The Italian city of Florence has announced it has secured four congresses for 2018, with two more confirmed in 2019.
The city’s main MICE industry players worked together with international associations and the local scientific committees to confirm the events.
First up of the new wins is the General Assembly of the European Spice Association. The association’s conference will be held in Firenze Fiera – Congress & Exhibition Centre, 23-26 May 2018, and will involve 300 delegates. The conference comes to Italy for the first time and will be organised by the Florentine PCO Scaramuzzi Team, a partner of the Florence Convention Bureau (FCB).
The EMS Academy will also be in the Tuscan capital at the same time as the Spice Association, for the 4th International Symposium on Electro Stimulation (25-26 May 2018). They Academy comes to Italy following three consecutive editions in Madrid. The support of the local committee of EMS Training Academy was important in clinching the deal, and the symposium will be organised by FCB partner MCR Conference at Convitto della Calza. Around 200 delegates are expected for that one.
The next event in 2018 will be the Integra International 2018 Congress (October), also coming to Italy for the first time. PCO First Class is the organiser and Florence follows Tokyo, Cape Town, Vienna and Miami as event host. The 200 delegates will stay at the Grand Hotel Baglioni, while the Salone dei Cinquecento in the historical Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of the city, was provided as conference venue for free via subvention funding.
In October 2018 the TIES – Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC) comes to town for four days following a successful bid by the FCB and Firenze Fiera.
Another first time congress for Italy, it will be attended by 600 delegates. The Tuscany regional government agency responsible for promoting tourism made the first client contact during the 2017 IMEX tradeshow in Frankfurt.
In 2019 the first of the secured congresses is the Design, Automation and Test in Europe (DATE) 2019, 25-29 March, and is expected to attract 1,500 delegates.
Meanwhile, the Switzerland association EAACI chose Florence for a second time, having organised its 2016 board meeting in the city. Its main congress, EAACI – PAAM 2019 – Pediatric Allergy and Asthma Meeting, will host around 1,700 delegates through a collaboration between FCB and Firenze Fiera.
FCB director Carlotta Ferrari said: “The results were obtained thanks to our subvention plan, the strong synergy between the main players of the territory and the partnership with the Municipality of Florence. The city, Ferrari added, was on the list of top 5 Italian MICE destinations for congresses and corporate events in 2017, according to national convention bureau statistics.
The subvention programme for attracting international conferences was developed by the FCB together with Firenze Fiera, Tecnoconference – TC Group and other main players in the local MICE industry.
The programme offers a maximum of €60,000 of services for qualifying international conferences held in Florence. And, in order to attract more corporate events, the FCB says it is to launch another ‘special’ subvention plan before the end of 2017.
Anna Paola Concia, from the municipality’s ministry of tourism, said: “These results confirm that Florence is a innovative city thanks to the our strong collaboration with the university, associations and local players.” Business tourism, she added, was very important for Florence to balance better the high pressure on the city from leisure tourism.