or any other destination your group may go, usually requires a bit more planning. Here are a few ways to prepare for an international meeting:
Who do you know: You’ve been to your own conferences and networking meetings, reach out to some of your contacts or organizations and ask if they can connect you to any resources in the area of the world of your meeting.
Business research: Take a virtual tour around your group’s destination. Also, be sure to take the time to learn about the business customs of the area. It’s important to show you’ve done some research and you have taken the time to learn about the country. Let’s say you are considering China, search for “Business customs in China” and you will get all sorts of great info. In 1994, one of the best cultural books I’ve ever read “Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands” was published which is now online (http://www.kissbowshakehands.com/). Before Google, this book helped us learn how to show respect for other cultures, a crucial element to starting off on the right foot.
Don’t reinvent the wheel: Conduct some searches on Google. Let’s say your group is planning a meeting in London, search something along the lines of “Conference London England”; this will provide a list of other organizations that have held or are going to hold conferences in the area. Consider reaching out to their meeting planner, they may be willing to share some information and resources with you.
Be official: For information on passports, visas and safety issues, make sure to check out these US Department of State pages: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html and https://www.state.gov/s/cpr/.
Find a Partner: I love that I have partners across the globe that I can tap into for first hand, local information. There are over 1300 HelmsBriscoe associates who I work with hand-in-hand to ensure your international search and meeting can go as planned, and I am able to team with people that know all their area has to offer so that YOUR meeting will be a great success.
Looking forward to helping you go international, meeting planners!