Tag: Catering

How to Maximize Your Meeting Productivity with Food

How to Maximize Your Meeting Productivity with Food

In general, here are the main food types to include in your plans when you want to have a productive day:

Fresh fruits

Fresh vegetables

Healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, grass-fed butter, almond butter, walnuts, macadamia nuts, etc.)


Foods to Think Twice About Incorporating into Your Meetings


There are some things you should generally try to avoid when eating to have a productive day at work, including:

  • Gluten (like breads and pastas)
  • Fake sugars and excess sugar
  • Donuts, muffins, pastries, etc.

The Best Breakfast Foods for a Powerful Corporate Meeting

Eggs are great for building up your brain power. Incorporating grains is also good for longer bursts of energy, so oatmeal would also be a nice, energetic choice.

The Best Lunch Foods for a Powerful Corporate Meeting


Serve plenty of healthy proteins—chicken being one of the best.  If you have vegetarians to serve as well, beans are a great substitute for meat-based protein.

Also always serve salad and vegetables and incorporate healthy fats somewhere in your meal—remember, those can include avocado, olive oil, many types of nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts…) and a ton more.

The Best All-Day Meeting Snacks and Foods

When you have long days full of meetings, conferences and workshops, getting a really healthy, powerful meal is important.  However, what you serve as snacks in between meals is just as crucial to maintaining the energy required for a productive day.

Some snacks for your next meeting could be:

  • Almonds
  • Vegetable plates
  • Hummus
  • Fruit trays
  • Dark chocolate

These are packed with good energy to boost brain power.

Other Tips for Productive Meetings

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Eating the right food plays a vital part in determining how you will feel each day.  There are other factors, though, that are important to consider when planning for such a long day of meetings and conferences.

  • Consider the environment.  Dark conferences rooms and areas with no natural light will suck energy out of a room and don’t allow for optimal productivity.  If you simply have to use a space that is poorly lit, do what you can to lighten it up, such as displaying golden flowers, adding light-colored décor and linens, providing a clean and elegant food table setup, etc.  The little touches will make the biggest differences.
  • Take breaks.  At the very least, you group needs to take a break every 90-120 minutes.  10 minutes is an optimal amount of break time.
  • Do something with music.  Especially during your breaks, you will find that the music will uplift and reenergize the meeting attendees.  Even just half a song will be enough to stir the room.
Vegetarian and Vegan Catering for Events

Vegetarian and Vegan Catering for Events

In 2010, a report released by the United Nations Environment Programme encouraged a global shift to a more plant-based diet in order to combat the environmental effects of consuming animal products.

Event planners can also do their part by including more vegetarian and vegan options at events. Current menu options, however, usually lack a serious consideration of nutritional content and variety. As a result, event attendees may feel discouraged and don’t always choose the more sustainable vegetarian or vegan option.


Dedicated Vegetarian or Vegan Caterers

So what are some practical suggestions to make vegetarian and vegan food at your event more accommodating? Try simply catering from a local vegetarian or vegan caterer in your city.

If your city has a limited selection of dedicated vegetarian or vegan caterers, consider purchasing from a vegetarian or vegan”-friendly” caterer or restaurant. Many caterers and restaurants now have a selection of vegetarian/vegan options on their menus, oftentimes marked with a “V.” If you are considering making a fully vegan purchase, play it safe and ask for the list of ingredients to ensure that animal products, such as milk powder or egg whites are not hidden in the meal. As a general tip, Thai and Indian cuisines usually have a wide selection of veg dishes but don’t let that prevent you from exploring different cuisines.


Some caterers and restaurants do not have an existing vegan option, but customizing your meal is always an option.

If you are planning to dine out at a restaurant for your event, it is important to look for the vegetarian or vegan options on the menu before deciding to go. To play it safe, you can call in beforehand to confirm that the ingredients used are plant-based. While a greater number of people now understand the term “vegan,” making these assumptions may still be confusing to them. The safest option is to politely use the term “vegan” and explain if the term is not familiar to them.


As we recognize the role of food in sustainability, accommodating veg food is a great leap in the right direction.

Stay food-conscious!

6 Ways to refresh your annual conference

6 Ways to refresh your annual conference

An annual conference provides the unique opportunity to bond relationships between peers, clients, investors, vendors, and prospective business partners.

It creates a stage where people can come together and reflect on exceptional accomplishments as well as opportunities missed throughout the year, creating a reflective and honest environment.

This atmosphere can act as the perfect catalyst for supercharging your whole company and motivating members to move forward together towards a common objective.

Your annual conference can prove to be productive time well spent if your audience is engaged and people are poised to collaborate. Here are some ways to breathe life into your annual conference:

Change the scenery

Create anticipation for your meeting even before attendees step foot inside the door.

Host your annual conference in a different location from where you do business to give a feeling of a fresh start and unlimited possibilities. For example, if your office setting is typically in an urban industrial area, try hosting your conference at a forested retreat surrounded by wildlife and natural habitat.

A change in scenery can completely alter the way attendees approach issues and transform perceptions.

Plan some functional free time

Try balancing out a lecture-heavy agenda by adding other non-traditional activities to the mix.

Building excursions, recreation opportunities and friendly competitions into the schedule provides an outlet for creative thinking, thus giving attendees the chance to regroup and fully engage during traditional work sessions.

Sample activities can be as simple as furnishing a bike for each attendee to explore a nearby trail system, or simply providing interactive maps for attendees to discover must-see places throughout the host city.


Get to know your peers

With so many great minds in one place, try to make it easier for people to reach out to one another and start meaningful conversations. Ask attendees to fill out a “nametag” that includes not only a name but also lists the one accomplishment he or she is most proud of for the year, or a question he or she is hoping to have answered by the end of the conference.

This is a great way to get individuals interacting to share similar accomplishments and goals.

Break from the classic break

Sitting stationary for long periods of time is not good for the mind or the body.

Intermittent breaks allow attendees to move around and shake off stiff limbs, clear heads, and seek refuge after a morning filled with strong coffee and bran muffins. Take coveted break time to a whole new level by inviting in special relaxation and movement experts to help loosen the tension.

A few easy yoga moves in the fresh air will get people bending and stretching to increase blood flow and brain function, while a visiting chair massage specialist can ease the aches of sitting all day and give attendees a chance to temporarily zone out so they are less likely to do so in the middle of the session.

Interactive food fare

Food relaxes the atmosphere and helps sustain positive energy levels throughout a conference. Instead of opting for the regular ol’ soda and sandwiches theme, change it up a bit for a new spin on snacking.

Rather than one generic buffet, offer diverse lunch stations with different types of cuisine available in each area. There can be an Italian-themed create-your-own-pasta station, a sushi rolling area, or a station offering food distinct to the area in which you are hosting your conference.

Change the furniture

At one time, banquet chairs in meeting rooms were replaced by ergonomic seating. Now ergonomic seating is being replaced by bean bag chairs, overstuffed couches and “living room” areas where groups can meet and talk in a less formal and more comfortable venue.

Whether it’s incorporating aromas to energize the room, or requesting fitness balls and free weights for breaks at association events, the smallest ideas can breathe life into your traditional conference.

Utilize some of these tricks during your next conference for a brand-new approach to the old way of doing business. They will help foster great ideas to propel your business into the future.

6 best practices for green events

6 best practices for green events

Green events are now a hot trend, but environmentally sustainable events must become a standard requirement moving forward if we as an industry are to do our part in addressing this huge issue.

The greening of events can’t and must not simply be a trend; it must become a standard practice.

So instead of repeating what has already been said in many other places, let’s focus on six best practices for green events that you may not yet be familiar with but that will make a huge impact on reducing the carbon footprint of your events.

Add the purchase carbon offset credits to your budget

So what are carbon offsets? Basically, they are reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (namely CO2) taking place somewhere in the world that are subsequently translated into credits that can be purchased. One example of such a reduction would be the renewable energy generated by a wind farm that replaces energy generated by a coal-burning plant.

Such reductions are called carbon offsets, and these are quantified and sold in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents. So if you purchase 1 ton of carbon offset credits, you will have reduced 1 ton of CO2 emissions from being released into the environment. The money you spend on these credits essentially goes towards these carbon-reducing projects and programs and speeds our progress in permanently reducing carbon emissions.

You have a couple of options here. You can choose to offset the carbon footprint for your on-site event itself, or you can offset the carbon footprint of your on-site event as well as for the travel of each of your guests/attendees. The latter will be more costly, as guest/attendee travel has by far the biggest carbon impact of any event-related activity, so you may want to offset for your on-site event activities/practices and ask your guests/attendees to purchase their own carbon offset credits to help reduce their travel footprints.

Reduce or eliminate animal meats and proteins from your menus


Did you know that meat production generates 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions every year? In simpler terms, a half-pound hamburger that cooks down to a patty the size of two decks of cards releases as much CO2 as driving a 3000 pound vehicle almost 10 miles.

By reducing the meat portions in your event menus or altogether eliminating meat and substituting other protein options (like tofu, beans/lentils, seitan, etc.), you can considerably reduce your event’s carbon footprint and green up your event even more.

Granted, eliminating meat from menus may not be feasible for some events (especially if you are holding an event for the beef or pork industry), so in those cases you should seek out in-season, locally sourced meats and produce. This will reduce the transportation costs of these foods.

In addition, you can seek out food providers that package their foods with environmentally friendly and recyclable or reusable materials, and you can have any leftovers sent to a local food kitchen or homeless shelter and compost everything else.

Choose a truly green venue

A green event isn’t green without the involvement and participation of your event venue.

Today many venues offer recycling and composting options for you and your guests. However, truly green venues go much further than this, so when evaluating facilities for your green events, look for venues that:

  • Are a LEED-Certified facility (LEED certification is a standardized building industry certification granted to facilities that meet a number of requirements in reducing greenhouse gas emissions). This is by far the most important factor in identifying a truly green venue.
  • Have an Energy Star score of better than 50, with a score of better than 75 being optimal. Basically, the higher the score, the better.
  • Are within close proximity (1/4 to 1/2 mile) to public transit options.
  • Employ energy-saving systems (like convection heating/cooling and energy-efficient LED or CFL lighting) and water-saving strategies (like low-water toilets and showerheads).
  • Use vehicles with low emissions or low energy consumption rates (like natural-gas powered vehicles).
  • Maximize natural light to illuminate their event spaces and rooms as well as to heat those spaces.

Offer incentives for guests that rideshare or take direct flights

As we discussed earlier, transportation is likely to have the biggest impact when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions generated by your event. This can extend to a number of areas – like transportation of food items and decor/flowers and on-site transportation – but the biggest transportation impact is the separate trips all your attendees make to the event itself.

The first step here is to locate your green event centrally so that the largest number of guests have the shortest distance to travel.

But the next thing you can do is to give your attendees incentives to share rides to the event or take direct flights (which are much more efficient than flights with connections).

You could offer special prizes or discounts to these guests who choose these greener options and partner with a sponsor to provide the gifts. You could even give priority seating, menu options or value-added programming to these guests as incentives.

Reduce the amount of “stuff” dispensed at the event

Swag. Handouts. Gifts. Programs. Favors. Promo items. Gift bags. It’s amazing the amount of stuff we take home from events and never, ever use again. Eventually, most of it ends up in a landfill. When you think of all the energy it took to produce those items and the additional energy to dispose of them, it makes you shake your head.

So instead of handing out materials, opt for electronically distributing things like programs and guides for your event that people can load on their laptops, tablets and smartphones.

And instead of giving out another logo-emblazoned stress ball or post-it note dispenser, opt for giving out experiences or intangible-but-useful items instead, like tickets to movies or music shows, gift cards for local vendors or donations made by you on your guests’ behalf.  If you must give out a physical object, give out items that are environmentally sustainable, like beeswax candles or small flower/herb pots.

Set a casual dress code for your event

Suits may look spiffy, but lots of dress clothes can also contribute to the carbon footprint of an event. Dry cleaning releases lots of greenhouse gases, as does having to lower the temperature of your event venue or guest rooms so that guests in dress clothes are comfortable.

By instituting a casual dress code that fits the seasonal climate, you can avoid the above measures and have a greener events.

Do you have any revolutionary sustainable event best practices of your own? Then add them to the comments below.

Sustainable Catering is possible [Infographic]

Sustainable Catering is possible [Infographic]

Sharing a meal can play an important community-building function, attract people to hear your message or support your organization, or simply provide sustenance to busy students as they attend yet another meeting rather than attending to their dietary needs.


Food and dinnerware do, however, constitute the most significant source of waste and environmental impact at most campus events. For this reason, it is important to take some simple steps to make food and food service more sustainable.


Here is an infographic that will show you how to plan a sustainable and successful event:


How Much Food Do You Need For You Event? Part 2

How Much Food Do You Need For You Event? Part 2

Last week we talked about how food and beverage often takes up the largest portion of your event budget and how it’s important to ask yourself few questions before deciding everything.

Now that you have a precise idea of your event catering and guests needs, here’s an infographic that will help you to measure how much food you need for yHOW MUCH FOOD DO YOU NEED FOR YOUR EVENT-our event:


How Much Food To Order For An Event – Part 1

How Much Food To Order For An Event – Part 1

Food is one of the most important aspects of event planning, and like it or not, everyone always remembers the food served at an event and they’ll continue to talk about how good (or bad) it was.


Food and beverage often takes up the largest portion of your event budget, sometimes averaging 40%, and often tells you whether or not your client can afford a buffet, passed hors d’oeuvres, food stations or a sit down dinner.


Whether you’re planning an event for 10 people or 1000, it’s important to find the right caterer to join your team because they help make or break your event, but it’s up to you to know and understand how much food to order for your guests and to work with the caterer when deciding what’s appropriate for your event and your client’s needs.



So, before you start calling reputable caterers in your area, there are 6 questions to ask yourself before getting started:


Our Services…

Our Services…

• Event  Management

• Scientific Program Management

•  Congress Venues Research

• Multimedia Design & Build

• Technical delivery

• Management of Faculty and Guests

• Abstract  Book  Management

• Catering Services

• Hostess and Stewards

• Registrations and Accommodation  Online

• Marketing and Promotion

• Graphic Design