Working Internationally: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Our People work anywhere in the world in support of our client’s activities. Last year, our projects took some of our team members all around the United States and abroad, notably to Belfast, Ireland (more on that trip here) and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
What is working in Argentina like? We’re glad you asked…
Not Speaking the Same Language
The biggest challenge you might face when executing in a country that doesn’t speak your native language is communication issues resulting from the language barrier.
While we've executed in countries that have plenty of English-speaking citizens, Argentina is not one of them. Spanish is the primary language spoken in Buenos Aires, and there are not a lot of English speakers in the country. Anticipating this, we sent a Spanish-speaking team member on the trip… And 24/7 access to Google Translate didn’t hurt, either. While communicating with the local crew did require a bit of time and patience, we were able to all get on the same page and get the job done as planned.
In addition to the language barrier, our team noticed a prominent difference in work styles. Similar to what we found during our recent project in Belfast, the local Argentinian crew was much more laid back than most of the crews we work with here in the States. It made for a refreshing change of pace, although there was a slight discomfort in not working the same way we typically do.
Do your research if you’re heading to a country that speaks a different language. You might find that even though English is not the native language, you'll encounter plenty of people who speak English. Or, you might realize you'll be hard-pressed to find someone who speaks English and can plan accordingly to make sure your communication bases will be covered. Make sure you allow for extra time to get your local crew up to speed with your priorities and for any communication issues you might have.
Planning and attention to detail are always extremely important, but especially when exhibiting outside of your home country. Build extra time into your plan for shipped items to clear customs and research reliable local companies to help you with your on-site needs.
When in Argentina…
To avoid the Buenos Aires traffic, our team rented bikes to get around the city. Biking around ended up being a great way for them to see and experience more of the city, and made a lasting impression on the team.
We would be remiss to discuss a trip to Argentina without mentioning their world-class food (meats in particular) and wine. Our team definitely experienced the culture through their meals!
They were also surprised to find Buenos Aires has a robust craft beer scene, with several breweries and craft beer widely available throughout the city.
Look into alternate transportation options, such as bikes or public transit. Not only can they save time and money, they’re also a great way to explore more of the area.
If you really want to experience the culture, ask your hotel concierge where the locals hang out and what restaurants they like to frequent. That way you’ll be able to avoid the usual tourist destinations and see the area from a local’s perspective.
The next time a project takes you out of the country, don’t forget that a little extra planning, patience, and a willingness to explore the local culture will make your trip fun, both in work and play!