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Building and Managing International Business Events.

Andy Robertson

Business focused events were hit during the coronavirus pandemic in the same way as all event organising companies were. It is has taken some time to recover financially but the business conference and exhibition formats are busy once more. What are the key elements to launching and running an international business event.

Any organisation involved in running international business focused events must consider the topics impacting the industry this year (2024). Key amongst these are considerations for sustainability, DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), hybrid style events and utilisation of data. Event organisers should take these aspects into account when planning any events to increase the probability of success.

Research and Planning.
With thousands of industry sectors to consider an event organiser is likely to stick with their own speciality which could be finance, manufacturing, technology or healthcare for example. Whatever the speciality is it’s best to stay within that area as there is probably inherent knowledge existing within the organising team. Each sector does present new areas to consider if there are changes within a particular industry that impact people working in that sector. Event producers should always conduct thorough research with their perceived target audience to gain an accurate assessment of topics that are of interest and therefore likely to generate ticket sales for a proposed conference. Once the topics have been decided producers need to find and secure the best speakers to match the topics. As the topics and speakers are being formalised further decisions on timing, budget and location can commence planning. 

Content and Format. 
The research phase will have identified the key topics that are of interest to a particular audience, and this will drive a conference theme along with how that content and programming addresses the specific needs, interests, and challenges of potential attendees. From this will come further considerations for the format of a conference that may include exclusive speaker sessions, workshops, exhibitions and networking opportunities. 

Sponsors and Partners. 
A key element of any business conference is the opportunity to raise funds from sponsors and exhibitors relevant to the attending audience. Companies that supply goods and services to the conference audience industry sector make perfect sponsors giving them opportunities to get their brand and sales material in front of their target audience. Conference organisers should also seek partnerships with government agencies, industry associations, technology suppliers and venue/ hotels as this provides credibility to the conference along with non-financial assistance. 

Sales and Marketing.
With a conference topic, speakers, format, dates and location agreed the conference organisers need to implement their sales and marketing plan. The sales team should have been involved early in the planning phase to ensure they are selling sponsorship packages in a timely manner. Any marketing collateral should ideally include details and logos for sponsors, the move to a digital online presence has made any additions and changes possible at any stage. Marketing campaigns will need to target the identified key audience with direct communication supported by advertising in key industry media. All activity should include early bird promotions and offers, and the marketing team need to have the appropriate marketing analysis tools and CRM software in place to help make insightful decisions. 

The research and planning phase should have driven the dates and location of any proposed business conference. For events with an international focus organisers need to consider how easy it will be for conference attendee to travel to the chosen location. Costs and travel sustainability are also key considerations balanced with selecting an attractive location along with straightforward visa requirements. Organisers should thoroughly plan for the support of translation services and consideration for any cultural sensitivity and inclusivity. Using a comprehensive event management software package can assist in the planning and organisation of an international business focused event. 

For organisers planning their business events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing speakers, contractors, venues/stages, site layout, vendors, sponsors and ticketing.

Image by crystal710 via Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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