Organizing a Global Conference Tour: What You Need to Know

Organizing a Global Conference Tour: What You Need to Know

Any event, large or small, requires a lot of planning and organization.  Putting together a global conference tour naturally multiplies the amount of work to be done.  Even if you and your global meeting planner get preparations underway early and you have superior organizational skills, there are still a lot of elements to juggle and many things that could go wrong.  Drop one ball and they might all come crashing down.

To say that organizing this massive affair is challenging would be an understatement.  The good news is that you’re not reinventing the wheel.  Many other events host before you have faced similar challenges and you can learn from their mistakes and successes.  What steps can you take to eliminate snafus and ensure the best possible outcomes from your global conference tour?  Here are a few suggestions to set you on the right path.

Get a Jump on Promotion

The sooner you start promoting your event, the sooner you can garner interest, followers, sharing, and of course, registration for your event.  This can deliver early revenue, boost your overall numbers, and help to make for a much more successful event in the long run.

Even if you and your corporate meeting planner don’t have all relevant information early on, you can start with basics like dates, venue, and a few key speakers or topics, for example, just to generate interest and get people to sign on for updates.  From there you can keep followers informed, dole out new information to keep people hooked, and hopefully meter sign up to avoid a huge rush at the last minute.

Ask Your Global Meeting Planner for Help Finding Partners and Sponsors

Any time you’re planning an event, you’re going to need help.  No man is an island, and frankly, there’s just no sane reason to go it alone.  When you’re operating on the scope and scale of a global conference tour, with multiple cities and events catering to an international audience, the task of management gets exponentially more complex and expensive.

This is why it’s so important to nail down trusted partners and sponsors early on, to help you manage logistics, spread out costs, and engage with a large enough audience to support your event (by tapping into partner contacts and communities).  Your corporate meeting planner should be able to help you find and connect with similar businesses and partners in global locations to get collaborative efforts underway.

Select a Qualified Staff and Delegate Responsibilities

You certainly want professionals capable of managing logistics, so a strong background in the organization is essential, but you also need people who are skilled at customer service to interact with event staff, vendors, and attendees throughout the planning and execution phases.  You simply cannot manage every aspect of a global conference tour on your own.  You need qualified assistants so you can delegate responsibilities.

The importance of finding the right people to work under you cannot be overstated.  You and your global meeting planner need to select experienced professionals with the right disposition to remain calm under pressure and provide helpful, kind and attentive service.  This will not only significantly reduce your own burden and stress but also ensure a positive and fruitful experience for event attendees.

Create a Plan and Stay Connected

On the one hand, you don’t necessarily want to micromanage the many vendors you’re working with.  These professionals know their jobs and once you provide them with the layout of your event, they should be able to manage their part so you’re freed up to attend to other details.

That said, communication is a key component of ensuring everyone is on the same page and your event goes off without a hitch.  You need to schedule a time to connect with vendors throughout the planning and execution of your event to keep tabs on progress, iron out wrinkles, and stay on track for success.

Keeping the lines of communication open with event staff, speakers, and attendees is also imperative, so make sure you and your corporate meeting planner set up adequate and intuitive channels for communication and properly manage outreach efforts like sharing of information. 

Let Attendees Participate

Engagement is essential to providing a positive and memorable experience for event attendees, and the best way to boost engagement is by encouraging participation.  Says Todd Bludworth, President & Principal at AMI, “You can hire a dozen qualified industry luminaries to talk at event attendees for two days and deliver a ton of interesting and valuable information.  Unfortunately, this tactic is also likely to put half the class to sleep.  You need to engage your audience if you want to host a successful event.”

Encouraging participation could be as simple as adding workshops to the event agenda, where attendees have the opportunity to work in small groups or even receive the one-on-one attention that challenges the mind and creates a more immersive learning experience.  You and your global meeting planner could also add gamification and experiential elements that provide a fun and competitive atmosphere.  Both strategies can facilitate participation and help to make your event more memorable and successful overall.

Feed your audience

You naturally want to focus more on the speakers than the dinner menu, but you definitely need to provide food options, and you want to make sure they’re just as impressive as the people at the podium.  Nothing will sour an otherwise positive event experience faster than insufficient or inadequate sustenance.

Don’t Forget to Collaborate with Your Corporate Meeting Planner on Plan B Planning for the best but expecting the worst is a wise attitude when it comes to navigating the tricky waters of organizing a global conference tour.  All those moving parts make for a labyrinth of potential blunders and mishaps.  You need to be prepared to pick up the pieces and hit the ground running without missing a beat, so try to envision potential setbacks and create a plan for how to handle them with minimal impact and downtime.

Attendees are Acting More Like Vacationers: They Want a Fun Experience

Attendees are Acting More Like Vacationers: They Want a Fun Experience

Modern professionals work pretty hard, so when they’re able to break out of their normal routines, it’s only natural they’d want to cut loose and have a little fun.  Unfortunately, more and more professionals are trying to squeeze vacation time into their work trips, and that can compromise their ability to soak up all the information you hope to provide.

How can meeting and event hosts and corporate event planning companies get attendees back on track and draw their focus to the task at hand?  One great way is to make your meetings and events more fun so they don’t have to look elsewhere to have a good time.  This not only keeps attendees interested, but also ensures an immersive experience, positive reviews, repeat attendance, and a growing list of attendees at future events.  Here are a few ways you and your event management services partner can make your event vacationer-friendly.

Corporate Event Planning Companies Must Sell the Destination

What do vacationers look for when seeking destinations?  Often, they won’t resort accommodations, area attractions, and access to local favorites like cuisine and cultural events.  When you go to Hawaii, you stay at a beach-front hotel and go to a luau, right?  How can you and your event management services partner incorporate this same principle into your event?

First, you have to choose an appropriate destination, one that offers the exciting and adventurous vibe vacationers expect.  From there you can find ways to work the destination into the theme of your event to make every aspect of the affair unified and add the vacation aesthetic to what would otherwise be just another industry event.

Incorporate Area Locations with Your Event Management Services Team

All work and no play…well, you know the rest.  Event attendees are going to want to sample the local flavors of your destination, and you can help them by setting up soirees that feature local foods and planning group excursions into the local environs to see area attractions.

The more you’re able to keep the group together, the greater opportunity you have to add value and impart your message.  Experienced corporate event planning companies should have some ideas about how to weave together fun and education through destination-specific activities.

Switch Up Locations Annually

Sometimes, coming back to a place you’ve already been is like coming home, but well-traveled vacationers are always on the lookout for something new.  Choosing a new location for your annual conference or event can maintain interest levels for repeat attendees, as well as draw new attendees that live closer to the current location.

Don’t Lose Your Core Focus

Says John Cotter, COO at AMI, “It’s true that more attendees are seeking the novelty of a vacation destination, but the main purpose of attending any event is still education, so you can’t skimp on content.”  Corporate event planning companies can find ways to make destinations more inviting and fun without dropping the ball on hiring notable speakers and choosing relevant and engaging topics.

With an experienced event management services partner like American Meetings, Inc. (AMI) on your side, you should be able to make every event more like a fun vacation experience while still providing the educational resources attendees expect.