Seeking cues on Thai etiquette? Looking for Spanish currency info? This guide includes everything from organizations to Web sites to books to help you with your international event.

Books - Do's and Taboos Around the World, 3rd ed., edited by Roger E. Axtell, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1993

- Do's And Taboos Around the World for Women in Business, by Roger E. Axtell, Tami Briggs, Margaret Corcoran, and Mary Beth Lamb, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1997

- Do's and Taboos of Hosting International Visitors, by Roger E. Axtell, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1990

- Do's and Taboos of Preparing for Your Trip Abroad, by Roger E. Axtell and John P. Healy, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1994

- Do's and Taboos of Using English Around the World, by Roger E. Axtell, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1995

- Gestures: Do's and Taboos of Body Language Around the World, by Roger E. Axtell, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1998

- Russian Etiquette & Ethics in Business, by Drew Wilson and Lloyd Donaldson, NTC Business Books, a division of NTC Publishing Group, 1996

- Chinese Etiquette & Ethics in Business, 2nd ed., by Boye Lafayette De Mente, NTC Business Books, a division of NTC Publishing Group, 1994

- Japanese Etiquette & Ethics in Business, 6th ed., by Boye Lafayette De Mente, NTC Business Books, a division of NTC Publishing Group, 1996

- Korean Etiquette & Ethics in Business, 2nd ed., by Boye Lafayette De Mente, NTC Business Books, a division of NTC Publishing Group, 1994

- Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: How To Do Business in 60 Countries, by Terri Morrison et al., Adams Media Corp., 1995

- Multicultural Manners: New Rules of Etiquette for a Changing Society, by Norine Dresser, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1996

- Going International: How to Make Friends and Deal Effectively in the Global Marketplace, by Lennie Copeland and Lewis Griggs, NAL, 1990

- When Business East Meets Business West: The Guide to Practice and Protocol in the Pacific Rim, by Christopher Engholm, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1991

- The Traveler's Guide to Latin American Customs & Manners, by Nancy L. Braganti and Elizabeth Devine, St. Martin's Press, 1989

Language - Foreign Languages for Travelers on the Web. Click your mouse on the icon of the language you want to learn, and access translations in seven categories including dining, directions, places, and travel. There are also translating dictionaries and a worldwide hotel database.

Publications/Organizations - The Intercultural Press offers many cross-cultural communication guides. (207) 846-5168, (800) 370-2665; Fax: (207) 846-5181;;

- Brigham Young University and the Millennial Star Network (MSTAR.NET) publish four-page CulturGram briefings that cover greetings, dining customs, courtesies, gestures, lifestyles, and attitudes of a nation's people. Updated annually, CulturGrams are available for more than 175 countries. (800) 528-6279; Fax: (801) 705-4350;

- United Nations Publications-Sales Section, Room DC2-853, Dept. I004, New York, NY 10017; (800) 253-9646 or (212) 963-3489 (for international publications and current information);;

Government Agencies - The Department of Commerce's Trade Information Center, (800) USA-TRADE (872-8723); hearing-impaired: (800) 833-8723; Fax: (202) 482-4473;;

- The Department of Commerce produces catalog exhibitions that display product catalogs to potential agents, distributors, or buyers in selected world markets. Contact Export Promotion Services at (202) 482-3973; Fax: (202) 482-2718

- The National Trade Data Bank is a compilation of export promotion and international trade data from 17 U.S. government agencies. To order, call (800) STAT-USA, (202) 482-1986; Fax: (202) 482-2164;;

Shipping/Customs Freight Forwarders - R.E. Rogers Inc., (310) 641-6600; Fax: (310) 641-0703 or (310) 641-1568

- Schenker International Inc., (630) 595-0095; Fax: (630) 860-9166;

- Sho-Air International Inc., (800) 227-9111, (949) 476-9111; Fax: (949) 476-9992;

- TWI Global Exhibition Logistics, (702) 691-9000; Fax: (702) 691-9045;;

- D. Hauser Inc., Michael J. Bonvissuto Sr., VP, 182-23 150th Ave., Springfield Gardens, NY 11413; (718) 656-7767

- Panalpina Inc., 800 Arthur Ave., Elk Grove Village, Chicago, IL 60667; (947) 545-1500; Fax: (947) 545-5599;

Information Bank - ATA Carnet. For a list of ATA Carnet member countries and copies of ATA Carnet forms, contact the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036; (212) 354-4480; Fax: (212) 944-0012;;

Safety, Security, and Medical ServicesInsurance/Security - International SOS Assistance Inc. provides a number of worldwide assistance and insurance plans. The Global Premier plan provides supplemental medical coverage, death and disability insurance, emergency evacuation, 24-hour access to multilingual operators, and monitoring of medical problems abroad by SOS specialists. (800) 523-8661, (215) 244-1500; Fax: (215) 244-2227; for emergencies: (800) 523-6586;;

- U.S. State Department Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets. Listings of travel warnings issued by the State Department as well as Consular Information Sheets for every country, including the location of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, unusual currency and entry regulations, and crime and security facts. The site also has public announcements about relatively short-term conditions that could pose risks to the security of American travelers.

- MEDEX Assistance Corp. offers plans for emergency assistance or supplemental medical coverage in foreign locales. (800) 537-2029, (410) 453-6300; Fax: (410) 453-6301;;

- International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers is a nonprofit organization that publishes a directory of 850 English-speaking doctors in 130 countries who have agreed to treat travelers for set prices. Membership is free, but fees are charged for services. Doctors are U.S., Canadian, or British-trained. (716) 754-4883;;

- Levitt, Conford & Associates is an international consulting and planning organization focusing on all aspects of disaster preparedness and contingency planning. (718) 969-1111

- Event & Meeting Security Services specializes in security, health, emergency planning, and staff communication system services for meetings, events, and travel. (615) 377-3200;;

- Worldwide Assistance offers pre-trip and travel information, emergency assistance, and communication services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. (800) 777-8710, ext. 409; (202) 331-1609, ext. 409; Fax: (202) 331-1588;;

Global Emergency Medical Services - In-House Physicians, Jonathan Spero, MD. This company will consult with planners about medical liability on overseas trips and can provide medical staff to travel with groups. (800) 919-3627 or (773) 251-4087

- GlobalCare and Global Emergency Medical Services Inc. GlobalCare offers the MedPass program. Their Web pages offer an overview of the medical services and support provided by this company, including a help desk staffed by registered nurses 24 hours a day, who are able to provide phone assistance in medical situations and make referrals to English-speaking providers or arrange medical evacuations. An online enrollment form is included. (800) 249-2533, (770) 475-1114; Fax: (770) 475-0058;; or

- A health site that features a pre-travel checklist, global food and water precautions, information on insect avoidance and altitude illness, country profiles, lists of travel medicine providers, and pointers on traveling with medications. A large site with many links and much information.

Information Bank - The U.S. Dept. of State Citizens' Emergency Center issues travel warnings, health precautions, and other safety information for those traveling abroad. The Web site includes a long list of informational publications on various aspects of foreign travel, from "A Safe Trip Abroad" to "Foreign Entry Requirements." (202) 647-5225; Fax: (202) 647-3732;

- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's International Travelers Hotline offers health information on specific countries, including geographic health recommendations for every region of the globe. (877) FYI-TRIP; Fax: (888) 232-3299 (call nights/evenings for best accessibility);

- To obtain the phone number of any U.S. embassy or consulate, call (202) 647-4000.

Currency/Tax Reclaim Firms - U.S. Customs Know Before You Go has specific information for U.S. residents returning home, including duty-free regulations and customs exemptions from various foreign countries.

- Global Refund, (203) 674-8145, (800) KNOW-VAT; Fax: (203) 674-8709;;

- FEXCO Tax Reclaim Services, 011 353 66 97 61772; (800) 865-4561; UK Freephone: 0800 39 38 58; Fax: 011 353 66 97 61753;;

- Meridian Reclaim Services, (212) 554-6600; Fax: (212) 974-0673;

- Revenue Canada Visitor Rebate, (902) 432-5608; Fax: (902) 432-5592;;

- Ruesch International, (202) 408-1200; Fax: (202) 408-1211;

- Thomas Cook Currency Services Inc., (800) 223-9392, (416) 359-3834; Fax: (800) 266-5150;

- Travelex Financial Services, (402) 491-3200; Fax: (402) 491-0016;

Money/Taxes - The Universal Currency Converter is an interactive chart that lets you convert U.S. dollars into a selected foreign currency, and vice versa.

- Exchange Rates lets you view currency exchange rates for any day since January 1, 1990.

- CNN's Financial Network Currencies Market provides charts of currency values compared to the U.S. dollar, showing the latest trade dates.

- Corporate VAT Management provides basic information on value-added tax, with a section on VAT refunds for businesses. Brought to you by a Seattle-based management consulting firm that sells VAT refund software called AUTO VAT.

- Visa Expo. Click on the ATM Locator on Visa's Expo site to pinpoint the exact location of ATM machines in cities and airports around the world.

Destination Information - U.S. Passport Services. A nationwide list of where to apply for a passport; how to get passports the easy way; downloadable, printable passport applications; and a section with answers to frequently asked questions.

- The U.S. Dept. of Commerce can provide current economic and political information on foreign countries. (202) 482-2000

- Background Notes, a valuable source of information on specific destinations around the world, can be found on the Web under "Regions" at or call the State Department's public information number at (202) 647-6575.

- U.S. embassies abroad offer a range of information. See a list of available "U.S. Missions" online under "Regions" at Americans who register in the consular section of the U.S. embassy in foreign countries can obtain up-to-date information on travel and security in that country. The Overseas Citizen Services 24-hour travelers' hotline is (202) 647-5225. For links to U.S. embassies and consulates around the world:

- From Tip Computers International: two free fact sheets explaining common tips for porters, bellhops, etc. for 52 countries. Send a stamped (55 cents postage), self-addressed business envelope to TCI Enterprises, 1236 Wilbur Ave., San Diego, CA 92106.

- The International Trade Administration home page is a good source of government data on various countries and hyperlinks.

- Trade Compass, a Web site on international business operated by Sun Microsystems, is a source for information of interest to international planners with many useful hot links.

- World Weather Forecasts, provides forecasts and satellite images for cities and regions around the world.

- Travelocity, the ultimate in travel Web sites, with detailed site and travel information on a huge destination database.

- Event Planner provides country-by-country information.

- Excite Travel Guides. Click on a world map to locate sites. Information on each country, its culture, lodging, maps, transportation, weather, and yellow pages.

- Travel Web, a comprehensive database of links to accommodations, airlines, ground transportation, cruising, tour operators, travel insurance, worldwide destinations, and more.

- Digital Passport is an easy-to-use site with lots of helpful information for international travel on topics such as currency exchange, time zones, embassies, international deliveries, and international airports.

More Organizations and Associations - The International Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus publishes a directory of member bureaus in 27 countries. The member CVBs can help plan a meeting, often free of charge. Contact Lorri Lee Ragan, director of communications, IACVB, 2000 L St., NW, Ste. 702, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 296-7888; Fax: (202) 296-7889;;

- For Asian destinations, get contacts and information from the Asian Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus, c/o Macau Government Tourist Office, 2/F Tourism and Conference Centre, Rua Luis Gonzaga, Gomes, Macau; (853) 7984156/57; Fax:(853) 703 213;;

- L'Association Internationale des Palais de Congres publishes a directory of 100 leading convention centers around the world. Copies are free from AIPC, c/o Lisboa Congress Center, Marcos Carvalho Pereira, Secretary General, Praca das Industrias, Apartado 3200, 1301-307 Lisboa Codex, Portugal; 351 1 360 14 86; Fax: 351 1 360 14 63;;

- The European Federation of Conference Towns offers many services to U.S. meetings executives, including a free directory of more than 100 European convention destinations. EFCT Secretariat, PO Box 182, 1040 Brussels, Belgium; 32 2 7326954; Fax: 32 2 7354840;

- The International Congress and Convention Association has about 450 members in 65 countries representing the main specialists in handling, transporting, and accommodating international events. ICCA has an extensive database with information on approximately 7,300 international meetings, some of which can be purchased by non-ICCA members. ICCA, Entrada 121, 1096 EB, Amsterdam, Netherlands; 31 20 398 1919; Fax: 31 20 699 0781. Here one can find destination information as well as abstracts from congresses around the world: U.S. office: Karin Van Der Cammen, ICCA North America, 8104 Thoreau Drive, Bethesda, MD 20817; (301) 365-5238; Fax: (301) 365-8026;;

- Tourism Offices Worldwide. Directory contains a comprehensive database of official government tourism offices and similar agencies around the globe, with links to those that have Web sites.

DMCs and PCOs Most planners of international events say they rely on the help of a local destination management company or professional congress organizer. While their areas of expertise often overlap, the PCO tends to specialize in handling large conventions. Both DMCs and PCOs can manage all the on-site details of a program, and their help is particularly useful for local negotiations because they have specific country expertise.

- Euromic, founded in 1973, is a consortium of European and Mediterranean DMCs. Ann Ertsas, Director of Marketing-North America, Euromic Inc.; 333 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60601; (800) 621-8045, (312) 845-9734; Fax: (312) 845-9739;;

- DMC Global Events Partners is an alliance of full-service DMCs from around the world. Contact Rachel Elliott Sr., vice president, DMC Global Events Partners, 2501 M Street, NW, Ste. 515, Washington, DC 20037; (800) 206-9055, (202) 775-5816; Fax: (202) 775-8150;;

- Destination Management Companies has listings for more than 650 destination management companies in more than 70 countries around the world.

Miscellaneous Web Sites - International Telephone Directory provides phone or fax numbers anywhere in the world.

- International Dialing Codes lists country codes and direct-dialing prefixes for destinations worldwide, with an explanation of how to make calls to and from foreign countries.

- Business Travel Net has information on business travel products and services worldwide, including airlines, hotels, and car rental companies.

- Swiss Info Page has the local time for cities and locales worldwide.

- The Embassy Page links to embassies and consulates worldwide.

- FedEx tracks the status of any FedEx package.

International Exhibits - The International Association of Professional Congress Organizers (IAPCO) can get you in touch with member PCOs in specific countries. IAPCO, 40 rue Washington, 1050 Brussels, Belgium; 32 2 640 71 05; Fax: 32 2 640 47 31;;

- The International Association for Exposition Management offers fact files on "How U.S. and European Fairs Differ," "Brazil and Columbia - Trade Show Opportunities," and "The A.T.A. Carnet." "Going Global" is an exhibitor's checklist that show managers can add to the exhibitor manual. Contact IAEM, 501 LBJ Freeway, Ste. 350, Dallas, TX 75244; (972) 458-8002; Fax: (972) 458-8119;