43rd UGT Confederal Congress
Participants: 1,200 (in person)
Date: 17-20 May 2021 (including social congress)
No. days: 4 days
The experience at the Valencia Conference Center is extraordinary. And best of all, most importantly, it is also in pandemic and with restrictions. For us it is extremely exciting that we are the engine that restarts after the long process of inactivity in mass events.Pepe Álvarez // UGT General Secretary
'The long-awaited event'. This is the name the team at the Valencia Conference Centre gave to this large-scale congress, which brought many challenges with it. It was the first on-site, four-day congress to be held after more than a year as a consequence of the pandemic, and it was a resounding success! Not only because of the strict protocols that ensured the safety of the event at all times, but also because of the many benefits it brought to the city.
In the 132-year history of the first and largest trade union in Spain, it was the second time that the congress had left Madrid and the first to be held in Valencia. Expectations and demands, therefore, were high and required special coordination between the UGT team and our staff. The event had a significant social impact. It was attended by the Spanish President, Pedro Sánchez, several vice presidents, ministers and Spain's main business leaders, and it received major media coverage. It also managed to involve citizens through several social initiatives, such as the LGTBI event organised to mark the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
It was a technological congress and raised public awareness of sustainability. An Ecoembes space was set up, with a yellow recycling container and a Reciclos machine, which uses a return and reward system to encourage the recycling of cans and plastic bottles. The Conference Centre also used its digital signage together with an app for the virtual downloading of content and an interactive room search. A digital accreditation system was implemented, and all the stands were built with recycled wood. As part of the Conference Centre's contribution to the SDGs, we lit up Multipurpose Room 1 where the LGTBI event took place with the colours of the rainbow and, to mark World Recycling Day, the exhibition area was coloured green.
In addition to the indirect employment generated by the event, all the services used at the venue were 100% produced by the Conference Centre itself.
It was predominantly a face-to-face event, although the opening and closing ceremonies were also streamed around the world.
With 2,192 overnight stays and a total impact (direct and indirect) of €1,536,741, the event has kick-started the meetings industry in the Valencian Region and has served to return Valencia to its status as a national benchmark venue in the MICE industry. Customer satisfaction is high, as you can see in the interview (above) that the Conference Centre team recorded with the UGT General Secretary, Pepe Álvarez. The trade union's top representative, who was recently re-elected to the position during the congress, entitled the latest post on his blog (with 313,380 subscribers) “Thank you Valencia", in which he states that the decision to organise the congress here was a “resounding success.” And he adds “not only thanks to the quality of the Conference Centre's facilities, which transmit light and harmony but, above all, because of the warm welcome given by its team.” These words are echoed by the congress organisation’s secretariat, who defined the staff at the Conference Centre as “incredible, amazing professionals, with infinite human values. Now I know why you won the World's Best Convention Centre award. You make the venue totally unique, make everybody feel at home, ensure there are no problems and, should any issues arise, the team is always on hand to solve them.”
Check out all the initiatives that took place during the congress.