The timing of this piece is perfect. I just finished a large event in Fort Lauderdale, where Kenna Thomas, owner of Global Events in Atlanta, customized a weeklong corporate event that was loaded with food, creative production and learning for her client.
Remember, banqueting needn’t be complicated or splashy in order to be fun. It can employ simple things that are done cleanly. Food is a form of communication. Keep that in mind when you add design elements to your buffet stations. Make sure the design complements the food station, or your guests will be confused.
For example, last week I did a corn-off-the-cob station. This features fresh corn that is blanched and cut from the cob in the kitchen. It’s then sauteed with butter, lots of salt and pepper. It doesn’t take much effort to make this look inviting.
What do you think corn costs in season? What would it cost to decorate this corn station?
Containers can make a big difference, too. Ask your venue about the types of containers it has for food. Instead of a dessert bar, maybe you’d want to do a chocolate-covered pretzel bar.
Basically, this dessert features stick pretzels with various toppings and chocolate. It’s not expensive. Just make sure you dip each pretzel more than once.
You also can tailor your menus to a group activity. Global Events had planned a team-building event in which attendees built sand castles. The lunch beforehand featured foods you’d eat on the beach — an upgraded Nathan’s hot dog bar, fish tacos and salad in edible cones. For dessert we had ice cream sandwiches. The food was served in the same kind of paper boats that street vendors use. None of this was exceptionally expensive.
When planning your event, take the premise of these ideas and incorporate your own. Your attendees are guaranteed to smile.