• May 20, 2024

Voqin’ sets sights on Andalusia & technology for future growth

Voqin’ sets sights on Andalusia & technology for future growth

Voqin’ sets sights on Andalusia & technology for future growth 1024 683 micebook.

Spain has long been a favourite for meeting and event planners, with both Barcelona and capital Madrid among Europe’s popular destinations.

 But experience management company Voqin’ (represented by Just The Letter B in the UK) is betting on the Andalusia region being the next rising star for meetings and incentives in Spain. So much so that it has recently opened Voqin Andalusia in Málaga and founder and chairman Diogo Assis has also based himself there.

We caught up with him to find out more and get the lowdown on what else the business has been up to lately…

You’ve had a presence in Spain for 10 years. What sparked the interest in Málaga and Valencia now?

Yes, we’ve been in Madrid for 10 years now, although obviously we operate events across the whole of Spain. When we first looked at Spain, Madrid was not really on the radar as much for MICE business, it was all about Barcelona. But we looked at the macro trends, and there was a lot of investment in Madrid, plus everyone had done Barcelona, so we opened in Madrid and have had great success there.

When it came to expanding the business into Valencia, again, we looked at what was happening at a macroeconomic level and we realised that last year Málaga was the city with the largest public investment in Spain, even more than Madrid.

Global companies such as Google are investing and hiring in the region, as are lots of major hotel groups – we’re talking the likes of luxury brands such as Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and Leading Hotels of the World opening new properties – plus big investment by the tourism boards.

As a result, we’re seeing increased demand in Málaga and Seville from UK agencies and corporates so we knew we had to be there on the front line and have a physical presence and capacity in the region.

How quickly do you expect to expand the business in Valencia?

We have central resource that serves the group when it comes to marketing, sales, finance, all the processes and procedures and technology.

On a local level, I am here in the region; we have hired a head of sales for Andalusia to lead business development and have a couple of other team members on the ground. We have also just opened a new position for a project manager. So, we’re putting the building blocks in place, but I feel like it has to potential to grow very quickly.

There is so much opportunity for all event types, from car and product launches to meetings and luxury incentives. The convention bureaus in both Malaga and Seville are being very proactive and keen work with us to bring events business events here, which has its benefits as it enables us to be innovative and get access to unique locations such as palaces and municipal buildings.

What else is new? I understand there has also been a change in the shareholder structure of the business – what does that mean for future growth?

Coming out of Covid, when things were not easy for businesses in our sector, we really wanted to have our shareholders and the board very close to the operations, in other word close to the opportunities, to enable us to execute our vision in a timely manner.

We had a venture capital shareholder, who had been with us for many years, this shareholder left, and a new partner came in who has joined the board of directors, so there are now three of us including myself and my brother Miguel. This enables us as the main shareholders to be very operational and strategic about our investments. We want to continue to invest in technology to reinforce our value proposition and the new structure allows us to do this.

The purpose of Voqin’ is in our name. Voqin’ means provoking. We’re all about provoking meaningful emotions. But that’s not just a slogan – it is something very structured for us. We have a process, called emotional thinking, which is the design thinking process we apply at every single event we deliver. We always start with emotions, we design the emotions, and then we design the programme and look for hotels, venues and activities.

We want to automate this process with technology, to enable the clients can benefit from data out of it. We want to create a dashboard that allows the agencies or the brands that work with us to extract data to understand how much more engaged the people that came to that event are because we applied the emotional thinking methodology.

This is where we are going, and we wanted to have investors that understand that and are willing to play this game faster. That’s why we had the change, and right now it’s an amazing set up with the board and we are really focused for our vision. That also means more expansion in the years to come, in more locations and in the technology that we want to develop.


Join Our Community

Join our community and receive the latest trending industry news in our weekly Departure Lounge and exclusive invites to events