Multi-city events are in demand right now; But how can you ensure a consistent experience?

By Chair, Vanessa Green

One of the biggest trends I’m seeing this year is that event organisers are looking to multi-city events to drive in-person attendance while managing the challenges of people wanting to reduce travel. Whether this is hybrid events, bringing together different locations in real-time using the latest audio-visual technology, or creating a repeatable and scalable in-person event that can be held sequentially in various locations, multi-city events are in demand right now.

They’re a popular choice for events like product launches, conferences and rollouts – think of the types of events where consistent branding, messaging and formats are required. And also, for organisations wanting to reduce their environmental impact by encouraging local instead of destination events, and for reducing the time and economic cost of travel. Regardless of whether events are held simultaneously with options for remote digital participation or replicating events in various cities, the goal remains to create a consistent and exceptional event experience each time.

A lot can go wrong when hosting events in multiple locations, so for this blog I have included a handy checklist of pitfalls to avoid so you can reduce the risk of challenges connecting venues, audio-visual connections, not being on the ground at all locations to manage venue inspections, staffing and other logistical concerns. 

Reducing your emissions AND your event costs

One of the most compelling advantages of multi-city events is their potential to significantly reduce the environmental impact and costs of your events. By replicating events in multiple locations, you can minimise travel requirements and the associated carbon emissions. This approach not only demonstrates your commitment to sustainability but also providing location options for delegates can make attending your event more affordable, further enhancing its appeal.

Avoid the multi-city event pitfalls

Of course, multiple locations can mean multiple chances for things to go wrong. Things like:

·       Logistics challenges: Coordinating venues, transport, catering and more across locations

·       Quality consistency: Ensuring the same standards for each venue

·       Budgets: Different costs in locations, especially across countries, can make ensuring consistency a financial challenge

·       Cultural differences: If your event runs in multiple countries, are there any issues you need to consider?

·       Regulatory compliance: Are you likely to encounter issues with different permits, licenses or tax implications?

·       Marketing and promotion: Will you be able to reach audiences in each location via the same methods? Will any locations need more targeted marketing support to drive attendance?

·       Communication: How will you communicate clearly with stakeholders and vendors in multiple locations? Will time zones and languages be likely to impact your event delivery?

·       Staffing: Will you have the right staff to support the event in each location? Will any training or briefings be required for a consistent event experience?

·       Weather and external factors: What will you do if wild weather, transport issues or other unexpected events impact one location? How will you implement any contingency plans?

The main takeaway? Start planning early to ensure seamless events for your clients and look for providers who can support you across multiple locations ensuring consistency and reducing the need for repetition of instructions.

Stay on top of industry trends with MEA

MEA’s training programs can help you ensure you and your teams have the skills you need to effectively manage multi-city events, whether large-scale roadshows or intimate events. Along with our scheduled courses, there are also complimentary webinars and options for bespoke training to meet any specific skills gaps in your team. Keep an eye on our website and social channels for new course dates and webinars.