A business environment promotes a set of behavioral ‘rules’ that is expected to be followed by employees and company staff. Considering that corporate events and meetings are instances where attendees can learn more about the company’s culture and connect with its people, good manners and proper business conduct can make a huge difference by creating an atmosphere that allows everyone to feel comfortable.
For all parties involved, from corporate hosts, event planners and staff to your event guests, it is not just about knowing what to discuss with a group of people or how to address your peers; it is about presenting yourself in a way that you will be taken seriously. This involves demonstrating that you have the self-control necessary to be good at your job, expressing a knowledge of business situations and having the ability to make those around you feel comfortable enough to fully enjoy the event experience.
Here are some of the key things to consider for promoting and maintaining an appropriate business behavior when attending a corporate event:
- Respond to an RSVP in a timely fashion
Even if there are different options to choose from an RSVP format (via phone, email, card invitation, etc.) it is very important that you respond quickly when receiving an invitation, preferably within a week. Should you decide not to attend, then it is imperative to alert the organiser within two days time.
- Be on time!
The event organiser spends a significant amount of time and resources to plan and execute the event, so most people know the answer to this question: be on time! It is also very important to stay as long as your time permits if not until the end.
- Meet and greet with your attendees
Most people will find themselves at situations where introductions are in order, especially when they are the ones who will be expected to know the names and titles of people in a group conversation. There are two simple rules to follow for adhering to the ‘order of introductions’: Introduce lower ranking individuals to higher ranking individuals and always remember to include titles (eg. Dr., CEO, COO, etc.) and appropriate prefixes (eg. Mr., Ms., etc.)
- Talking points to cover
Key thing to consider: Listen and don’t interrupt! Also, be sure to have an open body language and show your interest in what others have to say. Feel free to contribute to the conversation by commenting and finding topics of mutual interest to talk about and encourage people to express their thoughts.
- What to wear
In general, event organisers provide detailed information regarding attire so this makes things easier for attendees. In cases where no specific instructions are given beforehand, make sure that you avoid extreme fashion statements and dress in a way that you would feel comfortable with (clean and pressed clothes makes all the difference here).
It is true that few are actually trained in the so-called ‘art of good manners’ and most people learn how to conduct themselves at corporate events on the job. That being said, poor business conduct can cost you the trust of your co-workers and your customers, and the loss of valuable business opportunities that can be created during the event proceedings.