Etiquette Friday – Tips on Entertaining ClientsBy Angela Marshall, 1st Jun 2012
It’s Friday and the day I request you join me in my campaign for 2012 to change “Casual Friday” to “Etiquette Friday”, to get people and companies involved. If we consciously make an effort every Friday then hopefully it will become a habit every day. I challenge you to make one small change a week and by the end of the year let’s hope we have a more pleasant and positive society.
Over the next month many people from a variety of companies will be entertaining at the various social season events which this year also includes the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics in London. Many employees will be called upon to portray the image of their company’s brand but will their personal image fit in with this brand?
The fundamental role of a good host is to make sure your guests are comfortable, relaxed and enjoying themselves. Good etiquette creates an environment that allows everyone to feel at ease.
Dress code: As a host advise your guests on any set rules, and provide specific guidance as to what is appropriate wear, because what you may consider smart may not be the same as your guests.
For example – Smart Casual:
Men – trousers, jacket and tie or no tie, no jeans.
Women – dress, trousers or skirt and top but no jeans.
The manner and conduct of the event will very much be led by you as the host and it is the ideal time to show your personality, but always remember you are also representing the brand of your company.
- Arrive approximately 30 minutes before your guests.
- Planning – check that everything is planned and organised to your requirements.
- Greet everyone with a friendly smile; direct eye contact and a sincere handshake.
- Introductions – if you are holding a formal event then remember to introduce lower ranking individuals to higher ranking individuals and where appropriate include titles (e.g. Sir, Dr.). If it is a more informal event and you are on first name terms then use first names. Introduce your guests to one another and if necessary find a common subject they can talk about e.g. the event you are all attending.
- Socialise – Mingle amongst your guests and make social conversation, avoiding talking work. This can be difficult sometimes but try to find common interests or gain information on a subject that they are enthusiastic about. Remember no matter how you are feeling always smile and look happy to your guests.
- Relax – be relaxed otherwise your guests will not relax. Make every effort to show you are enjoying yourself but as host remember you are there to ensure your guests enjoy themselves too.
- Partner – when partners are included ensure your partner introduces herself or himself and uses the same tips.
When you are new at hosting corporate events it can appear hard unless you are a natural at mixing and mingling and enjoy socialising. It is also very different to entertaining friends and family at home. However, it does get easier with practice. It is always good to observe other good hosts when you are being entertained and pick up ideas and hints.
If you are in another country or in unfamiliar territory it is best to do some research, but wherever you are always appear relaxed which will ensure your guests are also relaxed and enjoying the event. Always smile, be polite and stay enthusiastic.
Picture credit: http://www.london-attractions.info/olympic-stadium.htm