Calgary Stampede Office Party Etiquette
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Calgary Stampede Office Party Etiquette

stampede party etiquetteIt’s almost time for what most Calgarians consider to be the most wonderful time of the year. From July 3rd to the 12th Calgary will be saddling up to host over a million visitors to “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”– the Calgary Stampede.

Stampede, with its rodeos, chuckwagon races, and street-side pancake breakfasts, is also a great place to land your next job or bring that new client on board. With its multitude of corporate events you don’t want to be without a pocket full of business cards and your best 30 second elevator pitch.

Stampede is also known for excessive drinking which, has (on occasion) led to lowered inhibitions and ultimately some very poor decisions. What happens at Stampede NEVER stays at Stampede, so follow these tips to avoid the walk of shame on the next day.

Drinking During Stampede

It’s next to impossible to avoid drinking during Stampede, especially at corporate events. Calgary is a city where deals often get sealed with a handshake and a drink. First timers beware! Those ice-cold jugs of orange juice at the client stampede breakfast have liberal amounts of vodka in them. Be cautious as to how much you drink and don’t forget the water chaser. A trick is to always have tonic water with lemon in hand to give the illusion that you’re keeping up! It’s hard to say no when the boss or client is trying to buy rounds of shots. Maybe that cactus next to you needs a little tequila!! Know your limit and stick to it.

Dress Code During Stampede

This one is mostly for the ladies, but gentleman, show your creativity and avoid the Canadian Tuxedo.

As for the ladies, Daisy Duke shorts and cropped, low-cut tops are only appropriate if the job you’re hoping to land is shot girl at Cowboys. As with any other corporate environment you want them to remember you and your sparkling personality, not your other “assets”.

But, in order to fit in and not stick out like a greenhorn, incorporate some western-wear into your wardrobe. Pencil skirts, high heels, and blazers can go to the back of the closet for the next 10 days. You don’t need to overload with cowboy Page 7 boots, a hat, a checkered shirt and a big buckle either. Instead, opt for a nice pair of jeans, t-shirt, comfortable sandals, and a cowboy hat, or a nice casual (but appropriate) summer dress with cowboy boots. Both are great options and easy to put together. Most importantly, dress comfortably as you may be on your feet for long periods of time. There are some great tips on the internet for Stampede/Western inspired dress ideas.

The Office Stampede Party

In addition to client events, almost every business in Calgary hosts an office stampede party for their staff. Treat this like you would any work related event – dress and behave accordingly. This is not the time to hit on your boss or co-worker. The slogan from a few years ago – “It’s not Cheating – It’s Stampeding” was a terrible marketing idea. The week after Stampede tends to result in an increase in divorces, STD’s, sexual harassment complaints and even terminations of employment. Don’t become a statistic. Have fun, but behave appropriately.

It’s common for Calgarians to host out of town friends and family during Stampede but don’t bring them to your company Stampede Party. Round ‘em up and herd ‘em off to the rodeo with plans to meet up later. The same goes for your significant other (unless the invite includes them) or any other friends you’ve made during Stampede .

Social Media During Stampede

Millions of photos will be taken and shared on social media during Stampede. In many cases, you may not even be aware that you’re in the background of someone else’s photo. Not much you can do about that, other than be aware. But you can control what YOU share on social media. Make sure those with you know that you may share on social media and get their permission. As always with social media, be mindful of the long-term consequences of what you post. Remember, future employers can see your on-line activity.

Finally, be safe during Stampede. Make sure you are with friends and make sure everyone gets home safe. While most office events and client corporate events provide taxi chits, it’s next to impossible to get a cab during Stampede so have lots of transit tickets on hand.

Happy Stampeding !!

About Parm Ahuja-Robertson

As Director of Recruitment for R.JOHNSON’s Calgary Division, Parm is responsible for leading the full-cycle recruitment process for Calgary applicants and clients. Parm’s specialty is establishing and executing dynamic sourcing strategies that lead to complementary client and candidate relationships.

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