For some charity, anniversary and corporate events like orientation sessions that cover a company's history, a vintage theme is a perfect fit.
One creative way to reflect nostalgic themes is by tailoring snacks to the decade and using vintage equipment to prepare and present it.
Fortunately, there are a number of places to purchase or rent vintage equipment and snack supplies.
For small or medium events or business meetings, there is no need to break the bank. Affordable retro replicas are widely available.
You can even recover all or part of the cost by raffling or auctioning off the equipment after the event.
Hot Dog Roller
Whether you opt for hot dogs in buns, cut in half to create a snack sized portion, or "pigs in a blanket" preparing them with retro equipment will transform what could be perceived as an ordinary snack item to an interactive experience that adds the fun factor to breaks.
After being off the market for years, Coke, Pepsi and Orange Crush in glass bottles is available again. Keep bottles cool in bowls of ice.
Amp up your service and add a touch of fun with vintage or retro drink dispensers.
For large budgets, rent an old-fashioned soda fountain and use diner stools and a juke box as part of your decor.
Homemade Ice Cream
Making ice cream with old-fashioned ice cream makers can be a great group activity for team events or team building simulations. Create ice cream sundaes and sodas and serve them in old-fashioned soda fountain glasses and glass ice cream sundae dishes.
Snow cones, they are bound to be a hit with the Baby Boomers in your group. Shaved ice is served in a paper cone and topped with delicious syrup.
An old-fashioned cotton candy maker will definitely surprise and please participants. You can either have members of your event team make it or use the cotton candy machines to create an interactive break time experience for your guests.
Classic Candy Bar
It doesn't take much to create a candy bar with a vintage theme. Start with gumball machines. Then fill old-fashioned penny candy jars with Bazooka bubble gum, jelly beans and assorted candy sticks. Fill candy bowls with classic favorites like Cherry Blossom chocolate bars, candy kisses and Charm lollipops.
Add a special touch to your breaks. With a S'mores maker, serve S'mores even if it is raining or snowing outside.
Whether you opt for buttered popcorn, caramel popcorn, or pink candy colored popcorn, a retro popcorn maker or popcorn cart is exactly the what you need to transfer a snack items from mundane to magic.
Where to Find Retro and Vintage Equipment
Nostalgia Electrics specializes in vintage equipment. Retroplanet has vintage dishes,ice cream parlor glassware, supplies and furniture including soda fountain stools, classic chocolate bars and vintage penny candy. (Walmart sometimes carries some retro equipment.)
You can search for candy by the decade and order classic candy from Old Time Candy or pick it up at retail outlets specializing in nostalgic candy.
Search eBay, Amazon, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Kaboodle for retro and vintage supplies and equipment.
For more inspiration to create vintage events, check out An Old-Fashioned Soda Bar for Your Meeting, Making Working Lunches Healthy, Interactive and Fun, Planner Resource: Retro Candy, Cheap and Plentiful at Economy Candy and I Scream, You Scream: An Ice Cream Social for Your Meeting on Cvent Event Blog.
Photo Credits: Nostalgia Electrics