Ovation Spain DMC had the pleasure to meet Fernando Sagaseta, Director and founder of the Meet-In Magazine.
Hi Fernando, welcome to the O Interview. Here we go!
What is your professional background?
Journalist for more than 30 years and travel agent, I have developed a good part of my career in specialized media in Tourism and Travel, such as Nexotur, Editur or MeetIN, or papers as Diario 16. Also, I was the founder of the travel agency Viajes Hélice, in Madrid.
How did you get into the business you’re in today?
Well, I am a founding member and director of MeetIN, together with the editor, Natalia Ros, since 2009. We both launched the project to address a lack of specialized information in the publishing market on business travel, conventions, incentives and events. We are very pleased to have opened the way to other projects to give greater visibility to an essential sector of Tourism.
Tell us a little bit more about Meet In! What is the main goal of the project and who is the target audience?
MeetIN is a magazine and online platform, website and social media with contents oriented to travel managers, meeting planners, corporate travel agencies, business travelers and, in general, all the people and suppliers involved in the MICE segment. The paper magazine makes a special emphasis on destinations, but also contains much information and reports on sector trends, interviews, opinion articles and comparisons, as well as proposals for responsible tourism, gastronomy and shooping.
How do your team track all the trends, news and offers from suppliers and destinations around the world?
We are in permanent contact with communication agencies that provide us with news of the sector. We also have good relations with airlines, hotel chains, car rental companies and other complementary offer. We also do interviews with executives of the sector to know the latest trends. All the destinations we publish are visited on site by one of our journalists to have first-hand perception and to be able to inform our readers in the most reliable way possible.
Did you have any mentors or people who deeply influenced your career?
I have learned a lot with the great journalists with whom I have worked in the daily press. Also reading to international news reporters and Spanish correspondents, such as Maruja Torres, Manuel Leguineche, Javier Reverte, Enric Gonzalez, José Ovejero and a long list, without forgetting great references, as Ryszard Kapuscinski, obviously, or Bruce Chatwin, or classics of literature, from Ibn Battuta or Marco Polo, to Lawrence Durrell, Richard Burton, Stevenson, Hemingway, Kerouac, Verne, Paul Bowles, Kipling, Evelyn Waugh…
What do you find most challenging about the MICE industry?
Find the right balance between technology and personalization, discover authentic channels and tools that help to move among the saturation of the offer, learn from the leisure industry to apply their most successful solutions to BT & MICE.
Now, let’s talk a little bit more about you as a person,
Proudest moment in your career to date?
Just a week ago, MeetIN turned 10 years old. We are very proud, because the magazine was born at a very delicate moment, with a global economic crisis that also affected the MICE sector. We have learned, like many companies, to grow step by step, to value quality and work well done… In short, to do things with discretion and responsibility.
What is your favourite destination in Spain and why?
Granada and the Alpujarra. It is one of the places in Spain where you can breathe more the crossing of cultures, with a magnificent natural environment and a way of living life differently. There is sea, mountain and, above all, culture. What more can you ask for?
When do we talk about music, who is your favourite artist or band?
One of my favorites is myself (ha, ha, ha), composer and singer, I also play bass, guitar and piano. Everything at a very basic level, I have to say. My references are The Doors, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Smog/Bill Callahan, Radiohead, Portishead, Tindersticks … I can listen from the most commercial reggaeton to punk or experimental rock. I have no measure in my musical voracity.
What is the best advice you would give to the young professional generation?
What I always say to my children: curiosity, even if the cat dies.
Thanks so much, Fernando, for sharing with us so many interesting insights about your life and successes.