Protocol event
Protocol event China
Protocol event
Csilla Würtz with Mr Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Protocol event

our services

Working with us

From playing a key role in the preparation and execution of major events, to training your staff based on our hands-on experience at the highest level, below are some of the activities we can do to help you organise your important event.

Consultancy & Interim

With our wealth of experience and valuable up-to-date knowledge, we offer professional onsite and online consultancy, as well as interim solutions in the fields of protocol services, high-level event and conference management, and strategic stakeholder engagement, around the world. We ensure the smooth running of your upcoming foreign visit, ceremony, conference, summit or sports event by combining vision and policy, with performance and hospitality. We serve a broad clientele; ranging from Royal Courts, governments and multilateral organisations, to multinational companies and international sports authorities. Assignments can be arranged for a couple of hours or days, as well as for several months or over a year. 
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Our services

Consultancy

Whether in need for advice or support for your next high-level event, state visit, international conference, trade show, wreath-laying ceremony, official dinner, or sports tournament? As seasoned subject matter experts we offer consultancy and (individual) coaching services on the following topics:

  • International protocol
  • Multilateral diplomacy
  • Intercultural communication
  • Strategic stakeholder engagement
  • Business reorganisations
  • Recruitment and executive search
  • Relevance of protocol seen through the modern lenses of the 21st century
  • Rethink traditional protocol practices in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Composition of training and development programmes
  • Composition of manuals and standard operating procedures
  • Hospitality management
  • Order of precedence
  • Guest lists, invitations, and dress codes
  • Titles, and forms of address
  • Seating arrangements, and order of processions
  • The role of the host and guest
  • The role of the protocol officer
  • Social behaviour at lunches, receptions and dinners
  • Flag protocol
  • Gifts and honours
  • Sharing best practices in diplomatic and corporate relations

We do cooperate with fellow experts in the fields of protocol, intercultural communication, and stakeholder engagement to offer additional services around the world.

Interim

If you are looking for a professional who can temporarily join your organisation as head of protocol, strategic adviser on external relations or international cooperation, reorganisation expert, or as part of your senior leadership in one of the aforementioned areas? We might have the fitting solution for you. Our highly experienced subject matter experts can offer a wide variety of services for your organisation in these times of scarcity. We also cooperate with fellow experts in the fields of protocol, intercultural communication, and stakeholder engagement, in order to be able to offer additional services and solutions around the world.

We prefer to be involved in the early stages of strategy development and event design as these form the fundament for success of any relationship and high-level event. However, our team equally gets its kicks from being involved in the implementation stages, because that is where all the magic happens! 

In the past 15 years, Protocol International has serviced large and small corporations, as well as public entities, like local, regional and national public authorities, as well as international treaty-based organisations with the planning, design, and delivery of various services. And as the COVID-19 pandemic perfectly shows around the world: we are all in this together, but a one-size-fits-all solution does not exist. So please do get in touch to gain the global edge!  

Training & Lectures

We offer certified training modules (varying from 1 to 4 hours each) that ensure our participants develop their skills related to all aspects of international protocol, intercultural communication, and strategic networking. Tailor-made programmes can be developed around your specific learning objectives, while linking theory to contemporary best practices; ranging from a 1-hour customized webinar to an extensive 3 or 5-day course or a full-fledged 2-week programme. Countless politicians, diplomats, business leaders, policy advisers, account managers, protocol officers, and students have followed our courses since 2007. Trainings and lectures can be delivered anywhere in the world, as well as in a virtual or hybrid mode.
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Training modules

Introduction to protocol

  • Protocol versus etiquette
  • Etiquette and its history
  • Protocol and its history
  • The role of protocol in the private and public sector
  • Protocol and cultural differences

Order of precedence and the applications of protocol

Participants will learn to define an order of precedence, its usage and importance as a protocol tool, how to determine precedence of individuals, Heads of State, Diplomatic Missions, representatives of the business sector and visitors and how to apply it to seating strategies.

  • Introduction and history
  • What is an order of precedence? How is the order of precedence set at an international organisation or corporation?
  • Comparison of countries around the world
  • Applications of protocol
  • Seating arrangements: lunch/dinner or at ceremonies
  • Greeting procedures, processions, receptions and cortèges

Strategic networking

The management of hospitality and effective relationship meetings

Participants will learn how to engage with internal and external stakeholders in order to reach the organisation’s goals and objectives. In that respect, the exact roles in event management are defined for the protocol officer, host and guest.

  • Set-up of a network meeting
  • Composing a guest list
  • Invitations, forms of address and dress codes
  • Briefing/training of the hosts
  • The role of the protocol officer, guest and host
  • Levels of guest engagement
  • Evaluation & follow-up

Protocol and high-level event management during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic

There is no 'one size fits all' solution to protocol and high-level event management during the pandemic. Quite some best practices from around the globe will be discussed related to international visits, Royal events, world leaders summits, ceremonies, social distancing, face masks, as well as virtual and hybrid meetings.

Management of world leaders summits

  • Full lifecycle of a high-level international summit preparation process.
  • Division of responsibilities between host country and other entities. 
  • All elements of summit preparation, including venue production, construction, infrastructure and build-up, security requirements, types of passes, registrations, transport, programme, catering, etc.
  • Several recent case studies from around the globe.

Types of visits and their components, including gift giving and exchange of honours

Participants will learn the differences in International Visits (state visits, official visits, working visits and private visits). Learn to identify key elements to consider when selecting an appropriate gift and understand how culture affects the gift selection. They will learn more about the reciprocity of the exchange of honours as well.

Ceremonies, traditions and rituals

Participants will learn the history of ceremonies and understand the common practices and key elements of ceremonies. They will understand that a ceremony is a celebration for a visitor, community, business or organisation, which marks an event with tradition and commonality creating a memory of a lifetime. They will also learn how to organise a ceremony. 

  1. Meaning of a ceremony
  2. Organising a ceremony
  3. Components of a ceremony
  4. State ceremonies
  5. Laying of wreaths
  6. Presentation of credentials
  7. State funerals
  8. Inauguration /swearing-in and coronation
  9. Gun salutes
  10. Guard of honour
  11. Escorts of honour
  12. Silent procession

Flags, anthems and logos

Participants will learn the appropriate way to display all kinds of flags, laws, customs and observances, how to show proper respect during national anthems and determine flag and logo precedence.

  • Flag codes
  • Rules for using flags
  • Flag protocol and flag order
  • Application of flag protocol
  • Use of national anthems
  • Use of logos

Diplomatic hospitality in international relations

  • A training about the lost art of diplomacy.
  • The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations: origins and meanings of diplomatic protocol.
  • 10 things every diplomat needs; back then and now.
  • How to make friends as a diplomat?
  • Know how to entertain and host a successful diplomatic party.

The role of diplomacy and protocol in (nation) branding

  • Soft power and public diplomacy.
  • Examples of missions, visions and slogans of current heads of state. 
  • Political impact of clothing; what a head of state wears says much about their style of leadership. 
  • Address to impress: the physical appearance of an embassy can influence perceptions of your nation. An embassy acts as a window display, showing off a nation’s values, products and hospitality. How does the perfect mission look like?
  • How to celebrate your national icons and national days?
  • How to commemorate and commiserate? Learn from some special moments from around the world that never fail to generate national sentiment and a sense of unity.
  • What could nations do to improve their soft power? 10 things every cultural nation needs.
  • Dressing the past: an easily identifiable national dress is one of the most effective tools for marketing your nation. Learn about some global examples of national dress.
  • The essence of authenticity; don't just copy-paste ceremonial or cultural programme elements from other nations.

Social behaviour (at work)

  • Social rules amongst colleagues
  • Social rules when receiving guests at the office
  • Practices when attending a meeting
  • Telephone etiquette
  • Communication by mail or by letter?
  • How to compose a letter or invitation?
  • How to write an email? – Netiquette
  • Dining etiquette as practiced around the world

The characteristics of a good protocol officer

Participants will learn what defines a good protocol officer, which role he/she plays in relation to communication and policy officers, how to deal with their boss (who might not always be in love with protocol) and how can he/she make a difference and positive impact with public appearances?

Negotiation and conflict resolution

Participants will learn how to shape important deals, negotiate in uncertain environments, improve working relationships and resolve seemingly intractable disputes.

  • Understanding key negotiation concepts
  • Managing interpersonal dynamics
  • Addressing negotiation complexities
  • Interactive negotiation assignment and discussion

Risk management related to events

Risk management & unforeseen circumstances. Why do mistakes, disasters or ad hoc changes happen in event management?

Participants will learn how to make an event matter and how to prevent project management disasters?

  • Inadequate information 
  • Unclear/wrong goals and requirements 
  • Failures of communication and management
  • Inadequate resources 
  • Unproven technology 
  • External events

Planning and managing public relations campaigns, including its measuring and evaluation

  • What are PR campaigns and what are the best practices for putting together campaigns and strategies? 
  • What does the campaign / strategy process look like? 
  • How to go about putting together a campaign and evaluating it?

The role of (social) media and security related to protocol management

Participants will learn what role (social) media plays in official events, the importance of media coverage or a press conference and the impact security might have nowadays in realising public events and ceremonies. 

Advance strategies

Participants will learn how to compose an advance team and to formulate a mission statement for an event or visit. They will learn the importance of a checklist and the preparation of an advance kit. A case study will give them insight in the aspects of an advance visit and how to set up a detailed programme.

Intercultural communication

  • Discussing several theories and practices about cultural differences
  • Do’s and taboos of hosting international visitors
  • Do’s and taboos when traveling abroad

Sharing of several case studies and best practices about the image and reputation of protocol in modern days

Participants will discuss the present day practices of diplomacy and doing business, in which protocol tends to become less rigid than in the past in several parts of the world. Protocol even seems useless in the eyes of some current world leaders; how to deal with this?    

Participants will be encouraged to share an interesting case study out of their own experience as well. What went well or what went wrong? What are lessons learned and where is room for improvement?

Consultancy & interim projects, as well as training & lecture programmes, have taken place for clients and business partners in a.o. Abu Dhabi, Amman, Amsterdam, Beijing, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Doha, Dubai, Dublin, Geneva, Johannesburg, Kathmandu, Lagos, Lima, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Riyadh, San Diego, Tallinn, The Hague, Thimphu and Washington, DC.

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