No Regrets in Milford: Etiquette Tips for Corporate Dinners

The last thing you want to do is to go to a corporate dinner for your company or head out to a networking event, and regret the things that you said or did. Etiquette is not just something that little old ladies teach their grandchildren; it is a cultural or societal guide that helps people know how to act or behave in a given situation. Whether you are planning an event at the local meeting and conference center here in Milford, or you are attending a corporate function as part of a larger educational industry conference, it is important to have at least a basic idea of what is expected from this type of gathering.

Who is Going?
The first question you need to know to identify how to properly behave when you visit the conference rooms for networking or for a corporate dinner is who will be in attendance. Will you be there with co-workers and colleagues that are on the same professional level as you, or will your boss and other corporate leaders be there too? Will spouses and families be invited to this event or is it an employees-only type of affair? Once you know who will be going, you can start to plan what you will say, how you will dress, and how you will behave during the event.

What Type of Event?
The type of gathering is important as well. Before you head off to the Milford conference center, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into by attending. Is it a formal, semi-formal, business attire, or business casual type of event? Does it say on the invitation what type of event you can expect to be attending? Is it simply a corporate dinner, an awards and presentation dinner, a professional meeting where food is being served or is it part of a larger event at the meeting and conference center? The more details you can get ahead of time, the easier it will be to know what to expect.

Prepare and Practice
If you have difficulty navigating social settings, make sure to take some time to prepare and practice what you will say during the event in the conference rooms or ballroom at the venue. Make sure to give 100 percent of your attention to any person who speaks to you. If this is an industry event, bring business cards to exchange and prepare to introduce yourself to others, remembering that you are representing your company at the Milford conference center. Avoid what is known as “over-talking,” where you continue speaking throughout the event about yourself, your company, or anything else that pops into your head. Being a good listener and interjecting when appropriate will make a better impression.

Other things to remember for corporate events include:

  • restricting yourself to one alcoholic drink, nurse it throughout the evening
  • wait to be seated at the dinner, don’t just assume it is time to sit
  • don’t start eating until a signal is given for everyone to start eating
  • avoid being negative or critical about anything, keeping a positive attitude
  • mind your dinner manners, keep your napkin on your lap, don’t reach over the table, use the right silverware, and say please and thank-you to the wait staff

Maximize the Opportunity
Regardless of whether your dinner is for your own in-house staff, regional team members, colleagues within the same industry, or unrelated business people who are coming together for a purpose, make sure that you make the most out of the opportunity. If you are there with your own company, take the time to get to know your higher ups, make a good impression, and participate when invited. If you are at the Milford conference center for an educational industry conference or expo, get out and network with colleagues and business owners to expand your contact circle and knowledge. If you are there for any other type of corporate event at the conference rooms, just get out there and get involved in any positive way that you can.

Planning a Business Dinner or Event?
If you are in the Southern New England area and are planning a business dinner, industry event, or an educational industry conference, make sure to consider The Crystal Room Conference Center. Located in Milford, Massachusetts, The Crystal Room has ample space, parking, and all of the amenities that you could ever want for your professional event. Give us a call at 508-478-7800 and schedule a tour of our venue. We have a broad range of options to accommodate everything from a basic training session in our conference rooms to a large scale trade show expo at our meeting and conference center.