When it comes to global brand marketing, perception is everything, and sometimes keeping brand continuity in events across country lines can pose a difficult challenge. That’s why it’s so important to work with a team that can deliver a seamless experience and provide consistent service — in the quality of content and brand experience, messaging, engagement, and more — around the globe.
So how do you ensure that you’ve got the right partner in your corner? You need to be prepared to ask the right questions to ensure that they can deliver a consistent, quality brand experience for your attendees, no matter where they are.
Get the same service and quality, no matter the location
Working with a global partner can help you close the gap between domestic and international events, providing dependable customer service and quality with a deep and continuing understanding of your organization’s goals and needs.
This helps to not only provide the best, most cohesive brand experience worldwide (with the necessary differences adjusted to the local markets), but also a level of confidence and trust that is missing when working with a variety partners and vendors as one-offs. When they function as an extension of your team, it doesn’t just make things run more smoothly — it allows for improvements year over year.
“Having a small team who knows our event inside and out, understands our budgetary restraints, and has access to larger production houses than what a venue’s AV team has to offer ultimately makes planning easier,” says Hilary Ashford-Ng of the Climate Reality Project. “Not only is our event’s look and feel consistent, but our team dynamic stays strong and intact as we plan each challenging global event."
Keep your strategy (and results) more consistent
When a global partner fully understands and helps to inform your brand experience strategy, then it is much easier to keep your global events focused and feeding back to your organization’s business and marketing goals. Bringing in a new partner in each global location can make that a challenge, which can also create a negative impact on the overall ROI of the program.
Working together year after year on an event, rather than sourcing unknown local suppliers every time, creates stability and consistency. A good partner will have the deep experience that comes from working more often in global locations, allowing them to leverage more established local relationships and their collective knowledge to help introduce and execute new ideas that work within the context of your strategy. It’s up to you to keep your global partner accountable for bringing innovation to the equation.
Fill the knowledge gap for local markets
When it comes to markets you’re less familiar with, sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. Go-to-market strategies may vary, cultural nuances can be tricky to navigate, and activations might be different.
But those differences don’t have to drive the brand experience you deliver if you work with a partner who can provide both the location-specific knowledge to inform your strategy as well as understand the bigger picture for your brand.
“For our annual meeting, we want to make sure that there is a consistent brand experience, both for international participants who attend every year and for the local delegates who don’t travel with our event and are often attending for the first time,” says Sarah O’Connell from INTA. “That’s why it’s so important that our event has international continuity, but also the local touch of the hosting city and its culture.”
Here are some questions that you can ask your partners to help make sure that your bases are covered on all your events around the world:
- How does my partner operate locally?
- What is the staff’s core competence, and do they have experience within my industry and my kind of event? How do they work together with my core team?
- If my partners operate with local suppliers, how are these vetted? How can my partner ensure their quality and service standards?
- Does my global partner consistently evaluate the quality of local suppliers?
- Does my global partner have the local culture and the ability to integrate it into my event?
- Has the partner done work in the market in which I plan my event?