Barcelona – Europe’s Centre for Conferences
visit barcelona for a conference

The conference industry in Barcelona has exploded in recent years, with scores of companies flocking to this wonderful city to hold or attend these events. From January to December, almost every weekend, you can find exciting and innovative conferences across the city. With excellent hotels, first-rate facilities and a beautiful setting, it’s easy to see why companies are choosing Barcelona as the location to bring their employees and clients from around the world.

The Barcelona Olympics, 1992

Barcelona as a city has been through some difficult times. Following the death of the Fascist dictator, Franco, in the 1970s, Spain as a country started the long, slow journey towards healing itself and its people. In time, they would begin to open their doors to the world and seek ways to bring international business and travel to the city.

In October 1986, Barcelona, with its coastal location, beautiful architecture and inspiring history, competed against five other cities to host the 1992 Olympic Games. Winning this bid marked a turning point in the development of this Catalan city. The 1992 games brought much-needed investment from international sources and made it possible for modern sports facilities to be constructed in various locations around the city.

This money also improved the general infrastructure of the city, with the cash being used to construct or restore buildings and hotels, developing the beaches (that are now so much a part of life in the city, it’s hard to believe they’re not even 30 years old!) and modernising transport, including the highways and airport.

Without the Olympics, Barcelona may not have become the popular conference location that it is in 2018.

What’s on this autumn in Barcelona?

Throughout September, October and November, a full range of conferences will take place in Barcelona. A large number of the conferences are related to medicine, pharmacology and pioneering technology, which makes it hard to choose which ones to feature in our blog. We think we have selected some of the most intriguing conferences, as well as conferences that are dealing with hot-button issues in 2018.

Alzheimer Europe Conference

Subject: Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Location: Barceló Sants (map link)

Dates: October 29th – 31st

Dementia and Alzheimer’s are devastating diseases that we are still struggling to understand. Dementia is an umbrella term to describe symptoms that include impaired memory and thinking, while Alzheimer’s is a disease that can cause dementia.

The focus of the 28th Alzheimer Europe Conference will be “Making Dementia a European Priority”. On their website, they identify that they had asked for abstracts for posters and talks on five different topics:

  • Policies and strategies
  • Care approaches
  • Care services
  • Rights and dementia-friendly society
  • Genetics, prevention and treatment.

By using broad topics, they want “to promote a multi-disciplinary and multi-professional approach to dementia.”

Other Alzheimer’s conferences: 11TH Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) OCTOBER 24th – 27th.

International Conference on Advances in Artificial Intelligence

Subject: Artificial Intelligence

Location: H10 Universitat (map link)

Dates: October 6th – 8th

For many of us, the phrase “artificial intelligence” conjures up images of robots and intelligent computer systems from our favourite science-fiction movies (C3PO, anyone?). In 2018, it is so much more than that.

The first ICAAI conference took place in Thailand and featured talks such as “Challenges & Researches of Software Engineering for Autonomous Robot Software”. Do we know what that means? No. Are we excited to find out? Absolutely!

While they haven’t released the talks that will be featured yet this year, we can’t wait to see what advances have been made, both through research and practical application.

Pharmacy and Medicine in Ancient Egypt

Subject: Ancient Egyptian medicine, illnesses etc. in both people and animals

Location: Hotel Alimara (map link)

Dates: October 25th – 26th

From the modern advances in AI to ancient history, Barcelona clearly has the full spectrum when it comes to conferences!

It may seem strange to say that ancient Egypt is a hot button topic in 2018, but increasingly, as a society, we are looking backwards as much forwards for ways to treat illness. This is the third international conference on Pharmacy and Medicine in Ancient Egypt and the first time it has come to Barcelona (the previous two conferences had been held in Cairo, Egypt and Manchester, United Kingdom).

The conference will be presenting and discussing recent studies on human remains, organic matter and plants from ancient Egypt. With speeches from Professor Rosalie David (Emeritus Professor of Egyptology at The University of Manchester), who has pioneered techniques on studying mummies without destroying the remains, and other experts in the field, the conference will strive to further demystify disease and medicine in ancient Egypt.

European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress

Subject: Everything under the umbrella of Neuropsychopharmacology. Examples of talks: “The gut-brain connection in psychiatry”, “Scientific basis of mindfulness and meditation” and “The use of neuroimaging to improve drug development in mood disorders”.

Location: Barcelona International Conventions Centre (map link)

Dates: October 6th – 9th

The 31st ECNP Congress promises to be four days of fascinating talks on the most mysterious organ in the body: the brain. From treatment of brain diseases to understanding psychological disorders (such as schizophrenia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), this conference has the additional segment called “Love Your Brain”. This part of the conference includes yoga classes and nutritional advice, as well as a zone to relax in with puzzles like Sudoku, providing stimulation for body and mind.

As they say on their website: “The ECNP mission [is] to advance the science of the brain, promote better treatment and enhance brain health”.

Other brain-related conferences: The Lancet Summit: Inflammation and Immunity in Disorders of the Brain and Mind – November 15th – 17th.

Humanities in Transition

Subject: Humanities subjects and study and their role in our society

Location: Palau Macaya (map link)

Dates: October 23rd – 26th

Moving away from medicine and tech, the “Humanities in Transition” conference asks us to look beyond facts and figures.

In their introduction on the conference website, they note that “Every academic discipline is concerned in some way or other with the human being, but among the great variety of branches of knowledge there are some that focus more closely on the human condition and its capacity for cultural creation: as a whole these are referred to as the humanities.”

In recent years, more and more focus has been placed on “hard sciences”, and the so-called “softer subjects” are facing criticism and ridicule for being “less valuable” than other subjects. “Humanities in Transition” will ask, through different talks over three days, where humanities fit in the modern world and why it is so important for the contingency and development of us as human beings.

The three central themes this year are:

  • Humanist thinking today
  • Soft vs. hard sciences
  • Posthumanism: Beyond humanism?

There will also be workshops, including “Humanities in the age of conflict” and “The humanities and communication”.

Visiting Barcelona for a conference?

Whether it’s your first conference in Barcelona or your 30th, the city has so much to offer. At BarcelonaTours, we have years of experience in helping conference attendees make the most of their free time. We can help organise ice-breaker evenings as well as excellent team-building activities, from exploring the city through our Photo Treasure Hunt to enjoying the Sea with a Private Catamaran Charter. We can also organise personalised tours of the city, dinners and parties – everything you need for a great experience in Barcelona.

For more information on entertainment and activities for your group, get in touch today on or give us a call on +34 935 008 226.