Pharma posts end of year bounce as CPHI Barcelona reports record attendance

CPHI Barcelona – the world’s largest pharma event – hosted last month in Spain saw a record attendance of 54,000 as pharma confidence returns. The exhibition, which is seen by many as an early indicator of growth in the year ahead, points to the industry having turned a corner with demand expected to accelerate in 2024.

This year’s attendance is the largest in the event’s 30+ year history and has risen by 34% year-on-year, with improving demand for pharma services anticipated in 2024 – which contrasts sharply with the first half of 2023 when many outsourcing firms reported muted growth. In total, some 2,400 companies exhibited at CPHI Barcelona. Additionally, there were more than 100 content sessions available for attendees to participate in this year.

Emphasising the global scope of both the event and the industry, more than 170 countries were represented at the event.  Host country Spain led with the highest number of attendees, followed closely by India, the DACH region, China, Italy, the UK, and the USA.

A key component of the success of the Barcelona event – which also saw a large increase in interest from R&D and biotech communities – was the newly launched Start-up Market featuring 40 emerging companies. CPHI introduced the platform to help further accelerate innovative partnering and collaborations by providing smaller, dynamic companies with access to its global audiences – partnerships that will be invaluable to sustaining the industry’s improving outlook for the year ahead.

Another first was the launch of the Sustainability Centre at CPHI Barcelona which showcased the ‘Better Stands’ programme, a move towards reusable and recyclable exhibition stands, as well as initiatives such as renewable electricity, waste reduction and vegetarian and vegan food options. Most significantly, this created a space for the industry to discuss wider initiatives to help pharma reduce its environmental impact through dedicated content and active conversations.

“The clear message is that events like CPHI Barcelona continue to be essential to the pharma community –  in helping sustain current relationships and in providing access to so many future partners in a single venue. The outlook for 2024 is also very positive, and we look forward to bringing the heart of pharma together in Milan. The Lombardy region is the largest pharma production centre in Europe, and the industry is thrilled that CPHI is returning there.” commented Adam Andersen, Executive Vice President, Pharma at Informa.


The 2024 edition will be held at Fiera Milano (October 8-10, 2024) at the heart of Europe’s largest pharma manufacturing hub, in a country renowned for API exports, with the Lombardy region alone boasting over 50 manufacturing facilities.