Cnk Cateringhas some seriously good-looking dishes on the menu this party season. We were thrilled to speak to the Cnk team of event addicts to get the low down on their party season must haves plus food styling tips for event planners wanting to impress this Christmas.
What are Cnk’s favourite flavours for event season?
This festive season we’re embracing summer and the modern, outdoor Australian Christmas!
We’re celebrating with seafood stations, piled high with oysters, prawns, mussels and house cured gravlax.
We’re combining this with Nigels’s traditional glazed Christmas ham, and an abundance of fresh and seasonal sides and salads.
Add in a fresh cocktail like a Moscow Mule, and the party is on.
What are Cnk’s style tips and trends for serving up beautiful dishes this festive season?
Less is more! At Cnk we use lots of fresh produce and really let it shine. Serve it up on beautiful, unique platters and you’re bound to succeed. We love garnishing with micro herbs too!
What simple things can people do when entertaining at home to impress their guests?
At Cnk we’re big believers in styling with florals! A big bunch of flowers on the table will really go a long way.
We also love using colourful and irregular plates, which is a simple way to bring a look and the dishes to life.
Linen napkins (rather than paper) are a sure-fire way of impressing your guests!
Finally, make your life easy with lots of prep-ahead dishes like salads, grazing boards, and a whole fish that can cook while you entertain – so you can enjoy the party as well.
Popup With Styleare putting the FUN back into weddings! If they had a theme song, it would be ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ by Queen which is a fitting choice for this team of wedding styling and planning experts – their enthusiasm for creating and delivering awe inspiring weddings is infectious!
The Popup With Style team are magic makers that create the most picture perfect weddings from the ground up at some of Victoria’s most unique locations. This month, we were thrilled to take 5 with the creative geniuses at Popup With Style to get their expert wedding style and event planning tips for the season ahead.
How did you get the awesome idea to create bespoke ‘pop up’ weddings at unique destinations?
We decided that there needed to be someone who specialised in weddings that can be built in a unique way, from the ground up…and Popup With Style was born! We are passionate about injecting FUN back into the wedding planning journey, ensuring our couples are enjoying the process.
Favourite colour palettes or style trends for the wedding season ahead?
‘Colour is the new black’ – we are absolutely LOVING the injection of bright colour palettes into the industry. These days couples are focusing more on injecting personality rather than tradition – which we can’t get enough of!
If the Popup With Style team had a message for brides / grooms to be this wedding season – what would it be? How can they make their lives easier and stress less before the big day?
Hire us….hahaha!! We are the wedding experts, the creatives, the planners + new besties! We are completely invested in your love story.
Whilst we are foremost in the business of love + fun, there are obviously benefits to having us in their corner. Weddings are our jam – we do this all day, every day. We know the trends, have strong relationships with quality vendors, understand what’s required for a wedding day to run smoothly from setup to packdown and everything in between.
PLUS – always focus on the LOVE. That is why you are planning a wedding, and everything that matters after.
DIY Tip for event planners – what can event planners do easily for their home or office celebrations to create a bit of mood?
Lighting & music! Knowing your client really well is also very helpful for creating the mood/vibe they will dig!
Feature image and image #4: Venue Manager, Planning & Styling: Popup With Style, Photographer: Daniel Brannan Photography, Furniture, Glassware & Cutlery: Complete Function Hire, Florist: Poppy Culture, Catering & Plates: Mr Hall Catering Co, Perspex Plinths & Table: Meaps, Linen: Di Simmons Linen ,Suit: Mickey Blue Mornington, Wedding Dress : Amante Bridal (Emmy Mae), Bridal Headpiece & Cuff: Jeanette Maree, Hair & Makeup: Sophie Knox Makeup, Male Model: Rory Pierce, Female Model: Frankie Evans
All other images: Popup With Style, Ivory Tribe, Daniel Brannan Photography, Rachael Mary Films, Poppy Culture, One Day Bridal, Make Up By Sophie Knox, Frankie Evans, Clover Culinary Projects, Complete Function Hire, Sally Rose White Label
We are officially in Christmas party season! Which is great if you’ve already organised your office Christmas party – but not quite as joyful a prospect if nothing’s been planned, and suddenly you’ve been lumped with the task of making it happen.
Sound familiar? For you, the team at Venuemob have whipped up a last minute Christmas party planning checklist to get you through December unscathed.
1. Figure out what your non-negotiables are
This first step is arguably the most important one. Know exactly what you need from your Christmas party and your venue, because it will impact the entire process of planning your event. Decide from the get-go whether those items on your list fall under ‘must have’ or ‘that’d be great’.
Your very-much-confirmed budget could be the non-negotiable. It could be the date of the event. It could be accessibility requirements, or menu items (vegetarian, Kosher or Halal, for instance).
Identifying your non-negotiables and must-haves early will make the rest of the process of planning your last minute office Christmas party SO much easier.
2. Find some venue options
You’re running out of time, and key dates are getting booked out. You could rack your brains for appropriate venues, contacting them one by one. Or you could book the venue everyone’s sick of – again. Or, you could access best options in one spot. Complete with imagery, availability information (vital), function package and menu information, and a rundown of minimum spend requirements for all spaces.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but venue location is worthy of its own item in the last minute Christmas party planning checklist. Is the venue conveniently located for your colleagues or guests? Where is it in relation to your office, and public transport options? How far will they have to stumble post-party? The distance guests have to travel to reach the party often influences how many people actually attend, and how much of a good time they have.
4. Ask the right questions
First up? That’s easy. Ask the venue about your non-negotiables.
Next, we recommend the following questions – depending on your requirements, of course.
What are our catering options? Is there a bar tab option?
How much time will you have for set-up and packdown?
Realistically, will guests be comfortable in the space, or will they be squished?
What’s included in the cost of the venue hire or min spend?
Until what time will we have access to the venue / space?
If you need AV – will you need to pay more?
If you need an exclusive space – will the public be able to see inside / have access to your space?
5. Organise food and drinks
Important checklist item ahead! How many times have you been to an event and thought afterwards ‘gosh, it was fun – but I wish there had been more food’? Avoid those pitfalls by ensuring you budget and plan appropriately, even when you’re in the throes of last minute Christmas party planning.
Will your guests need lunch? Lunch AND dinner? If you’re planning on serving canapés at your event, how many pieces will your guests need to make sure their tummies are lined? Consider when your event starts, and how long you expect festivities to run.
Same goes for drinks! Beverage packages provide more bang for your buck, and can be limited to a particular number of hours for service – this is a great option for when you have a very specific start and end time, and when you have a large number of guests.
More casual? Chuck some money on a bar tab, and let your colleagues buy their own drinks when it runs out. Easy.
6. Make sure guests are going to have fun!
Be honest. Are your colleagues going to need a helping hand to get mingling and chatting amongst different departments? If the answer’s yes, we recommend including an activity in the day’s festivities: go karting, an escape room, or other hands-on, fun experiences. You could even choose a venue that comprises both an activity, AND the food and booze everyone’s looking forward to.
For other teams, the only the thing they’ll need to have a great time is a great soundtrack. If you’re planning on bringing your own music or playlist, double check whether your venue is able to provide an aux cord and speakers, and that you can in fact play your own tunes.
Similarly – if you’re organising a band or DJ, chat to your chosen venue about your plan well in advance so you’re not caught facepalming in frustration on the night.
7. Tee up an after-party venue
This will depend entirely on the vibe and average age of your guestlist, but you may want to consider organising an after-party venue. If that’s the case, here’s the Venuemob hot tip: avoid playing it by ear on the night.
Nothing takes the wind out of a group’s party sails quite like standing on a street corner trying to decide which direction to take, or waiting in line at a club!
Whether it’s a reserved VIP booth or an entire semi-exclusive section of a bar, make sure it’s a done deal before the date of your office Christmas party. It might even be worth sending out an email to your team during the party planning process to gauge how many guests are keen, and which venues they’d prefer for kick-ons.
So. What are you waiting for? Go forth and lock in your last minute Christmas party, and deliver an event that runs like a planned-months-in-advance Christmas party.
With Venuemob on your side, you’ll be sinking a bev (or five) and enjoying a tasty morsel (or ten) in the perfect venue in no time.
Country and garden weddings are always in style. Summerfields Country House and Estate is a simply stunning property based on a large olive grove on the Mornington Peninsula. Only a short hour’s drive from Melbourne, the style and elegance of the venue is typical of the Cape Cod style architecture reminiscent of the East Coast of America. The team at Complete Function Hire were thrilled to speak to Tania Ng, Event Coordinator of this unique hidden gem to find out why Summerfields is the ultimate destination for beautiful weddings and stand out business events.
What kind of events do you host at Summerfields and what makes these stand out for clients and guests?
Summerfields is the perfect destination for all kinds of events and our multiple event spaces allow us to cater for large events and more intimate events too. We are perfectly suited to business events including conferences and meetings through to large scale family days, team building days and VIP business retreats. Automotive events are also popular due to the long driveway and wide open spaces.
Really anything is possible at Summerfields! I think what makes the venue so memorable is the stunning surrounds, the unique opportunities to include experiences (such as Olive Picking or a traditional High Tea) and the high quality catering. We are really committed to working closely with event planners to ensure that their wedding, celebration or business event is just perfect.
What makes Summerfields such a special destination for beautiful weddings?
Summerfields is set on beautiful grounds surrounded by a delightful semi-formal garden, an enchanted grove of 2000 olive trees and an ornamental lake where our family of resident geese make their home. Our unique venue provides many photography opportunities with many beautiful backdrops (and ceremony spots) as well as a private place for the wedding party to relax and stay in afterwards – everything you need for your special day is all under the one roof. We are so proud of our wedding and event menus which are all hand crafted with love by our dedicated chef and kitchen team.
Tell us about the accommodation on site?
Our boutique onsite accommodation is a real feature of the property and enjoyed by couples after their special day or used for events such as family reunions and special milestones. We have 6 individually styled suites and each is a haven for rest and relaxation. We love cooking up a big home style breakfast for our visitors the day after their wedding or event! Corporate retreats are also perfectly suited to the venue and event planners love incorporating outdoor team building experiences into their conference.
Speak to the friendly team at Summerfields about your upcoming wedding or event today.
3 Interns, 3 Stylists, 3 Events, 3 Hours – was an exciting competition held in July at the new No.1 event space in Malvern. The competition was the brain child of the always innovative Elizabeth Hollingsworth, Director of My Event Décor.
Complete Function Hire were thrilled to be part of this 20 strong industry supplier collaboration as the concept was just so cool! The competition was created to help event management students understand what clients want (and on a limited time frame which is very much an event industry standard these days).
3 creative students – Clare Brown from William Angliss, Sam de Silva from Victoria University and Ishita Mandal from Holmesglen Moorabbin, had to complete one table setting per event in an hour or less. The heat was on but it did provide real industry exposure for these talented students. Experienced event stylists from Ruffles and Bells, The Hattie and Bairn Tribe and Artmospherix created mood boards and creative briefs that were then utilised by the students who needed to select items from the rental range at My Event Décor (and had to liaise with a suite of suppliers – from florists to stationary designers – to complete their looks).
The students sourced items for themed events including corporate product launches, a Mad Men themed 40th party, a one-year old’s pink birthday party, a Jumanji themed 30th and several wedding looks including Moroccan bohemian, glamorous and contemporary. This exciting competition was captured on video and camera – thus giving the students an excellent portfolio to utilise for their careers ahead.
Major suppliers included My Event Décor, Complete Function Hire, Weddings of Distinction, Cacao, The Prop Store, Di Simmons Linen Hire, Mini Party People, RTR Productions, Greenevent, Thrive Flowers, Exponet, Melbourne Watch and Helen’s Hill Estate.
Congratulations to all the students involved and to the team of event gurus at My Event Décor on creating such a fresh concept that encourages creativity and supports career growth in our industry.
Conference attendees may often attend several business events across the year. To ensure that your upcoming conference stands out and leaves a lasting impression, we got some expert tips from the professionals! Dee Nicholas and the team at CIS Event Management have been creating exceptional event experiences for over 10 years all over Australia. We were thrilled to catch up with Dee to get her top tips on how to increase delegate engagement and how to provide your guests with a truly memorable experience.
What do your attendees want? Just ask.
Don’t take a stab at it – go straight to the source to find out what is going to excite and delight your attendees. Engagement, education and networking are all important but a pre-event survey is a great way to identify what your staff want to see in terms of relevant content. Post event surveys from previous events are also a great way to identify any improvement areas (and these can be administered fairly easily through an electronic system such as Survey Monkey).
Create a comfortable environment
Add a personal touch to your conference set up with comfortable lounge areas. Couches and coffee tables help create a relaxed environment for your delegates to unwind and refresh pre and post conference and on breaks. Free Wi-Fi, charging stations and a range of industry relevant magazines are some great added touches that your attendees will appreciate.
Creating an amazing ‘offsite’ event experience at a local landmark venue can be a really exciting addition to a conference. Where delegates have travelled overseas or interstate, it is a nice touch to include an ‘offsite’ event at a different location that showcases local culture and flavours.
Boost team morale by including interactive team building activities throughout your conference. There are so many unique options these days and by surveying your delegates pre and post event, you will be able to identify what style of activities best suits the group demographics.
Conference programs can be pretty intense for delegates (‘information overload!’) so it’s always a great idea to add an outdoor component. Whether you choose to organise a team challenge in a local park or if you are able to host your working lunch outside – your delegates will be reinvigorated by the fresh air. For something different, why not schedule some ‘walking meetings’ as part of your program (this is great for short sessions with small groups or one on one meetings).
Inspire your delegates by including collaborative feature art piece such as a mural or a mood board that delegates can contribute to throughout the conference. Get the creative juices flowing by leaving art supplies, textas, fabrics etc. for your guests to make their mark on.
Food stations and buffets are a fantastic, social way of dining that will increase interaction. Add a little fun to your catering with food station themes or elaborate styling features. Don’t forget when selecting your menu to keep healthy options in to avoid the mid afternoon slump.
Mix up your format
Break up back to back presentations and encourage conversation with some different program formats including panel discussions, live Q&A sessions, debates or ‘fish bowl’ group discussions.
If you want your next business event to make an impact, contact the team of business event professionals at CIS Event Management today.
Roquette Catering have been creating unforgettable culinary experiences for over 12 years. Using only the best seasonal ingredients, the innovative team at Roquette Catering are renown for creating beautiful Kosher menus and for delivering the most memorable events in Melbourne.
Attention to detail is their happy place and the team at Roquette Catering know just how to throw parties that are talked about for years to come. We were thrilled this month to speak to the team at Roquette Catering to find out about their favourite flavours for winter PLUS some expert tips for event planners.
What are the team at Roquette Catering’s favourite flavours for the cooler months ahead?
We are loving Middle Eastern cuisine at the moment. With its hearty flavours, slow cooked and braised offerings and traditionally served in a family style manner, what is there not to love!
What advice would you give event planners on how to choose the perfect venue?
Awareness of the potential venue challenges is essential for creating a successful event, but only half the battle. How do you avoid these challenges or tackle them as they come up? Simple: you need a game-plan.
Roquette Catering’s 4-Step Game Plan to Manage any Challenge and Create and Awesome Event
1. Collate all your questions into a single document and bring it with you when assessing venues. Simply present it to the venue when you arrive and tick off all questions, to make sure you learn everything you need to know about the venue.
2. Invite your caterer along to view the kitchen. It’s important they know what facilities are available before selecting your menu!
3. Obtain costs for any additional equipment that may be needed in the kitchen or elsewhere as early as possible, so you can assess and budget them into the venue price.
4. For destination events, your best bet is to hire a coordinator who has experience in planning events at your destination.
Food trends for 2018 – what are the ‘must have’ menu choices for 2018?
Back to basics – good, nutritious and real food rather than over complicated dishes.
Homemade everything from dips, condiments, pickled and kimchi. Ethical and sustainable food is a highlight.
Meat alternatives such as our kale and quinoa patties rather than your traditional burger.
What can event planners incorporate as an exciting point of difference for their Bat Mitzvah or Bar Mitzvah?
Personalisation – with so many celebrations it is easy to mixed up into what everyone else is doing. By adding a level of personalisation from menu design and concepts to styling, printing and entertainment, guests will feel like they are celebrating the individual.
To celebrate your next event in style, contact the team of catering and event experts at Roquette Catering today.
*Feature image credit – Charlene Miller. Styled in conjunction with The Style Shed
Conveniently located in South Melbourne and sprawling across 3 stunning levels, The Albion is Melbourne’s newest event space. Perfectly suited to private and corporate events alike, The Albion’s various, luxe function spaces can accommodate intimate soirees or large, lavish cocktail parties for up to 600 guests across the entire venue. Whilst The Albion is known for it’s cocktail parties, the venue has been designed to adapt to any occasion from product launches, engagement dinners and large scale corporate celebrations of all kinds. On this month’s ‘Venues We Love’, we were thrilled to catch up with the team of event professionals at The Albion to get the low down on their magnificent venue and to get their top tips for event planners this winter.
What makes events at The Albion so memorable?
We pride ourselves on our service and always ensure every guest leaves our venue happy and well fed. Food and beverage is at the heart and soul of what we do and we always deliver this to the highest quality. Your guests can except to leave an event at The Albion on a first name basis with our amazing front of house team who strive to ensure every guest has been incredibly well looked after.
Winter events are perfectly suited at The Albion because…
We have all the provisions to keep guests comfortable no matter the weather. The Lounge boasts leather booths creating a cosy and intimate setting.
The Rooftop is completely enclosed with heating and louvered roof to accommodate Melbourne’s notoriously fickle weather.
Our function menu features hearty and wholesome, substantial items like our Moroccan Chickpea Tagine with Pomegranate Cous Cous which pairs perfectly with a big bold Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz from the Barossa Valley, a perfect winter warmer.
What are your team’s top tips for event planners this winter and how can event planners create an event at The Albion that everyone will talk about for years to come?
Being Melbourne’s newest lifestyle venue, we are sure guests will be impressed by our beautiful venue which will provide enough talking points on its own… however you will find everything you need for a memorable event at The Albion, including in house AV, beautiful décor and design, carefully curate food and beverage menus … and of course access to Melbourne’s best event suppliers.
When hosting a function or event in winter there are a few key items every event planner will have on their checklist:
1. A cloak room is essential and often overlooked.
2. An adaptable menu that features seasonal local produce.
3. Climate controlled spaces and a dry, enclosed, heated space for the smokers to congregate.
Winter food has traditionally been synonymous with slow cooking, comfort foods and rich flavours. These days, corporate event planners are looking for tasty, seasonal menu choices with a healthy focus. We spoke to the team of foodies at The Catering Company to find out what’s on the menu for winter.
What are The Catering Company’s favourite flavours for winter?
Since January, our heads of department have all been working really hard at updating our “Build Your Own” menu. We have some new flavours on the menu that are proving to be very popular! Some of our hot sellers for the cooler months are:
Savoury baked bites – Lamb filo cigar with sumac yoghurt.
Golden, fried and crispy – Risotto balls with mushroom, rosemary and garlic aioli (this new flavour is a mouth-watering team favourite!).
Grilled goodness – Vietnamese turmeric and lemongrass chicken skewer with nuoc cham.
Sliders and burgers – Chicken katsu slider with Asian pea shoot slaw.
Lots of businesses host conferences throughout winter – how can corporate event planners add a special touch to their catering?
Corporate meetings have changed a lot over the years. People are moving away from sandwich platters as they are finding the bread component too heavy to consume alongside cakes, pastries and danishes. Event planners have been halving their bread component and adding our amazing seasonal salads. Our most popular would be the broccoli mentioned below (the tahina and lime dressing is a taste sensation!
Chargrilled broccoli & zucchini salad w tahini, lime dressing which is light, vegan, gluten friendly and bursting with flavour and goodness.
We have introduced poke and Buddha bowls to the menu for corporate catering. It allows for team members to leave the office with their lunch. Removing yourself from the office environment over lunch promotes health and wellness, bringing back to work inspired minds!
Buddha Bowls, are new to our menu. They are big bowls of wholesome goodness. Most are vegan and gluten free.
Tofu & black bean Buddha Bowl – white quinoa, black beans, silken tofu, roast sweet potato, grilled eggplant, cucumber & corn salsa – this dish is a stand out favourite and a hot seller.
Serving suggestions – what are The Catering Company’s top food styling predictions for the cooler months?
Grazing tables for functions are soooooo hot right now!
We think we do them especially well because of our Italian heritage. There is no skimping on charcuterie, cheeses and bread for our spectacular masterpieces, which includes prosciutto carved straight from the bone.
It’s a definite show stopper and really wows all the guests at the party. We head straight to the Epping markets to select green foliage, heirloom cauliflowers, tomatoes and punnets of fresh herbs to complete our tables.
Thank you to the team at The Catering Company for the winter food inspo (and for making our mouths water).
The team at Complete Function Hire enjoys working closely with Melbourne’s most talented event designers and stylists to help create exceptional events and perfect weddings.
Levian Events go above and beyond to create the most special occasions. With their full range of event services including wedding and event design and styling, the team at Levian Events are a team of creatives that loves adding a touch of magic to every event including beautiful florals, spectacular centrepieces and elements of technical audio and visual lighting solutions.
On this week’s blog, we were thrilled to speak to the passionate team at Levian Events to explore the latest trends and to get their tips on how to create stylish events that stand out this winter.
What makes winter events so memorable?
Winter events are memorable as clients tend to explore different themes and styles. Themes can be Winter Wonderland to Enchanted Forest – this becomes fun when clients are completely invested in the theme and allow us to work our magic!
For clients that don’t necessarily want a particular ‘theme’, we can experiment with different colour palettes and tones that complement the winter months. These tones can either be quite classic with neutral, muted tones or darker, richer tones for a more dramatic effect.
Levian Event’s style tips:
Don’t be afraid to experiment with deeper, richer tones in winter months.
Use lighting where possible to enhance settings and interiors.
What are the Levian Events team’s event styling predictions for the cooler months ahead?
Rich and warm colour palettes will be a popular choice for wedding and event planners this winter and candles throughout your event space will add a romantic touch.
We love classic colour palettes for winter, incorporating greys, blues and whites. For those clients that like to experiment with colour, our team loves using burgundy and red tones with abundant dark foliage to create drama.
We enjoy introducing more lighting in winter such as fairy lights and festoon lights which creates a gorgeous atmosphere. As guests will arrive to evening events in the dark during Winter, we love up lighting the exterior of venues to create an impressive entrance.
What are the Levian Events team’s top tips for corporate event planners to ensure a stress free experience in the lead up to their event this winter?
• Research a style or theme that you prefer
• Establish a budget for all aspects of your event
• Get organised early to avoid stress (e.g. source suppliers and obtain quotes)
• Keep regular contact with your chosen suppliers
• Don’t leave things to the last minute
• Delegate, delegate, delegate!
What’s new at Levian Events?
Recently we have been working on some very large scale events that have allowed us to be extra creative and really think outside the box. Something that has been very popular for us of late is hanging features for weddings and events – this is something that we really special in.
Speak to the team at Levian Events to make sure your Winter Event exudes style and really stands out.