Visa beams retail Internet conference into Latin America, for a first

MIAMI: Visa International last week conducted what the company claims was the first-ever pan-Latin American Internet press conference.

MIAMI: Visa International last week conducted what the company claims was the first-ever pan-Latin American Internet press conference.

MIAMI: Visa International last week conducted what the company

claims was the first-ever pan-Latin American Internet press

conference.



The event was orchestrated by Burson-Marsteller’s Miami office in

cooperation with Pressevent.com, Burson’s in-house webcasting group.

During it, Visa announced the results of the first comprehensive

analysis of online retailing in Latin America, a study conducted by The

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and sponsored by Visa.



While Visa currently delegates its day-to-day PR activities in Latin

America to about a dozen local boutique agencies, one exec said those

firms weren’t able to orchestrate an event of this magnitude. ’The

agencies we work with in the region simply do not have the technical

capabilities to conduct something like this,’ said Rick Hermida, VP of

corporate communications of Visa International for the Latin American

and Caribbean regions.



Hermida added that the idea to do an Internet press conference seemed a

natural one, because ’if there ever was a time when the medium fitted

the message, this was it.’



Hermida contacted Jorge Ortega, senior VP/managing director and BrandCom

practice chair at Burson’s Miami office. ’He knows my business well,’

Hermida said. The Burson team literally had a week to set up the

conference.



Hermida acknowledged that Visa is continuing to talk with Burson about

the future of their relationship. ’We want Jorge to push us to be better

and stretch the boundaries of the client-agency relationship,’ he

said.



The Visa event boasted 23 journalists in attendance at the venue in

Miami.



Additionally, the company reported more than 420 hits from online

participants, including reporters in London and Canada in addition to

those in Latin America.



A webcast of this sort costs anywhere between dollars 5,000 and tens of

thousands of dollars, depending on the ’bells and whistles’ the

organizers want.



Rick Berry, president of Pressevent.com, noted that the hotel from which

the press conference emanated was not equipped with an ISDN

infrastructure, forcing the tech team to bring in a satellite truck.



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