Dinner overlooking an ancient pyramid, erotic pottery and a handkerchief-lighting dance were just some of the highlights of English UK's latest fair.
The Lima event attracted the highest-ever number of agencies at an English UK fair -- 49 -- as well as 33 member centres. The group enjoyed some memorable evenings, including a museum tour taking in an extensive collection of some very explicit erotic pottery dating back thousands of years.
"We had a bit of a giggle at the erotic pottery, and another night we were taught a local dance involving trying to light a handkerchief while moving. A group of our delegates just got up and decided to dance together. We had a fantastic atmosphere throughout this fair and some very happy delegates who were really pleased with the quality of the business they did during the formal meetings and social events," said Emma Chon, English UK's international officer who accompanied the trip.
The English UK Fair, Lima 2013, took place at the Swissôtel Lima, in Peru's City of Kings, from Wednesday 17 to Saturday 20 April 2013. The event got off to a stunning start with a welcome reception at the Huaca Pucllana Restaurant, which overlooks a pre-Columbian pyramid. Guests got to know each other over Peru's national drink, the Pisco Sour, and enjoyed fantastic views of the 1,500 year old archaeological site with their meal.
The first full day began with seminars tailored to the different interests of language centres and study abroad agents. Both groups came together for a talk and question and answer session presented by the UK Home Office before spending the rest of the day in one-to-one appointments.
Further networking opportunities came that evening, as delegates were whisked off on a Lima by night tour which took in one of the city's newest attractions – the 'Magic Water Circuit', a stunning illuminated water show of fountains and more. The tour ended at the Larco museum, a breathtaking collection of ceramic, textile and precious metal artefacts created over 5,000 years of Andean civilizations, and housed in an 18th century viceroy's mansion. After exploring the museum -- including the famous erotic ceramic collection -- the party dined at the museum's cafe, overlooking the gardens' orchids and bougainvilleas, and enjoyed learning traditional Peruvian dancing.
After a final day of appointments, delegates relaxed at the farewell gala dinner at the British Ambassador's Residence overlooking the city. The party ate in the gardens, in a chandelier-lit marquee, and were welcomed by Her Majesty's Ambassador, Mr James Dauris, who spoke of the importance of English as an international language and the quality of a British education.
Delegates praised the organisation and programme, convivial atmosphere and business networking opportunities of the fair. "Yet again, it was a fantastic experience," said Jonathan Quinn from Centre of English Studies. "Great agents in a lovely setting with a family feel workshop."
The study abroad agents were impressed, too. Leonor Baez De Gimenez of Access Asesoria Educativa in Venezuela said: "These were three very productive and enjoyable days that gave us the opportunity to renew contacts and make new ones. The social events were good for networking and the seminar programme provided useful information for our agency. We had a great time."
The 49 agencies came from Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, Brazil, El Salvador, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Also attending were representatives from the British Council Brazil and the UK, British Council – Services for International Education Marketing (Americas), the Home Office, UK Trade & Investment Argentina, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Peru, and English UK regional groups, English UK South West and English UK North.
The workshop was organised by English UK in partnership with and supported by the British Council, UK Trade & Investment and VisitBritain.
Click here to view a gallery of photos on the English UK facebook page.
The next English UK Fair in April 2014 for the Central and South American region will be held in Cartagena, Colombia. Full details and registration will go live online at www.englishukfairs.com at the end of May.