Getting guests to mix and mingle can often be a challenge, even at a “networking event” where that is why people have come. The hugely successful launch of our Interatcive Catering service proved how easy it can be…

July 4 2013 was a gorgeous winter day in Sydney. It was the kind of day that makes everyone forget it is winter – clear skies, sunny and a warm 24C degrees. After a couple weeks of often torrential rain in the lead-up, it felt like a little blessing for our 4th anniversary and the launch of our Interactive Catering services that night. As we worked on the preparations, everyone was smiling – we all knew it was going to be a stunning event!

Interactive Catering adds 'heat' to your networking eventAnd it was… guests arrived in good time…our MD, Jim, delivered a wonderful introduction about “How Cooking Made Us Human”; from cavemen to talking and sharing dreams around the fire to today, and what we do at VictorsFood – connecting people through hands-on cooking. It works brilliantly in the events industry, especially when we make the food the entertainment to get more out of the same budget. Then, the party started!

The enthusiasm of our guests was amazing. Everyone wanted to be involved in the cooking. With 6 different ‘street food’ dishes to prepare through the night (and each one taking only 15-20 minutes to make), they all got a chance to sample ‘a little bite’ of Interactive Catering. Those that weren’t cooking watched on, helped to serve the fresh delights or chatted with their new-found connections. Oh, didn’t I mention we’d structured the night as a networking event? Cooking is a fantastic way to get everyone interacting!

One of the great things about our Interactive Catering format is the way we can use food and cooking as both entertainment and social catalyst (as well as a wonderful meal). By the end of the night, everyone was mixing and mingling like old friends. It seemed no one wanted to leave.

But they did leave, with warm thanks and glowing comments. We were all on such a high, the bump-out was a breeze and before we knew it the night was done. The follow-on comments from our guests have been really wonderful, adding to the lingering afterglow, like this one:

Just wanted to pass on a HUGE thanks for last Thursday evening.
What a great event! … had a great time getting involved in the activities – flambéing, cooking dumplings, chopping up ingredients – it was a fantastic approach to catering.
Hopefully we can get something similar off the ground here.

Thanks again for a fabulous night!
– Melinda Witherow, Adviser, Events, Clayton Utz

What is your favourite way of getting guests to mix and mingle? Join the conversation on our Facebook page.