Etiquette at Corporate Events

Don’t be a Wall flower

If you work in a corporate environment chances are you’ve been invited to a Corporate Event, Function or Party. This might sound silly and old fashioned but most people don’t know the art of good manners; this is something mostly learned through trial and error. But before you decline the invitation for fear of embarrassing yourself here is some really basic advice in the Do’s and Don’ts at these events that will ensure you are remembered for the right things!

Dress code
Even though you are expected to have some fun at any event or function this is still business so you need to look and act professionally. Be careful not to wear anything that could possibly malfunction like a button that keeps slipping, avoid sheer fabrics, too short hemlines and definitely think twice before donning that low-cut blouse.

Business attire – suits and dresses; pants/skirt suit or conservative dress for women and a dark suit for men.
Black tie/Formal – more formal evening wear, cocktail dresses or floor-length gowns.
Business Casual/Smart Casual – smart trousers/khakis with long sleeve shirts; dark jeans with a collar shirt/blouse.

Related article: How to avoid the BIG stampede of Year End Parties

Conversational Topics
Go prepared; think about the people who will be attending and what you already know about them. If you don’t really know anything about your colleagues or the people attending the event here are some practical tips.

  • Be a good listener – the best conversationalists are funny enough also the best listeners and truly interested in what others have to say.
  • Be well informed – read the newspaper and interesting blogs, current events are perfect for small talk.
  • Ask open-ended questions. Ask people about themselves, their family, hobbies, animals, etc.
  • Have a sense of humor but don’t overdo it with the jokes.
  • Discuss current topics such as best-selling books, famous people, technology, travel, and sports. These are all appropriate small talk subjects.

Avoid topics like

  • Religion
  • Yours or someone else’s financial situation
  • Personal health topics – yours and others
  • Details about a divorce or an affair
  • No gossiping
  • Don’t tell any racial, ethnic and sexually oriented jokes

Related article: How to create an Event that Rocks?

10 More Tips on Good Behavior at a Company Event

1. Eat something small before you go to the party. This way you won’t be drinking on an empty stomach and your mouth and hands are free to mingle, network and shake hands if need be.

2. You should really attend any office or corporate event or party that you’ve been invited to. People will expect you to be there, you don’t have to stay too long but your absence will be noticed.

3. Arrive on time. It is disrespectful to come late.

4. Participate in conversation, don’t be a wall flower. Even if this means stepping out of your comfort zone, you will be glad you did.

5. If the company has organised a Photo Booth or fun activity be a good sport and participate. Not only will you have a lot of fun but others will follow suit.

6. Don’t overindulge. This goes for drinking as well as eating.

7. Keep a common sense when it comes to how much time you spend talking and interacting with people.

8. A great way of introducing people is to say something interesting or positive about the people that are being introduced.

9. Before posting any photos on Facebook ask yourself first if it will still be appropriate the next day.

10. Remember to thank your host when leaving and it is considered gracious to send a thank you note or message the next day.

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