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Business functions Cocktail receptions 5 ­ 3 This is the most formal of cocktail parties. Cocktail receptions usually mark a special occasion, such as honoring someone or making a significant announcement. Traditional business attire or black-tie attire might be required. The cocktail reception is usually hosted for two hours before another evening engagement, or it might be held after an evening engagement for about an hour and a half. Early cocktail receptions are typically held between 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. and include hors d'oeuvres. Late receptions are held from 10:30 P.M. to midnight and include a variety of dishes and desserts. In addition to the usual drinks at a cocktail party, a cocktail reception will usually include champagne. Whether you attend a cocktail party, buffet, or reception, keep in mind that it is not an opportunity to gorge yourself. Don't station yourself next to the food tables or empty passing trays of hors d'oeuvres. Another mistake is to drink beer or anything else directly from the bottle. Cocktail events are the few remaining business-entertaining functions at which smoking might not be off-limits. If smoking is permitted at the event, be sure to use proper smoking manners. Light up only around other smokers, be aware of where your smoke is drifting, don't trail ashes on the floor, and use an ashtray. These guidelines apply to cigar and pipe smoking as well. Banquets Banquets are typically large luncheons or dinners hosted by an organization. A banquet is one occasion at which you can expect business to be discussed.