Logroño is an ideal city for MICE tourism, with good facilities for organising congresses and an endless number of options to strengthen business links and improve team-building: from team wine tastings to excursions through the vineyards of La Rioja, as well as cultural visits and unique experiences that cannot be experienced anywhere else.
As a booming sector, MICE tourism offers are constantly increasing in our country and that is why today we would like to give you ten reasons why Logroño is the best option for holding a congress.
1- A good network of facilities: With its three areas (Auditorium, Congress Area and Main Foyer), the Riojaforum is more than just a meeting place, it is a way of understanding the community. Based on the concept of the Greek agora, José Manuel Barrio and Alberto Sainz created an open-plan space capable of combining elegance and modernity to provide the public with a place to exchange ideas, to debate and reach agreements.
In addition to the 1,223-seat auditorium, the building offers companies a 418-seat hall and nine multifunctional meeting rooms for groups of between 10 and 360 people.
As if that were not enough, Riojaforumis located on the banks of the Ebro, recovered as a key urban element after many years of going unnoticed.
The more than 1,600 events hosted since its inauguration on 12 May 2004 attest to its unbeatable location.
But there is life beyond the Riojaforum. Those who do not want to leave the historic city centre can also opt for the Logroño Municipal Auditorium.
Located in front of Logroño Town Hall, this ‘Italian-style’ venue has 783 seats, a stage measuring 9.90 m deep by 18.90 m, and lighting and sound equipment available to those who decide to use it for their congress.
2- An administration committed to MICE: Since 2018, Logroño has been working to improve its meeting tourism offer. It does so through a plan that, by 2022, aims to attract more than 117 such events.
This commitment by Logroño City Council stems from the potential that congress tourism has in terms of generating employment and wealth for the region, as well as being a good way of promoting the deseasonalisation of tourism and making this sector a sustainable industry.
For this reason, the city council has planned six lines of work aimed at developing a specialised MICE offer. There is no more compelling reason for choosing a congress venue than knowing that the selected location is a place where the business world is viewed favourably.
This is a land of entrepreneurs, of hard-working and imaginative people who know what it means to set up a business and fight for its survival. La Rioja was one of the protagonists of the 6th edition of the OPC Spain 2021 Autumn MICE Meeting, held in Madrid last October. Within the framework of this meeting, the wine region surprised the rest of the attendees with its serious commitment to the union between MICE tourism and wine tourism.
Logroño Riojaforum Conference Center
3- A new paradigm, MICE + wine tourism: Everyone knows that wine – always in moderation – is a good advisor.
Good decisions are usually taken at a good table, and at any good table you can’t go wrong with wine, wine from La Rioja, of course.
The wineries in Logroño have a lot to say in this respect. Apart from very interesting guided tours, the eight companies that make up the Bodegas de Logroño association offer their charming premises to companies that decide to hire them to organise meals and events of all kinds.
Arizcuren, Marqués de Murrieta, Campo Viejo, Marqués de Vargas, Olaña, Franco-Españolas, Viña Ijalba, Ontañón, are the names of these wineries which, each with their own style and characteristics, see MICE as a fundamental axis of their work as hosts of the capital of La Rioja, with activities ranging from wine tastings to routes through the vineyards.
With prices ranging from €15 per person to €120, there is a wide variety of offers to suit all tastes, budgets and company sizes, from SMEs to multinationals.
Brands of the stature of El Corte Inglés, Telefónica, Vueling and American Express endorse the quality and renewing power of these experiences, which can only be appreciated in the land with the oldest Designation of Origin in Spain.
4- Excellent gastronomy: Drinking well does no good on an empty stomach. That is why, since time immemorial, the people of Logroño have combined their passion for wine with an unquestionable commitment to the good quality of the food that accompanies it.
To talk about La Rioja is to talk about its tapas, its vegetables, its cod, its potatoes, its pocha beans with quail, its caparrón bean stew.
The region cannot be understood without its gastronomy, which is, in turn, one of the most important reasons for holding a congress there, because without good food, even the most interesting congress would be unbearable. The best way to have a well-fed and therefore receptive audience is to meet in Logroño.
Many restaurants offer lunch and dinner for groups of all sizes in and around the city centre.
5 – A well-connected location: All roads lead to Logroño. Although that’s not exactly how the saying goes, it can apply perfectly to the capital of La Rioja. The city can be reached by bus, train, plane or car.
Its main roads, the A-12, the LO-20 and the A-11, join the motorway to connect it with Madrid (334 km away), Barcelona (476 km), Zaragoza (170 km), Soria (101 km), Bilbao (136 km), Vitoria (65 km), San Sebastián (165 km) and Pamplona (86 km). This motorway is used by the buses that arrive daily in the city.
The train station is not far from there, at number 38 Avenida Colón, where trains depart to Valladolid, A Coruña, Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia or Zaragoza.
To get to the airport you have to go to the town of Agoncillo, 9 km from the capital, where domestic flights operated by Air Nostrum (Iberia) land and take off, connecting it with Madrid and from there with the rest of the world. Another option is to travel to the airports of Bilbao, Vitoria or Pamplona, which are not that far away.
6 – A convenient city: Apart from the advantages offered by its modest size, ideal for getting around on foot, Logroño is a city committed to the relaxation of its visitors. Its 1,900 hotel beds coincide in the fact that they are heirs to a long tradition based on hospitality towards outsiders; not in vain Logroño has been a key stop on the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago de Compostela for hundreds of years.
Logroño boasts many hotels and to mention them all would make this article endless, but if you want to be close to the Riojaforum, a good option is to choose AC La Rioja, Zenit, Eurostar Marqués De Vallejo or FG Logroño, Calle Mayor, Portales…
7 – A vast cultural offer: With a biography dating back to pre-Roman times, Logroño has a lot to tell. La ciudad fue arrasada tanto por los godos como por el Cid y a punto estuvieron de hacerlo las tropas francesas en 1521.
The city was razed to the ground by both the Goths and El Cid, and French troops almost did the same in 1521. The great Renaissance painter Juan Fernández de Navarrete, known as ‘the mute’, was born here, and Baldomero Espartero, one of the most illustrious figures of the Spanish 19th century, decided to make this his permanent residence.
Not to mention the tourist interest of its churches, especially the Co-cathedral of Santa María de la Redonda, and its historic streets, such as Portales, Laurel and Ruavieja.
Holding a congress in Logroño is a guarantee that attendees will leave culturally enriched, having places designed for the dissemination of knowledge such as the Museum of La Rioja, the Casa de las Ciencias or the Espacio Lagares on their doorstep.
The cultural offer of Logroño is always an incentive for visitors to the city. Like most places in this country, it is static in terms of venues, but varied in terms of its content, which changes with the seasons. The main venues are the Teatro Bretón and the Riojaforum, where you can see shows of all styles and aimed at all kinds of audiences.
Airport of Logroño-Agoncillo
8 – A high quality hotel and catering business: After an intense day of meetings, discussions and presentations, there is nothing better than going out for a drink with your colleagues.
Business is often conducted more naturally or working relationships are definitively consolidated in bars and taverns.
The mythical Calle Laurel, popularly known as Elephant Walk, is clear proof of how wine brings people together.
As the first in Spain to receive the Hostelería Segura seal of approval, the Riojan hotel and catering business is committed to quality and user satisfaction.
9 – An unrivalled natural setting: What congress visitors appreciate most is the fact that it is held in a beautiful place, a location endowed with a unique, lively, well-preserved nature.
Logroño can assure its visitors that these conditions will be met. With its extensive fields of vineyards irrigated by the river Ebro, the city is the gateway to a natural setting with the Grajera Park as a good example of its great diversity and interest.
This green space, located around a large reservoir, is the ideal place to strengthen the bonds between company employees, with activities such as golf and fishing, or with a less tiring but no less appetising meal outdoors or in one of the restaurants found in the park, such as the exquisite Tròpico, Delicatto or La Arrancadilla, ideal for group meals.
10 – A group of professionals at your service: Many professionals work day and night to meet all the conditions set out above. La Rioja is an ideal MICE destination thanks, in part, to the work of the companies that make up OPC Rioja, an association that serves as a meeting point for all those involved in the Professional Organisation of Congresses and that aims to promote the congress tourism sector in Logroño with the intention of continuing to grow at the rate at which the city has been growing in recent years.
This group includes companies such as Expo21 and Planner Congresos, which have the support of entities such as Campo Viejo, Espacios Verdes, Hotel Gran Vía and Sonovision. Without these and many other Riojan companies, none of this would be possible.