Responsibility

Fresh bio-waste and compost

Prepared But Not Served – A Guest Blog by Jim Spellos

There is growing attention being paid to food waste, which is wonderful. I'll be speaking at IMEX next week and while you can catch me at a few sessions, Wasting Away will be a session on food waste and our bottom line on October 18th. As a prompt to help us celebrate the no waste movement, let's all take part in World Food Day this Sunday, October 16th. You can read a general article I've written on why the day exists and how we can integrate more awareness into our daily lives. Below is a beautiful guest post by James Spellos.…

Read more

World Food Day – Take Action & End World Hunger

World Food Day is this Sunday, October 16th and it’s not just about food. It’s also not just about recognizing that hunger exists. It’s about taking action against hunger. And there’s so much you can do. This isn’t just another hashtag. World Food Day has been observed around the world by millions of people since 1979. The idea is that every human being has a right to nutritional food that will sustain them. Not food that will keep them alive, but adequate food to be able to live with vitality, meaning each person has a right to enough food to…

Read more

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…

Read more

Brazil Eventos & Transparency

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…

Read more

Stock epinephrine laws can help keep attendees safe at meetings

Advancements in Epinephrine Can Actually be Valuable for Event Attendees

New State Entity Laws Give Venues Opportunity Save Lives Since I wrote this post in May on the historic law that makes Georgia safer for event attendees, I’m excited to be able to add 15 more states to the list of those allowing places of public accommodation (hotels, convention and conference centers, restaurants) to stock epinephrine. If you have a family member or friend with a food allergy, you’re probably familiar with epinephrine. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), epinephrine is used for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions caused by allergens, whether from food…

Read more

Stock epinephrine laws can help keep attendees safe at meetings

Historic Law Makes Georgia Events Safer for Attendees

Last week, the governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, signed a bill into law which makes Georgia events safer for attendees with food allergies. Georgia SB126 allows places of public accommodation such as restaurants, hotels and convention centers to stock epinephrine — the first-line medication to treat anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. In light of the fact that nearly 50 percent of fatal food allergic reactions are triggered by food consumed outside the home and to foods that were thought to be safe,* allowing event venues to obtain epinephrine auto-injectors provides a huge sense of relief for food allergy sufferers who attend events in Georgia. According to the Convention…

Read more

Food Allergy Awareness laws are being enacted in U.S. states to help save the lives of restaurant patrons

Dietary Needs Unlock New Level of Duty of Care

When I was an in-house corporate meeting planner, one of the executive assistants used to call me "everybody's mamma."  Whether it was purchasing new jeans for the CEO because he forgot his, ordering a low-salt meal for the executive vice president with a heart condition, finding hotel rooms for 30 sales staff stranded in Dallas due to bad weather, or getting the vice president of marketing to the hospital when she was sick at an event, I responded to everyone's needs and wants. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, all of these incidents (except the CEO's jeans) fall under my responsibilities as an event planner in what is termed…

Read more

Meetings Industry Month

April is National Meetings Industry Month

There's a lot to celebrate in April, according to this list of offbeat holidays—Humor, Guitars, Poetry, Honesty, Pecans, Scrabble, Tweed, my birthday, Passover—but I would be remiss if I didn't add National Meetings Industry Month to the list. My friend Shawna Suckow, founder of SPIN and The Hive Network—taking cue from our meeting planning colleagues in Canada who have been celebrating the industry in April for the last 20 years— declared the first U.S. celebration in April 2013. Branches of SPIN held lighthearted "Cupcake Wars" across the country, bringing together planners to celebrate the hard work we do as meeting…

Read more

Influencing Eating Habits

Being the guinea pig is not necessarily the best thing when trying new foods. They (my nieces and nephew) are the first to tell me it’s gross. But, it’s fantastic when I make something they love and repeatedly ask for. Guacamole and roasted Brussels sprouts are two those things that come to mind. What’s even better is when I realize I’ve influenced them without really trying. A few days last month, I was pleasantly surprised three times.

Read more

Asking is a Positive Move

Being an event planer with food allergies can be both a blessing and a curse. As a food allergic person, I want to be able to eat safely at events. As a planner, I understand the intricate details that go into creating and executing an event while ensuring everyone’s needs are met, especially when it comes to planning menus.

Read more