Meet the Venue: Fira Gran Via
From 10 Downing Street to Elton John’s back garden, Gallowglass have worked at some of the UK’s most iconic venues, but did you know that our ever-expanding portfolio extends a long way beyond the UK? This month, we’re turning our attention to Barcelona, a long-time favourite destination for international events. We’re homing-in on one of the superstars in the venue firmament – and focusing on the work carried out by our Barcelona team at one of its most prominent events.
Welcome to our next venue:
Name(s): Fira Gran Via
Age: 24 years old
Size: 240,000m2 (floor area)
Capacity: 12,000 (Convention Centre)
The Fira Gran Via was designed by award-winning architect Toyo Ito and built to expand Barcelona’s congress, convention and exhibition facilities provided by the City’s existing exhibition and meetings venues. Located close to the airport and the bustling city centre, this modern structure was built in a prime location and designed to include several pioneering features. Innovative architecture, sophisticated functionality and a clear regard for sustainability have each contributed to making it one of Europe’s biggest and most internationally-renowned meeting places.
Consisting of eight halls, 45 restaurants and two heliports, Fira Gran Via offers an integrated and versatile exhibition space that is perfect for all kinds of events ranging from global conventions to international summits.
Specifically designed with operational factors in mind – the building was completed in 2007. It was built on flat ground – the absence of steps facilitating load-in and load-out, allowing trucks to drive right inside the halls. It can take 20 minutes to walk from one side to the other of the Gran Via’s vast space.
Gallowglass at Fira Gran Via
Providing event crew in Barcelona, Gallowglass has played an integral role in supporting many of the events held at Fira Gran Via. Over the years, crew members based at our Barcelona office have developed solid working relationships with visiting client teams. As well as providing a range of specialist skills - from lighting technicians, carpenters, forklift truck drivers and telehandlers - our general crew constitute much of the overall support to client teams. It’s not surprising that many of our clients have come to view Gallowglass as an extension of their own operational teams, trusting us to deliver a dedicated and efficient service.
Throughout the year, the Fira Gran Via hosts an array of major national events such as Automobile Barcelona and the Barcelona Boat Show. And, as one of the top-ranking names in the international venue listings, it welcomes a plethora of global showcases. New for 2019, is the Retail & Brand Experience World Congress. However, for Gallowglass Barcelona, the biggest project by far is the Mobile World Congress – recently rebranded as MWC Barcelona, which takes place annually in February and occupies all eight of the venue’s halls.
Every year, over 107,000 visitors from over 205 countries and territories flock to both the Fira Gran Via and Fira Montjuïc to view the latest digital product offerings and discover an array of technological innovations displayed in a combined event space the size of 40 football stadiums. The brief to our Barcelona crews is to ensure these colossal spaces become as attractive and functional as possible, so that some of the mobile industry’s biggest brands can grab visitor attention to the best of their ability.
Last year, Gallowglass delivered 29 separate jobs for 14 clients during MWC Barcelona. Up to 140 multi-skilled crewmen were deployed, working in teams around the clock to bring this gargantuan event to life. As well as assisting with a variety of general tasks, our teams tackled a number of challenging projects such as stage-building, mounting giant screens and assembling the infrastructure for several experiential environments.
For another stand-out project, 36 Gallowglass crew members transformed one of the outdoor spaces between two of the venue’s halls into a visitors’ ‘playground’. They had just 48 hours to complete the job – a big ask for even the most experienced of crew providers. Elsewhere, other crew members embarked on building a colossal 30 x 30m stage with four giant 30m x 10m LED screens while constructing a large product experience area as part of the launch of one brand’s new flagship offering.
While MWC Barcelona is undoubtedly one of the most demanding events of the year for our local crews, it is also the most diverse, making it enjoyable as well as challenging. Not only do they get to enhance their skill sets through a range of stimulating tasks, but they get an early glimpse at cutting-edge technology, sometimes even before it is seen by the world’s media.
Events of this massive scale also provide the opportunity for inter-company resourcing. In the case of MWC Barcelona, this means that senior team members from several of our UK offices are sent to Barcelona to oversee work and provide additional support at this high-profile event.
If you would like to find out more about Gallowglass in Barcelona or the crewing opportunities we could offer you, get in touch with our team today. Otherwise, check out our blog to discover more of the fantastic venues we’ve worked at over the years as well as the exciting events we’ve helped bring to life.