2018 UFI NGL Grantee – Lilian Burgardt, Head of Digital Products – Informa Brazil.

Meet Lilian Burgardt, Head of Digital Products – Informa Brazil, one of the four recipients of the UFI Next Generation Leadership Grant (NGL).

Lilian Burgardt, one of the four recipients of the 2018 NGL Grant, and I had a chance to catch up earlier this month. The UFI NGL Grant is awarded to future leaders of the exhibition industry for exceptional initiative in driving change and innovation within their different sectors. She is no exception!

With a journalism background, Lilian’s first job in the exhibition industry was and is with Informa Brazil. She has been developing digital and marketing content strategies for the organization and works with ten different expos, ranging from agriculture to beverages.

She particularly enjoys visiting the exhibition floor to do market research and speak with industry members. “All of these exhibitions have something different, something unique, so messages and content have to be tailored to meet each audience’s need. Directly asking exhibitors and attendees what their challenges are helps us hone in on their problems and help provide solutions.”

Brazil is an isolated market. Lilian applied for the NGL Grant as another way to increase the visibility and importance of digital in the exhibition marketing mix within the Brazilian exhibition industry. The increased exposure of being an NGL Grant recipient has helped her continue to implement change within the company – further educating and persuading management and team members on the importance and relevance of digital in today’s world.

Her advice for others trying to implement change within their organizations is to, “Be strategic, consistent and patient. It takes time for people to adjust to new ways of doing business, but in the end, it’s definitely worth it. Also, proving ROI on digital initiatives takes time, so having management buy-in is very important.”

Asked about the upcoming NGL Grant session at the 85th UFI Global Congress in Russia,  she and her fellow recipients plan to share how to enliven exhibitions – making them more fun, increase branding, and further develop a “must belong” community involvement on a year-round basis.

Lilian and her colleagues present their session, A Cultural Transformation for the Next Generation on Friday, November 2nd at 9:15am.