The Dark Side of Meetings

By Christine Born, March 3, 2015

Cultural Differences

As meetings have become more diverse, there is a requirement to be more sensitive to each group’s norms and customs. Dunn recalls an employee quitting her job after receiving a hug during a training board meeting and then suing the company. That example may shock some in an industry in which hugging is commonplace, but customs of proper behavior and even strict taboos are very real in today’s global business world.

Never is it more of an issue than when a meeting goes overseas to a country with different views on civil liberties than the United States.

“How do you address sexual orientation and gender quality in Dubai?” asks Trevor Lui, director of operations and sustainability at The International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. “Does that become an element in destination decisions? Do you consider a destination’s policy on civil rights? We have a stronger measure of influence than we think we have, so we should be talking about these questions.”

Everyone interviewed for this story agreed that more awareness and open discussion could help prevent problems before they occur. “Talk to the meeting host about how they want to handle people who get over served or have medical issues,” says Smith. “There are psychotics among us. There might be a depressed person who is having an episode. Part of your job is to anticipate what can go wrong. If you don’t think about it [ahead of time], you’re not prepared.”

(Visited 110 times, 1 visits today)

Jordan Atherton, CMP, senior advisor and meeting and event planner at 1st Global, identifies how to create a risk management plan so your attendees are

Event designer Edward Perotti trots around the globe planning exquisite events that exude good nature upon his clients and their attendees.

Planners need to know the “why” to create direct business results for clients.

Check out this list of travel gear to ensure your next vacation or business trip is smooth sailing.

Connect Meetings talks to Sports Management and Tourism Director Chad McKenzie about Round Rock, Texas' expansion into tourism and meetings.

A New England destination guide of the local boozy businesses of breweries and distilleries.

Leftover food and flowers are put to good use through partnerships in the meetings industry.

Host an event that truly gives back.

Join your peers on both sides of the buyer/seller coin as we tackle some of the stickiest RFP issues and ideas on what to do about them.