A city’s ability to attract and retain meetings and events professionals is largely dependent on how well it meets their needs — being good to holiday in doesn’t guarantee a good business group travel experience. So, when deciding where you should hold your next international event, take these 10 factors into account:
You want to make sure your group can travel with confidence, knowing they’re in a safe environment. That means well-lit streets, a good police presence, reliable public transportation, easily accessible emergency services and proximity to amenities such as restaurants, hotels and hospitals. It’s important to consider both physical safety and emergency preparedness when selecting a location.
While event managers can certainly accommodate budgetary constraints, you’re bound to get more added value in a destination that’s affordable.
The destination should have the infrastructure to support meetings and events, including adequate accommodation facilities; multi-functional event spaces with required technology; a range of restaurants and/or catering to suit dietary requirements; and additional activities for accompanying spouses or family members.
4. Travel restrictions
You’ll need to take into account whether there are travel restrictions or visa requirements in place, particularly if your group includes delegates from several countries.
5. Ease of Access
The location should be easy to reach by air, road and rail. You want your group to enjoy their travels as much as they do the event itself. Also consider whether networking after the event is required and if there are suitable venues nearby.
You’ll need to choose a destination at the right time of year, as you don’t want your meeting disrupted by extreme weather conditions.
The availability of skilled staff is vital, as you’ll want your group to be looked after by a dedicated team that can handle all aspects of the event.
These days, it’s not just about having access to the right equipment. You’ll also need reliable Wi-Fi and other technologies that allow attendees to stay in touch with others while they’re away.
The best destinations are those where there’s plenty to do and see. That way, members of your group have the opportunity to explore the area and enjoy themselves.
Consider the cultural aspects of your destination and evaluate how they align with your event and group’s interests.
A few more tips for seamless event management…
From Reed & Mackay’s Global Director of Groups, Meetings and Events Mandy Warwick:
- Ensure you have the necessary technology, such as real-time attendance tracking and event scheduling software, for all meetings and events.
- Make sure you have a back-up plan in place for any unexpected incidents that may occur.
- Work with people that you trust — they can be the difference between success and failure.
- Keep organised and use the right tools to facilitate communication.