I love talking about experience, so as a continuance of my article on “What’s Immersive Design” I wanted to share what I consider the most missed opportunity to create a seamless experience – the thoughtful integration of food and beverage service.
Sure most of us put lots of thought into the precise menu items and signature cocktail options. Then the majority fall flat on the execution of the experience. For the International Live Events Association ESPRIT Awards Gala, I was excited to integrate a seamless food and beverage experience. This included designing bar lounges that felt part of the environment. Too often, the roll-in bar is placed in an obscure or awkward location at an event. But think of how restaurants use bars as the entrance experience or center their bars directly in the middle of all the dining spaces. This allows for people to congregate, which is what people naturally want to do as they enjoy a beverage.
By creating unique spaces, you can achieve the same effect. Here are a few samples of the immersive bars we designed as part of the event experience.
What’s Immersive Design: Consider the East
It’s the foodservice, however, that is usually totally overlooked. Our team knew this was an opportunity to bring the event to life so we teamed up with A’BriTin Catering and Hospitality to create an instant impact for the event arrival. We worked with their Director of Event Operations, Chaz Tichy, to combine the design aesthetic with the foodservice. Playing off the distinctive sunshine-yellow that is a signature color as you enter the Walker Art Center, we designed the pre-function party to include pops of yellow. Chaz designed yellow ‘uniforms’ for the wait-staff which brought the design full-circle integrating perfectly with the environment. Taking the concept even further, Chaz worked to develop a menu that also featured hints of yellow – BRILLIANT!
Since we wanted both butler-passed hors d’oeuvres and a display station, Chaz also worked to design a station that would blend with the architecture of the space. I also love the idea of designing to the space in discovering what’s immersive design. Designed elements like this feel like they are intentional and an extension of the event space. Chaz created a three-dimensional backdrop that matched the architecture of the Cargill Lobby. This provided the Instagramable display of beautifully presented menu items. Guests were literally mesmerized by the gorgeous interactive display.
A’BriTin Catering & Hospitality brings together a range of catering brands including: Apples 2 Apples Catering, Distinctive Catering & Events and This Little Piggy Catering. They also offer bar service including their new Hitch & Sip bar trailer. You can find them as the exclusive caterer at 10 fabulous venues and are a preferred caterer at more than a dozen more.
Not only is their attention to detail amazing, they are also willing to stretch the boundaries to make your event one-of-a-kind. And, well, the food – one word – DELICIOUS! You can find out more at abritincatering.com, or better yet, come see them in action at UNVEILED on November 3rd and February 16th! They are creating an exclusive tasting opportunity at UNVEILED where you can sample from a curated menu in a private immersive experience right at the show! I am truly excited to see this all in action. Everything they do is top-notch and this will truly be over-the-top!