Despite the difficult times the events industry is going through due to the Covid-19 crisis, Palma Convention Centre - currently converted into a field hospital and providing greater service than ever to the community - has received the excellent news of having been selected as a finalist in the AIPC Apex Awards, the "Oscars" for Convention Centres worldwide.
AIPC is the international association of congress centres and holds the awards every two years to acknowledge the top venues in the world for hosting major events and meetings.
At the moment, both the Convention Centre and adjoining hotel, Meliá Palma Bay, have been converted into hospitals to relieve the pressure on the island's hospitals caused by the pandemic. This has been a real learning experience that has helped the facilities implement the strictest disinfection and hygiene protocols, allowing them to face the recovery and reopening phase with the maximum safety guarantees.
Since opening just three years ago, this is the first time the Palma Convention Centre has been selected as a candidate for the award for the best convention centre in the world. This is also a major milestone for the island of Mallorca, which in just a short time has become one of the preferred MICE destinations for the European market.
In choosing the winner of the award, the AIPC takes into account the opinions of customers with regard to convention centres and their degree of satisfaction. The evaluation process is carried out by Ipsos, the prestigious market research organisation, ensuring an objective analysis of data on a number of factors including the facilities, management and organisation, catering services and technical characteristics.
Palma Convention Centre has become an icon on the Palma seafront, and was designed by Francisco Mangado. Mangado received the Spanish Architecture Award for the Convention Centre in 2017, the highest architectural award given in Spain, in recognition of its architectural uniqueness, innovative design and construction quality. The result is one of the most versatile convention centres in the Mediterranean and a contemporary architectural treasure.
Mallorca and the Palma Convention Centre offer a unique combination of features to respond to the most contemporary demands of the MICE industry: sustainability, technology, innovation and destination experiences for business travellers. The Convention Centre has been a great success for a number of reasons. On the one hand, due to its facilities and technology combined with a very professional and committed team able to manage all the accommodation, space and catering requirements of business travellers with the greatest flexibility. On the other hand, due to its commitment to society and the environment. The Centre has made sustainable attributes one of the differential features it offers for events and meetings, with an ecomeet programme for sustainable events based on energy efficiency, the elimination of single-use plastic, the use of recycled materials, the minimisation of waste and the measurement of the carbon footprint of the event.
The entire complex is formed by the Convention Centre (with two auditoriums, event rooms and several multi-purpose spaces) and the hotel (with 268 rooms), all managed by Meliá Hotels International (MHI), whose experience in the destination has been key to its success both in its launch and later consolidation. The number of rooms MHI has in the city (more than 1,200) and a dedicated Food & Beverage area are also extra advantages for the Convention Centre, allowing it to comprehensively manage all the accommodation, event space and catering needs that business travellers may require.
Since opening, the Convention Centre has hosted major international corporate events for companies including Volkswagen, Jaguar and Panasonic. The number of medical congresses it has hosted is also a reflection of the interest it has aroused in one of the most influential industries in the MICE segment, and it has even become the official venue for HITEC Europe, the largest international event for hotel innovation and technology.
More than 1,600 partners of Ringana, the Austrian natural and vegan cosmetics company with an international presence, participated in the Ringana Next event in June, which was held for the first time at the Congress Center in Palma.
The Palma Congress Center hosted from June 2 to 4 the 68th Congress of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP), which had to be postponed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and which has brought together nearly 1,500 pediatricians in the city.
The health professionals of the Balearic Islands were able to celebrate the "VI Gala de la Salut" this year, which they had to postpone due to the pandemic.