Fira de Barcelona forecasts revenues of 165 million euros in 2016, the most successful year in its history

2016 will be a record year for Fira de Barcelona. The institution expects to close the financial year with a turnover of 165 million euros, well over its estimation, and an EBITDA of €20 million. The positive evolution of its own trade shows, the importance of external events, its international business – both in its own venues and abroad – and its commitment to innovation, especially in terms of technology and industry, have brought the institution the best results in its history and underlined its role as a driving force of the region’s economic activity.
The main economic figures and strategic lines of Fira’s business activities were presented today by the president of the Board of Directors, Josep Lluís Bonet, and the general manager, Constantí Serrallonga, during the General Council meeting chaired by Barcelona mayoress Ada Colau, who highlighted the excellent progress of the institution and its close bond with the city.
The expected turnover of 165.1 million euros represents an increase of 16.4% over the initial budget and 9.6% compared to 2015. When compared to 2014, the most similar year in terms of the trade fair calendar and also a year which represented the record revenue to date (152.6 million), this increase is 8,2%. The EBITDA will also be a record figure, at 20 million euros, 50.4% higher than in 2015 and 0.7% up on 2014.
Different lines of business
Josep Lluís Bonet emphasised the fact that ‘these exceptional results’, set in a more favourable economic context, are primarily due to the institution’s strategy, whose ‘forward-looking approach has enabled it to achieve a firm footing in a highly competitive market and consolidate its positioning in the European trade fair industry.’
As far as the general manager, Constantí Serrallonga, is concerned, ‘achieving the best results in the history of Fira de Barcelona has been made possible by the excellent performance of its three main business areas’ – that is the positive progress of its own trade shows; the importance of top international events secured by Fira and organised by other operators; and its growing international activity through events organised in other countries.
Having noted that the final calculations for the financial year will need to take into account the contribution of new events or those that had not been included in the initial budget, Serrallonga emphasised the role of Fira as an economic and social driving force. This will continue to apply according to the strategy on which Fira is currently working to strengthen the institution’s organisational capacity and solvency.
In 2016, Fira de Barcelona was exceptionally busy, hosting at the Gran Via and Montjuïc venues some 65 trade shows and congresses, plus nine trade shows organised abroad and more than 50 corporate, sporting and commercial events: a total of 120 events in all. In addition, under the umbrella of the different trade shows, more than one thousand activities took place, including training sessions, conferences, and workshops.
Towards Industry 4.0
Some of the most notable events organised by Fira in 2016 were Alimentaria, the Boat Show, Caravaning, Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week and Liber, with a special mention being necessary for events focussing on technology and Industry 4.0. This was the case of the new In(3D)ustry, the Internet of Things Solutions World Congress (IoTS), now on its second edition, and the Smart City Expo World Congress, which this year was jointly held with the launch of Iwater (on the comprehensive water cycle), the Circular Economy European Summit (reuse of waste) and European Utility Week (as its name suggests, on utilities): four events that turned the Gran Via venue into a global hub of sustainability and innovation for one week.
Other outstanding events on this year’s calendar included the first edition of Barcelona Games World, on the world of videogames, organised in collaboration with the Spanish Video Games Association (AEVI), and the return of Motorcycle show Motoh!, a very important sector in Barcelona and Catalonia, as well as Hostelco, the Manga and Comic trade shows, Sónar, B-Travel, Bizbarcelona and Education.
Meanwhile, it is also important to highlight the key role played by the international events hosted by Fira de Barcelona, such as the Mobile World Congress (MWC), CPhI Worldwide (the leading trade fair for the pharmaceutical sector), 4YFN, ibtm world and Euro Attractions, as well as meetings and congresses on health and technology organised by the European Society for the Study of the Liver, the Spanish Rheumatology Society and the companies SAP and VM Ware, amongst others.
Notable international activity 
During this past year, Fira has been involved in a lot of activity abroad with the joint organisation of nine trade shows in different countries: Alimentaria in Mexico, the editions of Smart City Expo in Kyoto (Japan), Puebla (Mexico), Istanbul (Turkey) and Casablanca (Morocco); the Qatar Motor Show and the Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition, HostelCuba (on machinery for the hospitality industry) and Feria Alimentos Cuba. The institution has also continued its work on the joint management of event venues such as the Doha Convention Centre, and has developed a number of consultancy services in Morocco and Ethiopia.
In 2017 the institution plans to pursue the expansion of its international business with the joint organisation of Smart City Expo in Buenos Aires, Casablanca and Puebla, amongst other countries; the Qatar Motor Show, and the launch in Cuba of events for the graphics industry, the renewable energy sector and the security sector, in addition to HostelCuba, amongst others projects.
Innovation in technology and health in 2017
Fira de Barcelona is looking forward to 2017 with great prospects and anticipated revenue of more than 160 million euros. Next year, the institution expects to host over 60 trade shows and congresses, including Mobile World Congress, Games World, Smart City Expo, Barcelona Building Construmat and Automobile Barcelona (the new branding for the Motor Show with a bigger emphasis on mobile connectivity).
Events related to innovation and new industry will also play a key role. It is worth mentioning the planned joint organisation in October at the Gran Via venue of events focussing on technology (IoT Solutions and In(3D)dustry) and advanced chemistry (Expoquimia, Equiplast and Eurosurfas) which in 2017 will coincide with the World Chemical Engineering Congress and the first edition of the World Chemical Summit, an international discussion forum on the chemical sector, undoubtedly making this a major industrial week.
Among its new events, Fira will be launching Healthio, the new trade show that picks up on the experience of MIHealth to focus on new technological applications in the medical sphere. Indeed, the institution will be hosting some major health-related events next year, including the European Society of Cardiology Congress, the world’s biggest in its specialist area, which attracts over 30,000 specialists from 150 countries and which Fira de Barcelona is hosting for the fifth time, the most recent edition being in 2014. Other medical congresses include those organised by the European Societies of Gastroenterology, Burns Injuries and Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Other events worth mentioning on the 2017 trade fair calendar include Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, Piscina Barcelona, ibtm world, Graphispag, Motoh!, Manga and Sonar, to name just a few.
Barcelona, 16th of December 2016