Etiquette Tips for Business Conference Attendees

This is one for the busy bees – those of you who get to attend top notch professional conferences such as those offered by Granny Mouse.

These business conferences provide important opportunities to connect with important people as well as to show off your own professionalism, knowledge and job skills in an environment that is far more personal than a typical business meeting. That’s why it is very important to make sure that you stick to the correct etiquette and make a good impression!

The Granny Mouse team is on hand to assist both before and during one of your conferences. We know better than most that this time away from the office is a great opportunity to grow your contact base as well as to represent your organization in the best light.

Here are some helpful tips from the Granny Mouse team to make sure that you don’t make any professional faux pas!

For starters, whenever you attend a conference, remember that your reputation is at stake during every moment that you are visible to another attendee. Keep things positive – no grumbling about load shedding or the drive en route to the venue – and always be friendly and try to help others. That way, you’ll get plenty of positive attention in return!

Remember that conferences provide an opportunity to network. Don’t spend every moment with your colleagues – instead, branch out and talk to other delegates whenever you can.

Dress to impress – if the dress code stipulated by conference organisers is formal, then plan your attire accordingly when packing. Although, given South Africa’s climate and more casual dress code, there’s always a chance to slip into some jeans or even a summer dress for ladies, but make sure that you can dress it up for more formal evenings and dinners as well. You’ll certainly be remembered for all the wrong reasons if you turn up for a black tie event in your shorts and takkies!

When heading away for a night or two, plan ahead for all eventualities! Apart from all the usual goodies like your cell phone (and charger), pens, pencils, paper, tablet or laptop and business cards, make sure that you have basic medicines in case of emergencies (especially if you have an allergy), as well as all the necessary toiletries. Borrowing at a professional gathering can be a bit awkward.

Make sure that you have the perfect hand shake – don’t be limp or try to break your fellow delegate’s hand. Be prepared to chat with others and think up some conversation starter topics beforehand. Hopefully, you have good general knowledge and know a little about world or local news which is great for making small talk. However, stay away from politics and religion as this topic rarely ends well.

Try remembering the names of coworkers, even if they are located in a different office.

Reputation and Behavior – Guard your reputation at all times. Speak in a positive manner and remain loyal to your company. You never know who may be listening.

Although some people forget, a business conference is not a personal vacation. It’s important to remember that this is a professional environment and should be treated as such the entire time you are there.

So, here are some additional important things to bear in mind:

  • Alcohol consumption – There may be alcohol served at the conference, but know your limits. If you overindulge, you may say something you’ll later regret or, worse still, face disciplinary action on your return to work. Also, a hangover the next day isn’t going to help you to get the most out of the conference.
  • Always show up on time.
  • During meetings, keep your attention focused on the speaker and don’t have conversations with the guy or girl next to you.
  • Ask questions that are relevant to the topic.
  • Never interrupt the speaker or someone else who is asking a question.
  • After you get up, push your chair in and pick up all your papers and personal belongings.
  • Thank the speaker, but don’t monopolize his or her time.
  • Electronics – turn down the sound on your tablet or laptop if you bring them to meetings or workshops. Put your cell phone on silent during the conference.
  • Follow proper table manners when dining at a business conference. If you are ever in doubt about which utensil to use, follow the lead of the host of your table.
  • Quietly exit the space of the conference. Nobody needs to know when you leave. It’s sort of an unwritten rule of conferences that people slowly and stealthily leave.

Similar Posts