In the series “Success Stories”, InterNations team members celebrate major highlights to make them proud.
In this first installment, guest author Cherice, a South African expat and a Content & Communications Manager in our Business Solutions Team, looks back at all the hard work that led to their recent nomination for an important industry award. Congratulations!
Last week represented a big milestone for our new(ish) business unit.
Our team members Theresa (Head of Business Solutions) and Lindsay (Senior Business Solutions Consultant) attended Relocate Global’s Festival of Global People — a two-day event held at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London. Relocate Global is a multimedia publisher for the relocation industry and global mobility market, and the aim of the event was to “connect, inspire, and support the people behind high-performing global organizations”.
The event also included the Think Relocate Awards ceremony, where InterNations Business Solutions’ very own Expat Insider 2018 Business Edition was up for an award. The first Business Edition of the Expat Insider survey was shortlisted in the category Best Research Contribution — an achievement we’re quite proud of.
During the event, Theresa and Lindsay presented a keynote address on peer-to-peer empowerment and how this approach can be a win-win solution for expats, their partners, and their employers. Lindsay also led a panel discussion, where she explored the value of leveraging peer-to-peer support in the community, both personally and professionally, in order to support a global workforce. The pair also used findings from the Expat Insider 2018 Business Edition to support their arguments and discussions.
Personal Impressions from the Festival
“It is important to participate in such an event because there is still quite a bit of educating to be done around the importance of the organization’s role in ensuring their expat employees are socially integrated when living abroad. The festival was also a great opportunity to connect with other like-minded professionals who experience the challenges that come with relocating families and who understand the value behind the types of practical and cost-effective support that can be offered,” says Lindsay.
Theresa agrees: “We have a lot of valuable input to offer — expert knowledge from our work with expats and companies, survey data, and learnings. We wanted to encourage new thinking and spread the word on the need for social integration, opportunities through peer-to-peer support, and expat partner support. We also had the opportunity to exchange knowledge and learn from experienced players and thought leaders in the market.”
Even though the Expat Insider 2018 Business Edition didn’t win the award in the end, having the very first edition shortlisted and acknowledged in this way was an accomplishment for the Business Solutions Team.
“This is a great success, considering that Relocate Global is an important industry player. It shows that the information is relevant, and the effort paid off. This is also proven by the interest we get from other industry players, such as the Worldwide ERC — a major industry trade group for relocation services — and specialized HR media, which have published a lot of articles about the Expat Insider 2018 Business Edition data,” says Theresa.
New Business Unit, New Report
But where did it all start? InterNations Business Solutions was officially launched in September 2018: Despite being new to the B2B market, we wanted to leverage the extensive experience that InterNations has in the business-to-consumer part of the expat sector (B2C) and share this expertise with global mobility and HR professionals.
And so, the very first, 76-page Expat Insider Business Edition — A Look at Global Talent Mobility Through Expat Eyes — was born and published on Tuesday, 30 October 2018. The Expat Insider Business Edition is, of course, based on the InterNations Expat Insider survey on life abroad.
“Many industry reports only focus on companies, HR managers and their perspective, but not so much on what expats actually want and need. We wanted to explore what is relevant for them, what is not, and what could be improved. We wanted to look beyond the relocation and logistics and provide a more long-term perspective, basically the whole expat lifecycle,” explains Theresa.
With our vision to bring the expat perspective to the attention of global mobility and HR professionals, encouraging a stronger focus on the personal needs of expats, the report highlights three key expat types: foreign assignees (those sent abroad by their employer), international hires (those that found a job abroad or were recruited by a local company), and relocating spouses (those that moved abroad with their partner). It analyzes these expat types during various phases of the expat lifecycle with core chapters on relocation support, the ease of settling in, personal happiness, and family life.
Getting to the point of publication, however, took quite some time, effort, and collaboration. As a new unit, our (small) team relied on the expertise of the B2C Content & Communications Team — from data analysis to editing, design, and PR support — while we had to look at the survey results from a different angle and take a new approach to the structure, writing, and visualization of the business version.
Salim (Corporate Graphic Designer) from Content & Communications worked especially closely with our team to bring the data and content of the first report to life in a visually appealing way. He shares his experience:
“The idea behind the visual concept of the Expat Insider Business Edition was in line with the existing version in terms of the concept and graphic design, but it had to have a more corporate style for the different target audience. The teamwork was very nice. I mainly worked with Cherice and Theresa, who were patient and open to new ideas. We all supported each other in many aspects of the project. Creating the infographics was my favorite part, but time was a big challenge as we had only a few weeks for the design.”
Our Future Plans
Since its humble beginnings in 2018, the Expat Insider Business Edition has evolved even further with the Country Focus mini-reports that were released in March and April this year — zooming in on the three expat types in nine different countries, from China to the Netherlands to the United States.
With the learnings (and success) of the very first Expat Insider Business Edition as stepping stones, the team is eager to start work on the 2019 version, which will be released later this year. Who knows, maybe next year we’ll bring home that award. So, watch this space!
Photo credits: InterNations /iStockphoto