10 Dec Congress in Spain: 4 topics to consider before planning your event in Spain
FIBES is a leading venue in Spain for all types of MICE events, including conventions, trade fairs, congresses, musical shows, and more. Readers of our articles will know exactly what we mean when we talk about congresses in Spain. This article discusses congresses within the MICE industry (the conference type – read more on the difference between a conference and a congress), as opposed to the legislative assembly. We felt we needed to make the distinction for our first-time visitors. If you are planning to organise your congress in Spain, this article will hopefully help guide you through the first steps. For all enquiries, feel free to contact us using the links provided at the end of this article.
#1 Choose your destination wisely
Choosing the right city is the first decision you need to make when planning your congress in Spain. Spain’s most populated cities are perfectly equipped to host even the largest of events. The country is a popular destination for both leisure and business tourism, and as a result its hotel circuit and transport systems have developed to respond to the high influx of national and international tourists. Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Malaga, and Bilbao all have international airports, are well connected to the rest of Spain by motorway and rail routes, and attract the largest numbers of MICE events in Spain (see share in the image below, taken from our article on conferences in Spain).
However, there are other factors that will help you to pick one destination over other contenders. For instance, how alluring is the city to potential delegates? After all, you want to maximise attendance to your congress in Spain. Can you use the city’s brand image as an extra selling point to draw in larger numbers of attendees? Does the city offer great gastronomic and cultural tours if your delegates wish to partake in them outside of your event? Is the cost of transportation and accommodation affordable to your delegates in general? Cities like Barcelona and Madrid tend to be more costly than the likes of Seville, for instance, and may influence a visitor’s decision to attend your congress.
You may also want to find out what is the current political situation in your chosen destination. Is there political unrest in the region, or nationwide? Are strikes likely to hit transport or other private or public services in the city, complicating accessibility for your event? These are just some of the factors you need to take into account when selecting a city for your congress in Spain.
#2 Select the right venue for your congress in Spain
Venues come in all shapes and sizes: from private function rooms in hotels to large conference centres, you’ll find all kinds of venues to host your congress in Spain. Needless to say, not all venues are right for your event. Choosing the right one will be crucial to making yours a success. Your main concerns will be to avoid over-spending on unnecessarily large venues and making sure that you have the right facilities for your congress. The three main questions to consider are:
- Size: pick a venue that is just the right size according to the number of attendees, the number of exhibitors, the nature of your industry, etc.
- Accessibility: how well is the venue connected to main railway stations, airports, and motorways? Are local bus and taxi services sufficient for your requirements? Does the venue have private parking?
- Facilities: decide from the start whether you need one or more auditoria, smaller function rooms, large exhibition space, video-conferencing or live broadcasting for media outlets, catering teams, etc.
More suggestions can be found in our post on conference facilities.
#3 Timing is everything
Choose an appropriate time of the year to organise your congress! Summers are hot in Spain, and many MICE event organisers avoid the months of July and August when temperatures peak. As much as we love welcoming people all year round, we know the Spanish summer may be a bad period to invite international visitors who aren’t accustomed to the heat. Peak seasons also mean higher numbers of tourists and, as a consequence, higher travel costs. Be aware that travel rates also soar at other times of the year in Spain. You’ll want to avoid dates that clash with popular festivities such as the Fallas in Valencia, or highly popular events in Seville such as the Semana Santa or the yearly Feria de Sevilla. Find out if any other special events are taking place around the same time as your event. For example, if your congress clashes with a popular international football match or show you’ll need to make sure the host city can cater for the influx of tourists for both events. On a side note, FIBES can cater for multiple events simultaneously thanks to its two connected buildings. More on this matter can be found in this article.
#4 Working with the right people
Make sure that you are covering all grounds for your congress in Spain. You may need to consider working with local agencies and providers to help plan your event: local communication and marketing agencies, catering teams, event planners or DMC in Spain. Find the best local agencies and enquire about their rates and some of the clients they have worked with in the past.
FIBES, your venue for congresses in Spain
This article only lists some very general questions to help you plan your congress in Spain. If you are considering organising a congress, contact Raquel Martínez Arija using the contact details listed on our contact page and find out how FIBES could host your event.