BETC Havas Rethinks Post-Pandemic Work With São Paulo Café

With art exhibitions, live music and more

After nearly two years in lockdown, BETC Havas wanted to create a space where creativity could be unleashed and people could connect and collaborate in person.

The agency is transforming part of São Paulo's Rua Oscar Freire into the BETC Havas Café, a venue for work, meetings, art exhibitions, live music and coffee. Slated to launch mid-December, the project hopes to facilitate a post-pandemic recovery and foster new experiences.

"After more than one year living in a pandemic world, everything needed to be restarted," says Erh Ray, partner and CEO of BETC Havas. "So, we decided to create a space to rethink work: BETC Havas Café is an experience office. A place to (re)connect yourself with this new normal and be creative about art, music, culture, food … and mainly work."

The inspiration for BETC Havas Café came from BETC Paris — the agency's headquarters in France—and Havas Café, its lounge during Cannes Lions where people can relax, eat, drink and connect.

The space will also include a bar, art gallery, bookstore, projection rooms and performance areas.

"The ground floor—with the coffee shop, bookstore and art gallery—will be open to the public," Ray tells Muse. "We think about this space as a neutral place for creativity and innovation. And the other floors will be a 'members only' policy with all our ecosystem partners, clients and suppliers."

December is the goal launch time to coincide with vaccination rates; Ray notes that São Paulo will have more than 50 percent of the population vaccinated with a second shot by then.

"In my opinion, nothing replaces the in-person exchange of ideas, especially the more unpretentious ones, such as at work meetings during coffee breaks, lunch breaks or happy hours," he says. "We are social beings, we need to make small talk, share ideas and daily experiences live, in improvisation and spontaneity. And the lack of these relationships affect, above all, our environment, which lives off creativity. We will be a place with total focus on uniting synergies and people, whether they are employees, customers, partners, friends and the general public."

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