There is a popular saying, “when in Rome, act like a Roman.” There are so many differences between the cultures of Americans and Europeans. Here are some travel tips to keep in mind while traveling on a business trip to Europe.
The business casuals worn in Europe are pretty conservative. Dark colors such as black, navy blue and charcoal are preferred colors. Men should avoid shirts that have pockets and even if they have pockets, take care not to overstuff it with things. Empty pockets or pockets with handkerchiefs are best. Similarly do not wear ties with any patterns.
Europeans still use a person’s title and last name to address them. They use first names only when they have known that person for long. Europeans are more conservative and reserved in nature. First impressions last long. When two business men meet, they usually shake hands as a way to greet each other. When meeting a woman, the men usually greet the woman and offers a handshake only if the woman puts her hand out first. Keep the handshakes light and not very hard and assertive. Eye contact should be mild and for a short duration. Else it would be perceived as being assertive.
Table manners are an important part of travel etiquette. Being loud and rude to waiters or waitresses is not good. When you are calling the waiter for a bill or something else, just try to wave to the waiter and get his attention. Be sure to know how to use your table utensils. Do not chew or slurp loudly at the table and eat your food at a normal pace rather than diving into it and gobbling it up. If possible, try to take a small refresher course from your company on business etiquette before you travel.
It is hard to find a young lad with good etiquettes as most of them are aggressive and rebellious by nature with a stubborn streak of having things their way with no scope of a compromise, which is why they often end up in the wrong place and makes this refresher course more important for them as this is not your regular holiday nomad time in Atlanta.
Always be punctual to your meetings and other appointments. Usually, guests in Europe arrive about 10-20 minutes ahead of time for any scheduled meeting. Plan your trip so that you do not arrive too early or too late. Europeans’ business hours normally start at 9:00 am and end at between 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Give respect to these work hours and always make it a point to complete your business related works with Europeans before they close. Always be courteous and formal when you are doing business deals with Europeans. When in conservation with Europeans, try to steer away from political topics or other personal matters that may seem sensitive. Check out the link for more information. Be sure to research more about your place of travel on the Internet, before you set off. That should help you prep up for the travel.