International Considerations for Meetings
Whether you are playing host to those from international branches of the company or you are receiving a foreign client as a visitor it is important to remember that special considerations should be made when hosting an international meeting.
Even if the meeting organisers are aware that international visitors require special considerations it is important for everyone involved in organising the meeting, as well as any local staff attending the meeting, to remember the following:
Different countries have their own customs and it is important to know what is offensive in order to avoid doing/saying anything that might give offence.
Review the business etiquette guides on http://www.executiveplanet.com/ for country specific advice.
The visitor should be warmly greeted on arrival and someone should be assigned to making sure he/she is comfortable and has everything he/she needs.
If the visitor is travelling far jet lag and the need for extra sleep or sleep at different times should be taken into consideration when planning the meeting.
Food preferences and dietary requirements should be obtained in advance to ensure the venue can accommodate them.
Non-English Speaking Visitors:
Try to learn a welcoming phrase in the visitor's language or a gesture that would be familiar to the visitor (i.e.: bowing for Japanese) to put him at his ease.
Be careful to make sure you fully understand what the visitor is saying as his/her English may not be fluent.
Do not mistake hesitantly or badly spoken English for lack of intelligence, especially when negotiating.
If the visitor doesn't speak English well enough consider hiring a translator, taking care that the translator is highly recommended.
This list of tips was kindly provided by Webscout, an international service dedicated to helping businesses find serviced office space in thousands of locations worldwide. To learn more about this service, please view their listings of office space in Hong Kong, Paris and Dubai.