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October 13, 2015

Americas: 16 Tips for International Meetings

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Sue Pelletier blogI went to a fantastic, interactive, and tips-filled session at the American Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting in Detroit this summer on the topic of planning meetings outside the U.S. The august panel—Cameron Curtis, Courtesy Associates; Michelle Malloy, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; Janee Pelletier (great name!), Conference and Logistics Consultants Inc.; and Thomas Reiser, International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis—hit on all the major topics, from legal, financial, and regulatory challenges, to managing attendee, planner, venue, and vendor expectations. Here are just a few of my top takeaways.

• Really large meetings may be hard to place, since U.S.–style convention centers are not common in a lot of other countries.

• Be prepared to pay a la carte for everything from meeting space to AV, especially in Europe.

• Think about whether you want to collect registration fees in U.S. or local currency. One audience member said they use local currency “So we didn’t look so American.” Some planners like to set up a local bank account to use for funds for things like tips and paying drivers. “Always ask how they do it there, and be sensitive to local customs and the local culture,” advised one panelist.

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