corporate-event-ideas.jpgCan you believe that we are well into the first half of 2016 already? For those of us in the Can you believe that we are well into the first half of 2016 already? For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, this means that a strong winter chill has begun to set in. Almost overnight (it seems), we’ve had to start digging in our closets and storerooms for our winter woollies and appliances (scarves, coats, boots, vests, electric blankets, hot water bottles, gas heaters – you name it) as we prepare for the cold and wet months ahead. Brrrr!

As a corporate event planner, the onset of winter means it’s time to change track with your event offerings too. By now you should’ve kicked into ‘winter mode’ and started thinking about cosier venues and more winter-appropriate cuisine, décor and activity selections for your upcoming corporate events. But, just in case you need more inspiration, the following are some additional corporate event ideas for you.

So, what’s hot and happening for wintery work functions in 2016?

Because food is a great people gatherer, let’s start with corporate event ideas for tasty cuisine items that you can incorporate into your winter menus this year.

African flavours and gluten-free options rank high as cuisine ‘musts’ in the winter of 2016

Interestingly enough, cuisine and flavours from Africa are top of the list of recommended catering options for 2016. This is according to a blog by a boutique catering company, Olive Twist. A Forbes article backs this up by listing a North African, egg-based dish called Shakshuka as one trendy option, while a GoodFood post places South African dishes like Bobotie (a spicy, minced meat dish) and Melktert (a milk custard dessert) among their 2016 trendsetting favourites.

In one of their foodie blogs, Entrepreneur predicted that grilled or roasted vegetables and meat (and even dessert) options are going to be more creatively explored in 2016. Smoked flavours are in too. And, believe it or not, chickpeas, in the form of chickpea flour, are making an appearance as a trendy food item these days. One Bon Appetite blog recommends replacing wheat flour with chickpeas flour for making crepes, pasta dishes, deep fried cakes and the likes.

From a glance at most trend-orientated blogs for events this year, it would appear that guests are more health conscious than ever before, so ensuring that your caterer sources locally and organically grown food items for your event is another ‘must’ for 2016. When it comes to alcoholic beverages, artisan or craft spirits or beers are the way forward for your 2016 corporate events. And coconut water seems to be a trendy offering for a non alcoholic drink option on the menu.

Creative catering methods can be used to keep guests entertained and engaged 

Unless your venue comes with gas heaters or bonfires for entertaining guests outside, you’ll likely be limited to inside venue options for your winter events. Olive Twist reccomends playing around with the idea of strolling buffets (for mingling and networking) or interactive chef’s tables as a means of keeping your guests adequately occupied. This places food as one of the main events at your corporate function. As far as corporate event ideas for catering go, we think this approach is pretty neat.

Turning our attention to décor, which colours should you use?

A Cvent blog on the 2016 winter colour palette includes subtle tones like medium to light grey, taupe, light turquoise, mustards, a light rose colour, and light shades of purple and orange. Earth tones are also included in the mix. These colours can be incorporated into the décor as equally subtle accents, through your choice of linen, paper, artwork, dinnerware and flowers.

Some practical considerations – thanks to the winter chill

Corporate event ideas for welcome drinks naturally turn to warmer and spicier options. Consider a traditional hot cider or gluhwein (aka mulled wine) as a welcome drink at the door. Alternatively, Esquire has a creative list of winter cocktails to peruse for some recipes that are bound to please the most chilled (literally) of guests.

Because nobody wants to get caught in a downpour between their transport and your event’s entrance, be sure to select an event venue that has adequately covered parking, offers a valet service if needed and is easily located and accessible. Choose dress codes or themes that are suitable for winter and aren’t so over the top that it puts your guests off from attending entirely.

The good news is that professional Event Management Software doesn’t change with the seasons. For more information about the consistent event planning solutions that event management software has to offer, download our Practical Guide to Professional RSVP

Image credits:
Cover Photo: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com
Shakshuka: leanitup.com
Italian flatbread: inpursuitofmore.com
Mulled wine: gimmesomeoven.com