Despite the digital age we live in, face-to-face conferences and events still bring in attendees and speakers from all over the globe and, if anything, the digital landscape makes it easier than ever to bring in international crowds. Though attracting attendees from around the world is possible, organising an international event comes with its challenges. Here are four things to consider when planning an international event.
1. Timing is key
When organising a local event, it’s easy to take things for granted. If you’re planning an international event, you may be faced with a few hurdles. Allow extra time that may be needed to tackle language barriers (you may need to translate contracts, negotiations and paperwork), and remember that some countries may move at a different pace to what you’re used to. Think about timing when it comes to your attendees too – they will need extra time to sign up for an event overseas, so open registration as early as possible.
2. Location is very important!
As tempting as it may be to host your international event in an up and coming location in an emerging market, choosing a venue which is both well connected and affordable to travel to will ensure you attract good numbers. Consider a venue close to an international airport, as well as train stations for those travelling from less further afield. It’s important that your chosen venue has plenty of hotels and restaurants within a walking distance – put yourself in their shoes and consider what you’d find useful after hours of travelling!
Make the journey as hassle free as possible – with the events industry thriving, your guests are likely to have a busy schedule, so don’t put them off your event by hosting it in a venue which is challenging to reach. To elevate any stress that might come with travelling, consider providing your attendees with a travel checklist, any information about local laws and customs, and use an app to keep them updated with travel updates and flight information.
3. Offer something special
As we’ve previously mentioned, the events industry is booming, and your attendees will no doubt have plenty to pick and choose from. Therefore, it’s important that you’re offering as much value as possible, especially if attending means travelling from overseas.
Invest in key influencers to pull in crowds and invite speakers from a range of backgrounds to cover a variety of issues. Don’t just stick to big name keynote speakers – think about other areas such as marketing, media experts and investors too. These days, people are looking for more value from events than ever before. Be forward-thinking and think about holding workshops, networking sessions and ensure your attendees are connecting.
4. Plan your schedule carefully
When planning your event schedule, take into account where your attendees are travelling from. It’s a good idea to start your event the day after their arrival to give them a chance to rest and settle into their surroundings after what may have been a long journey. Arrange a casual gathering such as a cocktail hour at a hotel where your guests can attend if they would like, network, get in the spirit, and retire to their room when they feel like it.
On the day, or days, of your event, a staggered, mixed schedule is best. Break the agenda into a morning session with a mid-morning break, followed by a lunch break and an afternoon session with another break mid-afternoon.
When it comes to serving meals, be considerate of where your guests originate. For example, in South Europe and the Middle East, dinners are not usually served before 8pm, and leisurely lunches are more leisurely than they are in the USA or Asia.
If you’re looking for a dedicated event venue in which to host an international event, take a look at what The Brewery has to offer. Our beautiful, historical venue in the heart of London offers so much more than your typical events venue. Just a 15- minute walk from thriving Shoreditch and less than 10 minutes from Liverpool Street, Moorgate and Barbican underground stations, The Brewery is within easy reach of transport links and we’re proud to provide exquisite food and drink, exceptional technology throughout, and plenty of nearly accommodation.
To find out more about hosting an international event at The Brewery, get in touch today.