World Football Summit (WFS) moves to Seville in 2022 for its sixth edition, the largest to date. The international platform for the football industry has chosen the emblematic Fibes venue, the former Palacio de Congresos in the Andalusian capital, which has evolved into a centre of innovation since its reform in 2014: last year it hosted the first edition of the Urban Forum of Spain and the third edition of the Global Forum of Local Governments, organised together with the Spanish Government and the United Nations Program for Human Settlements (UN Habitat).
Fibes is today quite different from the Seville Conference and Exhibition Center which opened in 1989, three years before the much remembered Expo, when the city was preparing itself for a universal event that would open a new era in the development of the city and its management of big events. Since then, the venue has hosted events of a very diverse nature: European Union summits, Goya Awards, MTV Europe Music Award galas, exhibitions, commercial fairs and conferences focused on sustainability.
The facilities were renovated in 2014 by the architect Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra, who doubled its capacity to host global events. Its opening contributed decisively to making Fibes an influential node of innovation and debate which adds sophistication to the city’s unique cultural legacy.
With the arrival of World Football Summit Europe on September 28 and 29, Fibes will also collaborate in the recent explosion of Seville as a sports hub, symbolised by the Spanish national team’s matches over the next five years and the European success of its two top soccer clubs, Sevilla and Betis. During 48 hours, the Andalusian capital will be the capital of international football, where 2,500 face-to-face attendees (in addition to 1,000 virtual participants) and 80 media outlets from all over the world will cover the debates that shape the future of the game and the industry at a time of profound structural changes.
WFS hopes to contribute to the expansion of this ‘think tank’ focused on sustainable development and social welfare. The 11 thematic areas of the event will analyse and prepare the future of the industry in the post-pandemic world: Performance; SportsTech; Partnerships & Fan Engagement; Investments & Finance; Governance & Legal; Purpose, Sport, Integrity & Ethics; Women’s Football; Sustainability; eSports; Blockchain, AI & NFTs; Broadcasting & OTT.
These are not the only strategic initiatives undertaken by Fibes. In addition to soccer, this year’s agenda includes appointments related to aeronautics, other sports, culture or cryptocurrencies. Its spectacular facilities allow it to also be a cinematographic centre: at the last Fitur fair held in Madrid, in addition to formalising its agreement with WFS for the next three years, Seville signed an agreement with the Spain Film Commission whereby Fibes will transform more than 5,000 square meters into a filming space equipped with the latest technologies and services to promote the province within the national and international audiovisual industry.
The site is actually divided into two: the Exhibition and Conference Center (Fibes I) and the New Seville Conference Center (Fibes II), two different offerings in terms of style and function, joined by an impressive exhibition walkway that allows use of both spaces as a single enclosure. Its total extension is 50,000 square meters (m²).
Fibes I is made up of three pavilions of 7,200 m² each, two outdoor areas of 13,000 m² and a 2,000 m² esplanade in front of the main entrance of the Center. Its uniqueness lies in the waterfalls that border the exterior square, as well as the spaciousness and luminosity of its dome, the main access to the pavilions and to all the rooms of the congress centre: auditoriums, parallel rooms, VIP rooms, offices and restaurants.
Fibes II consists of three modules connected with different multipurpose rooms and an auditorium with capacity for more than 3,150 people (where the World Football Summit Europe 2022 will be held). With a 620 m² stage, its size allows it to be divided into two or three auditoriums that can operate simultaneously.
This news first featured in the latest edition of WFS Digest, our new insider’s guide to the latest and most relevant thoughts and practises from within the football industry. You can subscribe to WFS Digest HERE.