The Fira postpones the second most important congress for the organisation, Alimentaria, until 2022

The Automobile congress will be held this year, but two months later than usual

3 min
One of the stands at Alimentaria this year

BarcelonaNew movements in the calendar of congresses of the city of Barcelona. The Fira de Barcelona has postponed the two major shows it had planned for May: Alimentaria, the most important event for the organisation after the Mobile World Congress, will be held in April 2022, after it was cancelled last year and was scheduled for this spring. The Automobile, on the other hand, will continue this year, but will be held two months later than usual, from 8 to 18 July.

As for the former, Fira de Barcelona has explained in a statement that it has taken the decision after evaluating the evolution of the pandemic and the restrictions on international mobility and after consulting with exhibiting companies. Bearing in mind that Alimentaria is one of the most important shows in the sector in Europe, international participation is one of its keys. This, added to the doubts detected among the companies and the fact that it is the most important show organised by the Fira itself, has convinced them to move the congress again. "In this way we recover its biennial periodicity in even years and we guarantee its usual levels of participation and international attendance", the entity explains.

However, holding it in 2022 means that four years will have passed since the last time it was held. Perhaps that is why the Fira is preparing for October a kind of alternative food fair for those companies that are interested in keeping the event. The Gastronomic Forum Barcelona, a part of the Alimentaria congress designed more for local entrepreneurs and small producers, will be held in October and will be somewhat larger than it would be in a normal situation. "Multinationals that would not have come [to the Gastronomic Forum] can participate, and so we ensure Barcelona has a major food show in 2021," a spokesperson for the entity explains. In fact, this show is placed in the calendar the same week as Alimentaria Food Tech, a food technology congress.

All this is a preamble to what they expect to happen in April next year: in the words of Antonio Valls, general manager of Alimentaria, a congress "with dimensions and participation that will once again boost international business and, with Hostelco, maintain the quality and value proposition of previous editions".

However, before all of this takes place, the Automobile congress will be held. The motor show was also due to be held in May and this Friday the Fira announced that it is moving it to the summer. In this case the decision has been taken after a meeting with the association of car manufacturers and brands Anfac, which has applauded the new dates, especially because they imply that the congress will be held this year. According to its director general, José López-Tafall, it is important that the fair is held in 2021 "for the powerful image it reflects nationally and internationally on the automotive industry" and because bringing it forward "will help to boost market recovery". A similar assessment was made by the president of the congress, Enrique Lacalle: "After being the first to celebrate 100 years in the last edition, we will be responsible for kick-starting the celebration of major automotive events in Europe after a very complex period".

The Fira's message, by placing this congress in July, is that it is maintaining its commitment to ensure that there is movement this summer. In fact, according to the new calendar, the Automobile will be held just after the Mobile World Congress, which in turn will open its doors weeks after the ISE, the main European show for the audiovisual sector, which will be present in Barcelona for the first time this year.