In the wake of the celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year on the throne, businesses can learn how to make any event more effective. The key is to plan, plan and plan some more.
Sonia Garza-Monarchi, an etiquette coach and consultant, helped organize events for the queen during her visit to Houston and suggests these etiquette tips for business events:
Never leave planning until the last minute. Planning and preparation are crucial to any successful event or project. The queen’s three-day visit was given six months of planning. Her biography, dietary preferences and restrictions were scrutinized. Details were discussed, menus were tasted and invitation lists were reviewed.
Communication with key players is critical. When you begin a new project or event, it is important to identify the most important people involved. Get their contact information: office, cell and home phone numbers, email, physical and mailing addresses. You will need all three for communication, meetings and thank-you notes. Prepare a cheat sheet with emergency numbers for the organizing team. Determine how often you will communicate, and how. Communication generally becomes more frequent as the event or project nears.
Introductions matter.The queen always stops and listens when people are being introduced. She understands the importance of those few minutes. People who have a chance to meet the queen will be experiencing a moment they remember all their lives. Introductions are just as important in corporate etiquette. Remember to pause, listen and focus on the person being introduced, their name, what company or organization they represent and what they do.
Keep calm and carry on.This could be as simple as having a rain scenario for an outdoor event to having a corporate succession plan. How you conduct yourself and handle a crisis can have a significant impact on the outcome. Few people have faith that all will be fine when their leader is flustered and in panic mode.