Global events can be glittering successes, allowing members of your organization or governmental body the opportunity to meet face-to-face and exchange ideas. Relationships can be developed and agreements reached much more quickly in person, though this is often forgotten in today’s increasingly-digital world.
The relative rarity and big-budget investment needed for global events makes proper marketing essential. Global events, however, also open up the opportunity for things to go horribly wrong, resulting in a poorly attended event (and even international notoriety) for the event/brand involved. To ensure your global event attracts attendees across all relevant markets, here are some all-too-common global marketing mistakes you’ll want to avoid:
Preventing Global Marketing Disasters
It’s very easy to make critical errors in marketing a global caucus or international organizational event. Putting together a well-run and publicized global event requires significant time and supreme attention to detail. Some marketing communication faux pas include:
- Generic, Non-Specific Marketing Language: Don’t water down your marketing message to appeal to a worldwide audience. You won’t save money doing so, because instead of appealing to all, you won’t truly motivate any specific demographic to attend. Instead of a total cross-border campaign with an identical message everywhere, be sure to include locally relevant details. Ask yourself, what will motivate locals in various markets to attend? Use specific calls-to-action tied to the benefits your event offers to your primary target markets.
- Poor Audience Segmentation: Create personas for every major market you’d like to appeal to and craft messages accordingly. Be as country-specific as possible, rather than creating a single marketing plan for a large group of countries, like Latin America. Not all Latin American countries speak Spanish, and Spanish dialects (and cultures) vary significantly from country to country as well as regionally within countries.
- Unintended Double Meanings: Develop relationships with local consultants to ensure your event brand or acronym isn’t confused with a laughable or insulting local term. This applies to much of your content as well.
- Potentially Insulting Images: Your logo and imagery may need to be universal for purposes of brand recognition, but consider the images in a cultural context. Be aware of local modes of dress and what is considered acceptable in various regions of the world.
- Poorly Localized SEO Research: If you simply translate top U.S. or home country search terms, even if translations are accurate—they may not reflect how your event might be searched in various international markets. Top search terms may use mixed languages, for instance.
- Tone Deaf Social Media: Hire local consultants to make sure online conversations ring true.
- Mobile Unfriendly: Make sure your organization and the event website load quickly and are built with responsive design. This ensures your sites provide consistency, readability and look good on mobile devices. Don’t assume everyone, everywhere will be accessing your updates from a laptop or desktop computer. Consider country-specific domain names to increase the trust factor with potential attendees.
- Unpopular Payment Types: Make sure each market has commonly-used, trusted options available to purchase event passes online. Consider rounding off the cost in various markets to avoid odd currency amounts with decimals or commas.
- Greenwashing: Making your global event appear more environmentally sound than it actually is can backfire. Although it can be prudent to list your green credentials and statistics, don’t overstate or use overly vague terms. Make certain you get the goodwill you’ve earned from your sustainability efforts by being specific. For instance, use “our event venue is LEED® Silver certified” rather than saying the event or venue is “eco-friendly” without further detail.
In the end, just keep in mind that it’s transparency and honesty that are key to building trust in your brand.