Protocol is the set of formalities and courtesies used in official and private life. These rules are still important in modern society, especially in official situations like business meetings, ceremonies and other events in which representatives from other companies or nations are involved.
It is important to keep in mind that the rules of protocol can differ significantly between different countries, religions and regions. While the protocol of Europe and the United States is close to the one used in Australia, the Asian and Middle Eastern protocol is very different and might seem strange to people brought up in a Western culture.
It is very important to familiarise yourself with the protocol of the country you are dealing with. Even little things that might not seem to be significant can influence the outcome of a business meeting. The knowledge of the ’do's and don'ts’ is very helpful in making a good impression. Just a little bit of knowledge shows the people you are dealing with that you made the effort to learn about their culture and this will always be appreciated.
The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) provides a good overview of the business etiquette of different countries. Download and view the Queensland Government's Protocol Handbook to read more about business etiquette.
For other countries, please follow the Austrade links below.Jump to key information