I’ve visited my fair share of meetings and events since being a journalist for the last 12 years, but when asked three weeks into my new job if I would attend a special investment event with Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos, I must admit I was more than slightly nervous.
My job as PR Manager for Proexport Colombia requires me to promote the destination to the travel, tourism and investment press sector, so early into this role I never imagined the President would be in town and I would be invited. What does a person wear to meet the President and how should he be addressed?
Mr Santos was hosting a Financial Times summit on investing in Colombia at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, a very swanky property for those of you who have not previously had the pleasure. Colombia is enjoying an economic surge and in the past few years, has been experiencing solid economic growth and has become one of the main Latin American investment hotspots.
The summit brought together investors, Colombian and international business leaders and senior policy makers for a forward looking and insightful discussion about Colombia’s economic prospects, key areas of growth and emerging investment opportunities. My role at the event? To chat with the key investors about why Colombia is on their radar for possible investment opportunities.
The day of the event arrived and on entering the hotel alone, pulse rating, I must admit the grandeur of the surroundings was extremely evident. Most people in the room seemed to know each other, and there wasn’t a pair of jeans or shirt without tie in sight. All being said, however, the event was extremely well attended, informative and, well, welcoming. All the people I spoke to were keen to share their thoughts on investing in Colombia and I learnt a lot about the country, which has an awful lot going for it right now.
As far as meeting the President goes, so I didn’t get to meet him per se. But we were sat in the same room and i’m sure he glanced over to me at one point during his presentation. Hopefully next time we’ll have the opportunity to swap business cards.
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