Food, better known in the event world as ‘the centerpiece we eat with our eyes’. Having the right style of food and service at your event can be the difference between guests leaving happy (and full!) and guests passing through the drive-through on their way home, unsatisfied. Food is a real determinant of event success in the eyes of your guests.
The first thing to consider is just what exactly are you trying to achieve? If you want your guests to feel like pampered VIP’s all night long, perhaps buffet style food isn’t for you! Other styles of food to consider at your event include seated dinners, grazing tables, standing cocktail canapés and food theatre. Each of these serve a different function and will leave guests feeling totally different dependent on execution. Hot or cold food also comes into play. Leaving guests feeling warm and happy at a winter event probably doesn't involve ice cream and cold canapés.
Put yourself in the mind and body of your guests, to better understand what they will want during your event. Consider gender and age. Whilst a male-based event is suited towards food such as sliders and two-handed food options, a largely female-based event deserves something tidier and easier to eat, considering the fact many ladies carry a handbag or purse with them. A children’s event requires simpler food choices; keep the luxury cheese boards and gourmet canapés for the adults only.
Once you know who your guests are, ask yourself the crucial question of dietary requirements. With a large portion of people now being vegetarian, pescatarian or even vegan, this can eliminate some options. Allergies and intolerances must also be considered, making sure guests who have nut, dairy or gluten allergies don’t miss out. Pregnant women and religious or cultural beliefs must also be considered dependent on your audience. Whilst you will have to draw the line at some point (as let’s face it- you can’t please everyone!), taking into consideration people’s needs will convey that you really care about their experience at your event.
Whilst I could talk about food choice all day (and trust me when I say ALL DAY), one thing to take from this blog is the importance of food at any event, it truly is the make or break in your guest’s eyes. For more info on food at events from our Behind The Clipboard Podcast hosts, click here to listen to episode 2 where you can listen to 25 minutes of uninterrupted food-talk!