Business organizations in France are highly established and well structured. Consequently, rules and organizational practices are preferred over effectiveness or adaptability and the administration of a meeting should be taken very seriously.
One of the most important means is careful planning and preparation, assuring that all goals and strategies are set out and an agenda has been approved. In France, meeting programs tend to be structured. It is assumed that all attendees participate in the debate so it is essential for you to be alert and be prepared to share your opinions.
Written communication of a meeting should have English & French version. A simple style will be welcomed. The letter is a medium that can impact on different means, so it is important to pay close regard to details since a special value will be put over the accuracy of the letter.
Ensure that all expected attendees are informed of the meeting time, destination and that they have verified their presence. If you are responsible for the meeting, assuring the location is convenient for all individuals.
As meetings will usually be carried in French, guides are an important element for the language barriers. All presentation element should, if possible mean bilingual unless you have agreed on a common language such as English. If likely also provide material in French, as your French equals will be overwhelmed with your attention in particular.
Follow up meeting
Once a conference has ended with your French equals, then regular conference methods should apply. Provide and share minutes within 24 hours. Quick response on this strengthens the value of the meeting among the French and also decreases faults in memory. Catch up on all selected agreements and see that all members agree and take out their duties. Schedule uncovered business on the agenda for the next time. A number of days after the conference, your French associates will welcome a follow-up phone call. This personal touch is valuable in French business practice.
As French business people are very reserved, socializing after meetings will not occur till firm operating connections are built. While a level of custom will remain to live within the business relationship, an aim to develop a knowledge of their language and culture will enhance relations significantly.