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December 4, 2018

Americas: Food for Thought: New Event Menu-Planning Guide Released

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Spurred by data showing that attendees have become more discerning—and assertive—regarding their food and beverage preferences at meetings, the International Association of Conference Centers led a group effort among event-industry experts and the World Obesity Foundation to produce the Guide to Managing Conference Delegate Dietary Requirements. Released in early November, the 12-page report aims to help meeting and event planners manage their partnerships with event venues when fulfilling the dietary requirements of attendees to better ensure attendee health and well-being.

Most of the research that demonstrated a need for such guidance came from IACC’s latest Trends in Nutrition & Delegate Wellbeing study. For instance, the study found that 79 percent of responding planners receive more dietary requests from attendees now versus two years ago, while only 33 percent of venues include basic nutritional information on their menus and only 75 percent of venues train their staff on properly serving people with food allergies. And from an anecdotal perspective, "last year I asked a room of 200 meeting planners if managing attendees' dietary needs was a particular challenge for them, and at least 75 percent of them said yes," notes Mark Cooper, CEO of IACC. "I knew then that we needed to do more as an association and industry in terms of offering insights and best practices to help both planners and venues."

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