Post authored by Ben Goedegebuure, Global General Manager, Maritz Travel Company
An increasingly global economy means international meetings and events are on the rise. While planning meetings in the United States comes second nature to many of us, planning a global meeting that resonates across geographic borders and incorporates regional flare can be a bit more difficult.
Without a doubt, our number one priority when designing and delivering meetings and events is to ensure we provide exceptional experiences for our guests. It’s important to understand the global landscape and ensure we strike the right balance of local, regional and global capabilities when designing and delivering these experiences globally.
As you consider building your next global meeting or event, here are a three tips to help make it a success:
1. Speak the Same Language
While most business partners speak English, many will do so as their second language. That’s why it’s important to clearly communicate your needs and objectives, and be sure the recipient understands them. Be as descriptive as possible, ask questions and make sure you use straightforward language. You might be speaking the same language but does your partner understand what you are saying, and do you understand the response?
It’s important to understand that key concepts and terms may be worded differently, but still speak to the essence of what you want. Be sure to familiarize yourself with local business lexicon (even in translation) and understand what you are buying.
2. Embrace the Local Culture
Each destination holds a unique cultural flavor that, if incorporated appropriately in your meeting or event, can create memorable guest experiences. Set the stage for incredible experiences by embracing the local culture—find unique, off-the-beaten-track locales, enjoy local palate-savoring cuisines and take in local festivals, music and traditions. Designing your meeting or event with these fresh, innovative experiences will create an authentic experience that truly engages guests.
3. Partner with the Regional Experts
The meetings and events industry is known for creating valuable partnerships. This is especially important when working on global meetings and events. Enlisting the help of regional, knowledgeable experts—professional congress organizers (PCOs), destination management companies (DMCs) or industry associations—can help ensure your meeting is culturally authentic. These experts will help you navigate local practices, language, culture and business ethics, while also helping you comply with government regulations, taxation and currencies. Creating partnerships with these experts is vital to capturing unique regional insights and providing culturally relevant experiences that create memories lasting long after the meeting or event ends.
Successful global meetings and events start with these building blocks. By understanding the language, incorporating a destination’s local culture and developing partnerships within the region, you can design and deliver exceptional guest experiences. To ensure these pieces are at the foundation of every one of your global meetings or events, Maritz Travel Company has established the Maritz Global Meetings Network—a worldwide network of in-market, experienced partners that enhances our ability to offer extensive regional knowledge, capabilities and cultural solutions to our clients.
If you are interested in working with us on your next global event, or are just in need of more information, contact me at Ben.Goedegebuure@maritz.com.