Event Gift-Opening Etiquette

By Michelle Ecker on August 31st, 2016

The New York Institute of Art and Design offers an online event planning course and because we do, we like to provide free tips for event planners. Enjoy!

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As a professional event planner, a large part of your responsibility comes in the form of planning the activity schedule of the party. Without prearranged activities for guests, you run the risk of invitees falling into uninterested conversational lulls and becoming bored. While it can sometimes be difficult to develop a sufficiently time consuming list of things for partygoers to do, don’t make the mistake of using gift-opening as a filler for parties at which it isn’t an appropriate activity.

With the exception of wedding or baby showers, gift openings are relatively inappropriate things to do at special events. Sitting or standing around as the guest of honor unwraps item after item is tedious and monotonous for most guests. The only other exception to this rule would apply if the honored guest was receiving one single group gift (like a retirement gift) given collectively by all attending guests.

If you are throwing a party that falls within the etiquette realm of gift-opening, always advise someone to stand nearby with a pen and paper or smartphone handy so that they can record what the gift is and who it came from.

Want to learn more? Learn how to become an event planner with NYIAD’s online event planning courses. Request your free course catalog today!


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