Barcelona International Community Day 'exceeds expectations' with 3,600 attendees
Some 70 exhibitors, including Catalan News, were present at the event for foreigners living in the Catalan capital
A total of 3,678 people visited the first in-person Barcelona International Community Day in two years, "exceeding the expectations" of the organizers as attendance neared "pre-pandemic levels."
Activities at the event included conferences, talks, and roundtables for people new to Barcelona or looking for ways to find new opportunities in the city.
Taking place in the Catalan capital's Maritime Museum on Saturday, some 70 exhibitors were present at the Drassanes venue to meet the public, including Catalan News, which was able to greet readers new and old and learn about their experiences living in Barcelona and other parts of Catalonia.
Other exhibitors, such as Banc Sabadell, were happy to take part in the event once again. "We believe working with the council to accommodate foreigners is fundamental," the bank's business development manager, Patricia Busto, said.
Gizem Baykal, of human resources consultancy Page Personnel, said her company attended the fair "to attract candidates from other countries," while Cristina Mora of Eres Relocation Services told Catalan News that they were present because they "are very committed to the city."
Although Saturday's event was the eighth edition of the BICD, it was insurance company Mapfre's first time participating. "We are here because we want to be closer to our customers," Ibeeth Valencia said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mònica Fortea, of Clínica Corachán, said that they attended the fair "to let people know we can offer the very best service to our patients."
"More diverse than ever"
More than 20% of the residents of Barcelona were born abroad to some 180 different nationalities. With attendees from 87 different countries, International Community Day organizers celebrated the fact the event was "more diverse than ever."
According to the deputy mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni, the international community "is part of Barcelona’s DNA."
"There are as many foreigners in Barcelona as inhabitants of a district - they could be the city’s 11th district," he told Catalan News.
The first 400 visitors to the fair received a free t-shirt with the design of Barcelona pavement tiles across the chest.
There was also a vaccination point at the site for those who wished to receive a Covid-19 jab.
Activities were broken down into six different categories: Personal landing, Work and Business, Enjoy Barcelona, Activities for Children, Networking Activities, and Entertainment Activities.
‘Personal landing’ activities dealt with topics such as healthcare, financial services, and housing. ‘Work and Business’ and ‘Networking Activities’ gave people the chance to find professional opportunities at the fair, while an entire room was devoted to networking.
At sessions themed ‘Enjoy Barcelona’, people were able to learn about things like eating sustainable food and social media influencing, while the museum garden hosted the entertainment side of things with two concerts and a dance performance. For children, there was an area to “build a new world” with Lego as well as face painting.