A step-by-step guide to creating an immersive corporate event
May 19, 2023 | Lauren Windle
A new trend we love is destination-specific cuisine – centering the food and drinks at your event around a specific country, region or place. Because destination-specific events are immersive, the more aspects of your theme that align, the better. Ideally, that means food and drinks that reflect your ‘destination’ -- as well as décor, music, color scheme, even lighting. When a destination-specific event is well-thought out, it creates an engaging evening.
Here's what Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering team recommends as you plan:
Choose your 'destination' theme carefully. Make sure you can tie it into the purpose of the event. Maybe your company just added a new division from Australia. Great! Celebrate the new corporate division by theming all things ‘Aussie’!
If your corporate event brings various divisions together, you might celebrate the unique aspects of each territory. For instance have a New England seafood station, Southern Creole foods, Texas BBQ, and perhaps a California vegetarian station.
A balance of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks make events more inclusive, and enable your guests to choose for themselves what they prefer to drink. You can create non-alcoholic cocktails based on fruits, flowers and spices from chosen destinations.
We love the idea of a tea station – especially for United Kingdom or Asian-themed events.
Beer and wine from microbreweries and vintners can also make a tasty country- or region-specific statement.
Here are some other successful corporate events we’ve experienced that we thought were just great:
Racing theme! Tie everything to cars, racing, and famous races across the world. Name cocktails after famous 500 winners; meals after 'laps,' main courses after famous car manufacturers (Lamborghini Tetrazinni, for example!)
Have a signature adult beverage based on the region or country of your party. For example, you could have a Mohito Mamasito to celebrate a Caribbean island such as Cuba.
Destination food can be the event in and of itself. Put your centerpiece dishes in the limelight and serve up your message with a side of fun. For a French-themed event for instance, you could offer various cheese and wine pairings from different regions of France. Perhaps hire a wine steward to offer information about each region.
Going Italiano? Tapas, taco bars or pizza stations are always popular, and a lot of fun. Offer fresh-to-order tortillas at your taco bar. Or have a pizzaiolo on hand to create and toss pizza dough right in front of your guests. Pizzas made to order are always popular.
No matter the setting, it’s always a good idea to offer healthy food options. Plan your menu around high-protein, low-fat sustainably sourced meats and fish and whole grain, non-processed side dishes. (That’s our favorite food to serve!) Make sure to have grab and go options, too. Dessert stations are ideal for this.
Truly immersive, well-planned events are about engaging with people through all five senses—taste included. That’s why we love destination-specific themed parties!
Need ideas to get you started? We’ve got lots! Just ask our seasoned event planners!