Meetings

Romance Revisited Event Inspiration

Romance Revisited: Event Inspiration for Adventurous Attendees

You’re orchestrating an event and it’s for Valentine’s. For some, this is the most fun an event planner can have and for others, it’s the most dreaded event theme they can ask for. Well, here are some date night trends. This is romance revisited event inspiration for you. We already know about the trend where people are turning away from collecting things to collecting experiences. That is perfect, because as meeting and event professionals, that is what we already design - experiences. It wouldn’t hurt to take it up a notch and add some adventure. Break Out The Bucket List…

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Optimize the Iconic ‘Coffee Break’ for National Coffee Day

As meeting and event professionals we are always trying to find fun and interesting ways to help attendees mingle, network, and connect. Caffenation is, of course, an important way to keep our guests energized and coffee breaks are one of those in-between spaces that often get left off the radar.   Maybe it’s because this is a time people use to separate from the group to make calls or check emails. But there are plenty of attendees who use this time to reflect with each other about how the day is going or what they thought of the last session…

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Honoring Honorees & Honoring Attendees: Creative Food & Beverage

Our honored attendees and distinguished guests are so important, but it’s easy for our recognition traditions to fall stagnant. From announcements in the program to event website profile pages, we work hard to provide well-deserved recognition. Following are some pretty cool ideas that help keep our recognition practices fresh and some even integrate creative food trends. Create souvenir style coasters with the name and achievement, or a personal quote, of each honoree. Don’t just throw them in the goodie bags people get upon registration. Put them on the tables in the dining area. It’s a great way to keep the…

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Allergic Living Spring 2016 cover

Mixing Business & Allergies

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Allergic Living. Off to a convention and packing special food needs? There's much to know. Allergic Living Spring 2016 As I exited a luncheon in a hotel ballroom last fall, I saw a fellow attendee being tended to by a swarm of EMTs and convention staff. She was being treated for an anaphylactic reaction to the food she was served. She had informed the meeting planner and hotel of her serious food allergies, yet in this case, that wasn’t enough. Fortunately, after a trip to the hospital, the woman recovered…

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11 Ways to Implement Important Sustainability Practices

Sustainability has become a big aspect of almost any industry and in the meetings industry sustainability has become crucial to maintaining our social and environmental responsibility. While we often hear farmers producing sustainable crops or even sustainable livestock, our kitchens also need to take stock in their environmental impact as well to ensure a better quality and in-demand products. Just as Climatarians make specific changes in their diet to minimize their carbon footprint, we need to make changes, industry-wide, to do our best to minimize and diminish unsustainable practices across the supply chain and in the kitchen. Whether we seek a…

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Ramadan Mubarak (Happy Ramadan), An Important Primer

There are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims, 22% of the world’s population, which means Ramadan is a big part of many people’s lives, probably several people you know. In the meetings and events industry, it’s also a unique time because it directly involves the consumption or non-consumption of food.   What is Ramadan About? Broadly speaking, Ramadan is a month-long way to cultivate self-discipline, a sort of spiritual detox, that brings about good habits of worship and day-to-day practices to be carried out throughout the year. “The fast is performed to learn discipline, self-restraint, and generosity, while observing God’s commandments,” according…

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The Real Difference Between Dietary Choices & Dietary Needs

As the controversy and, let’s face it, confusion, rages on around the world here’s an easy primer on the why’s and woes of dietary choices and dietary needs. Let’s begin with an actual disease, Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease isn’t an allergy to gluten as many people often mistake. It is an actual autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) causes damage to the small intestine. An estimated 1 in every 100 people has celiac, worldwide and most are undiagnosed. Because this is an actual autoimmune disorder, a diagnosis will ensure opportunity for…

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Planning for LGBT Guests – Based on What I Know About Planning for Guests With Special Dietary Needs

I have seen a tremendous amount of social-media backlash against “religious freedom” laws in North Carolina (HB2) and Mississippi (HB1523), both of which allow businesses and nonprofits to discriminate against LGBT people in accordance with their religious beliefs. More than 100 major corporations (Google, Apple, Bank of America, and other powerhouses) oppose the North Carolina ordinance. Pepsi, Choice Hotels and Hyatt have publicly opposed the Mississippi law. And, of course, meetings are pulling out in droves. But organizations that cannot afford to cancel at the last minute have no choice but to meet in these states. Planning for LGBT attendees is similar to…

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What Event Planners Can Learn from Ancient Rome?

The culinary world seems to discover a new dining trend every five minutes, but when it comes down to it, banquets haven’t changed all that much. There might be some inspiration and ideas event planners can learn from ancient Rome. I recently read this very entertaining and informative piece about history’s ten greatest banquets, and I was struck by what they had in common, all the way back to the days of Nero. They were once-in-a-lifetime events full of entertainment and surprise. They were opportunities for people to show off their wealth. But most importantly, whether it was dormice sprinkled with…

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How to Diversify the Plate While Respecting the Palate

Like most event planners, I read a lot of restaurant menus. I like to keep in touch with trends and ways to diversify the plate while respecting the palate. One thing that continues to surprise me is just how similar they are. At both down-home joints and white-tablecloth establishments, Americans seem to be interested in a narrow choice of meats. We will eat any part of the chicken, but most restaurants focus on the breast. When it comes to beef, we eat about half the cow, but only about 10 percent (e.g., strip loin, tenderloin, sirloin, and rib eye) ends…

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