Having visiting the other two most important countries in Latin America, Argentina and Mexico, CMG moved its meeting this fall to Sao Paulo, to see the continent’s color perspective from the point of view of one of the world’s most important future players. Brazil the B in BRIC countries is widely viewed as becoming a major player on the world stage and we found a very strong local vision of color and design here. It was interesting to find dissimilarity in color vision between Argentina and Brazil, who, though close neighbors, obviously have quite different perspectives.
We had attendees from countries as well as Mexico and the US. Between the recession and the vast distances between countries, our attendance was limited but the positive aspect was that it was easy to focus and have discussions where everyone was heard. Our meeting began with a reception on Thursday night at the top of one of the hippest and most architecturally ionic hotels in the country. The aptly named Hotel Unique is an inverted half disc with the flat part being home to the Sky Bar on an incredible open patio with a stellar view of the city. The focus here on the roof beyond the outdoor cocktail bar, swimming pool and lounge was their four star restaurant where we were treated to an introduction to cutting edge Sao Paulo cuisine all sponsored by Brazil’s Lukscolor Tintas.
Friday began our Workshops with two very fresh and visionary speakers. The first, Mariana Bussab spoke with us about the importance of Color and Brand. It was interesting to find that now more than ever color is becoming an extremely important part of the branding process, especially internationally. You could say, “The right color Brands better”.
Following up was Speaker Paula Csillag, a color educator and colorist in her own right. She spoke on “Do You Communicate Well The Colors You Want to Sell”, a topic which she has explored at length. She shared much of her research from the book on color she is about to publish which covers the full depth of her insight into color. An added treat for all of us is that she was able to join us in our Workshops and social activities so that we could share with her on an extended basis.
The afternoon found us beginning or Workshops. All of our meetings worldwide are now embracing the NOW/NEXT format and it seems to be popular. Each Workshop group had different views on which of the NOW colors from Mexico 2009 were in the marketplace or still arriving. These latter colors were moved into the NEXT conversation and in that context it quickly became clear which side of the fence any questionable colors lay.
Key words and drivers were, as is becoming more and more obvious, quite common to our entire Workshops world wide. As the world becomes smaller and more global everyone, it seems, is impacted by major movements: Home and Nature, Classes changing, Social responsibility, Global/Local/Ethnic, Expand our own space. Sound familiar? We hear so many similarities in our entire conferences world wide. One thing becomes clearer, the colors selected from each meeting can be easily transferred successfully in many other markets.
On Friday night Sherwin Williams showed us the world of Sao Paulo cuisine in an entirely different direction. We visited Dalva e Dito whose chef, Alex Atala, is hot and on the rise in Brazil. It was easy to see why. From the Caipirinha’s, to the unique appetizers, to the inventive main course our creativity was stimulated by this creativity.
Saturday morning was time for a field trip to visit a venue of the famous semi precious stone trade in the city. Here was natural color in amazing variety as well as super deals for our shoppers. This was followed by a bus trip to the Liberdade District the home of the largest Japanese population in all of South America and then on the Center of the city. Sao Paulo is such a huge city it is hard to get your head around the scale. 18 million people and huge high rises for miles. Traffic can be so dense and impossible that a huge number of both high rises and hotels have their own heli-pads so that important people can get around. While we heard numerous stories about the dangers of the city, we found them to be highly inflated. Of course it goes without saying you can’t be stupid either! The Paulinos were overwhelmingly friendly and helpful at every turn. Everyone is proud of their city and country and would encourage you to visit them.
Retuning to the hotel we finished up our Workshops. We came up with some very juicy colors, rich and evocative: colors with some real Latin spice and passion. We named them with both Portuguese and Spanish names as is only fitting to be reflective of our melding of both languages. When you look at the colors I am sure you will feel like I do that you just want to use these colors on something.
Our goodbye dinner was sponsored by Luks Color once again who took us to the quintessential Brazilian Churrascoro where waiters of dressed like Brazilian Gauchos (pretty close to the Argentine ones!) cut us slice after slice of meat, meat, meat. But even our Vegan members had plenty to enjoy as well. Much more than a meal, a real experience of cuisine and culture.
This was our third Latin American Meeting and it is nice to see CMG’s presence growing and interest solidifying in a continent wide with discussion of color. The distances here are huge and finding locations that are a natural draw for many people can be a problem. We have not solidified a location for next year but clearly the excitement is there and we all expect an even better meeting next Fall.