Creating a memorable guest experience doesn’t have to equate to losing sleep over details and logistics. Whether you’re hosting a corporate happy hour or private product launch, we invite you to take advantage of our secrets to an easy planning process. Sit back, grab a vanilla latte and get one step closer to becoming an event coordinating aficionado:
1. Set an event budget. Before you begin contacting caterers and venues, set a budget that aligns with your vision. Remember to consider staffing, rentals and décor when you’re outlining anticipated costs.
2. Educate yourself about the venue. The majority of venues in Manhattan provide in-house catering and bending the rules isn’t an easy feat. If you’re hosting an event at a space outside of your company, you should weigh the options of in-house catering versus selecting an independent caterer. Choosing an in-house catering typically means you’re in the running for a set menu at a lower cost. While seeking out an external caterer will increase your budget, you’ll have the creative freedom to customize your menu and hone in on food design. In short, researching the venue guidelines upfront can save precious planning time and help guide your catering decisions.
3. Define the guest experience. Take a moment to picture the experience you want to create for your guests. Your approach should be dependent upon who your guests are and the message you want to communicate. Do you want to bring your guests together over an interactive component, like our “Adult Candy Bar” shot station? Is the goal to excite potential clients about your brand? Incorporating your company logo in edible elements and design aesthetics is a great way to make an impact on your guests. And don’t forget, an amazing caterer will help you make an amazing impression.
4. Think about food that represents your brand. Be prepared to talk about food inspirations what you want your guests to remember when they walk out of your event. Food isn’t just an event accessory, it’s a talking point. If you’re hoping to create a media buzz from your gathering, impressive culinary presentation is an easy way to increase your brand visibility via social media.
5. Vision boards will streamline your process. By creating a mood board of images, your caterer will have an instantaneous understanding of the tone you want to set at your event. The less is more theory doesn’t apply here; the more images, the better. In the words of Julia Childs, “The more you know, the more you can create. There’s no end to imagination in the kitchen!”