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Holiday Party Business Etiquette​

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Company holiday parties are festive and fun. It is a place to celebrate the holidays with your coworkers in a more relaxed atmosphere. Although it is the holiday party, it is still a business event and professionalism is expected. Attendance is usually mandatory and if you do not attend, your higher ups will notice and it can be interpreted that you are not a team player.

Here are some tips to help you enjoy your holiday party without damaging your professional reputation.

Dress appropriately for the occasion

Find out what the dress code is and adhere to it. If it is a black tie event, go for classy and elegant. If it is low key – go for business casual with a little flair and sparkle.


The ideal time to arrive would be 15 or 20 after the party started. It looks bad if you arrive 30 minutes before it ends.


Avoid the temptation to stay with colleagues you engage frequently. Mingle with colleagues from different departments. I remember attending a holiday party where I  met a young woman from HQ. She and I correspondent for months via email and telephone. It was so great to put a face to the emails and voice.

Executives, take this time to get to know your subordinates and support staff on a more personal level. Thank them for all their hard work throughout the year.

Introduce yourself

This is a good time to make yourself visible to your company’s executives. Approach them with a smile, introduce yourself, and be sure to speak loud and clear. Be friendly and keep the conversation short. Remember other people are waiting to speak to them as well.

Find out who can come to the event

Spouses and significant others are not always allowed to attend the event. Check beforehand to avoid an awkward situation.


Avoid talking business as much as possible. It is obvious that some business-related conversations will come up, but do not let that be the only subject you discuss. Avoid gossiping about coworkers and other related topics that can make others feel uncomfortable.

Watch your alcohol intake

Drink in moderation. Know your limits. You do not want to be that person who became so intoxicated they started dancing and singing on the tables.

Social Media

It is unprofessional to post negative opinions about your company, colleagues, or its holiday party on social media. It is also not a good idea to post photos of yourself or coworkers in compromising situations. Get permission from coworkers before taking selfies and posting on social media.

When to leave

Unless you have to leave early, plan to leave about 15 or 30 minutes before the party ends. Be sure to thank the host for their time and effort in organizing the party.

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