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Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I marketing chief Chloe Brandalac is optimistic about city’s MICE market.

Chloe Brandalac

Chloe Brandalac’s role at one of Barcelona’s top hotels involves global sales and marketing including for a thriving MICE market. The Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I and its Palau de Congressos de Catalunya are located just outside of Barcelona’s city centre. The urban resort includes a 432-room hotel, the congress centre, and 19th century gardens, providing more than 10,000 sqm of event, meeting, and convention space.

Brandalac’s role as director of sales and marketing is to drive revenue into the hotel and conference centre and, as part of this, to seek out new markets and new clients. Communique caught up with her whilst she was on a business trip to India meeting potential MICE and wedding clients in Mumbai, New Delhi, and Jaipur. We wanted to find out how the global events industry is helping to shape her role in Barcelona.

What does the MICE market look like for you right now?
Our MICE market in Barcelona and here at Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I is very strong and growing rapidly, which was confirmed by the recent ICCA rankings for 2017. This placed Barcelona in first place for the number of association meetings held in the city last year. We are very positive about the future.

How does handling large-scale events (more than 1,000 guests) differ to handling those on a smaller scale?
The main difference is in the lead times. With the larger-scale events the business model for each event changes as there can be a two- to three-year lead time.

Size also matters at this level as the numbers involved mean that we have different pressures than when handling smaller events. When larger numbers are involved it often puts pressure on other partners of ours and that means we must book very early. Other elements which we have to consider and book well in advance include the catering and activities. We must work very closely with our third-party suppliers.

All these elements are equally important with shorter-term events, but reduced lead times means that although the clients tend to have a clearer brief, availability is often harder to secure. Clients have to be more flexible and open in these situations.

What’s next for the Fairmont Rey Jan Carlos I?
The most exciting development here that we’re looking forward to is the finishing touches being put on the renovation of the hotel. It will be fully finished by the middle of September.

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