For the past few years we’ve had a a local sponsor provide cupcakes as the “sweet treat”. We started with mid afternoon but found it worked well if we did right before the end of day raffle gathering. It’s a chance for a bit of networking and it’s a buffer to give attendees something to do before the raffle gets started.
Cupcakes are good. The only downside is that they are messy to eat and so most people eat them quickly so they can get the crumbs off their hands. We’re trying to get them to slow down and talk to people, so quick isn’t what we’re going for.
This year we changed to frozen custard. Part of that was to change things up, part was to experiment with the pace. The vendor had two people on site to serve and while the line backed up a little I think we served everyone in 20 minutes (scooping is fast, deciding on toppings is not). That’s a little slower than cupcakes, but not enough to throw us off schedule.
It felt like a better experience. Slowed things down, time to talk. I think attendees appreciate the break and the treat. It wasn’t expensive, about $350 for 150 or so servings, somewhat cheaper than the cupcakes we’ve been getting.
It’s fun to change it up. About the only way for it to go wrong is if the line really backs up (one event had waffle cones made on site which smelled great, but the line was 45 minutes long). It’s also interesting to see what resonates year over year. For example the past couple years we did boxed lunches after a few years of doing bbq. This year we asked about lunch next year, boxed lunch or bbq? Overwhelming response for bbq.