Networking events, although exciting and useful, can also be awkward and a cause for stress to those who are less skilled at breaking the ice. If you’re tasked with executing a networking event, there’s no doubt you’ve thought about ways to help your guests get through the nervousness that may hold them back from getting the most out of your event.
Let’s face it, talking about the weather is not only old (and if you’re in Florida, how much can you say about our sunny disposition?), it doesn’t truly help people get past their fears of engaging with strangers. According to many experts, using food is not only a great way to make your event more enjoyable, it serves as an awesome ice breaker.
A table topped with delicious food can become the focal point of a room that everyone is sure to pass by, which makes it a surefire way to get people mingling together and talking. Bite-size snacks like meatballs, chicken bites, chunks of fruit and cheese are always a favorite and because you can put toothpicks in them, they’re easy to pick up and eat, and are less messy.
Food is truly a natural conversation starter. When planning your networking event, be sure to consider those who eat differently than the mainstream, like vegetarians. When guests start piling yummy culinary dishes on their plates, it gives them something to talk about and questions to ask of those around them.
Everyone’s been to parties and events where they knew no one, but around the food table they can get talking with strangers about how good the food is or inquiring what restaurant the dishes came from. This can help foster conversations that go beyond the standard, “What do you do for work?” and open up opportunities to talk about their backgrounds, where they grew up and what they liked as kids, which will make the event more interesting and the conversation less forced.
We’ve all been to networking events where there’s a table of people that just looked like they were having tons of fun, or a group that appeared to be one you’d like to be a part of. A great way for guests to break the ice and join them is by bringing over a plate of food and inviting them to share it. “Have you guys tried this sushi?”
To make your networking event more successful and make it easier for people to connect, you can implement games that encourage guests to work together. Put clues on napkins on the table, in centerpieces or underneath plates if you’re doing a sit down meal arrangement and have guests hunt in teams to find items throughout the conference room.
Forget about those tired pastries and give your guests ice cream! A surprise is always a great way to get people talking, and when it’s something as sweet and tasty as Cold Stone ice cream, people can’t help but smile and remark on such an unexpected delight. We can transform a room of strangers into friends with our signature catering, where your guests can enjoy the ultimate ice cream experience with decadent ice cream flavors, “mix-ins” and toppings.
Food glorious food! There’s nothing that brings people together quite like it. For your next networking event, use your snack table as a way to help people break the ice and get them talking. Cold Stone Catering can be the perfect way to cement relationships at your next networking event; contact us today to learn more!