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INTERVIEW DAMIEN TIMPERIO

SAO PAULO EXPO: A LARGE VENUE IN THE TOP 5 OF THE WORLD URBAN AREAS

     
     

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH DAMIEN TIMPERIO, GENERAL MANAGER OF SAO PAULO EXPO

What can you tell us about the Sao Paulo Expo project? What is its significance for GL events?

Since 75% of the events market is concentrated in Sao Paulo, it is important for GL events, which has been present in Brazil for 7 years, to establish itself in this city with 22 million inhabitants.

In addition, since the majority of event organisers are based in Sao Paulo, there is a growing need for event space and available dates for trade shows or general public fairs. The Sao Paulo Expo project aims to respond to the strong market demand and the current lack of quality facilities.

What does the renovation and extension project involve exactly?

The venue belongs to the State of Sao Paulo and was managed by a private operator for 20 years. GL events became the venue manager after winning the call for tender in July 2013.

There are currently 40,000m² of rental space, that we are going to increase to provide 80,000m² of exhibition area and 10,000m² of convention space. In addition to this construction, a car park with 7 levels and 4,532 places will be built. It will be the biggest car park in Brazil and will meet the growing need for parking space in the city, where cars are the main means of transport. The extension of the venue and the construction of the car park are two key phases of the project, which will start this year and last between 24 to 30 months.

What internal and external expertise enabled you to win the management concession for the venue?

We drew on our expertise in event professions. The Venue Management Division helped us to draft our response to the call for tender, and to benchmark and validate the business model which we drew up locally.

At the same time, we commissioned two Franco-Brazilian architects to draw up a renovation project for the venue. The facilities were old-fashioned and were not suitable for hosting professional or general public fairs in optimum conditions. We then worked with the Wilmotte Architect Firm, which has already worked on several projects for GL events. Since we were dealing with State authorities, it was important that the project combined renowned European architects and local expertise.

What impact will this facility have on the City of Sao Paulo? What message do you want to get across to organisers?

GL events' investment will provide the City of Sao Paulo with a modern facility, which meets the constraints of the events business. Unlike other exhibition parks in the city, which have taken various infrastructures and redesigned the layout, this is a dedicated exhibition park. In addition to the technological aspects in terms of energy and air-conditioning, the logistic aspect has been completely redesigned. Four motorway accesses will be built in order to optimise traffic flows to the site.

We have managed to create a great buzz around the project, particularly among trade fair organisers, a fast growing sector.

As regards congress organisers, we initially want to attract regional congresses (which are sometimes as big as international congresses, from 500 to 4000 people) thanks to the new 10,000m² congress space, and the proximity of the airport, just 10 minutes from the venue. The State of Sao Paulo has 44 million inhabitants and is the 19th world economic power, with strong sectors such as finance and transport.

Ultimately, we will target international markets, particularly the American market. American contractors are highly business-oriented and are increasingly interested in this destination which exports a host of products, such as beef, soya, orange juice, etc., and benefits from a stable political climate.