Producing an effective dinner party for a company or brand takes more than just beautiful decor and good food. Why? Because you are hosting VIPs who expect something specular, unique and outstanding. Of course, you do not want to disappoint them. Here are some more tips for creating effective dinners for corporate groups.
Prep the event’s host
The dinner’s host should be responsible for keeping guests engaged and comfortable. One way to do that is with planned conversation topics. With social or corporate dinners, many times guests aren’t familiar with the person sitting next to them. Lead questions from the host can break the silence, so always have some in your back pocket. Always put one large personality at each table and if there is a lull in energy, they can jump in to pick things up.
Think through the seating arrangements.
While assigned seating may be a good idea for dinner parties in general, it can be especially crucial for corporate dinners. Meaningful business conversations and networking is one of the most important outcomes of the event. Seating configurations, the makeup of the guests attending, and the purpose of the gathering always dictate who is close to whom, and should always be considered separately from one event to the next. The client or host company should be involved in this process since they know how best to group guests.
Keep catering simple.
In a corporate environment, it is especially important that guests with dietary restrictions don’t feel uncomfortable in front of their peers. With some exceptions depending on the group demographics, corporate dinners are usually not the time to get too experimental with catering. Corporate dinners tend to stick more comfortably in the fish, chicken, and beef categories, and rarely venture beyond that.
Design with the goal of encouraging conversations
You set should design your location so guests can talk and network throughout the meal. It’s also important to avoid super-wide tables. You want to be able to speak with the person across from you in a natural tone. Comfortable chairs are also key, and something with a cushion is always appreciated. Entertainment-wise, it’s nice to have ambient noise in the background to cut down on awkward silences. You do live jazz music, or light music piped in through an audio system.
By Damilola Faustino