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According to various UK economists, Britain narrowly avoided a triple dip recession in both 2011 and the first financial quarter of this year. Although by themselves these achievements would seem worthy of celebration, this would ignore the fact that Britain continues to hover between the lines of economic decline and gradual recovery. The cyclical nature of these changing fortunes makes it extremely difficult for businesses to expand with any tangible definition, as they are forced to make key investment decisions that impact every aspect of their venture.

Take the concept of corporate events and meetings, for example, which are key networking exercises that remain integral to small firms who wish to remain competitive. While these types of event serve a strong purpose, however, they require significant funding and do not necessarily generate a tangible financial return. Therefore, once you have decided that networking events and corporate meetings are integral to the short and long term growth of your business, you must decide how to spend an increasingly dwindling budget.

Is Professional Catering Right for your Event?

One of the first decisions that you must make is whether or not to outsource your catering needs to a recognised industry professional. Catering an event usually requires you to pay a fixed price per person, which means that it is easy to measure value based on various factors and circumstances. Keep the following points in mind as you strive to create a productive corporate event: -

The Size of your Guest List

The most crucial factor in decided whether or not to have your event catered is the size of the guest list, as this will determine the exact price that you pay for the service. If you are looking to use the event for networking purposes and as a way of expanding an existing client base, for example, then there is little point in placing restrictions on your number of attendees as this undermines the whole purpose of the occasion. If you end up with a long list of attendees, however, you may be better served by saving money and catering independently or attempting to create a more innovative event where food is not a key focus. Regardless of your final decision, be precise in your calculations and keep your budget in mind at all times.

The Nature of the Event and its Aim

Each corporate event is different, depending on your intentions and exact expectations as a small business owner. While networking events are used to strengthen existing client bonds and solicit new business, for example, product launches provide an opportunity to market the release of a new item or service to relevant industry professionals. Due to its more clearly defined nature, the latter may deliver more tangible and immediate financial returns and is therefore able to justify a more substantial initial investment. In addition to this, high quality and delicious food can be used to turn your product launch into a genuinely enjoyable experience, which is key to creating positive sentiment around your brand and it new release.

The Issue of Complex Dietary Requirements

The larger your guest list, the more diverse your dietary requirements are likely to be. We live in increasingly self-aware and health conscious times, where individuals are more in touch with their allergies and the impact of consuming high fat foods. As a result of this, your guests are likely to be quite demanding in terms of their requests, as people look to order niche foods such as vegetarian options or products that are free from gluten and dairy. Creating a menu that suits these needs is extremely difficult and time consuming, and often requires professional assistance to make the process manageable. On a more fundamental level, attempting to handle your guests’ dietary requirements independently may cause you to make significant errors that ultimately impact on an individual’s short term health and well-being.

The Last Word

If you decide to cater your corporate event and outsource the responsibility to a recognised professional, it is also important that you choose an experienced and reliable partner. Resources such as are well versed in the arts of corporate catering, for example, and can manage the culinary and logistical requirements on your behalf. This is an important factor, especially when you consider the wide range of challenges facing business owners in 2013.

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