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Organising an international event

International events come in a massive range of types and sizes, but watching the really big ones, such as the Olympics can make smaller events seem all the more intimidating to organize, I thought it would be a good idea to offer a few tips on what needs to be done to ensure that any event attracting people from many countries goes off successfully.

To start with, everyone needs to know the full and precise details of the venue for your event. In many cases, this can be included in the branding which you adopt for it, to make it clear to all potential attendees where they are expected to be. 

Alongside this, confirming the dates early is another must. People who do business on an international scale usually have very full diaries. So the earlier you can mark their card about a forthcoming event, the better.

In addition to the venue details, consideration must also be given to how people will reach your event. Directions should be given to the venue using all conceivable forms of transport, as this will demonstrate that you have taken care to make access to the event as easy as possible from any location where your delegates, stand-holders, speakers and all other attendees will arrive.

A clear agenda must also be set out. Often the programme of addresses, demonstrations or seminars which will take place will contain elements which some delegates may not be interested in. It is as important that they know when they will have the chance to take a break, or for some outside networking, as it is when the programme elements of the greatest interest to them will be taking place.

Even if your event is only running for one day, it might still not be practicable for everyone who wants to be there to make the journey there and back in a single day. So information should be given about hotels in the vicinity of your venue. Including accommodation in a range of price brackets, and not just at the premium end of the market, will show that you are catering for the widest possible audience. You might even be able to negotiate a special rate with a nearby hotel for your delegates if you let the management know in sufficient time.

If you are arranging any social events to run alongside your conference or show, then details of these must be passed on, along with any dress requirements – e.g. black tie, casual – so that attendees can ensure they pack the appropriate items.

Other details to be considered include the necessity for interpreting and/or secretarial services for attendees. And in these times when people carry all manner of technology around with them, it will also need to be made clear whether your venue imposes any restrictions on its use, and any areas in which mobile phones etc are allowed. For smaller scale events ensure that at least one person is assigned to act as a point of contact for the attendee’s

There may seem to be a lot to consider when planning an event for the first time, but usually, practice makes perfect, and as ever, lots of advice can be found online, so don’t be intimidated into believing that smaller business’s can’t successfully organize  international events.


This post was contributed by Francis Lawson a freelance writer specialising in business organisation such as organising meeting rooms in London and around the UK.