The president of the Executive Committee of IFEMA Madrid, José Vicente de los Mozos, today presented the economic results of IFEMA Madrid in 2022, following their approval by the institution’s board of directors. It has been an exceptional year which, despite its complexity, has made it possible to achieve the highest results in its history for IFEMA Madrid, thanks to the relaunch of its activities after the pandemic. Overall turnover amounts to 187.7 million euros, the highest ever achieved, with an EBITDA index of 20.4 million.
The decision taken by IFEMA Madrid as the only international exhibition center to maintain its full exhibition calendar, despite the strong rebound of the Ómicron variant in early 2022, was the decisive factor in achieving such an exceptional balance sheet. These results represent the recognition by the market of the global leadership exercised by IFEMA Madrid in the recovery of the exhibition and congress activity in the years 2021 and 2022.
In this sense, if we take 2021 as a reference, the year in which the institution also made a significant effort to keep some of the reference exhibitions on the calendar, as happened with FITUR, the results for 2022 are even more striking, with an increase in income of 90.3%.
In terms of activities, the organizational effort to recover the exhibition calendar led to the holding of a total of 105 exhibitions and congresses, of which 28 were also held in digital format through the LIVE Connect platform; almost 400 events, conferences and 21 entertainment events and musical reviews. A schedule that attracted the presence of 21,360 companies and 3.7 million visitors.
Despite the unfavorable circumstances, new trade fair projects were created in the course of 2022 such as Global Mobility Call, the large congress on sustainable mobility financed by the Spanish government, as well as by the region and the City of Madrid, which aims to guide companies in the transformation process towards green mobility; but also Helixa Summit, the event focused on deepening the metaverse’s opportunities for the growth of the business sector, and Accountex Spain, the new event specialized in the digitization of administrative and accounting processes of consultancies, law firms and SMEs.
The use of IFEMA Madrid’s infrastructure in off-peak seasons, such as the month of December, for holding leisure events, company parties and other events aimed at the general public, has also contributed to the results and recovery general of activities.
Added to all this is an exceptional event, such as the holding of the NATO Summit desired by the Government of Spain, held at the Fiera last June, and which represented a positive injection both economically, contributing to the improvement of 2022 results, as well as reputation, confirming IFEMA Madrid, once again, as a global reference space for hosting major global events, as also happened with the COP 25.
In 2022, despite the general situation, the progress made in the internationalization projects envisaged in the Strategic Plan of IFEMA Madrid was also fundamental.
In this field, the actions have been diversified in three different directives. On the one hand, an attempt has been made to attract major international events, as occurred, in addition to the NATO Summit, with the World Dog Show, the largest world competition for dog breeders, which was attended by more than 55,000 people and 16,500 purebred specimens . IFEMA Madrid then hosted the Heart Failure Congress, organized by the European Society of Cardiology (4,000 participants), and the World ATM Congress, the largest event in the aircraft industry (7,000 participants). All these initiatives have led IFEMA MADRID to be taught once again the international award for Best Congress Venue in Europe.
The second strategy was to try to attract the interest of foreign companies and international visitors to the fairs, for which buyer programs are organized from the target countries and the network of IFEMA Madrid delegations abroad is deployed. In this sense, the 2022 results indicate an international participation figure that stands at 17% in terms of international exhibitors and 11% of foreign visitors.
As a third line of action, at an international level, there are expansion projects, both for the creation of trade fairs in collaboration with local operators and strategic consultancy for the creation and management of trade fair districts. In the chapter on expansion projects, the agreement signed with CORFERIAS, the largest operator and convention center in Colombia, stands out for the joint organization of events in the country, as well as the consultancy provided to the Dominican Republic for its new Exhibition Center from Santo Domingo.
Throughout 2022, technology and innovation have been confirmed as important pillars within the Strategic Plan of IFEMA Madrid, both from a business point of view with the organization of hybrid and virtual events, and from an operational processes point of view.
In this context, important initiatives have been launched such as the LIVE Connect platform, a virtual community that totals 300,000 visitors and extends 365 days a year, configuring the fair in the cloud to connect supply and demand. Also in 2022, proprietary solutions were implemented such as Visual Space for the digitization of the production of physical events with 2D and 3D maps with geo-positioned information, and other initiatives such as the implementation of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) through Salesforce.
Added to this is the research work carried out by the IFEMA LAB Technological Laboratory, which investigates the applications of augmented reality at the fair and which already has several registered patents in order to improve the visitor’s visit experience.
The IFEMA Madrid website also represents a key focus and gateway to the company’s activity and business. In this context, a total of 16,705,763 sessions were recorded in 2022, which represents an increase of 59% compared to the previous year.
The pandemic has also been a driving force for the process of cultural transformation and personnel structure adaptation that IFEMA Madrid is undertaking, in line with the requirements of the Strategic Plan.
During 2022, around forty new highly specialized profiles in customer management and data management tools were recruited, such as ticketing, digital content generation, CRM, trade fair digital marketing, etc., with the aim of attracting talent and adapting the structure of IFEMA Madrid to the new organizational, strategic and business needs.
The 2022 financial year also saw the launch of “Madrid Turismo” by IFEMA Madrid, a new project promoted by the Community of Madrid and the City of Madrid for the design and implementation of a plan aimed at promoting and strengthening international tourist location of Madrid, in long-haul destinations with a public-private partnership strategy aimed at attracting tourists and long-stay visitors. This strategy targets the markets of the United States and Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, China and Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Sustainability has undoubtedly been a transversal objective in the activity of IFEMA Madrid: CO2 emissions have been reduced by 90% in the last 6 years; 83% of the waste generated by the exhibition activity is recycled and in the last 5 years the incidence of natural gas consumption has been reduced by 42%, electricity by 33% and water consumption by 40%.
The good performance of the activity in the last year, together with the strategic and transformational projects in progress, have contributed to determining the budgets of IFEMA Madrid for 2023, whose economic forecasts stand at a total turnover of 185.2 million, maintaining the levels of turnover and profitability of the previous year.
Likewise, in terms of activities, it is expected to reach the figure of 109 fairs and congresses over the year, 31 recreational events and over 445 events and conferences.
Among the novelties we are working on for 2023, however, is the new catering project that will be managed by Areas and which will include 32 catering establishments, as well as large and suggestive terraces, which will be created in all the premises.