Julia Rutherford Silvers, CSEP

Certified Special Events Professional

Event Management Authority

Like angels and elephants dancing on the head of a pin, our dreams and responsibilities may have no limits, but must be balanced according to the music of the moment.

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Cultural Differences

30 August 2005

 

Sensitivity to and respect for the cultural differences within a given community or society and in other cultures can overcome many challenges when planning an event. These differences may be based in religion, ethnic background, historical tradition, and national, geographical or organizational customs. The planning implications may encompass such things as:

  • the scheduling and timing of the event or components of the event agenda (holidays, holy days, rituals or ceremonies, and protocol requirements)

  • the foods and beverages to be served (dietary needs and restrictions)

  • the setting (site restrictions, color usage, personal space requirements, and symbols or emblems)

  • behavior expectations (dress codes, gestures, interaction, and etiquette)

Addressing these differences prevents giving offence and promotes cultural diversity. Identifying these differences should occur during the Needs Assessment. The constituencies to consider include the attendees, participants, hosting organization or community, and other stakeholders that are important to the success and sustainability of the event.

 

Resources:

Interfaith Calendar http://www.interfaithcalendar.org/

International Business Culture and Etiquette http://www.executiveplanet.com/

 

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