Our meetings should be considerate of people with food allergies—because it’s the right thing to do and because of the growing risk of liability for failing to do so.
Event food and beverage
Tips and advice on hitting a grand slam with your event food and beverage strategy.
At PYM LIVE New York, an executive assistant who planned several of her company’s meetings shared her biggest challenge: finding time to work more efficiently. With so many meetings coming in at the last minute, her boss suggested that she look into giving some planning tasks to an outside contractor.
Want some heady, thoroughly accessible yet detailed deep background of human hospitality, its evolution and reach? It sure looks like the free course The Geopolitics of Hospitality will help sate your hunger for knowledge.
When attendees typically participate in a number of special events and galas, it’s important to “spice up” menus and add some variety. Replacing or supplementing traditional seasonal dishes such as turkey with classic entrées is the added touch that guests will appreciate.
One of the biggest changes planners have had to deal with in recent years is the increase in special-meal requests. These tips from experienced planners can help you navigate.
As meeting planners, we order the food for our attendees, so we must be conscious of what we’re serving during our watch.
Look for these options at your next event: hyper-local, craft food and drink, gluten-free, ancient grains, mini-comfort foods, umami, meaty flavors and gourmet vegetarian.
Hat’s off to the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, where the catering team is anything but ordinary.
Culinaire International’s Senior VP David Wood discusses what planners and attendees will be munching on soon.
An event at AT&T Stadium in Dallas exceeded expectations and offered lessons.
When in doubt I recommend going with your heart.
In the case of longtime senior sales manager Jim Barto, everyone at the Atlanta Hilton Downtown did the right thing down to the last detail.
Give up cookies for dark chocolate-covered strawberries? These tips, and others, can make your event one that runs on energy and clear thinking.
The crux of this Monthly Morsel is trust, when it’s earned and when it’s not.
I’m thrilled that my column smacking a bit on Dallas’ private dining scene did exactly what I wanted it to do: Get people talking.
What I’ve discovered in my years as a culinary consultant around the world is that the hospitality community in any given city can take on a particular nuance. Dallas is no exception.
Imagine a milkshake spiked with chocolate-cherry liqueur and topped with whip, crushed chocolate wafers and a cherry. Who’d miss this meeting?
The point of this rant? Read your banqueting menus very carefully. When you see print that you think isn’t true, call them out on it.
Our Monthly Morsel column shares tales from the dark side, what catering managers can do to make sure they book an event and some of the major turnoffs.
Since the holiday season is upon us, I thought I’d write about entertaining at home. Some people look forward to this all year long; others dread it. Which are you?
People try to cut corners by using someone who enjoys food or has minimal food knowledge. When that happens, the inexperienced managers almost always shoot themselves in the foot.
To a catering manager, culinary team or banqueting department, change a four-letter wor
Venues in the gambling capital leave a bad taste with their refusal to bend for a Sunday event. What’s a planner to do?
What’s wrong with this picture? Read this month’s morsel on “Hiring an outside caterer” and, if you can answer the red flag question, you’ll qualify to win a Starbucks gift card.
It’s our job as planners to specify the plate size and give our guests the food we have purchased.
When does it make sense to do catering in an exhibit? We have some food for thought.
Talk with the banqueting team during your planning process and share with them what you expect. All necessary cleaning must be done back of house and not on the floor.
The little “++” that appears on each menu page don’t mean you’ll receive extra food, service or attention.
Today we’re going to talk about the fine art — and I do mean the fine art — of shorting guarantees.
The bottom line: Restaurants, if you sell group business have a staff trained to handle the request. Most importantly, have a catering manager who will get back to the customer on a timely basis.
Let’s talk trends. As I see it, 2013 isn’t going to be just about the food anymore. It will encompass many aspects of the entire experience.
Centerplate, the contract catering company, had a staff person dedicated to following this trade show’s Twitter hashtag in real time, so if someone tweeted a viable comment or complaint, managers could fix it right away.
My two exhibitors saw an attendance of more 2,500 people at their trade shows; only one person asked specifically for decaf coffee.
Remember, banqueting needn’t be complicated or splashy in order to be fun. It can employ simple things that are done cleanly.
Clients ask a lot of questions about menu tastings. Here’s a sampling of those questions from meeting and event planners. The answers should help guide you the next time you’re in a place to taste.
In banqueting, learn to ask questions and then go in and negotiate price points accordingly.
To me, and based on my experience, industry standards are best practices that are formula based, not scenario based.
Garnishes make Claire Gould a touch crabby (who knew?). Find out why …
Be specific when you do party invitations. When you host a party, it’s your responsibility to write the invitation with as much clarity as possible.
The annual Sustainable Meetings Conference, organized by the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC), convened in Montreal this year on April 22-25. Read Part 1 of our report.
Don’t confuse “innovation” with “popular.” They are two very different areas.
One of the most important parts of a conference or event is a place dedicated to the art of networking. Social spaces are quickly becoming the go-to place or “hub” at a conference or event. It’s where you meet peers, collaborate and network. Gone are the days of finding a coffee shop or bar to […]
I did some work for a client last month who had a nice-size food & beverage minimum to play with. Or rather I had a rather large-size F&B minimum to play with. We fed and watered the people all day long. All the guests of this high-income group enjoyed themselves very much. No one wanted […]
Love is in the air … Valentine’s Day — Feb. 14 is here (or gone). The day we either love, or hate, or the day we would love to hate. It’s always a bit awkward for planners who have an event falling over Cupid’s holiday. Especially if your attendees are primarily men and the destination is out of town. […]
I am late (again) with writing this morsel because I just got done doing the food for the Miss California USA beauty pageant. The first thing that should come to everyone’s mind is this question: What am I doing feeding girls that are participating in a beauty contest?! Those girls don’t eat. Well, my dear readers, you are […]
I had a major corporation ask me to participate in an RFP for a 10,000+ person annual event. Most people would have been overwhelmed by this daunting task, but for some reason I wasn’t. I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to dig deep within and show this company what I had to say about […]
As many of you know, I spent 10 days in October working in Vegas for four different clients. Suppliers in this town say they haven’t recovered from the recession. If you’re like me, you’d expect them to be flexible and accommodating so they leave a positive impression that encourages business, right? Nope. Here are some […]
As I was working a wedding last weekend, the Director of Catering at the “wedding in a box” venue (Mike) and I got into an interesting conversation about tipping. To give you some background, this venue is pretty exclusive, so you need to have a healthy budget ($400 pp+) to hold your wedding at Mike’s facility. What surprised — […]
This month I want everyone to hold on to your bouquets because I am doing a … wedding! The lucky couple are getting married in Los Angeles,Calif. They are having a midday wedding/lunch and a party that evening at the groom’s second home, so this has turned into a destination wedding. So what I have learned from planning this event (other […]
Everyone who’s tired of seeing picnic lunch menus that feature grilled 6-oz. burgers and chicken raise your hand and say “I”! Since we’re in prime picnic months, allow me to suggest some picnic-themed banqueting items that can give this ho-hum menu a “food lift.” Salads I am not a fan of deviled eggs, yet I […]
It is very rare that I write my column based on meeting someone, but I came across such a “find” while working the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. I was so blown away by Ashley Hall and her extensive wine knowledge that it would be wrong of me not to share both with you, my dear readers. […]
Bringing you “Motivation for Innovation,” the 2011 PYM Annual is designed to help you navigate new technologies, find solutions for current challenges and, hopefully, inspire you to create something big, bright, beautiful and business-friendly at your next meeting or event. But, like everything we do here at Plan Your Meetings, this was a group effort. […]
Despite reassurances that the recession is over, corporate purse strings aren’t getting any looser. And that, coupled with increasing hotel and transportation costs and short booking windows, is leaving meeting and event planners feeling pinched. On the meeting supply side, hotel and convention sales managers are having a hard time connecting with potential clients and […]
This month I want to pay tribute, tip my culinary cap to a group of people and give them a bow of respect. My monthly morsel is dedicated to the hard-working staff that is in overdrive, as I write this, to ensure the inaugural Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is one that the city can […]
While working in Nevada last week, I went to the final meeting with the off-premise catering company who was catering my client’s customer appreciation event. This party was being held at a museum, and the caterer was from a chain of locally owned restaurants that recently started an off-premise catering division. Their first big contract […]
Planning a meeting or event in a restaurant has several advantages, especially for small to mid-size groups.
As we are happily heading into spring the one thought that goes through people’s minds is how do we shed our winter “coats” (a.k.a. pounds)? In this morsel, I am going to share a couple of food ideas that will leave your attendees grateful for having food options that are clever, healthy and tasty. Fruit. […]
Claire Gould shares her best practices for culinary negotiations, how to avoid blowing out your budget, handling bar inventory and more.
This morsel takes place in a southwestern convention hotel. My client decided to do an add-on of an omelet station at one of her breakfasts. There is a chef’s fee associated with this station for a 1.5 hour breakfast. I was purchasing 200 omelets, but the property wanted to provide me with only two chefs […]
Nut allergies, seafood allergies, low-fat, low-carb, vegetarian, vegan, Indian vegetarian, kosher, non-dairy, gluten and soy-free … when the heck did dietary restrictions get so complicated? And where, as an event planner, does it end? To be honest, I don’t have an answer on this question. But “where does it end” does go through my mind as I am writing menus. Since […]
As we are winding down the calendar year, but gearing up for professional and personal holiday gatherings, the same question gets asked over and over: What to serve on a budget? For the month of December I want to take this morsel out of the banqueting kitchen and bring it into your home for the […]
The first area planners tend to trim money from is their food and beverage budget. But how do you save money without sacrificing the experience for your attendees, avoid getting hit by hidden banquet fees and best work with the director of food and beverage and catering manager to create exceptional events? In this PYM […]
I recently did a reception in Atlanta where the past history indicated 450-500 people would be attending the annual customer party. I have done this event for four years in various cities and have kept strict group history. Because convention attendance was up this year, the client and I decided that we would increase the […]
I am going to make this morsel so short and sweet folks aren’t going to believe it. Here is the deal: When we, as planners, give a third party company or facility a budget number, this is what the appropriate vendor needs to do … RESPECT IT! It amazes me when I give someone a […]
Last week I was working for a client, hosting a Friday night reception at a charming wine store owned by a husband and wife. The wine store is in a very sweet and intimate setting that accommodates up to 50 people. During the event, I had a couple of situations happen that I wasn’t so […]
Because of this rough economy, planning events at conference centers with all-inclusive packages has become more popular. There are several reasons why, with the first being the most obvious — the budget. When everything is included in the conference price, planners can understand and effectively budget their costs. Part of the package price includes the culinary experience, but […]