Faces of 27Names: Rui Batista
January 28, 2021
Meet Rui Batista, Live & Digital Events Director at UPPARTNER in Lisbon, Portugal.
– How did you get started in events? How did you end up at UPPARTNER?
By mere chance! In 2001 a client asked me to organize their company’s summer party. It was a corporate event with about 250 guests held at the wine property Herdade do Esporão in the heart of the Alentejo. Since then, I have never left the sector. For those who know the events industry, they know that despite the constant stress, it is a very addictive job with its own dynamics. I confess that at the time I didn’t even know what I was getting into, but it has been more good times than bad, which is why I identify with and like the field so much.
I ended up at UPPARTNER in a funny way. When I came in, I was interviewed by a young woman who would later become my wife. So, it can be said that I was in love with my work from the very first moment!
– What makes UPPARTNER special?
It is a 31-year-old agency and I think that says it all. It’s not just any media company that gets this longevity. I think it illustrates everything about our company’s DNA.
– How has COVID impacted the event industry in Portugal? How have you and your agency adapted to the situation?
COVID in the events sector was like an atomic bomb. It sprayed our business, and completely changed the economic landscape. On the other hand, it has driven change and forced us to rapidly adapt and transform in the digital field. So, I look at it from two perspectives: on the one hand it’s bad news, on the other hand it’s always at the most critical moments that human genius manifests itself and society moves forward! This is one of those moments. What does not kill us only makes us stronger and more united.
– This will be your 10th year as a 27Names member. How has membership benefited you, either personally or professionally?
The value I hold most dear at 27Names is the friendship that unites us all. This is because it is a friendship built on sharing new values, innovation, ways of looking at things and seeing them from another perspective. A network like 27Names gives us a “world,” and that is a unique added value considering the globalization we are experiencing today.
– Please tell us about one of your favorite events? What made it so memorable?
To me they are all striking honestly. But there are those who leave us full of good memories. One of them was the Iberian Convention we made for Coca Cola. At the time it was done using an active military command headquarters and it was a unique experience. It was our first international award-winning event, with Gold at both the BEA Awards and several other international festivals, and that even today fills me with pride, as our event cost a tenth of many of the events we were competing with, showing that creativity is really worth gold.
– Do you have a goal you’ve set for yourself that you hope to accomplish this year?
To become a reference when it comes to digital events. Going further and further in this sector.
– If you weren’t working in this industry, what do you think you’d be doing?
It would probably be connected to the sea in some way. Working at an ONG to protect the seas and nature, I think. I am very scared by the way we have been using and abusing nature.
– What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Or biggest mistake you’ve made while on the job? Did you learn anything from it?
There was a time when I worked for a multinational advertising agency. I remember I hated the environment and culture of the company. I didn’t identify with that world and values at all. I’ve made a few mistakes at work, but we learn from them. Before walking we crawled and fell, and that’s how we learn and move on, by making mistakes!
– What are you happiest doing when you’re not working?
Sharing a good meal, surrounded by friends and family around a good story, all to the taste of a good wine.
– Have you learned any new skills during quarantine, or maybe picked up some new (good or bad…) habits during this time?
Yes, I have learned that we can easily become digital natives; Zoom, Teams, streaming, links, virtual, hybrid, and webinars, is the new language. Also that in confinement, we need to be very careful with food.
You never know when this info might come in handy 😉
– You have to sing karaoke; what song would you sing?
– You’re the host of your own late night talk show. Who would you invite as your first guest?
God Jesus Christ, there would be so much to ask to him!
– If you had to delete all but 3 apps from your phone, which apps would you keep?
-App store (so I could download new ones again)
Rui’s Portugal Tips
– Favorite coffee shop or place to grab a drink?
Lisbon is a very special city, made of people by the sea, of people who along history made conquests only listed for the gods, without being divine. Lisbon is fado, the word “saudade,” and a light of its own that inebriates us, and washes our soul. If you go for a coffee, try LX Factory in the urban art neighborhood.
– Favorite local Instagram account?
– Top 3 websites someone should visit when planning a trip to Portugal?
Thank you for sharing with us Rui!
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