Ministry Conference Etiquette

Kent Shaffer —  August 3, 2007

Etiquette consultant Rachel Wagner recently shared in her e-newsletter how one should behave while attending a conference. According to our June survey, the average reader of Church Relevance attends 2 ministry conferences each year. So here are a few highlights from Rachel’s article to help you be on your best behavior the next time you attend a ministry conference:

At the Conference

  • Network!
  • Do not spend your time with coworkers.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Give a firm handshake and make eye contact.
  • Use discretion when giving out business cards: wait until someone asks, or ask if you may give yours. Make sure your cards are clean and up to date with no information crossed out.

At a Breakout Session

  • Introduce yourself to persons sitting on either side of you.
  • Use breaks for returning phone calls and emails on your BlackBerry.

In the Exhibition Hall

  • Avoid grabbing giveaways without learning about the business.
  • Don’t block a vendor’s table when talking to a friend.
  • If you need to put a cup of liquid down for a moment, do it elsewhere, but not on the vendor’s table.

At Lunches or Dinners

  • Extend your hand and introduce yourself to those you don’t know at your table before sitting down.
  • Engage in conversation with diners on both sides of you.

At Parties and Receptions

  • Keep food or beverage in your left hand; your right hand should always be free for shaking.

By the way, I will be speaking at The Internet Ministry Conference this year. If you are going, be sure to introduce yourself. I would love to meet you.

Further Reading:
View upcoming church conferences.

Kent Shaffer

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I live in an RV with my wife and 2 kids and work with OpenChurch.com to help Christians collaborate and build a global Church library of free, open content.

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