Common Issues to Avoid when Marketing a Global Event


People say the world is shrinking, that we are increasingly becoming a global market in which the boundaries between nations are blurred.  Certainly, the growth of online and mobile technologies over the last few decades has made it easier than ever before for people to connect on a global scale, and for businesses to reach consumers around the world.

Businesses interested in exploring new markets should absolutely consider global events as a way to make and solidify partnerships, better understand cultures and markets, and expand operations on an international scale.  That said, there are definitely some hurdles to overcome when planning global events, starting with marketing.

Before you even begin to deal with the headaches of international travel and planning all the details from afar, you and your convention planner will have to figure out how to market the event to a culturally diverse audience.  Says Andy McNeill, CEO at AMI, “It’s not easy to navigate the waters of cultural differences.  You can make small but damaging errors with the words and images you choose if you fail to account for cultural context or poor translation.  These blunders can taint your marketing efforts and tank your event before it even begins.”

This is why it’s so important for you and your event organizer to take the time to ensure that you have every detail right.  If you want to avoid sparking an unfavorable climate leading up to your global event, here are a few common mistakes with marketing you should be aware of.

Not Letting Your Convention Planner Work with Local Consultants

The price for global events can quickly skyrocket.  Even if you have a decent budget to work with, you may be looking to minimize costs wherever possible.  However, you cannot afford to skimp when it comes to overseas marketing for your global event, at least not if you want to entice international attendees.

You need to work with local consultants to craft marketing that speaks to an audience you’re unfamiliar with.  Unless you grew up in or spent significant time in the culture you’re marketing to, you might not understand nuances of linguistic and cultural norms that could make a difference in how your audience receives your message.  You might unintentionally end up insulting entire cultures with the words, images, or concepts you introduce through your marketing efforts.

At the very least, your efforts to localize language could read like a foreigner wrote them or they simply won’t have the same engagement factor as they do in your native language.  A local consultant can help you and your event organizer to craft marketing materials that translate appropriately and speak to the local audience.  The right professional may even be able to help you pinpoint the search terminology that will elevate SEO, coming up with effective, targeted keywords that you would never concoct on your own.

Urging Your Event Organizer to Stick with Generic Messaging

This may seem like a good strategy, but the truth is that an American market is very different from a French, Japanese, or Brazilian audience, just for example.  Even if all the people attending your event are in similar industries, they’re from different cultures, and they respond to different types of messaging because of that.  If you and your convention planner create a generic message instead of tweaking it to better connect with local audiences, you’re basically throwing money away.

Failing to Develop Mobile-Friendly Marketing Materials

It’s a mobile market, whether you’re in the U.S. or abroad.  Not only do individuals and professionals across the globe rely on mobile devices to conduct business, but Google has adopted a mobile-first mentality that means mobile-friendly content gets preferential placement.

You cannot afford to ignore these factors when planning your global marketing campaign, at least not if you want to cater to a modern audience.  Responsive design and consistency across platforms will ensure that every prospective attendee has the same incredible experience when interacting with your content.

Utilizing Unsecured or Limited Payment Platforms

Once you’ve effectively conveyed your message, you have to make it convenient for attendees to sign up and pay for your event.  In other words, you and your convention planner must account for a variety of secure payment methods.  This could mean using different platforms in different locations, so make sure to research options and choose the best ones for each international group you’re marketing to.

It’s easy to stumble when marketing a global event, but when you team up with a reputable global event organizer like American Meetings, Inc. (AMI) you can avoid these issues and create targeted messaging that speaks to diverse populations.

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