Things to Know Before Launching an International Meeting

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Things to Know Before Launching an International Meeting

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MeetingsNet Webinar conducted Nov 18, 2009

MeetingsNet Webinar conducted Nov 18, 2009

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  • 1. Things to Know Before Launching an International Meeting Karen Malone, Vice President Meeting Services , HIMSS Peter Turner, Director Business Development – US Market, MCI Group
  • 2. This Happening to You?
    • A growing presence of non-US
      • Member and customer product consumption (e.g. certification)
      • Attendance at US meetings
      • Author contributions to publications
    • Greater reliance on international members and customers to maintain revenue growth
    • Regional members, customers, partners and leaders demanding you be more “present and engaged” in their region
    • Effects of globalization on industry and/or profession you represent
  • 3. Global Growth Trends
    • 24/7 Global Project Management – requiring interoperable standards & practices from body of knowledge to practices
    • Outsourcing (Asia) spreads to white collar (BPO)
    • Asian skill “gaps” in knowledge application
    • Customer service expectation is global whether NY, London, Dubai, Singapore
    • Massive fluctuation in youth and aged groups with new consumer habits, learning modes, and supply of labor
    • Workforce mobility & diversity acceleration – global expats; cultural assimilation
    • Emerging market’s growing middle class demands for goods and services
    • Knowledge becoming more diffuse (Asia)
    • As standards of living rise demand for "non formal" education grows
  • 4. Common Challenges Ability to Operate Locally Capacity to Deliver Locally Relevant Products Barriers Lack of regional experience and knowledge Costs and need to assess ROI (event strategy) No license to transact business (tax/legal) Need locally relevant product, marketing and business development Higher risk and competence to execute properly in region
  • 5. Benchmark Local Markets by Competitive Factors
  • 6. Who’s More Competitive?
  • 7. Site Selection
    • Research, Research, Research
    • -Demographic basis/need/support
    • -Destinations that appeal/draw
    • -Venues that work
    • -Infrastructure that works
    • Resources
    • -Other planners
    • -Convention bureaus
    • -Dept. of Commerce
    • -National sales representatives
    • -Your suppliers
    • -Local/regional members and exhibitors
  • 8. Negotiation
    • Use your contacts
    • Convention bureau and commerce department for marketing support and other financial assistance
    • Governmental agencies
    • Coopetition or collaboration with others
    • What is negotiable?
  • 9. Risk Mitigation
    • Currency fluctuations
      • Meeting revenues should be collected in the currency of the event country since you will pay expenses in the same currency
      • If you have offices in that region, you should use profits to support local efforts
      • Keep proceeds in a foreign bank account to help with future events
      • If repatriating funds is desired, it is good to buy a currency hedge to lower exposure
    • Travel costs
      • Ensure that a location has the necessary air travel infrastructure and a reasonable schedule and pricing
      • Know local cost of business (VAT, GST) and process for reclamation
      • Secure good local partners who know the market and who may offer influence as a volume purchaser to help you before, during and after contract negotiations
    • Registration offerings
      • Locally aligned value proposition (needs = benefits, who sends the delegates)
      • Pricing strategy (entry vs active, brand value, competition)
    • Cultural differences
      • Program format, schedule, need for translation or interpretation can vary
      • Get advice from volunteer leaders or local partners.
    • Co-locate or partner
      • Share costs to help lower risk
      • Access to attendee prospects and even to gain endorsements
    • Venue contracts
      • Ask a lot of questions and make no assumptions
  • 10. Marketing & Sponsorship
    • Marketing plan
    • Internal marketing environment
      • Is our marketing data current and accurate?
      • Are we pricing the right way?
      • Is our marketing communications right?
    • External marketing environment
      • What is the nature of our 'customer?
        • Needs and expectations
        • Buyer decision process
        • Perception of our brand and loyalty to it
        • Price sensitivity
        • Cultural nature of the market?
      • How are we positioning versus competitors?
      • PEST in the region?
    • Event design and positioning
    • Pricing strategy
    • List development (multipliers and rentals)
    • Direct sales (telemarketing), direct mail, advertising
    • Local website with registration options
    • Indirect marketing - Supporting regional/national organizations, PR and media partnerships, reciprocal agreements for advertising/branding
    • Sponsorship plan
    • Analyze existing sponsorship packages
    • Prospect phone interviews to define needs/prototype
    • Define sponsorship value proposition and unique selling points (features and benefits)
    • Sponsorship offer package – financial, media, etc
    • Prospect list development and qualification
    • Sponsorship collateral development
    • Campaign Plan - direct sales, direct mail, advertising, social media
    • Sponsor agreement with deliverables and expectations
    • Onsite sponsor relationship management
    • Follow up and evaluations
  • 11. Value of Local Partners
    • Flexible, scalable, ready to go operations model
    • Proven experience and expertise:
      • MARCOM, sponsorship and partnership development, sales, event mgmt, housing, registration, logistics
    • Local people and practices to address culture and business
    • Focus to help define and sustain business or operating models
    • Flexibility to work with third party product or service providers to ensure locally relevant customer experiences
    • Financially strong, diverse practice
    • Ability to extend their tax and legal status to help as a currency hedge and overall financial management
    • Ability to integrate with your practices, reporting, and communication
    • Leverage existing relationships with companies, governments, and academic institutions
  • 12. Elements of A Good Event Strategy
    • Customer Segmentation Profiling – to develop a profile model of need, expectations and desired outcomes
    • Regional Economic, Business, Social, Technical Trends – strength/weaknesses of market
    • Country to Country Analysis – to confirm best event location by local market strength into that destination versus meeting logistics strengths
    • Competitive Analysis – to shape your competitive advantage
    • Comparative Analysis – contrast business/ops models of other associations
    • Financial Analysis – business model needed to deliver the value your members and customers want (and how you plan to deliver)
    • Operational Analysis – what’s required to deliver effectively and efficiently within the region
    • Product Audit - sell them what they want not what you have… adapt product to local need (design, delivery and message)
  • 13. For More Information KMalone@himss.org or www.himss.org Peter.turner@mci-group.com or www.growglobally.org