Activations

3 Creative Ways to Use a Food Truck at your Next Event

Long headline, important topic.

Every event is unique in it’s own way - from the venue to the food being served, all the way down to why the event is being hosted. There are many creative ways to utilize a food truck for a WOW factor that will leave a long-lasting impression on your guests and set your event apart from the rest of the pack.

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1. Use the physical truck as a brandable space

Fabricate the food truck with a fun, eye-catching design to grab the attention of the masses. Use hashtags, social media slogans and recognizable branding to get your message across. Brighter colors look so cool driving through the streets of Manhattan!

For a brand activation, plan to stop in diverse, high traffic locations throughout the city and boroughs to get the most out of the mobile advertising space.

 A brand activation in partnership with MiQ and El Toro Rojo was an eye-catcher!

A brand activation in partnership with MiQ and El Toro Rojo was an eye-catcher!

2. Customize and personalize

The NYFTA members all have great menus that they are known for but pairing down their catering menu to 2-5 options makes it seem like more thought went into the event and helps expedite ordering and service two-fold! Several of the members have vegetarian options available upon request so you can think ahead to accommodate any dietary restrictions.

Weather is also a huge factor in determining an event menu. If your event is being held outside during the summer, you know it’s going to be sweltering and might consider choosing cooler menu items such as lobster rolls, sides of guacamole, cold brew coffee or ice cream sandwiches.

 Red Hook Lobster Pound knows how to keep guests cool at an outdoor summertime event!

Red Hook Lobster Pound knows how to keep guests cool at an outdoor summertime event!

Another way to customize is to use the food service products to your advantage.

Napkins, food containers, drink cups, stickers: you name it and you can customize it! These are great takeaways that guests physically hold and take with them after they visit a food truck. Even if they get thrown away at some point, the brand impression is still there.

3. Add interactive elements

  • Place a drop box near the truck service window for business cards if you are hosting a corporate event to enter a drawing for a raffle. Everyone loves swag!

  • Use signage to your advantage. Most food trucks have a menu board you can either customize or use as a part of your truck fabrication. An “A frame” sign on the sidewalk next to the food truck is also useful for explaining menu selections and welcoming guests in an unexpected way.

  • Staff brand ambassadors (shout out to Mustard Lane) to engage with attendees, take orders, collect emails or use technology to show live clips of a product you are launching.

  • A photo booth might seem overdone but if used in a strategic way, it can have a huge impact on the engagement factor of your event. Guests can snap a photo and quickly post directly to social media using your wedding hashtag or tagging your brand.

No matter how you go about incorporating different elements and details into your event, consider this evidence that food trucks are always an unexpected treat!

Now go forth and get creative!

Brand Ambassadors (and why you need them)

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Imagine this: you walk outside and there is a mobile billboard stationed in front of your office in Midtown. Maybe you Tweet to spin a prize wheel, maybe you are handed free hot chocolate, maybe you stop and ask the people in matching shirts who look like they are part of the madness "what's going on?" The answer is: no one knows...but Brand Ambassadors look good doing it!

Now the question is: where do these Brand Ambassadors come from? We work exclusively with a company called Mustard Lane, which brands themselves as "the nation's one stop shop for all your staffing needs" and they certainly hold true to that statement! Their roster of “Laners” includes industry professionals from across the country and their selective casting process means that all of their Laners come to your event vetted, tried and true.

 Twitter's #WhatsHappening activation during Summer 2018

Twitter's #WhatsHappening activation during Summer 2018

Brand Ambassadors are such an important addition to any event or brand activation where you are trying to get a clear and concise message out to your audience. They don't just stand there handing out food samples, they are actually professionally trained to interact with and engage your target audience. Teams can come in all shapes and sizes with a wide range of abilities. Need to collect email addresses? Need to manage a crowd? Spinning prize wheels and getting excited when someone wins a foam finger? They can do it all.

 

Mustard Lane works with some of the biggest brand names (including the biggest of them all: NYFTA ;) ) to bring events to life and they are also fun people to work with! Take a look some of our recent projects where we had some Laners!

Mustard Lane recently featured us on their own blog if you want to read more about the biz from their perspective and to see what else they have going on! We promise we didn't pay them to say nice things, but they said nice things.

Ask us about bringing on Brand Ambassadors to your next NYFTA project! You won't regret it.

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Edible Art?

...well kind of. There has been a giant hot dog rolling around Brooklyn Bridge Park all summer and it certainly is a sight to see. Affectionately known as the Hot Dog Bus, this bright yellow eye-catcher is actually a functional art installation brought to New Yorkers by the Public Art Fund and Austrian artist Erwin Wurm to serve a quintessential summer staple to hungry park-goers.

The piece of edible art was originally a vintage Volkswagon Microbus and has been transformed into an overstuffed shape resembling a hot dog and doubles as a mobile food vendor. While it is not your typical art installation in the traditional sense, the Hot Dog Bus brings a more interactive viewing (and eating) experience and actively engages participants in a way you can’t get in a museum. Brought on by the Public Art Fund, the New York Food Truck Association staff have been happily handing out free hot dogs and plans to do so every weekend until the end of the summer.

For more details and further explanation from the Public Art Fund Curator for the project, check out their website  and social media for some great shots throughout the summer.

Grab a bike, the kids, Fiddo, or go for a solo run in the park and stumble upon something unheard of...free food! Enjoy and keep an eye out for the Hot Dog Bus.

 

(Photos courtesy of: Francisco LaFontaine, My Moving Pictures)