How to be a Great Party Guest

Local Etiquette Expert Melanie Perko joined us today with helpful tips on how to be a better party guest.

Here is Melanie's Party Guest Checklist:

Did you RSVP?

  • Always RSVP!  It's so easy now with texting, emailing and of course the telephone. RSVP to any type of invitation. If you have to change your RSVP, do so before the party. If your RSVP changes, do have the courtesy to let the host(ess) know. If day of, you might email or text, so they know why you were absent.

Do not call the hostess several hours before the party, no matter what!

  • Last minute party prep is always interrupted by phone calls for directions, “can I bring anything – nice but a little late,” attire questions, or the “I will be running late” statement. At this point the host(ess) should not have to deal with any of these comments from guests.

Make sure you know the dress code and directions

  • Invitations should say, but if not, ask the host(ess) ahead of the event if you are unsure -- most likely when you RSVP. Directions are easily retrieved with GPS or MapQuest now.

Never change place cards!

  • There is a reason each guest is placed where they are. The host(ess) has given considerable time and thought to using place cards. When you are hosting, you can decide who sits where....but as a guest, it is extremely rude to move place cards to your liking.

Anticipate who will be at the party and anticipate conversation

  • Think of the event draw (i.e. the soccer banquet draws soccer parents – go over their names and the name of their player).

Have your elevator speech updated

  • We all need a 30 second “elevator speech” to use as we introduce ourselves to people we don't know.

Eat something small before you arrive

  • It's hard attending a party on an empty stomach.  Better to eat something prior to your arrival.

Never stand by the bar or hors d'oeuvre table for your conversation topics

  • The bar and hors d’oeuvre areas are heavy traffic areas, keep it that way! No congestion.

Greet and say "good-bye" to your host(ess)

  • It's the number one rule for guests.

Never assume you may wander in a private home where the party is located, unless the host(ess) announces "tours."

  • No matter how awesome the venue, if it is a private home or club, you must be granted permission to wander. If you are told, “please take yourself on a tour,” then it's OK to explore.

Save shop talk for the office

  • Social engagements are rarely the place to talk about the office. Non-employee guests and confidentiality breaches are the reason.

Hold your glass with a beverage napkin

  • The napkin keeps your right hand dry and available for the proper handshake.

If name tags are available, put your first and last name on the name tag, and put it on your right shoulder.

  • It's cheesy to put a false name or to trade name tags with others at an event or party. If name tags are left unprinted, PRINT your first and last name. Also, using false names or swapping name tags is juvenile.   Don't do it.

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