In today’s fast-paced business world, working with global partners, co-owners, suppliers, and customers is a reality. While some international projects are short-lived, there will come a time when businesses will decide to expand their operations to global waters in an effort to earn more revenue and increase their customer base in the process. However, no matter what situation you and your business end up in, you must always remember to adjust your delivery style and approach when traveling abroad for international meetings. After all, you’ll have to communicate and share your point with business individuals who might not understand your language well.
Chances are your company might’ve onboarded employees from different times zones, cultures, and languages. So, keeping everyone on the same page during a meeting will be a challenging task indeed. With that in mind, let us look at a few ways you can manage international conferences more efficiently and effectively.
- Go For Virtual Meetings
It won’t be surprising to you that business travel has somewhat been limited in the past couple of years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, you will find that this dip will continue long after the Covid-19 pandemic is over. As a result, many businesses have decided to move to hybrid or virtual meetings where individuals can join in person through a video conferencing program or application.
That said, consider hiring a virtual meeting room or workspace to make things a lot easier for you. These ‘locations’ provide the same perks and benefits as a physical location, such as a registered address and phone number. So, if you’re planning to host a meeting in another country such as Taiwan, consider googling the term ‘workspace in Taiwan ‘to discover numerous virtual workspace and meeting room providers.
- Bring People Together By Breaking The Ice
It would be wise to utilize various ‘ice breaking’ techniques during your meetings to get to know your attendees. However, if you still have difficulties managing the business meetings alone you can ask your business coach to manage them. The right chosen coach will not only help you grow your business but will also help you to have the right communication with people whether they are investors, partners or employees. If you are not good at “ice breaking” techniques, ask the coach to do so. For instance, you can try a method known as the ‘recent photo story’ game, where you can ask attendees to show the most recent picture they took on their smartphone while sharing a short story about it. Moreover, you can also engage in various other conversions, such as asking attendees to suggest useful mobile phone applications. Or you can mix it up by asking them to share their favorite meal recipes or time-management tips.
While party games in work-related meetings might sound odd to you, they are perfect for breaking the ice and raising your attendees’ energy levels. Not to mention, it will provide them with an excellent bonding experience with the other attendees.
- Talk About Cultural Differences
Whenever you host a meeting, always remain aware that your attendees will be from various backgrounds and cultures, and you have to treat everyone with respect and dignity. For instance, learn about multiple religious and cultural holidays beforehand and invite your attendees to share about them in the meeting to build trust. Furthermore, always be open-minded and be ready to adapt your approach if you see an advantage.
While time zone differences will undoubtedly cause issues during virtual meetings, you must trust your individuals to attend when it suits them. In the end, language doesn’t necessarily have to be a barrier. So, as long as you and your attendees agree upon a common language, all is good!
- Define Core Corporate Values
While your attendees might be geographically remote, providing them whit clarity about core corporate values is vital to bridging the physical gap. So, ensure that your attendees have access to your business’s corporate structure, allowing them to know who to direct their questions to. For instance, if you’re hosting a meeting with your remote employees, explain how your business’s corporate values feed into their work. In addition, each employee should understand their targets and individual goals.
So, to achieve such a thing, consider setting up a one-to-one meeting beforehand, so your employees attend the international group meeting with the right mindset.
- Utilize Tech And Tools To Manage International Meetings
As discussed before, virtual rooms are perfect for hosting virtual meetings. However, the usage of technology doesn’t end there. For instance, video conference tools and apps are excellent for connecting with your attendees during a virtual meeting, regardless of their locations and time zone. Furthermore, a shared calendar app to schedule meetings with your employees, stakeholders, and potential investors makes organizing international conferences extremely hassle-free. In the end, tech doesn’t have to be complicated. However, utilizing the right technology in your international meetings will make a world of difference when managing international conferences.
- Utilize Translations To Minimize The Language Barrier
If you’re hosting a meeting with your international employees, you might have to deal with individuals who speak different languages. So, how can you get the most out of your international meeting in this situation? It is immensely simple to do such a thing. In fact, you should consider getting your companies global communications and training documentation translated into the languages that your employees understand. Doing so will allow you to improve your personal connection with the attendees while preventing misunderstands and mistakes in the process.
Furthermore, if you don’t provide your attendees with communication documents in a language they can read, speak, and write, they might not understand their legal obligations, safety aspects, and roles. In fact, in some companies, businesses need to provide their employees with communication documents in their native language as they’re required by law. So, conder hiring an outsourced translation service provider to leverage quality language translation solutions to fulfill your international meeting need and requirements.
Successfully hosting and managing international meetings is a balancing act indeed. However, when you get things right, you will receive tons of rewards and benefits. After all, collaborating with individuals from different cultures and backgrounds exposes you to new experiences and ideas. Moreover, such a thing will incorporate the innovations and creativity that your meetings lack. So, consider following the ways mentioned above to ensure your international conferences go as smoothly as possible.