You Need To Have A License To Play Golf In Belgium!
Really? Is this for real?
Yep! It sure is! You need a license to play golf in Belgium!
Let me share an amusing story with you that highlights cultural differences and how they can cause issues with your client’s events.
So here we go…
I was at an event recently, and I thought about a funny experience I had when I came from Belgium to the US years ago to attend my first International Committee with MPI.
The meeting took place at The Phoenician, in Scottsdale, AZ. What a beautiful luxury resort!
A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to play golf with him the next morning. I replied, “Sure and I am going to caddy you so that I can learn!”. Indeed, I was always told that the best way to learn golf is to caddy people.
For the record, I “hit the balls” around the golf course, more than I “play golf!”
My friend replied, “No, No, you can come PLAY with us!”
Here’s how the dialogue went from here:
- ME: “I can’t, I don’t have my golf license.”
- FRIEND: “Your what???”
- ME: “Yes! I don’t have my license.”
- FRIEND: “You need a golf license to play golf in Belgium??”
- ME: “Yes, to get on the course, you need a golf license.”
- FRIEND: “Eric, forget the license, you are in the US!”…“You pay, you play!”
We had a good laugh between us!
So, I “played golf” with my friend. I lost many golf balls that day!
It was so apparent to me that you needed to have a golf license before golfing.
To my friend, it was evident to him you didn’t need a golf license to play golf.
I will always remember this experience! What a valuable lesson I learned that day about unseen and unspoken cultural differences!
Even though we were talking about the same sport, our words about golf had different meanings and interpretations to both of us.
This story is an excellent example of how unseen cultural rules in your client’s organization or in another country you’re working with, might create funny surprises at best, or some challenges at worst!
As an independent event planner, we need to find out as many particulars about our client’s organization and their attendees before the face-to-face meeting takes place.
Asking questions beforehand is the best way to be aware of your client’s unseen cultural rules or differences!
Please share with me in the comments below a funny story about cultural differences and how they played out while planning an event or meeting? I will make sure to share them and, of course, to give you credit for it!