and international leadership
Pau Relat remarked, “these extraordinary results are proof of the consolidation and progress the institution has made in its activity and business, affirming its leadership in the world trade fair market and empowering its economic and social contribution to the region. It is an exceptional balance that is accompanied by the new challenges and growth prospects posed by the large infrastructures that are being carried out”.

As for Constantí Serrallonga, he pointed to “these record figures, which have surpassed all expectations and reflect the number, volume and importance of the event held throughout the year”. He stressed that “thanks to its venues, services organisational experience and excellence, Fira has not only built a recurring portfolio of benchmark international events that have chosen Barcelona for their growth, but it also been able to land new major events for the coming years”.

Both Mr. Relat and Mr. Serrallonga have also underscored that these magnificent results, plus the ambitious remodelling and expansion plans for the Montjuïc and Gran Via venues, whose progress and potential have been demonstrated of late in these institutional presentations, not only reflect the Fira’s current strength but also a rising profile to come.

2023 has proved to be a year of great technological, industrial and medical events, such as MWC Barcelona, Integrated Systems Europe (ISE), Smart City Expo World Congress, the meetings of the tech multinationals VMware and Gartner, CPHI (the world’s leading fair in the pharmaceutical industry) and the world congresses for Parkinson’s, Osteoporosis and Gastrointestinal Cancer, among others.

All this, not to mention Automobile, Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, Expoquimia and Equiplast, Construmat, Seafood Expo Global, Infarma, Alimentaria Foodtech, Barcelona Wine Week, Gastronomic Forum Barcelona, Piscina&Wellness, Náutico, CineEurope, Caravaning, Manga and Cómic fairs, Sónar, Ensenyament, Bizbarcelona and Ocupació, plus events that were held for very first time, such as Shoptalk (retail industry), the World Airport Congress, Global Transport Summit (UITP) or the Gala of Michelin Stars.

As far as the overseas activity is concerned, Fira has continued with its management of two fairgrounds in China and has held seven fairs in seven different countries: Smart City Expo in Brazil, Mexico, Bogota, Argentina, China and Qatar, plus HostelCuba.

2024, good prospect
Fira de Barcelona is looking forward to 2024 with excellent prospects in terms of activity and revenue. It expects to surpass 260 million euros in revenue with important fairs and congresses coming up, especially in technology, food, industry and health, such as MWC Barcelona, ISE, Alimentaria & Hostelco, Smart City Expo World Congress, Seafood Expo Global, Hispack and the medical congresses of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) or Refractory and Cataract Surgeons, as well as the world congresses of Gastrointestinal Cancer (WCGIC) and Gynaecological Cancer (ESGO), among others.

A year of important corporate events is expected, such as those of the tech companies VMware, Gartner, SAP, HP, Nutanix and IBM; the world McDonald’s convention and the UN’s world conference on the protection of the oceans. Similarly, special importance will be given to the editions of Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, Cineurope, IOT Solutions World Congress, Ibtm world, Construmat, Barcelona Wine Week, Graphispag, Liber, Gastronomic Forum, Shoptalk and Aviation Week, as well as the fairs of Cómic, Manga, Ensenyament, Bizbarcelona, Saló de l’Ocupació, B-travel and the Gala of the Gaudí Awards.

Regarding the fairs co-organised in other countries, Fira is expecting to hold eleven in total. Along with the editions of Smart City Expo in China, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, New York and Bogota, there will be another in Saudi Arabia, Alimentos Cuba and the first gatherings of Tomorrow Mobility in Mexico, IOT Brazil and Alimentaria China. This is in addition to the continued management of two fairgrounds in China.

Strategic projects forge ahead
In the coming year, progress will continue in the large-scale infrastructure projects under way. An architectural call is planned for the transformation and modernisation works of the Montjuïc venue, which will turn it into a unique urban fair space in Europe and combine the fair’s activity with new public and civic uses in the surrounding areas, as well as permanent spaces of innovation in fair-related industries. The project is expected to be completed in 2029, in time for the centennial of the 1929 Barcelona International Expo.

A commission has been formed to commemorate this celebration, the Comissió del Centenari, made up by the Government of Catalonia, the City of Barcelona and Fira, which will be presented this week in the Montjuïc venue and be in charge of promoting a range of initiatives to recapture the spirit of the Barcelona of that time as a capital of innovation and modernity and get its citizens involved.

Regarding the Gran Via venue, work will continue throughout 2024 on the construction of a new pavilion, called Hall Zero, with over 60,000 m2 of space, highlighting its design, technology, sustainability and versatility to host any type of event. With this expansion, which also includes an office building and is expected to conclude at the end of 2026, the fairground will total 300,000 m2 of exhibition space, one of the largest in Europe.

In 2023 Fira de Barcelona has also bolstered its commitment to sustainability. In terms of governance, it approved the Sustainability Strategic Plan 2023-2026, which contemplates actions aimed at sustainable development of the institution’s activity and business model in order to achieve SDGs. In addition to its renewal of the ISO 14001 environmental management certificate, it has also take a range of actions to improve energy efficiency and recycling.

Barcelona, 15th December 2023

Images available here

Amparo Losada / Salva Bilurbina
Fira de Barcelona Press Office
Tel. +3493 233 26 59