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Expats on the move: International Mobility Conference

13:33 07/11/2014
International Mobility Management Information Conference – XII - November 20 2014

Belgian-based international companies gather in Brussels on November 20 for an exclusive event dedicated to moving expat professionals around the world. The conference and networking event provides a platform for best practices in the growing international mobility sector and is the biggest event of its kind.

Co-organised by Deloitte, ING,  NetExpat and The Bulletin, the conference is staged at the ING Cultural Space, a sumptuous 17th historic building in Place Royale. It is free of charge upon invitation. Register by email to by November 13.

The event in Belgium was launched 12 years ago for companies to exchange information, explains NetExpat’s managing director Alain Verstandig. “It presents the essence of best practice for international corporations in order to be relevant on topics of global mobility, talent management and human resources.” Around 100 people are due to attend, including human resource managers and senior representatives of leading foreign companies in Belgium.

While there has been an increase in international mobility due to the globalisation of companies, the economic crisis has required employees to be more flexible in conducting cross-border business. “International mobility is becoming more subtle, more complex and more strategic,” says Verstandig. “Twenty years ago, moving people from one country to another was the responsibility of administrative teams, nowadays the challenge is on the shoulders of  international mobility and talent management teams. There is a strategic link to the business side of the company, as it is essential to have a mobile force to sell to manufacturers and new markets.”

The international mobility sector is transforming in that it has become more flexible as expat postings are no longer just for a minimum period of three years and can be for a short-term duration. Verstandig says the sector has become complex, and is increasingly linked to talent as companies think more carefully about who they need to move and why they have to move them.”

NetExpat specialises in assessing, training and coaching expats and has presence in 65 countries. It started the IMMC because of the need for a platform for international companies to exchange information. The format enables companies to make presentations in a very warm environment, says Verstandig. “People can openly discuss the issues, without judgement, and share which practices work and which do not.”

Among the presentations on November 20, are a discussion on the use of analytics by international auditors Deloitte, global mobility by Swedish industrialist Atlas Copco and the world’s largest fiberglass manufacturer Owens Corning, while NetExpat discusses assistance to expat spouses and US agro-industrialist Cargill reports on its company’s journey from a decentralised organisation to a centralisation service centre. The event will round off with the IMMC award ceremony and a networking drink.

The conference is sponsored by Deloitte, ING, NetExpat and The Bulletin.

Written by Sarah Crew