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FREEFORMFOCUS

Autumn Edition 2021

THE CHALLENGES OF WORKING ACROSS TIMEZONES

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Anyone working in a multinational industry will know the challenge of working across timezones. For some, such as east coast Americans working for west coast companies, or a few Londoners I know who work a lot with the US, the solution can be simple - adjust your life to match the other timezone.

 

But for comms professionals trying to organise analyst and media events, the challenges are doubled. Notably, because there’s also no absolute requirement for people to turn up, as there might be for an internal project or company meeting - the event itself has to be enough of a draw. 

If you’re hoping to draw attendees from around the world there’s several options. They range from a single event, perhaps at midday on the US east coast (US timezones do seem to dominate here, for some weird reason!), with a catch-up recording for later, to three consecutive follow-the-sun events eight hours apart. 



So, what’s best - and doesn’t expect your CEO to be awake for 24 hours on the trot? The obvious answer is to use pre-recorded segments, but please, if you’re asking people to put time in their diaries, make sure there’s enough of a live component to justify it. 
There’s all sorts of possibilities for that live section - a Q&A with regional bosses or a case study with a local customer, to suggest but two. Just don’t make the whole thing recorded, otherwise your attendees will feel shortchanged - and may be rather less willing to oblige you with diary time in the future.