The 15th Fira Mediterrània attracts more than a thousand professionals

Fira Mediterrània of Manresa

The roots factory saw a slight increase in the number of accredited professional delegates compared to 2011

Fira Mediterrània featured Speed Dating, a new way of promoting contact between professional visitors, with 100% take-up of available meeting slots

Activity on social networks was considerably higher than last year



Manresa, 11 November 2012 - The current economic climate did nothing to discourage cultural industry professionals from attending the 15th Fira Mediterrània of Manresa. Proof of this were the more than one thousand accredited delegates – 1,118 to be exact – of which 115 (10.23%) were from abroad, an increase of 1% compared to last year. Of the rest, 874 were Catalan, making up 78.20% of the total number, with 129 (11.5%) coming from elsewhere in the Spanish State.

The Manresa marketplace continued to show its commitment to providing activities for professional visitors, with 70 events taking place under the Mediterrània Professional Meeting banner. A good example of the excellent reception enjoyed by this initiative was seen in Fira’s Speed Dating sessions, brief meetings intended to encourage face-to-face contact between professionals. All 90 of the available 15-minute slots were completely booked up over the Fira weekend. A total of 154 delegates registered for this year’s professional conference, which focused on the theme of “Communication in Cultural Projects”. Fira was also the setting for a permanent working group of cultural industry associations, who met on Saturday to discuss their concerns and ideas for the future.

All these activities took place in the new Llotja Professional-Business Area venue in Manresa’s Museu de la Tècnica, which proved to be a great place for the sector to make contacts and do business. In 2011, a voluntary and random survey was carried out among professionals attending Fira to estimate the number of contracts generated during the year following the event. A total number of 1,405 contracts were attributed to contacts made in the stands area and in the Llotja Professional-Business Area. The study included the 693 accredited organisations in 2011 (excluding press and media, which have no contracting power) and the 1,405 resulting contracts covered an average of 2.2 shows or sessions each, making a total of 2,428 shows. These figures bode well for prospective contracts in 2012.


Spectators
In terms of audience figures, up to Saturday night, Fira box offices sold 13,372 tickets for the 95 paying shows on the programme, a total of 66% of available seats. This figure is 17.5% less than for last year and follows the downward trend recorded by ADETCA, the Catalan Association of Theatre Impresarios, and ASACC, the Catalan Concert Halls Association, which have reported a drop of between 20 and 30% in audience figures since the recent VAT increase. By Saturday night, 10 out of the 95 paying shows on the programme were sold out. Taking into account that these figures do not include tickets sold on Sunday, the fall in audience figures in Manresa is below the average for Catalonia as a whole.

As far as programme changes were concerned, three performances were cancelled for reasons outside Fira organisers’ control.

Social networks
Fira Mediterrània did not ignore the growth in social network activity experienced by the cultural sector. In November the Fira web site (firamediterrania.cat) recorded a total of 19,083 hits from 72 countries. Other channels such as Facebook (2,420 “likes”), Twitter (905 followers) and Myspace (18,540 hits) showed a marked rise in activity compared to last year. During Fira, 360,316 posts were recorded using the #Fmediterrania hashtag and 34 people followed the Professional Conference, which was streamed for the very first time.

article submitted by:David Ibañez, Fira Mediterrània de Manresa (Catalonia / Spain)