In today’s highly competitive business world, business professionals must know how to conduct themselves and represent their company at the dining table and in other social settings. To give students an opportunity to learn how to make a positive first impression, the School of Business is co-sponsoring a Business Etiquette Dinner on Wednesday, March 7, at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center in the I-79 Technology Park in Fairmont.
The Business Etiquette Dinner begins with a “mocktail” reception at 6 p.m., followed by a seated multi-course meal at 6:30 p.m. Business representatives from the region are seated with students to engage and interact with them at the dinner. As each course is served, participants will learn the acceptable etiquette from Lyla Grandstaff, certified etiquette consultant, and owner of Elements of Etiquette.
“This event has proven very popular with our students and sells out every year. I think the students realize they need to practice and polish their social networking skills. The business representatives always enjoy interacting with the students and someone comes away with an interview or job offer every year,” said Dr. Richard Harvey, Dean of the School of Business.
The goal of the Business Etiquette Dinner is to help students feel more confident in business networking receptions and formal dinner settings. Confidence often increases as more knowledge is gained about what is appropriate or inappropriate etiquette in such situations. An important point about etiquette is that the rules of behavior are often subtle. If students learn these rules, then they can focus their attention more on getting to know their dinner companions and less on second-guessing their dining habits. The negative effects of inappropriate attire, improper conversation and poor social skills can cause students more than an embarrassment; it can cost them a potential job.
“The best tip I can give is that etiquette isn’t about being perfect, it is just about being polite and professional,” Grandstaff said.
The event often sells out, so tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets for the business representatives are $35. WVHTC Foundation Affiliate members may purchase tickets for $25. Student tickets are $25. To offset the cost for the students, corporate sponsorships of $250 or table sponsorships of $500 are also available. Corporate sponsors will receive two tickets to the event. Table sponsors may receive up to six tickets to the event. All sponsors will be listed in the program and recognized at the dinner. The cutoff date for RSVPs is Monday, March 5.
To order tickets, contact Martha Amos in the School of Business, Room 111 Jaynes Hall, at (304) 367-4395 or Martha.Amos@fairmontstate.edu.