Organising conferences can be challenging at the best of times, there is just so much involved!
If you’re previously used to organising UK wide conferences, you may be feeling a bit daunted by adding international delegates to the mix. However, as an event organising pro, you need not worry as the impact is quite minimal.
To ensure your international guest’s expectations are met or ideally exceeded, there are some key considerations that you need to help guide your usual planning. So, rather than additional work, it’s more the same level with a slightly different view point. Here are some of the aspects you’ll need to consider adjusting to accommodate your international delegates.
One of the things that may be helpful to be aware of, is the potential for higher expectations from your international delegates. Now, this is reality is based purely on the fact that they are travelling so far to attend your event. Therefore, naturally they may well have certain expectations and be looking for value for money.
Probably the most major change will be where your event takes place, as the venue now must meet some specific requirements. These new requirements include:
- Location – if you want to be popular with your international guests, ideally, you’ll want to keep your venue close to an international airport. This does limit your options, so it is often the biggest downside to widening your market outside of the UK.
- Public transport access – regardless of where the venue is located, you can expect most international guests to not be travelling by car. Therefore, it is essential that the venue is easy to get to via public transport and if it isn’t you may wish to consider organising transport for them.
- Accommodation – international guests will likely require a place to stay when they attend your conference, so ensure the venue has sufficient on-site accommodation.
Date of event
To help keep travel costs low for your international audience, avoid hosting your event in the peak season (June to August). Choosing dates between March and May or September and October can be a wise choice as the weather is reasonable but not yet extreme!
Essentially, your international audience are tourists and it’s likely when they come to the UK they may wish to see some sights either side of your event. Therefore, it can be a nice touch to provide local tourist attractions or links to websites to help them as much as possible with planning their trip. In addition, do provide as much information and links about how to get to the venue.
To really wow your global delegates, you may want to invest in a personalised approach to your communications. It can be as simple as asking if its their first time to the UK in your first communications with them or even via the online registration form. This way you can send specific information to really help them make the most of their trip and settle in.
One of the challenges with international participants is there can be a greater margin for errors when it comes to the accuracy of their names on their conference delegate badges! Therefore, the best way to alleviate this being a potential problem and ensure you maintain a professional standard, is to invest in ID badging software that you can use on site at your conference, meaning you can easily reprint badges if the worst happens.
If you haven’t used a conference app before then now might be the time to consider it. The benefits of an event app include the ability to easily network, find others to connect with, get a lunch partner, dinner buddy etc. There are loads to choose from, all with their own specific features and benefits and if you don’t find one to meet your needs, you can always have your own bespoke mobile app developed.