Portimão mayor Isilda Gomes at BLiP
Portimão mayor Isilda Gomes at BLiP

“Even better than last year!” – afpop hails success of BLiP 2023

This year’s edition of Better Living in Portugal (BLiP), held last weekend, has been hailed “even better than last year’s”.

According to afpop, the foreign residents’ association which organises the event, there were more exhibitors than last year and the choice to move the charity organisations into the main arena rather than in a separate part of the auditorium proved to be “exactly the right move”.

As afpop CEO Michael Reeve told the Resident prior to the event, the Community Area created last year worked well, but he felt that it somehow missed the mark.

“I felt that we had included the charities last year, but somehow made them an addition to BLiP, rather than a part of it. This year we created smaller ‘Charity Islands’ within the main exhibition and it proved to be exactly the right move. The difference was noticeable from the start. The fantastic work that the charity groups do is for the community and this year they were a genuine part of the BLiP community. The response that we’ve received from them already, both during the event and immediately afterwards, has been overwhelmingly positive,” Michael Reeve told us.

BLiP Team 2023
BLiP Team 2023

David Thursfield, afpop’s Marketing Coordinator, added: “It’s important to remember that BLiP Expo is still a business exhibition and will remain that in future. The charities are now a genuine part of BLiP and our desire to ‘Make Life Better’, but the focus is still on our core intention, of ‘Bringing Business to You’; creating an environment where a variety of businesses can meet in one place and visitors can their take the time to see what they have to offer.

According to David, this year there was a “real cross-section of businesses once again, and a larger number of these than ever before have already said that they were very pleased with the quality of visitors to their stand and also commented on the added benefit that BLiP presented by giving them the opportunity to meet and interact with other exhibitors. One exhibitor said that response from visitors far exceeded their expectations and this sentiment was repeated time and again during the closing moments of BLiP Expo 2023.”

Blip Arena

BLiP was visited by the new President of the Algarve Tourism Region (RTA) and Association (ATA), André Gomes, on Saturday.

“Turismo do Algarve has been a sponsor of BLiP for a few years now and their contribution is what enables us to make space available for charities free of charge, without increasing the costs to other exhibitors. The RTA investment in the event is not only very welcome, it is vital for us to provide opportunities for exhibitors,” said Michael Reeve.

“BLiP’s other main sponsor is afpop’s long-term partner, Medal Seguros, who commit themselves to the event each year. Without their support, we would have to make BLiP more expensive for exhibitors and, whilst some of the larger organisations might have budgets to make BLiP viable for them, many of the smaller businesses simply couldn’t justify increased expense. Our BLiP partners are vital to our success, and we cannot forget the invaluable support from our media partner Open Media with excellent publicity in the Portugal Resident, Inside magazines, Vivre le Portugal and Barlavento. We also value highly the support of Algarve Daily News, keeping their online readers up to date with BLiP information.”

Movember 1 - afpop's Michael Reeve (left) and RTA president André Gomes
Movember 1 – afpop’s Michael Reeve (left) and RTA president André Gomes

Mayor of Portimão Isilda Gomes also visited BLiP and was full of praise for the event once again.

“Every year, BLiP gets better and even more interesting. We are very proud that afpop chooses to keep bringing their expo to Portimão and we will continue to do what we can to support them, as they support our town,” the mayor said.

Included in BLiP this year was Michael’s efforts to make ‘Movember’ a reality in 2023, with a photo frame and false moustaches available for pictures. Many people were delighted to take part in the fun photos to launch the initiative, which is set to begin on November 1.

RTA president and Welcome team
RTA president and Welcome team

“I was really pleased that so many people wanted to be part of the fun”, Michael told us. “I hope many of them will want to be part of the reality too.” (watch the Portugal Resident and the afpop social media channels for more information over the next two weeks.)

BLiP 2024 is already booked in the Portimão Arena for the weekend of October 12 and 13.