Expanding in Europe – Portugal
The UK is still feeling the effects and the economic consequences of Brexit and the pandemic have made companies adapt in ways they never imagined.
6 years since the referendum, British companies are still searching for new and innovative ways of working globally. In addition, the pandemic added an extra strain to the industries operating worldwide.
As a global events company, the evolving world around us has meant we have had to adapt to meet the changing global needs of our clients.
Adapting to the new world
After reviewing the benefits and challenges of opening a location in Europe, in July 2021 we decided to expand into Europe. Working with one of the Directors based in Portugal, we created an office and studio in the Portuguese town of Figueira.
Our team in Portugal is able to run all operations including providing suppliers and crew for European events, a fully functional office to manage multiple events and executing all video requirements for the business.
With the added bonus of a multilingual team, speaking English, Portuguese and Spanish, communication across European events becomes seamless.
Q&A with Nick Davidson, European Operations Director
We asked Nick Davidson, who heads up our Operations in Europe a few questions about being based in Portugal.
What’s your background?
Nick: It all started with my graduate degree in Media, language and Business, that helped me to land my first job as a runner for Britain’s Got the Pop Factor with Peter Kay. I learnt so much about video as I had quite a broad role and ended up working with an events agency and managing their video content.
The company I worked for was acquired by Chris’s company and my role evolved to include events overseas. This role gave me the opportunity to travel and after working on events in Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi, I knew I wanted to be more involved in running international events.
The experience of working abroad, maintaining high standards in multiple languages and understanding international regulations was a great experience.
I then moved over to a new role in Healthcare events, where I gained substantial experience successfully running my own meetings.
Nick: The UK and Portugal have had a link for over 600 years, making them one of longest allies in the world, with both countries seafaring, the Port of Porto and Port of Bristol have also shared hundreds of years of trade.
The Portuguese were the pioneers in discoveries around the globe, and that ties in with my personal values of always being adventurous and finding something new.
I’m based in Figueira, a city in the Coimbra District. With Lisbon only two hours away and its reputation for being at the centre of global collaboration with South America and Africa, this makes Figueira the perfect location for our European Hub.
Tell us an interesting fact about Portugal
Nick: Legend has it that the crates carrying Tea were marked ‘Transport de Ervas Aromaticas’ (Transport of Aromatic Herbs) later abbreviated to Tea. So when Catherine of Braganza married Charles II, tea was introduced to the UK along with Marmalade and Indian Spices for curries.
How do you see the European hub for CODA growing?
Nick: With my experience of delivering meetings and events such as leadership forums and internal meetings, I see this office and team growing to manage different types of meetings in Europe – face to face, hybrid and virtual.
The Portuguese are great at languages and communications so using local suppliers, cameramen and crew makes it easier to travel across mainland Europe without significantly increasing our carbon footprint – helping to deliver one of our core values at Coda – Clean.
Do you enjoy working for CODA?
Nick: I’ve worked with Chris, Mark and Rob previously and when the discussions began about a European office, I was really pleased that they approached me. CODA is incredibly well versed in the healthcare communications world and it’s a privilege to work with them.
For more information about how we can help to deliver different types of events, get in touch: https://bit.ly/CodaCommunications-Europeanoffice