Event Etiquette for Different Events

You get excited every time you receive an invitation to a party whether it is for a birthday, wedding, fundraising event or invite only fashion show. You will then RSVP and think of what to wear, how to get to the event, and who you may see or take with. You look forward to the event and no matter if you are prepared for it, there are always questions that you discuss with your friends.

In the era of social media especially, you want to look stunning and showcase your best behavior. Have you heard of event etiquette? There are different etiquettes for virtual and in-person events. In this article, we’ll talk about in-person events.


Responding to RSVP

It is grateful to respond within 48 hours to an RSVP whether it came in the mail, via phone or email as an e-invite. RSVPs are super important for the person or company throwing the party.  Your answer to their invitation, will help the host plan the menu, finalize seating arrangement, and make changes accordingly, like selling more tickets or closing ticket sales, arranging the room for an intimate or for a crowded event, hiring the number of staff, etc.

If you can’t attend the event, inform the host as early as possible, be polite, and thank them for the time and effort for inviting you. The host will appreciate it and keep you in mind for a future event.

Another thing to consider is not to bring a plus one, if it is not noted on the invitation. You don’t want to create an awkward moment for the host or make it difficult for the Public Relations person handling the RSVP list.

Also, if the event is RSVP only, you must RSVP, you cannot just show up. This can create unpleasant situations, that you want to avoid.

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What to wear

You do not want to appear overdressed or underdressed. What is the occasion? If it is a wedding- a dress code is an essential part of it, if it is a product launch or a fashion show, you want to dress the part, especially as the media will be covering the event. Pay attention to the season, the colors and fabric trends. Make sure you follow the dress code if noted on the invitation and if not, judge by the event’s location, theme, and or culture of the event. If you are still in doubt, contact the host. It would be best to call the host to clear things up when confusion arises on what to wear.

From casual to black-tie and white-tie there are many differences and other types of attire for men and women in between. Make sure you know if you need to wear a tuxedo or keep it casual with jeans and a nice shirt.

The Arrival

Be mindful of the start time indicated on the invitation. You are expected to arrive on time to events that will follow an agenda like panels, and weddings. Opening receptions or VIP parties are events you can arrive within a time frame, not too early or not too late either. You may want to arrive early to an open seated event to get the best seats;  or  to a book signing, to be the fist online.

When you arrive, pay your proper greetings, but don’t stay by the door too long, blocking the entrance to other guests. Move in and enjoy what the event has to offer. There will be time to say hi to friends and other guests throughout the course of the event.

What next?

That will all depend on the event’s agenda. Is it a party with friends, a media preview, a cocktail party, a fundraising seated dinner? Socializing is what all these events have in common. You may see some familiar faces and old friends. If this is the case, have some time to catch up with them.

If you don’t know anyone aside from the host, introduce yourself appropriately to other guests. Networking is another thing these events have in common. Get to know your fellow writer, party goer or mission supporter. Events are perfect to meet new people and build new relationships.

Usually the host will guide guests through the experience. So let go and enjoy the event without worrying what is next.

Know when is time to go

It is not good etiquette to overstay. Pay attention to the  end time on the invitation, as well as the signs given by the host at the end of an event. When the “last call” announcement is made by the bartenders, it means that soon the party is over.  Events have a beginning and end, as a good guest, you want to leave without being asked to.

Before heading home, give your host a proper goodbye. Say thank you and give your sincerest appreciation for the invite and the good time.

Post Event

If you enjoyed the event, make sure the host knows it by filling out a post- event survey or sending a quick thank you note, whether it is written or via text or email. It is always nice to show your gratitude to the host.

Social Media

Depending on the type of event or occasion, you may or not post on social media about it. For example, if it is a wedding, you need to wait until the couple shows their pictures first. If it is a product launch, you may need to wait until the product is officially launched and appears published. Make sure you know the host’s desire on this matter before you go ahead and post that selfie.


Are you ready to get invited to a party? Or Are you ready to host your own party? Email us at info@whitespacechelsea.com or call (646) 681-2265