Organising an international event can be an exhilarating experience. It’s an opportunity to spread your eventing wings, to overcome unprecedented challenges and to prove your mettle to your clients. And if you pull it off successfully, it could broaden both your client base and your business’s scope of services. But if you’re unprepared and ill informed, the anticipation of this undertaking can quickly be replaced with anxiety, the thrill with total terror. If you’re hosting an event overseas, here are a few tips to keep your heart rate in check and your clients and attendees happy.
Find a local partner
First things first: don’t try to do this on your own. This is especially the case if you’re working in a country you’re unfamiliar with, where you don’t speak the language, and where the societal and cultural norms, laws and regulations are different to your own. Take time and spend money sourcing a reliable and experienced local expert. They’ll be able to put you in touch with tried-and-tested suppliers and help you market your event through the right channels. If you need a hand finding a partner, chat to the venue you’re working with – they’ve likely worked with a number of local specialists and can easily refer you to someone.
Do your research
Having a local partner, however, doesn’t mean you should skimp on doing research of your own. Ensure you know what to expect, especially when it comes to safety, security and event compliance. These rules can differ from country to country and, within countries, from city to city. Also, be sure to look into your destination’s regulations when it comes to customs and tax duties. You don’t want to get yourself in trouble if you’re coming across the border with a large number of valuable promotional gifts.
Get your conversions right
Arriving at your venue only to learn that the entire layout is a disaster because you gave all your floor plan measurements in metres when your venue works in feet, is a sure way to start your event off on the wrong foot. Get your conversions right. Of course, the most important conversion to be aware of is the exchange rate. You’ll need to account for all the fees you’re going to incur so ensure you have a buffer for fluctuations and know exactly what you’re going to spend in your new currency.
Have a slick online presence
As a foreign newcomer in a large industry, you’ve got to make sure that your online presence is slick and seamless before your event kicks off. Your speakers and attendees should be able to find everything they need on your website, and registering should be a quick and easy process. Your social media platforms should also be properly established and closely managed – they’re an easy way to promote your event before you even land.
Visit the country beforehand
If the budget allows for an in-person, in-country recce, don’t miss the opportunity to experience your destination first-hand. Exploring the space yourself will give you a firmer handle on what to expect – whether it’s being aware of how busy the traffic is, or how much time you need to allow for lunches that, in this new culture, are longer and more social than you initially anticipated.
Of course, above all, you’ve still got to bring all of your skills, expertise and flair to the event. Define your objectives, recruit your very best crew, arrange and confirm incredible speakers, make sure the logistics run smoothly, and plan for every eventuality. With these points covered, you’re destined for success.
Do you have more questions about pulling an event together, either locally or abroad? Contact the Worx Group team – we’re here to help.