Management

How to Organize a Conference in a Foreign Country

Video-ConferencingInternational conferences are a necessity for some businesses and another step in the ladder to greatness for others. However, it’s invariably challenging for organizations to manage international conferences. The venue’s location, conference’s timing, venue’s suitability, and range of amenities – the list goes on. Here’s a guide that will help you deal with everything like a pro.

Research Like A Scholar When It Comes to Location

It’s a no-brainer, you understand the importance of choosing a conference venue that’s located in a great neighborhood, and is easily approachable from all quarters. However, it will be naïve of you to trust Google maps or the conference’s executive’s word for it. The level of ambient noise, the patterns of traffic, the ease of approach – all these are factors best judged by a personal visit. However, for foreign venues, that becomes financially challenging. A hack – make a call at a nearby business or retail store, and ask for a bit of local advice!

Watch Out For High Profile International Conferences

Unless the conference you’re looking to organize is a high-profile affair in its own rights, make sure you don’t end up choosing a venue in a city that’s hosting one! Conferences like the Paris Air Show and Intersolar Europe conference, for instance, are such that will consume most of the resources the city has to offer, right from hotel accommodation to choice of conference venues itself. That’s why it’s ultra important for a conference planner to know what all’s going on in the world of international conferences, particularly in the top cities for internal conferences.

Go For Low-Risk, Reliable, and International Options

An international conference is invariably a crucial event for any organization, and the costs of disruptions in such an event are massive. Don’t learn your lessons the hard way. Look for a conference hall in a hotel owned by an international chain, because these organizations have the professionalism, budgets, and motivation to offer international quality standards. Free wireless Internet connectivity across the location for registered guests, mini meeting rooms close to the conference area, central air conditioning and heating, compatible electrical systems (or free adapters to convert plugs to accommodate different pin configurations) – these are no more luxuries, and must be a part of the feature catalog of the conference event you choose.

Suitability

Faced with so many options, it can be tough for anybody to choose a suitable conference venue. It’s a common mistake that planners end up making – choosing venues that sit in utter contrast to the branding message, company profile, or event personality that the event sponsors and organizers wish to convey. So make some background checks into the kind of events organized in the recent past at the venue. Also, inquire whether there are other conference halls within the same building, booked for an event that might conflict with your conference’s purpose.

Other Best Practices to Follow

Apart from the suggestions shared above, we’d strongly recommend that you also follow these best practices:

  • Don’t enter into the pre-written contract or agreement that the conference venue managers send you; make sure you highlight your discreet needs.
  • Look for an opportunity to have a face to face meeting with an event coordinator or account manager; if that’s not possible, make sure you use video calling or video conferencing as a means of communication to establish rapport.
  • If you engage a translator to manage communications with the event planning team at a foreign location, make sure he/she has a business understanding. This is important so that your project, requirements, and partnership are not treated casually or lightly by the hotel.
  • Check if you can get a reserve day for a discounted price; because you really would not want to leave a coveted conference venue with unfinished business.
  • Avoid choosing weekend days for conferences; official work is best done on weekdays; Thursday and Friday are the best days so that attendees can plan their trip to also include the weekend to add in a vacationing element.

Final Thoughts

Organizing a conference in your own corporate office’s seminar hall is a hell of a task; imagine the logistical nightmare that an international conference could become! Breathe easy though; find a conference room, follow the tips in this guide, and you’ll pull it through.

Do you have any questions? Please ask.