International Business Meeting Planning: 101

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While there are many challenges when planning any meeting or event, there is something particularly unique and intricate when it comes to planning international business travel.  From difficulties involving language barriers to changes in time zones and let’s not forget the cultural/business differences — there is much to be done. Here are a few tips to help make your international business trip planning a little less complicated:

Prepared and prepaid:
International business travelers will tell you that some of their best and least stressful experiences abroad have occurred because they did not have to sweat the small stuff.  Having prepaid transportation (car service and airfare) and lodging allows guests to focus solely on the business aspect of their trip.

Host/Translator:
It is important to assign a host to guest during their stay. The host can act as the main point of contact. Doing so will make it easier for guests to meet as well as have an accessible means to communicate with all parties. As a meeting/event planner you know first hand how hard it is to try contact and find people you have never met before.
Language barriers may or may not be a concern depending on the travel destination. In any case, it would be most beneficial if the host details the business culture and customs of the location to the guest.

Agenda:
Be sure to have an agenda provided to guests before  or upon arrival. Should the schedule change, the host should alert guests and find new times to meet.

Food:
For many travelers, it will be there first time in that specific location. It would be helpful if the meeting venue provides meals including breakfast and lunch and the host can provide a diverse list of restaurant options where the guest can enjoy dinner.

 

Thanks for reading!!

Sherry Romello

Holiday Event Planning Tips

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We’ve all heard the phrase, “behind every successful holiday event is a dedicated event planner” before, right? Okay, maybe you haven’t heard it, nonetheless, it still rings true. Planning an engaging and memorable holiday event is no easy task. However, if the planning is done properly the results will prove to be rewarding.  

Holiday events provide companies the opportunity to express gratitude to employees for their hard-work, support, and accomplishments over the past year. On top of that, it’s a great way for for everyone in the organization to get to know each other better and form a sense of community. The overall contributions holiday events have on employee morale are innumerable.

Here are a few tips on how to organize a holiday event:

Establish budget

Your budget plays a significant role in planning any event. It determines how much money is allocated to the venue, cost of food and drinks, decor, and much more.

Save the date

Remember, the date you select must correspond with the availability of your chosen venue.  The final decision on a date should also be adjusted according to the company holiday schedule. You want to ensure you get the best possible guest attendance.

Theme

A theme is not a necessity, however, unforgettable events most often than not possess a unique and consistent theme. Using a theme can assist with designing your invitations decorations, drink ideas, and even food.

Menu

It is always best to offer a menu that all guests can enjoy. Food is one of the key factors of a successful event. If the menuchoices are pooror not diverse enough, this could lead to disaster. Try to refrainfrom serving heavy meals. Instead, stick with foodsguests can easily pick up and travel around the venue with.

Support

We get so caught up in planning our events that we often neglect how we’re going to support the event once it begins. Help relieve some of the “during event” stress and run around by ensuring there will be an adequate amount of support staff. Support staff can handle any number of functions including valet, serving food, coat check, and bartending. Be sure to inquire whether or not the venue will provide  you with support staff before booking.

 

More with Sherry Romello

sherry romello
Sherry Romello

Last month, Sherry Romello of Hilton Worldwide shared some insight as a professional in the hospitality industry.  Here Sherry shares a bit more about herself and how she got to this industry in the first place.

You’ve worked on advisory boards in Atlanta and Baltimore, can you go into a bit of detail of what you did and what it served for?

In my role as a meeting planner for some significant events in the industry, cities and hotels would often invite planners to serve on an advisory board for a two-three year period to help them better understand customer needs and adapt their business. In some cases, cities or hotels were exploring new initiatives and they wanted a group of customers to help them validate their direction. I served on the Hilton Advisory Board back in the late 90’s and then for Baltimore and Atlanta more recently.

What is the fondest memory of your career?

Wow! There are so many and yet for all those years, so few. Opening day of the NACS Show in 2005 in Las Vegas! The NACS Show is a 25,000 person event bringing together exhibitors who provide products to Convenience Stores and attendees who own/manage/run convenience stores. Our 2005 event was scheduled to be in New Orleans in mid-October and as you may recall, Hurricane Katrina showed up around Labor Day – six weeks prior to our event. We sprung into action and found dates in Las Vegas in mid-November and we literally moved this large event – exhibits, changed signage, hotel rooms and a million other details that we took care of to deliver one of our best shows ever. When our attendees showed up, they were blown away that we were able to pull off such a feat. To this day, people marvel at how we were able to do that.

For more on Sherry Romello, visit her website at sherryromello.com.