• 05/07/2019

Robust commitment to internationalisation

Meeting tourism

Internationalisation, one of the main themes of ‘The Future of Conference Centres’ round table at the 16th APCE Conference. 

Internationalisation was one of the key issues addressed by Sylvia Andrés, Managing Director of the Valencia Conference Centre, at ‘The Future of Conference Centres’ round table during the 16th APCE Conference held at INFECAR (Gran Canaria). Other speakers were Mario Cajiao, Vice-President of the Bogotá International Business and Convention Centre, Marc Rodríguez, Managing Director of the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB), and Belén Mann, Conventions Director at IFEMA.

The latest International Congress and Convention Association statistics put Spain in third place in the international meetings tourism table. This positioning is supported not only by Madrid and Barcelona but also by numerous Spanish destinations whose infrastructures have the potential to continue growing in the future, which explains the importance of our opinion in this industry.

Besides this point, the speakers also highlighted other features which will shape the events of the future and are already a part of numerous companies in our surroundings. Technological breakthroughs and the delegate experience are now considered priorities for event planners. The “one size fits all” approach is no longer acceptable and the emotional component will be a cross-cutting aspect of meetings.

Some of the factors which will set the trend for the coming years are a new kind of meeting that allows the delegate to switch from being a mere listener to interacting with the event, the introduction of smart and versatile spaces, the Internet of Things and global events with no space or time barriers. However, and in spite of the progress made in communication, face-to-face contact will still be retained as it adds value to delegates in terms of networking.

As a result of these changes, conference centres need constant investment to stay at the forefront of the international MICE market. In fact, the International Association of Convention Centres’ figures show that 70% of conference centres are planning to redesign their facilities which will enable them to adapt and reinvent themselves in order to continue leading the technology race.