Coordinating an International Event as a Project Manager

Coordinating an event is no mean feat. As the project manager, you have a key role to play in planning the event from start to finish. This involves working with your team to plan the logistics from selecting the venue, food, décor, and more. You are also required to work with vendors, negotiating costs to ensure everything goes according to the budget. Most importantly, you have the task of working within the constraints of time and resources. While this can be a lot simpler for local events, international events present some unique challenges. Well, there may be some similarities in planning and executing. However, if you are to see success when coordinating an international event, finding ways to overcome these challenges is essential. Here are five tips for you.

Find ways to build trust in the team

Coordinating an event starts with coordinating the people that you are working with to ensure a successful event. For an international event, this might mean working with people from different locations around the world. However, it is important for each team member to feel like a part of a team even when working miles away from each other. Moreover, this starts with fostering a sense of trust toward each other, you can do that with different team-building exercises. Planning an event requires everyone to work together and bring their best ideas and skills to the table. At the very least, you want an environment where everyone feels comfortable and safe to air their thoughts. You can start by helping members know each other. Interactions on non-work-related issues before starting your virtual meeting or on social platforms go a long way. 

Focus on communication

Communication is important when managing an event project. You will need to come together as a team to discuss the progress, and the way forward and generally ensure that everyone is working on the same page. You also need to negotiate with vendors and communicate regularly to ensure timely delivery.

However, you need to keep in mind the language barrier that might come with working with people drawn from different countries. For starters, aim to be clear on what you are communicating. You might be needed to ask confirming questions, speak slowly and avoid slang to ensure that the recipients understand your message. In addition, make use of a translation system when communicating with non-English speakers. This ensures that recipients receive the message in their native languages, enhancing comprehension.

Keep in mind the time differences

When coordinating an international team, dealing with the challenges of time differences is a possibility. You need to be prepared to work around it to ensure a successful event. Perhaps the most difficult part is having everyone on the same call at a time that is convenient for everyone. Consider planning for meetings when everyone can be available for the meeting. If there are no overlapping times, some compromise has to be made. Most of the time, you might be required to stay up late or wake up early to catch the other person across the globe before his or her day ends. In addition, alternate meeting times to ensure that the burden doesn’t always fall on the same people.

Be cultural sensitive

Culture differs from country to country. Some cultures might be happy taking orders from you, while others appreciate a more collaborative approach. Others might like your friendly approach, while others might need you to be strictly professional. Some also may have different decision-making techniques than you but they are still effective. Understanding the culture of the people that you are talking to such as vendors and your team is essential in ensuring the successful planning of the event. Moreover, having a local team on the ground can help overcome the issue of cultural differences.

Leverage tech

When coordinating an event virtually, using technology can be helpful in alleviating some of the challenges that come with it. For instance, communication tools such as Slack allow teams to communicate effectively. You can leave a message for your team and they can reply to you when they sign in. In addition, Google Sheets and other project management tools help you plan workflow, track team activity and keep resources in check among other tasks.


Coordinating an international event takes more than just creating milestones and task lists among other project management tasks. You must be prepared to deal with challenges that come with working with people from different countries. This calls for finding solutions to language barriers, time differences, and cultural differences. In addition, creating a sense of camaraderie among team members is crucial. However, using technology to your advantage can help you a great deal.