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'Be Human' to Ace That Business Meeting in Asia

The most important tips for doing business overseas are also the simplest. In this recent panel, our travel experts shared ways to clue themselves into new cultures and maximize connections while travelling in Asia for business. 

Be human. John Sencion travels throughout Asia as cofounder of travel goods retailer Flight 001. He suggests entrepreneurs be sensitive and adaptable. “In the end we’re all people. I just try to be respectful.”

Tap into your network. Survey friends who are from the country you’re travelling to or have been there recently, says Sencion. Usually, their tips and observations are more current than most business books.

Ask questions. In a recent meeting, Sencion discovered that what he thought was a simple sharing of ideas turned into a more formal presentation. A friend later suggested he not be afraid to just ask what’s expected.

Be open. Expect you’ll be surprised by new customs and that you can’t be prepared for every circumstance. The pleasure of the learning process will enhance your travel experience, says Whitmore. Adds Sencion, “That’s the reason why we travel, isn’t it? Those differences?”


In this special “Business Well Travelled” series, Cathay Pacific explores a number of ways to make the most of your time on the road. Discover what #lifewelltravelled means to other business travelers, share your own memorable experiences, and learn about how Cathay Pacific makes business travel more enjoyable.