Madrid for Meetings – It is Time to Book!!

Madrid is fast becoming a world leader in hosting large meetings, groups and congresses.  This is due in part to its capability to host a variety of meetings and expos in size and scale.  This is largely due to the work of the Madrid Convention Bureau (MCB), the public entity that is tasked with promoting the city on an international basis and working through the bid process with many large groups, especially in the scientific and medical markets.   This year alone at least 50 bids have been submitted for large scale, international congresses.

Madrid is now one of the top 10 destinations for meetings based on the ICCA ranking.  The ICCA, International Congress & Convention Association, compiles data on international meetings held in 1600 worldwide cities and ones that meet on a regular basis and rotate between a minimum of 3 countries.  Members use this data as a sales and marketing resource for future meetings.

The BestCities Global Alliance confirmed the Madrid Convention Bureau as their 12th partner this past spring.  This international network of leading global convention destinations are committed to offer specific service standards, adding unique value to those member cities and striving for long-term loyalty.  Madrid is the first Mediterranean city to be installed into the alliance and joins other top meeting cities; Berlin, Bogata, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Houston, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo and Vancouver.

With this designation, Madrid is dedicated in the achievement of excellence in many areas, including venue capacity, ease of international access, a developed infrastructure and more importantly, the desire and ability to host such world-class meetings and events.
In 2017 Madrid is host to 7 large conventions, generating more than 700,000 overnight stays and more than 180 million euros of direct expenditure for the city.  2017 large meetings include:

  • The Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) – 14,000 delegates
  • The European Congress of Medical Oncology (ESMO) – 20,000 delegates
  • The World ATM Congress (WATMC) – 7,000 delegates
  • The European Congress of Osseointegration (EAO) – 3,000 delegates
  • The 54th European Renal Association and European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA-EDTA) Congress – 10,000 delegates
  • The 22nd Congress of the European Haematology Association (EHA) – 15,000 delegates
  • The Annual World Dental Congress 2017 (FDI) – 12,000 delegates.

World Pride 2017 was a successful large city event, attracting 2.2 million attendees for the week and 1.4 million during the actual parade.  With indirect advertising, this generated 67 million euros for the national market.  Security was unprecedented and truthfully Madrid is one of the safest European cities to spend time in.  The crime rate is low and visitors can safely enjoy the city, even into the wee hours of the evenings. Yet, another reason that Madrid is a great meeting destination.
This fall Madrid will host two large meetings with Herbalife bringing 15,000 attendees and HP bringing in close to 9,000.  Undoubtedly, Madrid is not pulling any stops when it comes to promoting their city for meeting business.  The city offers have state-of-the-art facilities in their convention and expo centers and several large, new and renovated hotels that can accommodate large congresses.  Madrid boasts not only the ability to commit to and deliver excellence with such large events but also offers so much in the way of culture and things for attendees to experience during their off time.

Congratulations to Madrid and the Madrid Convention Bureau for its successes and achievements in being designated as a top convention international city and for being named to the BestCities Global Alliance. There is no doubt the meeting business will continue to grow.   For more information on bringing your meeting or event to Madrid, please contact The Madrid Convention Bureau.


Ms. Martinez is a long time member of the hospitality and event planning community.  After a long-term career as a corporate meeting executive for Lennox International Inc., Martinez began doing her own meeting and event consulting.  Recently she has been doing project management as well as managing on-site operations for large conventions; most over 5,000 attendees.  Martinez also authors blogs for the I-Meet website on various destinations.  Additionally, she is a Certified Life Coach and hosts monthly Meetups, Inspiring Women in Transition.


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