For centuries, dining and drinking have long held a place as a centerpiece for social gathering and celebrating. Today, it is nearly impossible to imagine a successful event without a thoughtful and specific integration of culinary design.
In fact, anthropologists have long looked at food as a signature of culture and a way to build social bonds and further the aims of celebration and ritual.
“In every society, food is highly symbolic, in the sense that members imbue particular kinds and qualities of food with sentimental, moral, religious, and health-related meanings. Adults and children can use food as a symbol of community identity and a way to affirm social bonds” says sociologist Elinor Ochs and Merav Shohet in their book The Cultural Structuring of Mealtime Socialization.
The point being, food is paramount to any type of social event. Pop-up experiences are an extension of branding and marketing yes, but ultimately they are social moments and celebrations. We are attempting to leave an impression on our attendees and an emotional experience that guests will long associate with your brand or art. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that we integrate these sociological elements such as the power of food and dining into our events, to build those strong bonds and create a sense of community around our branding.
When it comes to selecting food for your pop-up experience, knowing your audience is key. You aren’t simply feeding them, you are creating a sense of style. Food is a critical ingredient of ambiance and your menu says volumes about the style and meaning behind your event.
Location, demographics, seasonality- all of these elements go into creating the perfect menu for a pop-up experience. And remember, it’s not just the food itself- presentation is in many cases, nearly as important. A large portion of our enjoyment of food stems from its visual display. How does the food visually match or enhance your event? What kind of drinks do you want guests to be sipping on for the next day’s Instagram photos?
These questions all become critical in building an event that is representative of your brand and assists in achieving your precise messaging goals.
Here are some of our favorite culinary examples from some of our most successful Rawspace events.
The Museum of Ice Cream
At the Museum of Ice Cream, the food itself is the event. Located at our popular 558 Broadway location, the Museum of Ice Cream sets to bring one of America’s favorite treats to life as we celebrate the cultural presence and importance of ice cream. But here, it’s not enough to simply taste the ice cream- that can be done anywhere. At the Museum of Ice Cream- we want attendees to truly live inside the world of ice cream, even g
The FILA Tennis Event for the U.S. Open
Over the summer, Rawspace partnered with FILA to host at our Old World Gallery, the Tennis in Technicolor Event: an interactive, instagrammable series on the history and legacy of one of the world’s greatest sports. While in this instance, food was not the centerpiece of the evening, subtle culinary choices were made to enhance the ambiance and atmosphere of the event. Champagne was specifically hand-passed to build a heightened sense of elegance and class, and Italian bites were served to highlight the home-country of FILA.