Local yet global: the art of translating UK event excellence overseas

At Event Concept we’ve been delivering large-scale international events for years

The UK is known across the world for its event delivery expertise, in fact, you would be hard pushed to find a large event anywhere in the world without a team of UK based professionals involved in its delivery – and event professionals from elsewhere often choose to work in the UK due to this reputation.

At Event Concept we’ve been delivering large-scale international events for years, ranging across conferences, awards shows, exhibitions and brand activations, all drawing attendees from around the world. We are a London-based company so wherever the client is based and wherever the event is being held, they are seeking to buy the London product and the London standard of excellence – it’s our responsibility to deliver it regardless of location.

Wherever it is taking place, every event takes tenacity, dedication, and effort to get right, not to mention a huge amount of perseverance. Budget and risk must be balanced, and therefore compromises may be necessary. It is important to forge a partnership with suppliers and liaise closely with your clients to align with their appetite for risk.

Each location will bring with it a unique set of challenges but also a unique set of opportunities. Working with other cultures is always interesting and gives you an opportunity to learn. It could be a new method of tackling a problem, or diplomacy and negotiation. Keeping an open mind is key whilst maintaining a clear focus on your objectives.

Here are four key areas to keep in mind when thinking about events of this nature:

James Connell Event Concept
Author:
James Connell, Production Director, Event Concept

Originally published in C&IT. Read the original article here.

1. Expertise as standard

If you’re managing international events, then your clients are buying your expertise and delivery standards. Therefore, you must deliver as if you were on your home turf. At Event Concept, we have a full range of technical production equipment, a scenic workshop, and a team of experts in each area, so our preference is to do it all ourselves. That, obviously, is not always feasible globally, so when outsourcing it is important to research and do due diligence. A partnership with a local Production Manager or ‘Fixer’ who you can trust to help you navigate the local regulations and customs can be invaluable in these instances.

2. Location, location, location

Traditionally global events are staged in multi-market hotel chains, regardless of the geographical location. Which makes sense, they might seem like a safer bet than the alternatives, and sometimes taking that approach is the right one. But nothing beats the culture of a museum or the expansive experience of a legendary concert hall. Whichever approach you take when it comes to the venue it’s vital to ensure attendees have the chance to experience local culture, whether that’s via the main location, field trips, hospitality, performances, or something else. The overall attendee experience depends on it.

3. Paying it forward

There is a rising tide of philanthropy washing through the events industry – and that’s no bad thing. Companies are more and more aware not only of the impact their events have on the environment but also their potential to have a positive impact on the local economy. Thankfully these two are mutually beneficial, buying locally reduces the carbon footprint of the event and keeps the budget within the local economy. Delivering on this means working closely with trusted local suppliers. How you collaborate is key to this. We learn from local suppliers, they learn from us, and everyone (including the client) benefits.

4. Pragmatic production

Logistics are of course central to any event, but in some markets and locations, they pose an entirely different level of challenge. Most things in the events world are possible given enough time, enough budget and the right team, however, the moment one of those three is limited then it’s important to be sensible about what can be achieved. Sometimes local infrastructure is not available so do you evolve the vision, or do you dig deep into the budget to bring in what is required? Time is a commodity which never seems to be in abundance, however, if you have the right team and the right budget a lot can be achieved if you remain focused on the key objectives and are happy to adapt as the project evolves.

Rolling out events in different markets requires expertise and experience to deliver them with excellence. Ultimately, a flexible and bespoke approach to each show is needed plus a team who understand when and how much they need to step in, or step back.

A team of experts who can embrace the location in which they are operating and collaborate closely with local suppliers is the only way to deliver success for clients via UK standards of excellence, regardless of location.

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