As an international speaker and Food & Beverage expert, I’ve found at least one universal truth – allergies are present in all countries and, therefore, a place must be set at the table for attendee safety and trust.

I speak on a number of topics when I travel, including legislation and legality of meetings, efficient food and beverage budgeting, custom eater menu planning, and more. Next week I’ll be in Brazil discussing important food trends from around the world and how to seamlessly incorporate these exciting trends into your meetings and events for an experience your attendees will devour.

I’ve found Brazil to be a most gracious host, not only interested in having me lecture and lead my session, but to adopt the very practices I preach. Included in their welcome email (see below) is an invitation to participate in a questionnaire that will help the event coordinator to better serve the needs of those with custom dietary needs. The invitation is followed by a clear statement about the true abilities of the event to meet these needs of those, so attendees know exactly what to expect and can prepare alternative dining if needed. Sharing this kind of message up front brings clarity to what is often a difficult subject for attendees to navigate and translate during travel. More than simply building alternative dishes into the menu, Brazil has built trust into the experience and in this way is a leader in curating a positive guest experience.

Below is a copy of the welcome email. It’s simple. It’s short. It doesn’t labor on the topic. The email simply integrates recognition and awareness in an easy to understand format and in doing so effectively manages their attendee relationship with a front-loaded effort at transparency. You can also see the event form. It’s simple, easy to use, and allows the event manager to easily collect results.

Integrating custom eaters into food & beverage efforts doesn’t have to be expensive and difficult to manage, especially if you reach out ahead of time and manage expectations for the attendees, the staff, and the kitchen.

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