Can’t decide on your next MICE destination? We can help by introducing you to the diverse culture and fascinating sights and sounds of Spain.
For MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) tourism, Spain is the 3rd most popular destination in the world. Not surprising as the country has excellent flight connection, well connected inbound transportation, a strong cache of hotels, and alternative accommodations intended for MICE. On top of that, Spain’s biggest unique selling point is its diversity in features and landscapes.
Whether you prefer to be in the mountains, on the beach, or in the only mainland desert in Europe (Desierto de Tabernas), Spain has it all. Also, in terms of attractions, the country has a broad selection to suit everyone’s taste, from experiencing the best wines, rock climbing, helicopter tours, teambuilding challenges, delicious tastings, to sailing on the bluest waters. Overall, the perfect country to organize corporate events where its guests will travel for business purposes while having a leisure trip experience.
Barcelona and Madrid are the most popular destinations in Spain and are even listed in the ICCA’s ranking of top five cities for MICE events. However, the country has more destinations that are equally as good and are even better for MICE tourism during summer seasons. As we are approaching the summer season, we have selected four destinations to be featured as Spain’s best MICE summer destination. These destinations are selected based on the following criteria and characteristics:
Every week in the upcoming month, one of the selected destinations will be highlighted and celebrated. This week, we kick off with Barcelona, and next week will be all about Bilbao.
Since the crisis in 2008, MICE tourism has played a fundamental role in the recovery of Barcelona’s economic activity, which is one of the reasons the city has developed to be a top MICE destination. Accordingly, some of the most important MICE events, such as those written below, are held in Barcelona.
- IBTM; where over 13,474 industry professionals are joined for networking purposes,
- ITMA; a textile and garment technology platform which will attract about 120,000 participants coming from all over the world
- Mobile World Congress; the world’s largest exhibition of mobile technology welcoming over 100,000 attendees every year.
The city has developed into the perfect place for such events, thanks to its accessibility, well connected transportation system, numerous accommodation abilities, unique and spacious venues, and a wide range different kids of activities.
When we talk about accessibility, we signify the ability of reaching the city from other national or international destinations. Aeroport de Barcelona-El Prat, Barcelona’s intercontinental airport, can be reached with a direct flight from almost every major airport in Europe, and most countries outside of Europe, such as the United States, Canada, and many African countries. From the airport it will only take you about 20 minutes to the city centre, either by bus, train, or taxi.
Rather have another transportation mode?
Barcelona’s train stations can easily be reached from any town and city in Europe with the Renfe trains or the high-speed AVE trains. Also, by car the city is easy to reach thanks its full network of motorways. If you prefer to go by boat, you can enter the city through Port Vell, one of the main multi-mode harbours in the Mediterranean.
A good transportation system is vital, especially for MICE destinations. You want to be at your event on time, have various locations a day, and time is valuable. Luckily, Barcelona has a great public transportation system which can all be used with one card and will only cost a bit more than 1€ per ride if you buy the T-10 (a 10-rides ticket). The Metro will bring you to about anywhere in the city while skipping the traffic. Depending on the metro line, the metro’s go about every 3 minutes during the week and every 6 minutes during the weekends. Also, there are bus stops to be found every few blocks. Click here for more detailed information and pricing.
On top of that, due to the size of the city, many of the city’s most important sites are within walking distance and are close to incredible eateries and hotels. In the summer, you might prefer being outside and enjoy the fresh air. The whole city has well maintained sidewalks perfect for walking.
Looking for accommodation in Barcelona?
With over 67,640 hotel beds in the city, I am sure you can find just what you need in this city. As a preparation for the Olympic Games in 1992, a series of high-class hotels were built for those coming to watch the games. Not only were the hotels occupied most of the time, the hotels have grown in numbers and success. Besides the classy hotels, growth was also found in other types of accommodation to catch up with the popularity of the city.
To support the increase of meetings and congresses held in the city, there has been growth in hotels with banquet suites and meeting rooms for business events. The ones located in the city centre are mainly of a smaller size but are often unique due to the central locations and spectacular views. To name a few of our providers; Hotel Arts Barcelona, H10 Madison, H10 Cubik, Casa Fuster, W Barcelona, The One, and Pullman Skipper are all beautiful hotels the smallest of which has 89 rooms and the largest has 483 rooms. They all come with breath-taking views over the city thanks to their rooftop terraces. For those preferring larger spaces, a little outside of the city centre is the Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I offers 432 bed rooms and has about 6,000m2 of space to host events.
Other than hotels, there are plenty of other accommodation options in Barcelona such as bed and breakfast, hostels, or apartments. Especially for friends, families, and colleagues who do not mind sharing homes and have affordability as a priority, apartments are the perfect options. There are plenty of luxury homes that offers the same or more facilities as hotels do for an equal or lower price. However, due to unlicensed apartments and frauds, it is recommended to rent them through travel agencies or a proper rental company.
The popularity of hotels has decreased since the upcoming of home sharing platforms such as Airbnb but will soon regain its popularity due to new regulations. Barcelona’s effort to regulate the tourist stream has caused Airbnb to remove 2,577 listings from their site which were not properly licensed to rent. The company still has around 9,600 licensed listing available, but the depression has forced Airbnb to cooperate with the city’s authorities.
One of the reasons Barcelona is a great MICE destination is its incredible collection of amazing venues. As mentioned above, there are plenty hotels with rooftop terraces, green oasis’s, and bright spacious rooms perfect for holding any type of event. The upside of this is the possibility to accommodate guests in the same building.
Also, Barcelona has plenty of other unique venues which can be found in places such as museums, art galleries, rustic breweries, vine-yards, and many other types of locations inside and outside of the city centre that can be customized entirely to your wishes. Venues we worked with in the past include; Soho House, Camp Nou, and La Padrera which are all special in its kind due to its space and design.
Four of the city’s most famous event locations attract and generate thousands of business tourists every year and are perfect for your conference or exhibition.
- Fira de Barcelona: a conference centre that can seat up to 1,100 people. It has an exhibition room covering a surface area of 3,500m2, and has a superb terrace with stunning views of the iconic Magic Fountain. Also, located strategically easily accessible by metro and car.
- Fira Gran Via: where the Mobile World Congress and the ITMA 2019 is held. It is one of the largest venues in Europe with a floor area of 240,000m2. It has various spaces that with a capacity for 3,000 to 12,000 attendees.
- CCIB (Centre Convencions International Barcelona): has a total space of more than 100,000m2 that can hold up to 15,000 people. It is surrounded by many hotels with a total of over 4,800 rooms.
- Palau de Congressos de Catalunya: is located in the most important financial and business centre of Barcelona. It has 35 halls and rooms varied in sizes, with the largest one of 4,000m2 that can cater up to 3,000 diners.
For some business trips, incentive programs are what gets the team out and building camaraderie. Luckily, Barcelona holds the unique position of being a bustling metropolis, a sports fan’s paradise, a tribute to art, and living history – all at the same time.
Take your staff on the water and participate in a sailing competition, a white water rafting adventure, or a relaxing day on a stunning boat. End your evening with a funny and exciting murder mystery dinner party where you and your team will be testing your team-building skills. Any urban explorer will adore a treasure hunt, bonding with co-workers while snapping shots and solving puzzles at the Gothic Quarter, or racing through the city with Go Carts, making it a true challenge. Compete and cooperate at Barcelona’s Olympic venue by doing an outdoor Mini Olympics. All in all, Barcelona’s team-building possibilities are second to none, and you’re sure to get to know your staff way better by doing these activities and over a pitcher of sangria or two.
Interested in some of the activities, venues, accommodations, or looking for someone to programme your perfect business trip including all the necessary service? Send us your request to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website to know more about us.