Author Topic: No Host Event question  (Read 4822 times)

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Chocolate Cake

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No Host Event question
« on: March 01, 2007, 08:26:17 AM »
Are no host events (i.e. pay your own way) in honor of a person ever something that can be planned/organized?  For example, is it possible to have a tea for a bride where the tab is paid by each guest?

Typically, I know the answer is NO, NEVER, but hear out the details and then comment accordingly:

Let's say that a young woman co-worker is due to be married.   She is having a small, private wedding in a distant country, so no one from the office is invited.  However, the office employees still want to celebrate her impending nuptials in some way because they are all fond of her.  Someone suggests having cake/punch in the office, but that is veteod because the on-going office construction is making everything a mess and not pleasant to be around for working, much less for a "party".   

Someone else suggests hosting a "brunch in honor of...." at a local restaurant one day during the work week.  This idea is received with much enthusiasm until the person suggesting it starts wondering about the expense:  in short, no one or two people can afford to take on the expense of hosting the event and paying the tab for all the co-workers who would come to this brunch.  However, the brunch would be possible if all the "guests" (co-workers of the bride) paid their own way. 

So, from an etiquette perspective, is this kind of "no host event" abhorrent and, therefore, shouldn't ever be considered?   

Or, given the nature of the circumstances and the relationships of the attendees (co-workers), would planning this kind of event be okay?  If so, how should the memo or invitation read as to make clear that a "guest" should plan to pick up their own tab?



Summrs

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Re: No Host Event question
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2007, 09:43:51 AM »
I don't see anything wrong with this... as long as the guest of honor's tab was split between the rest of the party.  We used to handle birthdays and such at our office this way.

As for wording, I'm not too sure.. I'll leave that to someone with better word sense.

Lisbeth

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Re: No Host Event question
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2007, 10:00:43 AM »
So, from an etiquette perspective, is this kind of "no host event" abhorrent and, therefore, shouldn't ever be considered?   

Or, given the nature of the circumstances and the relationships of the attendees (co-workers), would planning this kind of event be okay?  If so, how should the memo or invitation read as to make clear that a "guest" should plan to pick up their own tab?

I don't think they're abhorrent or shouldn't be considered, but they do call for communication so that everyone is clear on what's expected of them.

I also tend to refer to the organizers of such events as "coordinators" rather than hosts.  A coordinator is someone who arranges for the venue to be available and issues the invitations.  A host is a coordinator who pays for the whole event.

I'd probably tell all the expected guests by word-of-mouth rather than trying to word a formal invitation, "Hey, just so you know, we're going dutch except for Bride-we're all chipping in for her share of the expenses."  The important thing is to tell everyone this at the time the invitation is extended and make it clear to the invited guests that yes, they are paying for their own provisions and entrance fees if any.
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caranfin

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Re: No Host Event question
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2007, 02:19:38 PM »
I think this is fine as long as someone pays for the honoree's lunch. Just say "We're all going to lunch Friday to celebrate Jane's wedding."
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minnaloushe

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Re: No Host Event question
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2007, 07:16:09 PM »
This is an interesting perspective, one I hadn't considered.  But then a lot of the stuff on here is.

We do things like this ALL THE TIME and we have never ever had a "hosted" event.  Baby showers, wedding showers, retirements, promotions, etc., etc. are all done no-host. If it's rude, nobody told anyone with whom I've ever worked.  Otherwise it would be too cost prohibitive.

Twik

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Re: No Host Event question
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2007, 08:13:53 PM »
That's also known as "We're taking Jane out to lunch - want to come?"

Especially in workplaces, this is fine by me.
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Harriet Jones

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Re: No Host Event question
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2007, 08:22:12 PM »
This is an interesting perspective, one I hadn't considered.  But then a lot of the stuff on here is.

We do things like this ALL THE TIME and we have never ever had a "hosted" event.  Baby showers, wedding showers, retirements, promotions, etc., etc. are all done no-host. If it's rude, nobody told anyone with whom I've ever worked.  Otherwise it would be too cost prohibitive.

It was the same at my office.  There also would have been some ethics considerations with a hosted event, since there were both government workers and contractors from various companies in our group.

blarg314

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Re: No Host Event question
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2007, 11:59:07 PM »


If a group of people are getting together to celebrate something (work colleagues, a group of friends, a choir or something like that), and the event is clearly stated as a 'get together' that someone is coordinating, rather than a hosted party, and the place chosen is reasonable (easy to get to and reasonably priced) I don't have a problem with it, although it may not be strictly correct etiquette. 

In a work setting, unless the bosses are paying for it there isn't a clear person to host. Do you expect Jane from accounting to buy lunch for everyone because she's good at organising and suggested the idea?  Or is she expected to invite a bunch of coworkers over to her house to entertain properly, because it's rude to ask people to pay their own way.


If it's unreasonable - a really expensive or remote restaurant, being expected to chip in for a gift and your dinner, if it's hosted by the guest of honour or is otherwise demanding, then it gets problematic.


kiero

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Re: No Host Event question
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2007, 12:11:14 AM »
I think that for a unified "group" that this is OK.  So for co-workers, sports teams, university friends it's fine.  The soccer team I play for often buys the post game drinks for someone on their birthday/engagement/really awesome game. 

So I think that in your case that it would be fine.  It's not fine when you can select the people and mix groups - so a normal wedding shower.  When you invite the close work freinds, and close teamates... 

Nonsequitur

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Re: No Host Event question
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2007, 10:46:55 PM »
I think the workplace is one of the few places where this would be acceptable, though I got tired of working someplace where we were always having shakedowns for somebody's birthday, new promotion, farewell, and so on.

And if a person doesn't want to attend due to either financial or dietary pressures to not eat out, or that they really aren't that close to the person to be honored, there's this pressure still that they "aren't a team player," or that the honoree would take their absence personally.  And perhaps it is personal, and the absent person dislikes them.  So many people could have perfectly civil working relationships with people they can't stand, if only they weren't constantly being forced to either help buy this person lunch or refuse to attend something neither they nor the honoree wanted them to attend anyway.  (You can imagine what I feel about "team building" exercises where people have to share their deepest fears from childhood, learn personal trivia about each other, and catch each other as they jump off of tables, but that's another thread...)

I believe that a better response would be for everybody to sign a card, and if the person's supervisor wants to pay for a gift (or even better buy the whole group lunch!) with their own money, then they're welcome to do it.  They'd just have to be prepared to pay for lots of gifts/lunches, so as to not be seen as playing favorites.

And part of me thinks that if this person really wanted her coworkers to celebrate her marriage with her, then she could have chosen a larger, less private ceremony, preferably on the same continent as her coworkers, and invited them.  Or she could get out her wallet and invite everybody to lunch herself, or maybe bring coffee/bagels/donuts for everybody.  "Since I'd love to have you with me when I get married, but we're getting married overseas, please join me for lunch/coffee/cake/whatever (my treat) at ________.  Let me know by Friday so I can make reservations."