Culinary Experiences for Corporate Events: an Interview

Industry Watch | January 18, 2017 | Interview

Courtyard by Marriott Fairfield by Marriott

F&B at corporate events keeps getting more interesting and in this brief interview, Banquet Manager, Sathender Singh and Executive Sous Chef, Somasundaram Gopalakrishnan of Courtyard by Marriott & Fairfield by Marriott, Bengaluru we find out more about what’s working today, and what venues like Courtyard by Marriott do to create stellar culinary experiences for guests and delegates at events.

What should an event manager or planner keep in mind when making decisions related to the F&B at a corporate event?

The event manager should have a good relation with guests / the coordinator to be able to understand the expectations from the event and requirements in detail. The agenda and profile of the guest really matters while planning the event.

What are some of formats that work well for different kinds of corporate events?

These days event managers are open to new formats for the event to be conducted. Social media has become a very important tool to communicate the latest trends.

At Marriott we have a concept of Meetings Imagined. The philosophy is that any meeting is about more than just tables and chairs. That's why we start with people, understand their meeting purpose, and deliver not just a meeting but an experience. We categorize meetings under the following heads based on their purpose -

  1. Celebrate: When the objective is to commemorate a milestone or accomplishment
  2. Decide: When the objective is to engage in meaningful dialogue in order to reach a decision
  3. Educate: When the objective is to learn new things or acquire new skills
  4. Ideate: When the objective is to generate new ideas and develop new ways of thinking
  5. Network: When the objective is to share ideas or meet new people.
  6. Produce: When the objective is to work together to develop a specific output
  7. Promote: When the objective is to introduce a new offering or promote a new message

What are some trends in F&B for corporate events? What cuisines/types of preparations do you see in greater demand today?

The current trend today in corporate events is for something more informal and theme-based. The clients are very approachable and open to innovative ideas for their event. Innovative food and beverage offerings are the present demands.

Can you talk about a recent experience managing F&B at an event. What made this event interesting from your point of view and how were you able to create a great culinary experience for attendees?

Recently we hosted an Annual Meet and Board Meeting Event for SAMHI. The two days event was setup in different areas of the hotel utilizing a variety of venues, like the lobby, and golf putting green. Each session had a different and innovative theme. The menu designed for the event was based on social media theme, with a Golf theme on the lawns and a networking dinner by the poolside. The response was very encouraging and motivating.

(See images from this event in the gallery below).

The Courtyard by Marriott, Bengaluru’s Banquet Manager Sathender Singh and Executive Sous Chef Somasundaram Gopalakrishnan talk about trends in F&B at corporate events and more.

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