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Taking Your Show On the Road: Planning Regional & International Events


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Taking Your Show On the Road: Planning Regional & International Events

  1. 1. Taking your show on the road What in the world should I do? A brief overview of planning regional and international events Presented by Carlita Pitts Assistant Director of Donor Relations & Reunions The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law
  2. 2. ABOUT ME! <ul><li>Carlita Pitts, B.A. </li></ul><ul><li>I currently serve as the Assistant Director of </li></ul><ul><li>Donor Relations and Reunions at The Ohio </li></ul><ul><li>State University, Moritz College of Law. </li></ul><ul><li>In my position, I oversee donor relations, </li></ul><ul><li>stewardship and special events. </li></ul><ul><li>The Ohio State University is the largest </li></ul><ul><li>university in the United States. We have </li></ul><ul><li>425,000 living alumni around the world and </li></ul><ul><li>boast a global presence through more than </li></ul><ul><li>50 alumni societies and 200 clubs </li></ul><ul><li>throughout the world. </li></ul>COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EDUCATION
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION <ul><li>Planning a regional or international event is different from planning an event in your locale. </li></ul><ul><li>This presentation will cover the major differences and steps you can take to help ensure your regional or international event is a success. </li></ul>COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EDUCATION
  5. 5. COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EDUCATION Murphy’s Law – “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”
  6. 6. Preparation is key… <ul><li>Create a master plan: </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a timeline and checklist. </li></ul><ul><li>Allow 18 months to a year to plan. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the resources that are </li></ul><ul><li>necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>How will you publicize your event? </li></ul><ul><li>How will you conduct event follow-up? </li></ul>COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EDUCATION <ul><li>Define your event goals & objectives: </li></ul><ul><li>What is the purpose of the event? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the event the best or most </li></ul><ul><li>appropriate way to achieve your goals? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you want the participants to take away from the event? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the value of the activity to your organization? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the event in keeping with the organization’s mission? </li></ul>
  7. 7. WHERE DO I START? <ul><li>Rely on your network. They are your best sources. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand local customs . </li></ul><ul><li>Pick up a book on cultural etiquette so you will know the norms. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the money . Understand the intricacies of foreign exchange rates. </li></ul><ul><li>Know your purpose . Make sure the decision to leave your home country actually falls in line with the goals and objectives of the meeting. </li></ul><ul><li>Mind their business . Business practices vary from country to country. </li></ul><ul><li>Pick up the phone . Communicating strictly through e-mail is often not the most effective way to get your point across. </li></ul><ul><li>Get the view from the ground . Do a site inspection. </li></ul><ul><li>Be inclusive . Make sure the destination is one where all attendees can take part. Remember to consider passport and visa issues, flight access, and cost of travel. </li></ul><ul><li>Tell time . Time zones can really make a difference when you are on a tight schedule and you need a response ASAP. </li></ul><ul><li>Read, research, report . Learn a lot about your destination. Be prepared to answer any questions your clients or guests may have regarding safety, dining, transport, money, language, or other issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Make your legal team/attorney your best friend. </li></ul>
  9. 9. LOCATION COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EDUCATION <ul><li>Utilize your network and contacts. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources such as alumni in the area, friends of the organization or donors to provide guidance on recommended dates, venues, caterers, places to stay and ideas on publicizing the event. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check with travel agents. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They can provide information on places to stay, things to see, travel patterns and current trends. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They can also provide information on travel infrastructure, pricing and travel schedules. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research the area that you have selected as an event site. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The U.S. Department of State website - provides specific information on travel alerts, warnings and tips for traveling abroad. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They also have a wealth of information for providing information for alumni associations and alumni events. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Convention & Visitors Bureau of the area that you are visiting is also great resource. They typically have information just for meeting planners. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. LOCATION COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EDUCATION Check to make sure that the event will be held at a time of day that is conducive to the audience’s culture. Be sure to check local calendar’s to make sure that the event does not conflict with holidays, religious observances or other local events. We will discuss culture and etiquette in more detail later. If it’s in your budget, consult with outside event vendors to help with some of the planning.
  11. 11. CULTURE & ETIQUETTE COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EDUCATION Because culture differs greatly from country to country, it’s impossible to outline what’s considered universally acceptable or unacceptable. HUGE mistakes have been made when event managers have failed to research international and regional culture and/or the normal expectations of guests for these types of event. So let’s go around the world in ten minutes to address culture and etiquette in different regions.
  12. 12. CULTURE & ETIQUETTE <ul><li>United States Of America </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting and Greeting </li></ul><ul><li>Greetings are casual. </li></ul><ul><li>A handshake, a smile, and a 'hello' are all that is needed. </li></ul><ul><li>Use first names, and be sure to introduce everyone to each other. </li></ul><ul><li>Gift Giving Etiquette </li></ul><ul><li>In general, Americans give gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and major holidays. </li></ul><ul><li>A gift can be as simple as a card and personal note to something more elaborate. </li></ul><ul><li>When invited to someone's home for dinner, it is polite to bring a small box of good chocolates, a bottle of wine, a potted plant or flowers for the hostess. </li></ul><ul><li>Gifts are normally opened when received. </li></ul><ul><li>Dining Etiquette </li></ul><ul><li>Americans socialize in their homes and ‘backyards’, in restaurants and in other public places. </li></ul><ul><li>Arrive on time if invited for dinner; no more than 10 minutes later than invited to a small gathering. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not begin eating until the hostess starts or says to begin. </li></ul><ul><li>Remain standing until invited to sit down. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not rest your elbows on the table. </li></ul><ul><li>Put your napkin in your lap as soon as you sit down. </li></ul>
  13. 13. CULTURE & ETIQUETTE <ul><li>Latin America </li></ul><ul><li>(Mexico, South America and the Spanish Caribbean) </li></ul><ul><li>Attitudes towards times and schedules are relaxed. </li></ul><ul><li>The main meal of the day is served mid-day. </li></ul><ul><li>Evening social events start late in the evening (9 or 10 pm). </li></ul><ul><li>Gifts: </li></ul><ul><li>Monetary value of item is not as important as the thought. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid white lilies or gift wrappings in purple, white, black or yellow – these represent death and are typically reserved for funerals. </li></ul><ul><li>Greetings: </li></ul><ul><li>Be warm and friendly with a gentle handshake (do not squeeze). </li></ul><ul><li>Address guests by title and surname. First </li></ul><ul><li>name is not used unless the guest mentions use of first name is preferred. </li></ul><ul><li>Religion: </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately 98% of the region is Catholic. </li></ul><ul><li>Be sensitive and aware of religious festivals and observances. </li></ul><ul><li>Body language: </li></ul><ul><li>Difference in personal space. It Is </li></ul><ul><li>customary for people to stand very close </li></ul><ul><li>to each other when talking. </li></ul>
  14. 14. CULTURE & ETIQUETTE <ul><li>Greeting </li></ul><ul><li>Simple, firm handshake. </li></ul><ul><li>Koreans may use both hands to greet you. </li></ul><ul><li>In Thailand you may be greeted with closed palms (as if praying). </li></ul><ul><li>Religion and culture </li></ul><ul><li>Depends on area; religion plays an </li></ul><ul><li>important role in behavior, lifestyle and business. </li></ul><ul><li>Gifts </li></ul><ul><li>The way a gift is presented is more </li></ul><ul><li>important than the gift itself. </li></ul><ul><li>Body language </li></ul><ul><li>Americans can return a bow with a slight </li></ul><ul><li>bend of the waist. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not make casual body contact. </li></ul><ul><li>Long or frequent eye contact is considered </li></ul><ul><li>rude and intimidating. </li></ul><ul><li>Dining etiquette </li></ul><ul><li>Wait for guests to start eating/drinking. </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to toast throughout the </li></ul><ul><li>meal service. </li></ul><ul><li>Business is not discussed during a meal. </li></ul><ul><li>They do not have a “cocktail hour”. </li></ul><ul><li>Seating upon arrival is normal. </li></ul>COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EDUCATION Far East ( Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, North and South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore)
  15. 15. CULTURE & ETIQUETTE <ul><li>Eastern Europe </li></ul><ul><li>(Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Poland, </li></ul><ul><li>Hungary, Romania and the former </li></ul><ul><li>Yugoslavia: Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Serbia) </li></ul><ul><li>Greeting: </li></ul><ul><li>Firm handshake use. </li></ul><ul><li>Title of full name is expected. </li></ul><ul><li>Dining etiquette </li></ul><ul><li>Due to some religious guidelines certain </li></ul><ul><li>foods and alcohol are prohibited. </li></ul><ul><li>Gifts: </li></ul><ul><li>Exchange of gifts (particularly U.S. products) appreciated. </li></ul><ul><li>Western Europe </li></ul><ul><li>(England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, </li></ul><ul><li>Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and </li></ul><ul><li>Switzerland) </li></ul><ul><li>Greeting: </li></ul><ul><li>Firm handshake. </li></ul><ul><li>The people of England, Wales and Scotland </li></ul><ul><li>prefer being called “British”. </li></ul><ul><li>Respect for authority and title is important, therefore use of title and full name is expected. </li></ul><ul><li>Dining etiquette </li></ul><ul><li>In Germany, do not drink before the guest(s). </li></ul><ul><li>Food is celebrated and enjoyed. </li></ul><ul><li>Business is not discussed during the meal. </li></ul><ul><li>Gifts: </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid presenting wine or chocolates to a guest from France. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not wrap German gifts in white, brown or black paper or ribbon. </li></ul>
  16. 16. CURRENCY <ul><li>Currency conversion can be a nightmare . </li></ul><ul><li>Managing foreign currency exchange for your event is just as important as managing all the </li></ul><ul><li>other areas surrounding your event. </li></ul><ul><li>Establish the currency – take control of foreign exchanges by working in your supplier’s </li></ul><ul><li>currency. Working in foreign currency eliminates the risk of sending too much, too little or </li></ul><ul><li>being re-billed. </li></ul><ul><li>Forward contracts (secured rate) – A forward contract allows you to purchase a specific </li></ul><ul><li>amount on foreign currency at a current rate of exchange for delivery on a set date, typically </li></ul><ul><li>between a month and a year in the future. Once the exchange rate is locked in, the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>dollar amount is set for the duration of the agreement regardless of market movements. A </li></ul><ul><li>secured rate allows you to proceed with price listing and budgeting plans without currency </li></ul><ul><li>fluctuations. </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor the Market – Staying informed about relevant world events and rate influctuations </li></ul><ul><li>is one of the most basic means of managing foreign currency. To take advantage of short </li></ul><ul><li>term fluctuation, contact your bank or a foreign exchange supplier who offer complimentary </li></ul><ul><li>foreign exchange services. Be sure to compare service fees. </li></ul>COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EDUCATION
  17. 17. COMMUNICATION/PUBLICITY COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EDUCATION <ul><li>What are the best ways to publicize my event? </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize your local resource to advise you of the best methods of sending your invitations </li></ul><ul><li>They can help with spelling of names, pronunciation and correct titles </li></ul><ul><li>Digital invitations (email, website) </li></ul><ul><li>Quick and cost-effective. </li></ul><ul><li>You can also track whether or not they were received. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t have to be concerned with time zone issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) - Depending on the type of event and the audience, social media is a great way to promote your event. </li></ul><ul><li>Quick and cost effective. </li></ul><ul><li>Great way to keep in contact with your audience and provide updates. </li></ul><ul><li>Most phones have social media applications where invitations are automatically added to phone and PC calendar. </li></ul><ul><li>They are great with generating buzz </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure to follow-up with those who have rsvp’d online to make sure they remember the event. </li></ul>
  18. 18. COMMUNICATION/PUBLICITY <ul><li>Mail </li></ul><ul><li>Can be extremely slow, depending on the area of the country and where it’s sent. Be sure to research common methods of mail delivery. </li></ul><ul><li>No way to track whether or not it was received unless you purchase receipt </li></ul><ul><li>confirmation. </li></ul><ul><li>Mailing invitations are a great “official invitation” source. </li></ul><ul><li>Phone </li></ul><ul><li>It’s the old fashioned way, but still effective. </li></ul><ul><li>You may have a difficult time reaching the person due to differences in the time </li></ul><ul><li>zone. </li></ul><ul><li>V.I.P.’s may be difficult to reach. </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of pronunciation of names before you call. </li></ul><ul><li>RSVP’s </li></ul><ul><li>Who will handle rsvp’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in mind that in some areas of the world, being invited to an event is a commitment. Don’t invite more than you can accommodate. </li></ul><ul><li>In other areas/cultures time isn’t critical. </li></ul>
  19. 19. SAFETY, SECURITY & LOGISTICS <ul><li>Passports </li></ul><ul><li>Apply for them EARLY! </li></ul><ul><li>The U.S. State department processes over 17 million passport applications per year. </li></ul><ul><li>The standard timeframe to receive passports is six to eight weeks but could take up </li></ul><ul><li>to twelve depending on the number of applications and time of year. </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure to continue to remind staff to send in applications so that no one is left behind or keep a checklist of those who have applied and received them. </li></ul><ul><li>Shipping Dilemmas – (gifts, equipment, decorations, personal items, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>When planning an event outside of the U.S. getting materials to and from the destination </li></ul><ul><li>requires careful planning and execution – and, in some cases expert help. </li></ul><ul><li>Hire a customs broker </li></ul><ul><li>A customs broker is critical. It could be the difference between having your material at your event – or nothing at all. Custom brokers are experts at exporting and importing goods so that your items arrive on time. </li></ul>COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EDUCATION
  20. 20. SAFETY, SECURITY & LOGISTICS <ul><li>Avoid Customs delays </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation is critical </li></ul><ul><li>Keep all paperwork regarding your shipments with you. </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial Invoice (legal agreement that gives your broker the information needed to move shipment into a foreign country). </li></ul><ul><li>A list of the documents you are sending on business letterhead. </li></ul><ul><li>If you have electronic equipment, keep a list of the identification numbers. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your Federal Tax ID with you. </li></ul><ul><li>Airport Security Woes </li></ul><ul><li>Allow plenty of time to arrive at the airport to get to your destination. </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure to arrange transportation in advance. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget about the differences in time zones. </li></ul><ul><li>Check the airport website for materials for updates regarding cancellations, delays, and items that are prohibited. </li></ul>
  21. 21. LEGAL ISSUES <ul><li>Contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure that the contract is detailed as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Key components are governing language, choice of currency and governing law for dispute resolution. </li></ul><ul><li>Responsibility for accommodating persons with disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>An effective force majeure cancellation clause is essential. </li></ul><ul><li>Data Security </li></ul><ul><li>Pick a location that can assist you with preventing the loss of valuable information. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to design the agenda of your event so that it doesn’t rely heavily on technology. </li></ul><ul><li>If technology is a necessity, work with the site location to create barriers for access to wired and wireless networks, install firewalls to deter hackers and secure areas where laptops may be left unattended. </li></ul><ul><li>If you are traveling to Europe, and have laptops, hair dryers, or anything that requires electricity, you need to bring an adapter. </li></ul>COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EDUCATION
  22. 22. NOT SO SMALL DETAILS <ul><li>Make sure that prior to the event you brief your staff on details of the event </li></ul><ul><li>REMIND THEM: </li></ul><ul><li>Where they are going. </li></ul><ul><li>How to pronounce names and titles. </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural details (greetings, dining etiquette, dress code). </li></ul><ul><li>Have a professional review the nametags. </li></ul><ul><li>BE CREATIVE: </li></ul><ul><li>Bring your organization to the destination. </li></ul><ul><li>If it’s an alumni event – decorate with school colors, sing school songs, or any other traditions that invoke campus spirit. </li></ul><ul><li>If it’s a fundraising event for your organization, bring gifts that reminds them of home. </li></ul><ul><li>If you are unsure, consult a professional gift consulting company. They can provide you with gifting ideas that are appropriate, unique, and can easily go through customs if they have to be transported. </li></ul><ul><li>Most people that are away from home, want gifts from home. </li></ul>COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EDUCATION
  23. 23. THANK YOU! <ul><li>Carlita M. Pitts </li></ul><ul><li>The Ohio State University </li></ul><ul><li>Moritz College of Law </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EDUCATION