Camelú Millán, corporate director of Bodas ABC LATAM (the Latin American chapter of Association of Bridal Consultants, or ABC) is a Mexican woman who pioneered the professionalization of the meetings industry’s romance segment in Mexico and the rest of Latin America.
Along with Lilia Anciola, the current director of education of ABC LATAM, Camelú brought the international organization to Mexico in 2005. It has since been expanded throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America. In 16 years the organization has opened in Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, among other countries.
“We began by trying to sign up new members and creating courses in Mexico, translating programs for wedding planners. The first to respond [from beyond Mexico] was Barbara Diez, who in 2007 wanted to become the director of the Argentina group. Since then we have little by little found the right people to direct memberships in other countries,” said Millán.
The long road to professionalizing the romance segment
This year Camelú celebrates 28 years developing ABC Latin America as well as her own company, Camelú Millán Weddings and Lifestyle.
“Before there was no weddings industry, and all of our knowledge was empirical. Today we have professionalized things and use networking, webinars, courses, and underwriting so that people can become certified wedding planners,” stated Camelú Millán.
“Weddings are no longer just events with food and dancing, but stellar gastronomic productions that are innovative and top drawer in all respects,” she added.
Certification for wedding venues and hotels
About the time the pandemic started, ABC LATAM began a program of certification for venues and hotels specializing in weddings. Although it’s been a hard road due to the global situation, advances have been made.
“We use an all-encompassing, 17-page evaluation survey to certify venues as appropriate for holding weddings. To date we have certified only places in Mexico; most likely the next venue will be in the Dominican Republic,” stated Millán.
Grupo Posadas is one of the chains with the greatest number of hotels certified by ABC LATAM. These include Tres Vidas in Acapulco, Isla Pasión in Cozumel and the Hilton Guadalajara.
“We also certify wedding planners, seeing that they have not only empirical information but also educational experience, and that they have the characteristics and qualities that wedding planners need,” concluded Camelú Millán.
Boris Iraheta, marketing manager for Corsatur, stated that El Salvador is ready to host international events.