We know, it doesn’t take a lot of persuasion to plan an event in Europe. But aside from the obvious perks of venturing to some of the world’s most enchanting cities, there are also incredible business benefits to be had. In the 2018 Global Meetings Forecast, Issa Jouaneh underlines the growing trend toward localization, with companies expanding global programs due to the “reality that business happens locally.” So despite the ease of connectivity presented by digital technologies, the best business is still happening face-to-face within a hyperlocal context. But if you still need five reasons to take your event to Europe, we have them for you.
Develop Outstanding Customer Relations
Hosting an overseas event can certainly spur feelings of uncertainty for event planners. The unfamiliars are many: currency and tax considerations; venue selection; data protection; cultural etiquette; the basic differences in communication and audience acquisition. But when it comes to building great customer connection, nothing beats face time with your clients on their home turf.
To alleviate some of the logistical pressure, get local support. Having a savvy partner on the ground is critical to building an event that not only suits the city or region, but that also champions your brand. ROI aside, the best outcome of an international event is the true partnership that comes from meeting European clients where they’re at (figuratively and literally).
Reach New Audiences
While many European customers will travel to North America for events, most will not. Due to the time and budgetary requirements of international travel, you’re likely (and lucky) to have a specialist or senior leader attend your meeting. And while this caliber of attendee is attractive, much of the impetus to grow and innovate an organization comes from deep within—the production, creative, HR, and marketing teams. Hosting a regional event can bring those folks to the table (to great ends) and connect you to a wider range of companies. A more diverse attendee pool not only offers a greater platform to network and to litmus-test new ideas, but is a landmine for consumer research. So keep your ears open!
Close Proximity to Everything
The entire area of Europe is only slightly bigger than the continental United States, and it’s incredibly well networked. With the slew of low-cost European airlines, major carriers, and the first-class Eurail providing a fast and civilized means for getting around, you can hop from Lisbon to Dublin, Barcelona to Paris, Rome to Berlin in a matter of hours. So schedule a user group meeting over breakfast in London, then take a comfortable 2-hour Chunnel ride to Brussels for a networking soirée in the evening. With the right travel plan, you can maximize time with current and potential clients.
A Dazzling Array of Venues
Europe is an undeniable treasure trove of breathtaking landscapes, architecture, and (yes) event spaces. With so many thriving economic centers across the continent that are well-designed for corporate gatherings, there’s no shortage of major event centers or smaller venues to choose from. And thanks to the Europe’s storied architectural traditions, you’ll find a host of gorgeous buildings turn event spaces as well. So wow your clients with a posh dinner on London Bridge (and please invite us!).
Deepen Your Customer Understanding
You may think you know what your European customers want and need—and you might be right. But you might not be. Social norms differ from the U.S. to Europe, and from one European country to another. In general, Europeans are more reserved than Americans, which means you may only have a cursory understanding of their pains and what will truly work for them in their business environments. Meeting your clients in their regional home and workplace can uncover the subtleties you need to deliver the right product. This invaluable information helps to not only build current business, but to position your company for future growth.
With all the business (and leisure) benefits of planning an event in Europe, the question isn’t if you should do it, but when.
At Banzai, we help professionals like you build and host B2B events across the globe—yes, even in Europe. If you’re looking for experts to plan a well-attended marketing event packed with the right audience, connect with us. We’re happy to support your next international event.