We are a mid-sized IT company based out of India and one of our high-profile clients from the United States are visiting us. We already had a Townhall meeting where they addressed the entire organization and senior management (think CxOs). However, a few clients want to do a "Brown-Bag meeting" with teams that are handling their most critical projects. Given their kind gesture in such a tightly packed schedule, we feel the need to impress them about the work we've been doing so far and strengthen their trust. It would also serve as a great morale booster for individual team members and a tremendous opportunity to get noticed.
However, we are not too familiar with the concept of "brown bag" meeting. A quick Google search revels that
An informal meeting that takes place over lunch. This type of meeting is called a brown bag meeting because participants provide their own lunches. In the business world, a brown bag meeting would take place in the office, probably in the conference room. Brown bag meetings save companies money because they don't have to supply food or drink for the attendees. If a business wants to host a more formal meeting, it might do so at a classy restaurant and pay for every participant's food and drink. Investopedia
The food is not a problem because it will be supplied by our canteen vendors. Clients insisted that people can also bring home cooked food and not to alter any routines for them.
Now, I understand that it is an informal meeting. But I don't want our team to mess it up. We're trained well for handling formal business lunches but this is the first time we'll be doing a casual over-lunch meeting in presence of clients and our bosses.
This Workplace Question deals with client visit in general. I am looking forward for DOs and DONTs in a brown-bag meeting with US clients. For instance, since it's informal, is there a possibility that personal details (marital, family etc...)/ general topics(outside work, politics, laws) might be discussed? Are there any best practices to adopt?
We're trained well for handling formal business lunches. Well, if that's the case, then you don't have to worry. Brown-bag lunches are much easier than formal ones, because there's a lighter atmosphere. If you can handle a formal meeting, you can for sure handle an informal one ;) . Picture it like Michael Schumacher driving to work: it's super easy :D .