Ten years contributing to the intense activity of IFEMA Conferences and Conventions, one of the main business lines of the Madrid trade fair company.
On 3 April 2002, the then President of the Madrid Regional Government, Alberto Ruiz Gallardon, inaugurated the new North Conference Centre, which was part of the second extension of the IFEMA trade fair complex. This enlargement involved the incorporation of the new conference centre and two additional halls, thus bringing the surface area of Feria de Madrid to 150,000sqm, in line with the size and resources of the leading European trade fair centres. With a total investment of €95 million – generated by IFEMA’s own activity and resources, as was the case for previous enlargements – other improvements included new parking spaces nearer to the halls, and new accesses to the motorway linking the complex directly to Barajas International Airport. Subsequently, the moving walkways were installed to connect the South and North Gates via the Central Avenue of Feria de Madrid.
This conference centre, covering a total of 10,000sqm, has 20 multipurpose rooms which can be adapted to the needs of the client. The North Auditorium is notable for its extendable stands, seating up to 1,100 people. There are also more than 50 other meeting rooms on the first floors of the 12 halls currently comprising Feria de Madrid and the South Conference Centre, which has its own auditorium, seating 600 people.
IFEMA’s conference venues have been used for numerous gatherings over the last ten years, some of them of worldwide relevance. These include the meeting of Pope Benedict XVI with volunteers at the end of the last World Youth Day, held in August 2011, in Madrid, the 6th European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean Summit (2010), the 119th Inter-Ministerial Summit of the Council of Europe (2009), the 19th World Petroleum Congress (2008), the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (2006), the European Association of Urology (EAU) (2003), and the European-Latin American NATO Summit (2002).
For 2012, the schedule of important events includes the second consecutive SAP Sapphire Tech Ed; CPhI Worldwide, the world’s leading pharmaceutical networking event, and WAN IFRA (the first edition to be held at Feria de Madrid).
There have also been recent confirmations of international events for 2013 and 2014, such as ATCA CANSO (World Air Traffic Control Congress), the European League against Rheumatism, EULAR, the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), and the European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS). More than 45,000 people will visit Madrid to attend these events, thereby enabling IFEMA to contribute to one of its main goals: strengthening the economy of the city.
Congresses and conventions are an increasingly important part of IFEMA’s volume of business. This division of the trade fair company ended 2011 at a profit, having received 884,260 attendees for 9 conferences, 33 fairs organised by other bodies, 90 corporate events, and 352 events organised by exhibitors.
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