Bizbarcelona 2017 attracted more SMEs to inspire and drive the digital transformation

Bizbarcelona by Barcelona Activa closed its seventh edition this afternoon at the Montjuïc exhibition centre, having attracted large visitor numbers to its conferences and programmed activities. The new focus, based on the digital transformation, managed to attract more SMEs and self-employed professionals who accounted for 36.9% of the total visitor numbers, although entrepreneurs continue to form the bulk of the event’s visitors. There was also a growing interest shown in social economy projects compared to last year. 

Over two days of intensive activity, Bizbarcelona was visited by some 13,900 people, demonstrating the strength of the entrepreneurial spirit in the city and its metropolitan area, as 38.6% of the visitors came to the show with business ideas or projects in their initial stages. It is also worth noting the increased presence of SMEs and self-employed professionals, accounting for more than 5,000 visitors, 2.5% up on last year. Meanwhile, 7.5% of visitors came from entities that promote entrepreneurship and start-ups, along with consultants and training centres; another 7% came from the social economy – two percentage points more than in 2016 – and 5% of visitors were unemployed. The other visitors chose not to specify their professional situation.
The first results from the event show more than 1,800 contacts between companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs with around twenty investors in the Financing Marketplace; 640 interviews between SMEs interested in exporting and experts in internationalisation from the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and CaixaBank; 222 one-to-one advisory sessions on the creation and consolidation of companies and social economy projects; 1,400 interviews in the Getting Contacts section, the qualified networking session organised as part of the Congress of Professions; plus 3,500 contacts at the other networking sessions; more than 280 meetings in the Re-Enterprise area; 60 video pitch recordings and 2,500 messages on The Wall at the show.
Bizbarcelona 2017 also included 182 conferences involving 326 speakers, an area for advice on business creation and growth with 70 advisory desks, 34 networking meetings, a financing marketplace, an area specialising in exports, a space for presenting talent, the Bizfranquicias area on franchising and a trade fair zone with 70 exhibitors.
The show’s commitment to digital transformation this year received an excellent response. In this respect, the councillor for Business and Tourism at Barcelona City Council and president of the show, Agustí Colom, highlighted the inspiring role of Bizbarcelona ‘which has become a barometer of entrepreneurial activity and demonstrates the plurality of the city’s ecosystem. It offers an opportunity to connect with the ecosystem, learn about new trends and explore new business perspectives.’
The director of Bizbarcelona, Aleix Planas, expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the show and pointed out that at the next edition, scheduled for 30 and 31 May 2018, ‘we will continue to put a focus on the challenges of the digital transformation to help new entrepreneurs and the business sector to adopt new technologies and ways of producing, working, selling, communicating and liaising with consumers, suppliers and employees in a dynamic environment that is full of opportunities.’
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