All-time record number of participants in Barcelona International Community Day
Over 5,400 people visit fair dedicated to foreigners residing in Catalan capital in most successful year
The Barcelona International Community Day (BICD) has hit its all-time record number of participants in its nine edition, which began on Saturday at 10am and came to a close in the evening.
Organized by the local council, 5,416 people registered for the event, 47% up on last year and an unprecedented figure that surpasses the around 4,900 visitors of 2018.
Visitors came from over 120 countries, a big surge on last year as well, with 87 nationalities.
At the end of the event, sources of the organization told Catalan News expressed their happiness at the attendance, saying the bar has been set very high for next year, which will mark the 10th edition of the event on October 23, 2023.
Talking to the media, Barcelona's deputy mayor Jaume Collboni welcomed the "great success" of the current edition, which, according to him, shows that the involvement of the international community "has resumed" after the pandemic.
For him, the fair is a "meeting point" of the foreigners in the city, and he said that the event is just one of the actions his government is doing to "attract and keep international talent."
"Talent is looking for prosperous and safe places," he said, highlighting the Barcelona is checking both boxes in recent "turbulent" times.
The fair aims to bring people from all over the world together to offer them networking opportunities or helpful guidance if they are new to the city.
The event is an opportunity to "fast track to the different possibilities that the city offers," Pau Solanilla, commissioner for the city promotion, told Catalan News on October 5, during the presentation of the initiative.
All sorts of companies, organizations, public entities, international schools, associations and social clubs relevant to this community came together on Saturday.
The BICD began at 10am with queues in the entrance and a constant flow of people that peaked by noon.
The day featured around 60 activities and 80 exhibiting companies and entities offering services to help internationals navigate life in the city better, including Catalan News.
Indeed, this media outlet not only has a stand in the trade show for the second time, but it also hosted an activity for the first time.
Journalist Cillian Shields was in charge of a quiz in the morning that filled Room 4 of the venue, with over 40 people taking part in order to try to guess the answer to questions related to news and curiosities about Barcelona and Catalonia.
Exhibitors help newcomers to settle
Exhibitors at the fair aimed to help newcomers get their feet on the ground.
"I think having a meeting point for the international community of Barcelona one day a year is a very good idea, especially given that it stands for 22% of the total population," said Ignacio, from Mapfre, one of the companies that sponsored the event.
Roger, from Banc Sabadell, told Catalan News that his financial institution "has opened an office only dedicated to international clients this year."
"Our aim to to reach them in order to ease their arrival to the city," he added.
Eres Relocation Services was one of the companies offering services for those who plan to move to Barcelona. "We help employees of several companies to move here, finding a home, accomodation and admin issues," one representative, Meri, told this media outlet.
Joana, an exhibitor for Page Personnel, sponsoring the BICD like Mapfre, Banc Sabadell and Eres Relocation Services, explained that they are "a recruitment company, helping those looking for a job," especially focusing on internationals.