What to consider when arranging a client meeting abroad

Having to arrange a client meeting can be daunting at the best of times, especially when you’re a novice at hosting meetings or new to the company. So when you’ve been given the task of arranging a client meeting abroad, it can seem almost impossible to achieve. Not only do you have to organise all aspects of the meeting to ensure that it runs smoothly, impresses your clients and secures a business deal, you also have to cope with language barriers, navigating a foreign city and finding somewhere suitable to host the meeting, without being able to arrange a viewing of the premises beforehand.

So what should you consider when arranging a client meeting abroad?

Focus on the purpose of the meeting
It can really help to write down a list of all of the reasons for holding the business meeting. You may wish to use the meeting to secure a new client, or to demonstrate why the client should think about expanding their business to overseas territory and employ you to assist with a smooth transition. Make sure all attendees are aware of the aim of the meeting when you invite them.

Logistical planning
You’ll then have to think about choosing a time and suitable location for the meeting. Pick a time that is convenient for all attendees. It can seem difficult having to book a location abroad that you haven’t seen before, so do an online search for international companies that specialise in hosting business meetings. At least then you can rest assured that the place will be equipped with everything necessary for your meeting, such as a boardroom large enough to accommodate your clients, computer and screen projector system and maybe even a microphone.

When choosing which location to reserve, make sure you do your research properly into the geographical location too. Don’t choose somewhere that’s situated in the middle of the countryside with no regular transport links. Instead, opt for somewhere in a busy city, close by to regular transport facilities. If your clients will have to board a plane to reach the location, try to choose somewhere not too far from the airport.

As for overcoming the language barrier, if you choose an international company for the meeting, you should be able to find an English version of the website and reserve the room online easily enough.

A good location for holding a meeting abroad is a hotel, as the staff are used to the preparations involved in hosting client meetings and there will be sufficient rooms for everyone to rest in before and after the meeting. This will help your clients to feel relaxed and at ease that you’ve thought of everything.

Make an agenda
Ensure that you look super organised and well prepared in front of your boss and the clients by preparing an agenda for the meeting. It should include the relevant topics for discussion, as well as timing guidelines for how long each person will have to speak. Make sure the meeting time and location are clearly printed at the top of the agenda and ask a colleague to check it over before you distribute it to participants.

Give all attendees the chance to look over the agenda before the meeting
This will ensure that they can prepare themselves and think of relevant questions or issues they may want to raise for further discussion afterwards.

Follow up with each person in order to confirm their attendance at the meeting
If there will be a team of speakers from your company presenting, make sure that each one is aware of their responsibilities and provide any necessary support. Also remember to confirm any flight or train arrangements for you and your clients and ensure everything is running to schedule.

By following the above tips, you will ensure that you look both professional and prepared during the client meeting and it may even help you to secure a contract with the client before the end of the day, not to mention you’ll prove to your boss just how organised you can be.

Author Bio Lauren Belfield is a 26 year old travel & business expert. Lauren regularly racks up a lot of air miles in her current job working for events management companies in UK and abroad.

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You're also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]tourismedition.com

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