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Although I am a seasoned traveller to Asia Pacific, I still found the prospect of visiting Brazil for the ESOMAR LATAM Conference exciting! As far as I know, it is MRDC Software’s first foray into the Latin American market. Having enjoyed a lot of success in Asia, I was keen to learn more about the Latin American market research market and find out what makes business tick in Brazil and the region.
I started my trip in Rio de Janeiro, staying on Copacabana Beach. I had to keep this fairly quiet from everyone in the office – I didn’t want everyone to think I was enjoying myself too much! Rio is an interesting city from visiting Christ the Redeemer to having some cocktails looking over the beach from my hotel. It’s safe to say I enjoyed myself. However, I certainly found the cable cars to the top of the Sugarloaf Mountain slightly terrifying!
After a couple of meetings in Rio, it was time catch a flight to Sao Paulo for the ESOMAR LATAM Conference. The Sunday evening Welcome Party made a good start to the conference, but it seemed quieter than the Asia Pacific Welcome Parties. It was highly enjoyable and gave me the chance to make some new acquaintances and meet some old friends that I had last seen 16,000 miles away in Bangkok at the ESOMAR Asia Pacific Conference.
The Conference itself started on Monday and rose to its usual high standards. Presentations were insightful and interesting as I got use to listening through a headset as my Portuguese/Spanish really isn’t up to scratch. I very much enjoyed hearing some of the speakers, including Erick Morales from de la Riva Group discussing content-based research. Rebecca Azevedo’s talk from Facebook Brazil was both informative and well-presented covering the differences between traditional and digital marketing.
It was interesting to work in a new country to me. I found the people I met interesting to talk to and ready to learn what a company from an island off the west coast of Europe had to offer! It seems that many companies in Latin America have sourced software from the United States of America, but I could see that there is a big opportunity for MRDC to grow its customer base in the region. There was significant interest in our Online Communities platform and Iris, our online dashboard creation tool.
The Closing Party signalled the end of an illuminating conference and almost the end of my exhilarating, if tiring, trip to Brazil. I had a packed day of meetings on Wednesday and Thursday before returning to London overnight to arrive tired and sleepy.
I found my first trip to Latin America even more interesting than I had ever imagined. I discovered a great willingness to learn more about what we had to offer – this is great news. Already, I have found there are some excellent opportunities to partner with companies in the region. Whilst some Brazilians report that the economy has taken a downturn recently, many conference delegates were upbeat. I am already looking forward to return to Latin America in 2020. I think I will need to keep quiet about Copacabana Beach when I get into the office, of course.