Mexico City: An ideal city for conventions

Mouth-watering cheeses at Expo Gourmet, World Trade Centre, 2014.

Mexico City ranks 15th in the Americas for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, ahead of New York, Chicago and Miami.  Read on to see why.

Business events tourism is a fast growing industry in Mexico representing 20% of all tourism activity in the country and accounting for 2% of its GDP.  According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) market was worth around $18.1 billion to Mexico in 2013 and the country ranked 5th among 38 western hemisphere countries in the number of international congresses and conventions hosted.

The guys from Rococó Café, La Condesa neighbourhood in action at Expo Café, World Trade Centre, September 2014.  The creamiest macchiato I’ve ever tasted!

The guys from Rococó Café, La Condesa neighbourhood in action at Expo Café, World Trade Centre, September 2014. The creamiest macchiato I’ve ever tasted!

Combine this with the fact that hundreds of flights arrive in Mexico City from 25 countries every day, taking just 3-5 hours from most major US cities, and the fact that Mexico City is home to some world-class meeting and events facilities, over 50,000 hotel rooms and unbeatable tourist attractions including four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and you will see why the ICCA ranks Mexico City 15th in the Americas meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, ahead of New York, Chicago and Miami.

Chatting to Olivia Medina de Jönsson, Latin America’s first Tea Master at Expo Gourmet, World Trade Centre, Sept. 2014.

Chatting to Olivia Medina de Jönsson, Latin America’s first Tea Master at Expo Gourmet, World Trade Centre, Sept. 2014.

The city is home to three world-class multifunctional convention centres, The International Exhibition and Convention Centre/World Trade Centre, Expo Bancomer Santa Fe, and the Centro Banamex Convention and Exhibition Centre, as well hundreds of smaller facilities and hotels that cater for business events.  Business travellers will also find a number of organizations with multilingual staff who are highly qualified to assist in events planning.  See my tips section for more info on these organisations.

Mouth-watering cheeses at Expo Gourmet, World Trade Centre, 2014.

Mouth-watering cheeses at Expo Gourmet, World Trade Centre, 2014.

There are literally hundreds of expos, conferences, congresses etc. taking place during any single month in Mexico City (see my tips section), and although visiting expos sounds like the last thing a leisure traveller might do on holiday, many of the events have real tourist appeal, particularly those specializing in hobbies and crafts, gourmet food and beverages, art and design, beauty, weddings etc.   I’ve managed to fit a few expos into my time here such as Expo Gourmet, AgaveFest, Millesime and Expo Café, and have found them a great way to try fantastic regional haute cuisine and gourmet food and drinks by some of Mexico’s top chefs and producers with lots of free samples, talks and demonstrations all under one roof.

Chocolate, mezcal and gourmet tea at Expo Gourmet, World Trade Centre, September 2014.

Chocolate, mezcal and gourmet tea at Expo Gourmet, World Trade Centre, September 2014.

Mexico City’s top 3 convention centres:

The International Exhibition and Convention Centre/World Trade Centre

  • Less than 8 miles (12km) from the airport
  • More than 8,000 rooms within a 3 mile (5km) radius
  • Can facilitate groups from between 5 and 7,500 people
  • 3 VIP rooms for smaller gatherings
  • Onsite parking

Expo Bancomer Santa Fe

  • Strategic location in the Santa Fe business district, home to numerous corporate headquarters.
  • 15 hotels nearby offering 2,400 bedrooms
  • 3 large halls – over 32,000m2 (344,000 sq. ft.) in total.
  • 16 meeting rooms – over 5,500m2 (59,000 sq. ft.) in total.
  • Over 5,000m2 (53,500 sq. ft.) outdoor exhibition zone.
  • Two covered parking buildings offering 2,600 spaces, and 350 outdoor spaces.

Centro Banamex Convention and Exhibition Centre

  • 34,000m2 (365,000 sq. ft.) and
  • 25 multifunctional meeting rooms holding between 5 and 10,000 people.
  • Holds 50,000 visitors
  • 10,000 hotel rooms in 3 mile radius
  • Less than 13 miles (20km) from airport
  • Part of the Las Americas complex and the only Convention Centre in the world to offer a racetrack, a kids theme park, and game halls as part of its entertainment offerings.
  • Holds 790 events a year
  • Sustainability programme in place
  • “Best Convention Centre in Mexico” awarded by Destinos & Convenciones magazine in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 y 2012.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.theworldfolio.com/news/claudia-ruiz-massieu-secretary-of-tourism-mexico/3392/

http://mexicomeetingsnetwork.com/

http://www.globaltravelerusa.com/m-i-c-e-mexico-city-2/