One of the trends to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic is the increased popularity and prevalence of global events. Virtual events became the norm when people were no longer able to meet in person for conferences, trade shows, and other events. Event organizers realized that this broadened their market reach, giving them access to an audience and customer base that might not have been able to attend.
As we look toward a globalized future, global virtual and hybrid events will likely continue to gain traction. This post is full of actionable insights to help you create a successful event. From what to look for in a global event planning software to ways to incorporate varying cultures, we’ve got you covered.
What Are the Benefits of a Global Event?
- Increased attendance. In a survey, 34% of event planners reported that increased attendance was the most positive result of pivoting to virtual events.
- It’s an additional revenue source. If you’re charging for registration, opening up your event to a global audience can provide your company with an additional revenue stream.
- It’s a stellar content marketing opportunity. The core purpose of content marketing is to build brand awareness (and drive sales) by providing your customer base with valuable information. If you invest in robust, valuable programming, your event can be a global content marketing opportunity for your company.
- It’s good for the planet. By embracing a hybrid event, you’re working with a more sustainable event model. Virtual and streaming experiences can reduce the total climate pollution from events by up to 60-98%.
Looking for a way to reduce your global event costs? Check out our blog post and discover 11 tips on how to optimize your virtual event budget.
5 Tips to Host to a Successful International Event Virtually
Successful global events share a few common features. Follow these five recommendations for a truly special event that your audience will love.
1. Choose a Virtual or Hybrid Event Platform That Supports Global Events
The secret to a successful event is starting with a technological framework that can support programming for a global audience. You want to find event management software that will support key features you’ll need when catering to a global audience.
Some event planning platforms may not offer these services directly, but you want to be sure they can integrate with the following functionalities.
If you want a global audience to stay engaged with your programming, you need to be able to communicate in a language they understand. In 2021, English remains the most widely spoken language worldwide. Chinese is close behind, followed by Hindi, Spanish, and Arabic, and the most common languages spoken by your audience may be different.
Captioning is best used for sessions and events with large audiences because it allows you to translate into multiple languages at the same time. It can also have UX benefits during presentations, keynote speeches, as it’s often easier to read subtitles than to split your attention between the presenter and a translator.
Real-Time Interpretation and Translation
There are spaces and times when AI-enabled captioning won’t do the trick—namely where nuance is concerned. Real-time interpretation can benefit global events in the following situations:
- Events where the majority of attendees speak 2 languages
- Small group settings
- Panel discussions where speakers don’t share a language but must communicate in real-time.
- If you work in a technical industry with its own vernacular, you might be best served by relying on an expert interpreter who is versed in dual language terminology to ensure nothing gets lost in translation.
Time differences can throw your global event attendance for a loop. You want to be sure attendees can catch up on what they missed when they missed while they were sleeping (or, you know, busy). On-demand programming is a key selling point for many when they’re deciding whether to attend an event.
Dive deeper into the top hybrid event platforms on the market in our Hybrid Event Platform Guide.
2. Make Networking a Key Component of Your Global Event
Networking plays a pivotal role in the decision to attend an event for many attendees. When planning a global event, you want to ensure that networking opportunities are integrated throughout the programming.
Particular attention should be paid to virtual event programming. While virtual events have broadened the ability for a geographically dispersed audience to participate, many have missed the in-person networking opportunities. For example, a survey of professional scientists found that 70% thought virtual conference offered lackluster networking opportunities. It doesn’t have to be that way.
There are a variety of ways to include networking in your virtual event strategy. Give participants the ability to meet in small groups and one-on-one. You might also want to considered structured networking opportunities. When doing this, be sure to work with your event manager to create an event type that cultivates participation and organic interaction between attendees.
Discover more ways to make networking a key component of your global event planning with these 16 Tips For Networking at Your Next Virtual Event.
3. Do Your Research to Incorporate Cultural Etiquette and Best Practices
Corporate cultures differ around the world. Catering to a global audience means finding ways to integrate these practices and approaches for an inclusive experience that engages every attendee.
When done right, global events can help build bridges across cultures, create a shared understanding, and develop brand trust for your event and company. Done incorrectly, you risk alienating your audience (not to mention some potentially bad PR).
Your events team should spend time researching the cultural practices and expectations of your global audience to find ways to respectfully incorporate those into the events. There is no one-size-fits-all model for cultural sensitivity. What will work best for your audience depends on a number of factors including your industry, the geographic disbursement of your audience, and what kind of programming your event offers.
If this work is outside your organization’s typical wheelhouse, you might consider partnering with an event planning service that specializes in cross-cultural event production. This can be especially beneficial if you’re hosting a hybrid event with an in-person element. Think about partnering with an event planner or team based in the same city or country as your venue. They’ll be able to provide valuable insights on how to best incorporate local culture into your programming.
4. Develop an Agenda That Caters to the Majority of Your Attendees
Use the information you’ve gleaned about different cultures to create programming that caters to a broad audience. Creating an inclusive agenda will help your event stand out in the competitive landscape.
Punctuality, for example, is one factor you’ll want to consider when planning your agenda. In some cultures, it’s considered rude to start five minutes late. In others, a 30-minute grace period might be considered “on time.” Having a don’t-want-to-miss agenda is especially important if you’re competing with other events for market share.
If you’re not sure where or how to find out what matters to your audience. Consider starting here:
- Focus groups
- Social media
- The expertise of event professionals
5. Keep Communication Constant With Attendees
Regular communication should be a central part of your event marketing strategy. Once you have announced your event and invited attendees to attend or register, you want to create a cadence of regular communication. Once your event planner secures the marquee events or keynote speakers, share that with your audience on social media and through an email blast. You also want to send reminders about key dates leading up to the event.
Once your attendees are locked in, continue the communication train by embedding an event app into your event’s key features. Not only are guests able to stay on top of their agendas at the touch of a finger, but today’s top event apps have networking, engagement and streaming tools built in.
Check out The Best Conference and Mobile Event Apps for Your Hybrid and In-Person Events in 2023 to ensure you choose the right tool for your event.
Plan Global Events and Conferences With Ease
If you’re planning a global event, working with an event planning professional or team can help you navigate all the different variables you need to consider for a memorable event.
Choosing event management software that has the capability to cater to a globally diverse audience lays the groundwork for success. SpotMe makes it easy with virtual and hybrid event capabilities that your audience will love.
Request a demo today and see for yourself just how easy it is to launch a custom event with SpotMe.