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The Ultimate Corporate Event Experience

Date Posted: 23/07/2016 2:47:06 PM
Posted By: Tara Connolly

Corporate Events: Savour The Sensory Experience

In this guest post, Kim Jones talks about corporate events and how catering can be used to heighten the experience for attendees.

Perfectly captured in movies like “Chocolat”, life revolves around food! There is an art to weaving emotions into the preparation of a feast or simple meal.

Add to the bowl a mix of weary and hardened corporate hearts! Impressing your guests can be a minefield for the fainthearted especially when you’re trying to make your corporate event memorable and keep guests wanting more.

The art of eating is enhanced with timing and creation of concoctions connected to the purpose of the event. Beautifully illustrated in the movie “Babette’s Feast”, it’s unwise to compromise with pedestrian catering! Make your event a visual and sensory experience to remember.

During my 20 years in ASX100 companies I learnt that the project management of a corporate event can be successful, yet sadly will leave no memory of that moment. Our aim is to:

  • celebrate milestones
  • acknowledge an outcome
  • share the company’s vision
  • develop lasting relationships, or
  • remember a moment in time.

Corporate events need to share the same vision as your company. You need to find a way to weave your message via sensory and culinary delights so that your guests are:

  • full and satisfied
  • impressed
  • surprised
  • wildly challenged

Many stuffy corporate events fail to leave an impression because they didn’t inject the beguiling mix of fanciful and grounded sensory experiences. The idea is to lead your guests to a final point of subliminal dedication and emotional commitment that embodies your company’s vision.

What’s The Plan For Your Next Corporate Function?

The Big Picture

You have been given the go-ahead for a corporate event for a specific reason. Here are a few tips to help you create a successful event.

​Align The Elements: Link the purpose of the event (fun, legal, actions, culture building), the company culture and vision to the look, feel and style of the function.

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The Theme:  Is there a theme for the event? Adding a theme can add life to the function and make it memorable.​

aMBUSH Gallery

Measurability Factors:  Are you expected to meet some expectations by hosting this event? Ask management what outcomes they expect so you can put things in place to measure your success.

​Plan Ahead:  Give yourself plenty of time to find the right service providers who can work at your chosen venue. The good ones are already booked months in advance so plan early.

Time Management: ​ The length of the event can often dictate the venue. If for example your function is a company update, within business hours, with minimal down time for employees, no alcohol allowed, then you’ll need to course a venue close to headquarters.

However if the function is a thank you to valued clients or customers, the function may be longer, a sit down three-course meal, on a weekend so partners can attend, with alcoholic offerings and entertainment.

Islandti_kai_atmosphere (2004)

​Location And Venues: ​ A lot of venues have a resident caterer, AV teams, and support staff so be sure to check what resources are available to you when booking service providers. They can usually help you with:

  • Logistics
  • Catering
  • Printing
  • Themes
  • Invitations
  • Bookings
  • Travel
  • Accommodation
  • Speakers
  • Entertainment
  • AV
  • Filming
  • Advertising & Marketing
  • Communication

Hyde Park Barracks

Customising Your Catering

Once you have worked out what the feel and format is for your event, the fun part is aligning your catering to match expectations. Don’t forget that you are bringing different elements to life that that align and complement your company’s purpose.

Case Study:

The CEO of our financial services division, in the first year of when he started, wanted a fun event for employees around money.

The venue created a gambling room and the food was themed to money. We had chocolate money and food was shaped as roulettes. Everyone was encouraged to dress up with the CEO lead the way, wearing a roulette tutu. The theme, dress code and catering set the fun tone for the night.

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Plan To Please The Majority

Planning a corporate event can be draining on staff who not only need to attend the function but also “work” the room. It’s good to keep the following outcomes in mind:

For guests:

  • have fun
  • communicate across teams
  • see the fun side of the corporate environment rather than red tape
  • seeing management as approachable and willing to engage

For  management:

  • ​have fun
  • acknowledge employees and objectives met
  • engage with employees in a more casual environment
  • be open to feedback in a safe, non-threatening environment

It’s up to you now!

So get planning and have fun with it! There’s a lot to do and partnering with the right service provider will make the event enjoyable for everyone.

 

More about the author

Kim Jones is a non executive director on private company, government and not-for-profit boards.

Kim is also a management consultant, with more than 30 years experience with roles including superannuation trustee, investor relations and communications specialist with ASX100 institutional fund managers and financial services companies. The earlier part of her career was spent as a marine scientist, high school teacher as well as promoting new technology at the University of New South Wales.

Kim holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree from the University of Sydney, a Graduate Diploma of Education, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

End of Financial Year Inspiration!

Date Posted: 31/03/2016 4:08:49 PM
Posted By: Tara Connolly

Get Inspired and Lock-in your EOFY Event with Laissez-faire

The end of this financial year is approaching, and all the event coordinators out there might be needing some inspiration to start planning an EOFY party for their organisation. These corporate events should be strategically productive yet fun and memorable for all staff members. Need some ideas for your EOFY corporate party? We've put together some of our best Instagram shots from our corporate events to give you an idea of what your event could look like.

Atmosphere

If you want to host a memorable and out-of-the-ordinary EOFY event, why not plan your party around a theme? Check out this fiery photo from one of our corporate events held at Fairground Follies:

 

Fairground follies event last week #coorporateevents #catering #laissez_faire_catering #christmasparty #sydneyvenue #eventcatering

A photo posted by Laissez-faire Catering (@laissez_faire_catering) on

 

The fun atmosphere of a venue like this one can provide enthralling entertainment while we provide you with sumptuous food and all the other services your event requires. A great EOFY corporate event is all about the atmosphere you create and a theme can really help to bring your event together. Want something a little more low-key? Why not a cool cocktail event with intense lighting and ample space for guests to move around and mingle?

 
Boys are ready ..are you ready? Bar is open #laissez_faire_catering #drinkservice #cocktails #latenight #catering #events #productlaunch #specialevents A photo posted by Laissez-faire Catering (@laissez_faire_catering) on

   

Food Stations

Corporate events where guests are most likely to be standing, mingling and enjoying cocktails call for easy-to-eat food and nibbles. This is where multiple food stations really improve EOFY parties. Instead of a traditional sit-down dinner, consider creating a casual atmosphere where guests can move between food stations and snack on delectable servings as they please. Ideas for food stations at your corporate event are endless! At our past corporate catering events, food stations have always been popular. Not only is it where the food is, guests also feel comfortable chatting with their fellow work mates while perusing the many food choices. Here's a cheese and antipasto bar we whipped up for a corporate event:

 

Cheese and antipasto bar #eventcatering #cheese #cocktail #catering #celebration #events #food #cheesestation

A photo posted by Laissez-faire Catering (@laissez_faire_catering) on

 

Here's another great food station idea our chef whipped up a sushi station which was very popular. With the popularity of canapes and mini foods at corporate events these days, sushi is a great idea. Guests will love a taste of fresh seafood.

 
Sushi is served #events #canapes #cateringsydney #laissez_faire_catering #sydneycatering A photo posted by Laissez-faire Catering (@laissez_faire_catering) on

  

Drinks

One thing you can't forget at an EOFY event is the alcohol. This is a chance for employees and managers to relax a little and have a good time. Treat guests to some signature cocktails or organise a fully-stocked bar for your EOFY party. You can keep it simple and serve champagne to your guests throughout the evening:

 

Never too early for a celebration #events #corporateevents #catering #champagne #anmm

A photo posted by Laissez-faire Catering (@laissez_faire_catering) on

 

Or serve up interesting cocktails that fit with the theme of the event:

 

Don't forget to set up your EOFY event at a great venue. Perhaps your guests would love to celebrate the EOFY at the Yots Cafe on Darling Harbour while they eat food from this delicious menu.

 
Cocktail parties never looked for great! @anmmuseum #Yots #sydneyvenues #sydneyevents #SydneyHarbour #Sydney #LightHouse #Summer #Cocktails A photo posted by Laissez-faire Catering (@laissez_faire_catering) on
  Do you want your corporate EOFY event to produce some Instagram-worthy pictures? Contact us here at Laissez-faire Catering and let us help you plan the perfect EOFY event; we can take care of the venue, drinks and menus.

Every EOFY event needs a good supply of drinks! Click the banner below to access our  Drinks menu.

drinks-menu-banner

Finding a Venue: What to Look For

Date Posted: 3/03/2015 11:51:00 AM
Posted By: Craig B

Selecting the right venue for your event is one of the most important steps in planning a memorable occasion. Whether it's the art deco interior of a town hall, or the vast grandeur of a repurposed shed, the venue sets the tone and expectation for the entire event.

Step 1: Accessibility

Where will you hold the event? Is transport to and from the venue a major factor? Will guests face any difficulty finding or accessing your venue?

For corporate and private events alike, there are three things you need to consider:

  1. Transport/Parking
  2. Accommodation
  3. What else is going to be happening in the same location?
Beautiful surrounds

Step 2: Facilities

Does this venue have everything you need?

When planning a once-off event or one in a string of numerous events, you want to understand how many elements you need to manage. You may need to engage with several different suppliers in order to keep everything running smoothly.

Amazing venues

Step 3: Cost

It’s hard to put a price on a unique experience.

With so many elements to consider, balancing your budget is a must! Whether it’s a wedding reception, post-conference networking session, or a simple morning tea, budgets are key.

Taking into consideration all costs to do with the venue, can you make it work with the budget you have?

Step 4: Touch and Feel

Once you have a good understanding of the event, layout, numbers and budget, see it for yourself. A picture paints a thousand words, but nothing compares to seeing something in the flesh.

Contact your venue and make a time to meet at the location when it’s set for a similar event. This way you will get a really good feel for how your event might look.

As a catering company in and around Sydney, we always have new venues or spaces to work with, so don’t be shy about asking for our recommendation! Drop a line to the team to find out about new venues.

Island Pool Sydney Harbour 

6 Tips For Planning Your Next Corporate Event

Date Posted: 15/08/2014 10:57:22 PM
Posted By: Helpdesk Staff

Planning a corporate or social event for your business? Let's face it, you're going to need a little help to pull everything together without a hitch.

So, here are our 6 tips for planning your next corporate event:

1. Initial Planning

Start this process as early as possible! Basically all you have to do to get the ball rolling is figure out what your corporate event will be; is it a social event for your business associates and employees (eg the office Christmas party) or is it a formal meeting event (eg discussing or celebrating a business merger or an event for a new business start up)? Once you have decided this, it is easier to find relevant venues and caterers.

Venue5

2. Organise Your Event

While you're doing your initial planning, and in fact throughout the entire planning process, document what you're doing; the choices you've made, the reasons, and the costs of all the elements of the event. This is an important and useful step because keeping all this information will help you plan your next corporate event very easily. For instance, after the event you might decide that the caterers you chose were great and so you'll remember to hire them next time. This is going to save you a lot of time and effort in planning down the road.

3. Venue Options

Talk to people who work or own the venues you are considering. Tell them about your event and what facilities will be needed. They will know if their venue fits your needs or what can be done to make it better. Searching for a venue should happen in the first stages of planning. The sooner you find out where your event will be held, the sooner you can tell your caterers where they will need to operate and the sooner you can inform your guests about the location. Announcing a venue on late notice means fewer attendees, announcing a venue early won't have any drawbacks! Get to it!

Subisland3

4. Catering

You're going to need good food to keep everyone entertained! Whether your event is a social occasion for your business members or a corporate meeting event, good food is a must. Again, talk to people who work at the catering company and describe to them in detail the event you are planning. Make your own menu, put forward your own ideas for the kinds of food you'd like to be served at your event, but it's also important to listen to their suggestions; they are the food experts! Nothing kills the success of an event like bad food.

Prawn canape

5. Check out reviews

To avoid any surprises (the bad kind) in the middle of your event, check out some reviews for the catering companies you are considering in order to get some second opinions. These reviews will usually be found online and also in particular newspapers or magazines. You can do the same for your venue options; a quick search online and you will usually be able to find reviews, and find out what other events have been held at the venue. This could help you decide which venue is going to be the best or most appropriate for the type of event you are planning.

Islandc

6. Do you need an event manager?

By this stage, your event seems to be completely planned and ready to go! Ask yourself if you need an event manager; someone who can be on-hand during the event to make sure everything runs smoothly. If you aren't key to the corporate event, you could fill this position yourself; after all, you probably know the event from the inside out after all the effort you put in. The event manager could even be one of your employees or associates who is attending the event and who can act as your assistant to help things go just as planned during the event.