5 things I learnt working my first International Event

It’s been a goal of mine for some time to work on International Events.  Not just because it means travelling for work (though I’ve always loved exploring new places!) but because of the new challenges, communities, cuisines and venues to discover and connect into a successful event for all guests and parties involved.

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Last December I started a new role Event Managing International conferences and events, and I’ve loved every moment.  It’s been fantastic to gain experience in the corporate event world and work in both Asia, the US and Europe in my first few months. But alongside the excitement of reaching one of my new goals also came new challenges; long haul flights, keeping guests from different cultures happy, hopping across different time zones and spending a week or more away from home at a time.

So, what have I learnt along the way?  I wanted to share some of the things I discovered working my first international event – and hope it might give you some ideas or inspiration for when you next travel!

  1. It’s possible to beat jet lag.

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me I’d struggle with jet lag on my first trip to Asia… OK, so I’ve travelled to the States a lot but Singapore, my first work trip, was set to be my furthest trip yet.  I’ve never been to phased by long flights and time differences, so was feeling optimistic about the trip and the opportunity to beat the jet lag everyone had warned me of.   And luckily, I did! I stayed awake after arriving, ate meals at the normal times and managed to fight it off!

2. Sticking to your normal morning routine can go a long way.

Leading on from my last point about avoiding jet lag… travelling IS tiring, and usually at home my alarm is set for 5.30am every weekday without fail, to fit in my morning workout before going to the office.  I was determined to do my best to stick to this, because I know going to the gym in the mornings fuels me for the day and for me, is the best way to kick start the morning.  It doesn’t work for everyone and I count myself lucky to be a morning person, but I was grateful to be able to keep to my routine whilst away.

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3. Listen to the locals for the best advice and food recommendations.

This generally goes without saying when travelling abroad; avoiding the tourist traps and hitting up the locals’ favourites can discover hidden gems and the best food the area has to offer.  Whether it’s a street food stand or a bar off the beaten track, get talking to people to find out where to eat and drink.

4. Take time for yourself

We all know event life can be hectic.  Long hours, late nights and also often the pressure to attend evening events or plans with clients or colleagues.  I managed to juggle all the above, but practise self-care when I can at home so didn’t want to let this slide when I was away (though I knew it’d be far more difficult to prioritise!) I seized the day and explored locally when I could find pockets of time; from a rooftop yoga class at sunrise to a sunset visit to the Gardens by the Bay JUST before leaving for the airport to leave Singapore I made time for myself to experience things I love.  This also included 20 minutes of reading here or there, or a yoga session in my room.  I can really recommend yoga with Adrienne if that sounds like something you’d enjoy!

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5. Everyone at home WILL think you’re on holiday

Ok, so maybe I shared my travels on my insta stories one too many times, or told everyone I knew what I was up to and where I was going.  But it was important to me to share the work side too, the 12 hour days, the long journeys, the running around keeping everything happening.. because that’s why I was there – and I loved every moment!

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Above all, I’ve learnt that I’m proud of myself for hitting my goal to work on international events, and my first few months of doing so hasn’t disappointed.  I’ve got to work with a fantastic, supportive team, explored new places and cultures and worked at some incredible venues with lovely guests to look after too!

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I truly love working in events and can’t wait to see what I learn as the international events continue.. stay tuned!

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