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GST/HST and Currency for Global Virtual Events

  • 1.  GST/HST and Currency for Global Virtual Events

    Posted 09-23-2020 13:02
    Edited by Erin Casey 09-23-2020 15:33
    Hi all,

    With the transition to virtual events, we're seeing attendees join our USA-produced events from all over the world. Traditionally, we charge fees based on the location that the live event takes place. For example, if the live event is in Mexico or Australia, we convert the USD amount and charge in Pesos (for MEX) or AUD (for AUS). We then charge a GST or HST based on the location. This is the required process set by our Accounting team. 

    Ideally, we would charge only in USD for a virtual event that's produced in the States. That way we only have to create one Cvent event. However, we're getting push back from our International attendees who prefer to pay in their currency. If they paid in USD, their bank would charge a conversion fee that I've researched to be about 2.2% of the fee.  If we charge in AUD, they're paying GST/HST tax, which is sometimes as high as 13%. 

    The question is, how are you all charging fees for a virtual USA event? Are you charging international attendees in USD or their own currency?

    Thank you!

    Erin Casey
    Communications and Registration Manager
    SGII, Inc. dba SeneGence International

  • 2.  RE: GST/HST and Currency for Global Virtual Events

    Posted 10-05-2020 09:18
    This is a great question! Although we haven't had any virtual paid events happen yet, we did use Cvent's CPS for our international in person event last fall where we collected in multiple currency. One benefit we saw is that the fees that are from Cvent, are taken on by us/client, and not the attendee. It also made reconciliation very easy and reporting was a breeze!

    Beth Vriesen
    Director, Support Services

  • 3.  RE: GST/HST and Currency for Global Virtual Events

    Posted 10-07-2020 06:21
    I agree with Beth, check out Cvents CPS it collects all currencies to make it easier on you.

    Coy Rushton
    Graphic Designer
    Primary Residential Mortgage

  • 4.  RE: GST/HST and Currency for Global Virtual Events

    Posted 10-07-2020 09:49
    We do use Cvent CPS. However, you cannot have multiple currencies on the same event in Cvent, which means we'd have to set-up multiple databases to collect multiple currencies.

    Erin Casey
    SGII, Inc. dba SeneGence International

  • 5.  RE: GST/HST and Currency for Global Virtual Events

    Posted 10-08-2020 16:43
    Hi Erin, 

    This is a great question! We are just keeping our whole event in USD and so far have not had too much push back. If your members are used to traveling across the world for your events and paying in the currency of that country, they *should* accept the conversion fees. A workaround idea:
    Create your complete USA event including all website pages. Duplicate event and save for each country. Update the fees/taxes for that country accordingly. Then take the registration path link for each of those new events and paste them us buttons on your primary USA website pages. So for instance, if your attendees  click the "Register Now" button on the main webpage, it takes them to a page with multiple buttons: USA Attendees, Mexico Attendees, Australia Attendees etc. When they click Australia, it will take them to the Australian Cvent event. The only thing with this is that you have to use the link widget made to look like a button rather that the Registration Widget. 

    Good luck with your virtual events!

    Sharna Pascolo
    Program Director
    Texas Society of Architects

  • 6.  RE: GST/HST and Currency for Global Virtual Events

    Posted 11-26-2020 13:02
    We charge in USD if the event is hosted in the US.

    Scott Sward
    Global Travel and Events Manager
    Viewpoint, Inc.

  • 7.  RE: GST/HST and Currency for Global Virtual Events

    Posted 01-07-2021 11:58
    We use a third-party merchant so they can process in whatever form they need but get paid in USD.

    Deedee Southerlin
    Program Manager
    Georgia Southern University Division of Continuing Education

  • 8.  RE: GST/HST and Currency for Global Virtual Events

    Posted 25 days ago
    Excellent question, while I do not have this issue my upcoming conference does have international attendees (hopefully!).  We have not had complaints on changing of the costs as we need to ensure we get $X to cover the costs, but I can see this for international if it makes things ore expensive.

    My thoughts would be:
    1.  Try to have an option for all the fees to be paid in international dollars.  If that is an option, figure out what the cost would be in conversion and note any fees "you" may have.  I like the idea of looking at the Cvent CPS so you can do this.  
    2.  Look into the 3rd party merchant, we use touchnet and I think any international fees we may get are passed to us vs. the guest.
    3.  If you can do offline - maybe look at the option of a ACH to your bank account. This is a challenge if you are a big organization but I do this off/on with a PT job and normally the fees are minimal and I either eat them and/or pass this on.  

    Personally I think most international guests should be familiar with this but I do think some of the %s are high.

    Lesley Irminger
    University Events and Office of Communication Events Coordinator
    George Mason - Office Of University Events