Don’t embarrass yourself! – Proper Event Etiquette

We all attend many events, some more formal than others, some with more “rules” than others. Here are some etiquette tips that are good to know when attending formal social and business events.


Social events:

  • If asked to RSVP, then RSVP. The event host asked you to RSVP because they need it for their logistics, so it is crucial that you RSVP by the date he/she put on the invitation. That being said, do not show up to an event if you did not RSVP, and if you will not be able to attend after you already RSVP’ed, let the host know as soon as possible. Lastly, do not bring more people to the event than the invitation calls for.




  • If there is a dress code, black tie, festive, cocktail, adhere to it.


  • Follow your place card if given one. The host had a plan when creating the seating arrangement, so stick to it.



  • There should be nothing on the table besides the beautiful decorations. So, please keep your cell phones, Ipads, selfie sticks, and purses either on your lap or underneath your chair.


  • If there is a formal dinnerware setting on the table (multiple forks, knives, and spoons), use the outermost silverware first and work your way in for each course.




Business events:

  • Arrive on time! Business events typically have a packed agenda from start to end, and you don’t want to miss out of pertinent information. Stay for as long as possible, preferably until the end.


  • Ask before sitting down. An empty seat isn’t always empty.


  • Always introduced yourself with a firm handshake, not too strong, not too weak.



  • When introducing people, present the lower ranking person to the higher ranking person. “Mr. CEO, I’d like to introduce Mr. Lawal.” Remeber to include titles and prefixes (Dr., Barrister, Mr., Mrs.)

Business People Meeting by Window


  • Do not bring up gossip or personal finance or health conditions. Feel free to bring up current local and international news, but change the topic if the conversation gets too heated.