Bonding delegates with each other and their hosts

Survey findings continue to indicate that one of the main reasons participants attend business events is to network. But how crucial is the connection between the delegate experience and the destination?

Delegates journey to our destinations fully prepared to engage. Though they come from a multitude of nations, speaking different languages they all come craving the same thing: and enlightening and unique expereience. Yet they are likeminded people and arrive already connected by a common bond: their affiliation to an association, organisation or company. So, the challenge for the destination is how to be the bridge what connects our visitors to the destination and thereby create an environment that puts everyone at ease and  is conducive to the business at hand. 

To ensure successful international business event gatherings – whether meetings or incentives – it is vital to pay attention to the importance of communications and culture. 

Communication begins long before the event – for the participants need a variety of details that can be provided from the destination’s convention bureau. Armed with precise information about the city, visas, customs, immigration, currency exchange and transfers into the city, participants travel with ease and confidence. When one travels outside their familiar environment, it is equally important to communicate a sense of welcome upon arrival. 

In Seoul, this happens with a welcome message that appears on the digital displays over the baggage carousels. This simple act sets the tone and attendees instantly feel a sense of identity and pride. They know the destination has been waiting for them; they belong here. Certainly, I feel the same way attending industry tradeshows such as the annual MPI or ICCA gatherings where many a city place banners along street to welcome us. 

The same details must be communicated in regards to venues. Maps and signage assure that participants can find the location of meetings and sessions within the meeting place. So too is notification about the various apps available to navigate the city and venue.

This all ensures a seamless and smooth event leaving plenty of energy to network and engage. 

Keep in mind too that every business event strives to be extraordinary. This is where culture comes into play and provides an opportunity to bring all attendees together like never before. 

Here I stress the importance of unique venues. Literally to get delegates outside the box and to a special place that puts them in touch with the history, entertainment, trends and an authentic taste of the destination. These rich cultural events are a shared experience with a unifying effect that can bring delegates even closer together. n

Maureen O’Crowley is vice-president, Seoul Convention Bureau at Seoul Tourism Organisation 


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