At business social events, you are still under scrutiny.
Many important business deals are conducted during functions outside of the 8-5 world. Holiday parties are a time to get to know individuals better, relax and have fun. They are not the proper place to promote your business. If you want to learn more about each other or meet for coffee at another time, discreetly provide a card when asked, or ask the other individual for his/her card because you would like to learn more about their products or services.
*Be sure all mobile devices are silent; “vibrate” is not good enough. Avoid placing a mobile device on the dining table, as this indicates that it has more importance than the conversation.
*Always hold your glass in your left hand when mingling so the right one is dry and free to shake hands.
*Drink a glass of water or coffee between alcoholic drinks to maintain a sharp, professional conversation at all times.
*Make it a habit to introduce yourself to at least five people you don’t know to build up your network or make new friends. Always focus on them (which also helps if you’re self-conscious talking about yourself.)
*Your date is also under scrutiny. Adults never want to introduce someone as “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” but rather just offer their first and last names; however, if it’s your spouse, provide that designation.
*Always thank the host or hostess and let them know how much you appreciate their hospitality. It’s great to spend quality time with co-workers but don’t overstay your welcome. Pay attention to the time frame set up on the invitation.
*If a sit-down meal, follow the host/hostess for when to put your napkin in your lap and begin eating.
EMAIL ME FOR ANSWERS TO YOUR HOLIDAY ETIQUETTE QUESTIONS AT firstname.lastname@example.org! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!