Whether it’s favourable or not is entirely up to you. When alcohol is involved, there’s an opportunity for pitfalls and faux pas. And when the boss or clients are watching, you’d better remember that you’re not at the local sports club with our mates or girl gang. Here are eight great tips to ensure you get invited back.
Your punctuality will be judged just as it is in the office, especially at business events hosted at someone’s home. If the invitation says 2.00pm then be there 5 minutes either side. NOT too early and definitely not too late. It’s respectful to the host to arrive on time.
Sure, it’s a business occasion but it’s also a celebration. Dress smart casual (unless otherwise indicated) and if it’s a Christmas Party then add a bit of tinsel, fun earrings, or another accessory that says “Yes, I have a sense of humour”.
When there’s an abundance of food and drink, and when you’re in a celebratory mood, it’s easy to overindulge. But remember, when it comes to business events you need to remain in control. Don’t pile your plate high and go back for thirds, and absolutely curb your intake of alcohol. What happens at the party will NOT stay at the party if it’s a business event.
When someone hosts a party at their home, it’s polite to bring a bottle of wine, chocolates, or some other small gift to say ‘Thank You’. If you bring a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer and it’s not opened, DO NOT take it back! You have bought a gift, not an item you take with you when you leave regardless of the circumstances.
When it comes to business events that are a celebration, don’t talk business all night. In fact, it’s better not to talk about business at all. If the Boss asks your opinion on a work matter then a polite discussion is OK. But know when the conversation is OVER don’t bring workmates back to reality by relaying information to them.
Sometimes it’s what you DON’T say that leaves a better impression than what you do say. Have an opinion but don’t hog conversations, bleat endlessly about work, or appear disinterested in what’s going on around you. It’s not about YOU, it’s about the team. In fact, some business events that are celebrations are a great way to team build without even knowing it.
If you see someone standing on their own, invite them to join your group or start a conversation with them. When I’ve hosted business events I endeavour to introduce people and keep an eye out for people on their own. It costs nothing to be inclusive, and the rewards may be greater than you expect.
Of course, you are going to thank your hosts before you leave, but what about a post-party thank you? A hand-written note on elegant paper (that you can buy by the sheet, so no excuses) or a thoughtful card will leave a wildly good impression. Show a little gratitude by expressing your genuine appreciation. No,it’s not ‘sucking up’ it’s a way to show that you are a person who thinks of others.
Do you have tips on attending business events you’d like to share? What are the best types of business events for you?