Summary 2008. Congress and meetings market 2008 saw a 12.6% increase in the number of congresses, and a 13.7% decrease in the number of delegates. Moreover, Barcelona hosted 286 workshops, symposiums and courses in 2008, a respectable figure representing 11.5% of the total number of meetings and 6.2% of delegates. There was spectacular growth in the convention and incentives segment which recorded a 26.3% increase in the number of meetings and a 32.8% rise in delegates, proving that, as a destination, Barcelona remains very strong in different markets.
Assessments In accordance with the growth in the offering geared specifically to meetings tourism, there was an increase in the number of venues, hotels and agencies that made it possible to assemble this data. The result of this process gives us overall figures of 2,482 meetings (+39.8%), 695,902 delegates (+10.5%), 2,833,503 overnights (+22.0%) and direct economic repercussions of 1,715.3 m euros (+0.2%).
· Meetings: It is important to highlight the growth in the size of meetings. In this regard, we noted a decrease in the number of congresses attracting more than 1,000 delegates, which fell from 18.5% in 2007 to 7.6% in 2008. There was, however, a considerable increase in the number of congresses attracting between 40 and 99 delegates, accounting for 37.1% of the total number of congresses in 2008.
· Participants: Tying in with the comments above, there was a 13.7% decrease in the number of congress delegates. Conventions and incentives didn’t follow this pattern, and showed a 32.8% increase in the number of delegates over 2007. Furthermore, it is important to bear in mind the workshops, symposiums and courses hosted in the city, which accounted for 43,234 delegates, or 6.2% of the total.
· Overnights: There was major growth in overnights in the case of conventions (up 53.3% over 2007). However, the total number of overnights spent by congress delegates decreased by 4.6%, also tying in with the fall in the number of delegates. Nevertheless, they still accounted for 50% of the total (1,430,213 overnights by congress delegates).
· Venue: In general, hotels remained the main venues (73%). Conference centres retained their market share of about 7.5% of the total number of meetings held, and private auditoria secured their position at 9%.
· Sector: Medical and healthcare congresses continued to dominate the meetings market in Barcelona, accounting for over 35%. The scientific/academic and technological/computing sectors were the other major sectors which were considerably lower, taking a market share of 9% and 8% respectively. The available data for the convention market showed that the chemical and pharmaceutical sector continued in the lead (19.6%), followed by the technological and industrial sector (9.4%) and the financial sector (9.2%). Generally speaking, there was some disparity in the distribution of the convention and incentive sectors.
· By origin: The British market maintained its lead among the congresses of known origin (this year above 90%), with 29.6% of the market total, although it fell by 2 points over the previous year (31.6%). The USA came a very respectable second, with 15.6% of the total number of conventions and incentives, and a decrease of just 2.5 points in their participation quota over 2007. The well-established German and French markets ranked just after the USA, and showed an increase in participation compared with the previous year. Special mention must be made of the Scandinavian countries, which grew from 2.5% of conventions and incentives in 2007 to 4.7% in 2008, with a noteworthy presence of the Swedish market (3% of the total).
Economic impact and contribution of the BCB:
• The economic impact of the city’s meetings market is estimated at 1,715.3 million euros.
• The contribution of the BCB to the city’s congress activities accounted for 4.6% of the total number of congresses (including workshops, symposiums and courses), and 26.7% of the total number of participants. In the case of conventions, the BCB took part in 2.9% of the meetings, accounting for 5.6% of the total number of delegates.
• The overall contribution of the BCB accounted for 3.4% of the total number of meetings, and 17.3% of the total number of participants: an important figure if we take into account the overall growth in meetings tourism.
• During 2008, the BCB confirmed the following figures: - 114 meetings; - 90,109 delegates; - 295,409 overnights; - 160.55 m euros.