SPOTLIGHT – Bettina Bellande
Bettina Bellande is a Director with Global Commerce Education, Inc.
“Most of my important lessons about life have come from recognizing how others from a different culture view things.”, writes author and communication expert, Edgar H. Schein.
The concept of putting yourself in the shoes of someone from a different culture is critical for anyone expanding their business to a foreign country and can be instrumental to your success.
Bettina Bellande knows this and has made it her professional mission to create ways for clients to experience these lessons first hand.
Bettina’s mother was a New York-born singer and clothing designer with Italian roots and her father was an exiled Haitian diplomat turned lecturer and entrepreneur. Growing up around their eclectic group of friends, she inherited her parents’ gift for making people feel welcome and “at home”. Bettina speaks several languages and has traveled extensively so that immersing herself into a new culture has become second nature. And she’s used that ability to build a successful corporate meeting and event planning business.
“I’ve been organizing events, meetings and professional missions for more than 25 years, and my focus has always been on serving international business people coming to the US. We’ve orchestrated everything from high level meetings for French officials visiting the US to discuss transportation and infrastructure…to bringing together 250 international employees of an office supplies company to celebrate their success with America’s great Western national parks as their backdrop”.
Bettina believes wholeheartedly in the art of ‘experiencing’ the culture in which you hope to bring your products. She advocates for people to get out of the classroom, get out of the board room and “go on the ground”.
“Time and time again, I’ve seen the eye-opening power of experiences in bringing to life something you have learned on paper but hadn’t really internalized until then. This can be the key differentiator,” says Bettina. “To build a program rich in opportunities to explore and begin to understand the people in your target market.”
Ms. Bellande has been part of the G2 Experience from the beginning, partnering with Sophie Lechner and Gene Detroyer. “Gene and Sophie focus on the content and program, making sure that businesses check all the critical boxes: legal, financial, marketing, etc.” she says. “I coordinate the logistics and customize their understanding of the new culture by creating experiences tailored to their learnings.”
A recent project centered around a client bringing their beauty products to the U.S. In a single morning, we’d scheduled two guided store visits with managers to learn about brand positioning and promotion, several individual walk throughs giving the client the chance to experience ‘the competition” in a very tactile way, coffee with a beauty social media influencer to discuss their role AND we’d coached the participants on how to informally engage with their target clients…in Grand Central Station!
“Every moment of the day is an opportunity to be immersed in the local culture and connect what the participants have learned with what they see and in turn connect that with their expansion goals,” says Bettina. “These informal discoveries are essential and enriching with the G2Experience guiding you every step of the way”
When asked what her one piece of advice would be to an expanding company, she offered two: “Don’t assume anything” and “stay curious”.
“Wherever they are on their expansion journey,” says Bettina, “ after the G2 Experience, they leave with more confidence, not just for their expansion plans but for their core business as well.”