Business manners - Entertaining clients

Match the event to your client and your aims. Bizet's Carmen may move you to tears but could go down badly with a team of heavy drinkers.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Equally, you can't afford to show your company up - so think three times before booking at Stringfellow's.

Be organised. Ensure everyone knows the dress code and directions, and be at your meeting point early. Give your mobile number in advance.

Don't talk shop. People don't want to spend their evenings discussing business, so keep it light. Use the heavy stuff as backup - say, if the night gets mired in small talk or awkward silences.

Don't hog the conversation. Let the others get on with it - your job is to ensure it all goes smoothly.

Enjoy yourself, but behave. An anxious host makes everyone uncomfortable, so relax. But that doesn't mean necking Sambucas and dancing on the bar - you're out for your company, not yourself.

Achieve your goal. It's not just a jolly- the whole thing is pointless if you don't get some commitment at the end. Before you go your separate ways, make sure that meeting is in the diary.

Get everybody home. Waving goodbye from the back of the first taxi isn't an option. Make sure everyone has cabs, or at least knows the way to the station. Send a thankyou e-mail next day to comfirm they survived the trip.

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