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4 Tips for Your First International Business Trip

When your boss tells you that you’re being sent on your first international business trip, your mind probably fills with excitement and anticipation for all the adventures that lie ahead. You carefully prepare your business notes so you can arrive at each meeting ready to go. You even research the hotel where you’ll be staying to find out what fabulous restaurants are nearby. But do you really know what is “on time” in the country you’re going to or how to properly address your international business partner without offending or sounding uncultured? Learning the basics of business etiquette in the country you’ll be visiting can really move your professional reputation from an inexperienced and unworldly to an international business pro.

I want to share with you 4 business etiquette tips that I’ve learned on my international business travels.

1. Pack conservative business attire.
This may seem obvious to some, especially if you’ve attended career training seminars at college, but it’s surprising how common the formality gap is in international business. In some cultures, the professional dress code is highly conservative, in others it’s more relaxed. If you’re travelling to Europe or Asia on business, you’ll probably want to raise the level of formality just a little. These destinations tend to be more on the formal, conservative side. Pack into your suitcase a dark suit (navy, black, or charcoal) with a crisp white or light coloured shirt to wear to business meetings. Men, you can add charm to your outfit with a stylish tie, and unique buttons or cufflinks. Women, you can add sophistication with a chic scarf and a pair of elegant closed-toe heels.

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