5 Tips to a Successful Global Event

5 Tips to a Successful Global Event

Hosting events can be very challenging, even if they are just local ones. An international or global event can be downright scary. There are so many things that you, as the event organizer, need to take into consideration.

But, the good news is that, no matter how scary things might seem, there are always solutions that you can implement to make sure everything goes well. It’s all about making careful and thoughtful decisions.

So, if you’re planning to host a global event in the near future, here are 5 tips that might come in handy.

Choose a Proper Date


This is one of the most basic things you need to know before hosting events. Always choose an event data that isn’t going to be a problem. In other words, don’t choose a date that clashes with other important or key events.

For instance, is there a local festival coming up? If yes, make sure your event is held before or after that. Now, you could tie in your event with such local festivities, but that would depend on the context of your event.

As a general rule, it’s always better to choose a distraction-free date.


Consider Communication Needs


Since this is a global event, you’re obviously going to have attendees coming in from various parts of the globe. Needless to say, communication becomes of critical importance in such scenarios, especially in the literal linguistic sense.

What we are trying to say is, not everybody is going to be able to understand English. So, make sure you determine the requirement for interpreters.

Send out instructions asking attendees and delegates to mention whether they will be needing an interpreter to help them communicate.

Apart from interpreters, you can also leverage visual cues in the form of signboards for simpler needs such as directions, warnings, or instructions etc.

Travel and Accommodation


Travel and accommodation also come into focus when dealing with global events. You have people traveling to the host town or city from far away locations. So, make sure their travel and accommodation needs are met. Even if you can’t actually offer these conveniences, make sure you have a team on call that can at least assist your guests in such matters.

Be Culturally Sensitive


Of course, you need to be sensitive to other cultures. However, this can be a little difficult to determine sense cultural sensitivity is quite subjective. However, it is better to err on the side of political correctness in these matters.

To be culturally sensitive, the first thing you need to do is to stop assuming that everybody is just like you. People are different and have different needs and perceptions.

So, make sure your event considers all of this. For instance, consider dietary needs. If food is part of the event, make sure you’ve planned a diverse menu so that everybody is able to find something that matches their preference.

Or, consider gestures of greeting. Not all cultures greet by shaking hands.

It is better to avoid things that might seem “racist”; safer to keep things neutral.

Be Thoughtful About Introductions


When introducing guests/delegates, make sure you find out what their preferences are. Not everybody is okay with Mr., Miss, or Mrs.

Get Started!

There you have it – a few basic rules that are sure to make your global event work. Of course, there’s a lot more to be covered, but these are enough to put you on the right track. Plus, there are event specific aspects that you might have to take into consideration as well.

So, sit down, research, and brainstorm.

5 Impacts of Globalization on Insurance Markets

5 Impacts of Globalization on Insurance Markets

There’s no stopping the globalization train. It’s already here and it’s going to go further and wider. How has globalization affected the insurance markets and insurance companies all over the world?


Competition in the Insurance Markets


First and foremost, local insurance companies started facing more widespread competition – not only from within the country, but also from the region and from international conglomerates. Now, this is great news for the customer. After all, they now have the opportunity to choose from a range of products and services that are best suited to their individual requirements.

To sharpen the competitive edge, insurance firms have also tweaked their offerings to make them more tempting. This can range from improving coverage to reducing premiums.

With competition comes greater challenges. Insurance companies now look beyond the local market to acquire customers. In addition to a comprehensive suite of products, they strive to give their brand an international outlook while paying attention to local context and cultural sensitivities.


Growth in Opportunities


The thing about globalization is that it has caused other industries to expand as well. This has resulted in a plethora of opportunities for insurance companies. Today, a standard insurance firm doesn’t have to limit itself to a limited number of products or services.

With globalization, consumers’ demands change and their needs become more varied. There are also more opportunities for wealth creation and preservation. For instance, more organized labor means more healthcare coverage for employees. Wider globalization means more opportunities for overseas investments, and thus more investment-linked plans.

Globalization has also caused immigration numbers to rise. There are more people within the population who will be looking to sign up for insurance products, and thus more opportunities to do business.


New Industry Trends in Insurance


Insurance companies are also beginning to experience centralization processes, thanks to partnerships with banks and reinsurance companies, and mergers with smaller or larger competitors.

There’s a growth in the type of insurance services and products as well. For instance, we are seeing insurance products for newer risks such as informational risk, political risk, security risks, and even military risks.

Just as FinTech is changing the banking world, InsurTech is transforming the industry. As the insurance industry starts embracing technological innovation and eCommerce, we’re also looking at more insurance products being sold via the Internet.


Increased Consumer Demand for Insurance


As more and more foreign insurance companies enter a local insurance market, customers’ awareness tends to grow. Their knowledge of possible insurance and investment plans becomes richer. Needless to say, this creates a demand for more products. Consumers are not willing to make do with what was available anymore. They expect comprehensive coverage plans, low premium rates, and flexible policies.

Some countries are experiencing higher economic output due to globalization and international trade. Economic growth in these countries has boosted affordability, allowing most consumers to go in for high-end insurance and investment-linked plans.


Increased Customer Satisfaction


With globalization, there’s a renewed focus on customer satisfaction and trust. As customers get savvier and educated about insurance products, the need to gain their trust and build strong relationships becomes imperative to the top line. In the name of competition, insurance firms are putting in extra effort to provide better products and clearer communications driven towards meeting the expectations of both local and international customers.

To borrow the words of Kofi Annan, the Former Secretary General of the United Nations, “It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity”, globalization has impacted every aspect of our lives and the insurance industry is not exempt from it. The sooner insurance markets embrace the effects of globalization, the better are their chances in ensuring consistent growth in the face of this unstoppable force.

How Insurance Companies can Thrive in the Age of Globalization

How Insurance Companies can Thrive in the Age of Globalization

If you’ve been following the latest headlines on the insurance sector, you would have read that insurers are having a hard time in this Age of Globalization. They’re dealing with regulatory problems, geopolitical risks, demographic shifts, and low bond yields.

However, the good news is, they aren’t backing down. Armed with unique products, reduced handling charges, and technology, they are facing head-on the challenges of surviving in a globalized business landscape.

Is your insurance company just as prepared? If it isn’t, it’s time to start taking the necessary steps.


Research New Markets


A targeted marketing approach can help insurance firms achieve the intended results, especially if they are on a tight budget. The benefits are tremendous for insurance agents who specialize in a new market and for those who can adapt to the consumer behaviors in emerging markets. Of course, the trick lies in targeting the right market.

Take time to identify new markets that are opening up in your respective regions. Research consumer trends, needs and aspirations in these markets before adopting strategies to target specific customer pools. There are plenty of resources that can help you with this, like the local chambers of commerce, trade associations, business news, and financial research papers. 




Localisation plays a key role in tapping into new markets. If you can connect with the local customer base, half your work is done. One way to do this is by understanding the local culture.

When AIG entered China with its subsidiary, AIA, in 1992, they tried to leverage on the Chinese’s moral code on responsibility and love to make inroads. However, this failed because the Chinese do not take well to discussions surrounding premature death.

So, do your research. Interpret the local culture. Pay attention to customs and sensitivities that might affect your strategies. Hire localization and translation experts. 




Whether you’re in a developed market or an emerging market, one essential tool for surviving in the globalization era is innovation. Insurers must focus on research and development, agility, and analytical decision making.

Traditional insurance products don’t have a bright future anymore. Therefore, it is necessary to focus on developing risk management services and value-added loss control. Think about re-engineering your products and evaluating the values they seek to fulfil.


Leverage On Existing Capabilities


Apart from innovating and creating new products, insurers must focus on making the most of their current capabilities, such as their product portfolios, talent, capital, and customer relationships. These capabilities must be introduced to markets that are identical or similar to your current market. You might even need to reshape certain business processes and retrain your talents to create a positive impact on your overseas markets.

As stated earlier, do not fear localization. Expand into newer territories and customer segments to market your current products. Identify new distribution channels to connect with a fresh customer base.

Whether you are a global insurer, an annuities specialist, or a retirement provider, you need to transform in order to thrive, succeed, and grow in the age of globalization and fast-paced technology disruptions. As you plan for your customers’ future, you need to plan for the future of your insurance company too.

6 Things Tourism Businesses Should Know About Their Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs)

6 Things Tourism Businesses Should Know About Their Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs)

Destination Marketing Organizations or DMOs have plenty of challenges to deal with. One of these challenges involves managing all industry stakeholders. Negotiating politics while offering value has always been a scuffle of sorts. What stakeholders need to understand is that, sometimes, even their own actions can birth issues and difficulties for DMOs. This, of course, only compounds existing challenges.

On that account, and for the obvious benefits of achieving the ultimate shared goals, tourism boards and travel businesses need to make sure they’re not compounding problems by understanding these 6 core features of DMOs.


DMOs Can’t Satisfy Everybody


When you let the DMO focus on what’s important for the industry as a whole, you are actually allowing for a greater inflow of tourists, which will eventually benefit you as well. As the saying goes, a rising tide lift all boats. By focusing on key attractions and targeted campaign messages, the DMO can help to attract more inbound tourists and position the destination’s varied unique selling points to individual markets. There’s no point in forcing the DMO into promoting things that don’t draw in the huge crowds. The message will only get cluttered and unappealing if everyone wants a feature.

Solution: Let the DMO do what it does best. Allow them to focus on what’s good for the destination, country, state or even the travel industry. In the globalization era, that could mean complex localization procedures such as website translation, the creation of multilingual content, and marketing and social media messages.


Go Beyond Reactive Marketing


There’s a good chance that you may not agree with your DMO’s marketing. However, if you have a disagreement, don’t let it be based on what your competitors are doing. Very often, opinions from industry stakeholders can ruin the effectiveness of a campaign.

Solution: Give your DMO room for creativity. Let them suggest and do what they think is best in forwarding your goals. After discussion and agreement, stick to the marketing plan and strategy. After all, they didn’t whip ideas out of thin air, but base them on research and expertise.


DMOs Aren’t Sales Channels


DMOs are primarily purposed to market experiences and not individual offerings. There are enough options and channels out there for tourists and travelers to buy their tickets or book their accommodation.

Solution: Let your DMO focus on marketing the experience of visiting your destination. They are not there to handle the sales of tickets or rooms. Instead, they should keep their eyes on the bigger picture of experience marketing and destination branding.


DMOs Think In The Long-Term


Looking for support from your DMO to meet the current quarter’s sales targets is fine, but, DMOs have bigger things to worry about. They need to look at the tourism figures for your entire province, state or even country. They need to develop long-term strategies to keep inbound tourists coming and returning.

Solution: Let the DMO focus on the long-term view of building your destination’s brand, reputation, and desirability.


DMOs Want You To Succeed


DMOs are public organizations and that makes them subject to politics and media scrutiny. Often, they need to be careful about what they engage in and deal with complications that might not be evident at first glance. Though they have to solve complex problems and consider manifold red tape, they usually love what they do and share common goals with you. When you succeed, they too take immense pride in the positive outcome of their work.

Solutions: Try and understand that DMOs want the best for you, but, have their own challenges to deal with. So, collaborate with them towards a common goal instead of questioning their motives.


Accept Their Failures


Allow your DMO to fail without them worrying about their jobs or their resources. The industry cannot grow without a little failure now and then. Remaining steadfast in the face of adversity or failure will only strengthen their marketing, allow them to innovate, and try new and different things that can set you apart from other destinations.

Solution: Let your DMO conducts its experiments and testing with the goals of fine-tuning the strategy and the execution. Let them go beyond outdated methods of destination marketing to yield exceptional results for you.

To cut a long story short, tourism boards and travel businesses need to give DMOs their space to think big, see far, and perform well. DMOs need to have a certain amount of autonomy to carry out their functions. They cannot be spending their efforts in trying to satisfy everybody, especially when their goals is to boost tourism and not just profits.

Most Spoken Languages

Most Spoken Languages in the World

The method by which people communicate has vastly changed over the past century. Advancement in technology enabled us to talk to people who are miles away from us and the difficulty in interacting with other people has diminished immensely. The problem in communicating with others who are far from us is no longer an issue because we are now living in a world of interconnectivity.

Nevertheless, amidst the advancement that we are achieving, the system by which we communicate with others has not changed. We speak of the most fundamental method of communication – Language. Whether in spoken or written form, language has always been the key to an effective communication.

Though the ranks of the most spoken language may interchange slightly, we can safely assume that these languages are constant on top tier of spoken languages. According to Ethnologue’s 19th Edition, here is the list of top 10 most spoken languages in the world:

RankLanguagePrimary CountryTotal CountriesSpeakers(millions)
1Chinese [zho]China351,302
2Spanish [spa]Spain31427
3English [eng]United Kingdom106339
4Arabic [ara]Saudi Arabia58267
5Hindi [hin]India4260
6Portuguese [por]Portugal12202
7Bengali [ben]Bangladesh4189
8Russian [rus]Russian Federation17171
9Japanese [jpn]Japan2128
10Lahnda [lah]Pakistan8117

Did it come to you as a surprise? While English might be the most common international spoken language, it was not the most spoken language in the world.  It only comes into 3rd place next to Spanish and Chinese (Mandarin). Do note that this graph is a rough estimation as we cannot quantify it with 100% accuracy.

Nevertheless, being able to speak and understand from any of the most spoken languages in the world will give you an advancement in effective communication. Having the capability to communicate with a secondary language allows you to express yourself better to other people and it helps you gain confidence in conveying yourself as well.


Lewis, M. Paul, Gary F. Simons, and Charles D. Fennig (eds.). 2016. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Nineteenth edition. Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Online version: http://www.ethnologue.com

Languages On the Verge of Extinction

Language has been in existence for a very long time. It is like a living entity on its own. It can either evolve, or it can also diminish to a point of oblivion. But why does language disappear? And when a language disappears, what is the impact to us as communicative beings?

Language does not only allow us to know a person’s land of origin. It is also relevant in knowing and understanding one’s culture, heritage and history. Without comprehending language, we will not be able to discover the amusing antiquity of diverse human civilisation. Take for example Egypt, their rich and astonishing history could have been lost and forgotten forever, but thanks to the discovery of Rosetta Stone, scholars were able to understand and translate the hieroglyphics. This paved way to better appreciation and understanding of Egyptian culture and their way of living during the ancient time.

While the success story of uncovering the Egyptian hieroglyphics was celebrated widely, it is melancholic to know that there are also languages on the verge of extinction. There are languages that have continuously declined to a point of endangerment and ultimately, may lead to their extinction. According to endangeredlanguages.com, they have listed as much as 3,000 endangered languages across 179 countries. This is a rough estimation of the known languages at the time of compilation and does not provide us the accurate number. Nonetheless, the number of languages on the verge of extinction are continuously increasing.

A language may become extinct due to the dying out of speakers or the changing of language preference to another. Due to changes such as globalisation and industrialisation, the rate by which a language becomes extinct rapidly increases. As per UNESCO, “It is estimated that, if nothing is done, half of 6000 plus languages spoken today will disappear by the end of this century. With the disappearance of unwritten and undocumented languages, humanity would lose not only a cultural wealth but also important ancestral knowledge embedded, in particular, in indigenous languages.”

While language extinction is definitely inevitable, their lifespan can be lengthened by enabling younger generations to learn and understand the respective languages. Dissemination of information and community engagement can also help in preserving languages on the verge of extinction.

Asia’s Linguistic Challenges

With globalisation and the rapid advancement of technology, we are undoubtedly living in an era of a world without borders. Whether it is the economic, social or political aspect, linguistics is the one thing that links us to the rest of the world. Especially in Asia, where it is a melting pot of an amazing multitude of spoken and written codes. Yet, it is precisely this continent that faces one of the biggest challenges in linguistics.

Regardless of the number of national or indigenous languages a country has, the English Language is the global language that transcends all borders and cultures. Thanks to the influx of Western movies, pop music and fast food, English has pervaded countries where it is not a national language. There is no denying that for effective communication today, English is the key.

What is the future of minority languages in Asia then? National languages aside, many indigenous languages are facing the danger of being eroded by globalisation. With so much emphasis being placed on English as a global language, it will inevitably cast doubt on the younger generation as to whether their primary language is useful and worth speaking.

In Singapore, for example, we are home to four national languages – English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil – and Chinese dialects like Hokkien and Teochew. English is the first language and the medium of instruction in schools. With the use of English language becoming more dominant over the years, other languages have somewhat taken a back seat. The erosion of dialects is evident with the younger generation being barely able to speak their own dialect.

Will Asia be able to overcome this challenge and protect its minority languages? Only time will tell.

The History of Languages

Every living being in this planet who interacts with another being uses some form of communication. This method of interaction allows us to converse better with others. Some animals use gesture or sound to communicate, but humans have developed the most advance method of communication, language.

The human language is so complex that the origin of it has been disputed by many scholars around the world for a very long time. There have been various hypotheses and speculations where it has begun. However, due to lack of archaeological evidence and diversity of human language, the study of its origin has been deemed unfitting for a serious study.

Nonetheless, we will try to discuss the history of the common languages used today so that we may have better understanding of our method of communication. One of the common international language used today is English. So what is English and where did it originate? We will try to find out.

According to Wikipedia, “English is a West Germanic language that originated from Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Britain in the 5th to 7th centuries AD by Germanic invaders and settlers from what is now northwest Germany, west Denmark and the Netherlands.” From there, the English language has spread and evolved. Starting with the Old English, it has turned into Middle English and then transformed into what we use today, the Modern English. We can safely say that the English language is here to stay for a very long time due to the vast number of speakers internationally.

However, English is not the only language that has flourished. On the eastern side of the globe, the Chinese language may not have spread the way English did, but it was vastly spoken by native speakers. And like any other language, Chinese has also undergone transformation. Though the development of the spoken Chinese has been complex, the spread of Mandarin was prevalent. And now, due to China’s modernisation, Chinese (Mandarin) is steadily sidling its way to the western territory.

We do not know what the future holds. But like how humans have evolved, language will definitely continue to transform and be a part of our daily lives.

Top 10 Most Difficult Languages to Learn

In today’s globalised society, knowing more than one language is more of a necessity than a bonus. It may not be a bad thing – being multilingual comes with a host of benefits including better analytical and social skills.

The main challenge that lies in learning is new language is adapting to the syntax as well as learning about the culture behind it, which surprisingly contributes a lot to how the language is yielded.

Here’s a list of the top ten most difficult languages to learn!

Japanese is considered one of the toughest languages to learn. Because of its close relationship to Chinese, people looking to learn Japanese will have to memorise thousands of different characters. Adding on to this is how Japanese features three different writing systems and two syllabaries. The cultural aspect also makes Japanese difficult as it has a complex system of honorifics.

If you think the Arabic alphabet looks difficult to muster, you might want to think twice about it as that’s the easiest part. As compared to European languages, Arabic uses very little vowels. Words are formed by adding a series of sounds to a base root (commonly consisting of three consonants). The pattern of sounds then determines the grammatical case, number, gender and syntax, which combine into its actual meaning. Spoken Arabic is a tad more challenging as it is spoken by millions of people across an impressive span of countries, leading to many different dialects, which are vastly different.

The Thai language is fundamentally tough to learn. It has 44 consonants, 15 vowels and four diacritics marking tones. It also has different registers that are used based on the social context, which makes Thai tricky to pick up culturally. Thai is also tonal, which makes pronunciation very important. Its orthography and markers are also known for being complex.

Although it’s spoken by 40 million people globally, Polish is seldom picked up as a second language and much of this has to do with its difficulty. Its pronunciation is already a daunting prospect with words like “czesc (hello)” already causing difficulty to most speakers. And that’s just the beginning. To put how complex Polish grammar is into perspective, consider how English only has a single case. Polish has seven cases, each of which is affected by gender, of which the Polish language has seven (compared to English’s two). If you’re still undeterred, you might want to check out more information about this language, as this is only a truncated explanation of how difficult it is.

Hungarian is a widely spoken European Union language. It’s not only used in Hungary, but also in various communities within Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia and Romania. Hungarian is agglutinative and entire phrases (in other languages) are combined into a single Hungarian word. Remember how we said English has one case? Hungarian has 35 cases or noun forms. Hungarian also has a lot of vowels and deep throaty sounds that make it hard to speak verbally.

Urdu is the official language of Pakistan. Urdu is an amalgam of a few languages including Old Hindi, Farsi and Arabic. This makes its grammar hard to grasp as there are a few different grammatical rules based on what language the word is derived from.

Icelandic is a rather archaic language. It kept its old noun declension (arguably the hardest part) and verb conjugations. Its archaic vocabulary and complex grammar make it a very difficult language to learn. Icelandic also has four different cases that make it challenging for an English-speaker to learn.

The main challenge of picking Russian up is how similar the alphabets look as compared to English alphabets, yet they do not represent the same thing. This makes it a little confusing for people within the first few weeks of learning it. Russian has six cases and memorizing them will be difficult for people new to the case system.

One of the oldest languages in the world, Greek is a language that’s popular amongst college students. The most difficult part about learning Greek is getting used to its alphabet and its tone. Learning where to place the stress on every word is difficult as if you change it, the meaning of the word can be entirely different.

Spoken by a fifth of the world’s total population, Chinese is frequently voted as the most useful yet most difficult language to pick up. Chinese is a tonal language: changing the tone of the same sound produces two different words. It also has a complex writing system with characters instead of alphabets, requiring you to learn thousands of different characters. Chinese verbs do not have tenses, and the differences in time are put across using markers like “tomorrow” or “next year”.

Feeling slightly daunted? Don’t be! Being fluent in more than one language builds adaptability and flexibility, and makes you feel more comfortable and confident in different environments. Perhaps most importantly, your career prospects will grow immensely, especially in MNCs or startups that have bases in more than one country. Your effort will definitely pay off and you might find out you’re a natural linguist!

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