Head of Creativity at Create Food and Party Design, Gemma Banks, tells us why it’s so important to be innovative in events.
Do you think that guests notice creativity in events?
Yes, in fact I think they expect it. We operate in a city where its inhabitants have all manner of creative experiences at their fingertips, from immersive theatre and experiential pop up restaurants, to some of the world’s finest modern art and music. This, combined with the phenomenal rise in the daily use of creative portals like Pinterest, Instagram & Tumblr means that guests now attend events with an expectation of seeing ‘of the moment’ references reflected in the execution.
What is the cost of being creative?
The cost of being creative can be nothing at all or it can be a big budget affair, all depending on a client’s needs. Our imaginative party creators will work with a client’s budget to organise an event that takes their guests on a journey through innovative menus, elaborate production, floral displays, lighting design, set dressing, entertainment and all manner of other delights. However, they are equally adept at injecting creative flourishes into the simplest of events that will cost the client nothing.
What is your top tip to being creative in 2017?
I think one of the key ‘creative’ trends this year will be to offer clients customised experiential events. We are seeing a move away from the ‘off-the-peg’ event buying and a move towards creating unique experiences. Think about how to excite and engage guests from the moment they receive an event invitation to the time they depart the venue. Events need to be immersive, original, interesting and quirky. At Create we will be encouraging our clients to offer their guests the opportunity to experience something original through our exciting new menus and inventive approach to party planning.
What is your favourite creative event you have seen/done?
A very well know British modern artist and his staff. The brief was to create a dark Victoriana Christmas. The venue we chose was an old Victorian theatre (now a nightclub) which was decorated with black velvet & lace panels, towering candelabra entwined with ivy and deep red roses, food stations heaving with meats and cheeses, bell jars containing weird and wonderful artefacts and lots and lots of full size skull candles. The ‘piece de resistance’ was the incredible aerial artist Empress Stah hanging from an enormous glitter ball above the dancefloor. It was a night of gothic hedonism that I will never forget.
How can food add a creative angle to an event?
Imaginative menus can take an event from good to breathtaking. The food served is pivotal in telling the story of the event, whether that is transporting guests to another country with Indian street food stalls, immersing them in the fantastical with edible brains and eye balls or pushing the boundaries of event catering with chefs making ‘Nitro’ ice cream. The more creative the food the better we say.