They’ve Got All the Time in the World!

Have you been in those countries where time just seems to move at a much slower pace? Well, it really doesn’t. Time is the same for all of us – there are only ever 24 hours in a day. But, people PERCEIVE those hours in vastly different ways in different cultures.


Cultural experts tend to agree that countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and India (among many others) tend to have a more casual view of time than other countries such as Germany, Switzerland, and the USA.


What does that mean?

Time is not something that needs to be measured precisely. Time is yours to spend in doing what is important to you; don’t rush it all away. Enjoy the time that you have – and spend it doing what you love, with those you want to be with! Those cultures with a loose reckoning of time place the value of human relationships above that of the commodity of time.


How does that impact my trade show experience?

  • Expect little punctuality – and establish early deadlines for completion.
  • Go in with a more relaxed attitude and focus more on the relationships than on the specific business at hand.
  • Understand that locals may sometimes feel offended when appointments are cut short, due to the keeping of what is viewed as an arbitrary schedule.
  • Hold loose schedules for meetings, work and public transportation trips.
  • Try to view time as plentiful (but only after your exhibit is finished!).
  • Use time to invest in relationships.
  • See business dealings as more relational than transactional.


Here are more TIPS for working with those cultures with a loose reckoning of time.

Please share your thoughts