Austin International Etiquette and Protocol Expert, Sharon Schweitzer, Counseling Local Companies on Formula One, and Bridging the Culture Divide

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Schweitzer part of City of Austin’s “Preparing for the 2012 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix” workshops.

Today the City of Austin offers local businesses a third opportunity to hear from a variety of experts sharing guidance on how to make the most of 300,000 visitors coming to the Austin area for the Formula One races this November. Sharon Schweitzer, an Austin-based Business Etiquette and International Protocol Expert, was one of the speakers at the two workshops held in late August, talking about bridging the cultural divide with International customers. Due to popular demand, the City will “re-run” the workshop via a webinar today, Tuesday, September 4, at 2 pm. More information is at: or

The webinar will end with a live Q&A with the experts, including Schweitzer, who is available to share International etiquette and protocol guidance with companies, organizations, or press, especially leading up to November 16-18.

Sharon Schweitzer J.D. PHR is certified as an International Protocol and Corporate Etiquette Consultant by the Protocol School of Washington. She is also a labor and employment lawyer, a certified professional in human resources, and a trained mediator. With this experience, Schweitzer has trained thousands of people, and some of the biggest and most regarded Fortune 500 brands, Universities, and law firms. For over a decade, Schweitzer’s headquarters has been her hometown of Austin, but her expertise has benefited clients in US cities from coast to coast and countries including Canada, England, France and the Czech Republic.

Schweitzer’s experience and stellar reputation highlighted her as a valuable resource for the City of Austin to share with local businesses at the Formula One preparatory workshops. Schweitzer joined others including Circuit of the Americas, the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau and downtown hotels to share guidance and recommendations for how business can best operate and take advantage of this worldwide event.

“I was honored to be asked by the city to be part of such a high caliber group gathered to help prepare our local hospitality businesses and service professionals for interacting with our guests from other countries,” said Schweitzer. “My whole business focus and what I love to do best is all coming together, in my own hometown, with the US Grand Prix. I’m so very excited to be able to provide guidance and support – and to make sure we put Austin’s very best foot forward.”

In the workshops, Schweitzer focused in on Bridging the Cultural Divide with International Customers. She prepared what she believes are the most crucial points for welcoming International guests and leaving them with a positive, lasting impression of Austin. She shared the same tips in two posts on her blog, Protocol in Practice:

Schweitzer’s counsel includes reminding us to be a bit more formal and respectful in our greetings and to use appropriate titles and last names with customers, avoiding familiarity until it is invited. Schweitzer also talks about business card etiquette, retail and restaurant service recommendations, personal space, tipping and gestures.

“In Austin, we are known for our friendliness, openness, gregariousness, informality and humor. And of course we don’t want to lose our local charm as we bring visitors to our wonderfully weird city! But at the same time, let’s treat our visitors with respect and ensure we don’t botch this incredible tourist opportunity,” reminds Schweitzer.

Again, Schweitzer is available to speak with businesses, or the media, live during the Q&A portion of the final workshop being held at Austin City Hall today, September 4, at 2 pm. More information is here: or

Schweitzer is also happy to share her counsel leading up to the mid November event, or anytime over the upcoming 10 years of Formula One in Austin. She is an excellent media resource around any etiquette or protocol issues, has prior TV and print experience, and welcomes the opportunity to speak with the media. To set up conversations, please contact Laura Beck, 512-786-1098 or laurabeckcahoon(at)gmail(dot)com.

For more information on Sharon Schweitzer, and her business, Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, LLC, please see: or call 512.306.1845. Follow Schweitzer’s blog at: and follow Schweitzer on twitter at: @austinprotocol

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Laura Beck
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