A critical factor to consider when having a business event with people from different countries is their varying approaches and needs. How should you make decisions, deliberate ideas, and address disagreements appropriately for everybody? Should there be default cultural preferences? What can you do to guarantee equality among people from inferior cultures? Let’s find out below.
Beware Of Language Barriers
Many attendees may struggle with unfamiliar language and communicate or participate less. Consider providing written materials before the event begins to make it bearable for them and put them at ease.
Doing so familiarizes them with the event ahead of time. Having live translations during the event will also come in handy to ensure attendees from non-native nationalities follow the event easily. Event organizers will need to collaborate with a simultaneous translation company for events to ensure everything runs smoothly. You may need to provide information in visual form. Discourage the use of inside cultural jokes, pop-culture remarks, or slang that eliminates non-native speakers. Motivate multilingual attendees to offer assistance where necessary.
A Word From The Experts
Managing a multicultural business event can be tricky. Jeanne M. Brett, the Kellogg School of Management dispute negotiations and resolution professor, says people often carry their cultural baggage everywhere they go, including the workplace. Communication styles, just like hierarchy and authority notions, are different in every culture, increasing the possibility of hard feelings and misunderstanding.
By failing to prepare and anticipate cultural differences makes dealing with them later on harder, Jean continues. Erin Meyer, professor, and author says while managing a business event where people from different countries are in attendance is a daunting task, it shouldn’t be overwhelming.
Andy Molinsky, author and professor at the University International Business School in Brandeis, says; Approach your multiple cultural business event open-mindedly, and believe in your abilities. Chances are high that you are more experienced than you imagine.
He reiterates. Further, you probably have run events with lots of diversity, whether gender, seniority, functional diversity, or varying personalities. In this case, culture would be but an additional element. Here are tips to help you manage a multicultural business event successfully.
Develop protocols and outline standards at the start of the business event. You want to define your expectations and let attendants know how the event will run. Doing so allows some people to get out of their comfort zone while giving you the liberty to attend other assistants.
For example, some people may come from a country with little regard for punctuality, but the organizers want the event to begin and end at specific times. In this case, you will need to show that while you are conversant with various cultural practices, it is critical that people adhere to the set guideline and that late attendants could suffer consequences.
Beware Of The Differences
One of the critical ways of being culturally sensitive is through understanding the differences among different people. Andy Molinsky says there are variations in how people should sit in events, the amount of time they invest in business at the beginning of an event, socializing, and how much they are ready to contribute.
According to Erin Meyer, it’s crucial to gather as much information about the people you deal with and their regions. Doing so helps you adapt your management approach accordingly. Meyer encourages event organizers to study a country’s professional practices and customs and hone their observation skills.
Provide attendants with customized reading material to help them understand cultural differences. Doing so helps them contemplate their behavior and make the necessary adjustments.
Understanding the needs of people from different countries is crucial in planning an all-inclusive business event. Such awareness encourages communication, facilitates intense engagement, and promotes collaboration.
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