Business oriented cultural sensitivity16/04/2012
Cross cultural business can been seen as an internal struggle, but it can lead to a very profitable relationship. Culturally sensitivity business practices are imperative when attending international conferences. Remain accommodative to culturally specific business norms as well as fundamental ones at your next MICE event abroad.
We often facilitate interactive communication by categorizing, which can easily lead to stereotyping. Since differences can appear as a threat, we may resort to negative inferences. Consideration is key here, so hosting a world renowned Saudi Arabian oil company at a conference doesn’t necessarily mean you need to serve their favorite national dish, but you may consider investing in an interpreter or at least someone to help you through the process of doing business with Saudi business men. Humans all have the same basic needs and desires, so don’t overlook the similarities with your fellow foreign business partners at your next international convention.
Make sure you have local assistance in the country where you hold your MICE event to adapt and interpret cultural differences. Some may be reluctant to invest in the expertise of a local guide, interpreter, or operations manager, but the wider the cultural gap, the more urgent the need to understand the value systems of difference cultures. Of course it is possible to coexist, especially when you find ways to make cultural norms and values work for you at your next event.
There are many companies that have satisfied the need to accommodate to the needs of globalizing marketplace by providing classes and seminars, and even accompany reps to your international conference. Public and private foreign relations organizations may provide some pre-departure training to maintain cross-cultural sensitivity. Set up your stand at your international trade show with consideration of your foreign clients, even something as simple as aesthetics can carry over the overall image you’re trying to give off at an event, despite language barriers and cultural differences.
Business ethics and practices, belief systems and values, etiquette and expectations all affect the way a conference will run, and since own cultural identities are not apparent to us until we begin to interact with others from different backgrounds, making an effort to learn about the cultures you’ll be working with will help both you and your client in the long run.
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