As 2012 draws to a close you will likely be invited to a number of holiday celebrations with your clients and co-workers. Many important business relationships have been formed around the buffet table or the bar. Unfortunately if you go to enough parties, and you're bound to see a few good reputations crumble.
Holiday parties offer a great opportunity to mingle and network but you need a game plan and plenty of common sense. The type of party will determine your game plan. If it is an internal party, are there people in the firm you want to get to know better? For client parties, are there clients you need to deepen relations with or want to meet? Meeting up with friends, do you have your elevator speech ready when you meet someone new?
Below are few quick Do’s and Don’ts to consider
- RSVP – Yes or No the host needs to know
- Focus your conversation on the event – if the conversation migrates to work then so be it but don’t use it as your primary topic for the evening
- Act like a host – be interested; mingle; listen and introduce people to each other.
- Find out who else will be in attendance – this will help you plan your evening and who you want to speak with
- Have your business cards with you – you never know who may be there
- Image is perception – the light-up reindeer tie is likely not appropriate
- Don't drink excessively: Free drinks have a cost.
- Don't eat foods that play havoc with your breath
- Don't assume everyone is celebrating Christmas
- Keep hands (and lips) to yourself
- Turn off the mobile
Holiday parties are time to have fun and let loose a little. So get on the dance floor and have a laugh but don’t dance on tables or put a lamp shade on your head.