Foodie culture is on the rise, but what makes for a great experience? Well, delicious food and drink are an excellent start. But to make local food events memorable, they have to stand out from a crowd of pop-up food events and cocktail parties. Whether you’re hosting a big festival, fine food events, or an intimate wine tasting, find a way to make your event original. Unique food, drink, and features can make your event one-of-a-kind, attracting a broad audience of foodies.

Crafting imaginative, unforgettable, and tempting food tasting events requires thoughtful planning. Discover inspiration and guidance about planning food for an event, hosting a pop-up, and more. Here are effective ways to carve out a niche in the foodie space.

Attract guests with exclusive pop-up food events

Food and drink event attendees gravitate towards special dining happenings and fun drinking events that are small and secretive. Think intimate pop-ups with limited seating and invite-only restaurant openings. The more elusive the ticket, the more special event-goers feel when they snag one.

Your event might feature a new or hard-to-get-into restaurant that “pops up” with limited seating and a speciality menu in a new location – for one night or one weekend only. These micro-events are naturally exclusive because they offer limited seating for guests. They simply can’t accommodate a large crowd. Limited ticketing instantly makes your event more appealing because of the fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) factor.

Plus, these pop-up food events align well with COVID-19 safety precautions that may be in place. You’ll keep the crowd small, while still curating a highly sought-after event.

Just because your event is big does not mean it can’t have an air of exclusivity, either. Read on to discover ways to create coveted tickets with larger events.

Curate appealing VIP experiences 

Of the food-and-drink festival-goers we surveyed, more than half are willing to pay more for exclusive experiences and access at a festival. These experiences can vary, depending on the type of event you’re hosting. Offer tickets for VIP tastings that allow guests to enjoy exclusive food and drink beyond the standard offerings at your event. Or consider drink ticket ideas that allow your VIP guests to try a special new brew or a themed flight tasting. Coordinate a chef-led dinner that gives event-goers VIP access to the chef, allowing them to enjoy dinner alongside its creator. Ticket add-ons, including merchandise and experiences, can help boost your event revenue as well.

Eventbrite makes it easy for you to offer VIP experiences. Create multiple ticket types that allow event-goers to check out the various VIP experiences you’re offering. Different ticket types aren’t just for custom VIP packages – you can offer Early Bird discounts and other variations on the standard price.

Find a memorable new venue

The food and drink are important, but so is the ambience. Finding the right venue for food tasting events is essential, as it can help to establish the vibe of your entire event. Take Uncorked: LA Wine Festival as an example. This event takes place at LA’s iconic Union Station, a venue that instantly elevates the feel of the event. So, if you’re looking to host an upscale event, consider a high-end venue in your town.

However, you can think about nontraditional spaces like warehouses, greenhouses, or private vineyards. Choosing a more unique venue can align with the theme of your event – for example, a wine tasting in a private vineyard can add to the vibe. This might take some extra planning, especially if there’s not a commercial kitchen onsite. But the payoff is well worth it when you create an unforgettable evening for those attending.

Use unusual and exceptional ingredients

One of the best and most obvious ways to set your foodie event apart is hosting a food tasting event with special ingredients you can’t find just anywhere. Think of a pre-release of a product that’s about to become hot, or a rare, foraged, seasonal mushroom handpicked by the chef themself. Don’t shy away from choosing some seriously out-of-the-ordinary ingredients. Give fusion cuisine a try, blending flavours from different cultures to offer food that’s uniquely yours.

Think about sustainability, too. Choosing ingredients that are good for both your attendees and the environment can appeal to eco-conscious foodies in your area.

These distinctive ingredients and flavour combinations can be the golden ticket. A food and drink event becomes much more special the menu has unexpected ingredients or food combinations.

Send guests home with foodie-focused swag

The right take-home swag goes the extra mile in creating memories. Plus, some foodie-focused swag can make local food events more appealing for attendees. For example, you could make every menu different by including a hand-drawn sketch. Or offer a jar of a chef’s favourite spices or homemade sauce for guests to take home.

Go high tech at your food and drink event 

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) bracelets help you track where attendees are spending the most time, so you can hone in on the most (and least) popular parts of your event. RFID also speeds up entrance and purchasing lines so there’s no barrier between your event-goers and the sundries. Attendees can pay for food and drinks with a simple tap of their wrist – and go home satisfied and impressed.

Use the Eventbrite Organiser app to track real-time data on your event. Monitor ticket sales, tap into ticketing data, and scan credit cards for easy purchases, all within the convenience of this versatile app.

Expand your budget and improve your event with food sponsors

One of the best ways to carve out a one-of-a-kind event is to team up with food festival sponsors who bring their own individual voice. Offer food festival sponsorship packages to find sponsors who will come up with interactive, immersive experiences to engage attendees on the ground and give them memories to last a lifetime.

When identifying how to get food sponsors for an event, consider how the sponsor can upgrade your event.

If they don’t seem relevant or don’t align with the theme of your event, keep looking. But don’t overdo it with so many sponsors that your event’s message gets lost in the melee. The key is to handpick just the right sponsors for your event.

Design complete experiential food events

Experiential events add other opportunities into the mix – elements like live music, photo booths, or even horse-and-buggy rides. Your imagination is the limit! More than half of food and drink festival attendees told us they are more likely to choose a festival that has more to it than a great food spread.

An outstanding and inspiring event stays in the minds of participants long after the event ends – so find ways to make yours unforgettable.

Go virtual or hybrid to expand your food tasting events’ reach

Virtual or hybrid events allow you to extend the reach and accessibility of your food festival. Incorporating a virtual element into an in-person event allows you to include event-goers beyond your local area. Imagine the possibilities that come with streaming guided tastings, which align with kits delivered to your attendees’ doorsteps. You have plenty of options, including virtual wine tasting kits, virtual beer tasting kits, virtual chocolate tasting offerings, and virtual cheese tasting classes.

Murray’s Cheese has perfected virtual cheese tastings. Interactive classes, alongside kits stocked with the cheese and accoutrements that attendees need, have made it easy to adapt these events into engaging virtual ones.

FAQs

How do you host a food event?

Hosting food events requires carefully planning every element of the event. First, you’ll need to identify the size of your event so that you can choose an appropriate venue. Consider how many food vendors for events you want to include, and reach out to those vendors to secure them.

With these elements in place, you’re ready to use Eventbrite to your advantage. Eventbrite can help you with every step of your event planning process, beginning with the marketing of the event. Attract attendees with a professional event page that you can promote across your social channels. You can even sell tickets and track ticket data using Eventbrite, making it your all-in-one resource for event planning.

What are some food and beverage considerations when planning an event?

When hosting a food and drink event, consider your target audience. What type of food, drink, and entertainment best suits them? Next, consider the cost. Identify your budget, which can be based on your event-related expenses, such as your event venue, as well as your ticket sales. Establish any safety precautions before you start marketing the event. Will you need security? Are there any venue capacity limitations? What food safety precautions should you take? Making these considerations early in the planning stage can make serving food at an event, at food stall events, and at experiential food events successful.

How do you attract people to food festivals and other food events? 

Food and events go hand in hand, so marketing your food tasting event shouldn’t be hard. However, you want to go through the right channels to properly market your event and attract a crowd. Use email marketing campaigns and social media to share the details, including food event names and tasting event names, for your event. Food sponsorship for events can also allow you to cross-promote your event through other brands to reach an even broader audience. Finally, with Eventbrite Boost, you can create ads, send customised emails, build branded pages, and sell tickets in one convenient space.

Host food events like a pro

With the right planning, your food and drink event can be a success. Align with Eventbrite to streamline your event promotion so that you can spend less time on marketing the event and more time planning an unforgettable foodie event that your attendees will adore. Use Eventbrite to build an event page, market your event, sell tickets, track data, and so much more.

For more on crafting an event to meet changing public protocols, check out our tips on How to Host a Safe, Socially Distant, Outdoor Food + Drink Event. Then, sign up for Eventbrite to start planning your food and drink event.

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