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ooking to celebrate an area’s unique culinary scene and highlight local delicacies, all in one immersive experience? A marketplace-themed event is just the ticket. Attendees can choose their own culinary adventure and sample authentic flavors throughout an elaborately designed event – think farmers market, but elevated. In this post, DCi’s team of planners share a few mouthwatering experiences they’ve crafted and tips on adapting this theme for your next event.

What Is a Marketplace Event?

Picture this: Your guests wander into your event and are greeted with rows of individual booths housing unique delicacies in a fashion that could be easily mistaken for a well-curated, culturally rich farmers market. Marketplace events are like a modern makeover of the “Taste of” event theme that’s been a foodie festival staple for years. This theme allows guests to taste and experience a variety of different offerings all in one place – from assorted food and beverage options to eclectic and interactive activations, various immersive musical acts, and plenty of mixed seating ideal for nibbling and networking. 

At these all-out experiences, you get to highlight the array of flavors found throughout a destination without being confined to showcasing just one type of dish or cuisine. Also, having diverse options allows everyone to find something they love and ensures that no one leaves with an empty stomach.

Pay Attention to the Details

Of course, as with any event, challenges are bound to pop up throughout the planning and execution process. One of the biggest challenges of bringing multiple activations to life is managing and organizing all of the vendors. To ensure a cohesive, seamless experience, it’s crucial that you have enough space for each vendor, implement a scheduled setup time, and flesh out production. 

The DCi team recommends illuminating the space with string lights to set the scene. This simple touch adds a casual-yet-elevated look to the event without being too harsh or overpowering. Since the main focus of these events is highlighting the different food and beverage stations, you’ll want to assign a special theme to each booth. Elements like a VW Bus bar or custom-branded huts can help drive the theme home. Need more inspiration? Here are three appetizing marketplace events DCi has put together.

Culture and Culinary Driven

The DCi team proudly curated an authentic Asian market in the center of downtown Los Angeles to celebrate the abundant Asian culture in the City of Angels. The theme, design, and entertainment originated from a trip DCi’s designers took to Japan and Vietnam. The team created custom food stalls, including ramen, sushi, dumplings, stir fry, and Peking duck. Entertainment for the night featured Taiko drummers, a Chinese dragon, a high-energy DJ, and themed photo booth stations, while Chinese lanterns, towering cherry trees, neon Asian characters, and twinkling lights brought the authentic Asian night market experience to life.

Road Trip Vibes

Another recent activation-driven marketplace event put on by DCi was a road-trip-themed experience that featured over seven “stops” – each with its own aesthetic related to the client’s different regions. Attendees took a “road trip” across the U.S., stopping at each state to take in the flavors and activities unique to the area. Themed decor, signage, and activations set each “state” apart. Texas had an inflatable bull riding activation, California featured a surf simulator, and Minnesota had a hockey arcade game, to name a few. The primary activation of the event was a custom trucker hat bar where guests could choose from a myriad of state-themed patches to add to their customized hats.

Southern California Food Festival

Driven by the culinary trends in California, this marketplace event used custom-made market stalls crafted from sustainable and repurposed materials. The team designed the stalls to be sleek and clean with cohesive signage to elevate the “Taste of” theme they were going for. DCi partnered with the hotel’s culinary staff to create a food lover’s paradise, serving everything from tacos to sushi to pasta.

Marketplace-themed gatherings stand as a testament to the inspiration that comes from a fusion of culture, flavor, and innovation. These events, brought to life by the imaginative team at DCi, rethink the culinary landscape and invite attendees to embark on a journey that blends the charm of a typical market with an elevated dining experience. The fusion of diverse cuisines, interactive activations, live performances, and cozy mingling spaces creates a captivating and relaxing ambiance. With attention to detail and a knack for overcoming logistical challenges, the DCi team helps others celebrate diversity, savor the moment, and forge connections that linger long after the last bite.

Want to enlist DCi’s event expertise for your next marketplace event? Contact DCi to start planning today!

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