If you’re anything like me, you show up to networking events starving. The event arrived too quickly, you were too busy, and assumed there’d be food at the event anyway. At the event, you gather your name badge and head straight to the food and drink tables.
Weighed down by laptop bags, a drink, and a plate with your food, networking can result in fumbling belongings and limit your interactions with guests. No one wants to network or introduce themselves when they have a mouthful of food and are juggling plates and cups.
It’s important to ensure guests are satisfied from both an attendee perspective and networking perspective and that means ensuring attendees are comfortable with both the food being provided and the accommodations available to set food/drinks and store bags and coats.
Forget plates. They’re near impossible to juggle. Another thing to forget? Silverware. None of the food you serve should require utensils. Small bites or stations throughout the room that promote grazing are best.
How long is the event and how often will the food be restocked? Don’t set up a station of hot food that will quickly become cold and hard. Or, make sure to replenish the food stations throughout the event.
In polite company, you shouldn’t be taking giant bites of food. It makes for staggered conversation and hasty chewing. A small bite should require no more than one to two small bites. And if it’s more than a bite, make sure the food doesn’t fall apart after the first.
This could be a game changer. If you have seating, you can serve more complicated, plated food. Most networking events are focused on mingling and interacting with others, which is why tables and seating aren’t often part of the room layout. Having a good number of highboys scattered around will at least give attendees a place to set a drink down.
What events have had your favourite food options? Let us know with a comment below.