5 Tips to Follow for your Next Company Holiday Party

November 29, 2021 in Career and Job Search Tips, HR Best Practices



The way you present yourself at a corporate event can either strengthen relationships – or make you the laughingstock of your food & beverage organization. Follow these five tips for your upcoming company holiday party:

1. Ask about the dress code. 

You may have all the self-confidence in the world, but you’re still attending a company function.

  • Plan your outfit ahead of time. Over- or under-dressing makes you seem either clueless or disrespectful.
  • Keep the outfit appropriate and in keeping with your company culture.
  • Use the: “grandma rule of thumb”: If your grandmother wouldn’t approve of you wearing it, don’t do it at the holiday party.

2. Watch how much you drink. 

This is one of the most common blunders – and one of the most dangerous. Certainly, you’re entitled to loosen up a bit and enjoy a cocktail with your colleagues and superiors. But being “off the clock” doesn’t excuse you from exercising restraint.

  • Limit yourself to two alcoholic drinks. Even if you feel you can responsibly consume more, others in your organization may pay attention to how much you drink.
  • Stick to one type of alcohol. Rich food paired with multiple types of alcohol can lead to nausea (which is something you want to avoid at a party).
  • Intersperse non-alcoholic beverages. Drink coffee, tea, water, or soft drinks in between alcoholic beverages to slow the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream and prevent dehydration.

3. Avoid overeating and bad manners.

Eating a small snack beforehand can make a big difference. Hunger could prevent you from mingling when you first arrive or cause you to overeat. Plus, if you plan to drink, you might get more intoxicated than you intended if you show up to the party on an empty stomach.

  • Take small portions. A plate overloaded with hors d’oeuvres is an accident waiting to happen – and it makes you look greedy.
  • Never double-dip. Ever. Place a serving of condiment or spread on your plate, and then dip to your heart’s content.
  • Clean up after yourself. Leaving a swath of destruction is inconsiderate and reflects poorly on you. Neaten up your eating area, even if event staff are at your disposal.

4. Steer clear of excessive talking, loudness, and other verbal blunders.

Celebrate. Network. Have an amazing time! Just don’t be remembered as “the obnoxious one”:

  • Keep conversations brief and positive. Limit your time spent with any one person or group to five minutes, so you have the opportunity to speak to as many people as possible. Focus on thanking hosts, complimenting party organizers, revisiting successes, or discussing other positive topics.
  • Don’t complain about work. Have an insufferable coworker or tough project? The holiday party is not the place to dish about it. Alcohol is a “social lubricant” that lowers inhibitions, but it’s no excuse for trash talk. Stories or complaints you share may quickly spread, be taken out of context, and harm your reputation.
  • Watch your volume. Laugh and enjoy yourself – but don’t make yourself the center of attention. If you catch sideways glances, take the cue to dial down the volume.

5. How to arrive and depart at a company holiday party: Make sure you say goodbye.

Your attendance at a holiday party is practically mandatory. Arrive during the first 30 minutes. Stay for the duration of the event. Express your thanks to your boss, and say goodbye to key people before departing.

All in all…

Exercising restraint and making responsible decisions are essential to having a great time at a company function. From all of us at Kinsa Group, enjoy your holiday party – safely and responsibly!