Delivering impactful and successful international meetings year-after-year and demonstrating the return on investment is the new normal. Smart and effective meetings are the goal. The first step is to use the right meeting planning technology in order to navigate the intricacies of destination meeting planning. The world is a much smaller and connected place with easier access to plan an international meeting.
Planning international corporate events has taken our team across five continents producing award-winning multi-day, multi-city meetings. Destinations include Canouan Islands, the Dominican Republic, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Rome, Paris, Toronto, and Tunisia. We welcome the challenges and enjoy helping our clients execute successful meetings and events globally.
With multiple global events occurring each year we’ve gathered some useful international event planning tips
When planning overseas, you should first determine how to manage the time difference. Corporate event producers need to establish a communications plan and expect to adjust their work hours to the destination’s standard working hours. Determining the best mode of communication is important. Email collaboration work great for quick, detailed responses. Building strong working relationships will need to include phone or video calls to quickly establish trust and produce a successful event.
As an experienced global meeting planner one of our main goals for a recent project in Panama City was a flawless technical production.
Smooth production should always be top of mind for a successful meeting or event. Many clients may not initially see value in traveling technical support. An experienced global meeting planner should understand what type of technology, and technical support, the client, and guests, are accustomed to and then determine if it’s possible in the meeting locale.
For a recent project in Dubai, we evaluated local resources and couldn’t find any that met our client’s standards of execution. An audiovisual expert in one country can be quite different in another. If you are integrating video, using switching equipment to go from screen to screen, or operating multiple laptops it is important you know the local capabilities. What can be standard in one country can be brand new, or rarely used, in another. Be sure and really understand the local resources and their abilities. By traveling with one of our key production staff, we were able to produce a flawless meeting with the type of technology and presentations that our client was accustomed to. Sure there was the extra cost of his travel, but what’s the cost to you if no one can see what’s on the screen or hear your presenters?
Add understanding the local culture to your to-do list. It is extremely important to your event’s success to understand the local culture as well as the business acumen. In some cases, your hotel or venue contact can provide information or resources. If you or your global meeting planner is part of an international association they can contact local members for information.
In each location, we travel to we always want to understand:
Believe it or not, music can even be a hot topic. We recently produced a photo montage abroad and because we are experienced global meeting planners we knew we needed to take into consideration the accompanying music. We engaged our local photographer to be sure we presented the potential songs to our client, and that the artist and songs were appropriate for the location. We even had to be sure the chosen music had not been banned from being played in public.
Global meeting planners have a tough job striking a balance between the culture your attendees are accustomed to and the local culture. It’s definitely doable with the right research and resources and will be key to a successful experience for everyone.