Last week I shared with you a place to start for making your meeting go global. Here are a few more bits of information you will need to know.
- Visas: Do your people need a Visa to travel abroad? Do your attendees need a Visa to travel here? This information must be researched and clearly communicated to all of your attendees. For information about US Citizen Visa Information, check out this site. For more information on citizens of countries coming to the United States, go here.
- Local Partners: Regardless of where you go, you must partner with a local entity! There are far too many unknowns and far too many opportunities for balls to be dropped; a local partner is an absolute must. Lucky for you, I have the world at my fingertips! HelmsBriscoe associates span the globe; we’ve created a network of global partners available to you. We will work together on your behalf to find the resources you need for your meeting.
- Travel Insurance and Assistance: A meeting abroad is a costly endeavor; your company will want to be covered in the event of cancellations or any issue that will adversely affect the outcome of your meeting. Just as important, you will want to work with a company that specializes in travel risk management to assist your attendees who may experience challenges along the way. Start here.
- Payment Upfront: It may surprise you to know that most venues around the world expect payment before, not after the event. The can be particularly distressing to US meeting planners who feel as if they are giving up any future negotiating power. Therefore, know that it is acceptable to ask to pay a certain percentage, up to 20%, after the meeting.
- Budget: Due to too many unknowns, it is advisable to budget an additional 10% of your overall expenses to cover the yet to be known expenses that may arise.
- Travel Programs: There are several travel programs to consider for your attendees. Before doing so, it’s good to know the ins and outs of each program. Learn more here.
- Shipping: If you plan on shipping any materials abroad, make sure to work with a reputable broker or freight company. UPS offers this handy online tool. Also, consider working with your host venue to find local resources for items that can be produced or purchased locally as opposed to shipping them.
- Digitize: Any items that can be digitized can be placed in the cloud through a service like Dropbox. This way you have access to the files needed, without having to print, carry, ship or store more items than necessary.
There you have it meeting planners. May your foreign travels be worth the planning necessary to make them happen.
Adiós! Arrivederci! Au Revoir ! Goodbye! Прощай (Proshchay)! さようなら (Sayōnara)! Vaarwel! 再见 (Zàijiàn)