Inclusive innovation arrives in Colombia

For the first time, Bogota in 2017 will host LGBT Confex, bringing an event with seven years of success in Mexico to Colombia’s capital. A historic opportunity for the city to provide a meeting place for professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, suppliers, personalities and students from various sectors who see inclusion and diversity as crucial for marketing now and in the future, LGBT Confex is the only conference of its kind in Colombia and in Latin America.

After great success with previous editions in Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Cancun, Merida and Mexico City, a brand-new edition of LGBT Confex is debuting in Bogota this year, with support from ProColombia, the organization that promotes tourism, foreign investment and non-mining exports for Colombia, as well as the Buro de Convenciones de Bogota y Cundinimarca (the Bogota and Cundinimarca Convention Bureau), which promotes Bogota and Cundinimarca as a destination for congresses, conventions and incentive travel, as well as public-private coordination to guide international positioning strategies for the city as a destination for high-impact events.

According to ProColombia President Felipe Jaramillo, LGBT Confex’s debut in Colombia is proof of the nation’s ample offerings for the development of conventions, incentive travel and large events, as well as its commitment to LGBT inclusion on a national level. “The recent designation of our country as an emerging gay destination during Fitur, and the debut of Confex 2017, demonstrates the commitment of Colombian businesses to diversity, and the important advances that have taken place to satisfy the needs of this segment. Cities like Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena continue to position themselves as tourism and meeting destinations, with innovative offerings for the LGBT community.”

With more than five million citizens self-described as members of the LGBT community, this segment represents possibly 3.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product, and LGBT opinion leaders from both the national and international fronts will participate in the 10 platforms that make up the event: Tourism, Corporate, Cultural, Academic, Fashion, Entrepreneurship, Technology, Social, Media and Talento. This range of platforms highlights the importance of paying attention to the LGBT community.

The forum presents a program that includes an exposition area, online business contacts, conferences, discussion panels, professional workshops, networking events and business meetings.

LGBT Confex has assembled a top-notch list of participants and presenters, including Thomas Roth, CEO of Community Marketing; Araceli Ramos, director of promotion and public relations at Tequila Jose Cuervo; Mark Chesnut, travel content specialist y consultant with LatinFlyer.com; Monica Trasandes, director of Spanish-language media at Glaad; Marcela Sanchez, director of Colombia Diversa; Franco Velazquez, CEO of Hilario Mexico; Alberto Arriaga, editorial director at SoyHomosensual; Lina Cuellar, director and cofounder of Sentiido; Sam del Rio, communications manager at It Gets Better Mexico; Yenny Guzman, legal advisor at the programa de accion por la igualdad y la inclusion social (PAIIS); Camila Chain, journalist; and Drew Keller, program director at Open for Business, among many others.

“This is a historic year for the LGBT market in Latin America, and for those who want to grow in this market, the first LGBT Confex in Colombia proves that there is more interest than ever in the segment, on a national and international level,” said Ruben Sandoval, CEO of LGBT Confex. “Participants will have a unique opportunity to learn more about inclusion and diversity, and at the same time benefit from making contacts with a fast-growing audience that is ready to spend, as well as buyers and journalists from around Colombia and around the hemisphere. We’re very excited about this opportunity to collaborate with so many top-quality participants, exhibitors and presenters.”

“LGBT Confex aims to foster socializing, dissemination and strategic, inclusive growth in different sectors of society, from social, business and labor to commercial aspects – always through innovation, because it’s not enough to simply be an agent of change. You have to be the change,” Sandoval added.


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