Estefania Zarate Angarita from Kenes Group in red dress

Estefanía Zárate Angarita, Media & Communications Manager at Kenes Group

FTNnews continues to bring you exclusive insights from industry leaders shaping the travel and events landscape. Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Estefanía Zárate Angarita from Kenes Group.

Estefanía shares her extensive experience and the pioneering work of Kenes Group in professional conference organizing and association management.

FTNnews: Can you please tell me more about yourself and Kenes Group?

My name is Estefanía Zárate Angarita, I am originally from Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia, where I am currently based. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Communication with a major in Journalism (2014) and a Master of Arts in Journalism, Media and Globalisation with a specialism in Business and Financial Journalism (2018).

I hold the position of Media and Communications Manager at Kenes Group, where I work since 2021 and I am in charge of our internal communications for +350 employees in +20 locations around the world, as well as our external communications, involving our digital presence and media relations.

Kenes Group is a leading, award-winning, world-class Professional Conference Organiser – PCO and Association Management Company – AMC. We are celebrating 60 years of foundation next year, in 2025. Since 1965, Kenes Group has been a pioneer in the business of knowledge exchange, enabling platforms that adapt over time for scientific, medical and professional societies to lead the advancement of research and science in their fields. Most of the organisations we work with are medical, therefore one of our main purposes is to ultimately improve patient outcomes by creating a designed experience for collaboration and cutting-edge development.

Education is at the core of our activities. Whether it is through an accredited Conference, 365-days online activities for members of associations, or association management services including membership engagement and awareness campaigns, Kenes Group is a mission-driven organisation with vast know-how and expertise in the sector of meetings and events, and associations worldwide. We can deliver excellence from A to Z in any of the abovementioned services since our global team includes talents that vary from all operational aspects of a conference, such as registrations, hotel sales, scientific programme coordinators, project managers, sustainability officer, and more. We also count on talented in-house teams of Information Technology and Marketing and Communications, as well as online education specialists, data analyses specialists and association executives.

FTNnews: Assume that an SME approaches Kenes to organize a 300-people conference in Valencia, Spain. What is your process for planning and coordinating a meeting from start to finish?

Kenes Group operates under the basis of partnership. The societies that we work with, beyond our clients are our partners. We love to develop core contracts: providing all-round services to the contracting societies, from managing the operations of the associations to fully designing their meetings. Most of our meetings, around 85 per year, drive between 1,000 to 6,000 attendees onsite (in average, we drive 220,000 participants to our meetings yearly), and we have a few that range between 150 to 500 participants.

Therefore, we would have to evaluate how to effectively create a partnership for a single event, the size described by FTNnews. We first need to understand the objectives of the client. Why are they meeting? What would they like to achieve? How can we best support them and bring our value?

One of our departments is precisely specialised in Small to Mid-size events, based in Istanbul. This team is made up of professionals in charge of Business Development, Conference Operations, and Marketing. We are leading consultants for organisations and associations. The first step is to bring together the leaders interested in organising the meeting, and our Business Development professionals to dive into the specific goals and needs of the meeting. They would then determine what kind of partnership is suitable for both parties and continue to develop a strategy considering a relevant meeting design, involving in this stage other members of the team dedicated to the operations on-site.

We would most likely bring in some of our colleagues working at our office location in Madrid to support the onsite operations, in case the meeting is held in Valencia. We are known for delivering excellence, no matter what, aligned with our values of solidity, trust, adaptability, flexibility and optimisation of resources and one our main advantages is that we have global partners who just like we do, aim at providing an excellent service with human relationships at the center.

FTNnews: The 2024 edition of the Kenes Summit took place in Athens, Greece. How do you choose your host city for the venue?

As it has been previously stated in this interview, we operate under the basis of strong partnerships. We are seeking to create solid relationships with both, societies, and the operational partners that make our events possible. This, of course, includes venues, destinations, convention bureaus, and others. Our partnership with the Athens CVB, the local government, and private companies in the city is constantly evolving and strengthening due to the countless meetings that we have organised in the capital of Greece throughout the years.

Besides being an inspiring location for the leaders of our company to meet and exchange knowledge and ideas for the year to come, it is also convenient in terms of connection for the relevant people who join our yearly summit, joining from different countries in Europe and the Middle East.

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