International business developments have increased the need for global communications and event organization. The tools most often used are VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), email and the telephone. While these tools are great to keep people connected, it is still difficult to organize an event. There is a lot more planning and logistics needed when planning an international event.
I was tasked with leading Celergo’s Core Values group in 2012 and a member in 2013. The Core Values group is a team of Celergo employees that promotes what our company stands for. Those values are: Passion, Integrity, Dignity, Respect, Teamwork, Global Diversity, Entrepreneurialism and Work-Life Balance. Being a part of the team was a great honor, but also presented a lot of challenges. While I had the standard tools listed above to organize and communicate an event to the team, it was a challenge to get the events finalized. In order for these events to roll-out without issues, our team would have meetings every month to discuss potential events, and collaborated closely to ensure every aspect was taken care of.
Celergo currently has three offices located in Budapest, Singapore and Chicago. Organizing an event across all offices would be difficult for even the savvy planner. Therefore, I came up with a plan of action on how to organize events as follows:
1. What is known in your office might not be known in foreign offices. To address this challenge, have a lead in every office. While this may be an obvious step, it can be overlooked if you use a centralized approach to planning. Having a lead allows you to have eyes in every office, while also allowing these offices to form their own teams that report to your lead directly.
2. What you think you said might not be what was heard by others. Make sure your communication is direct and understood. This goes back to simple Communications 101. If you have a plan of action, make sure that it is understood and taken to heart by all offices. You may need to have multiple calls to make sure the message is fully understood and can be executed by the leads.
3. What is feasible in your office may not be feasible in every location. Whether this is a pizza party, an ice cream social, or a karaoke event, you need to be aware that every office might not have access to the same amenities or resources. I have found this to be the biggest challenge that comes into play. You will often need to modify an event for it to be well received in other offices. This is where your remote leads can be very helpful in explaining the available resources office interests ensuring that all employees have a great time.4. Be flexible with other offices. If you are leading a global event, you need to be flexible with your schedule. Being a lead means that you will be going above and beyond what is asked of you. That may mean that sometimes you will be up late or early to have a call with your global team. At the end of the day, the success of your events falls on you.
There are plenty of other steps you can take to ensure proper event coordination, but these are the four points I keep in mind when leading a global event. So take note and develop the ideas above, and anyone can shine leading a global team through that wonderful wine and cheese party or amazing charity event.