Cocktail Events are Here to Stay
The event and catering industry is hearing an interesting request from clients: we need something swanky yet casual. And what swankier option is there than a cocktail event? Guests are getting harder to please and impress; event organisers and caterers are constantly thinking up new ideas to keep events fresh and exciting. One very popular idea is cocktail and hors d'oeuvres events.
Cocktail events can cater to almost any event - weddings, corporate, birthdays or any other kind of celebratory party. The benefits of a cocktail party include:
- It’s relatively inexpensive.
- It’s simple but looks sophisticated.
- It takes little work compared to buffets.
- It’s different from the norm, so guests can enjoy something new and exciting.
The trend towards less formal parties
Cocktail parties give guests an excuse to dress up, eat a little, drink and socialise. This type of setting allows guests to mingle around and get conversational, laugh and really enjoy the event, whether it be a wedding or a corporate event.
Since cocktail events are generally less formal than full dining events, there is less pressure when it comes to preparation. Compared to buffets and formal dinners, cocktail events allow guests to take a variety of small portions of food of their choosing. Hors d'oeuvres and the drinks are the focus of the servings.
For most organisers, choosing this type of settings allows them a lot of flexibility in planning. Cocktail parties are generally shorter than other events and they require little entertainment, just tasteful music in the background will do. If the event is for a product, person or service, a few words from guest speakers can jumpstart things.
Corporate events are also veering towards this trend. Businesses can be talked about over a glass of wine or a good cocktail. When it comes to weddings, your guests won’t have to worry about being assigned seats next to strangers. Guests will most likely stand for the duration of the event, however, you should provide casual seating like lounges so your guests don’t get tired or uncomfortable.
If you need another reason why cocktail events are becoming more popular than other event settings, just look at the artfully designed platters! Certainly the bite sized morsels, in variety, can be more inviting than a pre-selected two course dinner.
Cocktails and Venues
Cocktail events require only a small venue (depending on number of guests). Venues for cocktail events are efficient with floor space and offer maximum room capacity. Since cocktail events usually run for only two hours, most guests can stand for the entirety without issues. As mentioned above, venues should be able to provide a few bar stools, couches, armchairs or regular seats that can seat a third of your guests.
Venues that host this kind of event range from gardens to private homes. You can opt for elegant halls to build up the atmosphere or choose open plan banquet halls decorated to your taste.
Drinks and menus
Guests usually find food and drink servings to be satisfying if:
- The menu offers variety
- It’s appealing to the senses (visual first, then olfactory and taste)
- It’s unique and seems like a new or bold idea
- It’s well presented.
Now, despite the fact that cocktail events only serve bite-sized menus, there should always be enough to go around. No one should leave an event feeling hungry, so don’t skimp on food!
The idea of food stations with substantial food choices, including those that are heavier in the stomach, is always recommended. As for the drinks, make sure you have a nice variety that will pair well with the food you are serving.
Make sure your bar includes the basics like whiskey, gin, rum and tequila as well as a selection of cocktail ingredients. When your guest list is finalised you can decide how much alcohol you will need on site. Select some flavourful bottles of wine and a wide selection of beers. Make sure you have plenty of the basic mixers like orange and grapefruit juice, tonic water, and some soft drink.
Let’s not forget the main benefit of a cocktail party; it gives guests an excuse to dance the night away and have a great time at your event! Enjoy!
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