A corporate event or a company party is a great place to network and establish professional connections. Many use these events as a platform to help further their career and expand their business influence.
Unfortunately, many inexperienced attendees falter, don’t know how to communicate, and make mistakes. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you navigate through a corporate event easily:
- Should you go?
If you’re invited to the party, it’s a good idea to go unless there’s another, more important engagement scheduled at the same time. These parties and events provide people the platform to communicate and establish rapport outside the formal setting. Avoiding it is a missed opportunity and can hamper your progress. Whether you’re a new employee, an old one, or a new business owner in an established industry, it’s a good idea to attend these parties and learn how to interact with people in such environments.
- What should you wear?
Always wear something elegant, comfortable, and somewhat formal, even when you’re attending office parties. Corporate parties and events do require semi-formal attire. You can ask your coworkers advice on what to wear but if you’re uncertain, err on the side of caution. Don’t wear anything what would be considered inappropriate for work. Men can wear trousers, shirts, and a jacket, while women can wear slightly formal but still colorful and fun dresses.
- Should you talk to senior executives and influencers?
The short answer is: yes. This can be an excellent opportunity to establish connections with influential people and possibly further your career. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t a job interview and executives are just there to interact and socialize. The best way to engage them is to discuss topics relevant to your industry, business, and profession. Talk about a paper you read, or a competitor’s product, or some research, etc. This will showcase your knowledge and your interest in the industry, which will have a bigger and better impact on the executives.
- Should you purchase gifts for a holiday party?
If you’re attending a holiday office party, there’s nothing wrong with giving gifts to employers and co-workers. However, it’s important to understand company policy on gifts giving before buying anything. Some companies have a dollar value cap on the price of the gift.
- When should you arrive?
You should arrive either on time or a few minutes early. Being fashionably late isn’t always suitable for formal occasions like office parties or corporate events. Unless being late is unavoidable, try to be at the venue on time. This gives you more time to socialize and can also have a good impression on the hosts.
- Make an effort to communicate
It’s not easy to initiate conversations at such events but it’s important to make that effort. Speak with as many people as you can, get introductions, and engage other attendees in conversation. Great conversations at social events can be memorable and people often follow up to have similar conversations again.