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Catalunya Meetings & Sports initiative boosts sport-focused business events in Catalonia

Catalunya Meetings & Sports, conceived by the Catalonia Convention Bureau of the Catalan Tourist Board, in collaboration with ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment and the Catalan Council of Sport, aims to promote Catalonia in the field of organizing and attracting international meetings, conventions, congresses, and fairs related to the sports industry.

The Secretary for Business and Competitiveness, Albert Castellanos, and the Secretary-General of Sports and Physical Activity, Anna Caula, presented March 13th at FC Barcelona’s Auditori 1899 the project Catalunya Meetings & Sports.

Albert Castellanos emphasized “the project’s transversality through its symbiosis between meetings tourism and sport, as well as the necessary public-private collaboration.” With this strategic relationship, the Catalan Government hopes to “strengthen two key economic sectors in Catalonia, to generate business, increase investments, improve international positioning, and drive their transformation.”

For her part, the Secretary General of Sport and Physical Activity has highlighted the role of sport as a “generator of economic activity and progress,” adding that “Catalonia is a land of sport largely thanks to a network of entities with the experience and expertise to organize major international sporting events successfully.” Events that “leave a legacy, it’s not just a few days of competition, but we promote the circular sport by creating parallel activities to grow the base of sport in Catalonia.”

The presentation event also included a roundtable discussion to debate the opportunities and challenges posed by the double idea of sports and business events. Participants included Albert Balcells, manager of OciSportMaurici Carbó, coordinator of the AFYDAD Spanish Sports AssociationElisabeth Keegan, manager of Lloret Tourism; Carlos Rabaneda, president of Roc Roi; and Albert Mundet, General Director of Barça Innovation Hub.

Catalonia, a global leader in professional sports events

Catalonia stands out as the region with the highest concentration of sport-related businesses in Europe, boasting nearly 1,400 companies that generate over €6,500 million and employ approximately 32,000 people. Sport is an emerging sector within Catalonia’s productive ecosystem and accounts for 2% of Catalonia’s GDP. Furthermore, the city of Barcelona ranks fifth in Europe in terms of the number of sports industry startups.

This strength in such a specific sector is crucial for generating and attracting professional events and meetings. Currently, the city of Barcelona ranks seventh globally in terms of sports orientation, according to the Sports Cities Ranking 2023, and first in terms of international attendees, according to the ICCA ranking.

The organizational capacity, entrepreneurial and research spirit, excellent quality of sports facilities, and solid sporting foundation in Catalonia are decisive factors that explain the excellent positioning of Catalonia as regards attracting professional events within the world of sports.

Proof of the excellence of this region in this specialized tourism niche is the organization of the first World Congress on Sports Tourism, held in Lloret de Mar in 2021. This year highlights the hosting of the America’s Cup Barcelona 2024, which, although it isn’t an event focused entirely on the professional public, is a springboard for blue economy business events.

As regards the agenda of professional meetings related to the world of sports taking place this year in Catalonia, it is also worth mentioning PRO Women in Sports (Barcelona, March 20), the World Congress of the International Association of Sports Press (Santa Susanna, April 27 – May 2), Sea Otter Europe Connect (Girona, September 20-22), the European Sports Business Congress (Barcelona, October 8-11), the Annual Meeting of the International Association of Sports Travel Agencies-ISTAA (Barcelona, ​​November 16-18) and the recently held Sports Tomorrow Congress (Barcelona, ​​February 26 and 27) and Expo Sports (Barcelona, ​​March 8-9).

Catalonia hosts the Strategic Alliance of the National Cbx of Europe

From January 25 to 26, the city of Barcelona hosted the annual meeting of the Strategic Alliance of National Convention Bureaux of Europe, organized by the Catalunya Convention Bureau. This gathering brought together prominent members of the alliance with the purpose of strengthening Europe’s position as a leading destination for international business events.

During the event, participants had the valuable opportunity to exchange experiences and share knowledge, focusing on strategies that contribute to positioning Europe as a reference in the MICE industry. The exchange of ideas and collaboration among national Convention Bureaux are crucial for the joint development of strategies that drive the industry in the region.

The program of the meeting included an enriching visit to the 22@, Barcelona’s Innovation District, as well as a tour of the Official Outreach Center of the 37th America’s Cup Barcelona. These visits provided participants with insight into the region’s assets to incorporate innovation into events.

Founded in 2014, the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe is a collaborative network of 29 Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) with the common goal of consolidating Europe as a leading MICE destination. Since 2019, the Catalunya Convention Bureau is an active member.

Catalunya Convention Bureau new members

GO Beach Club BarcelonaVenueSant Adrià de Besòs
Gran Hotel La FloridaHotelBarcelona
Can Ràfols dels CausVenueAvinyonet del Penedès
Rurality EventsDMCBarcelona
Best Way EventsComplementary servicesBarcelona
Tablao de Carmen*VenueBarcelona
Masia EgaraVenueTerrassa
EmoggComplementary services Rubí
wecamp CadaquésAccomodationCadaqués
Gran Hotel Mas d’en BrunoHotelTorroja del Priorat

2024 MICE Industry events in Catalonia

This year Catalonia hosts a wide range of international MICE industry events: 

The Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe – Annual Meeting

Barcelona, 25-26 January

Corporate Events Workshop – MICE & Train

Barcelona, 31 January

ICCA Iberian & France Benelux – Annual Chapter meeting

Barcelona Province, 6-8 March

Girona Luxury Travel Event – inVOYAGE

Girona – Costa Brava, 17-20 March

MPI Iberian Awards

Barcelona, 11 April

Catalunya Business Meetings

Sitges, 03-05 June

Meet Catalunya

Catalunya, 25-28 June

Global MICE Forums Associative

Girona, 02-04 July

Convening EMEA

Barcelona, 30 September – 02 November

IBTM World

Barcelona, 19-21 November

BEFuture Project Launches in Barcelona to Rethink the future of the Business Events Industry

BEFuture, supported by the European Union’s Single Market Programme, offers 30k funding to 80 SMEs for innovative practices in the business events sector.

Over three years, the project aims to make the industry more sustainable and resilient.

The BEFuture project, led by the Catalan Tourist Board, successfully held an industry Think Tank workshop in Barcelona to positively impact Europe’s business events sector. The workshop was an important step towards realising the project’s goal of developing a more sustainable, regenerative, resilient, and responsible industry by collecting best practices and enhancing the sector’s competitiveness.

“We are delighted and excited to get the opportunity to do this important work together with a strong team of partners. We want to explore alternative business models, together with other ecosystems and make BE a future-proof industry, aligned with current trends and needs.” said Sònia Serracarbasa Head of the Catalunya Convention Bureau (Catalan Tourist Board), at the workshop organised by the project partners during IBTM World in Barcelona.

Since its preliminary launch in September 2023, BEFuture has organised a couple of Think Tank workshops to model future scenarios and will publish a call for best practices addressed to SMEs in February 2024. The project plans training programs, a mapping of key stakeholders, a white paper, and an acceleration program in 2025 offering 30k in funding to at least 80 SMEs from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.

The project involves a network of stakeholders, including convention bureaus, BSOs, and international industry associations. The consortium consists of ACT (Agencia Catalana De Turisme), B. Link (B. Link Barcelona Strategic Projects SL), Tipik (Tipik Communication Agency), TVL (Toerisme Vlaanderen), Linkeus, Vdvo (Verband Der Veranstaltungsorganisatoren E.V.), ETFI (Stichting NHL Stenden Hogeschool), Unimib (Universita’ Degli Studi Di Milanobicocca).

BEFuture was awarded a grant by the European Union under the Single Market Programme “Sustainable Growth and Building Resilience in Tourism: to support the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises”.

For more information, view the background document

Tools to help make your events more sustainable

Looking for tools to help make your events more sustainable? We present various tools aimed at the MICE sector to facilitate the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in professional events and meetings held in Catalonia:

The Government of Catalonia has launched a comprehensive guide to help organizers plan and host sustainable events. The guide, titled “Guide to organizing sustainable events,” aims to incorporate sustainability criteria into public and private events, thereby contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The calculator aids organizers in predicting their GHG emissions before the event, and subsequently allows them to measure and compare their actual carbon footprint post-event.

How do you carbon offset an event?

This tool has been designed to help you plan and measure the sustainability of your events. Different sections have been created in this document for each type of organisation involved in creating an event.


Discover the Catalunya Convention Bureau members with sustainability certifications.

Meet Catalonia at IBTM 2023

Come and meet us at IBTM World, stand C50, and discover what Catalonia can offer to your next business event!

CATALONIA, a Mediterranean destination of immense geographical diversity, boasting a mild climate and a restless and innovative society, has become well known as the home of pioneers and immense industrial and commercial dynamism. The different cultural expressions, the wealth of its gastronomy, the diversity of its marine and mountain landscapes, the quality of its infrastructures, the professionalism of its organisers, the entrepreneurial spirit and the warm welcome its people give to visitors make Catalonia an ideal destination for holding congresses and business events. At the Catalunya Convention Bureau stand, our team of experts will be delighted to engage with you, providing insights into the diverse venues, services, and unique experiences that Catalonia offers.

Discover Catalunya Meetings & Sports Project

In addition to highlighting Catalonia’s appeal for a wide range of business events, Catalunya Convention Bureau will unveil its exciting project, Catalunya Meetings & Sports. Catalonia’s excellent sports facilities, coupled with specialised services and venues, make it an ideal destination for sport-focused meetings and events.

Sea Beyond

In line with the Catalunya Meetings & Sports project and aiming to promote physical activity in the MICE sector, Catalonia will launch an interactive experience that integrates sports, the sea, and sustainability. IBTM visitors will have the opportunity to virtually explore spectacular natural areas along the coast of Catalonia while walking or running, using a stepping device installed in the middle of the stand. This activation is part of the “Sea Beyond” campaign. On the occasion of the 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona, the Catalan Tourist Board, together with Turisme de Barcelona and Diputació de Barcelona, seek to promote the attractions of the territory of Barcelona and Catalunya beyond its coasts.

Furthermore, aligning with the commitment of the Catalunya Convention Bureau to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in events and professional meetings in Catalonia, credits will be awarded for every kilometer traveled to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in Catalonia through projects carried out by social entities.

Meet our partners:

Convention Bureaux:


CCB signs pledge for “Net Zero Carbon Events”

The Catalunya Convention Bureau – Catalan Tourist Board is proud to announce that it has signed the “Net Zero Carbon Events” pledge, a joint commitment across the events and meetings industry to achieve the targets laid out in the Paris Climate Accord.

The “Net Zero Carbon Events“ pledge is the result of global collaboration throughout the events industry. Over recent months, facilitated by the “Joint Meetings Industry Council” (JMIC), more than one hundred stakeholders from across the sector drafted and finalised this commitment with the support of UNFCCC Secretariat (United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change). The pledge was presented at the Global Climate Summit COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 10. At the time of launch, there were more than 100 signatories, making this the most global and inclusive collaborative action tackling the challenges of climate change within the events sector.

Catalunya Convention Bureau is pleased to be joining this initiative, as it will be through continued collaborative work throughout the events sector that we will be able to make swift and essential progress towards reducing the overall carbon footprint of events.

The commitments of the pledge are aligned with the targets of the Paris Climate Accord.

By signing the pledge, the Catalunya Convention Bureau is committing to publish our pathway to achieve net zero by 2050 at the latest, with an interim target in line with the Paris Agreement’s requirement to reduce global GHG emissions by 50% by 2030. This work has to be concluded by the end of 2023. Catalunya Convention Bureau also will collaborate with partners, suppliers and customers to drive change across the value chain. To track the progress towards the targets, Catalunya Convention Bureau will measure and track its emissions of Greenhouse Gases according to industry best practice. Finally, CCB will report on its progress at least every two years.

The Net Zero Carbon Events initiative brings together a wide range of event industry stakeholders to:

–  Jointly communicate the industry’s commitment to tackling climate change and driving towards net zero by 2050

–  Develop common methodologies for measuring the industry’s direct, indirect and supply chain greenhouse gas emissions

–  Construct an industry-wide Roadmap towards net zero by 2050, and emissions reductions by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement and climate science, with support and guidance on key issues

–  Foster collaboration with suppliers and customers to ensure alignment and common approaches

–  Establish common mechanisms for reporting progress and sharing best practice.

The next step of the “Net Zero Carbon Events” initiative is to develop the roadmap which will support the objectives outlined in the pledge. More information about the initiative at

Catalonia, Mobile World Capital Barcelona and the Roca Brothers present a phygital gastronomic experience at IMEX Frankfurt

  • The Catalonia stand (E430) will host a unique experience to reflect on the impact of technology in the way we communicate, interact and perceive reality.

  • IMEX visitors will be able to taste chocolate bonbons created by the three-Michelin-starred Roca Brothers in a scenario that fuses digital and physical reality (phygital).

Mobile World Capital Barcelona and the Roca Brothers from Girona’s El Celler de Can Roca come together to create a gastronomic journey that breaks down all the barriers we know today. “Taste the technology” will be presented at Catalonia’s stand at IMEX Frankfurt and is part of “Feel the Technology” project, an initiative by Mobile World Capital Barcelona presented for the first time at MWC Barcelona 2023 where users were able to enjoy a unique experience to reflect on the impact of technology in the way we communicate, interact and perceive reality.

The Catalunya Convention Bureau invites each visitor to taste a chocolate bonbon with acid flavour (lime ganache and passion fruit) created by the Roca Brothers and their Bean-to-Bar chocolate factory Casa Cacao in a setting where digital and physical (phygital) reality converges. The latter marks the start of a digital journey, led by the master chocolatier of Celler de Can Roca (Damian Alsop), with virtual reality glasses that combines AR and VR. In total, 1,000 chocolates will be produced for this experience.

According to Francesc Fajula, CEO of Mobile World Capital Barcelona: “We brought the limits of technology further with a proposal that mixes the physical and digital worlds to produce new user experiences. We designed the experience for MWC Barcelona and now we are proud to share it internationally for the first time here in Frankfurt. Travelling through the flavours created by the best chefs in the world, the Roca Brothers, is now a reality that connects us to the latest technological trends.

In the words of Jordi Roca, one of the 3 brothers in charge of the Celler de Can Roca: “Technology allows us to play in a new field in gastronomy. With virtual reality we can enrich the experience of tasting bonbons. All this while we are on a sensory journey halfway between the real and virtual worlds. It’s amazing!”

Narcís Ferrer, Director of the Catalan Tourist Board, emphasizes: “Catalonia has a thriving technology ecosystem and a strong focus on innovation, with numerous technology companies and startups based in the region. This provides a fertile ground for the development and integration of cutting-edge technologies into the MICE industry. ‘Taste the technology’ experience is a good example of this positive alliance between meeting tourism and technology.” According to Ferrer, “Business tourism is a market segment that brings visitors with high potential economic return for the country and interaction with the local businesses. In addition, it is a catalyst for new opportunities, which is the change we are looking for in the Catalan tourism model”.

The experience has been possible thanks to the support of Futura Space, a studio specialized in the conception and production of immersive environments, interactive experiences and innovative projects.


Mobile World Capital Barcelona is an initiative driving the digital advancement of society while helping improve people’s lives globally. With the support of the public and private sector, MWCapital focuses on four areas: the acceleration of innovation through digital entrepreneurship, the transformation of industries through digital technology, the rise of digital talent among new generations and professionals and the reflection on the impact of technology in our society. Collectively, our programmes are positively transforming the economy, education and society.

MWCapital hosts MWC in Barcelona and founded 4 Years From Now (4YFN), the startup business platform, present at MWC events around the world.


The Catalunya Convention Bureau stands up for innovation and technology as one of the main points of its strategy to consolidate Catalonia as a world leading MICE destination. Due to its continuous innovation spirit, Catalonia is firmly committed to use technological developments (VR, AR, touchless, big data, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things…) as a transforming driver for the meetings industry. The Catalunya Convention Bureau is together with the strong and growing local ICT industry in order to provide forward-looking professional events, to rethink meetings.

The recovery of congresses: EPS & IPS


A conversation about the recovery and transformation of congresses with the Catalonia Ambassador Meritxell Teixidó, CEO/CSO of Gate2Brain and chairman of the 36th European Peptide Symposium (EPS) & 12th International Peptide Symposium (IPS) Approximately 800 delegates from around the world will come together in 2022 for a week in Sitges, sharing the most relevant scientific results in the field of peptides, from their preparation to biomedical uses and in the field of new materials.



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