We are sure you already know how to host and welcome a guest on a business occasion. However, to make the meeting perfect and differ from others, you should plan it well – especially if it concerns Japanese unique culture and habits. In this article we would like to show you 6 easy tips which will help you host a meeting for Japanese clients and business partners in your home country.
- 1 How to host a Japanese meeting – 6 quick and easy tips
- 1.1 Share the Agenda before their trip
- 1.2 Exchange your business card at the beginning of the day
- 1.3 Share the time schedule at the beginning of the meeting
- 1.4 Leave your clients alone for some time
- 1.5 Bring them to a local restaurant for dinner
- 1.6 Ask about what time your clients would like to go back to the hotel
- 2 Summary
How to host a Japanese meeting – 6 quick and easy tips
Your clients would appreciate it if you send an agenda in advance, so they can prepare for every topic.
Exchange your business card at the beginning of the day
Firstly, Japanese etiquette says you have to exchange business cards with every person you meet. Because of that you should always prepare plenty of business cards to pass out just like flyers. Secondly, it will help to avoid asking somebody’s name again. Thirdly, Japanese employees usually have to report the business trip to their supervisors in Japan, and your name and position will be an important point of the report.
It is also important to have a rough time schedule for your clients, even though there might be no clear reasons for it. Being punctual is an important part of Japanese culture, which means that time scheduling is one of the key factors in Japanese daily life. You don’t have to worry about changing the time schedule during the day and delays are possible, but please prepare a rough schedule so that your clients won’t worry.
Leave your clients alone for some time
Japanese people concentrate too much on what others think about them and always read between lines even when not necessary. If someone from outside their company is in the same room, they will refrain from talking or will speak in a very low voice. They are also usually not confident with their English skills, so only a few Japanese people will talk to you, while the others would rather stay silent. It is appreciated to leave them alone for a moment, so that the people who stayed silent can talk in Japanese.
Bring them to a local restaurant for dinner
If you host a one-day meeting, bring your clients to a local restaurant where they can enjoy local cuisine, drinks and atmosphere. Japanese people like to drink after five and are very curious to try local specialties. This is also a chance for you to get closer with your Japanese partners.
If you host a meeting that lasts several days, ask your clients if they want to have Japanese or Chinese dishes. To be honest, after two or three days stay-abroad most of our Japanese colleagues prefer to go to restaurants that remind them of their homes, so be ready to suggest a Japanese restaurant which is managed by Japanese person, or a Chinese restaurant as an alternative.
Ask about what time your clients would like to go back to the hotel
Japanese usually hesitate to say “Let’s go back to the hotel” due to their traditional politeness. At the same time, they are professionals at hiding their tiredness. Because of that, it might be difficult for you to read between lines if they want to finish dinner and go back, so just ask them politely when it’s not very late – at around 9 or 10 pm: “It was a long day, you must be tired, so it is okay to finish it a little earlier” or “Tomorrow we’ll start early again, so please have a rest at the hotel”. This one small technique will allow your clients to say yes, and if they want to stay more, they will express it directly.
These easy and quick tips will work great at a meeting with your Japanese clients. They will also help you impress your Japanese clients or business partners and let them have a good time.
You will find other tips for business meetings and dinner with Japanese clients as per below: