This protocol training course will prepare you to interact confidently and effectively with very senior individuals, including in formal and structured situations. It covers the full range of conventions, rules, customs and expectations that professional communicators must master in order to work professionally with VIPs and in high-level business. You will learn the written and unwritten rules of official protocol and business etiquette, as well as international cultural norms and variations.

This course contains the following modules:

  • Core concepts: fundamentals of protocol, etiquette and hosting
  • Communication skills
  • Cultural awareness
  • Dining etiquette and attire
  • Preparing and hosting VIP visits and occasions
  • Protocol and etiquette for VIPs
  • Protocol logistics

Who should attend?

This is an intermediate-level course designed for learners with existing knowledge and several years of experience in communications or PR. Learning is pitched at a level to help you develop strategic approaches and apply sophisticated techniques.

This course is recommended for anyone required to interact with important individuals and concerned to ensure that these interactions pass off as professionally as possible.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the universal principles of protocol, etiquette, courtesy and manners
  • Display cultural sensitivity across international dynamics
  • Navigate and manage interpersonal dynamics in important encounters
  • Make a good impression and avoid causing offence or embarrassment in high profile situations
  • Display appropriate international business etiquette in many contexts
  • Prepare and host VIP visits and formal occasions
  • Interact respectfully with people from many cultures, nations and regions


Course outline

Core concepts

  • Differences between protocol, etiquette and hosting
  • Social etiquette vs business and diplomatic etiquette
  • Understanding international differences

Communication skills

  • Introductions – the art of making conversation
  • Meeting, greeting and receiving
  • Email etiquette
  • Business correspondence

Cultural awareness

  • Culture, protocol and cross-cultural sensitivities
  • Communicating with different cultures
  • Gift giving and receiving

Dining etiquette and attire

  • Dining etiquette for different occasions
  • Entertaining – including reception lines, dinners and parties

Preparing and hosting VIP visits and occasions

  • Hosting senior dignitaries
  • Hosting royalty, politicians and diplomats
  • Bilateral and multi-lateral events
  • Orders of precedence
  • Ranking orders

Protocol and etiquette for VIPs

  • Where to find the information required
  • Greeting and assisting VIPs
  • Security
  • Seating plans and arrangements
  • Royal and diplomatic protocol
  • Forms of address
  • Invitations and RSVPs

Protocol logistics

  • Place cards
  • Flags and anthems

Protocol, etiquette and hosting is a standalone course — but you can also take it as part of the following longer Programme:

Strategic Event Management Programme (4 days)

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