Madrid cements its reputation as a world famous destination for meetings tourism. In 2017, seven large-scale international congresses are already confirmed as taking place in the capital, expecting to generate more than 700,000 overnight stays in the city and a direct expenditure of 180 million euros. The city of Madrid continues to consolidate its position as a leading destination for these types of events, demonstrating the faith placed in the capital by associations and organisations the world over as the venue for their professional meetings.
Madrid is well prepared this year to host a large number of congresses of up to 21,000 delegates and will be the setting for some of the most important international congresses in the medical and air transport sectors. They are the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR), expected to attract 14,000 delegates; the European Congress of Medical Oncology (ESMO), with 20,000 delegates; the World ATM Congress (WATMC), with 7,000 delegates; the European Congress of Osseointegration (EAO), with 3,000 delegates; the 54th European Renal Association and European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA-EDTA) Congress, with 10,000 delegates; the 22nd Congress of the European Haematology Association (EHA), with 15,000 delegates; and the Annual World Dental Congress 2017 (FDI), with an estimated 12,000 delegates.
Congress organisers are opting for Madrid
All these meetings contribute to confirming Madrid’s status as a world leader in the meetings tourism market. Together with London, the Spanish capital takes fifth place in the ranking produced by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), which compiles data on international congresses held in 1,600 cities across the world.
In addition to occupying one of the top positions as an international congress destination, Madrid attracts excellent feedback and satisfaction ratings from congress delegates and organisers alike. According to the 2015 Meetings Tourism Report, Madrid scores over eight points on a scale of 1 to 10. On this note, it is important to highlight that several of these seven major congresses due to be hosted by Madrid in 2017 are repeating in the Spanish capital, and that one or two, like the World ATM Congress, now in its fifth year in the city, have confirmed that they will be staying in Madrid for the next few years.
Madrid Convention Bureau (MCB)
Destination Madrid has a specialist public-private body, Madrid Convention Bureau (MCB), which acts as a conduit for the city’s international promotion and attracting congresses at the bidding stage. This requires years of collaboration and work with associations from all over the world and in the local area, as well as OPCs and other agents involved in capturing and organising this type of event.
Reporting to the Madrid Destino Tourism Department, MCB carries out some 35 national and international promotional actions every year, aimed at cementing Madrid’s image as the ideal destination for meetings tourism, and processes around 50 new congress bids. All these initiatives are put in place in collaboration with the 200 companies in the sector associated with the organisation. In the case of the seven aforementioned congresses, MCB has been working closely with IFEMA Conventions and Congresses, which will be the main venue for all the events.
Best Cities Global Alliance
With the aim of continuing to strengthen the positive image of Destination Madrid and the work of promoting meetings tourism undertaken by the capital’s City Council, Madrid Convention Bureau will be joining the Best Cities Global Alliance as a full member from May this year. This prestigious alliance of cities comprises a select club of international congress bureaux and pursues excellence in the organisation of large-scale congresses. Madrid will be one of a group that comprises Berlin, Bogotá, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Houston, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo and Vancouver.