Here are some creative break ideas to inject some fun into your morning or afternoon lulls between sessions, from chocolate smashes to pretzel walls.
Looking for creative break ideas to shake things up a bit? A member of the National Meeting Planners Group, a private group on Facebook devoted to discussing timely issues and networking, recently posted a plea for ideas on how to inject some creativity into breaks.
Here are a few of their suggestions, plus others Prevue editors have seen that were a giant leap up from old-school coffee and Danish:
- Create a wall where you can hang round food, such as donuts, bagels and soft pretzels. If you want a healthier version, one planner in the Facebook group shared that they had seen the same thing done with fruit.
- Theme the break around one color or flavor. One planner in the Facebook group mentioned a hotel that did an entire lemon-themed break. During harvest season, we have also seen a tomato break, including a tomato sorbet—an unlikely combo.
- Bring in local merchants and products. This could be specialty ice cream from a local creamery, or inviting area crafters to create a display of their wares that attendees can buy.
- Bring in a food truck. Not all venues will allow this (or they might charge a hefty “corkage” fee), but if they will, consider bringing in specialty coffee trucks, ice cream trucks that harken back to childhood, or with any other food theme might resonate with your attendees.
- Let them smash something. A Prevue editor really had fun at a “chocolate smash” break, where a nationally famous chocolatier that happened to be located down the street from the event provided sheet chocolate, chocolate bags, etc., along with a variety of implements to smash them with and let attendees whack away. It was a huge hit, so to speak.
- Bring in local non-profits. At one event a Prevue editor attended in Nashville, the event organizers had the nonprofit that was running its corporate social responsibility (CSR) event at the meeting — an organization called Strings for Hope, which employs local women in need to create jewelry out of used guitar strings — to come back during breaks to display the finished products, which people could purchase at a discount. It was mobbed.
- Have a photo booth/selfie station in the break area, including lots of fun props, and don’t forget to brand it (either your own event’s branding, or that of a sponsor) so the word about how fun that break was goes viral when attendees start posting their poses on social media.
- Host a specialty food bar that includes a number of variations on a theme — think mac and cheese done with several different toppings, or a plethora of popcorn varieties, or a candy bar counter, or mashed potato bar where attendees can top their tater-filled martini glasses with any number of toppings, or a fry bar featuring French fries made any way you like them. One variation on this that a Prevue editor found irresistible was a biscuit bar that featured several flavors of both biscuits and toppings.
- Let attendees make their own snacks. One popular version Prevue’s editors have seen work really well is a trail mix bar, where attendees can choose from containers of sweet and salty ingredients. One of the Facebook group suggested doing this with donut holes, where people can pick their toppings and shake the bag themselves.
- Float your snacks. Sometimes the “wow” is more in the presentation than the snacks themselves. At a recent event, Prevue editors were pretty wowed by a floating dessert bar, where packages of different flavors of macarons were tied to balloons attendees could grab to snag their snack. While you would need a contained area so the snacks don’t float away, people loved this idea — and the macarons were delicious.
- For health-conscious groups, a smoothie bar is always a popular option, but if you want to be a bit more decadent, try a milkshake or snow cone bar (with or without alcohol options such as Baileys or Amaretto).
What are some creative break ideas you have put into action? Share your ideas with [email protected].
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