Event Etiquette – 5 Things You Must Do When Hosting A Corporate Gathering

Image credit: Unsplash/Ursula Ott

Hosting an event? Since the worldwide pandemic, a few of the basic rules of etiquette that we have always followed have become irrelevant. These rules (like handshaking) often break the protocols of social distancing. Just to complicate things, some of the older rules are actually still in place, and by not observing them, you set yourself at risk of making a faux pas that jeopardizes the success of your event. With this in mind, here are five things you must do when hosting an event in the post-pandemic world:

1. Don’t Promote Yourself Unless Prompted Or Invited 

As tempting as it may be, it’s not considered good etiquette to hand out your business cards or speak about your business in a promotional way. It’s best to focus on the topic of the event. If you are invited to promote yourself, be aware of honing your listening skills and not just talking about yourself. In these cases, bringing a few corporate promotional products can help you leave a positive lasting impression without stepping into tenuous self-promotion territory. 

2. Ditch Your Old Handshaking Habits

In a world that has been shaken up by a global pandemic, handshakes are frowned upon. It’s now considered inconsiderate to reach into another person’s personal space. The thing is, it may take a concerted effort to break this old habit, so keep it in mind when you’re meeting people at an event. 

Instead of a handshake, a friendly nod and a smile with eye contact will convey your respect and acknowledgment of the other party. Avoid fist bumps and elbow touching. Since people often sneeze into their elbows, it’s been deemed a no-go. 

3. Know The Order Of Precedence

Did you know that making introductions is not as simple as it appears? The correct order of precedence around facilitating introductions lies in the hierarchy. Always make the introduction to the person with a higher rank. This means introducing an intern to a lawyer by addressing the lawyer first and speaking about the intern before you switch. To make it easier to remember, consider that you’re informing the person with the higher rank first. Also, remember to observe all correct titles in your introduction, and keep in mind that first-name introductions are inappropriate at formal corporate events. 

4. Know The No-Go Conversation Topics

Familiarize yourself with forbidden topics so you know what to steer away from when you’re making conversation. Keep the topics light and friendly so it’s easier to maintain positive feelings toward one another. Controversial topics run the risk of causing disagreements, setting a negative tone. Some topics that are best left alone include: 

  • Personal finance 
  • Personal health (yours and others)
  • Divisive or sensitive topics such as politics, religion, and social conflicts
  • Gossip

5. Be Clear About Any Special Rules And Dress Codes

As the host, you may have a particular idea in mind about how the event should proceed. If you wish for your attendees to be dressed according to a particular code, ensure you are very clear in your invitation. Clearly state any special preferences (for example, a smartphone-free event). Knowing what to expect will give attendees the ability to choose whether they wish to attend or not, given the special rules.

Etiquette Makes It Easier For Everyone

Understanding etiquette is essential when attending events. It gives you a clear indication of the expectations and ensures that everyone gets along. Etiquette is designed to create a space in which everyone’s preferences are respected, making the event pleasant and easy to enjoy.