8 Tips for Convention Etiquette
Posted by Liz Taylor Jul 03, 2012
Most of us have experienced a convention where we’ve witnessed a colleague act inappropriately. Whether that person drank too much, flirted with a coworker, had poor hygiene or worse… There are definitely some basic rules of convention etiquette, and if you go against them, it could cost you your career. Here are my top tips to avoid becoming “that guy”:
1. Image and Hygiene are Vital. Always be aware of your professional appearance. Your appearance should reflect the company's image at all times during the event. Pack clothes that you feel confident in and use the hotel ironing board to press your clothes that wrinkled during the flight. Ladies, avoid exposing too much décolletage. Have mints on hand and shower before the event.
2. Nametag Placement. Remember that your nametag is placed beneath your right shoulder. Most people are right handed and as they go to shake your hand, their eye naturally migrates to your right hand side. Even if you are with your colleagues, some of your clients or partners might need help remembering your name, so if you are given a nametag, wear it.
3. Respect the Personal Space of other People. Many people are uncomfortable with hugging. So, unless it’s your industry standard, a handshake is preferred. Also, don’t stand too close to someone. Many people need at least an arm’s length distance to feel comfortable. If someone takes a step back while you are in a conversation, that’s a good indicator that you are talking too close.
4. Be Mindful of What's Around You. Conventions are typically busy and realize that you are sharing space (and usually limited space at that) with a lot of people. Everyone is trying to get somewhere, or see something. Don't make it difficult by stopping in the middle of a walk way.
5. Take Notes. Write down names (just not on a person’s business card in front of them) and a high level overview of your conversation with others so you can remember your follow up’s and to-do’s when you return home.
6. Know your Limits. Remember the “two drinks” rule. We all know our limits. If your client or vendor is pushing you to drink more than you are comfortable with, order a soda water with lime or any other non-alcoholic drink. It’s not worth waking up the next morning thinking, “what have I done?!”
7. Use Common Sense. Focus on making decisions that will help develop relationships. Remember that you are not on this trip to blow off steam. Enjoy yourself yet remember that this is a professional work trip. Your boss, clients or vendors might be observing your behavior. Always respect your company and your reputation.
8. Work Out. Many times these events are mentally exhausting. Pack your running shoes and utilize the fitness center to stay mentally sharp.
As always, email if you have any questions and best of luck at your next convention.
“How refreshing and timely. From the texting generation to the baby boomers—the art of etiquette is sadly disappearing. Whether you just need a touch-up or a full immersion, Liz, is the person to teach you the skills to appear confident, elegant and professional in any business situation. Her energetic and engaging style will make this one of the most enjoyable seminars you have ever taken! Liz is awesome!”
—Chuck Bokar, Principal, Design Resource Center
“Absolutely superb! Liz has an amazing knack for presenting her concepts in a thought-provoking and clear style. Her ideas and suggestions would enhance anyone's ability to bridge the gap between business and etiquette. She clearly has a deep understanding of not only the topic, but the thought processes that go into creating better interpersonal relationships out of socially awkward situations. I highly recommend her and her coursework...she will help your business!”
—Brad Guck, District Manager, Administaff
“Liz, Thank you so much for coming to Indianapolis to help us grow our skills as professionals and as people. Your presentation helped us address issues with grace, candor, sensitivity – as well as fun! You were fabulous!”
—Betsy Hamlett, Director of Sales for Kenra, Ltd.