Top Tips for Cross-Cultural Event Production

At DesignScene we’re lucky enough to travel and work in a wonderful variety of different countries, cities and environments.

We can only deliver projects successfully because we’ve spent a lot of time developing a real understanding of the different locations and built upon that knowledge and experience. We also know that this approach works well for us and differentiates us from some other events businesses.

We pride ourselves on the fact that we’ve built up knowledge and expertise in a great many markets by actively seeking out great local talent in the form of freelancers and vendors. In many cases, these individuals have become long-term extended team members and friends.

You can’t just assume that the approach, responsiveness or acceptance of requests is the same as your home country, or that there will be a good level of English spoken. That’s where having a team member or freelancer who is native/fluent in the local language becomes invaluable, ensuring that nothing gets “lost in translation!”

It’s all about teamwork so, when you get a great group of people working in sync with each other, sharing the struggles and celebrating the successes together, it’s a very rewarding and memorable experience.

In normal times we would be just back home from Cannes Lions now, exhausted but happy having delivered some great events and made memories to carry with us. This year we took part in a step challenge in our own towns instead and reminisced about our previous Cannes experiences. We wanted to share some of the things we’ve learnt over the years with you. Not all of them are serious, but they all might come in useful!

Eloise: Make sure to go through things in great detail with your vendors/staff to ensure 100% understanding.

Attila: Don’t assume people speak English! It’s important to hire good local crew who are used to the heat. Don’t forget everything is shut on Sunday. Cannes is a work hard play hard town so pace yourselves but try to have some nice team/client experiences. Oh, and taxis are very expensive!

Jon: There might be lots of great lunch spots but you will mainly eat at Kiosk no9. I go for Frappe Latte, paracetamol, Lemon Fanta, Croque-Monsieur…… Repeat!

Lucy: Teamwork makes the dream work – if your assigned job is finished for the day, ALWAYS check in with other teams to see if they need help. (There might be people stuck taping cables for eight hours.) Then everyone can enjoy some al fresco dining together at the end of the day and de-stress (and pretend we’re on holiday for a couple of hours).

Mia: Ensure you have a solid staffing schedule and rota going into the week across ALL the projects so that everyone feels fully supported and there is less team burnout. Pack sandals & a towel along with your steel toes to the cabana every day! This means you can dip your feet in the Med on your lunch break 🙂

Michelle: 12 o’clock is lunch time in France – you just need to go with it! You will not get anything done if you try to push against it! Plan to work around it and set targets for those working with you so they buy into what you need to have achieved by when.

We hope this has been useful and entertaining. Now bring on Lions 2022!

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