August 30, 2016 Sadiki Pierre

Be Your Fabulous Self: A Guide to Surviving Cocktail Parties

pouring cocktail

Cocktail events are a staple in New York and other cities. It’s chic, easy to plan, and can take place in galleries, ballrooms, or upscale bars.

Word of warning: there’s nothing casual or laid back about cocktail events. If you don’t know what to do at these social gatherings, read on.

  • Dress Up for the Occasion – Cocktail parties still follow a dress code. While it isn’t a black tie affair, men are still expected to wear a coat or at least a dinner jacket. Women, on the other hand, should wear cocktail dresses and matching heels. Cocktail dresses usually have hemlines ranging from mid-thigh to just above the knees. It’s not a requirement to wear black, but dark colors are better than pastel ones. Keep accessories to a minimum; and remember, less is always tasteful.
  • Know Why You’re There and Arrive on Time – It could be a corporate event, a product launch, a charity ball, or a fund raiser. The point is to be aware of what event you are attending and what time it starts. Arriving fashionably late can be very awkward, especially if you make a dramatic entrance with all eyes on you. To be on the safe side, arrive at the venue 5-10 minutes early.
  • Drink, Don’t Guzzle – The phrase “open bar” sounds extremely appealing, but there’s no need to be greedy. Whether you’re attending a business function or a wedding reception, it’s considered polite to have only one drink at a time. Sip each drink slowly. After you’ve finished, politely ask the bartender for another one – never two.
  • Mingle and Socialize – Cocktail parties are social gatherings. When attending one, try to talk to people other than your circle of friends or coworkers. Go around and mingle. If it’s a corporate function, be sure to bring plenty of business cards. When accepting business cards from someone you’ve just met, make sure to read the name and title before keeping it inside a card case. It’s not polite to shove a business card inside your bag, or tuck it inside a book.
  • Don’t Take Photos of the Buffet – It’s a fun thing to do at weddings, but not during formal functions. It’s also considered crass to take pictures of your plate. If possible, keep the selfies and groufies to a minimum.
  • Don’t Hang Out at the Bar – Even if you aren’t enjoying the party, make an effort to socialize and talk to people. Hanging out by the bar and starting a long conversation with the bartender doesn’t look too good. You can take a stroll around the event venue with a drink in hand, or go out for some fresh air.
  • Don’t Overstay Your Welcome – Cocktail events normally don’t last all night, so make sure you aren’t the last one to leave. Before you go, look for the host and thank them for the invite. Being courteous and polite will ensure that you’ll get invited to more events in the future.

Following these unwritten social rules can help save you from embarrassing situations. These are just general guidelines, though. It should never take precedence over being yourself and having fun at an event.

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Make cocktail events and corporate functions more memorable with the sultry vocals and upbeat tunes of Acute Inflections. Contact us at 800-610-0704 for booking information!