Events of any kind can be nerve-wracking for the host. Professional event planners seem to know how to handle the stress, however, in part because they know how to manage the variables.
What does that mean? Very often, they do it by contracting with the venues, service providers, Los Angeles corporate caterers, wedding caterers, and staff they’ve worked with before. But there’s a problem with that in Los Angeles (and most major cities) insofar as the people corporations want to attract to their parties are themselves experienced event goers. They’ve been to the standard venues. They know a party theme that’s tried and true. Go to a new product launch at a certain Beverly Hills hotel again?
This is why savvy event planners – those with the stomach for it – are willing to venture into interesting territory. This is done a lot with weddings, but increasingly more with corporate events as well. Arts district loft buildings, mansions-turned-event spaces, galleries, boathouses, barns, converted churches … all expand the possibilities for memorable parties that draw crowds.
Such locations aren’t necessarily more expensive and can actually increase attendance because it will seem like an adventure. But these creative venues sometimes put a little more pressure on corporate caterers in Los Angeles to deliver hotel-quality meals under less-than-hotel-kitchen circumstances. In a corporate event, that can be a recipe for disaster if you’re working with an inexperienced or inflexible caterer. Whether pleasing clients, employees or other key audiences, the corporate event host demands and deserves quality – in menu, service, timing, and taste.
So how to find that right caterer for a quality event in crowd-drawing, people-pleasing venue? Drill down to the brass tacks with these questions:
- What is your experience in unusual venues?
- The venue manager says the kitchen facilities are capable of serving 125 people but we want to invite about 150. How might we do that?
- What menu items do you suggest that could complement the unique space?
- Does your bar offering include a special event signature drink?
- Our company just achieved a record sales year. What menu do you suggest can somehow say, “we did it – we reached our highest goals?”
- You’d need to set up an outdoor kitchen staging area? How will that hold up against very bad weather?
Aside from those special questions, your quality corporate caterer in Los Angeles will need to provide everything they do at standard-venue events: experienced chef and staff, insurance, references, standard/fair contracts that allow for very specific terms (food and drink quantities, cancellation clauses, etc.), pre-event tastings, etc.
The event planning business is by definition creative. But just doing something new is no excuse to fail on quality. Event planners and caterers: show us what you can do!