What you need to know to plan events in these 3 key Brazilian cities

Planning an event in Brazil, like most international destinations, needs to be carefully planned to avoid future complications. Major venues in Brazil must be booked a year out as they get busy with annual fairs and large conventions.

  • Brasilia, the nation’s capital since 1960 is the sixth-largest city in Brazil. Most visitors come either for business or are interested in the architecture which has put the city on UNESCO’s World Heritage site list. Flights from the US – future article will address flights to Brazil – serve Brasilia-Presidente Juscelino International Airport located 12 miles south of downtown. The city offers several large convention centers as well as 6,000 hotel rooms. Hotel venues in Brasilia may lack some of the well-known North American-brand properties, but have great hotel choices, nonetheless. Brasilia located in the E. South America Time Zone, offers 40 Special Event Venues and over 300 restaurants. Sales tax is 5% and the standard tipping rate is around 10%.

  • Rio de Janeiro, already known for its sun, sand and Samba is gaining popularity on the global meeting circuit. With a few high-profile events in the past few years, groups are benefiting from some new meeting venues, 4,000 new hotel rooms, an expended subway system and a renovated international airport. The airport is located 40 miles north of downtown. Rio de Janeiro located in the E. South America Time zone offers over 22 Special event venues and more than 25,000 rooms. Sales tax is 5% and standard tipping practice is 10%. Keep in mind electricity in Brazil may vary based on your destination. The standard electricity in Rio de Janeiro is 100V/60Hz.

  • São Paulo is one of the world’s largest cities, with a population of more than18 million. The airport is located 23 miles from the center but the ride to downtown can be time consuming based on your flight’s arrival time. The city convention center is Latin America’s largest convention complex. Hotel venues feature many world-class brands such as Hyatt, Renaissance, Mercure and Intercontinental. São Paulo does not lack restaurants either, offering more than 18,000 eateries! Sales tax is 5% and standard tipping is 10%.

The World Trade Center in the heart of São Paulo features offices, retails and hotels along with the largest convention center in South America. The center offers 60 flexible spaces and is integrated with the Sheraton São Paulo and the D&D shopping mall.

Other key information before you go:

  • Language is Brazilian Portuguese.
  • The Currency is the Brazilian Real R$. The US dollar has been very strong in Brazil. In October 2019 it was trading at R$4.20 per US$ 1.00.
  • Electricity is 110V/ 60Hz in most of the country. 220V/60 Hz in some locations/hotels. We recommend you check before plugging-in any electrical appliance.
  • Visas requirements to enter Brazil have changed this year. Visas are no longer required for citizens of the USA, Canada, Japan and Australia. Additional information can be found here. https://www.brazilevisas.com/brazil-evisa-for-us-citizens/
  • Internet connection is good in most main cities, but can be unpredictable in some areas, you may need to contract a dedicated internet connection service to increase the user experience, particularly in meeting and event centers.
  • Climate – July is winter in Brazil. The climate varies spanning tropical, subtropical, temperate, equatorial and semi-arid zones.
  • Clothing – In business clothing is very similar to that found in most of the western world, with suits, coats and ties prevailing for men, and simple dresses or trouser suits for women. Keep in mind that in Brazil, the idea of beauty is very important.
  • Brazilians are typically open and friendly people. Expect conversation to be animated and engaged. Interruptions and interjections, when someone else is speaking, are not necessarily considered rude, as it demonstrates that you are engaged.
  • Physical contact and close-proximity are both common and you will be expected to maintain good eye contact whilst speaking to someone.
  • In Brazil, the emphasis is always on people and personal relationships, therefore expect lots of small talk.

To obtain more information, please contact Roberto A. Dultra – Sales Vice President/North America at roberto.dultra@wtceventscenter.com.br or call 1-571-888-4156.


Marilyne Bouteiller, a Sales and Marketing Professional, and French native, has written short stories for various publications since 2011. As a child she travelled much of Europe and got into the hospitality industry as a means to follow her love for food and travel. She was exposed to different cultures at an early age, and now enjoys writing about her experiences for i-Meet, the Worldwide Business Community for people who plan meetings and events. Follow her on Instagram @thefrenchinme. You can also read about her experiences on her personal blog at thefrenchinme.net.


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