The term understatement best reflects the Danish mentality. This means that your guests from Denmark will not have expectations of luxury when they visit you. This does not mean, however, that they wouldn’t be pleased to be taken care of in a nice way! It is therefore best to welcome your guests personally at the airport or at least arrange for a direct transfer to the hotel.
Your Danish guests certainly won’t mind staying in a five-star hotel. However, booking a normal standard hotel with a feel-good factor is absolutely adequate.
When booking a room, be careful not to put the head of the Danish delegation in a better room. He or she would prefer to be treated in the same way as his or her staff and therefore stay in the same hotel with the same room category.
This rejection of all privileges is due to the Law of Jante, a kind of “Ten Commandments on How to Treat Each Other”, which boils down to: “Do not believe that you are something special”.
Level of care
Danes certainly do not expect round the clock care in the host country, but they do like to be given information. For example, you could organize a city tour and hand your guests a city map in which you have already entered the place and time of departure of the tour.
While Danes enjoy this form of looking after very much, you should be mindful of giving them enough space; your guests will soon be stressed if they are not given enough time to breathe between meetings and any events that you offer. They must have time to do things by themselves, be it for shopping or just to relax.
Make sure to strike a good balance between “being cared for” and “independent leisure program” and you will be doing the right thing.
As Danes like to be involved in the decision-making process, they would be pleased if you contacted them before their visit in order to clarify any possible preferences for leisure activities. You will always receive an honest response and will thus find it easier to cater to the tastes of your Danish business partners when planning their visit.
Danes are epicureans. That’s why they will enjoy dining in a good restaurant in the evening. As vice world champions in travel, they are also used to getting involved with foreign things. They will therefore want to taste regional specialties and enjoy a good wine or a local beer with their meal.
You don’t have to put together a menu in advance. Your Danish guests would prefer to choose something from the menu themselves. Explain what the local dishes are and make some special recommendations.
It is very important not to talk about business during dinner. Let work be work and talk about innocuous matters. The weather in Denmark is an absolutely opportune topic and by no means just a stopgap in the conversation.
Never forget coffee after a meal!
Evening cultural program
After dinner, your Danish guests will be ready for some cultural entertainment. If the majority of events are staged or screened in the language of your home country, opera, ballet and music concerts are the best choice.
Before you invite your Danish business partners to your home, you should allow some time to develop in your relationship. Danes separate professional and private matters rather strictly.
If you invite first, the return invitation will usually follow shortly afterwards. But then there is often a period of quiet. Please don’t take this to mean that you did anything wrong. This is rather due to the reserved mentality of your Danish business partners. Once you have won their friendship, however, it lasts a lifetime.