Attending a meeting in Croatia can be very challenging for a foreigner. The Croatian people are willing to do business with foreigners; however their own habits, styles and ways to communicate can make it very difficult for a foreigner to attend an effective meeting. The Croats expect that each member is well prepared for a Business meeting. Business meetings often start with small talk, but this does not mean that you can greet the present members by their first name, and it is not uncommon to greet people present at a meeting by their job title.
It will take several meetings before negotiations will take place during a meeting. A meeting mostly consist of a great deal of open debate and agenda's aren’t necessary. It is acceptable to bring one, but the Croats will not always follow the agenda. One of the reasons for this is that The Croats don't like to control a meeting very much.
If an agreement is made a shot of Rakia will be taken. Rakia is a typical Mediterranean alcoholic anisette beverage. If you reject the Rakia it might be seen as impolite. Furthermore, there is a possibility that a business meeting ends with being invited for a diner.
(Authors: Jules Huijskens and Joël van Bodegraven)