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Idea Book: By Word of Mouth, ACE Int’l Finalist

The Achievement in Catering & Events (ACE) awards honor those who have worked tirelessly to keep their clients thrilled and their companies on the cutting edge. Each year, caterers and event planners from around the globe submit their best work from the past year in hopes of being recognized as the best in the industry. Catersource’s annual awards show, also including the ICA CATIE awards, took place in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace on February 19, 2018.

Each company submitted two events for ACE consideration. Here is a look at the two events that elevated By Word of Mouth in the category of finalist, International.

ONE: Wild, Wild West

“JP Morgan is one of the largest and most successful investment companies around the globe, and we’re privileged that they call on our event planning expertise for the VIP tent at their annual Corporate Challenge series, year after year,” said Karen Short, chairlady and founder, By Word of Mouth.

All photos courtesy of the caterer

“Organizing this event pushes us to be extremely creative, as we have to come up with unique elements that will surprise and delight our guests, many of whom have been attending for years. It’s crucial that we create something exceptional in South Africa to stand out from the rest,” she continued.

JP Morgan supplied the theme, “Wild West” and as with previous years, we had free reign to design the entire event. We’re all about details when it comes to curating the entire experience: from the very first moment our guests caught sight of the specially sourced red Bedouin tent that was reminiscent of a saloon, we wanted them to feel as if they had been transported straight into an authentic Western movie.

Costumes and catering go hand-in-hand: the BWOM staff

A stunning ‘chandelier installation’ custom-made out of straw hats hung above a bucking bronco, providing a dramatic talking point

Galvanized buckets were filled with ice cold “cowboy” beers

A variety of designer “cactus” cupcakes were served on wood carnival trays

The team struck gold when, after months of searching, they found a striking red Bedouin tent, which looked exactly like saloons of old. With its installation, guests were transported to a dusty one-horse town, with swinging saloon doors, giant cut-out cacti and the chance to spot a cowboy around every corner

Interested in submitting an entry for the 2019 awards season? Stay tuned for details on the 2019 award program, opening in Q3. Click here for the latest information on the 2019 conference & tradeshow.

TWO: Wedding Trend Showcase

By Word of Mouth’s Wedding Trend Showcase is not just an event: it’s an opportunity for the company to market the wide range of exceptional services it offers, from wedding coordination to catering, decor, florals, venues, and staffing. This event has also become an opportunity for the company to position itself as true thought leaders and trend setters, not only in the wedding coordination space but also in terms of general food, style and lifestyle trends.

“Our event planning process is very intensive so that we can stay at the forefront of the South African events industry,” says Karen Short, chairlady and founder of BWOM. “It kicks off with a trip to America, where our team conducts thorough market research to gather inspirational ideas on wedding trends. We’ve run this event for the last three years, and it’s become so popular that not only brides and wedding planners attend, but also corporate clients who come to get inspired in terms of menu, plating and decor ideas for the year ahead.

“We wanted guests to feel as if they were attending a real wedding, so we replicated the running order of one exactly,” said Short. “As guests arrived, they walked down a wedding aisle we’d created with chairs on either side, and huge standing white urns of flowers at the entrance, giving them that same grand feeling of anticipation.”

From there, guests were invited inside the venue for a sensational reveal of nin spectacular décor looks, each paired with a unique cake. Different food stations, a cake tasting station, and a new-this-year Tuscan Rustic harvest table with mountains of salads, olives, pancetta, parma ham, cheeses, and breads finished the event.

New age prawn cocktail - Avocado cream with chili, bisque gel, crunchy pea shoots, marie rose orzo, shaved heirloom radishes, pea puree, crisp panko prawns and coriander potato wafer 

The Colonial Look décor

One of the plated main dishes

A close up of the Tuscan Rustic harvest table

Click here for information about Catersource and the Art of Catering Food 2019.

Kathleen Stoehr

Kathleen Stoehr is the Director of Community & Content Strategy for Informa Connect | Catersource, which includes print and digital content, as well as live education at both Catersource, the Art of Catering Food, and Leading Caterers of America Executive Summit.