As an event agency, we must ensure that every aspect of the events that are entrusted to us is memorable.
Yet, although a large majority of events serve food and beverages – and that this budget line is one of the most important–, we realize that it is often left out.
Food can have a huge impact on the atmosphere of an event. Opting for a rented-restoration service with a pre-made package is far from an optimal solution. You must bring your menu the importance that it demands for it to be in perfect harmony with your audience and your event.
Be creative and be prepared to take risks!
Through this article, we offer tactics and ideas to help you make your next event experience more enjoyable for your participants!
Know How to Efficiently Communicate Your Needs
We cannot repeat it enough: all the elements of your event must be in line with its mission and its theme.
Write clear and concise notes and share them with your partners.
Detail your theme and create a mood board to make it more understandable. In a few sentences, write what is important to your participants.
If networking is important for them, a sit-down dinner is to be avoided.
If your theme is related to innovation and the importance of challenging the status quo, avoid conventional dishes at all costs.
Obviously, the chosen place for your event will define several parameters, but many welcoming companies are flexible and can propose and realize ideas coming out of the box.
Sharing Stimulates Networking and Reduces Costs
The hospitality concept goes back for thousands of years.
Remember these biblical scenes in which people opened their doors to complete strangers, to then break and share the bread?
Share a meal gives rise to interesting conversations, facilitates the sharing of ideas and helps to forge genuine friendships and business relationships.
Get rid of the traditional sitting dinner where each guest eats his own portion. Rather propose various stations of culinary specialties. In addition to encouraging people to move and to talk to each other, these stations are less costly as they require less labour.
They also allow the exploitation of various themes and can start interesting discussions among attendees.
In addition, this kind of service reduced food waste as the guests are responsible for filling their plates according to their actual hunger. Besides, you should demand that your food supplier takes the necessary arrangements to offer paid leftovers to a charity. Feel free to share this wonderful initiative with your delegates!
There are so many ways to implement such a plan.
Simply put, large trays of cheese and cold cuts are a timeless classic. They also offer an ideal opportunity to promote a region’s specialty.
Do not hesitate to let your guests put their hands in the dough! DIY stations are very much in vogue at the moment.
Appeal to the Largest Number
Being an event planner, you can integrate your participants in your decision-making process!
During your registration process, you could add an option for delegates to communicate their favourite meal, their preferences, and their dietary restrictions.
This will help you create a tailor-made offer, for all.
For example, environmentalists will be happy to have local and seasonal dishes, since their carbon footprint is less than other more exotic culinary specialties. In addition, such food options are generally less expensive than off-season foods.
You can also take the opportunity to celebrate the culture of your destination if the majority of your delegates also came from abroad. For example, if your event takes place in Louisiana, you should provide a selection of tasty Cajun food to offer them an experience to which they are unaccustomed.
Look out for partnership opportunities with local farmers who offer organic foods.
Offer several options. Once again, culinary stations would offer a wider range of choices for vegetarians, vegans and people intolerant to lactose, gluten, etc.
Think About the Nutritional Aspect
Never forget that good food can increase productivity. More often than not, the events serve sweets to their delegates for the afternoon break while they spent the last several hours passively listening…
Offer instead a fruit and vegetable juice bar or a giant and delicious guacamole made on-site.
Use Food as Part of Decorating Elements
Your budget is tight and you can’t justify hiring a famous chef to impress your guests? No problem!
Event creation is also about offering amazing dishes, created from simple and cheaper food, relying on their presentation.
For example, you could offer a wall of donuts rather than simply serve them on trays. Mini tacos shelves, with their mini Margaritas, pretzel stations that you can decorate and season according to taste, mangos on sticks cut Thai-style and black lemonade (charcoal lemonade) stations are also gaining popularity. Poke bowl bars and Asian Street food stations are also particularly popular during the summer events and allow an amazing display of colours and forms, which are out of the ordinary.
Finally, serve the warm dishes in event-themed colour small buckets, spread out on a mural and kept warm by small candles. This will help you create a distinguished and mysterious setting (see inspiration: https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/437764026255580268/).
Do not hesitate to play retro. Nostalgia awakened by these facilities will spark some interesting conversations between your delegates.
Such displays of food will make your guests talk and will even become photos destinations!
These few inspirations are intended to change the perspective of the event organizers on the importance of food in our industry. There are a variety of other ideas that we could share. Anyway, think about how the food could reflect the mission of your next event and do not hesitate to ask our event coordinator’s ideas. The number of events they participate annually, they are real references on the matter!