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Ifema delays Fitur to May and will seek to mark the return of face-to-face fairs after the Covid crisis


With the first quarter of next year “lost” for the return of visitors, Ifema’s management is already looking towards april and May to “kick off” the big fairs and congresses with a physical presence of people. Hence, on yesterday afternoon, Fitur’s organizing committee decided to move from the end of January to mid-May – from 19 to 23 – the great tourist event held every year in Madrid.

“Tourism has to start and I would like the gun to be in Ifema,” journalists acknowledged yesterday, the institution’s president, José Vicente de los Mozos, who pointed out that he has already asked the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism to rate the event in the public interest. “As we are told in the sector next summer is essential to try to recover this year’s losses and Fitur is the ideal setting to attract tourists.”

Hence in Ifema they have set this event as a good starting point to recover visitors to fairs and congresses. “Ifthey offer to organize something earlier, we will also not say no because the first quarter will be complicated,” said CEO Eduardo López-Puertas, before noting that “everything is subject to the evolution of the pandemic” and they expect “a change of environment from April”.

Because the coronavirus has modified all plans in the fairgrounds and in the organization of events in the short, medium and long term. “It’s going to take years to recover previous assistant levels,” De los Mozos said. But in the face of this situation, Ifema has already drawn up a strategic plan with two axes for the next three years that will remain over time: digitization and internationalization.

At the fairgrounds they work with “two major global companies”, according to their president, to create their own electronic platform that takes fairs and congresses towards a hybrid model between the face-to-face and the telematics. «If we want to survive, we have to reinvent ourselves», he added.

And that reinvention has already started in the last quarter of 2020 with the celebration of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and, above all, with the Fruit Attraction fruit and vegetable fair. “Who was going to tell us a few months ago that we could organize this event online”,said CEO López-Puertas, who has called it “a resounding success in these circumstances”.

It is this success that will lead the way so that Ifema will not cancel “not a single event” throughout 2021,its president influenced, betting on telematic models or the postponement of fairs such as Fitur to May or Arco to July to try to guarantee the return of visitors who “help reactivate Madrid”.

The fairgrounds, according to its data, contribute 5.1 billion euros to the capital’s economy during the year and the intention of its management is to “remain a global benchmark” in the organization of these events. “Everyone knows the Ifema brand,” De los Mozos stressed before noting that the institution has managed not to suffer losses this year “thanks to a very strong first quarter”, has avoided aRTE from its workers and will continue its expansion project although it does not rule out “possible adjustments” at the latter point.

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