How Latin America became a meeting and event planners’ paradise
By David Hidalgo, Show Director, IBTM Americas
ICCA’s latest country and city rankings for international association meetings ranks Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and Chile in the top 35 for the number of meetings held in each country. The rankings support anecdotal and observational evidence that says Latin America is playing a significant role in the global business events market by offering the perfect mix of uniqueness, value, infrastructure, culture and passionate people.
The meetings and events market in LATAM has flourished as a result of two influential developments: the efforts of governments in the region to stabilize and concentrate on economic growth through tourism, and the global economic downturn of 2008.
During the economic downturn that affected much of the UK and Europe, Latin America emerged as a vibrant, attractive and good value alternative. Event organisers were handed the opportunity to discover a new region of wonderful possibilities – who could resist?
Event planners quickly realised that what really sets apart a meeting in a LATAM country — and the biggest added values — are its cultural aspects. Integrating the colourful and exuberant Latin American culture into your event adds warmth, hospitality and authenticity.
Delegates will have a different kind of meeting and event experience in Latin America. Latin America’s abundance of cultural histories, tourist attractions and impressive natural surroundings, set within a dynamic and increasingly economically powerful region, make this a perfect place for the exchange of ideas, knowledge sharing and face-to-face engagement.
As the economies in LATAM have grown, more and more US and European hospitality companies have established bases there. Collectively, leading hotel groups Hilton, Marriott and Accor have over 680 hotels in the region, with many more in the pipeline. And multinational corporations, such as IBM, DHL, Cisco, McDonald’s, AT&T and Dell have well-established subsidiaries in the region.
Brazil’s capital Rio de Janeiro saw enormous investment in its tourism infrastructure to prepare it for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. The city added thousands of hotel rooms and made improvements to airports, ports, roads, public transportation, security, leisure and other services.
Many major global organizations, such as Apple, Walmart, BP, Volkswagen and JP Morgan use Brazil as their Latin American headquarters. It’s the largest country in the region, with a very strong economy, ranking alongside global leaders in many of the major industries such as oil and banking.
Along with Brazil, most countries in LATAM are vying to attract meetings and events business, boasting – among other things – ease of access, not just from the U.S., but from the entire world.
There’s great value in face to face – it’s how we build relationships with partners and customers – and this is especially true in LATAM, where getting together is an essential part of doing business. And, as businesses continue to extend their reach into this exciting new market, the demand for meetings in the region will increase in correlation.
It’s a huge advantage that governments in our region are so good at supporting the industry and the organisations that bring events here. Country and city authorities have an ambitious commercial mentality, which allows organisations to create personalized and unique options that exceed delegates’ expectations. LATAM governments have recognized the high level of international competition and no country in the region wants to fall below average.
Get the airlines, the hotels, and the governments around a table, say which exclusive and value-added cultural features you want to include in your event and they will work together to make it a reality. Bring your event here and you will find an abundance of opportunities, within an industry that’s totally committed to one vision – that they must ensure your event in their country is the best you ever had.
IBTM Americas 2019 will take place from 29 – 30 May at Citibanamex Center, Mexico City. High quality international and domestic exhibitors will join high quality Hosted Buyers from across North America, Latin America and Europe for two days of pre-planned meetings, a packed schedule of knowledge sessions, cultural activities and networking events.
IBTM, part of Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading showcase for the meetings and events industry (also known as MICE) with a portfolio of 5 global and regional events providing business solutions on 5 continents. They include IBTM World, IBTM Arabia, IBTM Africa, IBTM Americas and IBTM China.
About Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser, with a wide-ranging portfolio of 22 international events in 13 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa. Its market-leading, business-to-business events cover all elements of travel and tourism, including leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, events, incentives and business travel, as well as golf travel.