First, step outside of your comfort zone and intensify the attendee-experience, and begin planning an international event.
Next, make sure to add extra lead time to your event timeline. The rule of thumb is at least 1.5 years in advance
Review your historical event ROI data, then determine the types of changes that need to be applied. Follow the usual track, designate roles and responsibilities, set your goals, finalize your budget. Finally, let the team take the first step and begin learning about the culture of the proposed destination.
Patience will lead to a successful planning phase as you begin to deal with the social, cultural and legal barriers. At the top of your list is to understand cultural etiquette, business practices and ways to win people over. Locate the associations and professional bodies dedicated to planning for the sites on your list. It is beneficial to gain an understanding of the foreign culture and will come in handy during negotiations. Remember, you will still need to form a strategic partnership with a local partner.
Finding a local professional partner is likely the most crucial step of all. Gaining local knowledge from a professional organization, such as the destination’s Convention Visitor Bureau (CVB) or a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO). Typically you will find that the two organizations provide a wide range of complimentary services for event planners and showcase a good variety of local venues and service providers. They will also be able to provide guidance when selecting a Destination Management Company (DMC).
Any event planner may choose to work with a DMC if the event is outside of their local area. The reasons are simple:
Many Convention Visitor Bureaus offer familiarization trips which are perfect for experiencing the destination in mind. If the destination has not been selected, then taking one of these trips is helpful. You can always attend industry tradeshows like IMEX or IMEX America to explore what destinations have to offer or event to explore destination options.
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