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Diplomatic protocol ceremonies are complicated and sophisticated.287 Protocol ceremonies in business are simple, but they are worth knowing.288
Negotiations and signing a contract. When preparing for the event on this occasion, it is necessary to:
§ write a scenario of signing a contract, with a full list of the invitees (VIPs, colleagues, city administration, mass media, etc.);
§ inform the invitees about the date and time in advance, and the day before signing to phone the most important people again;
§ prepare a room for signing and all the accessories (table, chairs, folders, pens; podium for short speeches, etc.). Think of the number of invitees the room is able to accommodate;
§ design a menu with light refreshments;
§ prepare a press-release in English and Russian beforehand;
§ invite a photographer.
It is desirable to get the business cards of all participants of the negotiations: they help the interpreter to translate correctly their names, positions, and companies.
Reception and presentation. All the receptions are either sit-down or stand-up. The most honorable gala receptions are luncheons (lunch) and dinners, that is, sit-downs. Stand-ups - coup de champagne, vin d’honneur, cocktail party, dinner-buffet (including hot meat and hot fish), cold dishes table – have also become very popular of late.
The preparation of the reception includes:
§ choosing the type and place of the reception;
§ listing invitees, with their addresses and means of communication (mail, fax, phone);
§ writing a scenario of the reception;
§ sending timely invitations;
§ drawing up a seating plan;
§ ordering a menu;
§ controlling the guest service;
§ preparing preliminary translations of toasts and speeches. In a foreign party, unlike in a Russian one, the only toast is proposed at the end of the ceremony. The following clichés can be handy: Let me propose a toast to the health of… - Позвольте мне произнести тост за здоровье… I’d like to raise a toast to… - Я бы хотел поднять бокал за … Allow me to drink to… - Позвольте мне выпить за…Cheers! – На здоровье! Bottoms up! – До дна! На посошок! – One for the road!
For stand-up receptions, hosts and guests are usually dressed in business attire; for sit-downs, women can be dressed up and men can wear a classical business suit, unless invited to a black tie event, which means very formal dress, i.e. tuxedo.
During the reception the interpreter’s job is to translate – he will have his meals only during pauses, if any, between speeches.
The next day after the reception the invitees thank the hosts in writing or by phone.
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