Spain is known for being a high-context country, therefore decisions will not often be made during a meeting. Meetings are normally used to collect data, share information and for building up a strong relationship. Spaniards do not use agendas, and sometimes a meeting ends up in a restaurant. Getting an invitation to lunch in a restaurant can be seen a good sign.
It is considered wise to get as much information about the subject to impress the Spaniards. Spain is known for having a strong hierarchy in companies, so keep in mind to send a main person in your company to attend the meeting. Getting comfortable with some Spanish verbs can be very useful when attending a meeting, as Spaniards will appreciate this. Spaniards are emotional people with a great sense of humour, so it’s unlikely that they will judge you on misspelled words or pronouncing words incorrect.
The first meeting is all about building up a strong relationship before getting down to business. Patience is important, because making decisions will often not take place during a first meeting. Body language is very important while attending a meeting in Spain. Spaniards expect to negotiate with people on the same level as they are. This, however, does not mean that this person will make the final decision. Decisions are normally made in the top management of the company, because of the strong hierarchy in companies.
Entertainment is very important in Spain because of the fact that business depends on strong relationships. It’s considered normal to have a meeting during lunch or dinner, but it’s also possible to end up in a bar during the night. Bear in mind that dinners don’t start early, normal time to go out for dinner in Spain is around ten PM. During a lunch meeting it is common to drink wine and eat some tapas, typical Spanish bites.