Madrid – A Mecca for Big International Events

Ah, Madrid! An extraordinary place in its own right, and a recognized world class destination for meetings and events.  It is a leading choice for so many groups and organizations – solidifying its position as a mecca for conferences.  In 2017 alone, the city will host seven major international congresses which are expected to generate more than 700,000 room nights and a direct expenditure of 180 million euros.  Alongside London, Madrid boasts fifth place in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranking, which compiles data on international congresses held in 1,600 cities across the world.

This year alone, 21,000 delegates will make Madrid home in attending various major conventions.  Some of these include the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) which will host close to 15,000 delegates in celebrating its 70th anniversary, the European Congress of Medical Oncology (ESMO), the 54th European Renal Association and European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA-EDTA) Congress, the 22nd Congress of the European Haematology Association (EHA), and the Annual World Dental Congress 2017 (FDI).  September will host a sales convention for a US nutrition and health company, with 13,000 participants expected.  And in November, a tech company has selected Madrid, with over 7,000 participants expected.  Lastly, look for the World Football Summit (WFS) Oct 16-17, 2017 to be hosted in Madrid (Spain’s leading international event for the Football Industry).  WFS will have more than 2,000 attendees from over 70 countries, with 60+ keynote speakers.

In addition to occupying one of the top positions as an international congress destination, Madrid has excellent feedback and satisfaction ratings from attendees and planners alike. According to the 2015 Meetings Tourism Report, Madrid scores over eight points on a scale of 1 to 10.  In addition, many hosts are booking multi-year deals due to stellar client feedback and experiences the first time around.  For example, one must mention the World Mediation Summit.  For the 4th year in a row, June 13-16, 2017, Mediation International in tandem with Madrid, is bringing together some of the greatest visionaries and mediation experts from across the globe.  International ambassadors and diplomats, mediators and lawyers, as well as local experts and international mediation related organizations will come together to present, network, and host highly rated training opportunities for its attendees.

Much of Madrid’s success in capturing this business (and bringing it back year after year) is owed to the Madrid Convention Bureau (MCB).  This is the municipal public body tasked with promoting the city on the international stage and confirming these large conventions via a bid processes involving years of collaboration and effort.  All through this year, some 50 new bids will be submitted for attracting professional events to the capital.  With the help of the MCB, Madrid is without a doubt a current leader in the worldwide meetings tourism market.

The numbers speak for themselves, but why are the world’s top MICE and corporate planners choosing Madrid for their VIP events?  With over 200 direct flights connecting to over 70 countries, 743 hotels, the largest art gallery in the world, 6 UNESCO heritage sites near the city, over 46,000 shops and 17,000 restaurants, there is so much to discover here.  It is the second city with the most green-spaces in the world, and the third city for the most conference tourism.  Groups can certainly tailor a one-of-a-kind experience for their attendees throughout Madrid.  With its modern infrastructure and avant-garde conference facilities, the city has everything you need to make your next program one for the history books. Consider Madrid – the possibilities are endless!

Samantha Meloni


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