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Meet in the City of Transformation: Medellin, Colombia

Colombia is located in the northwest of South America. Medellín is located in the northwest of the country, on one of the three branches of the Colombian Andes. Medellín is the commercial, industrial, and technological development epicenter of the country. Thanks to its elevation and geographic location, the city has a spring-like climate all year long. It is one of the most resilient cities in the world, and today it is recognized for its social transformation and innovation. 

Colombia Medellin panor

Victories of the Transformation

Metro de Medellín. It opened in 1995 and was part of the beginning of the transformation of Medellín, thanks to the continuity of local administrations in their vision of fostering social innovation projects and initiatives, in cooperation with a private sector committed to social and economic development. The Metro system connected the city, gave new meaning to spaces that were previously marginalized, and provided greater opportunities for the people of the city.

This transport system has been integrated with electric buses, trams, and public bicycles. Today, any visitor can use these means of transport, travel around the city with a single ticket, and take part in this transformation.

Articulated life units (UVAs). In different neighborhoods of Medellín, there are spaces with tanks that store the city’s water. These spaces were used to build the UVAs as an opportunity to get closer to the community through sports facilities, leisure spaces, and gardens for the recreation of the city’s inhabitants.

Ruta N. One of the most important innovation hubs in Latin America was born as a commitment to offer services and solutions based on innovation and technology, in order to be competitive in a globalized world. Today, it hosts more than 320 companies from over 30 countries. 

Medellín hosts the Fourth Industrial Revolution and is being positioned as the Software Valley. It seeks to consolidate the city as the epicenter of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and make technology a common axis for all its inhabitants and all aspects of its development (health, education, employment, etc.).

Host of Major Events

Internationalization has been part of the city’s transformation. Colombia’s economic opening process led cities such as Medellín to open its doors and become known in international markets by attracting major events that put it in the eyes of the world and foster social and economic development.
Medellín has hosted major events that include:
• World Economic Forum
• 6th Midyear Meeting of the Inter-American Press Association 
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
• General Assembly of the Organization of American States, UNESCO International Conference on Learning Cities, and World Mayors Summit (attended by 120 mayors from around the world)

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Renowned Hotel Chains

The city has more than 300 hotels and 15,000 rooms. Three main hotel zones: Laureles in the west (three-star and four-star hotels), Poblado in the south (four-star and five-star hotels), and the downtown area (three-star hotels).

Large international chains that have come to the city in recent years include:
• Four Points by Sheraton
• Hampton by Hilton
• Holiday Inn Express
• Ibis
• Marriot
• Novotel
Additionally, in the city and its surroundings, there is a wide offering of Colombian and boutique hotels for small groups and incentive groups.

Top Meeting Venues

PLAZA MAYOR. This is Medellín’s convention center and the venue with the highest capacity. It has 27 halls, five pavilions, and two open spaces. Its total commercial area is 323,000 square feet. Plaza Mayor has hosted the most important events in the city, such as the UNESCO Annual Conference on Learning Cities (650 attendees) and the General Assembly of the Organization of American States in 2019 (1600 attendees). Other major events worth mentioning are the World Urban Forum, the Annual Meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank, and the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization. 
INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL. This is one of the most traditional hotels in the city, also with a convention center. The largest hall has capacity for 1,200 people, and the hotel has a total of 16 halls and 294 rooms. This venue has hosted events such as the World Economic Forum. 
EL TESORO EVENT CENTER (CET). It has a hall with capacity for 1,200 people, which can be divided into three. It is a great option to hold events for 350 to 500 people because it offers the possibility of having a space for exhibitions and another as an auditorium. 
EL POBLADO BUSINESS CENTER - MEDELLIN-ANTIOQUIA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. It is one of the newest convention centers in the city. It has a main hall with capacity for 600 people, which can be divided into three rooms for 150 people. 

International Recognition
The city has received much international recognition that highlight its social transformation and innovation:
1. Declared the world’s most innovative city, according to Wall Street and CitiGroup.
2. Chosen as the leading meetings and conference destination, according to the World Travel Awards.
3. Recognized by the Council of the Americas with the BRAVO Business Award for being the most transformational city of the year. 
4. Named Center of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for Latin America by the World Economic Forum. 
5. Selected as one of the best ten cities in Latin America for business, according to Hickey and Associates.

Thriving Innovation District

The Medellín Innovation District, in the north of the city, is one of the outcomes of the social, urban, and economic transformation process. It is an innovation ecosystem where entrepreneurs, companies, and institutions within the knowledge economy meet and participate in joint projects that make Medellín the Innovation Capital of Latin America.
BOTANICAL GARDEN. The Botanical Garden is a center for culture and environmental and botanical education, with more than 1,000 living species. It has more than 20 indoor and outdoor spaces, with comfortable facilities that adapt to the needs of corporate and social events. It is one of the few botanical gardens with a convention center and spaces for events surrounded by nature.
RUTA N. This innovation and business center was created with the purpose of contributing to the transformation of the city and the improvement of the quality of life of its inhabitants through science, technology, and innovation. Its infrastructure has more than 44,905 square meters to receive national and international companies.
EXPLORA PARK. This is Medellín’s science and technology park, with more than 300 experiences for its visitors. Its spaces include a planetarium, a 3D room, a freshwater aquarium, terraces, and auditoriums. Its auditorium has capacity for 300 people and the park is also used for social events. 

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Unique, Non-Traditional Venues

ORQUIDEORAMA. Located in the heart of the Botanical Garden, it covers nearly 4,000 square meters, and together with the garden halls, it is one of the most important non-traditional spaces for events in the city. 
EL CASTILLO MUSEUM. Inspired by the castles of the Loire Valley in France, it is a space for European and Colombian art exhibitions and it has three outdoor spaces, including a large garden, and five indoor spaces with capacity for 400 people.
BOTERO PLAZA. This iconic place concentrates the world’s largest collection of works by the renowned artist Fernando Botero, with a total of 23 sculptures exhibited outdoors. The plaza can host banquets for up to 250 people and cocktail parties for up to 500 people. The Botero Plaza has hosted events such as the opening dinner of the World Economic Forum in 2016 and the closing dinner of the Midyear Meeting of the Inter-American Press Association in 2018.
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART OF MEDELLÍN – MAMM. This is another non-traditional venue for opening or closing dinners. It has a terrace with a view of the city and capacity for 180 people, a theater with capacity for 256 people, and a small square that is used for cultural and social events.
AQUARIUM (EXPLORA PARK). The Explora Park is an interactive museum with laboratories, academic auditoriums, and a space for open-air science displays. It also has an aquarium with capacity for 50-people banquets. 

Academic Venues

UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT. EAFIT is one of the top universities in Medellín and has various indoor and outdoor spaces for university and cultural activities. Its largest event center is the Fundadores auditorium, with capacity for 634 people.
UNIVERSIDAD DE MEDELLÍN THEATER. This theater has become an icon of the city for music, dance, and theatrical performances, as well as for the development of business and academic events. This is the theater with the highest capacity in the city: 1,702 seats, including 34 seats for persons with reduced mobility. Moreover, it has an ideal area for product launches, performances, guest receptions, refreshments, cocktail parties, and dinners. 
UPB FORUM. This 2,200-square-meter conference hall with a capacity for 800 people is part of the new innovation, technology, and science center of Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, which, with its 54 new classrooms, 66 laboratories, and hall, intends to become an option for large events in Medellín.

Medellin panorama

Rich Art & Culture

In Medellín, culture and creativity are found in its streets and embodied by big figures such as artist Fernando Botero, silleteros, and young urban artists. Medellín is the capital of reggaeton; it is one of the tango and salsa cities worldwide; and it was the first city of Colombia to be a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, which is made up of 116 cities around the globe. 

A World of Gastronomy

Medellín has more than 3,000 restaurants registered; 30% of which specializes in traditional and Colombian food (SITUR), as well as an assorted offer of world gastronomy. Most of these establishments can be found in some gastronomy corridors of Medellín and its surrounding areas. 

For more information and to book your meeting.