One way to get people to interact and connect is to consider communal dining tables. It encourages people to share stories and network with a community aspect at events. Family-style dining, where large prepared dishes are passed around the table, enhances the chance for everyone to talk and network. This technique has caught on at restaurants lately and can easily be incorporated into events large and small.
Seat attendees at cafeteria-style tables and serve food family-style instead of at the typical buffet. The atmosphere takes on a cozy, intimate feeling, where colleagues and strangers turn into meal companions. If you’re not sure how they will react to family-style servings, keep the salads and entrees plated and place side items out for attendees to pass along.
To ensure food stays hot, keep serving dishes somewhat small-enough for three or four people.