Megan from Site Solutions Worldwide gives us an insight in to organising global events for high-end clients.
While I have worked on a variety of programs, after coordinating logistics for the President of the United States as well as other world leaders, I have become very skilled at catering to VIP guests. It can be challenging coordinating security and specialized timelines with dignitaries, while working on all the normal aspects of creating a successful event, however the sense of accomplishment makes it all worth it
Imagine taking attendees to the tarmac of a FedEx facility in Oakland, CA for a reception that allowed them to tour a brand new energy efficient plane. Following the tour they were treated to a California Farmers Market on the runway featuring fresh, local cuisine such as an oyster bar, free-range beef, and organic vegetable tandori, complimented by green energy exhibits and a driving course for electric and alternative fuel vehicles. Security, permitting, transportation, timing and other logistical obstacles were met, resulting in our team receiving an award from ISES Seattle Chapter (where the client was located) for Best Achievement in Logistics in 2012.
One advantage is to attract a global attendee base and to enhance international relationships and awareness. Corporate events also benefit from exposing their employees to another culture and unifying employees, vendors or customers from around the globe.
Benefiting from a well executed contract between two countries requires you to bridge the gap between languages, understand international banking requirements and allow for plenty of advance preparation. Specific challenges include dealing with ever-changing exchange rates and mitigating penalties up front. If these challenges are handled well prior to signature then you and your client will benefit from long-term results.
Would you be surprised to hear that I managed twenty-seven different properties throughout the United Kingdom. About 10 years ago, our company designed a custom online registration system which has the ability to handle simultaneous room blocks. In addition we connect with one representative at each venue to ensure rooming lists and special requests are handled correctly. Working with one contact at each hotel and having an ongoing relationship starting as soon as the contract is signed has developed into one of our best practices that ensures all of our events run smoothly.
I have been so fortunate to travel around the world to major events and although I put in long hours, I am lucky to be able to enjoy the areas I travel to. The office I was working from had a view of Big Ben and I passed Buckingham Palace every day on my walk to work! Who knew that when I walked out of my hotel in London to go to work I would be right in the middle of an Olympic race. I was fortunate enough to get tickets to see Men’s Gymnastics and the Finals for the Women’s synchronized diving. I’ve already made two trips to Brazil and will be going to Russia in a few weeks in support of the 2014 World Cup Soccer and Winter Olympics.
First I have to say to anyone planning international events, take a moment to enjoy the experience. What I’ve learned after multiple international events is that you must build relationships with all sorts of event professionals, local experts and native government and keep an open mind to their ideas and culture.
Megan Brouwer started in the events industry during an internship in college and has worked in this industry ever since. After spending some years in beautiful San Diego, CA, she moved back to New York where for the past four years she has been successfully implementing government, association and corporate meetings or events for Site Solutions Worldwide.