110 exhibition industry leaders from LATAM and beyond gathered in San José, Costa Rica. Countless sessions, matchmaking, and networking opportunities over three days
PARIS/ SAN JOSE – UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, held its LATAM Conference in San José, Costa Rica this 25-27 April. More than 110 exhibition industry leaders from over 18 countries came together to share insights and expertise as well as participate in interactive workshops and networking opportunities.
Hosted by the Costa Rica Convention Bureau, the event was held at the Costa Rica Convention Center. In addition to the conference, attendees also had the opportunity to explore the beautiful city of San José during a post-conference city tour.
“The recent UFI LATAM Conference held in Costa Rica was an exceptional event that gathered the major leaders of the exhibition industry in the region. We are honoured of having been chosen as the host of this unique experience and we are extremely grateful to the organisers for their tremendous hard work in putting together an event of this kind. We are very much looking forward to the next edition and we will remain committed to UFI in the promotion and growth of the exhibition industry in Latin America,” says Dennis Whitelaw, President of the Costa Rica Convention Bureau.
“As in the other markets around the world, Latin America has moved on from the rollercoaster events in the past 36 months. The focus is on growth and change, and that was very present throughout the sessions and meetings during this conference. UFI members came to compare where they stand, to look for partners and business opportunities, and to hear about the latest developments in the region and globally on issues from sustainability to talent development,” says Kai Hattendorf, UFI CEO.
Over the course of the three-day conference, speakers from across the region covered a multitude of topics. Immediately setting the tone, the first panel zoomed in on the accelerating speed of change and envisioned how the industry will continue to change in the coming years. A highly rated session on marketing strategies with a renewed customer focus was followed by best practices from Mexico and Colombia on activating and using data insights and smart technology for the development of show portfolios. Updates on sustainability activities and the progress of the global “Net Zero Carbon Events” initiative were well received, as were the insights into global and regional trends on current innovations of public and events-related infrastructure.
The second day saw sessions dealing with the role of MICE industry associations and convention bureaus for successful shows, talent challenges and opportunities, and the fast-emerging role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the future of events. Finally, the closing session was built around bridging the exhibition markets between Latin America and the US.
While the sessions are a key element of every UFI event, the LATAM Conference delivered a multitude of opportunities for matchmaking and networking. 412 meetings among participants were arranged during two specific matchmaking sessions, produced on-site by event partner “Two 2 Tango”. And besides networking breaks, a number of social events provide a multitude of networking opportunities – from the traditional UFI run to the dance floor at the closing night’s gala. There was also a special night out at the Parque de Diversiones, San José’s Theme Park area that opened exclusively for conference participants, providing a relaxed setting – and the opportunity to take rollercoaster rides, which proved very popular.
The third day of the conference offered the opportunity to go on a post-conference tour of San José. Attendees were able to enjoy the abundance of nature, culture and history that the city has to offer. They visited the Doka coffee plantation, which earned the ‘Historical and Architectural Heritage’ designation in Costa Rica, as well as the La Paz Waterfalls Park, one of the country’s natural treasures.
Last but not least, the conference provided an opportunity for the industry leaders who are standing as candidates in this month’s Chapter Leadership elections to introduce themselves to UFI members from across the region.
As usual, videos of all sessions will be made available to UFI members and conference participants in the coming days on demand.
As the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, UFI organises annual regional conferences in Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East/Africa, as well as the UFI Global Congress. The next event will be the UFI MEA Conference which will be held in Doha, Qatar this 9-11 May. The Global Congress will take place in Las Vegas, USA, from 1-4 November.
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