After your conference attendees have enjoyed your events and worked up an appetite networking and doing business – what kind of food do they have to look forward to? The catering of your event can really make a big impact – poor quality food can leave a bad taste in the mouth of your guests but really delicious food can make the experience so much more enjoyable for them.
So how can you make sure that the catering is great? Here are some important tips to keep in mind.
- Consider the venue itself. Does it have facilities for catering within it or do you need to outsource this service? Sometimes the catering is included in Chesire conference venue rental packages and sometimes it must be arranged separately.
- What about the space? Is there room for a sit down meal or would it be more practical as a buffet style spread and a drinks reception? Is there enough room to include tables for all delegates? The style of the meal will determine whether the conference has a casual and laid back or more formal feel.
- Make sure that you offer a range of options, as people have different preferences and dietary restrictions and it’s hard to suit everyone’s tastes with just one choice. This is when a buffet comes in handy, because it allows everyone a lot of options.
- When you send out your event invitations you can add a question about allergies or food preferences. This way you will have some idea of how many gluten free or vegetarian guests you will need to accommodate for.
- It is important to know the number of delegates that will be attending the conference, as this is crucial information when calculating a menu for your budget. Try to encourage your delegates to register online so that you have an accurate idea of the list of attendees.
- Take your time when researching the right catering company for your event. Gather as much information as possible when you are making this decision.
- Try to ask other businesses and event planners you know about the experiences they have had with catering companies in the past. See if they recommend any particular companies because they have had great experiences with them.
- If you see a menu that you really like but your budget doesn’t stretch to cover it, try talking to the venue’s event team. Usually they will be able to offer you something similar at a more affordable price.
- Make sure that you offer a lighter option for food. Many conference attendees complain that the food was too heavy, which can leave everyone feeling bloated and sluggish. Healthy high quality food should be served, which will be substantial but will release energy slowly so that it is conducive to productivity.
- If you are planning for the catering of the event to take place at a venue that also hosts the general public, such as at a restaurant in a hotel, it is important to factor this in. Establish the best times to have meals so that they don’t clash with the breakfast, lunch and dinner rush at the restaurant.
- Avoid working lunches. You might think that working through lunch will increase productivity, but it actually does the opposite. Delegates need to take a break to recharge their energy and digest the information they have learned that morni After an afternoon break they will be better able to focus and be more productive for the rest of the day.
- Although you have probably put a lot of thought into the main meal – don’t forget about the refreshments and snacks throughout the day! Make sure that your venue has a refreshment station with coffee, tea, biscuits and healthy snacks available throughout the day. Also, confirm with the venue that these are included in the overall cost rather than being an additional charge.
These are just a few very important tips to keep in mind when it comes to catering your next conference at Carden Park in Cheshire. Getting the catering right can be tricky, but when you do get it right and find just the right food options for your venue this will add enormously to the conference experience for your guests.