Case 08: Trade Show Protocol

Pornchai Vijayaya, a big potential customer from Bangkok, has made an appointment via email to meet at your Singapore trade show booth after lunch. Since you are completing discussions with a German visitor as the 55 year-old Khun Pornchai enters, it is your assistant David Fang who goes over to greet the distinguished Thai business owner.

David is carrying a load of brochures in his right arm, so he accepts Khun Pornchai’s business card with this left hand. The Thai businessman sets his large briefcase on the floor as he begins speaking to Fang, who now has both hands full. Because the briefcase blocks the passage to the back room of the booth, David moves it aside with his foot and invites Khun Pornchai to take a seat at the conference table.

As you are saying goodbye to the German visitor you notice that your potential Thai customer looks unhappy. You hope nothing has happened to offend him.


1. What probably caused Khun Pornchai to feel offended?

2. What could you have done prior to the show to avoid this kind of problem?

3. Suggest at least two actions you might take now to smooth over the situation. This Thai company could easily become your largest customer in the ASEAN region.