Just about a week ago, my friend Justin Kimpson extended an invitation to attend the Ford Freedom Award event at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit. I was already scheduled to be in town teaching dining etiquette for Deloitte, so the timing could not have been better. Now, we have been friends for quite some time, so there was nothing awkward, weird or out-of-place about going as his “fake date” for the evening; I was actually very much look forward to it.
Since we’re both native Detroiters, went to high school together and still work together in different capacities, we have a ton of mutual friends and colleagues, but since I travel quite a bit and formally live in Washington, DC now, Justin knows way more people than I do. There were several instances where Justin formally introduced me to people who I did not know, which was great. Now, I have no problem with working a crowd, introducing myself and joining in on conversations, but I must say, it is nice to be naturally pulled in and introduced.
I did, however, notice something very interesting that was occurring – lots of people were not introducing their dates, or were doing so as an afterthought. Now, it is understood that perhaps the lack of introductions were intentional for whatever reason, but if you are inviting someone as a date to an event (either in a romantic capacity or as a friend), it is your responsibility to engage them, at least during introductions. It is also wise to give some thought to the type of event that you are going to, and the type of person that your date is. In advance of extending an invitation, ask yourself:
- Do I even have a +1 to extend?
- What are my obligations at this event and will I have the time to entertain a guest?
- What type of event is this and would my date be comfortable?
- Have I given my date the heads up about what to expect, including attire expectations and any of my obligations that may leave them standing alone for a while?
Scarlet Says…events can surely be fun, and bringing a guest can take the fun up a notch, but without giving some thought to who you’re bringing, if they will enjoy and be comfortable there, and if you are comfortable enough to introduce them to others, you could be setting yourself up for a bad situation and a lousy night out. So, extend your +1 to events with care!
Until Next Time,