If you are attending a gala ball, or charity ball, then find out how can you best make the most of the experience.

1. Leave the car at home

It's fair to say that drink usually flows at these charity ball events so if you are partial to an alcoholic beverage then you should probably consider taking a taxi to and from the event. If your ball is taking place in or around a hotel, then there is a chance reduced room rates may be offered. Check with your charity ball organisers if this is an option for you.

2. Get to the ball early

There's usually a champagne reception before the gala ball begins, which is something that you don't want to miss out on. It's often a good chance to mingle and network with other guests at the event, as well as find out more about the charity and what to expect from the night.

3. Seating arrangements

The early arrival at your gala ball also allows you to get a good look at the seating plans for your table. You may even start to get accustomed to the fellow guests you will be joined by at the champagne reception before you even sit down at your table.

4. Look the part for your gala ball

Make sure you dress well for your gala ball - most are usually black tie affairs. With a 'Best Dressed' title possibly up for grabs, you want to make sure you are in the running. Plan your outfit well in advance so that you are not rushing round picking out an outfit last minute!

5. Learn to dance

It is not uncommon for events such as gala balls to include formal dancing in some form. This may mean that your usual moves look out of place on the ballroom floor so putting in some preparation pre-ball might benefit you in the long run.

6. Expect a lot of food

It's not uncommon for people who have paid not to attend the gala ball, so usually there will be more food (and wine) available than you'd anticipated on your table. The remaining will usually be given to the people who are in attendance, rather than the food and drink go to waste.

7. But don't overdo the food and drink

The meal is only one part of the gala, with any dancing or other activities taking place well after the food has been served. You don’t want to eat so much that you just want to stay sat in your chair! Make the most of the night to come by taking it easy on the food.

8. Be prepared to be papped

Ok, so you might not exactly be a top celeb, but these gala ball events tend to have photographers to capture the evening, so be prepared for there to be hard evidence for all to see you in whatever state you are.

9. Don't over bid in the ball charity auction

It's far too easy for the wine to take over and for your bidding finger to get trigger happy and leave you and your wallet nursing a hangover the day after your gala ball event. Set yourself a limit (before you start drinking) so that you don’t wake up the next morning with any nasty surprises.

10. Participate in everything at the ball

Whatever entertainment is on offer, lap it up. Often gala balls include casino experiences, bucking broncos, guest speakers or strictly ballroom, make sure you give it all a go.

Feeling inspired? Why not view our list of Partner Charities and pick a great cause to support.