There are more than 7 billion people on the planet and more than 6,000 languages in the world. When it comes to creating events, location and culture can play a crucial role in an event’s success. Events have the power to bring individuals and ideas together. No matter the format, location, or topic, events have the same end goals. They all share the desire to engage an audience, promote a vision, and bring people together. When you look to host an event in a new location or with individuals from a different country, you must take into consideration a new set of challenges.
Engage with local vendors
Planners often have trouble vetting suppliers if they don’t have a standing relationship with partners in the region. By working with an experienced event management firm, you can rely on them to leverage their partnerships to your advantage. An event management firm with global reach will navigate through complex local laws and business practices while ensuring local customs are respected. Their industry expertise can save time and money while ensuring high-quality suppliers are selected.
As you engage with guests and vendors from around the world, it’s important to embrace cultural differences. Business mannerisms vary from place to place. There are specific practices regarding negotiations, payments, and gratitude. Remember, what is acceptable in one place may not be acceptable in another. The best way to connect guests with local culture can be through food and entertainment. Always respect the cultural norms and values of your destination, and if you need clarification, don’t be afraid to ask.
Every culture has different norms for meetings, which may vary from the norms of the planner. Through the planning and execution stages of the event, it’s important to remain flexible. Some meetings are time bound and attendees value following a strict schedule, while others don’t pay attention to the clock and choose to take a more leisurely approach. Some groups may value large congress style sessions, while others value smaller and more intimate settings. It’s important to remember that different regions embrace different service cultures. Delivering on requests such as last-minute changes may be met with delays or denial. Remember to plan for the unexpected to minimize disruptions.
Change your perspective
The best part about working with international partners and guests is learning to think differently and gain a greater understanding of the world through shared experiences. While sticking to the known path is safer, there is so much to learn from trying something new. When we choose to incorporate diverse cultures and practices into our plans, we open the doors to engagement and enrichment.
Planning an event abroad can be a challenge, but with the right amount of preparation and understanding, it can be a major success. Always do your best to respect and integrate local culture where you can and embrace differences.