Pulling off a memorable, disaster-free event is no easy feat – even when you’re on your home turf. Make that an overseas event, and you’ve got a challenge on your hands.
With a whole new world of potential pitfalls and logistical considerations to take into account, a trusty planning checklist will serve you well on your mission to make your overseas event one to remember.
Today, you’ll get exactly that from the travel experts at Optima Villas, as they share a handful of key considerations for any event planner looking to make a splash overseas and stop any loyal attendees from jumping ship.
1. Visit Your Destination in Advance
Organizing an event overseas can feel a bit like venturing into the unknown – but you can take away some of this unfamiliarity by getting to know your destination well in advance of the event itself. If you know where you’d like to hold your event, seize this opportunity to take a trip to your chosen location and do some primary research. From navigating the area to identifying transport networks, local landmarks, and essential amenities, there are opportunities galore for you to find information that will be valuable to your guests by exploring your destination firsthand.
Don’t forget to check your visa requirements too. Running an event in many foreign countries will be considered working in that country, and you may be breaking the law if you do this under a standard tourist visa. Always check with local authorities before you end up in trouble!
2. Lock Down Your Overseas Event Venue and Catering Early
You can’t promote your overseas event (or, therefore, attract any attendees) until you’ve found a suitable setting and booked this venue for your chosen date. Consider any practical or geographical requirements surrounding your event – for example, you may need access to a large outdoor area or somewhere with plenty of public transport links – and factor these aspects into your decision-making process. While you’re at the venue, try and wrangle a food-tasting so that you can be sure the catering will be up to scratch on the day.
Once you’ve locked your venue down, you’ll be in a position to organise accommodation. Whether you rent villas in Lanzarote or hotel rooms in Hong Kong, finding convenient, high-quality living quarters for the duration of your stay is key – but this will have to remain on your to-do list until you’ve sourced and secured the ideal venue for your event.
3. Source Local Suppliers
One effective way of keeping costs down is choosing local suppliers for your event, for everything from the decor and the catering to the entertainment and technology. As long as everything is booked and paid for in plenty of time, this can provide a cost-effective alternative to transporting various goods and equipment overseas. Better yet, by shopping local when it comes to suppliers, you can add some extra authenticity to your event – embracing your location and everything that comes with it.
4. Take Transport Into Account
If there are elements of your event that require overseas transportation, you’ll need to factor in not only the costs associated with transporting any equipment but also the logistical considerations surrounding shipping. Whether you choose to ship via haulage or arrange the necessary equipment at your event’s destination, you’ll need to make this decision in the early planning stages so that costs and logistics can be considered and arranged in plenty of time.
5. Plan Power Options
When it comes to power, you’ll need to make sure you’re locked and loaded to meet attendees’ expectations on the day of the event. From lighting solutions and computer access to audio and video outputs, you’ll need to account for all of the technology that contributes to a successful event and ensure that you have the on-site facilities to accommodate all of this tech. Understanding overseas power levels and outlets, as well as ensuring you’ll be able to configure all of the essentials at your venue, will be crucial to making sure your event goes off without a hitch.
6. Organise Team Timelines
Finally, you’ll need to guarantee your event team have the time and resources to prepare to their satisfaction and arrive on the day feeling prepped, energetic and at their best. Your utmost concern in this respect should be getting your chosen team members to your destination (and, more specifically, to your venue) with plenty of time to rest, refuel and make any final preparations before the big day. With too little time to spare, your team could be left unorganised, unenthused and ineffective – so arm them with the tools they need to deliver a truly memorable experience for all involved.
After all that, all that’s left to do is get your guests comfortable and kick your event off with a bang – just make sure you’ve got invites and ticketing sorted and you’ll be ready to go, no matter where your event is in the world.