If you need to organise meetings just before Christmas, embrace the festive spirit and provide some seasonal catering for your delegates. Don’t be seen as a Scrooge – make sure you come up with some cheering food and drink ideas to create merry meetings!
By having a more relaxed atmosphere and introducing some Christmas cuisine, rather than causing employees to wind down even further, you may find it has the opposite effect and it increases productivity.
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The fact that you have recognised it’s Christmas and have made an effort to do something different will be appreciated by the staff and returned in goodwill.
So, what can you expect from a festive meetings menu? It depends on what kind of catering you’re looking to provide, as there are numerous different options on the market. Planning the food and drink is an important process, as it can impact on the event’s success.
Choose a menu that suits your event and in particular the timeframe. If you’re organising a short meeting, finger food and sandwiches are appropriate, but with a seasonal twist. Think sausage rolls, assorted quiche, cocktail sausage and bacon wraps, a selection of sandwiches and of course mince pies.
Make sure you also cater for vegetarians, vegans and people who may have food allergies. If it’s a relatively small meeting, it’s worth checking in advance if any delegates have special dietary requirements. Also, decide whether you want it to be a hot or cold buffet, or a mixture of both.
A sit-down full meal may be appropriate for an event that lasts all day, bearing in mind you need to leave around one-and-a-half hours for dining. This enables you to serve up a Christmas dinner, creating more of a festive gathering, rather than a run-of-the-mill meeting.
Many caterers will organise packages, such as a canapés menu, a classic menu, or even a “street foods” buffet, which has been one of the trends of 2018. If you’re hosting an afternoon meeting, try serving a traditional afternoon tea such as coffee or tea with mince pies, fondant cakes, mini Christmas puddings, mints and fudge.
Buffets tend to encourage more interaction and collaboration between colleagues than a sit-down meal, so this may be your preferred option to stimulate conversation.
Alcohol or soft drinks?
With Christmas comes the choice of whether to permit alcohol at a corporate meeting. Some employers may serve non-alcoholic bubbly or hot beverages, rather than risk someone drinking too much. However, you could serve up mulled wine with spices and garnishes to create a more festive feel.
Aside from choosing a fabulous venue and organising stimulating content, ensuring your delegates are well-fed is an important part of the event planning. The food and drink served at your Christmas event should be seen not only as a fuel source but also as an enjoyable part of the gathering.
If you get it wrong, you could end up with lacklustre delegates, so make sure you show them you value their presence and attach the relevant importance to the fact Christmas is coming. Your actions will be much appreciated and in the new year, employees will remember your kindness and subconsciously feel more inclined to give that little bit extra in the workplace.
When you’re looking for the perfect venue, &Meetings can help! Give us a call on 0800 073 0499 to take advantage of our wealth of quality meeting rooms at affordable prices. Catering options are also available!