As US-based meetings and conventions aim to increase registration numbers, organizers are looking outside traditional borders and expanding their marketing efforts to new corners of the world. However, connecting with new segments of prospective attendees comes with plenty of hurdles. Will attendees’ travel expenses be too high? How much will translation services cost to repackage promotional and educational materials? Can a US-centric program adjust to meet the needs of a global audience? Now, US-based meeting professionals will need to add one more tough question to their lists: can they overcome travel warnings about safety?
A recent USATODAY article from Angela Waters shows that a number of governments around the world are warning their citizens of potential risks in the US. “It is relatively easy to obtain a firearm in the US,” an advisory from Germany reads. “If you find yourself the victim of a gun attack, do not try to resist!”
Outside of gun safety, other governments are paying attention to headlines about law enforcement. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration has taken a note of the recent tensions in some American cities over shootings of young black males by police officers,” an advisory to Bahamians states. “We wish to advise all Bahamians traveling to the US but especially to the affected cities to exercise appropriate caution generally. In particular, young males are asked to exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police.”
Other factors such as the Zika virus, anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-LGBT state legislation have prompted warnings from governments in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, France, Canada, Bahrain and New Zealand. As the US Presidential election season fuels discussions of topics such as immigration, interpretations of the Second Amendment, LBGT rights and more, the world will continue to monitor how the conversation in the US might impact visitors.
SEE ALSO: 5 Tips To Increase International Attendance At Your Next Meeting
If your meeting or convention welcomes an international audience to the US, your organization will want to consider how these warnings may influence the decision to attend. Do you address potential safety and security concerns in your messaging? How can you ensure that your global audience will feel comfortable making plans to spend time in the US? Go to Catalyst to share your thoughts.