Costa del Sol, a Worldwide exclusive stage.

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It´s absolutely important to be present in the center of the Map.

The ¨Costa del Sol¨ region in Spain is a Worldwide famous location for being considered a central meeting point for business matters. People from Singapore and Mexico City (for instance), agree locations like Marbella or Estepona as perfect places to set their meetings for their private interests. The same happens when somebody from Hong Kong needs to meet a person coming from New York. ..Or Moscow & Buenos Aires, Cape Town & Miami… they all agree an equidistant place with good weather where they can close their deals in a proper environment. In short, we are located at a GEOGRAPHICALLY STRATEGIC PLACE in the Map of the World. Basically this always means a true chance for the ¨OPPORTUNITY¨: you must be here ¨yes or yes¨, if you really want to be involved in the wheel of business.

Actually the biggest expat communities in Spain are located in the ¨Costa del Sol¨ region. That´s why Malaga City is considered a strategic consular area in Europe as well, hosting the current 41 International Consulates that are located here. Specially the British Expats Community –Brexpats in Spain-, the biggest one abroad from their own country. Russians, Arabs, French, German, Dutch and Scandinavians are truly strong here too. At the same time, Mexicans and Chinese are expected to be the ¨next generation¨ here soon.

King Fahd from Saudi Arabia knew all this very well, and build his private ¨Al Riyadh Palace¨ in Marbella, together with an exclusive Muslim library safe keeping more than 30,000 volumes about the Holy Koran, and the Al Risalat Mosque, what encompasses the biggest Muslim cultural complex in Occident.

Al Riyadh Palace

(Al Riyadh Palace)

Following the same steps, the new Monarch Salman Ibn Abdelaziz has recently build his ¨Al-Riya Palace¨ here too. In fact, the House of Saud is not alone here, and other huge celebrities as the actors Antonio Banderas, Robert De Niro or George Clooney, the singer Julio Iglesias, the Manchester United shareholder Ron Wood, the Russian President Vladimir Putin, or the Thyssen Baroness and Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess of the Alba House, have their own properties in this region too. Even the football player Cristiano Ronaldo has recently bought a property in Estepona, which gives clues about the expansion of this ¨strategic paradise¨ in the whole World. At the same time, all of them have their yachts moored in Puerto Banus, the most expensive Marina in the moment at the Mediterranean Sea.

When you become such an important focal point like this in the Planet, you have to be aware of the consequences that this brings. I mean, all the Secret Intelligence Services in the World are present here too. When you go out to a discotheque in the night at Puerto Banus, you have to know there are special agents from the MI6, the CIA, the Mossad or the SVR Agencies mixed in the crowd. Far away from any possibility to get scared, this simply means a basic concept of ¨TOTAL SECURITY¨. Consequently, the ¨Costa del Sol¨ region is one of the most safest and controlled places in the Planet today.

According to all this, you can dedicatedly find ¨La Zagaleta¨ urbanization here. This is the most hidden and exclusive residential complex in Europe. It is the only urbanization in the whole Continent that quotes on the Stock Exchange Market -¨Zagaleta Limited¨, London based company-, through the Sankt Gallen Bank in Switzerland, for an ¨over the counter¨ secondary market.

In consequence, all these factors make the ¨Costa del Sol¨ at the same time, one of the golf-fields biggest concentration Worldwide, together with the feeling of enjoying one of the most climatically stable areas in the Planet.

So, in conclusion, I can strongly say that when somebody decides to invest here, ¨IS ABSOLUTELY PRESENT IN THE MAP¨.

Zagaleta

La Zagaleta¨ exclusive urbanization)

 

 

 

 

 

Invest where you feel safe.

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…It´s such a big shame what the whole World is watching these days about Catalonia in Spain. Experts foresee the ¨Costa del Sol¨ region in Spain as the most benefited part in this story, relating to varied subjects as congresses, tourism, cruise ships and Real Estate. This is sad for an ¨old school¨ person like me, who loves celebrating  victories by own merits, rather than any other parallel ¨demerit¨. Beyond this, now it is time to get ready for what comes to our region, specially the area of Estepona, as I said before in my referred post.

According to this, I wanted to check which the safest countries Worldwide to invest or travel are.  You can visit the Global Peace Index-2020 created by the ¨Institute for Economics & Peace¨, the world’s leading think tank dedicated to developing metrics to analyse Peace and to quantify its economic value. It´s founded by the entrepreneur and philanthropist Steve Killelea.

This rank is defined by not only political or crime issues. It also includes analysis of ¨TRENDS¨ (this word is magical for me) in Positive Peace: the attitudes, institutions, and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies. It looks at the relationship between the actual Peace of a country, and how a deficit of Positive Peace is often a predictor of future increases in violent conflict. Plus, it looks as well at the dynamic relationship between changes in Positive Peace and changes in the economy.  ..This is wicked.

As you can see at the 163 countries rank, Spain is listed #32 losing 3 positions. I´m pretty sure the Catalonia issue is the main reason for these data, together with the unstable political situation at the whole country, after four Presidential Elections in four years. This means, if we were capable to remove the Spanish politics, this country would be a TOTAL PARADISE. The rest is great here: logistics are increasing, and modernity is already a fact.

..What really strikes me are the horrible ranked positions for other ¨supposed powerful¨ countries in Tourism Worldwide. I mean France (#60, the most visited country Worldwide), or the USA (#128, the second most visited), ..and even both countries are losing positions according to last year´s rank . This is crazy.

In the same way, it´s still surprising (at least for me), discovering other lost ranked references as Israel (#146), or Turkey (#152),.. two big competitors for Spain in Tourism. ..Or Italy & the United Kingdom close but bellow Spain, with the great consideration that the UK is apparently climbing positions after the ¨Brexit¨ effect. This means societies are always the main engine of this World.

China & Russia are where no reasonable mind could imagine (#110 and #154 respectively.. I guess there are political interests before these data), and my big surprise (and congrats) for Portugal, ranked #3, climbing 2 positions, staying always there, and doing the things properly. Probably this is the only exception for a whole European Continent, that goes down in a general and worrying trend.

 

Documentation:

-About the Institute for Economics & Peace.

http://economicsandpeace.org/about/

-Catalonia crisis in 300 words.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41584864

Event trends for 2018. The Year for the ¨exclusive interaction¨.

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This is the moment when you can read lots of ¨Year 2017´s annual balances¨ and ¨2018´s trends¨. Among all these last ones, I found a 22 trend selection article from Eventbrite which I think ¨rocks¨. Everything what you can read there is really opportune (..well, I do not agree with trend #14 but the rest is wicked, you can draw plenty of conclusions. Congrats Ms. Bel Booker, the author).

According to all this, I decided to brief what I consider the ¨tendencies¨ for the Year 2018 in the industry of events as following now.

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I need to warn the reader first:

Everything contained in this post is written under an estimation of ¨normal market conditions¨ for the Year 2018. This means: Mr. Donald Trump´s assertion of Jerusalem will not affect the global market of events, neither a possible war with North Korea, or a hypothetical global recession according to whichever convulsing news.

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THE YEAR FOR THE SELECTIVE AND INTERACTING EVENTS.

I think 2018 will be the year for ¨live interactive events¨. From now on, nothing will be useful unless you do not make your real target interact with your product, with your network or with your environment. In this way, this will be the year of ¨Family Events¨, understood as people with deep affinities meeting and joining all together, like a kind of ¨family¨ around your objectives pursued. Now massive business concentrations will get more and more selective at the precise moment of making their calls, in order to find the ¨affinity and reciprocity¨ between the attendants.  It will be not more valid just generating ¨irrelevant cold leads¨ for a huge database, just because you missed the opportunity of making people live ¨AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES¨ with you first.

From now on, big trade fairs will be forced to make ¨selective atmospheres¨ for their real potential targets. This thing called the ¨professional days¨ is currently becoming a joke (..I guess I am not the only one saying this). And now the real professional targets demand ¨real professional workshops¨, in order to obtain the ¨real professional interaction ¨ for their network interests. This is what commonly is known as ¨separate the chaff from the wheat¨.

There will be smaller incentives, smaller presentations, smaller conventions and even smaller weddings too. Everything will get more ¨exclusive¨ from now on, and this will mean everything will get more ¨accurate¨ too. In this sense, the proposals from all of us the event planners,  will must offer the professional level as expected by the clients, according to their real potential targets; the direct ¨shot¨ towards the affinity of their key audiences. Everything conceived as a search for the ¨excellence¨ and the budget optimization, delivering end to end selective live experiences, according to the objectives previously marked.

A kind of ¨delicacy events¨ gathering ¨key people¨. I guess that will be great for everybody.

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HUMAN INTERACTIVITY WILL BE THE REVOLUTION.

We will see new methods of real human interaction (beyond technology interaction) among the attendants. Probably many of the new experiences will be based on the traditional team building techniques, applied now to this new kind of ¨Family events¨.

I guess we will see as well an advance for new technologies specifically generated for the ¨live emplacement interaction¨, more effective than the ¨distant social networks¨, via mobile apps or video games working at the place. This will make the attendants of an event, real ¨influencers¨ in their social networks later, when they share their experiences as ¨leading agents¨ of an action. From now on, the corporate brands will get ¨desirable¨ by the human role evidenced by their audiences at their experiences offered.

This will be as well the year for the internet big influencers and masters of ceremonies with REAL PR SKILLS, such as all the secondary participating agents of an event as hostesses, chefs, assistants, coaches and entertainers, who will have necessarily to play a new more ¨human¨ role on behalf of the ¨interaction¨. They will become an strategic active part of the new events generation.

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The cyborg anthropologist Amber Case (USA, 1987) said it clearly just four days ago in Madrid: ¨Technology is not bad, but its use is disconnecting us. We will solve it giving space to think and live real experiences¨.

Innovation vs. Improvement in events.

iphone

-I am deeply mindful of this.-

What is an ¨innovation¨?.  Where are the ¨innovations¨ at the whole IPhone´s history?. Probably, as global speaker Gijs van Wulfen says in his wise article (highly recommended), the only real innovation comes with the first IPhone´s version, when nothing existed before. After this, everything becomes an ¨improvement¨ in the whole process, even tough everybody finally perceives the IPhone as a ¨constant innovation¨ process. Here we would enter now the field of the ¨commercial strategies¨.

And this an appropriate example for what I want to mean in these lines today.

¨Innovating¨ is, for instance, generating a first worldwide hotel in Japan managed by robots. Technology supplies the human relations, and destiny lies in the artificial intelligence´s hands. That is today a complete revolution that might get successful in the future, or in the other hand, it could be a total failure. This is the risk that ¨innovators¨ assume when they are pioneering. In this case, this hotel was created ten months ago in Tokyo, and probably we will know the final balance of the action in minimum two years .

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SHOULD AN EVENT BE ¨INNOVATIVE¨ THEN?.

 

In the events industry, time frames are regularly associated to the ¨present results¨, so I guess it is really impossible to ¨real innovate¨ as we know the concept, without waiting for a minimum 2-year long process of analysis and monitoring before we decide if that ¨real innovation¨ worked. In this sense, innovation is not ¨magic¨, just lottery is if you are really lucky. This means, you do not have literally the chance for ¨experimenting¨, unless money is not a first priority.

As I said above, ¨innovation¨ gets into a ¨commercial perception¨ for all the communication strategies. Everything gets ¨desirable¨ when it is conceived as ¨innovative¨, and all the current markets for whichever field you want to imagine now, work like this (who did not ever read anything about an ¨innovative¨ product, idea, person or place?). Andrew Weinreich was a real innovator with his first social network (SixDegrees), and later Mark Mark Zuckerberg became the real ¨developer¨ who reached the success through the improvement. That is ¨Facebook¨.

This artificial-commercial status about ¨innovators¨ is usually not a real fact about ¨innovation¨ (in my opinion), when many times it just becomes a kind of ¨experimental laboratory¨ for new experiencers, that just sell their products from their buyers´ trust. Sometimes ¨innovative¨ actions do not improve results, they just create intangible concepts (..the IPhone´s detractors know this very well). It is well known for instance, that computer programmers do not like to use the latest versions of the operating systems, and they prefer using their current ones while they work, until the new versions in the market are completely established against failures. So the question for all of us in this moment is: ¨Why innovate?¨.

 

IMPROVEMENT IS THE BEST INNOVATION.

 

The concept of ¨innovation¨ should always be shared with a real perception about what your actions contribute for your target; ¨how¨ you optimize your strategy according to your tools. Otherwise, ¨innovation¨ might get the risk of becoming just a ¨disappointment¨ for your audience, according to the expectations generated before executing an action. An innovation should not go further than ¨what I can do my best for my audience to feel their best¨. In this way, I always say to my clients ¨improve yourself making everybody perceive you are innovating. But just improve, forget the risk¨. All the most successful cases worldwide do not risk in ¨innovative ideas¨, when their processes still work perfectly. Politicians, celebrities, multinational corporations… they are all in a constant ¨improvement¨ in search of the optimization, making their strategies adequate to the real needs. ¨Innovation¨ is for scientifics, and ¨vanguard¨ is for artists. A good event planner should battle for the ¨EXCELLENCE¨.

 

HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY EVENT THEN?.

 

I guess this is something that today is not being considered as relevant as should be. In fact, now you can see relevant ¨event gurus¨ that are repositioning their strategies as new ¨event consultants¨ for big companies. There is currently a huge new niche for them. They advise their clients about what is innovative and what is not, where should they invest and where should not, who they should work with and who not… They ¨optimize¨ the sector according to the new rules, the new tools and the future potential (…and that is great, we really need them). But they will never try to ¨experiment¨ when they are forced to demonstrate results.

In this way, I know very well Mr. Fermin Perez -ex CEO from ¨Global Events¨ agency, one of the biggest references in the events industry worldwide- for his new reference ¨Event Maker¨ in Spain, and I know for sure he would never put a penny in risk from his clients, when he is speaking about ¨innovative ideas¨. His most powerful resource is ¨CREATIVITY¨ in the artistic direction; when a group of mermaids can be more powerful than the latest app.

mermaids2

 

Then, WHO NEEDS TO RISK WHEN YOU JUST CAN BE ¨CREATIVE¨?.

 

Lots of companies pursue the ¨surprise¨ for their targets within technological/conceptual ¨innovations¨ that can make them different from their competition. This is understandable, but I think they are mistaking when they are ignoring that the final balance of every event, is more related to the human perception for the network relations perceived in the action, than just ¨technology¨.  ..And today lots of event planners sadly fall in similar mistakes.

You can make a presentation of a new car in the market that comes flying from the sky, dress the venue with a last generation´s led lighting effects, make everybody interact with a huge screen through their mobiles,.. you can ¨innovate¨ with all these things, but if people do not how to use the interacting system, or if they forget ¨who¨ they have surrounding them, if the attendants just enjoy the event as ¨individual automatons¨, if you definitely do not make the whole context behave ¨HUMANLY¨, definitely you will be wasting your money.

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In this case, innovation will never get into the improvement but the ¨instant impact¨. That is no bad (..who does not like special effects?, I love them!), but I guess you should never base your event just on ¨innovation¨. Relevant worldwide references like ¨Cirque du Soleil¨ (Canada) or ¨La Fura del Baus¨ (Spain) are famous for that other powerful tool which, beyond technological innovation, it is simply called ¨IMAGINATION¨.

 

This rule is completely applicable to many other environments, and this is why my professional claim will always be ¨IDEAS THAT WORK¨. Forget ¨experimenting¨, and let´s go for the improvement. Do not jeopardize results; there is no better invention that what never failed before. IPhone knows it too, and its batteries never exploded. Samsung was in the forced moment to ¨innovate¨.

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circosol

 

Event yourself or die.

rihanna

This article in the LinkedIn is a ¨must read¨. It is an interview with Chairman of VaynerX and CEO of VaynerMedia Gary Vaynerchuk, on the future of Luxury Brands in a Millennial World.

In the chat, Gary V. makes an opportune analysis about how the World is currently changing in terms of communication, …and how the system is not doing it yet. In this way, he speaks about some private conversations with company directors that are still ¨hooked on the past¨ by generational traditions, by education, or simply by comfort. People that still bet for traditional communication platforms investments as tv or print advertising, when the new generations do not watch tv or read newspapers any more. This is a total statement for a system that is in a complete process of renovation (transformation), and where the ¨past awards¨ in advertising are now getting useless.

We are in a current World where vanguard brands are beginning to redirect their ¨shots¨ into the digital platforms as social network sites, influencers and video games. All the rules are being rewritten, there will be soon a new establishment completely different to this current one as we know it, and probably the current lack of the new generations´education helps for all these things. In a few years (probably right now), whoever does not build a proper digital context, will be ¨out of the photo¨. The biggest evidence is that hackers now are becoming the most important tools to win elections.

There is a practical hint for all these things in the big circus of Formula One. They just made it public 3 days ago, with their new unveiled corporate logo. An image that ¨breaths¨ the video game industry, and that makes people can guess where the things are going on right now. I think it is a proper strategy for the sponsorship attraction

..At the same time, just six days before, driver Fernando Alonso was becoming the first Formula One driver to branch out into eSports, after launching his own team ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The ¨olden days minds¨ would think about what the need is for one of the best payed drivers; the vanguard ones support the idea of ¨adapt or die¨.

f1logo

falonso

The thing is, I would say that we will probably see soon (not far) the extinction of the company sales networks as we know them now, something that today still sounds crazy for directives (..I have some similar battles as Gary Vaynerchuk too). In this sense, who will need them having in their hands digital communication platforms that allow the companies to keep in permanent touch with their clients?. Effective influencers and formed community managers will replace them, trust me.

The close-future that is already absorbing us will also build proper direct distribution channels between manufacturers and their clients, that will make disappear the physical shops as we know them too (even online current intermediaries as huge Amazon will be in risk of extinction when companies develop their own ¨portals¨). And probably just the corporate client attention centers will subsist. otherwise we would deeply enter the ¨Capital dictatorship¨ era.

With just these two ¨strategic¨ advances, we will be in the disposition to say that companies will be SELF-SUFFICIENT soon.

Who will need ¨marketing¨ in this context?.

Well, in my opinion a product will always need to be ¨desirable¨, whenever the Century we are in. And here is when the word ¨events¨ enters action. In the same way as the Formula One needs the races to sell video games, the whole Worldwide industry will need events and public relations to make their products ¨attractive¨ (that´s my duty). Influencers are fed events, and social network contents are fed events too. Rihanna would never be capable to sell her ¨RiRi¨ fragance without her concerts, and her facebook would never be collapsed by never-ending followers without the videos from those concerts. ¨Events¨ is where everything begins: the influencers are build in events, the contents are based in events, and the products are alive through events. Call it ¨concerts¨, ¨rodashows¨, ¨presentations¨ or just ¨parties¨, for whichever sector you want to imagine: computers, clothing, food, tourism or banking.

And one more thing, this is what worries me the most: this process of social lack-education that Gary Vaynerchuk was mentioning in his interview, will make the influencers even more stronger than what they are currently. They will be more ¨trustable¨ according to the blind non-education, which means in the future they will not have to ¨hide¨ their subliminal messages as they are still forced to today. I guess people soon will ask them directly about what to buy and what to not buy, …and in this moment, the whole system as we know it today will fall down. Directives will have to follow the commands of their influencers. This is scary.