How to Plan an International Business Conference
Planning a business convention is possibly one of the most stressful events to plan in one’s life. When adding the additional variable of an international component, the severity and complications are impacted tenfold. There are many things to take into account, differences in eating styles, language barriers, and business standards (just to name a few of the concerns).
First and foremost, planning an international business conference requires money—lots and lots of money. From venues to menus, the prices for each component of the international business conference can range significantly. While monetary limitations are to be expected, a run-down facility or bad advertising can make your conference a failure or a success.
While an overall budget is essential, it is also required that allocations are made for each necessity—speaker fees, materials, advertising, venue fees, and refreshments.
It is important to establish goals early on in the course of planning. Write down your goals and agenda. You will need to clearly define what you hope to accomplish with this conference because this will shape the rest of your decisions. Knowing what you want to convey, and to whom, before you begin any other conference organizing, eases the stress of moving forward.
A written statement, clearly stating your goals, will entice potential conference attendees.
Location, Location, Location
Possibly one of the most important decisions to make for an international business conference is the location. You have to select not only an appropriate city, but also an appropriate venue in said city. It is important to consider where the majority of where your attendees will be traveling from. If you’re planning an art and history convention, it may be appropriate to host said event in Paris, in the Louvre. However, if you want to host an international sales conference for swimming gear, Bell City, in Melbourne, Australia, might be more appropriate.
Another important factor to consider is the number of visitors that you’re planning on hosting. You don’t want your venue to be too big or too small. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that the location is easy for those accessing the facility, and in a city that offers ample hotels and public transportation.
Guest speakers are the highlight of your international business conference, so it is important that you pick someone special; pick someone that people are willing to travel to hear. Moreover, if your guest speaker does not feel as if they are being treated well, they won’t have any qualms with putting little effort into their lecture and presentations.
Additionally, it is important to ask the speaker in advance if they will need any special equipment for their presentations such as a podium or a computer.
As this is an international business conference, you will want to make sure that your speaker speaks a language that most every attendee will be able to translate, or hire translators for those that don’t know other languages.
If this is the first time that you have prepared to undertake the scheduling and planning of an international business conference, I believe that it would behoove you to seek assistance from a professional. The planning alone is stressful enough, but the international addition should be handled delicately.