4 Tips For Holding Successful International Meetings And Events
When you work with international business partners, you must adapt and overcome some challenges. From cultural differences to working around other obstacles, you have to work diligently to ensure open communication and understanding with individuals and businesses in other countries.
Business meetings can be challenging, even when they include people who are in the same room and speak the same language. While you're holding an international meeting, you need to pay attention to certain details that you might not otherwise normally do.
Whether you're holding your first international meeting or your 100th, you may be feeling a little stressed leading up to it. Here are four of our best tips for planning a successful international meeting.
1. Understand Others' Cultures
Even if the other people look like you and speak the same language, there are still cultural differences that could lead to misunderstandings.
Before the meeting starts, it's essential to get at least a basic understanding of the cultures of everyone attending. This should include proper greetings, common sayings or phrases to avoid using and the currency exchange rate. Whether the meeting is in person or via teleconference, this information can be a tremendous asset.
Failing to understand others' cultures can show that you aren't committed to your clients or willing to put in the time to understand your business partners' lives. Doing your research can help during a meeting and also in maintaining your relationships with those abroad.
2. Adapt to Language Differences
When you think about cultural differences, one of the first things that come to mind is language. Learning a second language, including English, is emphasized much more in countries other than the United States. Even though your clients and business partners may speak the same language as you, you should still consider their language preferences.
If you have materials to hand out during the presentation, like business cards, include the languages spoken by those involved. At the very least, they will greatly appreciate that you considered their language in these materials.
3. Calculate Time Differences
Even doing business between the West Coast and the East Coast requires some planning when it comes to time. From making sure everyone starts at the same time to choosing the right time of day to hold the meeting, time differences can be a considerable obstacle.
If you're holding an international meeting via teleconference, always consider the time zones of participants. Depending on the size of the gap between time zones, it could be a morning meeting for one person and an evening meeting for another. A convenient time for one person may be in the middle of the night for another — that's why time zones are so important to consider.
4. Pay Attention to Local News
Local news and current events can have an impact on your meeting. Whether important cultural events are happening in others' countries, holidays are coming up or an emergency occurs, paying attention to local news can keep you better informed about what's important to your clients and business partners.
If you see there is a drop in the stock market that affects people you do business with, you can use this knowledge to make your meetings go more effectively. On the flip side, if there is a rise in stock in a company you partner with, this may also affect your discussions.
Book Your Next International Meeting at Spooky Nook Meetings & Events
Spooky Nook Meetings & Events offers a variety of event spaces that work great for business meetings, including international meetings. With technology capabilities that include projectors, Wi-Fi, customized business meeting rooms, and friendly, helpful staff, we know our space is a perfect choice.
Contact us today to learn more about our event spaces or schedule an in-person tour.