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Show Notes

Invitation Etiquette:

Understand the components of a business invitation, including location, timing, and RSVP instructions. Promptly respond to RSVP requests with a polite email acknowledgment.

Arrival and Seating:

Be punctual and wait to be seated, following the host’s lead. Understanding seating arrangements and the placement of the guest of honour is essential for optimal conversation flow.

Electronic Devices:

Keep phones off the table and refrain from using them during the meal. If expecting an urgent call, inform the host discreetly beforehand and excuse yourself if necessary

Napkin Etiquette:

Unfold and place your napkin o your lap upon sitting and use it for dapping your mouth not wiping. If you need to leave the table temporarily, place it neatly on your chair. On the conclusion of the meal roughly fold it and leave it on the table on the left hand side of your place setting.

Menu Selection:

Regard the menu options with discretion, considering the host’s recommendations if uncertain. Avoid ordering the most expensive item unless specifically encouraged by the host. Politely communicate any dietary restrictions to the server and request accommodations as needed. Be considerate of others’ dietary needs as well.

Table Manners:

Practice correct table etiquette, including napkin placement, cutting food into bite-sized pieces, and using utensils appropriately. Remember to eat with your mouth closed and engage in polite conversation.

Handling Mishaps:

Maintain composure and discretion in the event of mishaps, such as spilled drinks or dropped utensils. Signal for assistance discreetly and avoid causing a scene.

Toasting Etiquette:

Wait for the host or senior-ranking person to offer the first toast. If you are being toasted you do not sip but make eye contact and acknowledge the toast with a nod or a reply to the toast, which should never be longer than the toast. At that point you then raise your glass to those being toasted.

Paying the Bill:

The host or most senior person typically attends to the bill. At a business function it would be impolite to insist on sharing the bill.

Follow-Up and Thank-You:

Send a thank-you email or note within 48 hours of the event, expressing appreciation for the invitation and enjoyable conversation and the connections made. Consider reaching out to your new connections for further networking opportunities.

Louise’s Top Tip

Please remember to be as organised as you can before any event.  Ensure that you have made your RSVP by the date on the invitation and that you have acknowledged and understood the dress code.  Punctuality is the key to appropriate networking etiquette.

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