Meetings & Events

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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Epi-Pen Price Hikes – What you need to know

Prices of EpiPens have been skyrocketing for the past few years, causing many to demand answers and even more to go without a potentially life-saving treatment that was once available, decades ago, for the price of a pair of drugstore sunglasses.  EpiPens could be called a safety net. People with serious allergic reactions are at risk of anaphylaxis. Certain foods, medicines, insect bites and stings, even latex, can cause symptoms such as wheezing, swelling, drops in blood pressure, vomiting, and loss of consciousness. The EpiPen quickly delivers adrenaline in the form of epinephrine to temporarily pause the immune system’s reaction…

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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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An Open Letter to the Meetings Industry

Meetings Industry – An Open Letter on Inclusion

Dear Meetings Industry, In June 2016, I attended Meeting Professionals International (MPI) World Education Congress. As usual, the international conference was well attended and a wonderful gathering of top industry professionals. We studied food and beverage topics, budgeting, international trends, hybrid and virtual meetings and more. Added to this year’s event was a celebration of inclusion … mostly. Unfortunately, the convention occurred on the heels of the tragic LGBT nightclub shooting in Florida, where 49 people were killed, over 50 were injured, and over 200 were held hostage until the gunman’s death, when police stormed the club around 2 a.m.…

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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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Food Allergy Action Month

May is Food Allergy Action Month: Quick & Easy Ways to Celebrate

It’s Food Allergy Action Month: Learn the Facts to be Prepared Right now it’s peak season for allergies and that includes food allergies. While the prevalence, severity, and impact of food allergies as well as the current understanding of food allergies in diagnostics, treatments, prevention and public policy are being studied, it’s important that a broad awareness be built – allergies are potentially life threatening and there is no known cure. Thrive! Meetings & Events is helping to create public awareness out of the commitment to serve individuals, families, and communities affected by the disease, but most importantly to also help inform…

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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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