60 seconds with... Christoph Tessmar, director, Barcelona Convention Bureau

As the Barcelona Convention Bureau and the Barcelona Province Convention Bureau announce a new partnership for 2017, C&IT sits down with director Christoph Tessmar to hear about their plans.

60 seconds with... Christoph Tessmar, director, Barcelona Convention Bureau
60 seconds with... Christoph Tessmar, director, Barcelona Convention Bureau

What was the thinking behind this partnership?

In the Barcelona area we originally had three convention bureaus, the bureau for the Catalonia region, the Province Convention Bureau and the Barcelona Convention Bureau. It wasn’t very well explained that Barcelona is a destination promoted by two different entities: the city by the Barcelona Convention Bureau and the surrounding area by the Province Convention Bureau, and we decided to unify both because it makes a lot of sense: one strong promotion entity to speak to clients around the world and to give a complete offer of Barcelona and the surroundings.

This opens up many possibilities for us as we can offer companies not only the city centre but a lot of interesting incentive options around the region.


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What has the reaction been like from clients?

We just announced this middle of November to all of our members and the reaction was amazing. They congratulated us for this decision because it makes sense.

What are the strengths you are looking to promote in Barcelona as a C&I destination?

The brand is very strong, the climate is great and we have great convention centres with great professionals. When conventions come to town the number of delegates usually increase because it is coming to Barcelona. We also have the surrounding areas where there are wine yards and other exclusive venues not many people know about.

When speaking to UK clients, what areas of Barcelona do they enjoy most?

The UK is our first and most important market. The UK is very knowledgeable about Barcelona so we try to present ourselves as a partner. They love this place and they know that the standard of event here will be very. It is a safe city where we have no real serious issues in Barcelona. They can feel secure here.

Christoph's top three venues in Barcelona for groups:

  • Sant Paul is a former hospital, which has been very cleverly refurbished and now is an amazing and very attractive venue.
  • Something very different is Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona. When there are no games there you can rent different spaces for all manner of events. It is a great position to do something so different.
  • One Ocean Club is something completely new. For smaller events on the seafront it is very nice and a great place to organise a dinner or a party.

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