Once-a-year tasty opportunity to connect and strengthen ties

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Networking, business lunches, and work drinks. They’re all essential but can occasionally feel more like a task than a perk.

Adding some fun and ingenuity never hurts, which is why this year’s Flavours of Plenty Festival, featuring nearly 50 enticing events, should be top of mind for anyone who’s ready to explore some fresh networking or team building options.

Tourism Bay of Plenty general manager Oscar Nathan says the third iteration of the award-winning festival, happening 4-14 April, will produce an array of interesting culinary collisions as it showcases the region’s creative flair.

The 11-day festival is known for its unique social vibe, which gets local bars, cafés, and restaurants humming.

“What we’ve seen is that many of these events provide an innovative and memorable way for businesspeople and colleagues to connect or strengthen the professional relationships that are so vital in our everyday roles,” Oscar says.

Trinity Wharf Tauranga will host Bubbles & Canapés – a seafood soirée over the ocean.

The range of classy dining and beverage options in this year’s festival programme is quite staggering.

“Events like Asian Fusion Cocktail Collision, the Bubbles & Canapés seafood soirée, or Solera After Dark Presents: Japan will certainly suit any corporate-level networking needs. These events are a great way to mix business and pleasure because the venues will be full of locals and visitors who know how to appreciate the finer things in life.”

For anyone who’d prefer a more casual setting to bring their teams or stakeholders together, Oscar reckons the Cadera BBQ, Alma’s Pasta Masterclass, Food for Thought, or Cocktail Gastronomy should all be at the top of the consideration list.

“Food for Thought will be hosted by our entertaining Flavours of Plenty Chair, Stacey Jones, so attendees will hear some great stories and foodie discussions, while in Ōmokoroa, participants will make their own pasta masterclass lunch at the award-winning Alma Eatery,” he says.

As expected, tickets started flying out the door when the Flavours of Plenty Festival programme was released in mid-February. Festival director Rae Baker says more than 10% of all tickets were sold within the first two days. That number had doubled by the end of the first week, with two events quickly selling out.

“It’s such a privilege to work for an amazing festival which is not only raising our region’s profile to new heights but is also inspiring and financially supporting our local foodie and hospitality sectors,” says Rae.

“We all win if we work together, and I appreciate the people and businesses who are putting their heart and soul into making sure that everyone will have a fantastic experience during this year’s festival.

“Our funders are also vital. We couldn’t do this without them. So, I’d like to give a shout-out to TECT, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Whakatāne District Council, Tauranga City Council, and BayTrust. We also really value the support we get from Craigs Investment Partners and Southern Hospitality,” she says.

The festival was initially proposed by the region’s Flavours of Plenty collective, which is a platform that has enabled Tourism Bay of Plenty to uncover, connect, and celebrate the unique ecosystem of growers and suppliers within the Coastal Bay of Plenty’s food and hospitality scene.

“The festival is a great way for residents, visitors, and businesses to experience the best of this each year,” Oscar says.

The Flavours of Plenty Festival recently earned two New Zealand Events Association awards, for Best Local Government Event and Best Lifestyle

For more information, be sure to visit flavoursofplentyfestival.com.

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