Interview with Juan Pablo Devera, President of Reed Brazil and President of UBRAFE by Stephanie Selesnick (Part 3 of 3)
We had a chance to catch up with Juan Pablo Devera after the recent 12th Annual Meeting of the Exhibitions industry (ESFE), Brazil’s largest meeting for exhibition leaders. This is the last of a 3-part interview on the Brazilian exhibition industry.
What are UBRAFE’s plans for 2017?
UBRAFE has been active in Brazil since its foundation 35 years ago. We started as an Association that was looking for representation in front of the Government Authorities. Next we focused on demonstrating value, and extended strategic partnerships with our destinations as “promoters” for business travelers and investors coming to our events.
More recently we have demonstrated the economic impact of our activity in the cities where we hold our events.
Now UBRAFE’s focus is has a strategic plan based on four main pillars:
- Support our communities and their economic development with our trade show calendars; demonstrate the effectiveness of the events industry by supporting our customer’s needs
- Improve the quality of our trade shows by making them safe, efficient and comfortable platforms to share content
- Generate incredible experiences and unforgettable encounters
- Support our people with updated and qualified training and international certification programs to guarantee their success, making their journey in our industry even more worthwhile.
Our action plan for 2017 builds on the plan and includes using a strategic approach to UFI and its activities around the world.
What is latest on the political situation in Brazil?
This is a critical time in our country, which is still a youngest democracy in the developing market. The activity of our politicians has become more visible and accountable. I believe society will reward them for their acts and behavior.
Being a professional of the trade show industry for more than 20 years, I have learned how to work tirelessly, engage with my community, and find solutions to provide business opportunities to any challenge, at any time. It looks like there will be another economic crisis in Brazil, but we’ve had more than 19 in the last 50 years, so we feel prepared to weather this one.
But as any crossroad in life, those who stay together, listen to their customers carefully, adapt to new technologies, move quickly by making the right decisions, and attract talented people, will come out of the downturn stronger and ready to capture growth once again!
Can the economy improve despite these problems – or does the political aspect need to be resolved first?
The geographical size of Brazil, the large and young population, the diversity of the industry platform, the natural resources and the strategic role of the Brazilian economy in the region makes our market a priority for many companies. The volume of foreign investment received, and the opportunities still available, makes our economy attractive for those who play a role in the establishment of long-term ventures.
I want to invite everyone to see our region as the other side of the coin, what I call the half of the glass full.
This is a region of the world without ethnic conflicts, without global threats, and without boundary conflicts. We have poverty and deep social problems. But, our region is full of incredible people, living in diversity that celebrates their own cultures with passion. Brazil is a continent full of discoveries and amazing opportunities.
Our communities need support to become more equal and further developed. And there is a role that truly leaders should embrace. The “new shared economy” will impact the lives of hundreds millions of new generations who will support leaders working for more sustainability, diversity, and human development. The population will elect leaders who adapt to the new economy.
I am convinced we are passing through an incredible time in the world, a time that is calling the private sector and the leaders to assume a new role, to make our businesses engaged in the communities we serve.