Merry Christmas to you all (the making-of).

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In this current World where everything is getting ¨globalized¨, it is wonderful to see there are still cultural differences that make us ¨authentic¨. This is something that we always need to take in consideration, specially in the events management market.

In my case for the context of Spain, it is really different handling groups of people coming from England, Germany, India, Mexico or the USA. Jews, Christians or Muslims, they all have their own ¨specifications¨; habits, tastes, concepts and social rules that make all of them different one to each other. For instance, in China brides dress in red, but in the other hand this color is used for funerals in South Africa. In Europe the black color is associated to elegance and power (even still mourning), but in India this color represents the concept of the devil. I was once in a Jewish wedding where no waiter was able to touch the food or serve the wine; just the ¨kohen¨ was allowed to. That would be an ¨offence¨ in Spain, and this fortunately makes me think we are still ¨culturally rich¨. This is wonderful.

Something similar happened to me in these days, at the moment of designing my Christmas card that I sent to my people. I initially made two different ¨drafts¨, that finally both work as different messages according to their different targets. The ¨SANTA¨ option is for the Anglo market, and the ¨THREE WISE MEN¨ option is for the Latin world.

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To be honest I like both, but before taking the final decision, I made the opportune market research checking the impressions from my friends abroad. I asked people from England, the USA, Germany and New Zealand. You know in the Anglo world they do not celebrate the ¨Three Wise Men Day¨, and they saw this option as an invitation for a cool travel to Saudi Arabia or Morocco. ..LOL that was hilarious, I could not believe it when I noticed about it.

At the same time, some of them thought it was weird to them seeing Santa Claus flying close to the sun, when they always believed he was traveling in the night. Even some of them automatically thought that that ¨sphere¨ originally was the moon. I had to explain the concept to them, about the ¨hook metaphor¨ of this Christmas card: I am supposed to be in SPAIN, the country where the sun never sets, and ¨winter¨ is just an empty word. This is why Spain can never be associated to the ¨moon¨, and the reason for ¨Santa¨ to finally decide to fly close to the Paradise. He enjoys life too..

(Anyway!),.. I wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a PRODUCTIVE NEW YEAR. May all your dreams and wishes come true, and I will be really happy if that happens.

You are all invited to enjoy a ¨magical craving¨ experience here.

A new reference for ¨expat events¨ in Spain.

Some people are asking me for deeper information about my new project of managing events in Spain. …All right let´s go:

After ten years building my professional career in Spain, and after ten more living expat experiences abroad in England, Cuba and Mexico, I have decided to settle back to Spain. I know beginnings are always difficult, but at the same time I am aware of this solid cultural and professional ¨grounding¨ that I currently have, which makes me feel strong to face this new life stage.

This is the first and biggest key to consider the whole new context I am already involved in. In a country where most of the events organizers have not lived abroad for long periods of time, this is something that probably makes my ¨difference¨ among my competitors. People that usually can not sense the real ¨soul¨ that has a foreign need in Spain according to its social and cultural roots, strategies and local targets. In this way, I always say you have to know how to miss in the distance, how to suffer bad news when you are not at the place at the moment, and how to love at thousands of miles away. I am sorry if I am generating with my singular approach any reasons for contrariety in some professionals’ minds here in Spain, but ¨this is it¨.

(With Alberto Granados and family, the traveling companion of Che Guevara during their 1952 motorcycle tour in Latin America. Hemingway Marine, Havana. Cuba. Year 2010).

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(One of my most horrible moments in my life, Ecuador earthquake in the distance. Year 2016).

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Obviously travelling makes you an ¨open minded¨ person, but this is not the only route to reach ¨accomplishment¨. At the same time you need a convenient background, that makes your decisions and your steps ¨convenient too¨. That’s one of the reasons why I feel proudly lucky for having worked during long years in the fields of Marketing and Communication, such as provider or client, living unique experiences that gave me a proper vision for a budget optimization, according to the service quality. I was once managing events for the ¨Global Events¨ agency, the biggest reference in Spain in that time, and with no doubt, my best life-school. Its manager Fermin Perez was ¨THE¨ real visionary in this sector of managing unique events in the Spanish domestic market. With him I had the chance to deal and close a tough negotiation for a convention of Renault-Spain in the city of Seville (Lebreros Hotel, 430 rooms, the whole exclusive venue for Renault), presenting the new version of the ¨Clio¨ car for the worldwide market. We organized as well the annual convention for Vodafone-Spain at IFEMA-Madrid, with a special performance of great musicians from Mayumana. ..That was the ¨golden era¨ in this country before crisis devastated everything.

THE EXCLUSIVITY OF THE FORMULA ONE WORLD.

I was managing as well corporate communication issues in ¨ING Nationale-Nederlanden¨ Insurance Company in Spain, for the years of the ING-Formula One sponsorship with ¨Renault Sport F1 Team¨, and renowned driver Fernando Alonso. This experience made me grow professionally as never before. In those days I had the chance to deal with VIP clients at the paddock in Barcelona and Valencia, and with journalists and sales force executives for their incentives at the training sessions at the circuits. All this, shared with special sales and lead generation campaigns through fair booths and golf incentives all over Spain. ..Awesome.

AT THE ORIGINS OF THE DIGITAL ERA.

I was managing online graphic design projects for big accounts in ¨KIBS¨ at Iberdrola Group in the early 2000s, which was the main reference in those days too, and which I feel so proud of within my personal career. With them I had to defend our corporate website proposal for Santander Bank, in a presentation attending the whole directive chapter from the bank (..we finally won that battle!). Those were the times when the term ¨usability¨ for instance, was just a weird word in Europe that was coming from the far USA. Today, one of the biggest gurus in this field at Silicon Valley (Alfonso de la Nuez-Userzoom) lived those experiences in KIBS too.

A WORLD ROLLER.

I have been also freelancing for the Cinema Festival and the Fashion Week in Vitoria-Spain, the Starlite Festival in Marbella-Spain, and the ex Director-General of UNESCO Mr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza. I have been curating art exhibitions in Mexico and Peru, as well as an art catalogue for a private collector in Italy. I managed my own swings bar in Mexico where locals and tourists had fun all together with rock concerts. I played football in that country in a lost hidden ranch surrounded by 15-year old narco teenagers armed with kalashnikovs (..who has the ¨balls¨ to score a goal in that context?!). I have been serving as private waiter at the vacation residence of the ex Prime Minister of Spain Mr. Jose Maria Aznar, performing with the Tropicana Cabaret dancers in Cuba…  Well I know, most of you might be thinking now ¨What a crazy life!¨, but in the other hand, I guarantee they are all wonderful and opportune learning experiences that make you realize how important ¨full dedication¨ is, for the final success of each action you are involved in. From all these varied people met on my life path I can loudly say:

¨RESPECT MAKES YOU A BETTER HUMAN BEING¨.

(With Mr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza and artist Gus Gracey. Ramon Areces Foundation, Madrid. Year 2015).

Federico Mayor Zaragoza

(With Renault Sport F1 Team hospitality members in Montmelo circuit. Barcelona. Year 2008).

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(Dancing at my bar in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Year 2012).

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AS A CONCLUSION:

I read once from the Brazilian poet and traveler Ana Claudia Antunes ¨Life always gives us another change. It is called ¨To move on¨. Well, I think this is already a claim for my entire life, and this is how I will treat everybody I will meet on my route from now on. You do not always know ¨who¨ you are dealing with, ¨what¨ their past experiences are, but what you really DO KNOW is that everybody deserves your attention, in the same way you would like them to pay attention to you. And the only condition for this to happen, is to be surrounded by proactive people that want to ¨move on¨ in the same way you are considering it. If you are one of those, I am pretty sure we will build amazing experiences together. …¨Proactivity¨ is the last key for everything.

www.jmaspain.com       I       Handling all group sizes of incentives, travel business conferences, weddings, sports activities and holidays in Spain. Public Relations.

Planning  .  Execution  .  Promotion  .  Design

Postdata:

Big (huge) thanks to Ms. Manuela Dhedin for her invaluable style rules which I blindly followed.

Manuela Dhedin. Responsable Communication Marketing # Quadrilingue # MBA Sorbonne Business School. LinkedIn