Battle N°1: cocktail lunch vs. sit-down lunch
The cocktail plus "hip" and the sit-down lunch plus "tidy" ?
False debate because your choice will be dictated by your objective and by the profile of the participants, not by fashion effects.
Will the meal enhance a working meeting or facilitate informal discussions? Will it be reserved for a team of collaborators or for prospects?
The practical aspects of budget, location, duration... are also important.
We're in battle mode.
Depending on the formula chosen, time management sets the tone. A priori, the schedule of a cocktail reception is more flexible. Of course, to appreciate the freshness of the buffet, guests should not deviate too much from the schedule. But this formula offers more flexibility on arrivals and departures. Sitting lunch has the advantage that it puts everyone on the same beat: no coming and going, no gusty passages. But it is less suitable for those in a hurry, not inclined to wait between courses.
In both cases, you want the participants to enjoy eating together. The meal is a moment of conviviality that allows us to talk about something other than work and to enrich professional exchanges. In a cocktail, the meal is shared first at the buffet where the discussions begin. Then, tête-à-tête or small committees are formed according to affinities and interests. A seated lunch is a more collective meal: everyone shares the same dishes, which naturally become a subject of conversation.
In both cases, the meal should encourage the emergence of new projects, innovative ideas and new alliances. By taking advantage of the present moment, outside the usual working environment, your guests look at the future in a different way. In order to break the codes and let the relationship work, the lunch cocktail seems to be the most appropriate. But not everyone is at his or her advantage, because of hierarchical position or shyness. As long as you study the seating plan carefully, a seated lunch balances exchanges and gives time for ideas to take shape.