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Barcelona Convention Bureau’s Destination Competitiveness Reinforcement Strategy

Barcelona is one of the most dominant players in the global MICE industry today, and the City’s MICE industry has effortlessly weathered through the financial crisis which devastated most of the European counterparts. What makes Barcelona stronger than ever as a MICE destination? Christoph Tessmar, the CEO of Barcelona Convention Bureau, revealed the destination competitiveness reinforcement strategy of the bureau through an interview with the Global MICE Insight.

 

GMI: Please introduce Barcelona Convention Bureau to our readers (i.e. the mission, vision and primary objectives)

Tessmar:

The Barcelona Convention Bureau was founded in 1983 and was a pioneer in its field in Spain. BCB was set up within the Turisme de Barcelona and with contributions from private companies. It has detailed information about the infrastructure and services relating to the organization of meetings in Barcelona and the surrounding area. Back-up and advisory services are neutral, unbiased and free of charge.

It offers:

  • Organization assessment
  • Support for congress candidatures
  • Preparation of bid documents
  • Provision of graphic and audiovisual material
  • Co-ordination of inspection visits.

 

GMI: What is Barcelona’s target market? And how does it differentiate itself from the competition to capture the segment?

Tessmar:

We are targeting either association or corporate meetings. Barcelona is a top destination for product launches, corporate meetings and incentive travel, thanks to its up to date facilities and various leisure and cultural attractions. The countless historic and unique venues for receptions, gala dinners and parties are an added attraction for this sector. We are proud of all the events held in the city from association conferences to IT, car launches, corporate meetings. Nevertheless we are also proud that big conferences such as the European Cardiology, European Respiratory Society, Mobile World Congress, Diabetes (EASD), EIBTM keep on trusting in Barcelona to host their conferences

 

GMI: How does the bureau finance its operational budget?

Tessmar:

The BCB is a specialized programme of Turisme de Barcelona, the organization set up by Barcelona Municipal Council, the Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Shipping, and the Barcelona Promotion Foundation. It also receives contributions from companies in the private sector and has as its basic aim the promotion of the city as a venue for congresses, conventions and incentive trips.

 

GMI: What are the competitive advantages of Barcelona as a MICE destination?

Tessmar:

Barcelona has fabulous facilities and reliable professionals. We do have 4 conference centres. The hotel offer is equally abundant and modern, with meeting facilities up to 1.000 people. Barcelona also offers a handful variety of places and structures to organise meetings for large or small dimensions. It also gives a wide range of historical or charming venues, ideal for banquets, cocktails, exhibitions and products presentations, in modern and fully equipped structures.

 

GMI: What are the main plans for the future to keep the position of one of the best meeting destinations?

Tessmar:

Keep maintaining Barcelona as a top meeting destination

 

22Christoph Tessmar was born in Heidelberg (Germany) on 3rd of May 1964. After his education he started the professional career (always in the pharmaceutical industry) in Boehringer Mannheim as area manager for some countries in South America. In January 1990 he moved to Boehringer Mannheim in Barcelona where he started with organization of some events and congresses. In 1999 he joined Sanofi-Aventis Spain as congress manager; he was in charge of the organization and coordination of all the events of the company (national and international congresses, product presentations, symposia, sales conventions and booth design) nearly 500 events per year, where he worked for until January 2012.

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