How to Make Your Company Holiday Party Work for You 

It seems that suddenly, the holiday season is upon us.  For many, the arrival of Thanksgiving and Christmas provides a sense of excitement.  There are gifts to open, trips to plan, and memories to be made.

Through the season, professionals at all levels are invited to corporate events and holiday parties.  For many, these parties can provide a place to network, mingle, and bond with colleagues.  For some, this setting can be intimidating.

Dressing to impress can make all the difference.  In the coming weeks, whether you’re attending your first holiday party or the third already this season, strategize early on about the way you present yourself at such parties to set you up for greater success.

Use the tips below as your checklist to ensure (relatively) calm nerves, and hopefully, an entertaining season of parties!

Simply elegant

What Should I Wear to My Company’s Holiday Party? 

  1. Rock the best fit for your body!  Select a dress that fits your body well, and colors that compliment your complexion.
  2. Dress appropriately.  Think about the time and location of the event, and listen to weather reports prior to getting ready.  Bring an alternate pair of shoes to the office just in case!  Be tasteful and above all, be professional.
  3. Remember, it’s still business.  Don’t wear items that are too short, too tight, too revealing, too loud, too casual, or untidy.  If your mother can see through your top, wear a camisole under it!
  4. Keep it in check!  Select a dress that stays in place and can handle moving around a room with a drink in hand.

What is the Proper Etiquette at a company Holiday Party?

  1. Always RSVP.  Don’t assume that because it’s a company party, you don’t have to RSVP. RSVP is a French expression, standing for Repondez s’il vous plait, which means “Reply if you please”.  We suggest, as a matter of common courtesy, that you always respond “yes” or “no” within 48 hours of receiving the invite.
  2. Don’t drink too much.  It may be all about the spirit of the season, and your party may be offsite, but, it’s still a business function.  Don’t lower your guard.
  3. Keep a positive attitude and body language.  Try not to carry any stress from home or the office to holiday parties.  Maintain a smile and seasonal spirit, and watch your body language. Do not stand with your arms crossed, and do not stand in the corner.
  4. Behave the same as you would in the office.  Keep in mind that some companies invite clients, partners, and other important guests besides to holiday parties, in addition to your day-to-day colleagues.  So, be on your best behavior!
  5. Send a thank-you note or email.  A special event deserves a special acknowledgment of appreciation.  Pulling off an event for a large group of people takes a lot of work, and deserves an extra spot of praise.

What’s Best Behavior during a Holiday Party?

  1. Always say hello & goodbye to the host or organizer of the party
  2. Smile often.  Speak less, and listen more.
  3. Don’t stick to your usual crowd. Introduce yourself to others in the room.  Remember, informal connections made outside the office can pay huge returns next year!
  4. It’s a holiday party!  Don’t just talk about business or personal issues.  Stuck for words?  Some easy conversation starters are: food, travel, shopping trips, current events, and New Year’s resolutions.
  5. Engage in appropriate conversation with spouses and other guests, if spouses or dates are invited.


Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP & the team of NYC Image Consultant Academy

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