Mexico – Land of opportunity


Blogger: Nick Dugdale-Moore, Business Development Manager at UFI

Mexico is the best place in Latin America to be working or investing right now.  The following chart says it all.  Mexico recorded an incredible 10% growth in real GDP last year, second globally only to Indonesia, with 13%.

When you compare that to the modest growth in Europe or the States, and the other neighbourhood powerhouse Brazil (whose GDP contracted 7% in real terms), it looks even more impressive.

mexico-blogSource: Globex Report, AMR International. (UFI members receive 20% discount)

That is reflected in the responses from Mexican exhibition companies who took part in our latest Global Exhibition Barometer (July 2016) survey.  One result showed an increase in companies expecting their turnover to increase in the first half of 2017, up from 67% to 80%.


Secondly, we asked companies to rate what issues keep them awake at night.  Globally the top answer was the state of the local economy, with 27%, however in Mexico this was only the fourth most important concern.


Finally back to AMR’s Globex.  Despite Mexico’s net square space sold growing by 8% from 2014-2015 (the largest growth in the world) the leading international players combined control only 12% of the revenue by market, the lowest of any major developing market, and compared with 32% in nearby Brazil.


Against this backdrop we joined the Mexican exhibition industry association – AMPROFEC – at their annual Congress in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, in August.  I joined the UFI President Sergey Alexeev and Managing Director Kai Hattendorf.


The Mexican exhibition industry has every reason to feel good about itself at the moment.  This November sees the launch of their Certificación programme, a comprehensive exhibition training programme developed with and run through the Panamerican University in Mexico City. Two years in the making, this has been devised with the full backing and support of the entire Mexican industry, from organizers and venues through to suppliers, and will certainly help to train the next generation of exhibition professionals.  If you also take into account some well established local organising companies and well developed venue infrastructure including the largest venue in Latin America, the future looks bright.


The largest of the international organisers, Reed, EJ Krause and UBM are now being joined by many more players; earlier this year Fira Barcelona partnered with ANTAD to bring Alimentaria to the country, and most recently Deutsche Messe has entered the Mexican market with a majority stake in Magna ExpoMueblera, whose show runs in January in Centro Banamex, Mexico City.  However the local organisers need to be afraid of this “foreign invasion,” Mexico is a large market with several cities with well established exhibition cultures outside of Mexico City including Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla and Merida, and there are many shows which are still association-owned.

So I believe that all sides stand to benefit here – that the introduction of international players running shows to international standards will help local organisers to up their game too, while of course offering a better experience and results for the visitors and exhibitors.

How can UFI help this process?  We can continue the work we are doing through our Latin American chapter; spreading the word and growing our membership, providing robust data in regular research papers, promoting international best practices for both organisers and venues.  But most importantly – by mainlining the dialogue, continuing to make friends and build relationships.


We will continue the discussion at the Latin American Chapter meeting on Friday 11th November at our annual Congress in Shanghai.   The topics will include :

  1. An update on UFI’s activities and plans in the region
  2. A presentation of AMPROFEC’s Certicación programme
  3. Denzil Rankine will present findings from the latest Globex report on Mexico and Brazil

So I hope you can join us in Shanghai.  If not, watch this space.  But more importantly, keep an eye on Mexico.

By | 2018-01-16T13:14:16+00:00 September 26th, 2016|All, Americas|0 Comments

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