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Geography and culture in event planning

When working in event organizing keep an eye out for different geographies and cultures. We tend to relate to other people as being similar or identical to us which is one of the biggest errors one can make especially in an area so vast and diverse as events. It is called the false consensus effect, also known as consensus bias, is a pervasive cognitive bias that causes people to “see their own behavioral choices and judgments as relatively common and appropriate to existing circumstances” (Ross, Lee; Greene, David; House, Pamela (May 1977). “The ‘false consensus effect’: An egocentric bias in social perception and attribution processes”.) Or put differently, they assume that their personal qualities, characteristics, beliefs, and actions are relatively widespread through the general population.

When organizing an event, one of the first steps to take is checking the calendar for holidays, celebrations and vacation times for a certain geography at a given date. Especially for corporate events it sends out the wrong message to plan something during a religious celebration – Good Friday, Eid Mubarak, Diwali or on very important state celebrations – Independence Days, Memorial Days etc.

Another element to watch out for is cultural determination of roles and gender. There are states and territories where women are not allowed to have an active role in the society other than being a wife and mother. You may want to respect that by assigning a male representative of the event to handle such territories.

Third place, culture differences play a remarkable role in setting the price for the event and the sales strategy, discount policy and final pricing. Eastern most cultures tend to negotiate more, bargain is a must and discount level can even reach 70-80%. Western world is more affiliated with paying the price, the discount level stays at 20-30% the most. It almost never reaches 50%.

Another element in culture mapping is time management and delivering under deadlines. You need to know that in Eastern cultures time is not money, and patience is key. Going opposite directions, West likes a fast paced delivery and solutions on the go.

Last but not least, think about culture differences when setting up the onsite team for event management. Ideally you want to have a local representative as well as someone with a cold-blooded-leveled-head type of approach. Teams of at least 2 members are needed for more than 30 people events for logistical purposes.

We can guide and train event specialists – if you have questions or we can help organize any type of corporate event just reach out.

 

photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/ro-ro/fotografie/arta-artistic-aspect-colorat-1154198/

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