Key Takeaways for the Global Professional
By: Michelle Stoddard Crowley, Manager, Global Development
Professional Convention Management Association
Last week, over 90 meeting professionals attended PCMA’s Global Professionals Conference in Las Vegas on the tail end of IMEX America. The education program, put together by PCMA’s Global Task Force, focused on providing sessions on doing global business and an opportunity for global planners and suppliers to meet, connect and exchange ideas. The education program began with Afshin Molavi’s insights on the future of development and where industry, economies and population is growing. One surprising statistic included that there are over 200 million 15-25 year olds in India presently, showing what a huge population and potential opportunity for growth in that market in the future. Afshin also recommended that professionals look at growth in the sense of cities, not countries. This allows for local focus as the population continues to grow in density in and around cities.
Following Afshin’s keynote, planners had an opportunity to attend the Country Solutions Learning Lounge where they could engage in a knowledge exchange on destinations they knew very little about from the suppliers attending and ask questions about doing business in that country. To keep the energy up, the concluding session of the day was in a stump the experts format, allowing attendees to have some fun posing questions about the industry and global business to the panel of experts.
On Friday morning, attendees had the opportunity to attend 2 out of 3 breakouts, all focused on communication in doing business globally. Randy Tanaka presented a session about training your volunteers and staff to work with multiple cultures. Using Hawaii’s experience with the APEC conference last year, Randy shared that the following points are key:
- Clarity in communication is key and vital to communicate effectively
- Use local universities as resources, they have a great pool of volunteers, but also knowledge and research
Marek Wawrzyniak presented on social media and how you can localize your message when working in different parts of the world. Some key tips shared included:
- Ensure you have a local time zone listener. It is important to know what is being said while you are awake and sleeping.
- You must track everything – be sure you have a CRM strategy in place to prove effectiveness in a local environment.
Suzanne Carawan shared her experience and insights on localizing your PR message. A few key points included:
- Niche marketing is crucial to use now. Mass e-mailing is not efficient; you need to contact your potential attendees by creating member segments. You will be much more efficient if you contact your potential attendees by their attendee type. It’s okay to ask your potential attendees a lot of questions if you tell them why and for what.
- If you have a PR nightmare, you need to acknowledge, accept, and apologize immediately (within 12 hours), and then learn from your mistake.
The event concluded with a final opportunity for attendees to pose questions to their peers about doing business globally. PCMA’s Global Task looks forward to continuing to provide opportunities for this group to connect and exchange ideas all year round and at other PCMA events.