A millennial’s survival guide to attending a gala event

So, you wangled an invite to a fancy-schmancy party. Evening clothes: check. Impeccable grooming: check. Knowing how to behave: well… Fear not; here are six guidelines.

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Now, I didn’t crash it. Through a friend, I got a free $1,000 ticket to attend my first gala at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.

It. Was. Unbelievable.

As a millennial in the PR and communications field, you might find yourself at glitzy galas, award ceremonies, and other A-events, saying to yourself, “I don’t belong here! How did this happen? I’m craving a burrito.”

Once you finally calm down—or get something to eat (they probably won’t serve burritos)—you’ll need to adapt to your new settings and act like a professional. Here’s how:

Pay attention to place settings. Don’t let all the fancy silverware intimidate you. Remember, start with the outside utensils and work your way in. Still unsure? Wait, watch, imitate. Someone else will have a clue, even if you don’t.

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