Catering for conferences and exhibitions (stall foods and casual dining)

We’ve all been there; sluggishly pushing stodgy conference food around our plate before reluctantly forcing it down in time to make the next session or talk. It doesn’t need to be like this!

Understanding the importance of food during a conference or exhibition will get the very best out of delegates.

Functionality and ease are two of the key components to successful conference catering. Think about how you label your dishes – for instance clearly highlight whether a food box is meat, fish or vegetarian. The speedy nature of grab and go service will also ensure queues are kept to a minimum and delegates are free for time to network and enjoy their food.

Catering at events should be about social eating – stall food is particularly eloquent for an exhibition – serving lunch in food boxes allows delegates to explore the exhibition floor, network, even take it outside (venue and weather permitting).

For venues with limited indoor or outside space, then casual dining take out boxes encourages eating in allocated areas for those who want to take advantage of their lunch break.

Also think about what you serve – hand held foods needn’t be messy or difficult to eat on the move (if necessary). Think about introducing skewers on your grab and go menu, sliders instead of overstuffed burgers, or shrimp tempura as an alternative to fish and chips.

Conference catering encourages experimenting, whether it is replicating full-size plates into delicate portions, or functioning silver service detail into food boxes. Remember, if you cater smaller portions be prepared to oversupply on dishes, the notion can be to eat more when dishes are smaller. Add to that all the walking around an exhibition floor, burning the food off quicker, delegates will be hungry for more.

tom gore 3Written by Tom Gore
Heavily influenced by his global culinary experiences, from working in kitchens all over the world, Tom’s ethos is to keep the basis of his dishes simple and use classic flavours, to create recipes with unusual combinations to a fine-dining standard.

Bringing his vitality and passion to the kitchen, Tom has pushed the boundaries of clients’ expectations for conferences and events, and working with his brigade of chefs, cater for all in-house events from private parties to award ceremonies and conferences for up to 1,000.

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