Discovering opportunities in Latin America

Posted by
Barry Siskind
UFIs Community manager

On February 20th the UFI Education Centre is presenting an important webinar for anyone who has ever considered business opportunities in Latin America. The title is The Latin American Exhibition Industry and Ana María Arango who is the Executive Director International Association of Exhibitions in Latin America (AFIDA) will be the presenter.

The potential in Latin America is huge and conducting business can be complex. I asked Ana Maria a few questions in advance of her presentation to give our followers a flavour of what she will be presenting.


The opportunities in Brazil have been well documented. Where and what other exhibition opportunities should organizers know about?

Ana Maria:

Considering the overall good economic perspectives of the region and the increasing purchasing power of a growing middle class, there are plenty of exhibition opportunities in the LATAM market If we analyze other elements that impact the development of the exhibition industry anywhere, such as the presence of well-established service providers, adequate infrastructure, governmental support to the industry, innovative business models, connectivity, multicultural staff and strong exhibition organizers, among others, Mexico and Colombia would be the best scenarios, followed by Chile and Peru. Each case should be analyzed individually. Argentina is a special case as the exhibition industry has achieved a very professional level, especially in Buenos Aires. However, but the country is currently undergoing a tough economic situation that dispels potential investors and organizers.


What would surprise the exhibition industry the most about Latin America?

Ana Maria:

One of the most surprising factors is that the lack of infrastructure can be a real pain in cities with great economic and exhibition development. For example, Lima lacks an appropriate venue to develop new exhibitions, causing the market to be limited. Some of the venues in Sao Paulo cannot provide very basic operational conditions like air conditioning and some are very out-dated and limited in space. Bogota and Santiago have only one big venue each, perfect for the current and mid- term activity in those markets, but maybe small for the long run. In contrast, there is a surplus or even an excess in terms of infrastructure in the Mexican market, and many venues struggle with their competitors to fill their halls.

Another surprising factor is the heterogeneous nature of the exhibition activity in each country market. There is a big concentration in only 20 or 30 cities leaving room for plenty of business opportunities in very dynamic destinations that can be used for new launches or M&A.

If you would like more information about this webinar, please go to under “UFI Meetings”

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