There are a lot of reasons why people of different cultural backgrounds and upbringing are gathered in one place for an event. In most cases, it is for academic purposes; in other instances, it is related to cultural exchanges, sports competitions and entertainment. Whatever the event is, international activities must be prepared well. Therefore, it is a must that these people stay together peacefully until the end of the event. If you are tasked to organizing an international event, here are some things that you need to take into consideration:
• Identify the goals or objectives of the event. Make sure that it is clear right from the start. You need to do this before inviting guests and participants. It will be a lot easier to convince people to take part in the activity if they know exactly what they can get out of it.
• Find a perfect place that can hold the event. International events may be for selected group of people only. A small auditorium or conference hall may suffice. However, for bigger events where you expect thousands of people to come, you need to find a more appropriate place. This goes without saying that their accommodation must also be taken care of. Look for hotel options and be prepared to share the rates to the guests the moment you send out the invitations.
• Identify your target group. The event might be just for a certain group of people such as Asians or Europeans. It could also be an open event. You need to base your decision on the overall objective of the activity. Once you have already identified the people, you can now start doing the invitation letters and campaign materials.
• Arrange the program. Make sure that you have a perfect flow of the entire event from Day 1 until the end. You should also budget the time well by considering the time for break, rest and prayers (for those who belong to certain religious groups). Provide some allowances on the time as well to avoid packing everything on a limited time.
• Look for volunteers who will assist the delegates throughout the event. There must be people in charge to arrange the travel details of the guests, pick them up upon arrival, welcome them for the official event, bring them to their respective accommodation areas and provide short briefing. If possible, provide translators for the event. This is very important to ensure that no one will be lost or confused. You cannot expect all the guests to speak English or any other language. There must also be call centers or information booth in the venue for them to ask queries.
• Be aware of restrictions for certain religions. For instance, when you have Moslem guests, consider preparing Halal food. You should also avoid activities wherein they will be required to wear attire that they are not comfortable of. When the guests are asked to register, allow them to specify their food restrictions, medical needs and other cultural restrictions.
• Document the entire event. This also includes the preparation stages. Collect all receipts and make sure that you prepare a transparent financial report once the event is over. Most of all, don’t forget to send a thank you note to the guests when they get back home.
It takes a lot to organize any international event. Therefore, if you are tasked to do it, you need to be fully prepared of what lies ahead.