Published By Blog Breed
When people are in the same place and speak the same language, arranging a successful business meeting becomes somewhat easier. However, hosting an international meeting is a different deal because it comes with a variety of challenges. Therefore, you must be aware of details you may not normally notice.
To make your life easier, we have laid down the following tips to pull off a great international business conference:
Also Read: Grow Your Online Business With These Hacks
Determine The Purpose
First and foremost, you must fully understand the purpose of the meeting. The best way to figure out the goals and motivations is to meet senior management. This is the crucial stage that will set the tone for the rest of the meeting. For example, if the goal of the meeting is to launch a product in a new market, then you will need to determine what level of proficiency is required to ensure this. We would recommend you dive into as many specifications as possible at this stage. That way, you will get more clarity about your business objectives and things will be more likely to fall in place.
Suitable Venue Holds The Key
Next, you need to choose the venue. It can make all the difference between a great meeting experience and a miserable one. The good thing, finding an event venue is not a tough nut to crack nowadays. For example, if you want to arrange the meet-up in Japan, you just need to Google event venues in Japan and the search engine will show dozens of relevant results. But the abundance of options might put you in some ambiguity as well. So how you can finally stumble upon the ideal venue? Well, weighing down the factors listed below will give you a lot of clarity on this:
- Accessibility: The location of a venue is crucial for maximizing attendance. That is why accessibility should be right at the top of your list. Thus, before deciding on the location, make sure that transport is easily accessible so that attendees can arrive using different means of transportation. Besides, make sure parking is available for those who drive to the venue.
- Budget: Typically, businesses fall prey to expensive venues. As a result, the rest of the preparations are heavily affected. You can keep yourself from committing the same mistake by keeping a certain budget in your mind. Sometimes people in charge of venues add up the hidden costs in the end. Get everything in writing upfront to avoid such problems.
- Services and amenities: Depending on the nature of the event, you may need to arrange extra services such as special catering (including dietary requirements), pens, pads, audio-visual service, staging, lighting, décor, ticketing, sightseeing, etc. But do not assume every vendor will offer all kinds of services and amenities. Hence, you need to get a clear picture of your requirements and then keep shopping until you find a venue that meets your requirements. It would be great to stick to the experienced vendors as they have more experience and a better reputation.
Select The Right Time And Date
As a meeting host, you have to ensure that everyone attends the meeting at the same time and on the same date. You should pick multiple dates and send them to everyone. Then, you can see who is available and when. Though you might not be in a position to pick a date that suits everyone, it will enable you to cherrypick the date that is convenient to the majority of participants.
Likewise, time is an equally pivotal consideration. When holding an international meeting via teleconference, you should always take into account the time zones of all participants. If not, it might prove to be a morning meeting for some attendees while an evening meeting for others. Make sure the weather is nice if people have to travel from their hotel to the conference.
Get Into The Culture Of Your Guests
At times, cultural differences can still lead to miscommunications. So you must acquire basic knowledge of your guests’ culture before the meeting begins. These should include greetings, common phrases, and currency names. This information is invaluable, regardless of whether the meeting takes place in person or via videoconference.
On the other hand, ignoring this step could be counterproductive because it can convey that you do not care about your attendees and are not willing to spend the time to get to know your business partners.
Lay Down A Preliminary Agenda
Set out the sequence of the meeting. To begin with, allow time for a brief introduction that provides context and then for discussion about the next steps at the conclusion. Next up, determine how much time you will devote to each aspect, and in what order.
Learn About The Visa Requirements
A valid passport document or entry visa may be required for participants to attend the meeting at the respective venue. Do not expect people to be familiar with the process. To be on the safe side, you should stress 6 months before the travel date that each attendee must have valid travel documents.
In any event, discourage your attendees from entering the country as tourists if the purpose of the visit is work-related. The reason being, customs officials might ban the person if they find the true reason for traveling. Partner with a high-reputation agency that specializes in visa applications to ensure you have the best possible experience.
Stay On Top Of The Technology
A projector is needed for multimedia presentations. Not to mention video conferencing tools, whiteboarding applications, and other on-site meetings software and hardware. Ask the participants if they will be bringing their own computer. Also, it would be a great idea to become familiar with the technology before the meeting starts.
Take Collaborative Notes
Relying on attendees to take their own notes can be confusing as each person may be hearing different things. To ensure everyone is on the same page, it is better to take notes together using Google Docs and other collaborative document editing platforms. This is especially helpful for those who speak different languages.
It is true that a vast majority of people willingly take part in business meetings as they learn and grow. With that said, people also make it a point to avoid attending conferences that are not properly arranged, regardless of how much try to lure participants. The good news is that you can make a plan and successfully host an international business meeting by taking the steps listed above.