Kimpston Hotels and Restaurants have recently released their much anticipated annual food and drink trend forecast. The brand, which owns over 65+ hotels across the world (including the USA, England, Thailand, the Cayman Islands, Spain, Japan and Taiwan), also runs 39 unique restaurants within its various properties – offering a world of interesting dining experiences.

“This forecast has been able to pinpoint past favourites like last year’s Aperol Frosé and predict the next big thing in flavours and ingredients like black garlic, s’chug [hot sauce] and nutritional yeast for 2020,” aid Scott Gingerich, Kimpton’s SVP of restaurants & bars.

Here are a few things you should be adding to your event menus in 2020 according to their report:

FERMENTED FOODS that promote gut-health will continue to be firm favourites. Think tempeh (fermented soybeans), pickled vegetables, Chinese pu-er tea and kimchi.

VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN options are a must-have as more people shift to meat-free diets or simply choose to observe meat-free days. One of South Africa’s favourite family steak restaurants has recently launched its Beyond Burger, a 100% plant-based burger patty developed in the US. Gluten-free and dairy-free options should already be available on your menu.

– The most influential cuisine in 2020?  According to 40% of chefs surveyed for the report, expect to see LEVANTINE-INSPIRED CUISINE (Israeli, Turkish and Lebanese) make prominent appearances.

– Learn to embrace SOUR FLAVOURS as chefs experiment with ingredients such as rhubarb, tamarind and infused-vinegars.

– Chefs will be taking the traditional Peruvian CEVICHE to new heights with unexpected ingredients like spicy tomato granita to pickled carrot to whipped avocado.


Top Ingredients for 2020

On the drinks side, the trend of guests choosing LOW-ALCOHOL, LIGHT SPRITZERS will continue but bartenders will be experimenting with local flavours and fresh ingredients. Try this rosé and agave lemonade spritzer or this traditional Aperol spritzer (and pretend you’re on the Italian Riviera).

View the entire trend board below and read Kimpton’s press release here.

Kimpton Culinary Trends

When you’ve had all the singers, dancers, comedians and motivational speakers you can handle, here are some event entertainment ideas that will surprise and delight your guests.

1. Silent Disco

If your guest list is made up of people of various ages, it can be hard to choose a genre of music that everyone will enjoy. Now you don’t have to! Silent Disco allows users to choose a channel of music to listen to through their headsets. Add some extra excitement by having three DJs perform at the same time. Guests can switch from hearing one DJ to the next at the flick of a button.

An extra bonus is that guests who want to get down and boogie can set the volume as loud as they are comfortable with, while your other guests get on with mingling in the silence (but we do suggest some vibey but low volume) background music.


Silent Disco

2. Synchronised Swimmers

It’s hot and sunny outside and you’re hosting an event around a pool or body of water. Synchronised swimmers are the perfect way to bring your event space alive. Think of it as a dance and gymnastics performance … in water. Make sure your swimmers are wearing bling costumes to add some high-end glam.

Find South Africa’s Synchronised Swimming Clubs here.

Synchronised Swimming

3. Projection-Mapping

Travel through time, space, colour, shape and sound. Bring your wildest dreams to life on the biggest canvas you can imagine.

3. Human Tables

So you’re planning a cocktail party and your event space is too small to accommodate a band. Combine your food service with your entertainment! We’ve seen event planners use human tables for canapes, drinks service or delicate desserts … you can quite literally allow your imagination run wild.

Human Tables

5. Pole Theatre

Gone are the days when pole dance was confined to seedy strip clubs. This artistic discipline is on its way to becoming an Olympic sport. The extreme strength and grace required to perform many of these gravity-defying routines is quite a sight to behold. Don’t believe us? Watch for yourself!

Now that we’ve given you 5 spectacular ideas for some out-of-the-box entertainment options for your events, be sure to tag us in your event pictures (@xleventscapetown) if you use any of them!

Need some help with your event entertainment? The XL Events team are standing by to assist – with years of experience in planning and managing entertainment and AV requirements. Chat to us on info@xlevents.co.za or 021 556 8687.

High fashion magazine Harpers Bazaar recently published their guide to the top wedding dress trends for 2019. We picked 5 of our favourites to inspire you as you start planning for your big day! Remember, if you need help with your planning or event design, our team of experienced planners are just a phone call away. Visit us at xlevents.co.za

  1. Fabulous Floral

How WOW! are these dresses? Perfect for wedding that has a very simple style and colour palette. You want a dress like this to be the absolute center of attention throughout the day. Don’t let anything over shadow it.

Wedding Dress Trends 2019

2. Take a Bow

Whether you choose big and bold or soft and sweet, bows are definitely a hit for the wedding season ahead. If you choose to make a bow your statement piece, you could certainly create some wonderful wedding accents to match like bows to tie your napkins, bows around floral arrangements or bows in your guest favours.

Take a Bow

3. Capes

This is a great option if you are marrying at one of those transition times of year where the weather could be a bit iffy. Why be chilly and uncomfortable on your wedding day? A light cape is also a great option for a little summer style – especially as the sun sets and the evening gets a little cooler.

Wedding Capes

4. On the Beach

How IN LOVE with these beach “gowns” are we? Who would expect this? If you’re brave enough to show off your figure then this would be a total showstopper of a choice.

Beach Wedding Gowns

5. Gracious Geometric

Probably our favourite so far. The addition of a few (and we really mean few) geometric decor elements could create a spectacularly modern wedding look.

Geometric Wedding Dress


Event planning is an awesome industry because it’s always evolving. Style trends in colours, decor and fashion are ever changing, now add to that the cool advances in technology, and you’ve got a lot to work with when it comes to event planning.

Here are 5 Event Planning Trends you should be aware of:

1. Time is valuable

The old age saying that time is money is not going away any time soon, and in the our current culture of instant gratification, you need to ensure that your guests are getting as much value from the time they are committing to be at your event, as possible.

  • If you are hosting annual events, think about investing in an app. This can make it really easy for your guests to find every bit of information they need, from maps, to parking, to your list of speakers.
  • Setup QR codes at your event to avoid printing numerous program schedules and doing other unnecessary printing. If it’s on the app, guests can easily check what’s coming up and finding out about changes as they happen!

2. Diversity

Guests want to be stimulated an engaged. No one wants to sit through an entire event hearing all the things they’ve heard before.

So when considering your keynote speakers, look for speakers who aren’t necessarily part of your industry. Speakers who think and speak outside of the box to encourage creative thinking among your guests. Outside opinions often encourage incredible debates, and will make your event memorable!

3. ‘Brain Breaks’

Events and conferences can be quite taxing, especially when they are jam packed with speakers, have numerous topics taking place in different rooms of one venue or last multiple days.

Ideas to encourage this include:

  • Privacy pods where guests can give themselves a time out.
  • Break rooms or cubicles to make phone calls or just take a few minutes to breathe.
  • Incorporate wellness activities like 5 minute yoga
  • Incorporate spaces where healthy meals and smoothies can be enjoyed in silence, or if that’s not possible, in an outdoor area where guests can get some fresh air.

4. Personalization

This is another opportunity to capitalize on using an app to connect with your guests. Allow guests to vote or offer their input certain topics, load discounts and vouchers from sponsors or reminders about sessions they are interested in sitting in on.

5. Eco Events or Sustainability

This is a generation that is extremely mindful of the environment, and going green really is the right thing to do.

When planning your event, be mindful of the following, and encourage your guests to do the same:

  • Single use plastic
  • Straws
  • Bottled water
  • Recyclable paper or other materials (even name tags and programs can be recyclable and guests will notice!)
  • Food storage or serving containers
  • Sustainable and fair trade food options
  • Donations or support of community organisations.

5 Ways to Brand Your Corporate or Incentive Event

Keeping your brand top of mind is an extremely important aspect of any incentive event and ensures that your brand is forever associated with your guest’s memories. Technology now offers an innovative range of branding opportunities outside of the usual branded gifts.

Here are our top 5 recommendations:

Facebook Frame

There is no doubt that your guests will be snapping the best parts of their journey and sharing them on Facebook. So you can easily create a quirky branded Facebook filter that your guests can use to add a little fun to their photos. The set-up process is extremely easy and can offer your brand some great social ROI for a relatively small investment. Find out how to create a Facebook Frame here.

TIP: Run a competition for the best snap to encourage your guests to participate.

5 Ways to Brand Your Incentive Event - XL Events Cape Town

Mobile App

Thanks to the proliferation of technology, creating branded apps need not be a massively expensive exercise. App developers can purchase white label app ‘templates’ that they can customise on a reasonable budget. Also, consider creating a simple app that offers your guests their daily itinerary, a local currency converter, a daily weather report and audio recordings of useful phrases in the local language. Take it a step further and create a Who’s Who listing with pictures of each guest to assist with networking. It is also extremely simple to include functionality that allows your guests to share their experience on social media – giving your brand some extra ROI.

5 Ways to Brand Your Incentive Event

Projection Mapping

Want to truly blow the socks off your guests? Projection mapping allows brands to create spectacular digital experiences against practically any backdrop. Unlike normal projection techniques, projection mapping creates precision 3D experiences.


Branded Furniture

Yes it’s possible! Just look at the event design we created for one of our corporate clients for a recent conference.


#Foodiegram is one of the most popular hashtags on Instagram today. People just love posting pictures of beautiful food! Cleverly branded food items or displays are always popular and an easy way to wow your guests. Choose from post-dinner coffee stencils, branded catering trays, stencil cut butter or branded snack packs.

5 Ways to Brand Your Incentive Event - XL Events Cape Town - Branded Food
5 Ways to Brand Your Incentive Event – XL Events Cape Town – Branded Food