Tips and Tricks
Tips and Tricks- The flip side of events: Guest etiquetteAt some point during your business career you will be attending or will have someone representing your company at a variety of events. Whether it’s a gala, luncheon, or perhaps a private function at the boss’s home, being a good guest is more important than you may realize. The following guidelines will assist you:
1. RSVP – Reply to any invitation within five days. If a last minute change is made, call ahead to inform the host of changes, dietary concerns or delays.
2. Dress Codes – Dress appropriately for the occasion and ask the host if uncertain.
Business Attire - Suits and dresses
Black Tie/ Black Tie Optional – Formal Wear
Business Casual – Trousers, Khakis, long-sleeve shirts, sweaters
Jackets and Ties required – Sport coat and tie/ blouse and slacks, blazer
Comfortable Casual – No athletic wear unless stated
3. On Time Performance – Always show when requested. You demonstrate a lack of respect to your host and other guests if you are late. If you do arrive late, politely apologize without excuses.
4. Civility in Networking – Visit the washroom before the function and wash your hands. Always shake hands with the host and other guests on arrival and departure. Hand out business cards and keep them on the table until the meal is over. They’re a good reference for you and it’s considered rude to put them directly out of sight.
5. Polite Introductions – Never fail to introduce people around you, even if you have just met them. When appropriate, introduce lower ranks to higher ranks, including their names and job titles. If you wear a name badge, it should be placed on the side you shake hands with (the eye will travel up the arm to the name tag).
6. Inappropriate Topics – Avoid topics on health matters, personal finance, and gossip. Also, steer clear from inappropriate humour, foul language, as well as divisive and sexual topics.
7. Courtesy in Conversation – Listen, listen, and listen. Never interrupt or try to prove a point. Look at the person without being distracted by someone you would rather be speaking to. Mention the other person’s name at least once during your conversation.
8. Mind your Manners – Allow others to take the best seat, begin eating when everyone is served, and never drink more than two alcoholic drinks. Don’t forget please and thank you to other guests and serving staff. Familiarize yourself with how to use glassware, cutlery, and plates; place fork and knife in 4:00 position after your meal; leave napkins on chair seat when finished.
9. Tech-etiquette – Unless you are on call, for the duration of the function, you should not be available. NEVER acknowledge or send a message during a business function or event unless you leave the room to do so.
10. Show Appreciation – Before departing, thank your host, and then send a thank you note. In addition, send a note or e-mail (either is appropriate) to those you met at the function to acknowledge your conversation.
The value of business etiquette demonstrates you care about detail. Although there are final details to apply to these suggested guidelines, it is important to understand that careless practices reflect on you as an individual and can have unfavourable implications on the company you represent.
Source: The Planner, July-August ’08. Article written by Kathie Madden, a Delta-based event planner, www.kathiemaddenevents.com