How To Be A Good Guest at Holiday Parties
November 5, 2015
By Bryce Sanders
At last, the holidays are here! You’ve received several invitations to parties in private homes. You are going onstage, cast in the role of party guest.
Time to consider some behavioral do’s and don’ts that might increase the chances you will be invited back again.
RSVP – You received a hard cardstock invitation or an online invite. Give your answer in a timely manner. If you don’t, it implies you are waiting to see if something better comes along before you commit.
Bring a gift – Flowers are good. An appropriately wrapped bottle of wine or chocolates works. A large-format bottle of wine (3 liters or larger) really stands out. Good wine shops get them in December. Expect to pay about $50.
Arrive on time – If it’s a cocktail party, there’s an acceptable half hour window starting at the time on the invitation. If it’s a dinner party, you arrive on the dot.
Greet the host – Even if the party is in full swing, seek out your hosts and thank them for the invitation. Circle back before you leave, thanking them again.
Bring a check and small bills – The check is necessary if it’s a charity event. The small bills are useful if the host has arranged for valet parking.
Circulate – You have a role to play. Help get the party started. Seek out people who aren’t talking with others. Ask questions, let them do the talking.
Thank your hosts – Hand write a thank-you note the next day. E-mail is OK but a little impersonal. They welcomed you into their home. This deserves thanks.
What to avoid
Not showing up – You aren’t in the mood so you don’t go. You rationalize: “It’ll be a mob scene. They won’t miss me.” Your host made preparations for a specific number of guests.
Bring an uninvited guest – Most invitations include a “plus one.” Your host likely knows if you are married or in a relationship. If you aren’t sure, call and discreetly inquire.
Be the last to leave – Parties move along until someone announces they have to leave. Most guests depart within 15 to 30 minutes. Some linger forever. Don’t be the guest keeping your hosts from turning out the lights and heading to bed.
Pursue your own agenda – It’s a hospital fundraiser. You see a person you’ve been meaning to approach for the animal shelter. You sit down and make a pitch for your charity. If your hosts invited guests to support their event, it’s rude to piggyback your cause.
Lead with business – Don’t start conversations talking about your work or seeking to create a need. If people ask “What do you to?” talking about work is fine. It’s a social party, not a networking event.
Drink too much – Hosts are petrified of guests having accidents on the way home. Having too many drinks and getting loud makes other guest uncomfortable. Know your limits.
Having good social skills is an advantage in your business, social and personal life. It opens doors.
Original article found at: St. Louis Business Journal