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Congruence in Event Design: When It Tastes As Good As It Looks – Learning from #TEDxEHL

We just helped put on a TEDx event hosted by the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) on the future of hospitality which had a string of amazing speakers exploring “ideas worth spreading” from how our human spaces will increasingly interact with us, how to put together an unlikely “SWAT team” to solve a problem that needs innovation, why thinking like a novelist can help you create the perfect cafe, meat as the luxury item of the future, why if there is no nose there is no fun…and more.

With a topic like hospitality, and an audience filled with EHL alumni, partners and others for whom the hospitality industry is their bread and butter, no only did the talk selections have to be surprising – the curation aimed to scope future surprising trends from other fields such as neuroscience, storytellers, gamers, flavour science, anthropologists and innovation engineers – but the surroundings also had to step up to the plate  (ok, that’s baseball, but think porcelain in this case).

And, we were in one of the most famous hotel schools in Switzerland, so that gave some excellent grounds for innovation.

For the coffee break, it would have seemed odd to have just coffee and biscuits, so the school served at their coffee break hand made icecream in delicious popcorn flavour, in white wine flavour, and caramel which they made with liquid nitrogen right in front of us and served in tiny dishes. 

They also capped every coffee with an intricate design in chocolate which they did at amazing speed.

For the reception, the students created a special TEDx cocktail which was red and delicious and and matched with an equally interesting and flavourful tower of mini “icecream” cones filled with a mousse of truffle and foie gras.

The whole event was a full sensory experience, the ideas were exhilarating and, of course, the hospitality was excellent!
(PS. Find a running commentary of the event and key speaker ideas on Twitter at #TEDxEHL or with the tag TEDxEcoleHoteliereLausanne)
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