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The Madrid Property Exhibition

publication date: Feb 22, 2007
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author/source: James Wyatt
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Every year I witter on to anyone who will listen about this amazing exhibition. The size of it, the stupendous stands, the parties, the weather, and, er the work aspect. SIMA – short for Salon Inmobiliario de Madrid ( Madrid Property Exhibition to you and me) is held in Madrid each year around Easter/Spring time at the immense Feria de Madrid, located near the airport and not far from the bustling city centre. This year the dates are 29th May to 2nd June.

So why go? Well, if you are involved in overseas sales, this should be your annual pilgrimage to Spain. It’s not just Spanish property that is being shown either. Over 50 countries are represented at SIMA including Portugal, Morocco, Brazil, Bulgaria, Egypt, Hungary, Panama, Greece, Argentina, USA and so on. Last year 160,000 visitors came through the door. That’s almost eight times the number of the UK’s largest property show. 20,000 of the SIMA attendees were property professionals from a range of 60 different countries.

If you’re not involved in overseas sales, I can recommend SIMA ’07 to you simply to gawp at the stands themselves. If you’ve led a sheltered SIMA: the greatest show in the world! life in the UK, visiting the occasional property exhibition, then you have seen NOTHING like SIMA. The stands here are purpose built for the show – some at a cost of up to euros 500,000 – and then chucked in the bin after 5 days. Many of the stands cover 5 000 square feet, and to make the most of this expensive space, some build their stands over two levels. Product displays on the ground floor, and entertainment (ie bar) on the upper floor. Many are truly astonishing with live music, traditionally dressed locals and every stunning Madrileno model (the pretty sort) must be employed for this exhibition – they are everywhere.

Entry to SIMA for professionals is FREE. It takes some time to see all 800 exhibitors who cover a staggering 1,000,000 square feet of space. If you’d like to get a bit more from the event, there is a vast choice of lectures, seminars, networking opportunities, meetings and cocktail parties to attend for those who pay for the International Professional Program (IPP). This normally costs euros 400, but the NAEA’s International Head Ian Tonge has negotiated a reduced rate of just euros 350 for all NAEA members. Tickets are available from http://ipp.simaexpo.com/naea. The main theme behind the IPP is the worldwide growth in the second homes market – either as holiday homes or investment property.

For those who want to go the whole 9 yards, the first night opening party is a fun filled evening with live entertainment and about 2.000 fun seekers! As an extra, there is the last night ‘International Night out’ for those who aren’t completely worn out.

Tempted? Flights to Madrid are plentiful and cheap – under £70 at the time of writing. There is a vast array of hotels in every price bracket. I like to stay near to the exhibition halls as you can end up weighed down with gargantuan amounts of brochures, which can then be dropped of in your room. The nearby Novotel is £65 a night. Alternatively the SIMA website, www.simaexpo.com has plenty of alternatives.