The Valencia Conference Centre celebrates its 12th anniversaryIn the last twelve years, the Valencia Conference Centre (VCC) has gone from trying to carve out a niche for itself in the event tourism market to becoming a benchmark venue for congress tourism on the domestic and international stage. Moreover, it has become one of the cornerstones of Valencia?s transformation into a modern, cosmopolitan city.
Since it was opened on 2nd July 1998, the building, which was designed by Norman Foster, has played host to over 1,900 events and 1.3 million visitors and has generated an economic impact of over ?600 million for the city.
During this time, we have learned about medicine, architecture and economics; we have enjoyed major concerts, and have lived the reality of volunteers and terrorism victims. Moreover, these events have enabled us to welcome personalities from all fields which have generated a significant impact in the media and have thus enabled people from all over the world to get to know us and our venue.
In the words of the Valencia Conference Centre?s CEO, José Salinas, "the importance of having a venue like the Conference Centre has put Valencia on the map, not only as far as traditional tourism is concerned but also in the case of event tourism, which generates huge economic benefits for the city and contributes to improving and extending its infrastructure".
The VCC is the essence of the modernisation of a new city which opened itself up to the world at the end of the last century. This broadening of horizons was given a huge boost with the inauguration of the Valencia Conference Centre which became the city?s first large-scale venue for holding major events. The Centre?s opening also boosted growth around one of the city?s main approach roads and led the urban development of the northwest district of Valencia, becoming a catalyst for the rapid transformation of the surrounding area with the gradual appearance of hotels, businesses, office blocks and housing in recent years.
There are two basic factors to bear in mind when tracing the Conference Centre?s history: its commitment to sustainability and its self-funding status. They gave birth to the ECO Project which aims to attract sustainable events to the venue but which also encompasses a series of accomplishments, such as the transformation of the building?s roof which has been fitted with a unique photovoltaic installation, which aim to ensure respect for the environment and have reduced energy consumption by one million kWh per year, bringing with it annual savings of ?250,000.
The Valencia Conference Centre has gained an exceptional place on the international stage entirely through its own merits. Its self-funding status means it is able to maintain its position as a technological pioneer and consolidate its management policies which are used to run the centre exclusively with the funds it generates. This has also enabled the Centre to reinvest over ?8 million in improvements to its own facilities and equipment.
Some of the milestones achieved by the Conference Centre include the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) award for the best European building in 1999, and the OPC prize given by the Spanish Federation of Professional Conference Organisers. It was also voted the third best congress centre in the world by the AIPC (International Association of Congress Centres).
The Centre has also engaged in a continuous commitment to quality. It currently holds the Recognised for Excellence (4 stars) award given by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), the integrated ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 Quality and Environmental Management Systems, the ?Q? Tourist Quality Certificate and the recently obtained UNE 216301:2007 for Energy Management Systems certification. These endorsements have made the venue a leading European facility in terms of quality.