Post authored by Ben Goedegebuure, Global General Manager, Maritz Travel Company
In a previous post, Going Global? Destination Will Be a Crucial Success Driver, we explored decision factors and data you’ll need to gather to ensure you’re selecting a location that can deliver what you need.
With that in mind, there’s one more valuable resource you’ll need to tap to set the stage for a successful global meeting.
Your Global Network
While event professionals are known for assembling strong networks of specialists who can help them with events in North America, when the event moves overseas, that network tends to thin out. Further complicating matters, there are new disruptors to consider, including cultural issues, travel, safety/security, financial management, taxes and currencies, multi-lingual barriers, local cuisine, etc.
You’ve built a strong event brand domestically, but what happens when you attempt to replicate it internationally? How will you know where to bend and acclimate vs. where to hold firm to protect your brand and keep your event portfolio progressing on a healthy growth track?
Scanning the 60+ consulting engagements we’ve performed as a full-service Professional Congress Organizer (PCO), we see three common attributes for event organizers winning big on global:
- They begin with the end in mind.
Taking a page from Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® playbook, these event organizers know exactly what outcomes need to be achieved at these meetings. They’re also clear on who their target audience is and what matters most to these executives. That level of customer insight ensures that the destination (and venue) they select will have strong appeal and aligns with objectives that must be met at this meeting.
- They’re supported by a strong and capable network of Trusted Advisors.
Obviously, having local vendors who can tackle a wide range of onsite needs is helpful. But this trusted advisor concept spans higher, as you’ll need someone who can gather and analyze data from one meeting destination to the next to help you design a series of rewarding experiences for loyal customers attending multiple events. Successful event organizers count on trusted advisors to help them understand the local environment, provide context as it applies to their profession or discipline, and suggest local ingredients to enhance the participant experience. Advisors who can help them navigate differences in business rules for sourcing and contracts. Advisors who can share insight on similar groups booking meetings at these destinations. Advisors who can weigh in on rates, dates and concessions to keep event plans advancing and on budget. Advisors who can identify partners, exhibitors, sponsors and speakers who might be interested in participating at their event.To quote a Japanese proverb, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” Best-in-class event organizers know how to tap the “all of us” channel efficiently and effectively, so once site visits occur, they’re more fruitful with no surprises.
- They’re adept at leveraging technology to streamline and improve nearly everything.
Many event organizers are being asked to enhance event portfolios with little to no additional resources or budget. Technology comes to their rescue, driving efficiencies in site research, contract negotiations, and regulatory & compliance issues. Thanks to today’s more robust digital channels, event organizers can move discussions, evaluations and decisions along at a faster pace. Panoramic video tours help them get a bead on the destination, the venue(s) and other unique regional points of interest, so they can envision how this experience will play out for the event stakeholders they serve.
How strong and capable is your current trusted advisor network? What steps are you taking to strengthen relationships in cities you’re considering for future events?
If you’re looking to expand your trusted advisor network, we’d welcome an opportunity to learn more about your situation. Experient’s global team is second to none, with experienced hospitality specialists supporting meetings worldwide, for groups ranging from 50 to 50,000+.
Please click here and tell us more about your global plans and we’ll get back to you with insight that’s most pertinent to your situation. Or feel free to contact me directly at Ben.Goedegebuure@maritz.com.