Posts tagged ‘catering’

January 20, 2013

Networking lunch- with a twist

What a great time we had on Friday! Thinking about it now, it seems incredible that we tried and tried to organize business networking lunches and they never worked before.

I asked similar networking organizations about their experience and they all said the same; people come to the first lunch but then the lunches get deserted, even by the most avid networkers.

What can be the reason? Food is generally a good excuse to get together, we all enjoy a relaxed meal in pleasant company.

When Muriel Bekto (president of EPWN in Zug and Zurich) told me that she is about to give up on the entire institution of networking lunch, I had an unexpected aha moment.

What if those lunches are declined because they are too formal? Because we have to sit and spend the time talking to the two persons sitting next to us? It can happen that you arrive late and are stuck with the boring one at the bottom of the table… And then the solution came:

FINGER FOOD!!!!

Screen shot 2013-01-20 at 11.02.44

So simple, why nobody thought about it before?????

Let’s see the pro’s to finger food:

-you can arrive a little late or leave a little early;

-with pre-payments through an online ticketing site nobody has to wait for the bill;

-people are free to walk around and network making the most out of their time.

What abou the con’s:

-…..?

Ok, so once the concept is clear, I had to start organizing the event. Easy? Right…

First the venue. Let’s find a place where we can have lunch in a casual environment, where we can sit if somebody is tired, but not awkward if we stand around tables. A place, which is possibly not open during lunch time so that there won’t be other people walking in from the street. A place which is central in Zug, near the offices, with parking places around and good public transport connections.

How many places like this exist? I found only one: Art District. And got lucky; Zachi, the manager, agreed to open the place for us on a Friday lunch-time!

Second the participants. Hmm, not easy. ZiBF, like any other networking platform, has its core members, who regularly participate at the events. To involve the rest of the members takes some special effort. I thought to invite other busines-minded networking platform to this lunch. When it comes to networking, the more, the merrier! The Men’s club, EPWN and the business group of the Women’s club were happy to participate, so the invitation has been launched!

Very quickly 30-40 persons booked their place at this lunch, I used Amiando to sell the tickets. That was probably a mistake. They increased their fees considerably; and I don’t find reasonable to charge 14% per ticket!

We had one guest who warned me about her glutein intolerance; Linda from Peace Foodsbrought special dishes and a special cake for her.

Only 2 guests wrote me before the lunch that they were vegetarian, but it turned out that the veggie meal went so fast, that there were not much left for those who really were vegetarians. Next time I will order 90% of the food vegetarian; meat-eaters showed some clear preference for it too!

However the quantity and quality was really good. The lunch was supposed to last till 1:30, but at 3:00 there were still people talking and nibbling.

I was the lucky one who brought home the left overs; there was still an entire plate of savory and one sweet goodies left!

That is one of the big advantages of working with Peace Foods; there is always more than needed, and I don’t know how many other caterers can be accused of this in and around Zug!

In conclusion the lunch went very well.

Everybody was happy to come and network, to meet new people and have good food.

What will I change next time?

I will order mostly vegetarian food, regardless of the number of the real vegetarians and I will try to find cheaper online ticket service than Amiando. The rest was just about perfect!

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