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The Art of Entertaining for Business

May 3, 2010

Entertaining plays an important role in business. This role is universal to all types of people in every segment of society. No matter how large or how small a gathering, business entertaining provides us with moments and memories of sharing time, friends, family and good feelings.  It’s an opportunity to bond and get to know clients and associates in a more intimate way.

Ideas are exchanged, new relationships ignited and business alliances formed. When we take the time to enjoy the pleasure of the company of others, the possibilities are endless.

More people are realizing that the sparkling moments in life are the ones we hold in our memories and reflect on. The most important, etiquette guideline as the host is to make your guests feel comfortable.  If you’re the guest, Stay tuned for next week’s newsletter where there will be pointers on ways you can show your appreciation to your host. 
As a host we should never avoid entertaining in challenging times, whether the culprit is the economy or the blues. Festive gatherings can lift our spirits and maybe even our opportunities for new or more business. This is also an excellent way to show your appreciation for business you have gotten from a client.
Dennis Robertson and I like to mix clients and friends and clients who have also become friends and prospective clients and friends.  We make an effort to ensure we are mixing the right people.  We have folks that like being around lots of people, who want house music and are comfortable going to the refrigerator for ice.  We have folks that are more comfortable in an intimate and more formal setting and or group.  
We entertain just about quarterly in our home and otherwise in different venues.  When we buy obligatory tickets to an event hosted by a client or a friend we buy 4 tickets and host another couple.  When we want to see a play or a concert we buy a block of tickets and take advantage of the discount and make it a happening for friends and clients in our network.  We will often invite all to meet for hor dourves and cocktails at a local restaurant.  We support our local theatre SOPAC and host pre and post refreshments in our home and then carpool to the show or movie. We have hosted events for our Art Dealer, for our local chef, for an author client/friend, for clients running for political office, for clients with causes.

Here are the top ten ways for a host to entertain for business. Email us for the protocol and etiquette guidelines for any on the list.  After all we are your personal protocol and etiquette consultants.
    At Breakfast- the quickest, easiest and least expensive
2.    Lunch- in a restaurant or in your company’s cafeteria, executive dining room or conference room.
3.    Lunch in a cool bench in the city, a hotel, park, bookstore, gourmet supermarket
4.    Tea in a hotel or club
5.    Cocktail or Tapas hour.
6.    Dinner in your home, a restaurant, club, hotel
7.    Sports game- golf tennis basketball local high school, college or professional
8.    Movie, Theatre, Concert
9.    Dessert – after an affair

10. Consider the smallest of details, parking, timing, rush hour, public vs. private discussions and places. 

Make sure you know your dining etiquette- when to discuss business, napkin management, your place setting, how to tip and who to tip.  For more information on this topic please email us at INFO@4ETIQUETTE.COM

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