2020 has undoubtedly not been a good year for events. If you’ve managed to attend even one this year, count yourself lucky!

However, all is not lost as we look towards the future and the resurgence of celebrations that we all hope will come soon. Today, we’re speaking to Gareth Palmer, founder and Executive Chef at Vanilla Bean Catering, based in Surrey.

With plenty of experience in the luxury catering world, Gareth has quite the eye for the latest event trends.

Protecting our health
Firstly, protecting our health has been very important in 2020. Moving into 2021, menus will include more superfoods like kale, heritage beetroot, antibiotic-free meats, vitamin-packed salads, unrefined sugar and plant-based natural fats. Fruity lower-alcohol cocktails like our citrus and manuka honey collins or our yuzu and spearmint mojito will also be popular.

The outside will be in!
Far more people will be wanting outdoor events and garden parties. Lots of themes like festivals, full moon and Caribbean beach parties will be popular from spring onwards!

Get ready for weddings
2021 should be the busiest year on record for weddings. Summer won’t be the peak time to celebrate. Weddings will cover spring, autumn, and winter too with amazing seasonal styling!

More adventurous tastes
With so much home cooking over the last year, people have explored different flavours and cuisines. I’m pleased to say the event and catering industry needs to get ready to look after more educated diners!

Plastic reduction will continue building momentum. We’re all more aware of our impact on the world, taking responsibility over what we eat and how it’s packaged. The eco event movement is definitely here to stay.

Learning from virtual events
Technology integration into events will be more accessible following so many virtual events. Look out for video mapping with audio and visual effects to enhance the guest experience even further in 2021.

Get connected!
Finally, people have a real appetite to celebrate missed occasions. Pushing the boat out to reconnect will be at the top of everyone’s list. Dare I say it, once it’s safe to do so, people will be hugging on the dance floor and making up for lost time and celebrations! So, even if you’re not usually one for hugs, in 2021 we hope there will be no excuse. After all, events are all about getting together with friends, family, and even colleagues to share the good times. That’s something that we’ve all sorely missed in 2020, but the future looks a whole lot brighter for the events industry and everyone who has supported us during a really tough year.


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