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Solitude – A New Corporate Malaise

In the last three years our planners have been called upon with increasing frequency by HR departments across the country to create team building events that can help their workers overcome an emerging work-related injury:

Depression – caused by – S O L I T U D E

The “work-from-home” new normal that has been a financial boon to technology companies, banks, customer service vendors, and a myriad of other service-related industries has unfortunately been accompanied by some negative impacts. It seems that workers who were originally thrilled to forego commuting in traffic, being herded by hovering supervisors, and forced to attend endless meetings have discovered that working from home casts a deep sense of solitude across their lives. Here’s what some experienced “work-from-home” employees reported after working from home for a length of time.

A Lack of Normal Social Interaction

“So, after some time working remotely, I began to miss the coffee chats, previously felt as unproductive wastes of time. I felt detached from the team, especially when the teams I worked with were made of multiple people working in the same office/place, and seeming to have fun.”

Interruptions

“A part of the problem is that on a chat, people do not see you physically, so they cannot really estimate if you are at a good moment to be interrupted. So, you are interrupted a lot, and if you are a bit like me, you feel forced to answer quickly. And in case you do not know it, interruptions are loathed by programmers, since it is really bad for their productivity as it breaks their focus.”

Loneliness

“Working at home can mean a lot of loneliness. I really started to hate being alone most of the time and have felt it to be quite bad for my mental health and my mood.”

You Never Leave Work

“When you work remotely, you do not leave your working place at night. On top of that, if you work with people in different time zones, you might end up communicating a lot with people when your day is already over.”

Career Risk

“Working remotely makes you less visible in your company. On a more humorous note, you have to consider that working in your sweat pants for years, unshaved and without too much time constraints, might make you unfit to go back to work in an office. You might suffer from some degradation of your social skills.”

Team Building

Meeting and event planners to the rescue. “We need you to design an abbreviated but more frequent team building event for our “work-from-home” team members. They’re starting to lose touch and seem to get ill more frequently than our on-site team.”

Since 2015, our meeting planners are having this conversation with corporate managers and HR departments more frequently. In response, we have designed a myriad of custom, brief, and regularly scheduled team building events for smaller employee groups that need to be reassured that they still belong, and their company knows that they exist. These are the elements we always include when customizing these smaller team building events:

  • Always use a local venue.
  • Design social engagement rather than instruction sessions.
  • Personalize the event. This get-together is for the remote workers attending not for the corporation at large.
  • Keep the event brief but structured.
  • Design exercises that make “work-from-home” team members feel relaxed, connected, and valued.
  • Talk with not down-to remote team members.
  • No “corny” stuff. No little gifts. No greeting cards. No “school-marm” lectures. Show respect to highly intelligent employees who are asked to self-supervise their own production.
  • Give them a real-world problem to solve with their on-site colleagues attending the custom event. The duration of the team-building event serves as a deadline.

New Problem – New Solution

These smaller, brief, and more frequent team building events are exactly what the doctor ordered for the modern, work-from-home corporate landscape that has evolved over the past ten years. We predict that planners will be swamped with requests in 2018.

The Future is Now

In order to keep abreast of advances in meeting and event planning technology we find we have to publish a related blog about every ninety days. It’s truly amazing how changes in technology can alter the very nature and structure of events and the job of the meeting and event planner. Since our last technology update in November 2017, we have uncovered even more advanced technologies that planners can use to streamline events and make them more exciting.

Here are seven more new technologies that are changing the way we do business.

  1. Chat bot – We all know what a chat bot is but maybe we haven’t utilized it effectively in our event design. Sciensio’s Concierge Eventbot, for example, allows guests to ask the bot questions via text and receive an instant response based on content provided by the event host. Common content for an event bot would be agendas, speaker bios, venue and parking maps, and sponsor information. Instant information and communication at a large and complex event is very well received by attendees who are often swamped by activities, meetings, and networking opportunities.
  2. Artificial Intelligence – VNTANA and Satisfi Labs have developed an artificial intelligence hologram that can listen to guests’ questions and provide instant answers. Artificial intelligence capability is being woven into all information gathering apps and utilized to sort attendee metrics into a wide variety of categories useful to both hosts and exhibitors, not to mention planners themselves.
  3. Facial Recognition – Companies such as Zenus provide facial recognition check-in systems for events. Guests upload a photo during registration and then are automatically checked-in when they stand in front of a camera.
    Facial recognition can also be used to evaluate the attendee experience, potentially providing more authentic feedback than a traditional survey. Affectiva is one company that provides emotional analysis by tracking facial expressions and movement to determine if the subject is interested, confused or happy. This information can be utilized for marketing by individual exhibitors, future attendance strategies by event hosts, and event design by meeting and event planners.
  4. Augmented Reality – One AR application called Skrite uses augmented reality to leave content such as photos, product information, and more in the air above events. The content appears on the user’s device when they tilt it toward a designated spot in the sky with the Skrite app open. Exciting, fun, and useful.
  5. Beacons – This advanced blue-tooth-like technology has changed communication at events. Now planners, exhibitors, and sponsors can send information directly to an attendee’s smartphone throughout an event. Also, beacons are a two-way street that can be used to track attendee behavior, providing data on foot traffic, dwell time, and more.
  6. Social Listening – Combined with geofencing, social listening is one of the newest tools for gathering attendee feedback. Two companies, Amps and Ground Signal, provide services that monitor posts on social media from specific locations so brands and companies can understand what their audience is sharing.
  7. Handwriting Robots – The Bond company has just launched a service that makes it easy for planners to send hundreds, even thousands, of thank-you notes that look as if they were each written by hand. Instead, the work is done by Bond’s robots – the company has hundreds of them – that use real ink pens to write your message on white cardstock.

Keeping Up

The biggest challenge for meeting and event planners in the field of technology is just keeping up. Software engineers and app developers are constantly finding new uses for mobile devices that impact the event industry. Some of these innovations help us execute events more efficiently and some of them enhance our attendee’s experience. Either way, in order to remain current, planners must stay abreast of theses technological advances as they appear in the marketplace.

Please Pass the Passé – Food Trends 2018

New food trends will become more important to planners in 2018. Competent edible food will no longer satisfy meeting and event attendees. They have a new definition of edible food, and it’s far beyond your mother’s table fare. Even the cocktail hour has been affected by new artisanal trends. If you step up to the bar at an event in 2018 and order a “gin and tonic”, necks will crane, and you’ll feel like a Martian being inspected by astounded earthlings.

Farm-to-Table

When it comes to food and beverage, everyone is into natural, exotic, organic, artisanal, locally sourced food delivered directly from the farm to the dining table. Nothing else will do. If you try to serve standard hotel fare with a bottle of beer to event attendees in 2018, unless you brewed the beer in the next room and grew everything on the hotel roof, you’ll brand yourself and your event – passé. There is no quicker way to lose their attention and assure future attendance problems at your events than to serve “old fashioned” food and beverage.

What’s That Called Now?

So, what’s new? What’s the latest food fad? Where has all the fondue gone? A recent survey of food and beverage professionals, restaurateurs, processing companies, distributors, chefs, dietitians, farmers, brewers, and food writers uncovered some trends that have been brewing for a few years and others that have popped up out of nowhere. It is time to re-examine your definition of food. After all, you’ve been eating and serving food your life-long, and you’re pretty confident you know what noodles are, for example, and what butter is used for. Well, in 2018, you’d probably be wrong.

Public Service Announcement

As a public service, we endeavor to enlighten planners with the following translations of familiar foods into 2018 speak.

NOODLES – Now called Ramen. Ramen is a Japanese dish of wheat noodles served in a meat or fish based broth with toppings such as dried seaweed, menma, and green onions. Ramen works on 2018 menus. Noodles don’t.

BUTTER – Don’t say butter. Now it’s called Ghee. Ghee is clarified butter, but somehow, it’s a lot better for you. We recommend you include Ghee on your approved food list this year.

WHOLE WHEAT BREAD – Used to be healthy. No more. Wheat is full of gluten. Gluten is bad. Only ancient grains like kaput, spelt, amaranth, or lupin will do. You’ll be considered up-to-date if you offer ancient grains at your events.

GARDEN SALAD – You’ll be laughed out of business if you continue with the tired old garden salad. Now it’s Poke. Poke is a raw fish salad of yellowfin tuna, sea salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, limu seaweed, and chili pepper. You might even serve Poke as a main course now and then.

DINNER ROLLS – Oh no! Don’t even consider serving those yeasty little balls of sin. Only Naan will do. Naan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread from Central Asia. Just take our word for it – Dinner Rolls/NO – Naan/YES.

SALT AND PEPPER – How quaint. Grandma used to have salt and pepper shakers on the table when we went to her house for dinner. I didn’t even know they made them anymore. At your next event, be sure to use only – Sea Salt and Timut Pepper. Salt from salt mines is bad. Salt from the sea is good. Timut pepper from Nepal has a vibrant aroma of passion fruit and grapefruit and leaves your mouth tingling. I guess that‘s case- closed on Grandma’s pepper shaker.

RYE AND GINGER – Gin and tonic – Scotch and soda – all have been relegated to the trash heap of history. Event and meeting participants compete to order the best artisanal whiskies from Balcones Distilling, Kentucky Peerless, Still 630, Tuthilltown Spirits, or a dozen other top artisanal distillers that are now considered the best of the best. Small batch gins like FEW American Gin, Aviation Gin, and Letherbee Original have pushed the Beefeaters off the top shelf into the recycle bin.

When planning your 2018 meetings and events be sure to pass the passé. The list above is, of course, only a sample of the food and beverage trends taking over the American zeitgeist. Get with it, and avoid being tipped into the recycle bin.

Reykjavik

“R-E-Y-K-?-J-A-V-?-I-K???”

“Is that even correct spelling?” you say. “Isn’t that the capital of Iceland? or something? Iceland is just a big glacier filled with ice…isn’t it? Ray..kya..vick? It’s a city…right?”

Well, that was our attitude too until a colleague doing research on emerging destination cities visited Reykjavik one fine day and returned with a glowing report.

Little-Known Reykjavik

Reykjavik, it turns out, is the world’s northernmost capital of a sovereign state – Iceland. It was founded in AD 874 by Norwegian Vikings on the run. One of their leaders, Ingófur Arnarson, named the place Reykjavik (“Smokey Bay”) after the steam rising from the hot springs.

You again…

Isn’t Iceland all Ice? That’s why it’s called Iceland?

No. Greenland is all ice. Iceland is beautiful, verdant tundra perfect for grazing the sheep that were the source of the wool industry that became Iceland’s mainstay. Those cagey Norsemen named the glacier island “Greenland” and the verdant island “Iceland” to confuse potential conquerors. No one would even set out to explore a place the locals called “Iceland”. When they did come to explore the northern island called, “Greenland”, they found an ice-land.

You again…

“But isn’t Iceland in the Arctic circle? Is it ever above zero in Reykjavik? I mean, isn’t that why nobody lives there?”

Despite its northern latitude, temperatures very rarely drop below 5 degrees Fahrenheit in winter because the climate is moderated by the North Atlantic Current, an extension of the Gulf Stream. Iceland’s climate is subpolar oceanic, meaning it has cold winters and cool summers, especially in the coastal regions where the climate is more temperate.

You again…

“Ok…so Iceland isn’t just a frozen glacier…but why Reykjavik? Why would we want to meet in Reykjavik of all places? No beaches…no sun…no action.”

People do live there, but not the hoards that have overwhelmed almost every other civilized city on the planet. After almost 1500 years of settlement, Reykjavik boasts a moderate population of only 123,300. In a country about the size of Virginia, it’s the biggest city but would only be a small town in the States. Let’s listen to the insights of our colleague who brought us this glowing report.

Our Colleague…

“Reykjavik is civilized but non-toxic. The air is crisp and clear. The people are intelligent but unspoiled. The town is quaint but sophisticated. The surrounding country is invigorating. After only one overnight, I felt as if I had entered the planet’s spa. The cool air, the volcanic hot springs, the vast glacial landscape, the quiet, respectful people, the simple straightforward accommodations, the natural, organic, farm-to-table food, the constant twilight, and the thermal baths all combine to create a unique centering experience. The power of Iceland, I realized, is in the energetic source of nature, culture, and local mindset.

“What a perfect place to hold a medical conference or training. An intense strategic planning meeting would blossom in such a spiritual place. And I can only imagine how a team building trip would play out in this invigorating, centering environment. For certain meetings, Reykjavik is my new first choice. I didn’t even know that the force of nature could be so intensified in one little town. I was completely rejuvenated by my trip to Reykjavik.”

Tired of Meetings? 7 EZ Tips to Ensure Your Meetings Work… Period!

 

“My work life feels like an endless round of meetings that seem to go nowhere.” This is the complaint meeting planners often hear. “Every time department heads can’t figure out what to do, they call a meeting to just ‘knock it around’.  Knocking it around is not productive. Everyone talks at once; arguments break out; personal enmities surface; nobody listens; the boss usually adjourns the meeting to give everyone time to think about the issues until the next meeting. You see what I mean? Meetings just lead to more meetings. It’s endless.”

This is Your Life

Does this sound like your life? If so, you’re not alone. The endless meeting syndrome seems to have taken hold across the entire industrial complex, and meeting planners are being asked to do something. The bosses all say the same thing: “Can you think of more exciting ways to run meetings? Our people seem to be bored and disgruntled every time we get them together for an important meeting. What are we doing wrong?

What can we do about this?”

Principles: Life and Work

Ray Dalio, the legendary founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund in 2011 with US$150 billion in assets under management, has written a book about meeting fatigue. After attending literally hundreds of meetings, Dalio believes the problem is that most managers do not know how to run productive meetings. Usually they violate one or all of the following seven rules:

  1. Make it clear who is directing the meeting. Meetings without someone clearly in charge run a high risk of being directionless and unproductive.
  2. Be clear about the goal of the meeting. Do you want an open-minded debate or is the meeting intended to educate? Different intentions dictate the size, location, and rules of order.
  3. Avoid the two opposing thought poles of group think – people not asserting independent views and solo-think – people being unreceptive to the thoughts of others.
  4. Beware of topic slip – the random drifting from topic to topic without achieving completion on any of them.
  5. Be sure to assign responsibility. Too often, groups will make a decision to do something without assigning personal responsibility. It is not clear, then, who is supposed to follow-up, and no one does.
  6. Always enforce the two-minute rule. It specifies that you have to give someone that uninterrupted period to explain their thinking.
  7. Insist on completion. Meetings that fail to reach completion are a waste of time.

Change

Dalio’s seven rules are common sense. But until we step back and take a commonsense look at our own repetitive and ineffective habits, we are destined to continue the conduct until it becomes unbearable. Most managers manage toward the familiar. That’s the way we’ve always done it, they say. Ray Dalio advises us to take a continuous hard look at our legacy processes and procedures and ask if they are achieving intended goals. Often, he suggests, you will find that they are no longer effective, and you need to change. It is a natural human instinct to resist change.

Resist that instinct. Change constantly, gladly, and willingly. You will be a more effective manager and person for it.

A Year-End Letter to All Our Colleagues

 

Happy holidays everyone,

For the past year the staff here at Premier Meeting Services has researched and endeavored to discuss the most compelling issues concerning independent meeting and event planners, corporate event planners, owners, and vendors. In this new era of electronic communication, our industry is booming once again as face-to-face meetings, events, trainings, incentive travel, board meetings, product launches, industry specific conventions, and all forms of interactive communication are seen to be the most effective forms of communication in this burgeoning digital age.

Our intent in 2017 was to stimulate industry thinking on the changing face of attendees as the baby boomer generation gives way to the so-called Millennials.

We focused attention on the importance and effectiveness of professional event design to tell your event’s story, create an indelible brand, and make excitement a takeaway.

Tragic industry events in 2017 reminded us to encourage planners and owners to become proactive rather than reactive when dealing with event security.

We highlighted the renewed interest in technology as a crucial part of modern event design. Everyone is so used to being connected to Wi-Fi and cell service in their everyday life that they expect to have the same experience at an event, even though they are in the midst of thousands of other people. They also expect transactions for ticketing and purchasing to happen easily and quickly. And their expectations have gone through the roof when it comes to using virtual reality and augmented reality to tell a story and make a lasting impression.

Team building took off in 2017 as American industry realized that the “work from home” digital trend and the increasingly scattered location of a growing international workforce was creating a “loneliness factor” never before experienced in American industry.

In 2017, studies revealed that monetary rewards were not the most effective employee motivators, but that carefully customized incentive travel rewards were both powerful motivators and effective team building tools.

As millennial attendees began to dominate event attendance, boutique destination cities became the order of the day. Planners realized that millennials wanted to experience the geography outside the venue and participate in the natural surroundings, sample the local cuisine, experience local art, and discover historical significance.

Even the traditional “sage on the stage” convention hotel venues began to feel a little passé. Rooftop gardens, circular creation pods, virtual attendance, and interactive venues like ballparks and historic public buildings began to occupy a more prominent place in event planning.

And finally, limousines and shuttles were more frequently replaced by Uber and thrifty attendees preferred Airbnb to traditional hotel accommodations.

Wow…a lot happened in 2017! We tried to keep up and sincerely hope we helped you keep abreast of the industry we all love…one of the fastest growing industries in America.

Hold on now…here comes 2018,

Premier Meeting Services

 

Cruise Report 2017

 

Variables

The incentive travel industry has exploded in sync with the cruise industry. As American companies discover the efficacy of incentive travel for rewarding both highly productive employees and key high-volume customers, planners have been called upon to custom design travel rewards that can be used to motivate a wide variety of tastes and interests.

At the same time the cruise industry has exploded. Once the bastion of the super-rich or elderly retirees, taking a cruise has been democratized for the working class who, it turns out, would love to take a cruise. Cruise ships became bigger, staterooms smaller, buffet service the order of the day, and destinations morphed into two-hour layovers on sunny islands that specialized in straw hats, coconut tanning oil and humorous tee-shirts.

Synchronize

The incentive travel planner must somehow synchronize these two fluid variables (the increasing number of varied candidates and the increasing number of cruise options) when trying to design the perfect cruise travel incentive for the millionaire CEO customer or the highly productive accounts payable clerk in the accounting department.

Cruise Critic Editor’s Awards

For the last ten years, a group called the Cruise Critic Editors have surveyed the entire worldwide cruise industry and picked the best of the best in a carefully selected variety of categories, like Best New Ship, Best for Adventure, Best Dining, Best for Solo Travelers, etc. In addition to surveying their members, they combine their findings with an extensive survey of actual travelers who have recently gone on a cruise. Both surveys are conducted in categories that incentive travel planners find especially useful.

Here are the results of the 2017 survey and who won the award in the categories planners pay particular attention to. The awards are granted in two separate categories; Ocean Cruising and River Cruising.

OCEAN RIVER
BEST CRUISE LINE: Regent Seven Seas AmaWaterways
BEST FOR ADVENTURE: Silversea Cruises Pandaw Cruises
BEST DINING: Oceania Cruises Crystal River Cruises
BEST ENRICHMENT: Seabourn Cruise Line Viking River Cruises
BEST ITINERARIES: Azamara Club Cruises CroisEurope
BEST SERVICE: Crystal Cruises Uniworld Boutique
BEST FOR SOLO TRAVEL: Crystal Cruises American Cruise Lines
MSC Seaside won the award for the best new ocean cruise ship. It is a flashy new 4,000+ passenger ship with bells and whistles like a full-sized bowling alley, 5D movie theater and outdoor waterpark.

Silverseas’ Silver Muse, which carries fewer than 600 passengers and boasts understated luxury with all suites and butlers, won for the best new luxury ship.

Let’s Go Cruising

The annual Cruise Critic Editor’s Awards help planners sort through an ever-evolving, complex cruise industry to match an appropriate incentive award to a grateful recipient. Ocean and river cruises get better every year as cruise companies build bigger and better ships and design cruises that appeal to a wider audience. Let’s get on board.

Report From IMEX-2017-Las Vegas

At the seventh annual IMEX America, 3,300 companies from 150 countries exhibited to more than 12,000 meeting and event professionals. Topics of technology, food and beverage, and venue choice led the way as usual, but innovative event trends clearly emerged, and we wanted to highlight them for our readers.

The Main IMEX Theme

Modern attendees want to be involved in event activities. They are no longer content to be passive observers.

Vendors expressed the theme in four different functional areas.

1. Purposeful Meetings

• Simply means thinking of attendees as humans first, which requires studying how they learn, think, connect, and perform. Then, plan accordingly. Janet Sperstad, program director at Madison College in Wisconsin, presented on “Purposeful Meetings: How to Plan with Deeper Meaning, Innovation, and Insight in Mind.” The discussion centered around how to create better, more creative, more comfortable meetings.

2. Hands-on Learning

• A “Lunchtime Live Zone” showcased artists, musicians, and games with the purpose of inspiring planners to bring creative ideas to their own meetings. Planners could play with a giant Etch-a-Sketch or take a virtual-reality roller coaster ride, then have their faces depicted in sand and receive a custom song from a team of writers at Song Division. There was, also, a giant graffiti wall located near registration where customers could take selfies then decorate them with a digital spray can and share on social media.

3. Creative Meeting Spaces

• In the “Inspiration Hub” education area, meetings and seminars took place inside intimate inflatable domes designed to spark creativity and teamwork.

• The “Play Room” was a hands-on, interactive learning space designed to provide tools to make meetings more engaging. They discussed how to use escape rooms for events and focused on fun ways to engage introverts.

• “Campfires” were circular areas set aside that had comfortable seating designed to promote brainstorming and teamwork.

4. Wellness

• Hilton sponsored the “Be Well Lounge” where attendees could get massages during the day or take part in guided meditations from Lee Papa, a mindfulness speaker and trainer.

• The early morning #IMEXRun on Wednesday drew over 450 runners. Attendees could also de-stress between sessions by playing with therapy dogs.

Food for Thought

Our takeaway was that some of the concepts seemed far-fetched or inappropriate for certain types of meetings, but the theme of the convention and many of the innovations were right on. Creative ideas to make meetings more interactive and less passive are the order of the day. We must stay at the leading edge of cultural evolution as each generation morphs into the next if we are to keep face-to-face events meaningful exchanges of information and effective networking environments.

Incentive Travel – The Most Effective Motivational Tool

The Incentive Research Foundation funds and promotes research to advance the science of motivation and incentives in business and industry globally. Their goal is to increase the understanding, effective use, and resultant benefits of incentives to businesses and others interested in improved performance.

Non-Cash Recognition

With the majority of all U.S. businesses (84%) now using non-cash awards, and most top performing businesses (those with the highest revenue growth, customer satisfaction, and employee satisfaction) saying their executives support their non-cash recognition and reward programs as a competitive advantage, the eminent need to understand how to create effective programs becomes clear.

The Elements of Successful Non-Cash Reward Programs

To this end, The Incentive Research Foundation analyzed several years of relevant research to identify noteworthy design elements for effective non-cash recognition and reward programs. The following are the five key design elements they identified:

1. The earning and selection criteria for the reward were clearly tied to business objectives.
2. Communication about the program and the progress participants were making toward goals was clear and consistent. Anticipation built throughout the year and kept employees motivated to achieve their objectives.
3. The design of the travel program, including desirable destinations, interactive sessions and leisure time for the earners, added to the overall excitement.
4. Executives and key managers acted as hosts to reinforce the company’s commitment to the reward program and recognition.
5. The company kept detailed records that prove the productivity of the earners and their contributions to the company’s financial performance.

Research Conclusions

It’s clear from the IRF case study findings above that employees are motivated by both the incentive travel award they can earn and the recognition afforded to them by corporate leaders when they participate in the event. It is also evident that incentive travel programs aid in the retention of excellent employees who are top performers for a company. Organizations like the one in this study, that consider the expense of the program an investment in their employees and a means to maximize business outcomes, are using this tool to its full potential.

A Note to Planners and Owners

At Premier Meeting Services, we have found that our most effective travel incentive programs start with a partnership between our planners and the company executives asking for our help. The active participation of management in the planning and execution of incentive travel programs is essential to the overall success of these programs. From clarifying goals to selecting participants to hosting the event, executive affirmation is the magic success ingredient that guarantees positive employee response. When owners ask us how we can assure them of a reasonable ROI on their travel incentive program, we respond that ROI usually depends on how much they are willing to participate. The success of YOUR program is up to YOU.

Tis the Season to be Jolly

The widely-held belief that the office holiday party is being held to reward faithful employees and, as such, is a time to let your hair down and enjoy yourself is a dangerous fallacy. As we, at Premier Meeting Services, are frantically putting the finishing touches on holiday office parties, large and small, we are reminded of the thousands of holiday revelers who are attending their first office party. As a public service, and in the spirit of good will to all, we offer here the following DO’s and DON’Ts for successful holiday office party attendance.

DO’s

DO – Mingle…Standing off with your clique makes you look socially limited and in an enemy camp.
DO – Dress appropriately…This is not the time to express your individuality. It is the time to demonstrate your collegiality and good upbringing.
DO – Leave your ego at the door…The office holiday party is not the appropriate place to prove your smarter than your colleagues.
DO – Leave early. Leaving early protects you from dangerous overindulgence and makes you look more dignified than those that hang around to the bitter end.
DO – Uber or Lyft home. It will be the best ten bucks you ever spent.

DON’Ts

DON’T – Relax and let yourself go. You’re still at work.
DON’T – Talk politics. You probably have enough enemies already.
DON’T – Flatter your boss. It is so obvious that those who engage in the practice deserve to be punished.
DON’T – Drink too much. Loose lips sink ships…and careers.
DON’T – Apply for a promotion. This is neither the time nor the place and everyone knows that but you.
DON’T – Get affectionate. When alcohol is involved, affection can morph into sexual harassment and often does.
DON’T – Gossip. It makes the people you’re “sharing” with stop trusting you and start gossiping about you.
DON’T – Reveal your hidden personality. Secret vices and peccadillos are best kept secret. Describing your model train set or your basement grow room will not advance your career.
And whatever you do…
DON’T – Dance with the boss’s wife. No good can come from it.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Many the well-meaning rookie has ended a promising career at the holiday office party. Be merry and jolly in the privacy of your home. Be gracious and professional at your company’s holiday party. That way, you can enjoy the holiday spirit all year long while you’re still employed.