Tracy's speaking topics cover all aspects of food and beverage

Here is a selection of our speaking topics, some of which have been approved for Convention Industry Council (CIC) Clock Hours. We would be happy to speak to you about other topics you may be interested in.

Serve This, Not That!

Keynote, Breakout or Workshop | 60 minutes to 3 hour workshop

Serve This, Not That!

Meeting planners spend more than $54 billion a year on food and beverage at corporate meetings and events. And behind each egg croissant, turkey sandwich, and build your own ice cream bar is a simple decision that could help event participants feel better and safe and learn more and meeting planners feel not so overwhelmed with requests.

Catering menus aren’t designed to help planners make healthy or safe choices for their participants. With the array of special meal requests rising daily, figuring out what to serve event participants can be a challenging task for any planner.

All of that changes with Serve This, Not That!, an interactive session that puts menu selection under the spotlight, and arms meeting planners with savvy tricks and better knowledge on how to feed their participants healthy, safe and deliciously, no matter where they are.

With Serve This, Not That! planners become experts in every menu selection situation, from the plated breakfasts and hors d’oeuvre receptions to lunch buffets and afternoon breaks, and can control their meeting’s food universe because, unlike every other meeting planner, they will know the smart choices to make and questions to ask!

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the Different Dietary Needs
  • Grasp Similarities & Differences in the Dietary Needs
  • Learn how to navigate a catering Menu & what questions to ask of F&B partners

This session qualifies for 1.5 CIC Clock Hours! 

Food Fight!

Keynote, Breakout or Workshop | 60 minutes to 3 hour workshop

Food Fight! Winning the Battle of Special Meal Requests

If there’s one thing we can count on when planning menus, it’s the tastes and trends of attendees are continually evolving. From demands for locally sourced and healthier vegetarian to special meals for food allergic attendees and vegans, gone are the days of planning a banquet menu that you only have to ask, “Chicken, fish or beef?” Gluten-free, allergy-friendly, macrobiotic and sustainable are all on the plate. But how do you meet the needs of all your guests while not breaking the bank?

The session will be one part lecture and one part educational game in which teams participate in a trivia game to test their knowledge and learnings.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand different dietary needs: food allergies, medical conditions, personal preference, religious practices
  • The legalities behind meeting the needs
  • How to meet these needs while managing costs

This session qualifies for 1.5 CIC Clock Hours!

Menu Impossible

Keynote, Breakout or Workshop  |  60 minutes to 3 hour workshops

Menu Impossible: Special Dietary NeedsCreating a menu to feed a crowd of 50 to one of 5,000 is a daunting challenge under the best of circumstances. Attempting to do it while working with the standard banquet menu or catering for a range of demanding attendees makes it seem impossible.

But Thrive! is ready to take on the challenge and show you how it can be done. We’ll channel Bobby Flay, Julia Childs and Alice Waters and use a lot of muscle to rescue these desperate banquet menus from complete conundrum.

Can one company, in 60-90 minutes, no extra money in the budget, turn the tide of a out of control special requests and pave the road to a delicious, healthy menu all attendees will devour?

Learning Objectives:

  • How to review standard banquet menus to find the healthiest options
  • Save money when ordering F&B
  • Communicate better with their F&B partners in planning their events
  • Offer healthy meals options for their attendees
  • Provide safe meals for guests with food allergies or other special dietary needs

This session qualifies for 1.5 CIC Clock Hours!

A Healthier Appetite for Meetings

Keynote, Breakout or Workshop  |  60 minutes to 3 hour workshops

Being a meeting planner is no piece of cake (but we do eat a lot of it). From juggling the details of meeting space and hotel blocks, to negotiating contracts and managing social media, to hiring speakers and ordering food and beverage, we have a lot on our plate.

How then do we have the time to figure out F&B menus to incorporate special dietary requests of farm-to-table, gluten-free, allergy-free, vegan, Paleo and Halal for our participants? What about trying to stay healthy ourselves? Working long hours with crazy travel schedules doesn’t leave a lot of free time for exercising or grabbing something good to eat.

Feast your eyes on and taste delicious dishes all your meeting participants will enjoy and keep them healthy. From standard breakfast fare to high-end dinners, we’ll explore examples of food that feed all sorts of palates and dietary needs. Learn how simple it can be to stay on the healthy track no matter how busy and stressful your life is.

Learning Objectives:

  • RE: Invent your meeting menus to address dietary needs and serve healthier alternatives for everyone
  • RE: Examine ways you can add value to your event through food and health
  • RE: Invest in your health with 10 keys to staying healthy while planning your meeting

This session qualifies for 1.5 CIC Clock Hours!

Meeting Menu Showdown

Keynote, Breakout or Workshop | 60 minutes to 3 hour workshop

Does the ever-increasing interest in healthier foods, constant budget parameters and the added difficulty of accommodating multiple dietary needs make you feel like your in your the latest episode of “Hell’s Kitchen”?

Join us as hotel, catering and convention center chefs, CSMs and meeting planners compete in a reality show-style cooking event/educational session to help us develop solutions to the myriad of dietary requests.

In the session, chefs, with the assistance of a client and a CSM, will prepare a meal that accommodates several common dietary needs and allergies.

Simultaneously, a panel of F&B experts will provide education on the topic, offer ‘color commentary’ as the chefs work, and serve as competition judges.

You’ll not only get to try “Good Eats” of what is created, but leave with a “Recipe for Success” to the dietary restrictions challenge that won’t leave you feeling like you’ve been on “The Chopping Block.”

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop a basic understanding of the most common food allergies and dietary needs and apply this knowledge to plan appropriate menus
  • Examine how to work with F&B staff to accommodate special dietary needs, including the role of service staff
  • Determine a process for identifying attendees’ needs in advance and communicating with them about available options

Using Food to Engage and Energize Your Audience

Keynote, Breakout or Workshop | 60 minutes to 3 hour workshop

As meeting planners, we’re challenged with a lot more than basic logistics. Attention is being lavished on every last detail, including social media, ROI, ROO, speaker and participant engagement and corporate social responsibility.

Who would have thought that meeting the dietary needs of your participants should be one of them as well? But it can! What if the food served to partici-pants helped improve ROI for your organization and them? What if swapping out oversized danishes for hard-boiled eggs or candy bars with fresh fruit could help attendees be better engaged and energized to participate in your event?

Food is a powerful force. It influences how we think, feel, learn and interact with others. It helps us feel and do. It provides focus and energy.

Learn how to harnesses the power that food has on our bodies to create “win-win” designs for organizations and attendees, increase participation and productivity, enhance the psychological quality of the event experience and improve your ROI.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how nutrition contributes to the participation and outlook of attendees.
  • Plan menus that improve learning, memory and performance, and enhance mood to energize and uplift attendees.
  • Plan foods for meals and breaks that optimize the five senses and improve experiences.
  • Solutions to control F&B budgets, avoid waste and work with vendors.

This session qualifies for 1.5 CIC Clock Hours!

The H.U.N.G.E.R. Game

Keynote, Breakout or Workshop  |  60 minutes to 3 hour workshops

Attending an event for some is a requirement, others a source of inspiration, others a crucial business opportunity, and others an indulgent affair. For those with food allergies and other dietary restrictions, attending events like this – or any other type – is a game of chance, a tale of survival.

Meeting planners spend an incredible amount of time on food when planning an event. Event participants with dietary restrictions do the same. But for them, it’s a game to avoid hunger.

Hunger is created. Not by events themselves, but by the old rules of the meeting planning game – order the same meal, everyone will eat it.

These rules of the game are the outcomes of the way we have always planned events or the lack of empathy for those with needs.

As event professionals, we are committed to providing environments where everyone is treated with the same respect, dignity and courtesy. But in today’s society, that is not necessarily true.

The H.U.N.G.E.R Game will Help Us Navigate Guests Eating Restrictions (H.U.N.G.E.R.) while competing and working together to create an event that feeds the needs of many, while learning how we can all assist in providing challenges and education to teach them how to meet the needs safely, efficiently and deliciously.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand different dietary needs
  • Determine processes to work with vendors & participants on meeting needs
  • Address challenges and obstacles that are presented circumstantially

This session qualifies for 1.5 CIC Clock Hours!

14 Foods That Effect Meeting Menus in the EU

This session will provide meeting planners and suppliers first-hand knowledge of the 14 foods that are included and required to be labels in the the Food Information Regulations 2014 (FIR). FIR will change the way we provide information to your customers and meeting planners need to know how it affects them.

  • Learn the 14 foods on the EU Allergen listing
  • Understand where these 14 foods may or can be hidden in typical meeting menus
  • Grasp ways to communicate the information clearly and correctly for event participants

A Fork in the Road: The Impact of the EU's Food Allergen Law on Events

Are you and your F&B suppliers ready to comply with the new allergy information regulations that came into law in December 2014?

The European Union’s Food Information for Consumers (FIC) Regulation 1169/2011 was instituted into law on December 13, 2014 and it immediately impacts how caterers, convention centers and restaurants must provide information about their menus and service practices. Are you aware of your F&B supplier’s obligations under the regulations? How can you help your F&B partners meet their obligations and create a safe environment for your event participants?

In this session, you will learn:

  • Labeling legislation & the law
  • Facts & symptoms on the 14 allergens listed in the regulations
  • Risk management – cross contact
  • Planning for change – what you need to do next!

And, you will walk away:

  • Knowing the basics of the law & the legal obligations for your F&B suppliers and the standards you should expect from them
  • Understanding the scope of regulatory requirements are and how they will impact on you and your events
  • Aware of what food allergens and intolerance’s are and the 14 foods included in the regulations and typical banquet foods they are used in

F&B Deconstructed

Decisions, decisions, decisions. There are so many of them when it comes to ordering food and beverages for an event. From planners deciding the quantity, location, service type and food choices to caterers and hotels determining food orders, preparation and serving methods, staffing and safety needs, a plethora of decisions need to be made about the food served and eaten at meetings.

Who makes each decision, and how do those decisions impact other stakeholders in the event food “chain?” What about the attendees – the end consumers? What decisions do they have to make around food? The meetings industry spends more than $54 billion a year on food at corporate meetings and events held in the United States. For many events, F&B is a significant portion of the meeting budget. Big dollars. And big impact to attendees’ view of the event. The questions and decisions that need to be made in the event food chain are vital to a successful food function. With so many decision points, there is a virtual buffet of opportunity for slip-ups.

This interactive session is designed to get you thinking about food from various perspectives and the decision that go into creating a delicious and healthy food function. More More importantly, it encourages you to put yourself in the place of your attendees, caterers, servers and clients, and to consider their point of view in all aspects of the F&B experience. Doing so will help avoid costly – or even deadly – mistakes

Guided through a process centered on designing a F&B experience across all aspects, working in groups you are presented questions and challenges based on a scenario with various stakeholders perspectives. Sharing perspectives and approaches to resolving the challenges as a team illuminates the effects each decision has on the all-important event food chain, and how small decisions or alterations can have big impact. Your real-life role and experience will contribute to your group’s collective choices and influence how you perceive other’s decisions and your expectations. You’ll then evaluate ways it could be done differently to create better experiences and understand the points of view of all stakeholders.

F&B Deconstructed arms event professionals from all sides of the plate with savvy tricks and better knowledge on how to feed their participants healthy, safe and deliciously, no matter the request.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the process involved in F&B ordering and fulfillment from all perspectives.
  • Discover ways to reduce liability while increasing customer experience
  • Learn how to meet needs safely and deliciously!

Book Tracy For Your Next Event Today!