Planning an event in an emerging destination can be a daunting prospect for meeting planners, but with a reliable local partner and a bit of insider knowledge, it can be a fresh and rewarding experience. The team at Crowne Plaza Vientiane, the first internationally-branded upscale hotel in the Laotian capital, has this advice for planners considering holding an event in any emerging destination:
 
1. Choose the right location
 
In emerging destinations, it’s crucial to find a venue that meets the expectations of your event and its delegates. Using a global brand like Crowne Plaza ensures you’ll meet the same high standards expected in developed, metropolitan areas. Nestled in the heart of Vientiane along Samsenthai Road, a 10-minute drive from Wattay International Airport, the 197-room hotel has a ballroom with space for 550 guests, with world-class service and state-of-the-art equipment at your disposal. Six smaller meeting rooms cater to groups of up to 54, and the hotel’s third-level garden is ideal for outdoor cocktail receptions and dinners.
 
 
2. Plan ahead
 
Last-minute events can be stressful. Third-party suppliers aren’t always punctual, and unexpected delays are common, says meeting manager, Souphaphone Khattiyavong. You are not alone – working with a local team that has hands-on experience in the market can help with everything from venue selection and logistical arrangements to supplier contacts and banqueting. The Crowne Meeting Team takes the pressure off planners, providing assistance throughout the event planning process, from conception through execution.
 
“When it comes to third-party suppliers, we’re always equipped with a plan B and plan C if the situation calls for it,” explains banquet operations manager, Rhandy Southa. Keeping arrangements in-house also ensures timely execution, with the Crowne Meeting Team providing professional, flexible banqueting services, a guaranteed two-hour response time and a dedicated meeting director assigned to every function.
 
3. Be specific about your needs
 
Bear in mind emerging destinations might not have the same SOP as mature markets. Audio and video systems, for example, might not be a straightforward affair. If you don’t make your needs clear, you might end up with a stack of unpacked boxes rather than a fully functional venue. The best remedy? Partnering with a team that understands and prepares for these issues. Rather than working through several outlets who need to be briefed on schedules and expectations, leave it to a local team to implement your requirements.
 
 
4. Understand the customs
 
Find out about local customs before an event to avoid any mishaps on the day, says Southa. For instance, meetings with government officials in Laos follow a traditional protocol influencing everything from the type of furniture used to the provision of a private area for senior ministers. Enlisting a local team will help you culturally prepare in advance, reflecting well on you and your company, and making sure your event goes off without a hitch.
 
For more information on the Crowne Plaza Vientiane contact crowneplaza.vientiane@ihg.com or call +856 21 908 888.