Convention centres and large spaces for events in Galicia
Where can you organize a conference or fair when you choose Galicia as the destination for your event? You have a variety of options throughout different provinces, from convention centres and fairgrounds to a very peculiar “city”, in which to hold all types of events. What is more, many of these spaces have been revamped and adapted to the current situation, offering new technology and sets for filming. These make it possible to host virtual or hybrid events, a trend that is here to stay, and to amplify the impact of events, also in-person events, which will return again.
Santiago de Compostela
Located in Santiago de Compostela, the Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones de Galicia, has two floors spanning over 15,000 m2 and a large auditorium comprised of the Santiago and Compostela Rooms with a capacity of 2,100 people. The Palacio also features the Obradoiro Room (400 people), along with 20 meeting rooms of various sizes, VIP and press rooms, exhibition halls, a restaurant, coffee shop, and parking lot.
However, the most noteworthy features of this facility are its ability to adapt and its commitment to innovation. That is why they have constructed a 10 m x 6 m set for filming, making it possible to organize online events, where only the speakers and the technical team are present, or hybrid events, which, given the amount of space, can have up to 300 in-person attendees while respecting safe distances. Providing HD broadcasting quality, the technical equipment consists of 3 robotic cameras, a LED screen (5 m x 3.5 m and 2.6 pixels), a freestanding LED totem screen behind the podium area (4 m x 2 m and 3.9 pixels) for presentations or connections with presenters that are in other locations, side LED totems as stage props, and various screens that allow speakers to see the presentation without having to turn. There are also furnishings, a seating area, podium, audio equipment lighting, and decor. This format is an attractive alternative for large events when not all of the attendees can be present, perfect for having a reduced number in the set area while the rest follow live from other locations.
In 2019, the Palacio de Congresos hosted the 21st Congreso Nacional de Hospitales, celebrated biannually and organized by the Sociedad Española de Directivos de la Salud (SEDISA) and the Asociación Nacional de Directivos de Enfermería (ANDE), two Spanish healthcare organizations. It is one of the most attended conferences in the healthcare industry, with over 100 companies coming together to contribute.
The city of Santiago is also home to the Recinto Ferial de Amio, which offers three pavilions and two halls with a capacity of 260 people, a 14,000 m2 exhibition area, and space for events, luncheons, and gala dinners for 4,000 people. Additionally, it has an auditorium, two spaces equipped for hot food tastings, an area for beverage and food tastings of exhibiting companies’ products, the InnoFórum space, meeting rooms, and a press room.
The City of Culture of Galicia, built by the American architect Peter Eisenman, is situated atop Gaiás, one of the several mountains that surround Santiago de Compostela. This “city” has become an icon of Galicia as a space destined for culture, entrepreneurship, and technology that houses four cultural institutions: Gaiás Centre Museum, a space to host exhibitions and events in the hall (300 people), in the Andar 1 (800) or in the Seminario Room (80). The Library and Archive of Galicia, which stores the autonomous community’s documented records and contains the Xosé Neira Vilas Auditorium, two rooms, and the Off Space. The Centre for Creative Entrepreneurship houses the headquarters of the Galician Agency for Cultural Industries (AGADIC), a coworking space, and a business incubator for ICT companies which offers the Eisenman Room with an 80-person capacity. The Centre for Cultural Innovation (CINC), the headquarters of the Foundation of the City of Culture of Galicia and of the Agency for the Technological Modernisation of Galicia, features two auditoriums with more than 100 seats and a conference hall with space for 250 people. Natural spaces like Galicia’s Forest, the Literary Garden, the Theatre Garden, and the Lake Park are green spaces where visitors can enjoy nature and sweeping views of the city of Compostela, and which can be chosen as sites for events.
In 2019, the Gaiás City of Culture hosted 418 events and welcomed a total of 63,074 attendees. In addition to being the customary hosts of the Galicia Awards, the City of Culture has held prominent events including the EASD Mestre Mateo Parade, the Feria CAFI Piteas, the 304 events related to the next Xacobeo 2021 and organized by the Xunta de Galicia, and the Congreso Mundial de Educación EDUCA. Businesses such as Group As Rías, Casa Schmidt, Gadisa, Renault, Caixabank, Banco Sabadell, Orange and Vodafone, Novartis, and Align Technology have all chosen this space. Non-profit organizations have also held events in the City, such as the Red Cross, the Sociedad Gallega de Oftalmología, and the Sociedad Española de Radioterapia Oncológica with their Congreso Nacional de la SEOR XX closing ceremonies. Both the location and design of the complex attract the audio-visual industry for use in presentations and films, as with Adivina Producciones, TVG, RTVE, Vaca Films, Faro Producciones and Producciones de Ficción.
A orillas del mar, en el corazón de A Coruña, rodeado de galerías, la marina deportiva, el muelle, el casco histórico y a un paso de los mejores hoteles, tiendas y restaurantes de la ciudad está Palexco, an icon of the city stands on the seafront in the heart of A Coruña, surrounded by galleries, the sporting marina, the dock, the historic quarter, and is just steps from the best hotels, shops, and restaurants. The building, distinguished for its ship-inspired design, is filled with light and bright spaces that provide exceptional views. Its interior features two auditoriums: Seagull (1480 seats) and Arao (500). On the first floor, there are two large spaces: the Bow Room and the Stern Room, with an exhibition area of more than 2,000 glass-enclosed square meters and panoramic views of the Marina and the Sea Port. In addition to other rooms for smaller events, there is an esplanade in the exterior that makes it possible to expand for large events. Inside this exceptional building are two 550 m2 spaces, Leeward and Windward, which occupy different locations, but are both inviting, elegant and an excellent complement to an event. . Surrounded by a terrace with striking lighting, the rooms offer a panelling system which makes it possible to convert the space into 5 modular rooms and combinations depending on the format of the event. The Dock Loft is another bright space with ocean views and room for 550 people.
Palexco was the site chosen to host the national conventions of Nephrology (Medicine and Nursing) which are consecutive: one adjourns in the morning and is followed by the inauguration of the second in the afternoon, a great logistical challenge that the facility took on. On an international level, it hosts the 27th European Signal Processing Conference 2019 (EUSIPCO), and in 2021, it is scheduled to hold conferences such as the Congreso Sociedad Española Pediatría Extrahospitalarias y Atención Primaria (SEPEAP), the Congreso Sociedad Española Farmacia Hospitalaria (SEFH), the Reunión Nacional Cirugía (AEC), and the International Conference on Animation, VFX and New Media.
Recognized for over a decade as Galicia’s exemplar for every type of event,EXPOCoruña is a flexible and versatile multiuse space which merges innovation, culture, design and technology. Its installations are equipped to host fairs, conferences, sporting competitions, business meetings, concerts, expos, parades, festivals, corporate events, and more. It offers a world of possibilities throughout its almost 18,000 covered square meters and over 8,000 exterior square meters, with parking, multiuse rooms, VIP room, lecture rooms, offices, and more. All of the exhibit areas are flexible and adaptable for any project. Each year, more than 50 events are held and over 400,000 people attend.
The nucleus of the facility is the bright 10,000 m2 Central Atrium, as well as the Gallery with impressive glass windows and direct access to the 6,000 m2exterior plaza. The EXPOCoruña Hall is a one-of-a-kind exhibition space, joined by the two halls on the lower level, which can be used as independent spaces to enlarge the capacity of the Central Atrium. It features an auditorium with 424 seats, impeccable acoustics, and a 30,000-lumen projector. Adjoining the auditorium is a multifunctional space comprised of two halls on the first floor. The three Lecture rooms are adjustable spaces that can create differentiated areas with space for 100 people.
Among the events that EXPOCoruña hosts is the Fórum Gastronómico, which brings together the best chefs in Spanish cuisine for three sessions filled with presentations, workshops, food and beverage tastings, and exhibitions. The last edition saw more than 21,000 visitors and 220 exhibitors. It also hosted the fan zone of the Copa del Rey of Basketball, the Open World Padel Tour, which brought together the best paddle players in the world for 7 days, and the Sónar Galicia, International Festival of Advanced Music and New Media Art, a faithful reflection of the Sónar spirit, which combines large shows by international artists with avant-garde and experimental proposals and was attended by more than 18,000 people.
The town of Silleda (Pontevedra) is home to the largest convention complex in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula: the Feira Internacional de Galicia ABANCA. Throughout its 400,000 m2 surface area, various pavilions stand out, two of which offer more than 11,000 m2 each, ample exterior spaces, and green areas. In addition, there is an auditorium with a capacity of 625 people, a 700 m2 room dubbed the Club del Expositor (Exhibitionist Club), two spacious viewing points situated in the upper part of the main pavilions, 20 small units with access from the facility’s central promenade, and even an outdoor arena. All of the complex’s features together offer versatile installations that adapt to any type of event and that are located in a natural environment near the capital of Galicia, which can be reached by highway in around 20 minutes. Its events showcase sectors such as the food, tourism, agriculture and livestock, hunting and fishing, forestry, energy, transport, motor and new technologies industries. It has also hosted equestrian and canine events, festivals, recruitment processes, and a carnival. Among the scheduled events for 2021, the emblematic Abanca Green Week and the Enerxétika and Galiforest Abanca fairs are included.
In the heart of Vigo, the Palacio de Congresos y Auditorio Mar de Vigo can be found granting sweeping ocean views. Situated among the fishing fronts of Vigo’s port and the shipyards looking onto the estuary, this 23,000 m2 building features an auditorium seating 1,421 people, a versatile room with space for 500 in a banquet format, and six rooms with different capacities, as well as 330 parking spaces. One of the most attractive features is its outdoor terrace with ocean vistas, which is more than 2,000 m2 in size, offering the possibility of installing a tent. The commercial exhibition zones are distinguished by their bright areas, with the majority opening to spaces with views of the sea. One of the stand-out events is the Maritime Trends Summit, which took place on October 22, 2020. The assembly was a hybrid event with 350 participants, 50 of whom attended in person while the other 300 joined online, making it an international meeting place for the naval, maritime and harbour industries.
Located next to the Peinador Airport in Vigo, the Instituto Ferial IFEVIis a 38,000 m2 multifunctional complex which is distributed into four pavilions and a convention centre, and also features a meeting area, boardrooms, restaurants, and parking lot. Within the facility’s interior, there is an auditorium with 500 seats as well as spaces with differing capacities for small-format events. Among the numerous events that IFEVI holds, the exhibition centre is the official location of CONXEMAR, the largest fair in the world dedicated to frozen seafood products.
The 32,000 m2 facility Expourense has expanded its hall by 400 bright square meters without columns to now feature a total of 800 m2, offering a larger capacity and new options to create different formats. Audiovisual equipment is provided in all of the rooms and the hall includes a permanent set for filming for virtual and hybrid events. In addition, the terrace which leads to a pond is an ideal space for outdoor events. As a special feature, the indoor hydraulic running track is the only one of its kind. Authorized by Galicia and one of the top three in Spain, it makes organizing sporting events possible. Expourense features two assembly halls for 130 and 80 people respectively, a multiuse room with different style tables for meetings, formal ceremonies, and a VIP area, with a screen from which VIPs can follow the activity of the rest of the rooms through cameras. In the business centre, there are 10 stands that measure 9 m, located across from the assembly halls, which can be put to use in different ways, such as for sponsors or for corporate events. In addition to these spaces, there is the 8,000 m2 pavilion, which is dedicated to fairs and expositions, as well as the 4,200 m2 exterior area where tents and other structures may be installed to expand the size of the event. In 2020, just one event could be held, Xantar, which was the only international fair that took place in Galicia last year. To adjust to the current situation, the facility has revamped and adapted by converting fairs and events into hybrid conferences to maintain contact with players in the sector. The versatility of its spaces makes organizing any type of events possible while guaranteeing safety.