This session was led by two ladies who put the 'C' in classy: Sandy Bentley and Pat Lingenfelter. They have a wealth of knowledge of what to do and what not to do during cocktail hour.
First, they explained the purpose of cocktail receptions. It's not a contest to see how many cocktails you can down or how many hors d'oeuvres you can stuff in your belly. As Sandy and Pat said it best, these events can make or break you. Leaving a good impression is key. I now know that you should always carry your drink in your left hand, to leave your right hand free to shake hands. And for goodness sake, leave a napkin behind that drink, nothing's worse than shaking a wet hand in this type of setting. If you want to dip into the hors d'oeuvres, they advise you to put down your drink. Bottom line: when it comes to food and drinks, you should only have one or the other in hand. I highly suggest this event, especially for those who are into the schmoozing scene. Participant Nancy Komlanc explains the personal impact the session had on her:
The Speed Networking/Etiquette Night was an opportunity for the MCLP participants to showcase their range of skills in a social setting. During this event, the MCLP participants were more than eager to share anecdotes about their companies' social events. The timing of this event was on-target as this venue gave them the opportunity to share the excitement they have for their projects, which was refreshing. Congratulations on another well-organized MCLP event!
Both of these exercises were insightful. It will be interesting to see how the 2012 MCLP class will use what they learned from the program while they're out in the community. I know many of the class members have already put their skills to the test!