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SMEs and freelancers who organise all kinds of events at the foot of the Alhambra. Pepe Marín
Meet the companies behind the boom in Granada's events sector
Business

Meet the companies behind the boom in Granada's events sector

The province is chosen by couples and business from all over the world for their celebrations, where the stunning Alhambra is still the most sought-after venue

Andrea G. Parra

Granada

Monday, 6 May 2024, 16:56

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Granada's events sector is experiencing a boom and the season, which once went from May to September, is now year-round, with January being the only month in the year that experiences a real dip.

Both local residents and foreign couples choose Granada to tie the knot and companies, researchers and professional associations choose the city and of course the Alhambra for meetings and congresses who are increasingly demanding more specialisation, which is leading to a boom in the number of freelancers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) specialising in these niche markets.

From classic car hire to photography, decorations, catering, or the planning and coordination of the event, local companies are having to be more and more innovative to meet these demands.

The vast majority of those working in this sector are self-employed or SMEs and the companies that have the biggest number of employees on their books are those involved in catering.

In fact in 2022 the companies come together to set up the Association of Event Professionals in Granada (APEG), which aims to give more protection and rights to these freelancers and SMEs.

86 members so far of the Association of Event Professionals in Granada (APEG)

38,000 euros, according to the organisers, is the top-end cost for staging a wedding.

This decision is motivated, according to Lucas Antelo from AntBar Eventos, to provide a more general vision. Not only do they prepare and organise weddings, but they also organise a wide range of other activities such as business meetings and other types of events.

The aim is to professionalise and increase competitiveness as well as to ensure that major events taking place in Granada are organised by professionals from the city and not from outside.

In recent years Granada has become a fashionable place for weddings and the organisation of all kinds of events. "It is very popular for all kinds of events," says the president of the association, Ángeles Porcel.

The association has 86 members, all of them entrepreneurs in the wedding and events sector. "We want our area to be the best option for couples, corporate events, congresses, etc., offering exceptional services and memorable experiences with the best professionals," says the board of directors. They are working to showcase Granada as an 'event destination'.

Budget

The economic value that each wedding or event generates is "very high" Renting accommodation, catering, venue hire, photography, video, beauty and hairdressing, structures, lighting, decoration ... and an endless number of services involved both directly and indirectly. For example, according to Spain's National Institute of Statistics (INE), a total of 3,099 marriages were registered in Granada province in 2021.

"Assuming that 70% take place and taking into account that the average budget for the celebration and basic services of each wedding is between 20,000 and 38,000 euros, we can calculate approximately the economic value that this sector implies in Granada and its province, both in direct and indirect services," the association explains.

"If we include foreign couples who only come for the wedding celebration - they do not register their marriage as they are already legally married in their countries - and all kinds of events such as congresses, business events, etc., the figure increases considerably", the association goes on to say.

"The season used to be from May to September and now, except for January, it's every month"

Couples come from all corners of the world. There are Hindu weddings, People coming from the United Estates, Emirates and a long list of other countries, just to get married in Granada. Back in 2014 Ángeles Porcel organised that first Hindu wedding in Granada with the groom arriving on a white horse.

In all of this, food and drink play an important role, as does the location. Flowers and ambience are also becoming more and more important. What most people are looking for are venues with views of the Alhambra and fincas and typical Andalusian farmhouses are also high on the list among foreigners wanting to get married, have christenings and other family and business events. The businesses offer "unique and original" proposals, adapted to the individual preferences and wishes of each client.

La Cueva de 1900 events and catering run by Raquel Reguero explains that they manage everything from pre-weddings to the weddings themselves, birthdays, retirements and other events. Most of their clients are from Granada, although they have clients from all over Spain.

When asked how much people spend, he says that there are two extremes, those who are more careful with their money and those who have no limits. What he notes is that while the events season ran from May to September, now it's all year "except January".

Activasur, a company that provides children's entertainment, balloons, parades, inflatables and so on, is involved in the organisation of dozens of events per week and now they are particularly busy with communions. Pilar, who is a stilt walker with the company says that they are "in great demand".

More and more people are asking for more decoration and animation for communions

There is a lot to organise and offer as evidenced by the photograph taken at a recent event in which just some of the members of APEG appear; Alhambra Weddings, wedding planner y oficiantes de boda; As Suite, música; La cueva de 1900 eventos y catering; Eventos Sr. Music DJ, sonido e iluminación; AntBar Eventos y Petto's Animación; Pura Vida eventos; Boda Music–Dj; De Boda con Marta; Tu Fiesta Loca; Activasur; Villa Argaz Eventos; Garate fotografía; Fran Higuero; Dj para eventos; Sergio Aguayo fotografía; Lourdes Salmerón, wedding planner y maestros de ceremonias; Good Music Events by Randy Garcia Dj; y Originalandia CBA, decoración con globos, Manu Tenor sax, saxophonist; Polo Music; Vanessa Cantero, fotografía; Música a la carta; Avibo rental, iluminación, mobiliario; Carolina Bouquet, estilismo floral y decoración de eventos; Iluminación decorativa y mobiliario; y Loalba joyeros. And they hope that more will join.

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