The São Paulo Fair was held at the Sofitel Jequitimar Guarujá from Tuesday 20 to Friday 23 October 2009 and brought together 32 English UK member centres and 39 study abroad agents and educational consultants from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela. The workshop was organised by the English Language Promotions Group (ELPG), which comprises the British Council, English UK, UK Trade & Investment and VisitBritain.
The Fair was the fourth workshop to be jointly organised by the ELPG. The success and popularity of these fairs is based on their unique small size and friendly atmosphere.
The programme of social events and one-to-one appointments in the relaxed beach resort setting of Guarujá gave educators and agents the opportunity to really get to know each other and develop long-lasting productive partnerships. Martin Raven, HM Consul-General São Paulo and Geoff Smith, Director of the British Council São Paulo, joined delegates for the welcome reception and seminar programme, and Marina Zelenoy, Entry Clearance Officer, British Consulate-General, Rio de Janeiro, led a very useful session on the points-based visa system for students.
Educators praised the overall organisation and concept of the Fair – ‘the English UK events are excellent and extremely good value for money. The whole team is very efficient, the venues are perfect and in particular the Sofitel in Guaruja was pure luxury'. One delegate commented, ‘the programme gave us the opportunity for networking, which is a vital factor for our business. The organisation was fantastic from the beginning…nothing was missed'. Agents commended the hospitality and the high quality of the accredited UK English language centres in attendance – ‘this well-organised event in a paradise destination provided the opportunity to meet enthusiastic and friendly UK schools. I enjoyed it very much and came back home full of information and deeply motivated to go on working’.
A gallery of photographs of the São Paulo Fair is available here.