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Preparing for Visiting Delegations

Here are some questions to consider if you will be hosting international visitors. Global Partnership and Programs can serve as a resource in your planning process.

Visit Considerations

Which faculty and administrators should participate?
Invite relevant individuals to address visit goals. Evaluate the status and interests of the visitors and the priority of the relationship before inviting senior administrators.

Would it be appropriate to involve students?
If certain students are relevant to the goals of the visit, it may be beneficial to invite them.

Would name tags, tent cards or place cards help facilitate the meeting/event?
Unless all members are familiar with one another, name tags, tent cards or place cards should be used.

Should formal invitations be sent to any events?
If the function is formal or of high importance, formal invitations should be sent.

Do the visitors have any dietary or religious restrictions that should be observed?

Should flags be displayed (both for the U.S. and the visitors’ country)?

How should seating be arranged to accomplish goals and respect rank?
The type of seating depends on the function. If there will be assigned seats, those with a higher rank should be toward the front.

Who will be speaking at the event or leading the meeting?
Determine if any individuals should be provided with talking points or suggested remarks.

Should a campus tour be organized?
Tours are available from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (for prospective students) and the UNC Visitors’ Center.

Will guests need help with hotel reservations?

Will the UNC-Chapel Hill department or guests pay for lodging?

Will transportation be needed to/from the airport?

Is parking needed either for the guests or participants?

Should someone escort the visitors between meetings?
Students can serve as escorts, if appropriate.

Will the visitors be bringing security?
If so, the Department of Public Safety should be notified.

Will an interpreter be needed?

Do the visitors need any disability or other accommodations?

What materials should be provided to the visitors about the University or relevant units and programs in advance?
Before arrival, visitors should receive the visit agenda bios of the Carolina faculty and staff they will be meeting.

Should a briefing be drafted for UNC-Chapel Hill participants, especially senior administrators?
Briefings will help prepare participants for discussion and ensure a smooth visit.

What information should be included in a briefing?
Briefings can include the visit agenda, goals/purpose of visit, visitor bios, information about the institution and engagement with UNC-Chapel Hill, logistical details, cultural tips or a pronunciation guide. Global Partnership and Programs can often provide information about Carolina engagement with international institutions.

Should gifts be presented to the visitors?
Determine if the visiting delegation will be bringing gifts to avoid awkwardness. If gifts will be exchanged, consider the visitors’ rank to have different levels of gifts.

Should photographs be taken?
Students/staff frequently take photos for internal use. UNC-Chapel Hill also works with contract photographers for more formal or high-profile events.

Should a news article be published?
If a visitor will be speaking or there will be an event as part of the visit, a news article may help publicize the event and promote the linkage or partnership, both in advance and after the visit. You should work with your unit’s communications officer and encourage cross-promotion with Global Partnership and Programs, plus seek approval from the visiting delegation to ensure any publicity is appropriate for them as well.

Will media be interested in the visit/event?
If media will likely attend the event or if the visitor is a head of state or dignitary, your unit’s communications officer should be notified.


Contact Information

For protocol guidance, please contact:

Melissa McMurray
Manager of Global Partnership Administration,
Global Partnership and Programs