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Business Travel Tips and Etiquette for Meetings in Brazil

Brazil – home of wild Carnival, beautiful people and exciting food. The largest country in South America, “Brasil” is a thriving country with incredible rainforests, beaches and cities — the perfect place for work and pleasure. PGi Meetings Expert Raymond Vasquez shares with us what to do for business etiquette and meetings in Brazil.

Q: How do you greet and say goodbye to a colleague or client?

A: In Brasil, you greet a male colleague with a hug and a female colleague with a handshake plus a kiss on each cheek (for women, switch it!). Shake hands for business contacts during meetings.

“Bom dia” for good morning, “boa tarde” for good afternoon and “boa noite” for good night.

Q: Where do business meetings usually take place?

A: Meetings are usually held in conference rooms, cafes, or over meals. If you can’t meet in person, use video conferencing like iMeet and turn on your webcam because in Brasil, people want to see you face to trust you.

Q: What are some small talk topics to start the meeting? And what topics should be avoided?

A: Soccer, family and traffic are the best small talk topics. Avoid politics, religion if you’re new acquaintances. Avoid talking about business as soon as you start the meeting.

Q: What are the best times to request meetings?

A: 10AM-1PM and 3-6PM. Try to avoid lunch time or early morning meetings.

Q: How should I schedule a meeting in Brazil? And what do I need to supply before the meeting?

A: A meeting invite through Outlook is perfect and plan on starting 15-20 minutes after the scheduled time. Most meetings never start on the exact time and it’s okay by both parties to start late. Usually traffic and extended meetings are the cause.

Q: Should I schedule a lunch or dinner meeting? What is the etiquette for sharing a meal?

A: It’s okay to have meals. Lunch time is between 1:30- 3 pm, and happy hours are very common. Usually happy hours are best because traffic is to extreme, and meetings during this time help traffic die down. There really is no etiquette except laugh and enjoy yourself. Brazil is a fun culture that loves dancing and talking.

Q: At the meeting, what should I provide and prepare?

A: Business cards and Power Points are really all you need.

Q: How long should the meetings be?

A: 45 minutes and about 10-15 minutes will be small talk.

Q: What can I do to encourage collaborative discussion during the meeting?

A: Let the meeting happen naturally. Don’t talk too much but ask lots of questions.

Q: What should I wear to meetings?

A: Suits and ties are best.

Q: What should I do after the meeting?

A: Thank you email is good and a gift after the first meeting is ideal.

Q: What else should visitors to your country know?

Once you have the initial meeting, plan on a lunch or dinner meeting for a follow-up. Goes a long way, and again, it is all about building relationships in the Brasilian Culture.

It’s beautiful and fun and lively here. Take your camera, swimsuit, appetites and enjoy yourself!

Have more questions about the meetings do’s and don’ts in Brazil?

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