hen planning a corporate event one of the most important jobs of a corporate event planning company is to get the food right! Food is one of the first things delegates will comment on when providing feedback after an event.
The catering is one of the largest expenses when putting on any corporate event but don’t forget this is the hospitality industry. You are ‘hosting’ your team/clients/staff, they are your guests and it would be a shame to cut corners on the food offering. During the catering breaks giving delegates the opportunity to network is invaluable or it can be used to boost morale and the choice must also meet the clients needs and vision.
First & foremost the most important thing event planning companies should ensure that the full event brief is obtained from the client to understand what the requirements are and how the food can play a big part to keep delegates engaged during the event.
Culinary hot trends should also be considered to wow and impress your delegates. Some to think about include:
- Locally sourced & regional specialities
- Craft beers
- Healthy & sustainable food
- Grab & go options
- Brain foods
Consider some of these catering suggestions for your next corporate event:
- Instead of a plated meal, why not offer interactive food stations? Food always gets people talking, each station takes on a theme such as street food as well as international themes. Some may also give the delegates opportunity to cook their own creations. These are popular and are a great conversation starter among guests.
- Offer a make-your-own salad station with various toppings. People nowadays are more conscious of the food they are eating which means that they can have want they want and this will also cover the various dietary requests.
- Go retro. Nothing gets guests talking quite like nostalgia!
- Why not serve seated meals family style? Sharing a meal from a common platter encourages conversation and also means the guest can have as little (or as much!) as they would like
Conference hotels are reconsidering their delegate break options to entice return visits and also offering something a little different encouraging delegates to interact more.
For example the Double Tree in Chester sponsors a spider monkey at Chester Zoo and their breaks offer information about the monkey and include 3 ways fresh Bananas, Banana bread and a Banana Smoothie to kick start the day. DoubleTree Manchester offers the famous Manchester tart served alongside information on its roots and creations and variations of this famous local dessert.
Veganism is the buzz word at the moment and all venues are accommodating the vegan diet. The Hilton London Bankside has gone one step further and is offering a Vegan Hotel suite. Everything has been created from the finest natural materials from the Pinatex headboard to the bamboo floor each small detail has been designed for the traveller who follows a plant lifestyle. The room also has its own complimentary vegan mini bar and vegan in room dining menus.
The vegan experience just doesn’t stop there – check in at the vegan friendly check in desk and enjoy a specially created menu in the OXBO restaurant.
Our advice is don’t skimp on the catering – get it wrong and your guests will go away disappointed, get it right and they will tell everyone and want to attend your next event.