Corporate event food. How to get it right

10 Jul 2019 Events


Food affects our mood. When we are hungry, we are more likely to be irritable and unhappy. On the other hand, being full makes us happy and relaxed. But, with the rise of foodie culture, what we eat and how it looks are just as important as how much we eat. As such, enjoying beautiful, tasty food has become an integral part of many successful business events. At the same time, food and drink are often the elements of an event most commented on by guests. So, it’s vital that you get it right.

Tips on how to create the best event food

Consider how you want people to feel

When creating an event, one of the first things any event professional should establish is how they want attendees to feel. Do you want them to be relaxed and comfortable, or inspired and excited? Once you know this, you can decide what style of event to have, create an event agenda, and design a menu that helps to inspire this mood.

For example, if you are holding an event to showcase how your business is adapting to change while maintaining its established values, you could devise a menu of classic dishes with a quirky and modern twist. This will allow you to use nostalgia to tap into your guests’ emotions while generating a sense of excitement.

Your event menu is a great way to reflect your company, so don’t just offer repetitive dishes that they’ve eaten time and time again.

Be creative

Good food doesn’t have to be expensive. There are much easier ways to impress your guests than serving lobster, champagne and caviar. Be creative and mix things up a bit. For example, you could use:

  • Self-serve food stations designed to get people moving and networking
  • Interactive DIY options to add a sense of fun (e.g. build your own burger)
  • Family style/platter food that encourages sharing and conversation
  • Street food styled food trucks which offer variety and exciting ingredients

Consider when you are holding your event

The scheduling of your event is a vital factor when deciding what food to serve. For example, if your event starts first thing in the morning, providing a tasty breakfast will give your guests some much-needed energy. Likewise, when holding an after-work event, be sure to put on some appetisers for anyone coming straight from the office. Food will also encourage your guests to stay longer because a satisfied attendee is a happy attendee.

Create an experience

The "experience economy" is one of the most significant global trends in marketing. And today, rather than focusing on “stuff”, businesses are creating “experiences” to appeal to their customers. So, when it comes to organising events, you have to think about what you can do to create the type of occasion people will remember. It’s about much more than keeping people full; it’s about creating an experience.

At Apex we provide an elite gourmet event which combines ingenious table mapping technology with haute cuisine to allow food and virtual environments to be enjoyed in total sync. And we adapt menus to work in perfect harmony with the show.

Find out more about our stunning “Lumentium” gastronomic experience here.

table mapping by Lumentium in partnership with Apex

Make it shareable

In our connected digital world, going out for a meal or a few drinks can be turned into an event with people using social media to capture key moments and share these with thousands of followers.

When it comes to corporate events, the food you serve, and how it is presented is crucial if you want to get people to share images from your event and boost your brand reach. If the food doesn’t look great, people won’t want it in their social news feeds.

Offer a range of dietary options

When hosting a corporate event, you have to consider your guest’s dietary requirements. Here are some of the most common restrictions event planners should be aware of:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Peanut allergies
  • Lactose intolerant
  • Diabetic
  • Kosher
  • Halal

To keep everyone happy, be sure to ask your delegates if they have any dietary requirements ASAP. This will give your caterer the time to develop a suitable menu with all necessary adjustments. You must make all your guests feel considered and just providing a boring salad as a vegetarian option is not going to cut it.

Promote your food

A crucial part of preparing for any great event lies in the promotion. Use your menu to excite potential guests and whet their appetite for what’s to come.

Are you doing enough to promote your business events?

Are you doing enough to promote your business events?

Exceptional menu concept and ideas

Food has long been a sign of hospitality, with eating a shared activity that brings people together. The sharing of a meal leads to shared conversations, shared ideas and friendship. And today, not much has changed. So, it’s easy to see the connection with modern event planning.

If you want to make your guests feel special and appreciated, you have to serve them the best food and drink possible, with a service that positively represents your business.

If you already have a clear idea of what you want, at Apex we will work with you, your venue, or outside caterers to make sure they deliver to a high standard. Or, if you are looking for something different - or just some guidance - we can provide you with a range of menu ideas and concepts for catering at your event. In some cases, we have worked with venues to provide catering in a way they have never thought of before!

corporate event organisers - Concorde Christmas

We work with many tried and tested outside caterers. Furthermore, we have established relationships with food and beverage teams in venues across the UK and beyond. So, if you have particular dietary requirements, we will find the right team to make it happen. Removing the burden from your shoulders, we can also set up the contracts and manage your caterers throughout your event.

We will also work with you to develop an action plan for your event; identifying what type of food and drink you need and what level of service you require.

Freeing you to get on with planning the rest of your event (although we can help you with that too), you can trust Apex to take care of all the details.

With 30 years’ experience in the industry, our food and beverage services, experience and support will help you get the most from your events. Contact us today and tell us about your business and what you want to achieve.


Get more event planning top tips!

We know that you want to create successful corporate events that will be talked about for years to come (for all the right reasons). But how can you make sure that poor planning doesn’t let you down on the day?

Brought to you from the experts at Apex, our handy checklist will help you to reach your event goals and achieve a truly positive experience.

In this event planning checklist for event profs:

  • Planning the event. Establish your event goals, choose a venue and set your agenda
  • Organising the event. Finalise all the details and add some magic
  • Promoting the event.  Create and launch a winning publicity campaign
  • Hosting the event. Entertain, inspire and inform
  • Promotion. Attract and retain visitors ahead of your competitors
  • After the event. Capitalise on your event presence, long after it is over.

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Paul Ashford

Paul Ashford is a founding director of Apex.co.uk and has over 25 years’ experience in live events and conferencing. He has a particular interest in creative communication and team dynamics and advises Apex’ clients on how to build teams and convey their key messages in visually stimulating and effective formats.

Apex Event Management and Exhibition Stands

Apex Event Management and Exhibition Stands