A Seamless Experience: Your Next International Professional Learning Group Visit

A Seamless Experience: Your Next International Professional Learning Group Visit

With international groups well and truly back travelling, there are many things to consider when hosting your next international delegation, conference, or executive education group.  The items below will get you started to ensure a smooth project and exceptional experience for groups, big or small, coming from overseas.


Plan logistics in advance

The hardest things to pin down, especially for large groups, are:

  • Ensure you book or place venues and accommodation on hold as soon as possible. Be aware of the peaks and troughs in availability and price associated with key events such as Parliament sitting when budgeting and booking these centrepiece items for your international group.
  • Flights have become a little easier to book in the last couple of years, but it is still not the same as pre-pandemic travel, particularly for large groups travelling together. Many airlines are only processing individual bookings and not accepting a simple group hold or group booking the way they used to, and many COVID-19-related policies or procedures are in place.
  • International speakers or other VIPs for your event should also be booked in advance. Be sure to start logistics preparation even earlier than pre-pandemic, allowing for variables such as flight and visa delays.


Provide comprehensive orientation briefings and set clear expectations

It is important to communicate clear expectations with your group so they can prepare accordingly before coming to Canberra. This may look like:

  • Surveying participants beforehand to get clear on their needs and wants so you can tailor the experience and set expectations accordingly. Be sure to ask about accessibility requirements and cater accordingly.
  • Provide pre-departure information, as well as orientation on arrival. For example, remember to tell participants about local opening hours and weather conditions.
  • Introduce all key contacts early so participants know who they should contact for which reason and when to expect a response.


Welfare Support

Providing welfare support is essential to ensuring your international group will have a great experience. Key details include:

  • Safety first! Remember to incorporate COVID-safe practices into your planning. For example, providing access to RAT tests and high-quality masks.
  • Airport pickup with a relevant sign and a friendly and familiar face to ensure the safety of your guests
  • Take tired travellers directly to their accommodation to rest
  • For travellers arriving late in the evening, ensure you are clear on their food options. Is the in-house restaurant open, or is it better to prepare a catered meal if their flight arrives late at night?


Language and Culture

  • If the group requires translation or interpreting services, the National Accredited Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) Online Directory of certified practitioners is an excellent place to start.
  • Also, consider any cultural needs such as access to prayer rooms, places of worship or places to buy culturally appropriate foods.


Group Communication

While your group is in Canberra, maintaining clear, consistent communication is essential to a safe and enjoyable stay.

  • Consider setting up a group chat (for example, WhatsApp) before arrival in Australia so the main method of communication is already familiar and consistent for all.
  • Assist with Wi-Fi login as soon as practical.
  • Communicate early and often with the group and build in steps for feedback. This is the best way to catch any issues before they escalate.
  • Plan and communicate as much as possible in advance, but then have contacts (e.g., a welfare officer) available to respond to specific requests or any emerging issues.

Share the unique Canberra and Australia experience. Include opportunities to experience the best ANU, Canberra, and the region has to offer. This may be through the choice of unique venues or including Canberra-classic excursions. Opportunities to connect with others and network add so much to the stay. In addition to the valuable learning experience, these are the things that will have your group remembering their visit fondly for years to come.


We hope this list gives you some things to ponder to ensure the visit of your next international group is a success!

Please get in touch with our team if you would like to discuss your next event.  For further information, contact our Head of Project Management.

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