By Paulo Cunha/Outra Visão – Brazil
Leia isto no português
On December 12, about 400 professionals from the Latin American meeting and event industry established a new debate on the professionalization of the industry in the region, including discussions of strategy, technology, trends and brands.
Held in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city and its financial capital, the first edition of MPI’s Latin American Meeting and Event Conference (LAMEC) provided rich discussions, reflections and exchanges of experiences and ideas to participants. Industry professionals from the region packed the auditorium of the elegant hotel Unique.
Among the sessions held in the main auditorium was the general session on “events that impact a changing society.” At this session, social activist René Silva revealed in detail how he handles an event that, initially planned for 500 people, saw 15,000 attendees in the Alemão Community in Rio de Janeiro, a place that until a few months ago was dominated by drug dealers and was recently occupied by the police.
The session about hybrid events, with the participation of head of event operations EMEA, SAP AG, Mathias Sondermann and Boone Associates’ Mary Boone, was also another highlight. In a crowded room, Sondermann, who came from Germany for this event, and Boone, connected with the room via Skype from her office in the U.S., presented data, facts and videos about SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW event, one of the most successful hybrid events in the digital world.
LAMEC 2011 also marked the official launch of the MPI Learning Center in Brazil, and was attended by Didier Scaillet, MPI’s chief development officer, as well as Elizabeth Wada, president of the MPI Brazil Chapter. Excitingly, in 2012, industry professionals will be able to test for the Global CMP in Sao Paulo.
After a full day of conference, LAMEC’s first edition ended with an important debate on the legacy of the World Cup and Olympic Games. The session was moderated by Jeanine Pires, ex-president of Embratur and president of the Tourism Council of Fecomércio Sao Paulo, a professional who was directly involved in the work done by the Brazilian government to secure the events (2014 World Cup Brazil and 2016 Summer Olympics).
In this closing session, Walt Judas, from Vancouver Tourism shared his experience from the 2010 Winter Olympics and explained the strategies that the city planned to grow as an important destination for events after the games.
South Africa Tourism’s, Nomasonto Ndlovu, also attended the debate and detailed the challenges of organizing the first World Cup ever held in Africa.
Throughout the discussion, it was revealed that the challenges faced by South Africa were very similar to those experienced in Brazil, especially in regards to transportation and venue infrastructure.
The 2012 edition of LAMEC is already confirmed and scheduled for August 20, in Sao Paulo