Planning international events is a challenging and demanding process, the first step is to make sure you are aware of the challenges, and then devise a plan that allows you to keep moving forward.
Cultural and language differences are notable barriers, time zone issues do arise, and becoming familiar with a different culture and tradition is a team effort. Remember you can ease the burden by finding local professional partners.
Panamanians are very carefree people who value strong family bonds. Usually described as being a warm and welcoming host. You will find it’s best to ease into the conversation with a brief small-talk session before discussing business.
The business center of Central America, Panama City, lies on the eastern side of the Panama Canal. The canal generates $2B in annual revenue claiming the distinction of being the city and country’s most massive moneymaker. Watching the long line of huge ships move from the Pacific Ocean into and out of the Miraflores Locks is an event itself.
With its modern skyline, easy and secure air access, this cosmopolitan city has long been a best-kept secret amongst conference and incentive planners. The country features 550,000 square feet of meeting space and more than 15,000 hotel rooms from leading international brands. You will find beaches along the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, fascinating historical landmarks, great outdoor adventures, and lush nature. Hotels: Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton, Westin, Wyndham and more.
The official language in Panama is Spanish; however, most people are bilingual speaking English and Spanish. We recommend delivering a smooth opening by introducing yourself in Spanish ( Me llamo Collette) and then you can relax knowing that official business will be handled in your native tongue.
Just like any traditional business setting, you must be on time! A well-rounded interaction includes small talk about family, culture or sports, being genuinely interested and being confident about event success. As long as you are professional and still warm and friendly, collaboration with the Panamanians will be successful.
The most notable benefit of hosting your corporate event in Central America is the food. Yes, Panama has a very diverse collection of restaurants, and your attendees will have plenty of options outside of the event like Thai, Chinese, French, Colombian, Mexican and American. At the event introduce traditional recipes such as:
Sancocho de gallina Panameño, Ropa vieja, Panamanian tortillas, Carimañolas, and Ron Ponche.
Head over to Panama City’s historic district of Casco Viejo. This historical neighborhood is bursting with boutique hotels, art galleries, and a smashing nightlife. Here is a short list of restaurants to visit.
The Westin Playa Bonita is located at the edge of the rainforest on the golden sands of the Playa Bonita Beach. A great place to relax while staying productive. You are 20 minutes from Panama City and 30 minutes from the Panama Canal’s Miraflores Locks. The 611 guestrooms have floor-to-ceiling windows. There are 20 meeting spaces and the Westin Executive Club Lounge.
Meeting Space and Guest Rooms: