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A P R I L 2 0 1 5 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 7 N E W S I D E A S IACC Announces Conference Food Trends 1. Local Is Everything: The importance of adding a local feel to meetings has been identi- fied as a major trend as attendees want to experi- ence as much as they can about the area they are going to for their meeting or event. 2. Network Your Heart Out: Small plates of food items, continuously served in a reception format, add a nice break to an extended event. Another popular choice is to hold a more sub- stantial networking-friendly dining reception mid way through your event as it provides a great way for guests to meet up in a casual envi- ronment and build relationships while enjoying great food and beverage. 3. Small Is The New Big! Bite-sized desserts have overtaken larger portions in popularity. Conference delegates are turning their backs on the big slice of cake and heading for the easy-to- handle signature bite-sized dessert station. Warm, house-made donuts, chocolate truffles, French macaroons, mini cupcakes and house- made cookies are top of the list for planners. 4. In With Flavor, Out With Fats! Healthy choices don't need to resemble rabbit food, and conference chefs work with exciting new ingre- dients including whole grains, protein alterna- tives (quinoa, amaranth, tofu, beans) green vegetables (kales, spinach), low fat and low sugar foods, which sound, look and taste great! 5. Making & Breaking Bread Together: Nothing brings the team together more than food, and having the opportunity to cook with somebody can create a whole new appreciation for and hidden talent not seen in an office envi- ronment or company outing. Culinary team- building has all the ingredients to cook up a winning team! 6. Contrasting Environments: Utilizing outside space to create a change in scenery and a casual dining experience will revitalize attendees, especially during multi-day meetings and events. 7. Finale NOT Gala: Make sure the last night of your event has all the components to create a dynamic environment and brings people to- gether to celebrate the end of a great conference. Be creative and choose your room seating layout and dining style to deliver that finale. 8. That's Theater Darling! Adding a chef interactive station can also highlight the menu with fresh prepared items (Panini, clubhouse or slider); remember to ask for gluten-free options. 9. Go Micro For Max Effect: With the explo- sion in microbreweries offering brews that ap- peal to all tastes, ask your conference planners if they can make pre-dinner drinks a local affair! 10. Infused Tea Cocktails: The English may drink a lot of it and now the world has caught on to the latest trend, infused tea cocktails. Com- bine this with trend 9 and you can have a double brew at your next reception! n headlines • trends • ideas Top 10 Following extensive research among members of The International Association of Conference C enters, the association released its Top 10 Conference Food Trends for 2015, which are influencing meeting planners when it comes to catering for conferences across the globe. Mark Cooper, CEO, IACC, commented, "People are always looking for new and interesting ways to cater for their conference attendees, and food has become so much more than just fuel. Recently, there has been an enormous shift towards health and the impact that food can have on concentration and productivity. The trends identified in our research take this knowledge to the next level and will help meeting planners to deliver the ultimate experience when it comes to catering for conferences across the globe." O rlando International Airport will begin offering non-stop service from Orlando to Havana, Cuba, beginning July 8. Island Travel Tours will begin serving this route once a week, on Wednesdays, and expects to add a second flight, on Sun- days, during the summer. The 90-minute flights on Boeing 737-300 aircraft will accommodate 120 passengers. Approval from U.S. Customs is still required before travelers can fly from Orlando to Cuba. Phil Brown, executive director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said "the changing dynamics in the relation- ship between the U.S. and Cuban gov- ernments has made it possible to offer the new flight options to residents in central Florida." This development follows a March an- nouncement that Emirates Airline will begin offering non-stop flights between Dubai and Orlando on Sept. 1. The daily flights will have eight first-class suites, 42 business class lie-flat beds and 216 economy class seats. n Orlando International Airport Adds Flights To Cuba