Bilbao Exhibition Centre generated an economic impact of 92 millions euros in 2016

The activity developed by Bilbao Exhibition Centre in 2016 generated an economic impact in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 91,976,392 Euros. This impact implied a collection of taxes of 11,338,741 Euros for the Basque Tax Office, and the generation of 1,937 jobs. Since its inauguration in 2004, BEC has had an accumulated impact on the GDP of 1,024 million Euros.


During the past year, the BEC held a total of 188 events of different types (trade shows, congresses/conventions, concerts, shows, etc.), which amounted to an occupancy rate of 283 days. In regards to the participation in all the events held in 2016, the Bilbao Exhibition Centre welcomed a total of 901,437 visitors.

The different activities developed within the Bilbao Exhibition Centre were distributed as follows:
•    27 Trade shows,  that hosted a total of 2,825 exhibitors.
•    145 Events at BEC Conventions.
•    18 Events at the Bizkaia Arena.

In terms of the source of the economic impact, about 80% comes from the trade show activities and the remaining 20% comes from BEC Conventions and Bizkaia Arena. Likewise, 63% of this impact is generated by the exhibitors and organisers, while the remaining 37% is from the visitors.

A completed  strategic plan
It is also important to highlight that the 2013/2016 Competitiveness and Sustainability Plan ended this year. This plan advocated for the appreciation of available spaces and an overall reduction of costs, in addition to the development of a solid offer of shows and the attraction of new events from third parties, among other issues. All of these goals have been achieved, including the attainment of a positive result for 2016. Right now, the Bilbao Exhibition Centre is drafting the new 2017/2020 Strategic Plan that will lead the way during the next years; a plan that focuses on growth in activity and organisational improvement.

BIEMH’2016, the star
In 2016, the Bilbao Exhibition Centre was the scenario for a large range of activities from very different sectors. Due to its relevance in the BEC’s results, it is essential to highlight the success of the 29th edition of the International Machine Tool Exhibition. Its progressive recovery following the financial crisis, in terms of the volume of the exhibition, with over 1,533 exhibitors from 30 different countries, and the attendance of 40,000 visitors, which implied an increase of 13% over last year’s figures, was one of the greatest achievements of the year. But it wasn’t the only one. The BEC was also sensitive to the situation of the younger generation that are at the gates of their first job and, during the celebration of the BIEMH, they held WORKinn, Employment and Training Forum focusing on the youth, to bring the employment market and offers of the machine tool industry closer to the students. The industrial context provided by the BIEMH exhibition was also used to create new events such as ADDIT3D, the first additive manufacturing and 3D trade show in Spain that is exclusively for professionals, as well as the Oil&Gas Conference and the Maintenance International Conference, which had relevant international speakers and leading exhibitors from the represented sectors.

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