Buenos Aires bound

UFI’s Latam Conference goes ahead in-person in Argentina, 11-12 May, and the association’s regional director Ana Maria Arango tells us what to expect

What are you expecting from the UFI Latam Conference

We delivered the first UFI Latam Conference back in 2018 in Mexico City, where 120 delegates from 15 countries attended. It was a nice starting point in terms of visibility and branding. Our second regional event in 2020 in Buenos Aires was all set before having to be postponed to 2021 and the face-to-face event to 2022. 

Our objective for the 2022 conference is for it to be a landmark event that will jumpstart the region’s recovery, hence the importance of making it 100% in-person and leveraging the power of face-to-face. The regional community has not been together since 2018 so there is a lot to catch up. Best practices need to be shared more than ever. 

How is the support in Argentina and what can we expect?

Buenos Aires is a spectacular location and is one of the most relevant cities for our industry and has been ranked as the top meetings destination in the Americas. 

Our conference takes place during Buenos Aires MICE Week with its Meet-Up event organised by the Argentine Association of Professional Organisers (AOCA). Our attendees will have access to Meet-Up gatherings such as the After-Expo Party and the exhibition floor. 

Professionals from the two events will coincide at Buenos Aires Centro de Convenciones (CEC). 

Our major allies for the conference are AOCA, our host and also our member in Argentina, headed by Fernando Gorbaran, Messe Frankfurt Argentina´s CEO and also our Chapter vice-chair, and the local government agency Travel Buenos Aires. 

What are the main themes for discussion?

There will be more than 10 sessions packed with content and 20 speakers from 10 countries. Stephanie Selesnick from the US, Antonio Brito from Portugal, Javier Contreras from GL Events Chile, Andres Escandon from ICCA and Arnaldo Nardone from Fiexpo Group are among those lined up. The themes are aligned with the five trends to expect in 2022, produced by our CEO Kai Hattendorf at the end of 2021, but we will also customise content to the region’s reality and needs of the industry.  

As well as trends, challenges and success stories there will be discussion of data, sustainability and crisis management. 

Tell us about the priorities for the industry in the region. 

Currently, over 50 organisations and associations in the industry, from Mexico to Argentina, bear UFI member status. Membership is up 30% in recent years and we offer customised activities such as UFI Connects in Spanish and Portuguese and have produced the first research on the state of the exhibition industry in the region. We also advocate at regional events. 

Although exhibitions are now operating without restrictions, according to the latest UFI Global Barometer Survey, the main challenge in the region currently is the readiness of exhibitors and visitors to participate again. 

Another key issue is lack of government funding. Approximately 70% of the organisations in the region surveyed said they don’t receive any public financial support. 

Check out our conference website below and maybe try to reach out to attendees in advance. You can also follow my LinkedIn profile  for updated news related to the conference. 

We have social activities planned and start with a welcome reception in the Recoletta Neighbourhood. On Day 2 we offer a city tour of Buenos Aires and hold our Dinner in the Puerto Madero Yacht Club. We are also organising a Running Club and a post conference tour for those wanting to stay longer.