The savings and revenue stemming from sustainable initiatives total €1,300,000 and the centre’s economic impact on the city since opening is estimated at €750 million.
Designed by the architect Norman Foster, the Valencia Congress Centre was opened 14 years ago. In addition to becoming one of the city’s most emblematic buildings of enormous architectural value, the opening of the centre has marked a turning point for the economic growth and urban development of Valencia, both as an essential driving force behind the transformation of the surrounding area and as a national and international meetings and event venue.
The figures speak for themselves: according to ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association), Valencia occupies 8th place in the European city ranking, excluding capital cities. The contribution of the centre to consolidating the city’s position as a MICE destination is inarguable, since it has hosted 2,200 events since opening, with over 1.5 million attendees, generating revenues for the city to the tune of over €750 million.
These figures are the result of a strategy based on management excellence and client satisfaction, factors that have earned the venue the World’s Best Congress Centre award, given by the prestigious International Association of Congress Centres (IACC) in 2012.
Despite the fact the crisis has taken its toll on the MICE industry, above all on the corporate event sector, the congress centre has looked for new business opportunities that allow the city to maintain its position. In 2012, the centre’s marketing strategies have attracted major events such as the conventions of Mapfre, Generali, Ibermutuamur, and Groupama. Likewise, thanks to the centre’s unique design and the possibility of offering clients special security measures and the exclusive use of its facilities, Banco de Valencia and Bankia have both chosen the centre to hold their shareholders’ meetings. Furthermore, with regard to the association market, the centre has hosted the GEMU-SEDU National Meeting, the Congress of the Spanish Retina and Vitreous Society, the Congress of the Spanish Arthroscopy Association, and the National and International Congresses of the Spanish Implants Society (SEI), among others.
Looking ahead, in the first six months of the year, 83 bids have been submitted, out of which 16 were successful, including Influenza Vaccines for the World to be held in 2012, Mediterranean League Against Thromboembolic Disease and the Congress of the Spanish Society of Infectious diseases and Clinical Microbiology, both scheduled for 2014, and the International Headache Society Congress, slated for 2015. On their own, these four events will congregate over 6,000 national and international specialists.
As can been seen from the figures, more and more international planners are choosing the Valencia Congress Centre for staging their events. Over the last few years, the number of international delegates has quadrupled, since the centre has hosted 60% of the large international congresses held in the city. One of the reasons behind this is the centre’s firm commitment to environmental protection.
Together with an initial design maximizing daylight, a Global Sustainability Plan has been developed that includes initiatives such as the use of energy-saving lamps and motion sensors, the installation of fiber optic cables for the lighting system, and the purification of pond water. In addition, the installation of a photovoltaic roof system in 2008, which has already generated more than 1,200,00kWh, constituted the culmination of the project. Following the building’s energy-saving and efficiency programme, the facilities’ electronic control system has also been improved and two of the centre’s air conditioning units have been renewed, thus allowing the centre to comply with the Kyoto Protocol and save a significant amount of energy. Generally speaking, the implementation of these initiatives will save an estimated 1,250,000 kWh a year, versus the centre’s initial consumption. Over the last 14 years, all the initiatives as regards sustainability have saved an estimated €1,300,000.
In the words of Jose Salinas, the centre’s managing director: "In line with its mission, the Valencia Congress Centre is committed to continuously improving all its processes, as well as to serving the city and protecting the environment, values which are shared by all of our staff. Our centre has been a pioneer in sustainability and will continue to lead the way, thus consolidating its position as a national and international benchmark as regards environmental standards and certifications."
The photovoltaic roof system of the Valencia Congress Centre
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