The Protocol Applied to Events


Protocol in Events

According to the Royal Academy of Spanish Language (RAE) the protocol is a set of rules established by standard or custom for official or solemn ceremonies and acts.

It is a set of rules or a series of instructions that are established by tradition or by agreement.

The protocol tells us how to act in certain procedures. In this way, it gathers a series of behaviors, actions and techniques that are considered suitable for certain situations.

It is also known as protocol the rules that define the proper behavior in a social event of a certain formality. In this way, the protocol is associated with what is known as etiquette: uses and customs that must be kept in public acts. For example: ways of dressing, good manners, greeting with reverence to an authority, respecting punctuality, etc…

In some countries, which still have a monarchical government, the protocol is followed more strictly unlike others.

In the organization of events, the protocol is a fundamental communication tool to achieve the success of the event itself. Since taking care of the image and the values to be transmitted is essential to differentiate itself from the competition and acquire the desired commercial value in the realization of the event.

In the organization of an event there are different types of protocol: business, religious, cultural, military, diplomatic…

Business events can have different goals and formats. However, and despite the differences, they all have a common feature, they need protocol. The typology of the event will mark the protocol to be followed.

Any event is divided into three phases: the previous organization, the event itself, and the post-event. Each of these parts has its own particularities.

Pre-organization protocol for an event.

When organizing an event, the first basic rule is to decide the reason of the event we want organize. Once we have defined the meaning and objective of the event and for what we want to carry out, in this first phase we must take into account the following actions:

Place and time:

The events in outdoor spaces have a more informal air than any other event that takes place in an interior space (room, in a congress center, theater, etc…) The protocol applied to each event will be different. On the other hand, as far as the schedule is concerned, it is important to maintain the initial punctuality and closing of the event, as well as, during the day throughout the program of the event.


It is important not to neglect all the detail, as such we should not forget to make a list of all the necessary material (audio, sound, video, lecterns, brochures, presentations, etc…) to carry out the event and prevent us from forgetting something on the day of the event. We must have everything requested and ready before the big day.


Before the event takes place, it’s important to design and plan the event schedule. Make a program with all the people who will talk and the intervention time of each. It is recommended that the speech of each spekaer should not exceed one hour so as not to lose the public interest. On the other hand, and in order to avoid conflict between speakers, it is important that everyone has the same duration for their interventions.


It is important to know the audience that will attend the event and the number of guests. If it is a particular event with few guests, about 20 people or less, it is not necessary to make the invitation long in advance or send a formal invitation. For more formal, professional events with more than 20 guests, it is important to formulate an official paper invitation and send it well in advance.

Protocol during the event.

The day of the event is the most important day. How this day will take place will mark the event’s success or not. As such, to ensure that everything goes well during the event day it is important not to neglect the following details:


The person responsible for the realization and organization of the event will be the main figure during the event. As such, the protocol dictates that the host must receive each of the guests upon arrival as well as say goodbye to each one when the event ends.

Reception of guests:

Guests must arrive around 30min to 1 hour before the start of the event/ceremony. This allows you to welcome them and lead them to their place where the necessary material will be delivered to accompany the development of the event.


If the event includes a meal or dinner, there are two ways to distribute the tables according to protocol. On one hand, the host sits at the head of the table (English method) or, on the other hand, the host sits in the center of the table (French method). The other guests will sit according to their rank or position. If you want to know more about the distribution of the tables, I advise reading this article.

Post-event protocol.

The work of an event organizer does not end with the end of the event. In the days following the end of the event it is important to take care of the following functions:


Conduct a survey with the guests to find out if the event has been satisfactory or to the liking of the attendees / guests or not and to understand if the objectives set were achieved.


Make a dossier with the conclusions of the event and send it to all attendees.


Send a thank you note to each guest for their attendance and participation in the event.

As we can understand, the protocol is always present in the planning and organization of an event. Whether it’s an informal, personal event or a more professional formal event.

The rules and procedures of the organization of each event should not be neglected. At MATERIA EFIMERA we can help you organize your event. Contact us by phone or by writing an email. We will be happy to help you.

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