Prep List for International Meetings

Jet LagFor those who have planned international meetings or those who might just be in the early stages, there are so many different things to keep in mind for yourself and for your attendees. Even English speaking countries have their challenges. Don't assume your contact or counterpart at your foreign destination will tell you what you need to know. Some very basic elements can be easily over looked.

Air travel is different. By and large, in my humble opinion, flying in the USA has too many challenges to make it pleasant. Passengers are lucky simply to take off and land. International airlines seem to know much more about how to treat paying customers, offer amenities and screen them for security without having to show your skivvies. It's worth checking into before you leave home.

Not everyone uses our money. Canada and the Bahamas are technically international locales, but they like our money and you don't have to do much when it comes to currency exchange. But in other countries, even English speaking ones, like Britain or Australia, you have to remember to get local funds when you arrive (and it's not free).

That's an electrical outlet? It would really be a bummer to arrive at your wonderful, exotic destination, with your crackberry, laptop and iPad, only to discover that the American plug doesn't fit in the foreign outlet. For starters you'll need an adapter, but even then you must check to see if you also need a converter so that your American techie toy doesn't get an overload of electricity from the alien outlet and go poof!

Beg pardon?
You'll also want to investigate local customs, culture and language, even in countries that speak English. Colloquialisms vary from country to country and you want to make sure that any slang or gestures aren't offensive to locals. On-site, don't hesitate to ask what something means if you don't understand. People tend to be friendly and like helping someone who wants to learn.

Planning meetings outside of our borders presents lots of opportunity for fun and great experiences, but it pays to be prepared.

What is your most memorable international travel experience?
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