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 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. There was also an opportunity for attendees to explore the city of San José during a post-conference city tour.
“The Conference was an exceptional event that gathered the major leaders of the exhibition industry in the region. We are honoured to have 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,” said 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,” said Kai Hattendorf, UFI CEO.
Over the course of the three-day conference, speakers from across the region covered a multitude of topics. There were sessions on the speed of change in the industry and on marketing strategies with a renewed customer focus . Delegates also heard some best practices from Mexico and Colombia on activating and using data insights and smart technology for the development of show portfolios. Sustainability and the progress of the global Net Zero Carbon Events initiative were again discussed, and there were fresh 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. The closing session was built around bridging the exhibition markets between Latin America and the US.
The LATAM Conference delivered opportunities for matchmaking and networking. Over 400 meetings among participants were arranged during two specific matchmaking sessions, produced on-site by event partner Two 2 Tango. There was also a closing night gala and also a special night out at the Parque de Diversiones, San José’s Theme Park area that opened exclusively for conference participants.
Some delegates also visited the Doka coffee plantation, which has 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.
The conference also 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.
Videos of all sessions will be made available to UFI members and conference participants in the coming days on demand.
The UFI MEA Conference will be held in Doha, Qatar 9-11 May and the Global Congress will take place in Las Vegas, from 1-4 November.