Creating Dining Environments for Conversation

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  1. 1. Event Management Creating Dining Environments that Support Conversation
  2. 2. Event Management This guide is brought to you by: WILSONWEST.COM
  3. 3. Choose the right table configuration where participants can easily talk to everyone Standard banquet rounds come in 60, 66, or 72 diameters. If the round is larger, there is more space across the table and its not as easy to hold a conversation. Keep it small where possible and avoid using bulky chairs requiring more table space. Square tables can work and offer a nice design alternative. Rectangles are the least desirable as they often leave those on the end left out of much of the table conversation. 1. Seating
  4. 4. Be sensitive to roles; pay attention to who is seated next to whom in terms of where there needs to be the most conversation 2. Seating part 2 For protocol and other seating tips refer to our blog post: Corporate Event Dining Tips
  5. 5. Be sensitive to schedules; dont force long meetings; do keep the courses to 3 Early on while working for a Wall Street CEO, I learned to keep the courses to three. Food and wine pairings are lengthy, tasting menus are ne for social occasions or celebratory dinners, but are not generally the best option for a business dinner - though there are exceptions! 3. Timing
  6. 6. Be Mindful Be mindful of your audience, what theyve experienced that day and the environment. If the dinner is in a hotel where guests may leisurely adjourn to their rooms, you have more exibility as compared to a dinner where guests are traveling a distance home post-event. 3. Timing part 2
  7. 7. Dont weigh participants down; keep food healthy and light Were seeing more vegetarians and C-Level executives who are keenly aware of their diet. You dont have to sacrice taste or ne dining work with the Chef to keep the sauces at a minimum and use local and organic where possible. If there is a choice of entre, place the vegetarian choice alongside others as opposed to an after-thought. Always provide healthy options. 5. Food
  8. 8. Wait staff should be invisible (metaphorically speaking) 6. Visibility The Invisible Waiter
  9. 9. Lighting should be conducive to conversation The room should be just bright enough for guests to read the menus. If the rooms too bright, people feel they are under a spotlight. 7. Lighting
  10. 10. Above all else remember to eliminate distractions so conversation reigns 8. Conversation


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