Tomorrow, on the 16th of September 2017 it’s time again for the Oktoberfest in Munich. For the 184th time the Oktoberfest or “Wiesn”, the biggest fair in the world takes place in the most beautiful city on earth. Since 1810 when the Oktoberfest was celebrated for the first time on the occasion of the the wedding of crown prince Ludwig and princess Therese, millions of people from around the world come together every year to celebrate the bavarian tradition and the bavarian beer, to take a ride on one of the rollercoasters or just to get a whiff of “Oktoberfest-air”.
As long as you visit Oktoberfest in your free time with friends or family, everything is totally fine, but how do I behave on a business meeting or the company celebration on the Oktoberfest? To save you from embarrasing moments, we provide 5 basic tips here, what you should do or not do on a business related meeting on the Oktoberfest.
For some years now the traditional bavarian costume, “Dirndl” and “Lederhosen” had its comeback to the Wiesn, especially for young people. But when it comes to the choice of the right bavarian costume you should be careful, because there is a lot you can do in the wrong way. And what nobody wants is to look disguised, of course. If you are not from Munich originally, it’s still okay to come in your usual outfit, like a Jeans and a check shirt. If you want to buy a traditional costume anyway, just consider the motto: unpretentious and traditional is better than (too) short and glaring. Just avoid the overcrowded costume stores right next to the Oktoberfest and ask for help in the other shops.
2. Solid food foundation
Even if you are hard drinking and drink a lot of beer in your daily life, be careful with the Oktoberfest-beer as it is stronger than usual beer and extremly drinkable. So it’s better to have a solid food foundation in your stomach before you start drinking, to not make a fool of yourself in front of your boss or a client. The good thing about that: the diverse food offerings (vegeatrian as well) at Oktoberfest have something for every taste and is really delicious. Whether you eat half of a roasted chicken, an oxtail bread roll, the traditional dish “Kasspatzn” or just one of the big pretzels, the Oktoberfest is not only known for its beer but also for delicious, but expensive food.
3. Address your boss/client (in)formally
Masses of beer, dancing on the ale-bench and “anbandeln” (flirt) with your table companions: in this exuberant atmosphere at Oktoberfest a formal conversational tone can easily be exchanged for an informal “Hey Bro” really quickly and that’s okay, at least for this evening. But what to do on the next day in the office or your next phone call with the client? The motto here is definitely: reluctance. Rather use the formal tone once again and be prodded to use the first name than make a fool of yourself when the boss doesn’t remember your “Bromance” on Oktoberfest.
4. What to bring or not bring?
Directly rushing from the office or a meeting to Oktoberfest? Honestly not the best idea, because the laptop and important documents are not in good hands there. If your neighbour pours a beer on your laptop accidentally after the 3rd beer, not only you are Direkt ausmad but there will be a bad atmosphere on the whole table. That’s why the motto is: bring your Smartphone but leave rather all other electronic devices and important documents at home. Whereas you should definitely bring a small bag where you can put in your jacket to save it from getting dirty and/or wet. Just take your bag, put in your jacket, tether it up under the beer table and feel like a real Munich resident.
5. Party queen or party pooper?
That’s probably the most important question of all: how far can/should I go? Of course, Oktoberfest is a fair, where you drink a lot, dance and have a good time. So yes you are allowed to be in a high spirit and have fun, you should actually, but it is still valid that on a business meeting on Oktoberfest: rather be the party pooper than the party clown. Professional behaviour shouldn’t stop at the “Wiesn”-table, that means: drinking-yes. Be hammered-no. Small Talk-yes. Divulge private drinking stories-no. Be charming-yes. flirt heavily-no.
We hope we could helpyou with those tips, so that your next business meeting on the Oktoberfest will be a complete success and now we can only wish you a “Wahnsinnsgaudi” (a lot of fun) on the biggest fair in the world in the most beautiful city on earth. Prost:)