Over the course of my 16 years in the events industry (eight working on the planning side and eight on the hotel side), I’ve seen many trends come and go. Fortunately, the Macarena was one that didn’t last too long. One trend that’s just starting to evolve, and I have no doubt is here to stay, is choosing food and beverage menus with the intent of maximizing the productivity of the attendees.
One of the most important aspects of a meeting is for attendees to leave smarter than when they arrived, and studies show that the food choices have a direct correlation on whether or not this is accomplished.
Breakfast selections are being made with the intent of providing long-lasting energy. Planners are starting to stray from pastries and danishes, while gravitating more towards fruit and also whole grains like oatmeal and whole wheat toast. During lunch, healthy foods can help attendees concentrate. Omega 3 fatty acids, found in foods like salmon, are proven to play a vital role in enhancing memory and helping with concentration. In the afternoon, chocolate chip cookies and brownies are starting to be replaced by items like dark chocolate, dried fruit, and nuts. Dinner selections are being made with the intent of relaxation, ensuring a good night’s sleep, and recharging the batteries. These items include fish, whole grains and leafy greens like kale.
At Hotel Valley Ho, we offer healthy options including a Spa Break that features dried fruits, nuts, berries, tea, and massages. Nutrition is an important component of meetings that deserves more attention. I’m obviously just scratching the surface, but I think you get the idea. In order to get more out of your next meeting and maximize your return on investment, think about choosing ‘smarter foods’.