Brazil and Berlin? A perfect match! Why Brazilians like Berlin for incentives
When it comes to planning and realising incentives, Berliners and Brazilians are pretty much a dream team – as Simon Hiebenga, Senior Marketing Manager in the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office, knows only too well. Here, he explains why Berlin is so attractive for event and incentive organisers from Brazil, and he offers a few of his own special insights – from ideas for creative workshops to the right temperature for drinks. Just for starters – it’s the new and the special which Brazilians love so much about Berlin!
Insights for the Berlin event sector
Simon Hiebenga has been regularly travelling the world for the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office since 2011. As a conventions expert for South America, Eastern Europe, Switzerland and Italy, his task – as he says himself – is to convince organisers and event agencies of Berlin’s unbeatable appeal. Since 2014, Brazil has been on his regular itinerary. After four years, he knows, “Brazilian event planners are looking for something truly special.” When he visits local event agencies in Brazil, he is often told, “We want to organise something unique – something no one else can do!” Then he is in his element, showcasing Berlin’s special history, locations off the beaten track, the creative scene and the diversity and variety in the event sector. “We can broker the entire spectrum in the MICE sector in Berlin – and then some,” he adds. And the interest is certainly there, especially for small events with a maximum of 80 participants.
Berlin scores with unusual incentives
Above all, Brazilians are thrilled by the incentives on offer in Berlin. Between 80% and 90% of the events planned here are incentives – and nearly all enquires come from corporates. But, as Simon Hiebenga points out, rather than booking directly themselves, the corporates prefer to work through local event agencies. “Brazil is home to the largest number of German companies outside Germany – and they like to send their employees on incentives to Europe.” London and Paris are still the number one European destinations, he adds, but Berlin has amazing potential. As he says, “They’ve already been there – but Germany’s capital city is new.” And what’s more, Berlin offers a wealth of activities for Brazilian visitors.
A truly unique experience
The groups are rarely larger than 80 people – and not only do they want to experience Berlin, but also to get to know the locals. For Brazilians, as Simon Hiebenga is only too aware, “Personal relationships are important.” In Brazil, ‘first you make friends, then you make business’ is not just a popular saying. Meeting people, enjoying a meal or a drink together, is as much part of the culture as the appreciation of luxury and service – and for Brazilian event organisers, service is indeed the magic word. They value thoughtful extras – from a Portuguese-speaking guide to a hotel or restaurant with outstanding service. And that applies equally to a shopping guide, a VIP coach or a luxury tour to Berlin’s top addresses. Often, though, it’s the little things that count – like serving drinks at Brazilian-style temperatures. “As an event planner, you should know Brazilians like their beer so cold it has chunks of ice sticking to the bottle,” Hiebenga commented. “That’s a service with the personal touch they so appreciate.” And they are looking for the same attention to detail in the design of their Berlin programme. People from Brazil on incentives are here for a truly unique experience – and, in the words of our expert, “Brazilian guests particularly value the feeling of being special.”
Berlin – The city of freedom
The interest of Brazilians in Berlin is not that surprising. As Simon Hiebenga puts it, “Vienna is historical, Paris the city of love – and Berlin? Berlin is the city of freedom – here, everything is possible.” Amazingly, perhaps, São Paulo and Berlin are quite similar in some respects. For instance, both cities have a lively and sizeable street art scene. So, during one visit, Simon Hiebenga took an artistic and inventive approach to presenting Germany’s premier congress destination. Equipped with a stencil of Berlin’s iconic TV Tower and a spray can, the invited event agencies could create their own cool graffiti. Afterwards, at a Graffiti Workshop, so typically Berlin, they could get a feeling for just how truly remarkable incentives in this city can be.
Leverage our team’s expert insights into markets, locations and event design! We’re here to help you make your vision a reality and connect you with the event partners and experts in our city. Whether you are planning a meeting, congress or incentive, contact us at convention@visitBerlin.de or browse our Meeting Guide Berlin to find the right venue for your event.
Our thanks to Simon Hiebenga for the interview!
Brazil facts at a glance:
- With over 72,036 visitors and around 247,439 overnight stays in Berlin 2019, Brazil ranks fourth place in the overseas markets.
- The number of overnight stays and visitor numbers are steadily growing. From January to December 2019, overnight stays rose + 11,3 % over the previous year, and visitor figures grew by + 9,4 %.
- Brazilians like to plan a slightly longer stay in Berlin – an average of 3.4 days in 2019. The average stay for all Berlin visitors is 2.4 days.